Monday, July 23, 2018

Another Concord

grey Concord T, front view, hands on hips

This is my second Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt make. I cut a size 12 G/H. For this version, I went with the curved, faced hem, the v-neck, and long-sleeves. I shortened the sleeves by 1.5"-- but as a general rule, I seem to just push them up (didn't realize until this moment that I don't have any pics of the sleeves not pushed up... whoops!). The fabric is a soft, 100% poly ribbed knit that I purchased from Fabric Mart last summer.

grey Concord T, back view

Based on the fit of my first Concord T make (and of the other Cashmerette patterns I've made-- this seems to be a consistent issue for me across styles), I did a broad back adjustment to add a total of 3/4" to the upper back. I feel like it fits my back a bit better now, giving me a bit more room to move such that it doesn't feel tight. I am starting to wonder though, if maybe I should also try going up a size and see how that works for me. Hmmm...

grey Concord, applying knit tape to neckline

I followed the instructions for everything for the most part. I did stabilize the shoulder seams with some regular stay tape. And then also added the additional step of stabilizing the neckline with SewkeysE fusible knit stay tape. On the one hand, the neckline is nice and smooth and pretty. But, it also doesn't "hug" my body the way I want it-- it seems to stand away from my body. I need to do a bit of research to figure out how to remedy this.

grey Concord T, side view

And a lesson learned on this one: pay attention to the hem facings. The front and back are, in fact, different. :P I accidentally attached the front hem facing to the back and had stitched and serged. When I went to attach the back facing to the front, I realized my mistake... doh! But I was not wanting to deal with a re-do. So I went with it. On the outside, it looks fine. But it is a bit janky on the inside.

grey Concord T, front view

I am happy with how this came together. Though I am a bit bummed that I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. It has been a warm summer (yay!)-- and this poly is on the warm side. But it will be perfect come fall!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hearts Full

My heart is definitely full! I have just completed my two-year term as PTA president at my boys' elementary school and I am finally finding myself with the energy and wherewithal to craft again! Huzzah! I mean, I've done stuff here and there-- very occasionally-- and I've kept track of those on Instagram (my account name is furicious). Blogging however has just not been a thing. But, now that I'm finding myself in my craft room a bit more regularly, I'm feeling the urge to journal again. So here I am!

First up: a quilt! I started this quilt in the summer of 2016, when I learned that one of my friends was pregnant. The design is from a Moda Bake Shop tutorial, "Layers of Love," by Sterling LaBosky. I used a Kate Spain "Aria" layer cake and a couple of Kona solids.

Hearts Full quilt front

By January 2017, I was quilting it. But then life got in the way and it sat unfinished until last month when I finally picked it up again and finished it off. Baby is nearly two. Doh!

Hearts Full quilt back view

Fortunately, mama was very understanding and graciously accepted my belated baby gift. As it turns out, baby toddler girl is a big fan of snuggling under blankets. So, yay!

Hearts Full quilt label close-up

I quilted it with Aurifil Mako 50/2 thread in 2710 (Light Robin's Egg blue) using an all-over design.

Hearts Full quilting detail

Hearts seemed appropriate. Since it is hard to see, I've highlighted the design I used in the photo below.

Hearts Full quilting design

I was worried, especially since it was already half-quilted, that I would struggle to get going again. Thankfully, I quickly found my rhythm quickly and all went well. Phew!

Hearts Full quilt front side view

I finished the quilt with a machine stitched binding, a personalized label, and a trip through the washer to get it all crinkled and snuggleable.

Hearts Full quilt folded and pretty

Hopefully, Lady M will enjoy her new quilt!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hiatus

So, last spring I decided to take on the position of president of the PTA at my sons' school. The job really ramped up in early August, and since then-- I have pretty much found myself with a nearly full-time unpaid job. Crafting fell by the wayside. Like WAY by the wayside. While it just hasn't been in me to blog at all over the last few months, I have managed to make a few things:

A Concord Tee from Cashmerette Designs:

Cashmerette Concord T-shirt collage

LOVE this design. I've purchased fabric for two more.

A cute, swingy dress from McCall's 6957:

McCalls 6957 view A collage

Check out that stripe matching under my arm where no one can see it! But I know it is there. I don't think this is supposed to be a high-low hem (at least, not according to the line drawing), but that's how it ended up, despite the fact that I did a 1.25" swayback adjustment. It's fine though, because I like it.

