Works in Progress XV…. knit all the things!

I’m back!  Yes, one month into 2017 and I’m already falling down on my goals to be more active in the online sewing community :-/
In my defense though I’ve become a bit more politically active!


And hey, bonus!  Handmade outerwear in the wild!

Unfortunately, my sewjo has taken a dive.  I’m still half-heartedly working on the Carolyn PJs…. but what I really need to do is get in there and try to organize that space in general.  Hopefully, another trip to IKEA will be on the horizon soon! [This will the second trip to IKEA, the first time we went they were out of key items I needed for the sewing room 😦 ]


You’ll notice I didn’t even bother to take an updated photo!

On the other hand, as is usually the case, my knitting is on fire!

Around Christmas I frogged my Armande sweater and started over…. I may or may not have thought I knew better than the pattern directions and may or may not have been promptly proven wrong :-/


I’ve made A LOT of progress since then though and have already lapped my original “this is fucked I need to start over” point.

I’m also still plugging away at my arm warmers….but I’m getting kinda bored with them and am thinking of moving them to the back burner.


I definitely see how people fall into the second sock (in this case arm warmer) syndrome 😦


So…. I’m finally getting started on a scarf for the husband!  Aaannnd tackling another 2017 goal– unselfish knitting/sewing 🙂
With a little luck I’ll finish it in time for next winter :-/

Year in Review/Shit for 2017

It’s that time of year again! Yes, when I belatedly talk about last years past goals and future goals for the New Year…better late than never I say!

Sewing Highs!

2016 was the year this really became a SEWING blog.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, it seems I just stopped posting about gardens and cooking after the move :-/


This year I got another mention from Colette Patterns!!  This is becoming a yearly tradition… and I LOVE it!

Another sewing highlight was participating in Allie J‘s Social Sew not once, but twice!  Which was a lot of fun 😀

2016 Goal Assessments!

  • Knit a sweater…..


I….uh…. started one, and technically I started it twice :-/

  • Knit and sew more winter things:

    I’m slowly, but surely building up my ‘Winter is Coming’ Wardrobe…. but I definitely need more!
    I, unfortunately, discovered it’s very hard to sew for winter when it’s 90 degrees outside :-/


  • Sew new patterns…. so…. this was a partial success.  I did indeed sew all new patterns this year….

    I just…uh… sewed the same new pattern SEVEN times :-/



2017 Goals!

  • Put together the sewing room!


    I’ve been sewing (and living!) out of boxes for over a year now and I’ve finally reached my limit!  This is the year the sewing room gets put into good working order!

  • Participate in the sewing community more!

    I really enjoyed the Social Sew this year, I’d like to try to participate more in that.  In addition, I think this is the year I finally participate in Me Made May 😀
    I may also try to find a sewalong or knitalong to join, but I’m really shit with deadlines 😦
    I’ve also been toying with the idea of joining Instagram from a while now…someone just needs to explain to me how to use it!

  • Continue to sew and knit more!
    I want to keep this momentum going and sew & knit EVEN more in 2017!  I definitely need to continue my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe… ’cause that bitch has arrived and I am still freezing!


    I also may try to do more unselfish sewing and knitting… my Mom has requested a skirt and my poor husband has been promised multiple knitted items I have never followed through on.  [Although to be fair, he has promised me multiple woodworked items he has never followed through on!]

So, there you have it!  Continue to check in here to find out if I actually follow through with any of these goals!

The Long Awaited Vogue 8959 Cape

Yes…. I have FINALLY finished my cape….only a year in the making!!


I started this project last October…. it was actually a goal for 2015, but yeah that didn’t happen!  HOWEVER, this has been in planning stages since the beginning of 2014…. which is when I ordered the fabric!


The pattern is Vogue 8959, I made the shortest version A.  I had looked at a couple of other patterns, including the Milano Cape from Papercut, but this one had everything I wanted. Plus a good price when I waited for a pattern sale and hey look it’s on sale again!


This was the first Big Four pattern I’ve sewed up in a while…. and boy howdy did I miss my Indie patterns!  Despite it being a “Very Easy” pattern, the directions were lacking and the line drawings were less then helpful.  At a certain point I just stopped using the directions and went by gut :-/


The fabric is a very lovely brown, black and off-white herringbone coating from Mood…which they haven’t had in stock for years!  In looking back at my order history, this was my very first purchase from Mood 😀
The lining is a Bemberg rayon lining from Jo-Ann’s….. and it was a BITCH and a half!!


