Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Whale and Sailor Boy

We wish you a merry Christmas, 
We wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year! 

Gulp the Whale and Sailor Boy! They finally exist after a year of stewing around in my head. They will be off on adventures with my best friend's baby very soon! So happy they turned out so cute!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Eliana Love

The burgundy came first. It was a mystery fabric with great drape yet weight. I think it's slowly shrinking in the wash.

Next came the silk sari with vintage mother of pearl buttons.

Finally the lavender wool for my friend. When she tried my burgundy dress on this summer she promptly turned to me and said, "My birthday is March 12th." Over Thanksgiving break, she came and we chose fabric and zipped it up so she could take it to her college Christmas party.

POCKETS!!! The cause of much squealing when they were discovered. 
I won this pattern in a giveaway from Busy Lizzy and it has quickly become an absolute favorite. I've worn my burgundy dress tons!

Pattern Changes

  • I can't remember what size I made but I'm 5' 10" and I added about six inches to the skirt. For the silk I added about an inch to the top pieces so it would be more blousey. 
  • Did a facing for the front opening instead of the ties. 
  • If you remove the ties buttons and loops work better than a hook and eye. Personal experience speaking. :)

My friend and I love our dresses and they are seeing much wear. Thanks to Pauline Alice for drafting a great little dress pattern and Lizzy for letting me win a copy! I'm sold.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Making

Grab a cuppa' and sit down for a breath.
Well Stashbusters,
Sounds like our Christmas plans are coming right along. If you are a Facebook user make sure to join our group and share in the encouragement and enabling. (psst... we will be doing it again next year)

Awhile ago I got sick of looking AT my pinterest and decided to actually make something! First I used up some strips for these little braided mug rugs... Not sure where these are going.

Then these cute round coasters were tantalizing me so I whipped some up in a weekend. This used up some of my scraps and more importantly a scrap of batting that I'd been hoarding for just such a reason. I was super tickled with my achievements!
The square ones were supposed to be round but the personalized "L" scrapped that idea.
Sewing, the ever evolving art.
As I was energized and ready to go on the next gifts on my list, I got a surprise email saying I made it into the big Christmas MADE Fair that was only three weeks away! What a surprise! I broke out the pliers and my button jars and made up some cute button earrings. (not that you can see the dent in my stash)...

Is it silly how happy I am to have a "butterfly" in Millefiori beads and Mother of Pearl buttons? 

I also made some Tiny Worlds that help grow big imaginations. This put another small dent in my scrap box and used up some of that weird yarn I couldn't get rid of either. It's those odd things that are so satisfying to use.

Ending the random craft supply usage spree was me further ruining some already damaged linens by making some beautiful glass pendants showcasing the lace and embroidery from years gone by.
Sorry for the sad ironing board photo but it was that or nothing!
It may not be a lot, but it is something... I really enjoyed giving new life to the buttons and the linens that could never be used again.

I've got a couple other big projects planned as soon as I go on Christmas break. How about you? Are you in the middle of Christmas Making Mayhem? Or are you waiting for the actual break? Will you get a break with time for sewing or be busy with family and friends?
Whatever you do keep up the good work! Our year is almost over!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Stashbusting Sewalong: Christmas Mayhem!

Merry Christmas Fellow Stashbusters!

As you can see the fabric elves have been busy and it's time we got to work and showed them who's boss! Our theme for the final month of the year is "Christmas Mayhem!"
It's time to make gifts for others and ourselves! It's time to make all those random Christmas and holiday decorations we've been pondering. It's time to sew up the last of the stash for 2015!!!!

Can you believe it?? I don't know where this year has gone. It's been one of huge change for me and I only see more coming. I do hope it includes more sewing though! I'm working on stuff for a craft fair I'm in and once that is over I'm hitting the shelves to make up goodies I've been dreaming of for awhile!

How about you? Are you ready for this holiday season? I may not be Santa but tell me what you want to sew...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Return From The Dead! A Year of Musings

Fair warning, this post is probably going to be as messy as my new sewing setup. But I miss you all so here I go. No more procrastinating!

Why haven't you heard from me?
Well, we moved into our mostly remodeled house and I left for summer camp for three wonderful months then I came home and immediately went to work as a speech therapist paraprofessional which is as fulfilling as it is mentally draining.

Have I gotten to sew in all this?
Well I finally got a sewing station set up and have rediscovered most of my sewing supplies. I've made a couple of SPECTACULAR pieces that I can't wait to share with you. I've also won some pretty amazing sewing swag and tested some super cool patterns and I really want to share with you all.
I haven't figured out where to take photos yet which has been part of my procrastination in beginning to blog again.

I've taken this impromptu blogging hiatus to evaluate what I want from my blog and life and all that big stuff!