An unintentionally sexy top from McCall's 6963:

McCalls 6963, view A collage

I think the lowness of the drape is a result of the FBA I did. It is definitely a date night kind of top!

Some wizard vests (from Simplicity 8023), robes (from a lovely pattern from the SewingPatternPixie available through Etsy), and wands (no pattern there):

Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, Halloween 2016

The accessories-- ties, scarves, glasses, Gryffindor patches, white button-down shirts, toad-- were all purchased.

Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, Halloween 2016

I can't even get over my boys. They are awesome. And they just. keep. growing.

I also managed a few holiday gifts, including some Kismet Trinket Boxes from Sew Sweetness. (LOVE this design!!! These are seriously so fun to make!)

Kismet Trinket Boxes from Sew Sweetness

These are all the medium round size, measuring about 4.75" tall. I put little treats in them and gifted them to teachers and friends.

Finally, I also made some maxi-pads and panty-liners of my own design.

maxi-pads and pantiliners

I feel like I should note that I do not generally make a habit of giving feminine hygiene products to my friends/family. My sister-in-law specifically requested these. :P

Relative to my usual output and craftiness... the last six months has been a serious dry spell, creativity-wise. PTA has kind of been all-consuming, leaving very little energy for anything else.

So! My new mantra starting a couple of days ago is "Life Balance." I am going to make a conscious effort to be present with my family, make my home a better place to be (cleaner, more organized), while at the same still doing my PTA job and also taking better care of myself by eating better, making time to exercise again (I miss running!), and plan dedicated crafty creative time-- including, hopefully, a little blogging. No problem, right? But, if I am conscious of these things, maybe it will help me to make better choices along the way. We'll see how it goes.

Hope you have had some wonderful holidays and I wish you a joyful start to 2017!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pink lightning capris (because lightning makes you run faster)

This was actually my first-ever activewear project (finished before the Jalie skort I blogged about earlier this week), but I didn't actually work out in them until this morning when I took them out for a run.

Duathlon Shorts, pink capris, full front view

These are the capri length leggings from the Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts pattern. I've paired them with an ill-fitting (but cheap) top I picked up at Macy's. (Note to self: need to work on making some activewear tops that actually fit!)

Duathlon Shorts, pink capris, front view

For my first attempt at activewear, I figured I couldn't go wrong with Fehr Trade as I have only read positive things about instructions and fit for all of her designs. Sure enough, the instructions were great! Very straightforward and clear throughout. The fit is pretty good as well. Based on my measurements (32" waist, 42" hips), I went with the Medium. They aren't super tight-- there is actually some looseness at the top of my thighs in back which is a little weird, but also fine... I guess I was expecting a bit more compression. Other than that, I feel like they are great all around.

The pink fabrics are from an activewear binge from Fabric Mart last December, both nylon/Lycra blends. The bit of black is some activewear jersey (92% Poly/8% Lycra) I picked up from Fabric.com.

Duathlon Shorts, pink capris, back view

I LOVE the rise in these and the elastic at the waist. Very comfortable and nothing moves.

Duathlon Shorts, pink capris, side view

My one wish is that the side pockets were a bit wider so that I could stash my phone in there if I wanted. And without any elastic or anything at the top edge to help secure it better, I'm not sure I'd trust to put much in the pockets.

Duathlon Shorts, pink capris, full side view

As for how they felt-- very comfortable! There was no funky rubbing or anything. Everything stayed put. I'm excited to try them at my next HIIT workout-- I think they'll be great for that too. These are going to get a lot of wear!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jalie Skort

It took a few months, but I am finally using some of the activewear fabric I picked up last December:



First up is Jalie 2796, the Multi-Sport Skort:

J2796, front view

This is my first time using Jalie, and I am really impressed with the drafting and the instructions. The line drawings are particularly well done and offer very clear illustrations of the written steps. I wish though that the drawings and instructions were together... I was having to flip back and forth between the two. But now that I've made them once, I probably wouldn't even need the written instructions-- the drawings would be sufficient.

J2796, rear view

Based on my measurements, I cut a "W" for the waist and graded out to the "X" for the hips downward. I think the skort fits pretty well-- nothing felt overly tight or loose. I used my regular sewing machine and stitched all of the seams with a narrow zig-zag followed by serging them. I used my coverstitch for all the hems and the pocket.