First off she was a shifty bastard!  Which I expected, what I didn’t expect was my other troubles!  …I’m not sure if I cut it out wrong, if the pattern was off or what, but the lining ended up being too small for the cape!  I ended up using some grosgrain ribbon I had in my stash to extend it, which I actually really like 😀

However, pretty ribbon couldn’t fix the fact it was also too short at the collar!  I ended up doing a patch job, which worked out pretty well.  Buffy the Seam Slayer and I certainly spent a lot of quality time together on this one!


You can also see here that I haven’t finished the button holes yet :-/
Yes, in a desperate attempt to get it done in time to wear on a day trip to Asheville I Fray Checked the ever-loving-shit out of them and just wore it.  Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone 😉
I plan to work the button holes by hand before I have to go back to work.  The buttons themselves are vintage from my Grandmother’s stash… I had originally wanted leather, but I’m really digging these 🙂

When I started this project I had wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn some fancy tailoring techniques.  That started with refusing to use fusible interfacing… and also ended there :-/
I used some muslin as interfacing (I honestly can’t tell you why now or even if it was “right”).  It turned out ok, but the collar could use some extra stability.


These are the arm slits…. I’m mostly including this shot as an excuse to show the next shot of the topstitching process on these….’cause it’s hilarious!



I originally planned this project for Charleston “winters”, but was pleasantly surprised at how warm the cape was.  Granted we’re having an unseasonably warm winter so far…and I love it!  Even still it will definitely be counted towards my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe 🙂


Part of the reason for the big push to finish this (aside from the fact it’s been languishing for a year) was I wanted to include it for Allie J’s Social Sew.  I really loved participating for the TnT month and had literally planned projects for the rest of the year that could link in…. none of which happened 😦
Which was why I was SO excited when she included a Winter Cape as part of the Inspiration post for the December Holiday Glamour month.  Perhaps not the classic glitz and glamour holiday- more of an English country house holiday glamour, but fuck it we’re going with it!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


The Grainline Stowe Bag…aka Mama’s got a brand new (project) bag!

Yes… that’s right as opposed to finishing any of the other bazillion projects I have going on, I started a new one!  To be fair one of these was a gift for my office Secret Santa- I actually drew the one other crafter in the office! And by “drew” I mean purposely searched through til I found her name :-/
….the other one is cause my sweater project needs to live somewhere other than the couch!

This is the Grainline Studio’s Stowe Bag, which I excitedly went to purchase on Black Friday during Grainline’s sale only to find it was exempt 😦
Such is life, I found a lot of too many good deals else where on Black Friday :-/

Because I needed to get stared on this right away I opted for the PDF version…. and was reminded how much I hate PDF patterns.  They’re not too bad for small things…. but they suck (in my opinion) for large things.  And don’t fool yourself the large bag is HUGE.


This is the small version of the bag…. and also the one I gave away (hence why there are no pictures of them together).  Fabrics for both the bags came from my local quilting shop.  I was nervous the fabric wasn’t going to be the right weight and the ladies at In Stitches hooked me up with some woven fusible interfacing…which was REALLY nice interfacing!
FYI: In retrospect the interfacing was probably unnecessary for the small bag, which used traditional quilting fabric.  The large bag used Art Gallery fabric (LOVE!) and was useful for some added oomph 🙂


This was my first time using a Graineline Studio pattern.  I liked it, but I found the picture diagrams a bit confusing/lacking and being a visual learner this was no good!

They helpfully provided a video tutorial for the optional step 15…. which I didn’t opt for.  But I also had some trouble with step 10 and especially with step 13.


Stitches wobble, but they don’t come out (hopefully)

Step 10 I was able to figure out after spying the underside of the handle on another bloggers make… here’s a photo of mine in case anyone else was having trouble too.  Ignore the wobbly stitching…

Step 13 was trickier, so tricky in fact it’s an autocomplete on Google!  Luckily, there’s some helpful links in this post that provided the Ah-HA! moment 🙂


Stowe bag: All your yarn are belong to us.

