Works in Progress XII

Hellloooo dear reader!  After the success of my Hawthorn dress I’m trying to keep the sewjo rolling😀

So, I jumped straight into making, what else, MORE GRAIL T-SHIRTS!!! (try to contain your surprise)


I’m switching things up a bit and am doing these assemble line style… I’ve got two in more of the Bamboo jersey and one in a fun print🙂


I’ve also cut a Bodysuit onesie from Brindille & Twig for my co-worker’s bun in the oven… she is just about ready to pop!  I feel this pattern will be a good investment as ANOTHER friend of mine recently announced she’s knocked up😉

Which brings us to….


Astute readers will recognize this as the exact same shot from my previous Works in Progress….because there hasn’t been much progress and I didn’t feel like taking another picture!😛
To be fair I seem to be able to only focus on one craft at a time… If my sewjo is on fire, then knitting is on the back burner… if I’m knitting up a storm, then sewing is on the back burner.  C’est la vie!

With that I leave you with pictures of my cat making herself at home in my yet to be unpacked fabric boxes…Enjoy!




Seersucker Hawthorn Shirt Dress

After my last make in the ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe I decided I was getting really tired of making things I can’t wear right this instant. Sooo….


BEHOLD!  My extraordinarily late to the game Hawthorn.  I bought this pattern during the release sale THREE years ago and this is my first attempt at making it!  I’m kicking myself I didn’t make it sooner, because this is the perfect dress for Charleston😦
Funny enough, the fabric is even older than the pattern.  I bought this traditional blue and white seersucker very shortly after I learned to sew from the now defunct Hancock… I can’t even remember what I originally intended to make with it!


On to the construction!  I cut my standard size 12 for the Colette patterns, although if I put on any more weight I’m going to need a new size! During the muslin-ing phase I did a 1 inch FBA…. which is becoming fairly standard for me.  The Hawthorn sewalong helpfully provided a tutorial with lots of pictures.  I added a side bust dart, per their suggestions, but did not split the main dart (too much math!).  It’s still a little loose in the shoulders and arm scythe…. I may try doing a narrow shoulder adjustment in the future.


I ran into some bumps in the road while actually sewing the dress which I’ll share with you, dear reader partly because they’re good information and partly because you can laugh at my frustrations!😉


The collar…. le sigh!  I cut it out carefully, assembled it carefully (stripe matching and everything)- only to find when I tried to attach it, it was short….by a lot.  I briefly considered soldiering ahead, but then thought better of it:-/
After some investigating on the sewalong (which I REALLY should’ve done from the begining) I discovered others had had the same issue…. Ms. Sarai did respond to the comments so it could be this has been fixed in subsequent printings.  I was able to re-cut the collar and per others suggestions sewed it together with 1/4 seam allowance instead of the standard 5/8…. worked like a charm!


This next one is ALL user error!  I had sewn the back panels together and got started attaching the first front panel… I carefully spent 30-40 minutes, with no AC in 90 degree (32 degrees Celsius for literally anyone not American) temperatures ...inside, matching the stripes, carefully pinning, sewing, unpicking, re-sewing, unpicking & re-sewing again.  At the end of this ordeal I proudly unfurled my new enlarged skirt panel… only to find I had sewed it on backwards!!! [insert all the curse words]  Dejected, I unpicked the panel, downloaded Pokemon Go, went out to dinner & alcohol, and then spent an hour catching Pokemon.😦


On the other hand, sewing the button holes went surprising well… mostly because my local fabric store took pity on me and let me use a super fancy Bernina to make them, after hearing I was going to be using my four-step button hole “function” for 13 button holes (also, FYI only did 12, because I’m short).

And let me tell you… that thing was AWESOME!!  It literally did everything, short of patting me and the back and tell me I was doing a great job! ….and now I want one😦
Which I’m sure was all part of their master plan😉

Also…JUST LOOK AT THAT PATTERN MATCHING!! Magnificent bastard!


And thus concludes my newest summer dress… I think even up here in the Mountains this should get a lot of use🙂

Also, all pictures of me in the dress were taken by my good friend Candace (she of the wedding dress alterations) at her Mom’s Bed & Breakfast.  So, if you’re looking for a weekend getaway with beautiful views and delicious homemade food, you should definitely visit!

The Grailed Renfrew!

Yes…. I present to you yet another Grail T-shirt from Vesta Patterns!  I should really just buy stock in Vesta Patterns.  Although, this one is slightly different….