I went for a run in my new skort yesterday (thus all the sweaty pics) and found them to be pretty darn comfy.

J2796, front and back view of the shorts

I love that they give the coolness of shorts and that the skirt covers all of the lumps and bumps (which are very evident in the pics of the shorts above). So awesome!!!

J2796, side view with phone in pocket

Bonus: my Galaxy S5 actually fits in the side pocket! I ran with my phone and it was great-- no bumping or jostling-- it totally stayed in place.

J2796, waistband collage

I used the full (wide) waistband and found that as I ran, it just ended up curling over on itself. I'm not sure if that is because I really need a bigger size, or if that is just what happens since there is no elastic helping to stabilize it. It wasn't uncomfortable and definitely still felt secure (i.e., my skort wasn't going to fall off or anything). But I am considering using the low waistband option next time.

J2796, full side view

The other thing was that after a few minutes of running, the shorts crawled up my legs. While it wasn't annoying enough for me to stop and tug them back down in front of random peeps on the road, it did feel weird. Near the end of my run (when I got to a quiet street with no people), I tugged them back down and after that, they actually stayed in place. So maybe my sweat helped somehow? Anyway-- I'm on the hunt for a solution. Melissa of Fehr Trade suggests in her Duathlon Shorts pattern instructions to try "silicone sock paint" to help the shorts stay in place, so I'm going to start with that and see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Remakes!

Now that school is out, I've managed to do a bit of sewing. Yay! I started with a few re-makes.

I started with another rendition of Kwik Sew 3513:

KS3513 and a Kirsten Kimono Tee, front tucked view

Here I've got the top tucked in so you can see the foldover waistband.

KS3513 and a Kirsten Kimono Tee, back tucked view

I loved this the first time I sewed it up, and my love remains constant. It is a simple, straightforward, and effective design! I again made a size Medium. My only change was to add 5" to the length in order to make it into more of a maxi-skirt. The fabric is a Maggy London ITY knit from Fabric Mart.

KS3513 and a Kirsten Kimono Tee, side view

The aqua top that I'm wearing with the skirt is another remake of the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee. This is the third one I've made (version one | version two). This time I used a poly/lycra jersey knit in a pretty Caribbean blue from Fabric Mart. This is the Large with a 1" dartless FBA (Maria Denmark offers a friendly tutorial for no-dark fronts). Such a fabulous design made even more so because Maria Denmark offers it as a FREE pattern when you sign up for her newsletter.

KS3513 and a Kirsten Kimono Tee, front view

And here is another Kirsten Kimono Tee:

Kirsten Kimono Tee, double back edition - collage

So the only remarkable thing about this rendition is that I somehow managed to cut two of the same piece... I put back in the photo above, but looking at it now in comparison to the aqua one, I think maybe I cut two fronts? (It was really hard to tell because I also messed up in cutting the neckline a bit... sigh.) Anyway, I didn't have enough fabric to cut a new back. While it definitely doesn't fit quite right, it actually is in fact wearable. Phew! The fabric is another ITY knit from Fabric Mart.

All of these pieces are now in regular rotation in my wardrobe. Tried and true!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Twinsies: Stars on a Cloudy Day

Here is the second of a pair of quilts I recently gave to a friend who had twin boys:

Stars on a Cloudy Day, front view

Like the other quilt I made, this design is from the It's Sew Emma Patterns book, Fat Quarter Style, and is called "Sparklettes." Since I put the stars on a grey background, I named my rendition, "Stars on a Cloudy Day."

Stars on a Cloudy Day, quilting detail

Again, I used fabrics from my stash and used Seahawks-inspired colors. This is the Crib size (finishing at about 40.5" x 47.75").

Stars on a Cloudy Day, quilting detail, back side


The quilting was all done using Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Dove (#2600-- a soft grey). I'm not thrilled with how the stars turned out-- but they are at least all relatively consistent, so I like to think that all the funkiness looks intentional.

Stars on a Cloudy Day, back view

Gotta love a scrappy back! I've had that sky blue star print in my stash for at least 15 years now. It is so good to finally put it to use!

Stars on a Cloudy Day, label

And the label.

Stars on a Cloudy Day, front side view

I really wanted each quilt to be unique but still similar and I am really happy with how they pair together.

Twinsie quilts, side-by-side

My friend was so happy to receive them. I think these quilts will get much love from her boys.

Twinsie quilts, stacked and folded