Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Khaki time!

This is one of two khaki skirts in the works right now...
 One is in time out because it's misbehaving.
Before this one got there, there was already one in the same shade in my closet.  That one is about 6 years old at this point, and still in steady rotation, but has a much more summery feel.
The fabric is an embroidered cotton I bought from fabric.com about 3 years ago before my trip to Istanbul with the intentions of making a handkerchief hem, drawstring skirt.  Then, it sat in the UFO pile until a few months ago.  I already had one khaki skirt in progress, but something made me do this one anyway.

What else can I say? I love neutrals, and I was SO excited to declare this skirt no longer a UFO, AND not have to buy a single thing to finish a project...  It's a simple circle gone wrap skirt, with a contrast waistband facing and bias binding to finish the raw edges- attached the second time around with hand stitches for a little extra something, and a good project for all of the time in the car and in meetings this summer.  The closures, which were added after photos were taken, are a giant snap and another lovely button.  Since the trim is ivory and not white, it's working its way into fall with panache, and since it's a circle, it's quickly becoming a favorite for swing dancing.  Hooray!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pictures, Y'all!

I love this skirt.  It's been tremendously fun to wear and to pair with other things...
And who doesn't like cute buttons?

This is the grey pleats skirt of the 6PAC that wasn't... and has been a BIG player in my wardrobe.  It's comfy. It is work appropriate.  It's cute.  What more could a girl ask for from a simple piece of clothing?
I'm thinking a corduroy version may be in the works... I know red corduroy will be in the (near?) future... and there's already another finished garment for me to share! And another one that's so stinking close! Seriously.  I just have to fix my faux pas with elastic.

So... silence is ending, friends. I'm sewing again, and it's making my heart happy. I think (and I know I probably sound a bit like a broken record) this is one of the best ways for me to have a creative outlet.  I'm going to do my best to sew through the schoolyear this time around.

Happy day!  More soon!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Piece 1: Grey pleats

I love this skirt... SO much.  And I'm wishing now I'd finished it sooner, but really, it's great to have for the rest of the summer and into the fall and winter once I make/find slips.  It started life as a piece for a Spring 6PAC, was a part of my Palate Challenge, and finally got finished after both of those things came to their close.
I like the idea of box pleats, inspired by the ever-lingering M5088... Long out of print, but the skirt has box pleats.  Add the pattern from the stash to the fabric from the stash(even the fun hem facings) and the button I got in a bundle of vintage buttons on eBay, and you get this great basic.

I think I may go in and use the vinegar trick... you know, where you use a pressing cloth with vinegar to set pleats through several washes?  There are 2 or 3 skirts I'd want to do at once, so we'll see.

For now, you know I'm sewing!  Pictures soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More pretties!

I took the plunge and ordered the Colette Sewing Handbook
I have one Colette pattern(I have to narrow down choices some more before I pop over to Whipstitch), which should make an appearance in the fall.  (sleeves in the summer? Thanks but no thanks…)
I really just like the way these lovely ladies write.  So much.  Plus, the styles seem like a veritable jumping-off point for SO many other things that I’d like to sew... and although reviews have painted it as a basic/beginner book, I feel it's always a good thing to have at least one or two of those on the shelf.  You never get better if you don't have solid basics, and you can never help anyone else get better without being able to explain those basics!
 I’m just so happy to feel inspired these days, and the Coletterie is simply bursting at the seams with fun and inspiring things- and oh, the colors. 
 The forum! I love how contagious the inspiration and the fresh, retro-mod lines of these patterns is.  I simply cannot wait to get this book and dig in! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Of Assembly Lines and Mojo

Incase there was any doubt in your mind, my mojo has indeed returned with a vengeance.  I want to sew again, and I want to sew LOTS.

 You know how sometimes you buy lots of yardage of something, and then decide you’ll use it for basics?
I did that… And then I came up with 2 different patterns(Butterick 5354 and Simplicity 2443)  using the pieces at the same time… So I condensed those to one cutting session.  SO lovely. 
And since I already had the patterns out I figured I’d cut out the other dress, (a lavender all-jersey Simplicity 2443) I was thinking of.  And that simple skirt, since I finally had lining fabric on hand... You know, less hauling around of all of those things you need when you work in multiple spaces…
So, all in all, I cut a top, 2 dresses, and a skirt.
It was the work of an evening. How awesome is that?? 

