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Sandbridge Skirt

Sandbridge Skirt - another great pattern from Hey June Handmade :: Sewn by a happy stitch

When it comes to sewing clothes in the summer I am totally seduced by simple tops and easy tunics and all other things that can be sewn in a hour (MAYBE two if I’m feeling a teeny bit ambitious). I have honestly made eight different pillows already this month.

Pillows. So easy. So many places to rest my head.

It’s part laziness but also the nature of summer.  I’m busy driving kids back and forth to camp and battling the Fight Club-like atmosphere that emerges from the deep bowels of summer boredom that my remaining energy is spent looking for the quick, easy high that comes from finishing something!  Anyone else in this boat? So, when Adrianna from Hey June Handmade asked me if I was interested in pattern testing her latest skirt, the Sandbridge, my internal dialogue went some like this “Oh man, a complicated skirt! That looks like work.(insert winy voice)” and then “But, this skirt looks awesome and you actually need a skirt.(insert responsible voice)” followed by, “But work! (winy voice)” and finally, “Dude! You have so much to learn from making this. Her patterns always fit you. Buck up and do it! (angry responsible voice)”  I responded to Adrianna with an “I’d love to!”  See, I have official grown up status. (more…)

Bohemian Trevi Top :: contrast yoke and tassels

Bohemian Trevi Top :: With a contrast yoke and bright yellow tassels || sewn by a happy stitch

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…)

The Gwen Henley

The Gwen Henley

As I mentioned yesterday, I also made myself the Gwen Top–part of the Unbiased Collection from Pattern Anthology. It comes as a top, or a dress with a button placket or without, long or short sleeves AND there is even a bonus pencil skirt pattern.  Can you say versatile? I’m excited to try out the pencil skirt but haven’t gotten around to it.  I’m halfway tempted to go on a complete pattern diet and see if I can make everything I need just from this one pattern.  Just to see if I can do it. As you can see, I opted for a short-sleeved Gwen henley top.  I’ve been wanted to figure out how to make a nice henley-style placket for a long time. It’s details like a beautiful placket are the kinds of things that draw me to off-the-rack clothing so I’m trying to learn how to incorporate them into my sewn items. This cuff placket was my starter course, so to speak. (more…)

guest posting :: the super scrappy scarf

I am really happy to be sharing one of my favorite recent projects on one of my favorite blogs today.  head on over to Michele Made Me and check out the super scrappy scarf–it’s a scarf! it’s crazy hair!  it’s a limbo stick!  it’s a SUPER imaginative open-ended play scarf! (and great practice for sewing with knits).

super scrappy scarf from a happy stitchyou probably already know Michele but if you don’t then you are sure to be impressed…she can sew incredible, incredible things like this quilt; she can turn trash into treasures a million; and she can do it all with wit and gentle, upbeat encouragement. I’m really thrilled to be guest blogging.


the wrench in things

sometimes a week holds something unexpected.  maybe a bouquet of cut flowers or a trip into the city for a concert you’ve bought tickets for and have been dying to see.

and then something throws a wrench in all these plans.  this week, for us, it was a tummy ache (mine) that turned out to be appendicitis.  it was my first time, ever, in the ER and my first time, ever, in surgery.  but, it’s done and over with and I’m so lucky in the grand scheme of things…I mean, really, appendicitis!  of all the things that could go wrong, I will take it. plus, our fridge is full of food that other people dropped off for us! we don’t have to cook for weeks!

of course, kcwc starts in two days…looks like I will be scaling back those plans!

long shadows

apple picking always signals the beginning of fall for our house in the same way that strawberry picking means spring.

we always go to the same farm even though it is a long drive and the apples aren’t organic.   we always take the wrong exit and vow that we won’t do that again next year.  we do these illogical things because we are almost always the only ones out in the orchard and that is what makes it ours.

later in the season we will probably go again with grandparents or friends to one of those places with hay rides and deep-fried oreos, we’ve got nothing against that.

but, at least once we go all on our own and run around together enjoying some of the season’s first apples and its long shadows.

lovely lola’s special quilt

I got an amazing opportunity to make a beautiful quilt for a foot-stomping, pigtailed, twirling, dancing, smiling friend.  she’s perfectly adorable and 2.  the quilt is made from her most important clothes from her first few years of life.  it reflects her polish-italian background and even includes part of a halloween costume and bits of her favorite hats.

I had so much fun making this quilt for lovely little lola. it’s always such an honor making these baby clothes quilts.  for lola, I spent lots of time incorporating ruffles and pleats and designs from the special shirts.  I hadn’t met lola while I was making the quilt but when I met her friendly and feisty self I felt like I already knew her.  it might have just been how amazingly bright and bouncy she is but I think it also had to do with the fact that her most precious clothes sat in my studio and lap for a good length of time.  a little something must have rubbed off.

all I know is that when he dad picked her up with one hand, tipped her upside down and called her a monkey I thought to myself that seems about right.  as if I knew! but, it seemed like I did know.  crazy as it sounds. I know that I was trusted with something pretty precious and I hope I did it justice. it can get a little emotional…the whole handing over really special baby clothes thing…for everyone including me.

but, we all left happy.

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