We have a gigantic tree smack-dab in the center of our yard and all summer long it keeps our garden about ten degrees cooler than the surrounding area. I love it with all my heart when I’m enjoying that cooling shade under its protective arms. But the love starts to fade right around this time of the year when its gigantic branches shed their foliage and the yard fills with load after load of brown and yellow leaves. Right now we are being hit with the first wave of leaves and for me that always signals the most awkward phase of autumn…the “is it hot or cold out?” phase. You know this one. You feel a shiver and put on a sweater. Stand in the sun for too long and that sweater starts to feel like a personal prison of heat. You start sweating immediately. Take it off, though, and there is sure to be just the right amount of cloud cover and you will feel that cold shiver once again. I never deal with this transition very delicately but I think I may have found something of a solution with this perfect fall sweater. It’s a lane raglan hack using loose sweater knit for the body and a peek of rayon for the front. I shortened the arms, adding a cuff making it airy and cooler than your average sweater but fancier than a regular lane raglan with more coverage than just a regular raglan tee.
I’m sharing a full tutorial and detail on the Hey June blog, where I just started as a member of the Hey June blogger team. (It’s about time, right? Given how much I love and make her patterns!) Be sure to check it out.
I have a sweet new slip of a top! I’m so excited because it’s going to work beautifully on its own or under a light jacket this fall! It’s called the Delpy Ballet Top and it’s a pattern from the emerging pattern designer (and my friend) Meghann Halfmoon of Halfmoon Atelier . P.S. If you travel on over to my Instagram feed, I’m doing a pattern giveaway. But, stay here for a little bit so we can gush over this elegant sleeveless top, ok? (more…)
Oh friends. It is tomato season in New Jersey. I know people scoff when they hear New Jersey’s slogan is the Garden State but that is for real. The southern end of the state, especially, is full of farmland. And when it come to tomatoes the slogan is for real for real. You know the “Jersey tomato”? Well, my kitchen is swimming in these lovely, colorful, luscious golden globes. We belong to a farm cooperative, Honeybrook Organic Farms, (the oldest Community Supported Agriculture programs in our state, actually). Every year, around this time, we receive what feels like bushels of amazing tomatoes. On top of that, my kids ALWAYS buy me a tomato plant at the school plant sale. It’s just one plant but, man oh man, one tomato plant can really produce!? Either way you cut it, I am up to my ears in tomatoes and need to “can” them ASAP. (I don’t really know how to actually can tomatoes and am frankly terrified of botulism so I make freezer tomatoes). I knew I was going to need a good, sturdy apron to tackle the tomato issue so when Betz White asked if I would review her Craftsy class, Easy Modern Apron, I jumped at the chance. Thus was born my “So Many Tomatoes” Striped Modern Apron! (more…)
After sharing lots of skirts (this one and these) I am back with a simple breezy summer-y button-up tank, which I’m sure will get lots of wear this August. This top is one of the many simple garment patterns in Caroline Hulse’s debut sewing book Sew Caroline Weekend Style. The folks at Fons and Porter asked if I would review the book and I knew right away that I wanted to make the button-up tank. The whole book is full of colorful, easy-going patterns from shorts to flip flops and pool totes. The bright, playful style of the book is classic Caroline! (more…)
I am over-the-moon excited to be a part of the Cleo Skirt Summer Showcase today. This simple skirt pattern from Made by Rae is certainly worthy of its own horn-tooting parade. So much so, I had to make two skirts.
The first is a swishy, fire-engine red floral rayon from the Rifle Paper and Cotton + Steel collaboration in view b. The second version is in a Loominious woven print from Anna Maria Horner in view a. Both are pretty fabulous but with such different personalities. It’s a bit of a study in fabric behavior.
There are many, many things I love about sewing my own clothes but at the top of the list is the surprising way it sometimes provides an unexpected glimpse into the world of store-bought fashion. In the spirit of a peek behind the screen ala Wizard of Oz, sewing something for myself can unintentionally reveal the small shifts at play in the conventional clothing market and suddenly, it demystifies the whole process. In this case, my Wizard of Oz moment came courtesy of this lovely silver sweater knit tee. Made using my good-old standby, the Plantain Tee I was able to transform a basic top into something a little more fancy/casual. I mean, truly. I have made this tee SO. MANY. TIMES. It is probably the pattern I have used more than any other. But, suddenly by making it in a sweater knit I introduce my wardrobe to a scrumptious and luxurious fancy sweater knit tee shirt of the sort I drool over in this catalog. It captures what I am so often going for…everyday elegance. The craziest part is it was easier and cheaper to make than it would be in a standard jersey knit fabric! See, how that worked. I didn’t even try but there it was; the same pattern, same construction just in different fabric and I’ve got the everyday elegance of a sweater knit tee. Boom! (more…)
It has been a crazy busy time around here! If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that our family went on an amazing tour of the Southwest, visiting the Grand Canyon and Zion national parks among other things. Then after a week at home I jetted off to California for the Craftcation conference. Every second of all of it was wonderful and worth it but I feel like I’m just screwing my head back on. This homebody needs a little home time, you know? I did snap a few photos of handmade clothing while we were basking in the stunning landscapes of the Southwest including these jacquard Thurlow shorts. I mean, how could I resist!? It is otherworldly out there. These photos were taken while on an overlook hike in Zion national park.
Utah, by the way, is mind-blowingly beautiful. I am smitten.
Also, the shorts have been officially hike-tested! These jacquard Thurlow shorts can handle a mile uphill hike in the desert. That’s like a full-on shorts certification process if you ask me. (more…)
Most of the time as I am working with a pattern, I think up a million ways to hack it. “It’s a tunic!” “Oooh, a twofer dress!” “AND, even a romper!!!” But by the time I finish with the intended garment I discard all of my pattern hack ideas and quietly move on. I leave my little pattern hack ideas behind to languish and die. Well, I am happy to report I listened to the “please hack me” voice this time with my Trevi Top and the voice was right! My trevi top DID want to become a bohemian Trevi Top with a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels! It really did! Guys, I managed to create my favorite shirt ever with this hack. Hello happy, hippy, bohemian Trevi Top! You are here just in time for summer. (more…)