Archive of ‘craft community’ category

Polka Dot Trevi Top in Double Gauze

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

I pretty much know, at this point, that any pattern made by Adrianna from Hey June Handmade is going to fit me and look amazing on first try.  Check out my Cheyenne blouse, Sanibel rompers, Lane Raglan hoodie, and  leggings for proof. So, I was jubilant when she asked me to pattern test her latest creation, the Trevi Top and Dress. I went with a double gauze fabric from my stash to make this polka dot Trevi top.  I am thrilled with the results, as expected.

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

The pattern for this simple, drape-y top has just enough detail of construction to be interesting and flattering.  The tall neckline and high cut at the shoulders combine with a button placket on the back. To be honest, it’s not a style I would normally get into but I trust Adrianna so much that I agree to test for her and I am glad I did because it worked out.

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

Isn’t the button placket such a perfect detail? It always amazes me how much a button placket takes a simple shirt to the next level.  Now that I am comfortable with the buttonhole maker function on my sewing machine, I’m way less intimidated by buttonhole making. In fact, I kind of look forward to it because it’s really so simple but looks impressive. If you haven’t played around with the buttonhole function on your machine, I have to encourage you to take an afternoon and conquer it. You won’t regret it!

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

A bit of nitty-gritty on this top. After looking at the size chart, I decided to grade the top from a size 6 at the top to a size 12 at the hips. I know, super dramatic!! I have really sizable (juicy and lovable) hips and I’ve found it’s better to just embrace the difference and account for it rather than be disappointed when something doesn’t fit. The thing is, however, this top has a lot of ease at the hips and I really overdid it. I mean, I still like how this top looks but it just doesn’t need to be quite so flowy. I also think, with this style, the size 6 was a tiny bit too small at my chest.  There is a first time for everything, right? It’s not tight enough to be constricting, though, so it’s all good.

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

The fabric is a double gauze, as I mentioned. I got it two years ago in Portland at Bolt. It’s a lovely print from Kokka, designed by Ellen Luckett Baker. It made for a very comfortable and sweet but not overly sweet little top.

Little Polka Dot Trevi Top || a happy stitch

An Olive and Pink Everyday Blouse

An Olive and Pink Everyday Blouse || sewn by a happy stitch

I made myself an olive and pink everyday blouse, y’all.  And, it’s ticking all the happy boxes.

Tremendously wearable but not at all boring. Check!  Comfortable but not frumpy. Check! Full of elegant but not-at-all fussy details. Check! Fulfills my commitment to make a blouse for Project Sew It.  Check!    Awesome addition to my handmade closet. Check! Check! check!

I’ve been crushing on this pattern since it came out. The Everyday Blouse was released through UpCraft Club and designed by Rachel, the Brazilian designer and endlessly talented sewist behind House of Pinhiero. (more…)

All You Need is Love Table Setting [See Kate Sew – Book Review]

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

I am a sucker for two things: a handmade Valentine’s Day and a pretty table setting. So, when I got a copy of the book See Kate Sew * for review from Fons & Porter and was immediately smitten with the adorable, pocketed placemat and little wallets, I decided that our family needed a little “All You Need is Love” table setting for our Valentine’s breakfast. Ok, I’m a sucker for three things. I also LOVE breakfast. But, that is beside the current point.

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

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Look at You, 2016.

Look At You 2016! Handmade Clothing of 2016 by A Happy Stitch

Happy New Year everybody! The book is officially closed on 2016 and personally, I was getting worried that damn door was never gonna shut. I know there are battles ahead in 2017 but it feels refreshing to be on the other side.  I’m feeling optimistic and ready. Our family had a lovely, restorative winter break complete with waterpark adventures, puzzles, family time and so many games! (Friends with elementary-aged children, do yourself a favor and pick up the game Catan Junior.* It’s such a fun game for everyone!)