Yes, I give you the Grailed Renfrew…. or Renfrewed Grail if you prefer.  I went straight up Frankenpattern on this and combined the cowl neck of the Renfrew with the body of the Grail.


I used the long-sleeved scoop neck Grail with the largest size of the cowl from the Renfrew pattern.  I unfortunately did not have enough fabric and ended up needing to piece the cowl neck.  It worked out though- I was able to hide the seams for the most part.  I used this post to help with figuring out the cowl… it was a tad confusing based solely on the pattern directions:-/


On my last long-sleeve Grail the sleeves were just right.  I realize now that may have just been the super stable ponte talking, as this one ended up being just a tad too long.


Speaking of fabric….I’ve been hoarding this stuff for a few months now with the express intention of making a cowl t-shirt.  It’s freakin’ Bamboo Jersey!!  It’s super soft and drapey, with just a touch of sheen🙂

It is, however, a slippery bitch!  She gave me a bit ‘o trouble more than once… so I would not recommend it as first time sewing with knits project:-/
Of course that did not stop me from buying more for short-sleeve t-shirts!


This pose seems to be a requirement when you make a Refrew, so I didn’t want to disappoint ;-)  You can also see were I had to piece the cowl neck.


Apologies for the indoors/oddly lit pictures.  This represents the third in my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe… and well we are firmly in the throws of Summer- I did not want to go outside in long sleeves😦

P.S. I busted out my wool Zinnia to give you the full Winter look🙂

More Swaddling Blankets!

….Now with more swaddle!  Yes, one of co-workers is knocked up and I made swaddling blankets.  I had plans to do all sorts of other cool and interesting bebe projects, but then I realized between work and everything else that was not going to happen😦


I thought I’d do this post as a tutorial of sorts…. although this is a super easy project!

What you’ll need:

1.5 yards cotton gauze (I used this and this)
Fabric scissors
Sewing Machine
Matching Thread


  1. Measure and cut your fabric approximately 46 x 46 inches…. I like to measure and mark with pins.   46 x 46 is what I did, you can obviously have a slightly smaller or larger blanket per your needs.

*No cats were harmed in the making of this blanket.


Since I was making two blankets, once I measured and cut the first one I used it as a template for the second.

2. Fold and press all corners down 1.5 inches towards the wrong side.


Make sure you’re precise.  I noticed if I was off even a little I ended up with less than perfect corners.

3. Snip the last 1/2 inch off from each corner


4.  Fold and press each side over by 1/2 inch.


Be sure to give a good hit with the iron so you get a nice crisp edge.

5. Fold each edge over again 1/2 inch and again giving it a good hit with the iron.


6.  Pin everything nice and neatly in place on the right side…. you should have some fairly neat corners.


(this isn’t probably the best example of “nice, neat corners”, but it’s what I like to call good enough for government work)

6.  Now you’re ready for sewing!  Top-stitch a line a 1/4 inch from the edge on the right side.


I don’t have a 1/4 inch line marker, so I always just line it up with the egde of my presser foot.


Be sure to turn and pivot at the corners!

7. Next stitch a second line a 1/4 inch in from your first line.


Again, I just use the edge of my press foot as my guide, this time lining it up with the original line of stitching.

And there you have it!


This is an incredibly easy project and would be great for any first-timers.  Here, as well, is the original tutorial I used for the mitered corners.  You can also see my first go around with the swaddling  blankets here.

Good luck!

Works in Progress XI

Holy Shit!  Long time no see dear reader…did you miss me? …my 10s of readers, you?  The husband and I have moved into the new digs and are (very) slowly but surely getting settled in🙂

Sooo…. aside from packing, unpacking, moving across town, and you know work- I’ve gotten started on a new knitting project!


These were formerly 3/8 of a pair of socks, but after sitting for over a year I decided they needed to become wristwarmers….further adding to my “Winter is Coming” wardrobe.  I had a bitch of a time getting these started, but things are progressing nicely now😀

I’ve also been working in fits and starts on yet another Grail T-shirt!  In related news, I have completely abandoned my resolution to sew new and different patterns:-/


However, despite the fact I’ve barely sewed in the last month & a half I have continued to buy fabric….because I’m crazy and evidently made of money!


So we have future swaddling blankets for a co-worker….


Jeans fabric for Ginger Jeans….in my defense this came from the Hancock going out business sale- how could I not buy!


Future Grail T-shirt and Carolyn PJs.

And just to further solidify my status as a fabric addict/hoarder- I promptly snapped up one of the new Sophie Swimsuit kits from Closet Case Files….