Maybe you've gone on a cutting rampage.  Tell me, how do you manage to pick one to sew up first?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Here’s to new experiences, right?
I am attempting one or two with the shirt that’s currently in the works, and the first one was to turn my home-made bias tape into piping. 


Making piping in and of itself is actually a pretty straightforward process.  First, make bias tape, and then stitch cording(I guess that’s the name for it) into the fold of the bias tape…But the Coletterie tutorial walks you through with pictures and more detailed instructions...
I could do the instructions, but I’m never going to be one of those bloggers who is good at stopping and taking process photos.  Sorry friends. 
Piping is easy peasy to make with that zipper foot you’ve got tucked away, so give it a go!  Installation soon…  One of those things I'll finish up on the way to camp.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 weeks ago:
I have fallen off the wagon.
I haven’t sewn much- at all- in the month of May, even though my list of projects is long and full of fun, interesting things… A great supplement to my existing wardrobe full of fun, comfy things.  I kind of just wish I could sew it all and that I had the time and the motivation and the space to do that. 
I want to be productive in so many ways.  I want to start yoga and start running and doing core work and I’m having the trouble actually getting out and doing it all… Sigh.
 Finals are over.  It’s not high-stress anymore, and I so don’t have that excuse any longer. 

… And then, today, it was almost like a switch flipped and I magically have the energy to think about tackling some of the projects on the list… Getting them down to handwork for the 2-hour car ride I have Sunday. 
So, some modest (ha! ...But I do have mojo on my side) goals…
-cut two dresses out:  basically 2 versions of the same dress.  They have POCKETS. I can wear them at camp.  Need I say more?  And, one of these is a palate challenge garment.
-Assembly-line sew the dresses:  I can do both at once and make it work...just do more steps at once.  There’s a great post about this over on Whipstitch
-While I’m at it, I may assembly-line a skirt or 2 in there too... just use the same thread color and do side seams and waistbands and hems and things all at the same time...I just don’t seem to have enough good skirts(read: skirts with pockets) these days.
-Picnic blanket project… SO EXCITED about this… My sewing buddy T and I have been cooking this one up for a while now, and it’s happening!  SO excited.  If y'all like it, maybe we can cook up a tutorial and a pattern.  

Alright.  Happy day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Palette Challenge/Spring 6PAC

Palette Challenge/Spring 6PAC

Palette Challenge/Spring 6PAC by anachronismsarah 
No kidding, this is the second challenge I have stumbled across that works for what I want to do for Spring.  A grey skirt.  A white woven top.  A white knit top.  A touch of lavender in another knit top.  Reclaiming my mom's beautiful eyelet dress from the 70s.  The lovely grey top I'm putting finishing touches on this afternoon.  A simple white "jacket".  And... 2 pieces I purchased from Target.  Judge if you must, but I couldn't pass up these lovely, quick dresses... Both were on sale, and I've already worn one.  

I hope to have at least the top done this weekend, and I have a boatload of baby blankets to stitch up too... It certainly is Spring.  Babies and pregnant bellies all over the place.  Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

refashioned skirt: proof that I have sewn.

This post over at Sewaholic, which I know about thanks to Becky, got me thinking and then doing. And so I made my first refashion of the season. It was a size 14 long skirt from Talbots. The print is tiny red-and-white flowers/vines and I like it a lot for summer. Now it's a me-sized gathered number. I kept the original hem as intact as possible and removed the panel I accidentally sliced through while cutting the bottom 22" off of the skirt so I'd have more fullness than just taking it in...with the added bonus of no hemming! I then removed the waistband from the top portion and cut it down to size, then I just gathered the skirt onto its new waistband, dividing spacing on the waistband to match up with the panels/gores to get it more even. Then popped the zipper into its new place... Easy as pie.  I even wore it the same day, so you have a little picture!
Sometimes all you need is one easy-as-pie completed thing to set you on the path toward others... and since I finally have all the supplies I need, look for the eyelet dress(needed a zipper) and some bags(needed interfacing and lining fabric) soon.
On deck in posts?  All those things I have sewn and not posted.  Some TNTs to be from winter, piping from weeks ago, the shirt it belongs to, a skirt from the same 6PAC, and many more, I hope!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: A 6PAC plan

