Thursday, August 10, 2017

May 2017 in Review

May has always been my favorite month of the year. It's my birth month, as well as the first month that fully feels like Spring in the Pacific Northwest. These days, I also have Mother's Day to look forward to, as well as Me-Made-May. It has turned into a very busy month, and I'm always a little bit sad when it's over. Here's what I finished in May. 

Moonlit Gems Gretta Tank 

Years ago, I bought several yards of Cotton + Steel Moonlit Gems lawn online. I thought it would be gray, but it's actually more of a taupe, which isn't really my style. I dug it out the other day to make a wearable muslin of the new Gretta tank pattern from Seamwork. The fabric sewed up well, and is soft and cool to the touch. I'd definitely buy Cotton + Steel lawn again. For my first Gretta tank, I did my normal grading between sizes, omitted the shoulder ties, left off the pocket, and used bias strips to finish the neckline and armholes, instead of a facing. It was super simple and quick to sew, so I took the extra time to flat fell all the seams, which made it nice and neat inside. While I still don't love the color taupe, I'm satisfied with this make and have added the Gretta tank to my list of patterns I'd make again.  

Pearl Bracelet Mini Colfax Dress 

During my preparations for Me-Made-May, I pulled out my Pearl Bracelet Bettine dress to mend. My daughter saw it on my sewing table, and asked for a matching dress. How could I say no? My plan was to make both a Colfax dress and Mini Colfax dress from Lizzy House's Mini Pearl Bracelet double gauze in time to wear for Mother's Day. Sadly, I ran out of time and was only able to finish the Mini Colfax dress before the big day. My daughter and I still matched, just not exactly. The construction of this dress was interesting, with visible binding, a slit facing, and an unexpected way of closing the bottom of the pockets. One of these days, I'll get around to making the Colfax dress in my size. 

Heather Gray Mabel Skirt 

While I really enjoy my Seamwork subscription, not all of the patterns speak to me. Since I've subscribed from the very beginning, I have a nice chunk of credits saved up. I used a few of them to purchase the Colette Mabel skirt pattern. I sewed Version 1 out of Robert Kaufman Arietta Ponte De Roma Heather in Graphite, lengthening it by seven inches. I was super happy with how the resulting skirt looks and feels. It only lacks pockets to make it the perfect skirt. Still mulling over the best way to add pockets to the next one. 

Bento Bag 

I used some stash fabric to whip up a quick Bento Bag to wrap a gift. I'm still loving this pattern. It's fast, easy and versatile

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

April 2017 in Review

The last few months have been pretty hectic. While I still managed to make several things, photographing them and blogging about them quickly fell to the wayside. Here is my first post as I attempt to catch up. 

Space Thistle Akita Blouse and Striped Akita Blouse 

April was an incredibly busy month at work, but I really wanted to make a couple new garments before Me-Made-May started. I pulled out my trusty Seamwork Akita blouse pattern, as well as all the double gauze I had in my stash, some Space Thistle by Cotton + Steel, and a subtle blue and white stripe by Lecien. I'm so glad I made the time to whip these two shirts up. The double gauze is so nice for the warmer months, and I've worn these Akita blouses constantly. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

January, February and March 2017 in Review

What a year it has been so far! My free time has been limited, but I have still managed to finish a few things. Attending the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat in March resulted in one finished quilt and two finished tops. For April, I've switched gears to garment sewing, as Me-Made-May is just around the corner! 

January 2017 Finishes

Jewelry Organzier Pouch 
Cotton + Steel gift bag 
Blue Rail Fence Baby quilt  

February 2017 Finishes

Butterfly Box Lined Drawstring Bag 
Cuzco Lined Drawstring Bag  

March 2017 Finish

Cyan Chaos quilt

Monday, January 30, 2017

Heather Gray Basics: Oslo Cardigan, Jane Tee and Hemlock Tee

January in Seattle is gray and cold, so it was fitting that the garments I made this month were gray, too! A while ago, I purchased 5 yards of Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper. It's a lovely fabric that has a little bit of a pattern, but reads as a solid. The plan was to make an Oslo Cardigan and a Hemlock Tee. Before I found time to cut out the pattern pieces, the January 2017 issue of Seamwork dropped. I loved both patterns, and decided to make the Jane Tee immediately. After playing a little pattern piece Tetris, I realized I had almost enough yardage to make all three items out of the yardage I had on hand. I dug through my apparel scraps and found a big enough scrap of Heather Pepper for the Hemlock Tee sleeve. (I used it previously for a Wembley Cardigan.) Thus, I made three things from the yardage I had planned to use for two garments. It felt like finding a free shirt! Here are more details about each garment. 

Pattern: Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork 
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Reduced the cuff length by 50%

Thoughts: When I first made this pattern back in 2015, I considered it a failure. Part of the reason why was the color (When I ordered it online, I thought that Royal would be a deeper, truer blue than it was), part of it was that I choose the wrong size, and part of it was that the cuffs were way too long for my taste. This time I chose a fabric I had used successfully in the past, sized down by one size, and reduced the cuff length by 50%. I am much happier with this version. The sleeves are still a little long, but they are not too bulky when folded back. I'm tempted to make another in more challenging fabric, like a sweater knit, now that I have a serger. I've worn this cardigan once or twice a week since making it, so now I consider the pattern a success!

Pattern: Jane Tee from Seamwork 
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Graded the pattern up at the hip by adding 1.25 inches at the bottom edge on both the front and back pattern piece

Thoughts: I'm always on the lookout for good, repeatable basics. I know from experience that my measurements mean that I usually have to grade out the waist/hips 1-2 sizes with Seamwork patterns. Since this is a simple pattern, I just added 1.25 inches at the bottom edge of each torso piece and drew a straight line from there to the arm scythe. While I'm really happy with the fit around the waist/hips, the loose sleeves and high crew neck aren't my favorite. I'm still happy that I tried this pattern. It's a wearable basic that taught me that I like tighter sleeves and lower necklines, at least for my tees.


Pattern: Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio  
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Added 1.5 inches to the sleeve 

Thoughts: The Hemlock Tee is one of my current favorite patterns. It's free, it fits and it's quick. Last November, I whipped up four Hemlock Tees and they have been in constant rotation ever since. For this version, I extended the sleeves by 1.5 inches. I really like the extra length for winter. This shirt is a definite wardrobe workhorse.

While making three plain gray items in a short period of time may seem boring, it's very satisfying to make basics that you know will be worn often. It's also super satisfying that I've already made two of the patterns from my #2017MakeNine collage! I've ordered fabric for a few more basics, but after that I may start reaching for prints over solids. We'll see.