Looking back on 2016, I feel proud.  Guys, I did it. I stuck to my continuing goal of buying no new clothing for a second year. That is two straight years of only making or buying secondhand clothes. My Nothing New Project is going strong with no end in sight.  And, honestly, this has become a bigger focus of my attention that I will be talking about a lot more this year. (more…)

Not about Money. Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Fair

Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Market! Connections and Creative Fire __a happy stitch

{peg fairies by Sophi Karkeek}

Ack! It has been over a month since I wrote here! I always find it a little embarrassing when I neglect the blog. I do this funny thing where I talk in my head to you guys but don’t match it all up with pretty pictures and non-imaginary words and then lose track of just how long it has been. Silly brain parts.  I just finished up a holiday art fair and had a great time mixed with the usual bit of stress and mental wrestling.  I thought a lot about the financial benefits of a craft fair versus the other reasons I think you should sell at a craft fair and I thought I’d write it all out in case anyone else is pondering these same questions.

The past month has been so busy.  I know everyone can relate to that.  This time of year is intense, man.  For makers it’s even more intense because it’s often the most lucrative time of the year.  Imagine adding to the steep increase in holiday parties, family obligations, school events and gift shopping by having to create ten times as much as normal then promote and attend a craft fair.  It’s kind of insane. I’ve been having heart  palpitations for the last month and I only do one holiday sale! I’m sure other artisans have it much worse.

In the midst of my crazy, stressed-out, not-stopping-to-shower efforts I asked myself, “Is this really worth it?” (more…)

Wrap Up :: Thoughts on a Handmade Summer Wardrobe

Thoughts on a Handmade Summer Wardrobe || a happy stitch

I have a tendency to move quickly from one thing to the next but I really wanted to be sure and do a wrap up on my handmade summer wardrobe even though it is late October.  Originally, I wanted to jot down reflections so I could have a record of the progress I made toward my goal.  But, as I started writing I realized that I am also sorting through some conflicted feelings. I started the handmade summer wardrobe idea with a deliberate plan that involved assessing my fabric stash and finding the gaps in my summer wardrobe so I could make wearable items from what I have. I set out to make three dresses, three tops, two tunics, one romper, two pairs of shorts and a cardigan.  I ended up making two rompers, three pairs of shorts, three tops, one tunic, one skirt and a cardigan. Overall, I’m thrilled I could tick off accomplishments and am proud of some strong additions to my handmade wardrobe. Most are things I will wear (the tunic and ikat top being the possible exceptions).  It’s so neat and tidy as a little plan, isn’t it?

But, sometimes we create boxes to organize things and then we resent that we are sat in a box, you know?  I guess it is the push and pull of creative limits? As it turns out, I hated my self-created limitations and often found I was reluctantly dragging myself back to stick to the plan. (more…)

Ice Painted Tee Shirts

Tee Shirts for Boys _Ice Painted | a project by a happy stitch

A few weeks ago the boys and I tried out ice painting and made some really fantastic ice painted tee shirts.  At first glance, they look a bit like tie-dyed tees but they are so much more painter-ly (that a word?) when you look closer.  Awesomer, too.  Way awesomer.  Making t-shirts has become something of a summer tradition around here.  Last year we tried tie-dying and sun printing dyes and loved it. There seem to be these unplanned, looser, low-key moments in summer that allow for messy projects. It’s one of my favorite things about summer with the boys at this age.  I got the idea to try ice painting from a Sweet Paul Magazine video on Facebook, which I unfortunately can’t find anymore. Sorry.

The good news is that I took lots of pictures of what we did and remember it all so I can share our tee shirt making with you. (more…)

Sundressing :: Olive Dress and Book Review + A Giveaway

Sundressing-the Olive Dress | a happy stitch

Happy July everybody! After two weeks at home, the boys are enjoying summer camp run by the town PE teachers and staffed with local teens, half of which play on the football team.  They came home from their first day, yesterday, with skinned knees and dried sweat defining the tips of their hair as well as important updates on which friends are in their group and stories about the cool camp counselors. Remember when nothing was cooler than knowing cool teenagers? Ah, summer.  I can already see it taking shape.  I didn’t plan to slow down on blogging while they were home with me but the pull to sleep in, read with them, play cards (we are loving War and the game Twisted Fish right now) and swim at the town pool was so strong. I have to assume that I needed a break, too.  I did manage to share my boxer shorts but, things were slow around here. Two weeks was long enough, though, and now I am itching to jump back in to sewing, blogging, teaching, sharing and re-immersing myself into this crazy world I made for myself.  And, I’m excited to jump back in with a review of the Sundressing book, a giveaway and a lovely, bug-filled, Olive dress. (more…)

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