Wardrobe Wednesday might be the place for this and it might not but let’s look together, shall we?
The Spring/Summer Queue originally, with edits in the indents:
Brown bike-able skirt… maybe knit, maybe a bubble.
Instead, I’m gonna do a grey/blue pleated skirt with pockets and a wide waistband. I’ll pull out that brown knit for a bubble this summer.
Scraps of the purple-white floral dress to a bike-able skirt
This might happen, but it isn't something I need for work.
Breezy white woven top
Another breezy top
Already in progress, and it’s grey and white paisley print and uses piping.  Look for a post upon completion. 
Rie Dress In the NON-MATERNITY version
If I can find some good lace, I may still make this one… but I have to see if the pattern would work with a woven.  I have a dotted Swiss in mind for this one, so I might get pretty picky here. 
Shirtdress- blue Oxford cloth
Might be a Summer dress… especially if I can work out the fit on M5801.  I think if I just assembly line the construction for this and for the Easter dress of yore I would have 2 awesome summer dresses that’ll go into the fall like a dream. 
Not on the list:
Alter vintage white eyelet dress- It was my mom's and she's passed it on, and I hope to wear it for Easter!
Finish brown-and-white pinstripe dress- will go into Summer really well, especially when more brown starts to play in the rest of my wardrobe.
A white knit tee

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: 6PAC, Attempt 2

Yes, I’m trying again… What can I say? I like the camaraderie and friendly spirit of the 6PAC groups at Stitchers Guild, and how the rules are a little more lax and there’s no sense of competition in the thing.  We all come out winners because we get to see, and ideally make, lovely garments. 
I think that these 6-PACs and these more manageable chunks have value, and I think naming and thinking of what works from season to season is important. As we work our way into Spring, I am thinking of and building on these wardrobe concepts with the lovely ladies in the Spring 6PAC group, even though I doubt I will ever fully commit to this way of wardrobe planning. I like my clothes too much to go down to as few of or as neutral of pieces as is recommended in this school of thought.
But… who doesn’t want for the things in their closet to play more nicely together?
And why not sew things for Spring that will be workhorses through the summer?
This is a Wardrobe Wednesday post because these 6-PACS are intended to make your whole closet play well together, and that’s something we all want to shoot for, and the thing that started out this whole series of Wardrobe Wednesday posts… This post speaks to that desire, and I think to why I started out on this whole journey to begin with. 
So, what’s the plan, you ask…
I could look at the queue… and I will.  But I think that list will be changing shortly to narrow colors and styles and look at what I’ve got...  You can see my colors over there.  I’ll let you know about more changes, and tell you more soon!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the cutting bug

So, I am following in Becky’s footsteps.  You see, she's been a cutting fiend of late, to be able to quickly have things to sew once gardening season and recital time approach.
  I am not on the time crunches that she is in the same ways, necessarily.  I am space-constrained, and experimenting by cutting a few things at once while I can get to my fabrics and my patterns, and then I switch space around to be able to get to notions and set up the iron and my machine. 

Last Saturday started the cutting bug… I still blame Whipstitch.  And owe that place sooooo much gratitude with my blame.  2 hours of quilt cutting.
 And then a quick top…
And then a couple hours later a skirt…
And then earlier this week some bias tape…
And the next night, 2 bags…
Aren't they all pretty sitting there lined up?  Just some rectangles, facings, and linings and I'll have myself a weekend.

Cutting has happened lots, y’all.  Here’s to hoping some good sewing follows. 

Ah, but first…

Midterms.  Which I’m doing now.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ira Glass says it best.

Something we all should know:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” 
― Ira Glass 

Here's to fighting through it.  
One garment, one necklace, one recipe... one whatever at a time.  

