Thursday, October 31, 2013

Really Random Thursday

There’s a new fabric store in Seattle! I can’t wait to visit District Fabric in Fremont. It looks to be mostly apparel fabric, which is good considering that I’ve caught the garment sewing bug.

The other day at Cupcake Royale, I tried Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade and loved it! I’m a sucker for flower flavored food in drink. Case in point: I ate a Lavender Cupcake while I drank my Rose Lemonade.

The last thing I need right now is a new WIP, but I’d love to join in Canoe Ridge Creation’s upcoming Giant Starburst Quilt Along. The pattern is so striking in its simplicity, and I hope it’s a quick sew.

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pearl Bracelet Wiksten Tank

Recently, I made another Wiksten Tank. (This is my fourth one, if anyone’s counting.) This time I used one of my favorite prints: Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House. This particular yardage is actually the leftovers of the backing for the Halloween quilt I’m currently working on. I don’t have anything new to say about this pattern, so here are some pictures.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Domino Staple Dress

I am determined to master garment sewing, no matter how long it takes. However, I’ve run across a few bumps in the road along the way. Last Fall, I make my first garment: a Wiksten tank dress. After that, I kept using the pattern again and again and again. As much as I love it, I really wanted to branch out and tried two different Colette patterns (Laurel and Taffy). Alas, I was stymied by fit issues and never got past the muslin stage on either of them. Instead of giving up, I decided I needed professional help.

In order to improve my garment sewing skills before I attempted a very fitted pattern again, I signed up for the Intro to Apparel | The Staple Dress at Drygoods Design. The dress is loose and forgiving, but called for the use of elastic thread and a serger, neither of which I had used before. It seemed a good next step in my sewing journey. Before the class, I washed my fabric (Waterfront Park by Violet Craft Domino Dot Navy), took my measurements, and traced the pattern onto freezer paper, which turned out to be a very good idea.

Did you know that Drygoods Design’s studio provides sewing machines (and a serger!) for you to use during classes? I didn’t, so the first night I ended up lugging my beloved Elna across half of Ballard, and arrived late to the class. Thankfully, my fellow students were still tracing their patterns, so I wasn’t behind! I spent a lovely two evenings sewing and soaking up Julienne’s tricks and tips. I think my favorite was that you can align the pocket pattern to the dress pattern before you cut it out, to reduce the number of seams you have to sew.

Sadly, the class ended before my dress was finished, and the elastic thread wasn’t cooperating. Luckily, the interwebs came to the rescue, and I was able to fix the problem. For my machine, I have to hand wind the bobbin assertively, leave it on the default stitch length, and apply generous amounts of water and ironing after stitching. (Due to an unfortunate encounter with a cat who thought the ironing board was her territory, my iron’s steam feature no longer functions. Otherwise, I would apply generous amounts of steam.)

What I love about this dress:
  • Pockets!
  • It’s easy if you’re comfortable with sergers and elastic thread.
  • It has a high-low hem.
  • It’s flattering (and not fitted).
  • The sleeves are part of the main pattern piece.
  • Did I mention it has pockets?

What I don’t love about this dress:
  • The quilting cotton I used is too bulky for this pattern. I should have used actual apparel fabric.
  • If I don’t wear a belt, the dress slides off my shoulder when I put my cell phone in my pocket.

All in all, this class did what I hoped it would do. At the end, I was left with a new garment, new skills, and increased confidence. Not bad for just two evenings!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

URHere Swap

Those who know me well are fully aware that I adore Starbucks. When I saw on Instagram that Suki was hosting a swap for the new You Are Here Starbucks mugs, I jumped at the chance. Living out in the ‘burbs like I do, I had to go on a mini quest to find the Seattle mug, but find it I did. Inspired by the colors of the mug, I whipped up a quick mug rug for my swap partner. To me, the mug rug looks like one of two things: the Seattle skyline on a cloudy day, or majestic Mt. Rainier. I also sent a few other things, including a bar of Theo chocolate, which is made locally.

On the flip side of the swap, I love what my swap partner, Melissa of Crafty Goods, sent me. Instead of sending me a mug from her home state, she picked up the Banff mug for me while on vacation, which was super sweet of her. (Banff is in Alberta, Canada. I had to look it up.) Melissa also sent me an adorable zippered pouch in typewriter fabric, which I love, several fat quarters of Alison Glass Sun Print Feathers, tailor’s chalk, and lots of chocolate. I feel quite spoiled.  

A big thanks to Suki for organizing this swap and Melissa for being an awesome swap partner. If you are interested in participating, I believe there is a waiting list for the next round. Stop by the Flickr group for more information.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Zakka 2.0 Sew Along: Prettified Pincushion

Even though the Prettified Pincushion is the last pattern in Patchwork, Please!, it was the first one that I completed. Never having attempted paper piecing before, I asked my mom for a lesson before the sew along started. I was glad to have her guidance and moral support, as the technique proved to be a tad too finicky for my improv-loving soul. During my first attempt, I used the teeny tiny fabric pieces called for in the pattern, and it was a disaster. Undaunted, I switched over to using 2.5” squares and then trimmed them down after sewing each seam, which worked much better for me. After a long afternoon of diminutive patchwork, my admiration for Ayumi’s skills only increased. At the end of the day, I was the proud owner of a cute new pin cushion, which is now put to regular use.

For those of you who may be nervous about trying paper piecing or another new-to-you technique, I encourage you to jump in! Even if you find out that it’s not your cup of tea, you may also find that you like the end result enough to make it worth the time and effort.

Note: Not having linen scraps on hand, I used cotton scraps instead. In lieu of Polyfill, I filled the pincushion with 1.5 cups of crushed walnut shells.
Sew Along button

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Really Random Thursday

Just one random thing for you this Thursday: my mom’s Common Affection quilt won the Creative Use of Neutral Fabrics award at the AQS Des Moines Quilt Week Show! (Did you know they have seven of these shows a year? Neither did I.)
Linking up with Really Random Thursday.