“Hi, My name is Liz and I have a problem with fabric”

Navy State Street Cowl

I present to you the second make in the ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe!  [FYI the first one was this]  Yes..just in time for Spring, I finished up the State Street Cowl.  This was my first Quince & Co. pattern (although I didn’t use their yarn) and it did not disappoint.


This was a great straight forward knit and would’ve been real simple had I not unknowing dropped a stitch! Curses!! *shakes fist at the heavens*  This turned out to be the cause of all the difficulties I had been having up to the point of discovery.  After I frogged half of it (grumble, grumble) and started re-knitting it was smooth sailing!  Even with the re-kniting it was very fast…and therefore wins the potential gift pattern seal of approval!


I used beautiful and squishy Alpaca yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in Navy.  It’s a bulky weight- which probably contributed to the speed.  It was purchased from my new LYS- Yarntiques!


My only issue is it won’t fit over my shoulders- if you peruse the Ravelry gallery you can see what I’m talking about.  This is either to do with the fact that I didn’t gauge (#rebel) or the fact I have fat shoulders…. I’m gonna go out on a limb say it’s probably a combination of both:-/

However, I can do this:



The husband and I will be moving into our new digs here soon…so posting may be sparse- try to spot the difference😉




Cranberry Long Sleeved Grail T-shirt

Helllooooo dear reader!  I’ve got another finished garment to share with y’all….


That’s right ANOTHER Grail t-shirt for you!  You will recall She tried to thwart me…but I prevailed!

There’s not much more to say about the Grail pattern.  I still LOVE it and it is quickly becoming a TNT pattern.  I made the same shoulder adjustment here- which continues to seem to help.


I was nervous about the sleeves being too long, but they’re actually perfect!  Which probably means they’ll be too short for others, because I am fairly petite… you have been forewarned:-/


The sleeves themselves were SUPER tight…. like seriously, my arms felt like sausages!  I was thinking I maybe cut the wrong size or got off grain, but more and more I think it’s just the fabric.  [Apologies for the lint on it- I couldn’t find a lint roller.*]

In retrospect, the Cranberry Ponte is probably too stable for this pattern or at the very least the size I’m using (remember I’m going one size down from the recommended sizing)- hence sausage arms.

However, that being said it is a beautiful piece of fabric.  The color doesn’t come across as well here, but it’s super dark and rich! I purchased it from Mulberry Silks.  It really is beautiful- so much so that when I bought it the other woman at the cutting table promptly added the bolt to her pile when I was done😀


So, there you have it!  Finally starting to fill out my need for long-sleeved shirts….but less so keeping up with the sew new patterns thing.  I’ve already started on my next version:-/

Also, the skirt is made by me too! (ignore the creases…stupid linen)  You can see it way back here on one of my first posts.

[*That’s a lie I didn’t care enough to find a lint roller! Deal with it!]

Works in Progress X…. aka All the projects I’m failing at!

Hello again dear reader!  I’m going to attempt to be a bit better about blogging regularly… but I make ZERO promises😛

This was the first weekend in a while where I wasn’t traveling and/or working, so sewing and knitting was the order of the day!  [The husband and I also looked at houses to rent too… I got my heart set on a dedicated sewing/craft room🙂 ]


I’ve been working on this cowl for a while now…. despite being a dead easy knit it has been giving me trouble!  It’s entirely user error- I’ve gotten so used to being able to knit on autopilot that I forgot some projects you really do need to pay attention to the pattern:-/

I’m excited for this though… I have high hopes that is will be warm and cozy😀


I also started what I was calling a wearable muslin of the Moneta out of this SUPER light burnout knit.  This stuff is so light weight it is literally see through.  I’m not even sure where it came from- I think it was sent by mistake to friend and the company just told her to keep it (where upon she gave it to me).
At any rate… I was more or less making it for practice, but I got feed up with it after failing yet again with the double needle.  But, hey, I’m improving! I bought the right needle and didn’t break it this time😀

The dress has been crammed back in it’s project bag and may or may not be heard from again.

It was at this point that I switched gears and decided to work on something I KNEW would be a success…. the long-sleeve version of The Grail T-shirt.  That shit is approaching TNT status… what could possible go wrong!