Friday, March 9, 2012


Productive creature that I am, I updated the queue with projects for the coming season and links back to completed things.  Babysitting nights are good for planning these things, and Google Tasks holds a running little idea list from which I am able to choose things for the queue, and remember things from the queue on a regular basis.  

Some of them will link to projects which only need pictures that have been completed in the near past, and will be posted in the near future, and others will be awaiting stitching after my workspace date over at Whipstitch.  Some are reminders from this time last year, and I'm okay with that too... Especially since many of those are refashions of precious things I can't seem to bring myself to part with.  

As Gwen says all the time... 
I'll get to it, it's in the Queue...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hanger trick

It might be time to revisit the lovely Wardrobe Wednesdays series, friends…
I am planning for Spring, and have done a much better job these days of wearing more of what I have due to a tip found on Pinterest… One I have mentioned before, which has countless names and just happens to be awesome and work:  The hanger trick.  
It's been called many things, and given many time parameters, but it's a fun little challenge and you can see what you wear and what you don't simply by looking at which way more hangers are facing.  
I'm about a month into it because I didn't flip things around in my closet until I had settled in from being home from Europe, but I have already notices that I wear more things, and that before the deadline I have set(1 year, not 6 months, because I don't flip my closet seasonally), I am more ready to give up some things I know I won't wear, because I can see a difference between the things left to be turned around and the things that have already been turned around.  It's a lovely trick to keep only the things you love and wear and fit the body you have now.  
Awesome, right?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Whipstitch Sort of Morning

Y’all, have you been in here? Have you seen this awesome playground for us fabric fiends? Oh, it’s fabulous, friends…  So great.  Whipstitch’s brick-and-mortar store is about 20 minutes from where I live in town, and they do much more than sell you fabric.  The bright, open space is home to a little workshop with space to set up machines at the back and 2 lovely big cutting tables.  With rotary mats.  And get this… when they aren’t in use for the classes, they are open to be used by the general community. 
Great lighting, an awesome atmosphere that buzzes with friendliness and creativity, and a great staff full of ladies who love to talk shop, and just... Talk.  I walk in there and it’s like a magic idea switch just… flips.  I decide to make a quilt, or I start picturing how great that would look as a dress… 

A while back, I had an evening with friends in which I begun to cut that quilt out, and besides giving myself a new scar (rotary cutter user operator error… I learned my lesson!) I can’t say I accomplished much...  I cut maybe 3 pieces of fabrics into strips that will eventually become squares.  See?
 Maybe I wrote about it.  I was pretty proud of those strips and how much I managed to get done.
But yesterday, with a big cutting table at my disposal and a few hours to knock it out I went from folds of fabric to strips. And then from strips to squares.  So.  Great.  It goes so much faster when you’re not stopping to move everything when you cut every strip.  In 2 hours and change, I got SO.  MUCH.  DONE.  I cut all of the remaining fabric into pretty little strips, which make me want to set up my rotary stuff on my coffee table so that everything can be pretty little squares so we can play 9-patch... It's gonna happen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It’s been a while.  The queue needs updating.
I need to tell you about the quilt.
I need to tell you about craft nights.
And EUROPE! … Well I need to link to the blog posts about Europe.
And that red dress.  You know, the one on the queue that’s been there for a while?
And a blue skirt that is a different plan for fabric I got knowing I wanted to use it this winter- and I used it this winter!
I have been sewing, just… not posting.  I am, however, in a season where I have been writing lot, just not about my sewing.  But, the thing that counts is I want to share these things with you, so as soon as I have pictures, I wiiiilllll!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quilting update...

So, I decided that sewing lots of long straight lines to make my quilt was so 2011...
And I might have found a really fun, modern take on a 9-patch I really enjoy.
It is a woman's prerogative to change her mind, you know...

There are a crazy number of tutorials already out there, and if you stay tuned, you'll get one from me too!

Here's the one I'm using...
The English Geek's Disappearing Nine Patch Tutorial

She does a whole quilt this way.  I like.  And gives you some thoughts on color.  Which I also like.  A lot.  Seeing as how I have 15 fabrics at this point...