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.

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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🙂

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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.

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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🙂

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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!

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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!

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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😦

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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:-/

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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!

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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!

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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!!

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

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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!

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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!

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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!!!

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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😀

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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😮

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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:-/

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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.

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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!

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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].

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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! 🙂

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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.

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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😉

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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😉

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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)

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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🙂

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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….

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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!

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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….

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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!

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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.

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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!😉

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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!

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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.😦

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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!

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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….

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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.

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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:-/

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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😦

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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)
Ruler
Fabric scissors
Iron
Sewing Machine
Matching Thread

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  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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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

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(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.

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

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Be sure to turn and pivot at the corners!

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

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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!

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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!