City Gym Shorts – One for You, One for Me

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I know! I know! What took me so long?!  The sewing world has been singing the praises of the free pattern for City Gym Shorts from Purl Soho for a long time now and I was deaf to its song.  That is until my sister emailed me a link to the pattern with an winking emoji happy face.

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Apparently, she wanted a pair of shorts. That is, after all, what the winking emoji happy face was invented to communicate…it would be great if you could sew this for me! So, I finally got to it…and I stitched up a pair for myself while I was at it.

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This is the pair for her…in a lovely, soft blue chambray from Imagine Gnats and classic Tana Lawn pattern of Liberty of London that was actually purchased at Purl Soho.  For my shorts I paired an olive chambray, also from Imagine Gnats, with a Liberty print from Duckadily Fabrics.  I’m so pleased with both pair of shorts.  The combination of Liberty lawn fabric and chambray kind of knocks all other shorts out of the park.  I mean, this is what comfort and luxury is all about in my world.

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It’s beauty meeting softness meeting utility and for a farm girl raised in Minnesota, such as myself, it doesn’t get any better than that.  Fancy shorts, that is all I need.

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I followed the pattern exactly and it’s really simple to sew but it does take a bit of time to make these shorts because you have to hand-make the bias tape edging if you want it to match.  I also added some stitches to secure the elastic in place (I hate when it rolls around inside a casing!) but that was a simple fix. Either way, I’m loving my new shorts and wearing them way more than I expected.  Thanks sister and your winking emoji.

Christmas Stitches in August

Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric Look! Holiday fabric!  Because, you know, sewists are the only people who are sweating it out behind an iron and sewing machine in the dog days of humid August heat while staring at snowmen, icicles and mistletoe.  It’s just a cruel truth.

Sadly, these aren’t for me (though they do have me thinking I should get a jump-start on holiday sewing).  Every once in a while I get to stitch up sample products for Cloud9 Fabrics with their upcoming fabric lines.  I’m so, so lucky to live only 20 minutes away from this amazing company.  Most recently, they asked me to make cloth napkins, potholders and an apron from their Festive fabric line which just shipped out to stores.  As you can see it’s Christmas / Wintertime themed but because it is designed by Jo Clark for Cloud 9 so the prints are cute, subtle and classy instead of tacky CHRISTMAS-in-your-face! 
Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric Aren’t they sweet!?  The snowmen have earmuffs and red scarfs for goodness sake.  For the potholders I used this tutorial from A Pretty Cool Life, which was easy and straightforward.  To make them heat-resistant I used Insul-Bright and when I ran out of that I used a combination of quilt batting and felted wool.  Both will do the trick.  
Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric It was surprisingly meditative and fun to make the same things over and over again.  I normally avoid doing that because of the slight ‘sweatshop’ feeling it invokes, which leads to a ‘what am I doing with my life’ feeling, which leads to even bigger existential-esque questions and a big dark hole.

Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric But, right at this moment, repeated stitches and ironing of hems was just exactly what I needed.  Sometimes, I don’t want to have to think so hard and it feels good to do the sewing without any complications. Maybe it was the summer heat getting to me after all or maybe it was just the catharsis I need after moving house.
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It also helped that these adorable designs were smiling back at me.  To make the cloth napkins I used this wonderful tutorial on making mitered corners from Nicole At Home, except I added an additional border stitch.

Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric

The apron pattern is one that I’ve wanted to sew for a long time.  it’s the Emmerline Apron from Sew Liberated and it’s got a classic, simple style that is not only beautiful but also flattering (even a bit sexy, I’d say?).

Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric

Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric

It’s also reversible so it was a great chance to show off this adorable fabric.  On one side I picked the Mistletoe fabric that was my favorite and on the other side I put the gingerbread men, which is the favorite of the Cloud 9 folks.  Paired with the Lava Cirrus Solid, this apron is so holiday-ready it makes me hungry for a snickerdoodle. Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric Christmas Stitches in Festive Fabric

Sadly, I had to hand over all of these samples to the Cloud 9 folks for use in their promotions and booths, etc. but I’m hoping it will motivate my own holiday sewing….maybe once the crazy, crazy heat passes?

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

I feel positively bombarded with advertising every day and I think I’ve noticed it more these days because I’m not shopping for clothes for myself.  So, I decided to do some advertising for the dreamers and artists and the whimsical makers in my life. These are products made or dreamt up by my friends and comrades in the world of handmade…and that may make me biased but it also means that I can guarantee a purchase from one of these shops goes directly to a family.  The money spent on these things will go to groceries and haircuts and all those everyday things.  But beyond that it supports dreamers and artists so they can keep dreaming and artist-ing.  If our money is a vote, let’s vote for art, huh?  It’s a bit of a random list of things I really like right now.  Enjoy!  (more…)

Re-useum :: Backyard Art Camp Party

Re-useum :: Recycled art Fun for Kids

Oh my goodness, guys.  I have been waiting all week to share this with you and I’m just giddy with excitement.  Last Saturday morning we invited a few friends over and along with loads of cardboard and art supplies we turned our yard into a creation frenzy. It was our Re-useum party (Jane held her amazing reuseum party earlier to kickoff backyard art camp).  Here are the kids before we started.  Look at those cute faces!! (more…)

Backyard Art Camp :: Recycled Art Inspiration

Today for Backyard Art Camp,The Re-useum Edition it is all about the books and artists that inspire!!  Using recycled materials is not only simpler but also hugely inspiring because it’s so fun to work with wacky, wild, unusual supplies! Much more accessible than a blank canvas if you ask me!

Backyard Art Camp :: Recycled Art Inspiration
So here we go!  It’s time for much more Backyard Art Camp,The Re-useum!!

To start with, the always awesome Tara from Girl Like the Sea has gathered a super impressive roundup of books sure to inspire kids (an parents, ahem).  Tara is a homeschooling, get-the-kids-outside-and-get-dirty kind of mama. She’s always getting messy with art supplies and dirt and taking it in full creative, honest stride.  Her list of books is equally impressive and just as rad as she is.  Plus, she and her kids have personally tested out most of these books so she has great feedback about them. (more…)

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