I wasn’t kidding when I said the large bag was HUGE.  That there is my new sweater project along with all the yarn needed to complete it!


Overall I’m pretty pleased with my bag…. I’m already trying to figure out if I have time to make more as Christmas gifts for certain crafty friends and family 😀

Works in Progress XIV

Yes… another Works in Progress post (very soon I’m going to have to learn more about roman numerals!).  I don’t (often) talk about politics or non-sewing related things… and I don’t plan to start.  But I will say this- I, like a little over half the people who voted, am VERY disappointed in the outcome of our recent election…. particular since it happened on my birthday 😦
A friend of mine posted that he finally understood what his Mom meant when she said “I’m not mad, just disappointed”, which kinda sums it up for me too.  Although, to be clear I’m still kinda mad too 😦

But…. on to less depressing topics…. what I’ve been working on!


I have seriously been working on ALL the things!  Not actually getting much done on anything mind you- just ping-ponging between projects!

I’ve been doing a lot more knitting here recently…. partly because it’s the crazy time of year at work and I haven’t had the energy to do much else 😦


I’m making good progress on my second arm warmer, despite another rough start-but, I only had to rip it out and restart it twice! Yay, progress! 😀
I also discovered I didn’t follow the pattern AT ALL for the first cuff :-/


And I’ve also finally started my sweater!  I’ve got high hopes for this one- I keep getting dressed in the morning and think “Man, that sweater I’m working on would be great with this!”.

The husband has also requested a scarf since we now live in a place you actually need one. He settled on this pattern…. now I just need to find the right yarn!


I’m making progress on my Carolyn Pjs….. but COMPLETELY missed the Sew Social deadline.  I’m not sure what I was thinking…. there was no way it was going to get done in time!


Which brings us to my cape!  You remember my cape right?  It’s almost year long time-out in the closet is over and I’m hopeful to finish it up soon…. although probably not in time for the original intended deadline- the Sew Social November project :-/
I really am shit with deadlines 😦

And there you have it- what I’ve been working on!

Ohhh Lulu Grace Panties in Chevron!

…plus more Rosy Lady Shorts, but that’s slightly less exciting 😉

Yes, it’s Halloween and what could be more frightening than my underwear!!


Actually, what truly is frightening is that after making the Rosy Lady Shorts FOUR times I realize I had been making them all wrong! :-/


And also that elastic lace has a wrong side and a right side….who knew?  Evidently, I didn’t really read the directions at all when attaching said lace and just short of winged it.  Surprise, surprise- they fit much better when you apply the elastic the right way!

These are made out of the leftover scraps from my Grail T-shirts…. and they are soooo comfortable!


I also gave my first crack at Oh Lulu’s Grace Hipster panties…. I used leftover scraps from my Grailed Renfrew and my Hawthorn dress.  When I realized they had you cut the woven fabric on the bias I got adventurous and tried a chevron pattern 🙂
This merely involved adding a center seam on the front and back pattern piece.

It looks very pretty, but will probably not hold up in the long run…. after only one wearing you could see the poor little threads straining at the center seam.  Oh well, live and learn!


I was hoping to finish my Carolyn PJs in time for Allie J’s Sew Social….but yeah… that in no way is going to happen!  However, that didn’t stop me from buying fabric for my next pair!!

Works in Progress XIII

Helloooo, dear reader!  I had hoped to get another finished make up for you….but that didn’t happen.  Instead you get lucky number 13 Works in Progress!!!


When I asked the husband which swatch he liked he responded “You have handed me three of the same thing!?”

So…. first up the Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files!  I had such fun with Allie J’s Sew Social I’m going to try to keep it going.  This month’s theme is Try Something New… ever the litteralist I dug out a new pattern!  This will actually also be the first Closet Case File pattern I’ve tried 😀


I’m working on some more Rosy Ladyshorts… plus a new undie pattern!  I’m hoping to finish and post about these soon.  FYI I discovered I had been sewing the first three pairs all WRONG 😮


And, hey! I’ve made some really good progress on my handwarmers!  I am so close to being done…. with the first one :-/
Hopefully, I won’t fall into second sock (errr, handwarmer) syndrome.


And lastly… I’ve been thinking really hard about starting my next sweater…I’ve wound the yarn and everything.  Just need to swatch it first!


