Corduroy Maker's Tote

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Mom's birthday was this month, and I decided after she came to visit in April that I was going to make her a Maker’s Tote using Anna Graham's pattern. I really enjoyed making my Sheep Maker's Tote, and I thought it would be the easiest bag for her to keep her knitting in on the couch. It will protect projects from the kitties, but is very easy to access the inside.

For this tote I used this pretty Japanese fine wale corduroy from Miss Matatabi that I bought in their black Friday sale last year. It was fun to work with and has a great color palette. I had leftover binding from my first tote, so I used the same black yarn-dyed Essex cotton/linen for the binding and handles.

I knew I had to use a bit of blue to really make the blue in the main print pop! I had a bit of this blue shot cotton that I made a Wiksten tank out of (see it here), that was a perfect match! It was nice to use up a really old scrap.

I made the same two modifications to this tote as my first one. I used a non-separating metal zipper. I used a 16” zipper instead of a 14” zipper to compensate, then I covered the end with a tab. I also left off the flap pocket again. This is the small size tote.

I buy all my zippers from Zipit.

For the inside, I used the same lining as mine. I still had plenty of scraps and it matched the main print! It's Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander in Yarrow. I also used this cute little anchor print that I bought with my Mom at one of my favorite fabric stores back in Ohio, Miller's Dry Goods.

I was a little more rushed working on this bag since it needed to be done before I went home to Ohio. My zippered pocket opening ended up being a little messy. I also used the Fusible Flex Foam by Pellon for this bag instead of the non-fusible Annie's Soft and Stable. I thought I would really like the fusible, but I actually prefer the Annie's.

These are such satisfying bags to make! I love the details and I don't even mind the hand sewing. It just makes such a nice bag, that's very functional. I have a feeling this isn't my last Maker's Tote!

Happy Sewing!

June Catch-up

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Weekend! I wanted a do a bit of a catch-up post, since things have been pretty quiet around here lately! I just got back from two weeks in Ohio with my family. I had really good intentions about blogging while I was away, but it didn't exactly happen! Michael and I drove home the week of the 6th, and then he flew back that following weekend. I stayed longer for a pretty important reason...

We had fun experimenting with my new blow torch making crème brûlée. Our favorite recipe was this one, but we subbed half the cream with half and half.

THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WON AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP! We went home in part to go to the Finals home games, and I stayed until the series was over. It was the perfect Father's Day gift for my Dad, I don't know how we're going to top it next year! I grew up and went to college in the Cleveland area, and my Dad and I have been going to games together since 2003. I'm so happy for my city and state! Yay!

Since I was staying for so long, I brought my sewing machine with me. My Mom and I set up shop on their long farm table and sewed off and on while I was there. I got caught up on my double wedding ring wedges, finished a quilt top, bound two quilts, plus a few other things. I stitched up a big artist size drawstring bag (from the pattern version), to hold some special stuffed animals from my childhood. Of course I had to use my favorite print from Dreamin' Vintage.

I also had a chance to sew up some heart blocks for #quiltsforpulse. The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is collecting blocks, quilt tops, and finished quilts to be donated to the victims and families of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando earlier this month. I made a rainbow of blocks using Alison Harris's heart block tutorial. Learn more about their efforts and how to help here.

More news from this month, my teaching home and local fabric shop The Sewcial Lounge is closing their doors. I'm sad, but I know that it is what's best for Sara and her family. It's definitely bittersweet! For locals, tomorrow is their last day open, they'll be there from 10am-2pm. You can also shop their Etsy shop and save 40% with code "LASTCALL" here: They'll be adding more items next week so keep an eye on it!

Of course my Mom and I did plenty of thrifting and antiquing while I was home! I was over the moon to find one of my very favorite vintage sheets new in the package for $5! That little metal set of drawers is going to hold my machine needles and bobbins! The shelf is an Ohio berry box that someone added shelves too which is cool! I love using big towels in the kitchen, and those two-tone ones are my favorite. Happy to add a couple more to my stash!

It's wild black raspberry season here! Woohoo!

Since crème brûlée uses only egg yolks, we ended up with lots of leftover egg whites. So what else is there to do except bake angelfood cake? It's the perfect way to enjoy strawberry season. I learned to make it using my friend Deedrie's angelfood primer. Beyond the recipe, she shares lots of great tips!

Blackie was a complete quilt-cat while I was home. Anytime I set down a quilt, she made a beeline for it. I have five or so photos of her on this quilt over the course of my visit. She appreciates the softness of vintage sheet quilts!

And let's end this super long post with a George photo! He came with us, and stayed with me. He loves running around at home, because he can go under the bed. It's pretty much the best thing ever in George's opinion!

Have a great weekend!

Lawn Datura Blouse

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Happy Wednesday! I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet! I have a big backlog of finished garments, just need to get photographs of the rest of them! Today I want to share my most recent Datura blouse. You can see my previous Daturas here and here.

The Datura Blouse Pattern is by Deer & Doe.

This past January, a few of us got together and attended a retreat at Stitch Supply Co. in Altoona, WI (I'm teaching there in October, join me!). Anna cut a garment out of this lawn (a Datura too), and sent the leftover fabric home with me. Since this pattern doesn't use too many big pieces, I was able to squeeze one out of it too! I ended up piecing the facings, but it's all enclosed, so it worked out just fine.

