Boho-Style Cape

Boho-Style Cape _ sewn by a happy stitch

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…)

Casual but Elegant. My Tallinn Sweatshirt

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 cheyennesloan 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…)

DIY :: Quick and Easy PussyHat

DIY :: Quick and Easy Pussyhats (Using thrift store sweaters!) | Melissa Quaal from a happy stitch

This weekend I picked up about a half dozen pink tops and sweaters at the thrift store and turned them into 21 pussyhats.  I’m attending a local Women’s March on Saturday and wanted to wear the eponymous pink hat and knew several of my friends also would. I’m not much of a knitter but figured I could sew a quick and easy pussyhat with old sweaters. If you don’t know about pussyhats, they are the playful, pink “kitten-eared” hats marchers are wearing in the upcoming marches happening in D.C. and 200 other sister cities on Saturday, January 21st. You can read more about the idea behind the effort here. I know!  Saturday is tomorrow! But if you are dying to wear a pussyhat, there is still time!  These are so easy to make!  There is definitely still time! Here is my DIY for quick and easy pussyhats. (more…)

Clothes for Wild Boy: Fox Tee and Twisted Trousers

Sewing for Wild Boys : Fox Tee and Twisted Trousers | sewn by a happy stitch

Oh, yeah. The wild boy got some new duds.  When I bought the fabric for the pajama tops I also nabbed this great fox fabric (from Emrose Fabrics).  I don’t often buy fabric just because I like it, but in this case I couldn’t resist.  And, as soon as J saw it he asked me for a shirt.  He asked me! I didn’t even have to beg him.  So, I decided to pair this fox tee with a pair of twisted trousers.

This kid. He’s a bundle of the best contradictions: wild and hilarious and soft-hearted and cuddly and definitely still the baby of the family. He’s started this thing of very nearly using a swear word but not quite.  He likes to draw out the word SSSHHIIIIRT. He gets away with a lot. Just look at this personality, it’s explosive and sweet in the same nanosecond.

Sewing for Wild Boys : Fox Tee and Twisted Trousers | sewn by a happy stitch

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Awkward Monster Pajama Shirts

Awkward Monster Pajama Shirts | sewn by A Happy Stitch

You know your mom is a blogger when you are on vacation, getting ready for bed and she says, “Oh my gosh! The sunlight is so good right now! Get out on our teeny, tiny, snow-filled deck so I can take pictures!”  My poor children.  Actually, I think it’s pretty clear from these pics that they loved it.  How can you not love these awkward monster pajama shirts!? These are the sort of monsters that would definitely snuggle and kinda,sorta, maybe even protect you. (more…)

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…)

Perfect Lounge Pants

Perfect Lounge Pants!! Les Fleurs Rayon Lounge Pants with ribbon trim sewn by a happy stitch

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…)

My Esme Tunic

My Esme Tunic -Striped Woven Japanese fabric | sewn by a happy stitch

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…)

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