Finally, finally…. I leave you with my cat playing with my pattern tissue.  The situation became slightly less adorable after I discovered she actually tore a hole in it 😦


Brindle & Twig Bodysuit 009 in Art Gallery Jersey

Which I swear to the heavens above can die in a fire!!! I don’t know what it is… the size of the garment seems to have an inverse relationship to the amount of problems I have with it!


Don’t let the adorable factor fool you, this tiny garment gave me more problems then most of my other recent makes combined!  Had it not been a gift I probably would’ve given up entirely.

Now to be fair…. 98.5% of my issues were user error :-/
HOWEVER, they were all started by the fact that the neck binding was too short. [Which I already knew about based on this post…. so again user error]

I had to rip out 4 seams!  One of which I had to rip out TWICE.  All I can say it’s a good thing  I recently upgraded my seam ripper.  Which after spending so much time together I have christened Buffy the Seam Slayer… she is The Chosen One, she alone will stand against the improperly placed stitch, the backwards panel and general sewing fuck-ups.


Ok…. now that I have that out of my system… this really is a good pattern.  Most of the mistakes (that somehow snowballed into more mistakes) really were because I got too big for my britches and didn’t consult the directions enough :-/


And because the neck binding was too short!

I sewed it up in the 3-6 months size with the long-sleeves since we’re headed into fall/winter (remember ‘Winter is Coming’).  I’m hoping it will fit the ankle biter… the first time I tried to make clothes for a baby it came out comically small, the last time comically large.


You may notice a striking similarity between this and the 3/4 length sleeve shirt from this post.  Indeed, I manged to eek this out from the leftover yardages, even using the same cranberry ponte.  However, the little one and I will have to coordinate our outfits carefully- there’s nothing more gauche then showing up in the same outfit as someone else!


This was the first time I’ve tried using snaps and I was a bit nervous…. particularly after the first couple I used turned out to be duds.  Although, I do always love a sewing project that involves me having to borrow the husbands woodworking tools 😉

I got the Dritz brand snaps that comes with the metal snap tool you hammer (I also went ahead and bought extra snaps).  And I used this video for hand holding/getting over my fear of installing them [seriously, I was so nervous after having already fought with this garment that I was going to ruin it by installing the snaps wrong].


But surprisingly enough everything went fairly smoothly!

So… there you have it!  I will make this pattern again, because despite my bitching and moaning it is a super cute little pattern and not that hard if you follow directions (and cut the neck binding longer!!).

More Grail T-shirts….

…..Because why the fuck not!

Actually, most of my RTW t-shirts are fairly old at this point and are now sprouting holes.  Since I’m also endeavoring to try to make most of my clothes instead of buying them it was past time to make some replacement t-shirts!  🙂


So, just in time for things to start cooling down [which is still weird for me- things don’t start to cool down in Charleston til October!] I sew t-shits!  I used awesome bamboo jersey again, this time in red and stone.

There’s not much more to say about construction at this point, that hasn’t been said beforemultiple times, expect I do find I’m able to get a t-shirt out of 1 yard of fabric 🙂


These are all done in the scoop neck, which I feel is easier to dress-up than the crew neck.


No pattern matching, no fucks given!

The other t-shirt is scoop neck again with the 3/4 length sleeve, which is coming in handy with these cool mornings!

This one gave me a bit of trouble….when I cut the front UPSIDE DOWN!!  I am really not used to directional prints.  I tried and tried to eek out another cut, but there just wasn’t enough fabric left.  Luckily, since I had picked it up from my local fabric shop, I was able to pick up some more.

P.S. It’s an Art Gallery Jersey….you can find it online here if you’re not lucky enough to have an awesome local fabric shop 😉


Hair flip!

After I had completed the body I decided it was a little busy for my taste and need something to breakup the pattern…hence ringer tee!
I used leftover cranberry ponte for the neckline and sleeves, the weight matched the jersey pretty well 🙂

I have been meaning to participate in Allie J’s monthly Social Sew….but never could quite get it together, until now!!  Yes, September is Tried and True month and considering this is my third blog post about the Grail t-shirt and fifth, sixth & SEVENTH make I’d say that qualifies as Tried and True 😉




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!