When I first started sewing I was terrified to sew with fabrics other than basic quilting cotton. But the truth is, sewing garments in woven cotton fabric is really limiting, especially since most of us wear knit fabric for day to day wear. My love of sewing garments….really my whole mission to make my own clothing, increased triple-fold when I conquered my fears of sewing with a variety of textiles. As soon as you can sew rayons, jersey knits, sweater knits, silks and cotton lawn with confidence, you can make just about anything! I realized yesterday while I was writing about the cardigan for my mom that sewing with sweater knit fabric is one of those substrates that can be intimidating.
But, it doesn’t have to be! In the spirit of encouraging others to stitch up a more adventurous wardrobe I decided to share my simple tricks for sewing with sweater knit fabric. Let’s make it easy and not at all intimidating, shall we? (more…)
Hey look! It’s my mom! Isn’t she the cutest, most beautiful person? She was visiting us from Minnesota this weekend and we decided to go out for a fancy-ish dinner but she had nothing to wear. I grabbed this color-blocked Julia cardigan (literally pulled it fresh off my sewing table) and I soon as she put it on I knew it belonged to her. I hadn’t even worn once it myself but it was obvious it was fated to be hers. She just looks great in it, don’t you think? Honestly, meant to be. (more…)
What a strange time to be a maker. As so many of us are, I’m devastated by current events. The world feels threatening and unsettled and there are about eleventy billion people my heart is trying to scramble around to embrace, protect, shield. But, even as my emotions scramble, everything keeps shifting beneath my feet and I’m exhausted just trying to keep up with my Facebook feed. I’ve come back dozens of times to realize that what re-energizes and restores me is making things. My time behind the sewing machine is where I can construct something real and solid and certain. I’ve long joked that sewing is my therapy and that has officially stopped being a joke. The process feels vital and at the same time the results feel frivolous. It’s an odd juxtaposition. I guess this is a long way of saying that I made a boho-style cape and it’s not going to save the world but it got me through a tough time. Ha!
Ooh boy. (more…)
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Hey June patterns. I use her patterns to make so much of my wardrobe, i.e. the cheyenne, sloan leggings, the lane raglan, it’s all on standby in my closet. So, when I was asked to be a pattern tester for her latest women’s pattern, the Tallinn Sweater, I jumped on the chance. And, I’m so happy I did because now I have this casual but elegant Tallin sweatshirt. (more…)
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…)
There are certain clothing items that I consider an extreme indulgence and fancy lounge pants is one of them. Let’s be honest, any old pair of sweatpants will generally suffice when it comes to at-home casual wear. As a Minnesota-born woman, it’s effectively burned into my DNA to avoid excess luxury and always make do with what is sufficient…I don’t paint my nails, I barely even moisturize my skin. I’m slow to accept indulgences into my life. As you can imagine, upping my lounge pants game is like going seriously fancy lady. But, when I came across the rayon floral prints designed by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel and felt how silky soft it is all I could think of was making the perfect pair of lounge pants. I went for it, I went full fancy lady folks. (more…)
A while back I made this Esme Tunic and it’s been in heavy circulation since. This is one of the most well-worn items in my handmade wardrobe. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter’s most recent book, Everyday Style (affiliate link), which is an inspiring, textile-filled book and probably one of my new favorites. The fabric was purchased last year at Superbuzzy, I got it while I was at Craftcation. They have a very impressive selection of heavy-duty Japanese fabric and this woven striped print was calling my name. I love the subtle lemon/lime green stripe. (more…)
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…)