What indeed?!!!  Yes… the sewing machine was feeling a might peckish and decided a tasty knit would hit the spot.  This mind you was after I had un-picked and re-sewed the shoulder seam TWICE because the machine kept skipping stitches and generally fucking things up…. but I suppose that will happen when you’re hungry for fabric😦

And so it has finally come to this… I’ve taken the husband’s advice and created a checklist for when the sewing machine is fucking up for seemingly unexplained reasons- aptly named:


However, despite my projects conspiring against me I did manage to make significant progress on The Grail shirt…All that’s left now is to finish the cuffs, neckline, etc.😀

Dad’s Cabled Scarf…. over 5 years in the making!

Hello dear readers!  I have finally finished my Dad’s cabled scarf…. and yes it truly was over 5 years in the making!


As you may have seen previously this is made from New Zealand possum yarn my Mom and Dad picked up in New Zealand waaaay back in 2004/2005ish.  They bought 3 skeins (which you will see came in handy) and the intention was for Mom to make something for dear Papa.  Well, the yarn sat and sat…and sat.  To be fair, fancy possum yarn all the from New Zealand can’t be made up into just ANYTHING…


Finally, around about 2010 it was decided a scarf was in order and I was called in to help pick out a pattern.  We settled on this cabled pattern and dear Mama started on the long awaited scarf😀
Over the years she knit a good… 5 inches.  It was just one of those things, she’s a busy woman and found it was hard for her to knit this pattern and watch TV.  So- this past Thanksgiving the project bag was passed to me to finish!


On the left side you can see the side Mom started and our differences in tension.  I have always been a very tight knitter!  Luckily since it’s a scarf you really can’t tell when it’s on.

I will also take this opportunity to point out that this scarf ALMOST took one skein to knit… I say ALMOST because I ran out of yarn with literally 5 stitches left!  FIVE F*UCKING STITCHES!!!!  Can you believe that shit?!

I do now have in my possession (which makes it mine…right?😉 ) 2 lovely skeins of possum yarn….I now just need to figure out what to make with it😀
….or you know… give it back to Mom:-/

The Grail T-shirt…aka this one actually fits!

Helllooo dear reader!  February has been a busy month, hence the radio silence!  But I’m back and with a Finished Object to boot!
Do you recall this teaser:

This is The Grail T-shirt pattern from Vesta patterns and y’all this pattern is the JAM!  Namely because it comes in three different body types….I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but women aren’t all shaped (even remotely) the same!!  I went with the “S” body type which “has a full bust, defined waist, and full hips“…. it’s basically an hourglass.  [P.S. this line from their site made me crack up “Not quite an hourglass, but who wants the baggage of a cultural body ideal, anyway?” HA!]

Now, this pattern ain’t cheap, especially since I’m a paper pattern snob:-/
I reached out to the awesome Lauren at  Lladybird, who at this point had mentioned the pattern, but not actually posted about it (she since has).  She confirmed it was indeed a good buy and gave me a few heads up about it.


I treated the red one as a wearable muslin…and it turned out actually wearable! Hooray😀
I made the 3/4 length sleeve with the scoop neck.  I actually cut a straight size Large, which is technically one size smaller than what the envelope would have me do.  However, one of the heads up I got was there’s a lot of ease in this bad boy and since I like a more fitted tee I dropped down a size.

Another thing Lauren warned me about was the rather sparse directions… and boy howdy was she not kidding!  The entirety of the directions fit on a single page.  Had I taken her advice and actually consulted tutorials and books, instead of just blindly soldiering ahead, the first go around probably would have turned out better.  Spoiler: I finished the neck, sleeve and hem two different ways….neither of which were right!


However, despite the minor cosmetic issues with the finish (and one minor fit issue) this has actually become one of my most worn tops!

Which gave me courage to move ahead🙂


This is technically my first finished garment of 2016! …Other than a quick pair of undies as a peace offering to my sewing machine after our falling out.

With the second go around I did the short-sleeve crew neck tee….Which is ironic since I went on and on in January about needing Winter weather clothes:-/
I cut the same size, but graded down to a Medium at the shoulders.  I found my red shirt was too wide in the shoulders and kept exposing my bra straps (HORRORS I know!).


I also finally figured out how to do the binding finish right… or at the very least a prettier wrong way.  FYI: Stitch in the ditch with a small zig-zag such that it covers the seam line😉

I am now declaring this my go to t-shirt pattern!  I already have the fabric and plans for two more (long sleeve this time- it’s still cold as shit out there), including a Grailed Renfrew!!

So, everyone should now go out and support Vesta Patterns, because they are the shit and I want them to stay in business!  Seriously guys- they have a new dress pattern!!