Monday, September 12, 2016

Basic Black Seneca Skirt

Early in July, I whipped up a new wardrobe staple: the Seamwork Seneca Skirt. Of all the Seamwork patterns I've completed, this sewed up the fastest. Usually my sewing style is to pick away at a pattern, sewing a little bit here, a little bit there, over several days or weeks. For this skirt, I started after dinner and was finished before bedtime. The instructions were clear and everything fit together nicely. It felt so good to sew such a quick pattern!

When I tried on the finished skirt in front of a mirror, I was a little unsure about the length. I'm much shorter than the model, so it's possible that I should have shortened it a few inches. In the end, I decided I love the length because of how comfy the skirt is. Also, it has pockets!

The fabric is my tried-and-true Robert Kaufman Laguna Jersey Knit in Onyx. I noticed during this year’s Me-Made-May that I reach for basic black items the most often. This skirt also filled a glaring hole in my wardrobe. Now I have not one, but two skirts in my closet!

My  Seneca skirt has gotten quite a bit of use this summer. I usually wear it with my blue Akita blouse, which is also a Seamwork pattern. I'd definitely like to sew another of these skirts next spring or summer, but am currently focused on planning my fall garment sewing. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

July 2016 in Review

This summer has been full of sunny days and outside activities, which doesn’t leave much time for crafting. Even so, I managed to finish a few things and make progress on several more.


Seneca Skirt: At the beginning of the month, I whipped up a Seamwork Seneca Skirt. It was a super quick, fun sew. Seneca has served me well this summer, as I tend to wear skirts and dresses when the heat rises.

Hayden Shirt: I also made a Seamwork Hayden Shirt out of Essex Linen. It wasn’t nearly as quick as the Seneca Skirt, but it was worth the extra time, as I wear it constantly.

River Song Honey Cowl: My River Song Honey Cowl is my third knit finished object. I liked it when I started it in April, but quickly lost interest. I used bamboo needles because I read they were good for newbies. However, the bamboo needles combined with this lovely single-ply yarn made the knitting super slow. The finished product is full of mistakes. Since I didn't swatch, it's an odd length and not very wearable. However, I do like the look of the pattern. I may try the one skein version at some point, but will make sure to do a swatch.

Cuzco Crosscut Mini Quilt: I wanted to participate in my mom’s Crosscut Quilt Along, but didn't have time to make new blocks from scratch, so I used blocks I had on hand. I started sewing with this Cuzco fabric back in 2013, so it was high time I finished something with them. (Keep reading to hear what I did with the rest of the blocks.) I really enjoyed participating in the quilt along and will use the sew-it-together-and-cut-it-up-differently technique again.


Motion in the Ocean Skye Cowl: After working on the Honey Cowl for three months, I wanted to knit something I could finish quickly. Using Motion in the Ocean bulky yarn from Spun Right Round, I cast on the Skye cowl. The yarn is super soft and reminds me of a Monet painting. In July, I knit my way through the first skein and joined the second skein. I had barely started and was already halfway done!

Existing WIPs

Baltic Boneyard Shawl: My Boneyard Shawl is my current favorite WIP. In July, I finished the first skein and added the second skein. The pattern is simple enough for a beginner to tackle, but has enough complexity to hold my interest.

Chaos Quilt: Earlier this year, I took a workshop from Libs Elliott. It was a lovely day, and I finally finished the top of my Chaos Quilt in July. I look forward to quilting it and hanging it on my wall.

Cuzco Days Baby Quilt: After finishing my Cuzco Crosscut Mini Quilt, I had enough blocks left over to make a baby quilt. Since this WIP has been languishing for several years, I knew I was never going to make it into a lap quilt. I capitalized on the momentum I had built up with the mini quilt and threw the remaining blocks together into a finished top. With this top, the Chaos Quilt, the SEAMQG BOM Quilt and the Glam Clam Quilt, I now have four tops that need quilting! I’m going to try to finish one or two before I start any new quilts.

Scrap Vortex: I love all the Scrap Vortex quilts that I've seen on Instagram and the blogosphere, but I have to force myself to work on mine. The process takes up a lot of space, and it's hard to tell how much I have left to do, which is disheartening. Thankfully, I had a sewing day at my mom's house and using her design wall helped so much! I managed to sew together three columns/rows and plan to make two more. It's so nice knowing that I'm over halfway done with the piecing.

Temperature Blanket: My Temperature Blanket didn't get much love in July. It's the perfect project for a rainy day, and we had precious few of those lately. I managed to finish a few rows, but ended the month about seven weeks behind.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mini Pearl Bracelet Bettine Dress

I am a big fan of Lizzy House’s fabric designs, so when she announced a dress contest using her fabrics, of course I had to participate. (My Chasing Butterflies Myrtle Dress was ineligible because I made it before the contest was announced.) Even though you could use any Lizzy House fabric, I wanted to try one of her new woven substrates. After much deliberation, I decided on Mini Pearl Bracelet Double Gauze in Periwinkle, as I knew it was a motif, substrate and color that I would enjoy wearing. The dress pattern was harder to decide on. It had to be simple enough to make in time without stress, cute enough to be a contender for the contest, and comfortable enough that I would actually wear it after the contest. I settled on the Bettine dress by Tilly and the Buttons, and was not disappointed.

This double gauze was a dream to work with. I took my time and slowed down to enjoy the process. I used French seams whenever I could. I did stall at the facings for a little bit, as I really don’t like interfacing. I did, however, like that the facings are stitched down nice and secure and out of the way. The pocket bag technique was new to me, but quite easy to follow along. Hooray for pockets!

My dress turned out a little more “blousy” up top because my bust measurement is between sizes, and I went with the larger size. I also graded up another size at the waist to make it match up with the skirt. Speaking of the skirt, based on the examples I saw online, I added 3” to the length. I am glad I did, as it would have been too short for my taste otherwise. Even with grading out to a larger size in the skirt, the hem feels a little constrictive occasionally. Okay, it’s only constrictive when I’m running after my five year old. It’s good for all my grown-up activities.

Next time I make the Bettine dress, I’d like to go down a size on top, and make it out of knit fabric, which should be fun. All in all, I am super happy with how this dress turned out and look forward to wearing it all summer long.