Fabric is from Mesa by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Cotton & Steel.

Instead of doing buttons and button holes on the back of the blouse I used snaps! Quick and easy, and they matched the metallic detail on the fabric perfectly!

I've already gotten a lot of wear out of this top. It's worked as a great neutral since the print is pretty minimal. I could definitely stand to make some true basics with more solid or near solid fabrics. I love working with and wearing lawn, so this was a fun and satisfying project for me!

Happy Sewing!

Sewing Tool Organizers

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Monday! I recently finished a pair of fun sewing tool organizers! I pinned the #10 Caddy pattern* by Sew Can She to Pinterest long ago, and I've always wanted to make it. Last month I finally sat down to make a pair of them, one for my friend Amanda's birthday, and one for myself.

What makes this organizer unique is how it gets it's structure, from a #10 aluminum can. This is a big can, 7" tall and a little over 6" in diameter. I couldn't find a can that big in my local grocery store, but ended up finding them at a regional grocery chain, Woodman's. The pattern recommends checking warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's Club. I ended up buying a can of kidney beans and peeled whole tomatoes. (For this recipe, and this one. I portioned recipe amounts out and froze them.)

After cleaning the cans, I used a bit of duct tape on the inside edge of the cans to cover up any sharp edges. I also cut a felt circle and hot glued it to the inside bottom of the can so that the metal wouldn't show.

For Amanda's organizer, I used some of her favorite fabrics, all from Constellations by Lizzy House. I've been hoarding a fat quarter bundle for a while and decided it was time to cut into it. I had to piece the exterior pocket piece in order to make a fat quarter work, but I don't think it's too noticeable. I also used muslin for the lining pieces that aren't visible, on both organizers.

For my organizer, I used one of my favorite fabrics, this fat cat Halloween fabric, Magic Meows by Alexander Henry. Any excuse to see this fabric all year round! To make it feel a little less Halloween, I paired it with black and white fabrics, including a long stashed piece of ruler fabric from Tailor Made by Cosmo Cricket.

These organizers turned out so cool and were really fun to make! My only word of advice is to choose your can wisely because these cans contain a ton of food. Or check with a local restaurant and see if they have any empty cans to spare.

Find the #10 Caddy pattern in Sew Can She's Shop, here*.

Happy Sewing!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

May 2016 Report

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I feel like I say this every month, but I can't believe how quickly May flew by! I didn't end up posting nearly as much as I would have liked, but it happens. I think I used up all my blog energy for the month writing this post. I am grateful for the support and understanding, it was really scary putting it out there.

In May I found myself traveling to Upper Michigan to help Holly sew with her first fabric collection with Cloud 9, Brushstrokes. We got a lot done in a short weekend! Make sure and check her Instagram for her beautiful Quilt Market display!

At the end of May, it was finally time for a trip to Nashville! Jacey flew in and we spent the weekend with Amanda and her sweet girls. I ended up driving, but split the drive both ways to make it a little easier. We went to the zoo (highly recommended!), spent a day sewing together, ate lots of delicious food, and even played Exploding Kittens!

I finally finished a knitting project, my Citadel hat! I hadn't finished anything since January, so it felt good to get something off the needles.

To keep myself accountable I'm tracking my yardage for both yarn and fabric. Here is how I did in May:

May Fabric
Used up: 19.375 yards
Brought in: 19.625 yards
Net: +.25 yards
Year to date: +18.125 yards

May Yarn
Used up: 390 yards
Brought in: 1466 yards
Net: +1076 yards
Year to date: +337 yards

I feel okay about how I did with my yardage this month. I did finally buy some yarn, but it was worth it. One of my favorite local yarn shops, the Wisconsin Craft Market, started stocking Hedgehog Fibres Sock and Twist Sock, which is super exciting. I've never been able to get my hands on any, so I bought a few skeins. On the fabric front, I visited a few destination shops: Craft South, Hancocks of Paducha, and Quilt in a Day. To be able to only net 1/4 yard seems like a win! The majority of May's yardage is two quilt backgrounds worth and a couple garment cuts. Will hopefully make more of a dent this month!

On my other goals, I pretty much had an epic fail this month. I didn't touch my double wedding ring wedges. I didn't sew any new garment patterns. I did get four quilt tops put together, backings made, and sent off to be quilted. I sewed nine blocks for my vintage sheet scrappy trip quilt. I worked on gift sewing, and made a few other things here and there.

I'm disappointed to admit that I fell off the wagon with my Project 365 too, completely. It be honest I had to fudge a day in April, so it was already in danger.

On a happier note, look how cute George is! :)

Happy May!


Friday, June 3, 2016
1. Rainbow Made by Erin J. M., 2. Layers by Karen, 3. SMQG Block of the Month by Louise Wackerman, 4. Facets Quilt by Amy Friend, 5. Paper pieced wedges by Chatelaine1, 6. Double Cross by Adele Dizney, 7. String Song by Debbie, 8. Purple Bubble by Werkelei, 9. Blaues Kreuz by Andrea Kollath

Periodically, I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it!

Happy Weekend!