This year’s Sew Expo conference was, of course, a virtual affair and I thought the organisers did a superb job of trying to replicate the experience of going to the show, normally held in Puyallup, WA. It’s no mean feat to pull off such a thing online and I was really impressed at the smoothness of the classes as well as the vendor sessions and free stage presentations. With an online kindergarten-from-home situation, I could only attend so much, but appreciate that I have 30 days to catch up on the things I missed! Here’s a little record of what I did, in case you’re interested!Continue reading “Virtual Sew Expo 2021 report”
The second installment in my thrilling Zero Waste series is here! And not before time, as I made these projects around Christmas time. If you missed the first part in which I took on the trials of making scrunchies, the ubiquitous Closet Case Patterns pouffe, bias tape and stuffed some cushions, it’s here for your delectation. Basically, I’m trying to use all my little scraps and small pieces to make quick and useful things (hopefully not just for the sake of it) and the truth is – I have used everything I made in the first part a lot – so it was totally worth it!
I don’t know if anyone remembers one of my big goals for 2019 (and really, why would you?), but it was to sew 100 yards of fabric by year end. Any purchases in 2019 get added onto that total and since I bought 15.25 yards at Sew Expo, I really felt the need to bust some long-standing stash and decided to hit the quilting cotton. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on fitting and muslins recently, which is most unlike me, so felt the need for something with a lot of straight edges for a change. Combining those two desires makes this table runner and placemats project the perfect respite for a few days sewing.
Hi folks! I’ve been laid out with a miserable cold the last week or so, and I’ve been also meaning to write a little social round-up for a wee while, so it seems like opportunity is knocking on my door, given that I haven’t been doing much sewing! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that, eh? Hmmm.
Anyway, October turned out to be an incredibly social month for me in my sewing life and I thought I’d post a few highlights here for your amusement. And also as a record really, since I’m not sure anyone will be terribly excited to see what I do in my spare time, but, yeah, whateva; here we go:
Sew My Style 2019
First up, I received an email from Maddie at Maddie Made This to tell me I’d been chosen as one of the leaders for Sew My Style 2019. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this challenge, but it’s in its second year at the moment and comprises a monthly pattern (or patterns) that participants sew up by the end of the month for a “reveal”. They’re all indie patterns and all sewists who sign up get a discount, but one of the main reasons I like it is that it’s an absolutely no-commitment challenge. There’s no fee, or payment and you basically make the patterns you want to, so no big pressure either.
Yes, you read that correctly. And if you look at the yarn in its virgin state, you can see why! Great name, and I won’t lie – it slightly swayed me towards this colour blend. I was really looking for something that was variegated and that had a main body of white or black and this absolutely fit the bill. The yarn is Unicorn Farts by Knitted Wit, which I bought here in the PNW, at Mad Cow Yarns in Kenmore. Continue reading “New knit: Ribbed socks in Unicorn Farts”
This will be my last Top 5 post for 2017 and is a little collation of the last few topics in Gillian’s Top 5 series, which you can read all about here. These comprise my sewing reflections, non-sewing highlights and a few goals for next year. I tend to be the sort of person who thinks “Who on earth would be interested in my highlights?”, but I enjoy reading other people’s, so there’s my answer, I suppose. You can also read my posted Top 5 sewing hits and Top 5 sewing misses should the need hit you (and we all know which one is more fun to read ;))
Wardrobe progress: I’ve been sewing for about 2 years now and one of my “goals” from a year ago was to try and make more garments that coordinated, rather than just the stuff I like that doesn’t match anything else in my wardrobe. I think I’ve been fairly successful in that with the completion of a number of wardrobe basics, including the Scout tee, Lindens and various cardigans . Most days I wear at least one, if not two me-made items and that will only increase now I’m making the likes of jeans.
When I’ve been having a few fitting issues or just need a little break from apparel, I usually turn to making a bag. There are many advantages to bag-sewing:
- Bags don’t give you fitting problems!
- They are wonderful scrap/stash busters as they tend to need small amounts of different fabrics
- All those bright quilting cottons sitting in your stash that you bought because you liked the pattern/colour? PERFECT for bags.
- They’re usually pretty quick to make
- You get to use your bag all the time, as opposed to a great dress, which may only see daylight once in a while
- They’re actually quite forgiving – if you go a little off your seamline or misjudge cutting, you can usually get away with it
Hello there! So after the success of the Alder shirtdress and Linden sweaters I had a rummage through Grainline Studio’s other patterns. I have the Morris blazer pattern already and fully intend to make it, but this time round the Scout tee caught my eye. Let me be honest: a boxy woven tee with no shaping would not be my natural ally. In fact, I’m really not the shape for Grainline patterns (or they’re not the right shape for me; take your pick), despite some successes. The resulting garments tend to be fairly rectangular with plenty of ease and are probably best suited to those with similar body shapes. It’s been a very popular silhouette in the indie pattern world.
I signed up as a tester for Jennifer Lauren a few months back and was more than delighted when the second garment to come up after the Juniper cardigan (which I have since worn a LOT) was the Laneway dress. I was excited to get my teeth stuck into something that was a little different, with a few new skills and also – a dress! – since it seems like I’ve been sewing mostly separates for a while.
The Laneway Dress
And the Laneway was just the dress to get me excited! It’s described thus: “a sleek yet easy to wear 1940s A-line silhouette, Laneway will be your go-to dress for everyday adventures and beyond.” and I would say this is fair. The dress has open ended waist darts in the front and full back darts for shaping, a gorgeous asymmetric collar that is built into the facing (there’s a no-collar option too), plus it’s the first time Jennifer Lauren has produced a pattern that accommodates A to D cups. Yeehoo! No prizes for guessing what I was testing – I made a 16D cup and it was… great! Continue reading “New test: Jennifer Lauren Laneway dress”
I love the shirtdress. It’s the type of garment that looks flattering on so many different people and nicely straddles the divide between casual and smart-casual. I probably notice them a little more than the average person since they’re one of those garments that I’ve never really been able to buy from shops. I’m one of the many women whose experience with anything buttoned has been to either settle for a giant sack shirt just so it fits over the bust or to put up with a gaping top and either unbutton the shirt low and wear a cami, or just grin and bear it. This has been the case at my thinnest and my heaviest.