  • I have a sewing related business and I want to promote it on here in a non spammy way... How exactly I haven't figured out yet... I mostly know how I don't want it to look. :) But I do run across great vintage stuff and I know some of my sewing bloggy friends would love it too! I love Sanae's blog and how she is trying to make a go of this entrepreneurial thing! I'm so jealous of her Furoku  Membership! What a fabulous idea! We are different styles but I love her moving writing and maybe because we are so different she is so refreshing to me. I'd like to be as genuine as her. 

  • Tying into that, I want to write more thoughtful pieces. I want to finish Aria's story and maybe a couple more I have percolating. The art of sewing should be celebrated and girls should have girl adventures where they win as girls not as girls acting like boys. (I hope that makes sense..)

  • I've got so much cool stuff I want to share. There's nothing like the happy sewing community squeeing over a fabulous finished make together. I've also won so many cool giveaways and I need to thank the givers and pass on this loveliness! 
I think what this boils down to is setting myself the goal of posting once a week. Then using my time wisely making stuff and writing all these stories. 

What have blogging breaks taught you? What's been happening in this sewing world that I've missed out on? 

Friday, April 17, 2015

How To Tantalize Your Blog Readership....

Wonders of wonders, a finished dress!

Hello My Sewing Bloggy Friends!
Long time no see! This renovating a house, while setting up a brick and mortar shop, while working two fill in jobs cramps the sewing, photographing, blogging thing. I've missed you! How's it going out there in sewing land?
Once I get a space set up for photography you'll have to hold on to your blogreaders as I catch up on my finished makes... Until then here's a sneak peek of what I've been up to in the sewing arena. I'll spare you all the house remodel photos and stories!

Sweater that pilled as soon as I wore it.

A secret pattern test I did that got me back into
Oh look! Another finished piece! 

Today's labors. Fabric goodies in the shop.

Aren't these the cutest labels! They're from

So what's been happening with you? What keeps you from diving into that never-ending, full of possibilities sewing list?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Button Love!

One weekend in February I visited with a friend and we decided to have an earring making party. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed creating socially until we sat down together. Never underestimate the joy and productivity that can come when you gather together with other creatives. It doesn’t have to be complicated or the house clean, just clear off a table and create something. You’ll be surprised at the refreshment it brings. 
I wish you could see the iridescence
and delicacy of these Mother of Pearl

These are so fun! The buttons are
poofy red things that just
make you happy!

I was also surprised at how elegant buttons can look. I mean, I love buttons and think sewing should be incorporated into as many areas of our lives as possible, but I wasn’t expecting them to look so classy! 

I love them so much and have set them up in a cute little display in our shop. I’m thinking about listing them on Etsy too but they are mostly one of a kind pieces and Etsy is full of jewelry so I’m dithering. 
My little velvet display frames!

To also add to the excitement they are vintage buttons getting new life! And no buttons were harmed in the making so when the zombie apocalypse comes you'll be able to repurpose your earrings and hold your clothes shut in style!

Yes, those half moons are beautiful shank buttons that I mounted without harm to them!

What do you think about button jewelry? Would you wear them? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When Chronic Disease Steals Your Sewing Time

Hey Fellow Sewists,
  I'd like nothing more than to be showing you a finished project, a new beauty fresh off the sewing machine. Unfortunately I got glutened over Valentines weekend which leaves me open to all sorts of germs so today instead of finishing my new jeans I laid on my sofa bed trying to ignore my aching head and joints.
  I was really frustrated because there is so much that needs to get done and I want to get done and I was at the point where my patience was wearing thin with my limitations. I was sick of being sick. Ever feel that way yourself?
  In desperation I reached out to a new friend who also struggles with a chronic disease asking her how she gets through. Here's what she replied,

"You ask how I manage? I'm not real sure how I do manage. Sometimes I don't manage and (my daughter) gets an ear full.
The one thing that I've been trying to accomplish is to refuse to think about what needs to be done. At a time like this one can always think of hundreds of millions of things to do. But break it down to what is absolutely necessary. Will someone die if this doesn't get done? No. Then it's not necessary for today. Right now just focus on taking care of your body and that is to clear your mind of stress. This is the time when it is absolutely necessary to just rest and meditate on the Word. It's hard to discipline one's mind to do it, but it can be done. ...
As you rest, think of all the fun things you would like to do some day and make a list...yes, just for the fun of it. You can throw it away later or keep it, but it is a way that allows your mind to stay occupied and still lets your body rest.
Now you know some of my secrets that get me through the worst of it. It's called diversion so I'm better able to deal with it.
Hope some of these suggestions will help as you go through this day. Rest and sleep are your best friends right now; embrace them!"
   I think she should add phone a friend to the list. Her words gave me the encouragement and permission to let myself relax and get some rest. I even took her advice and made a list. 
I know I'm not the only creative who has to fight physical limitations to sew and some of you have also shared your struggles. So what keeps you from sewing? What do you do to keep your spirits up?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coming Full Circle: A Peek at My Sewing Setup

Changes, even good changes can take time to adjust to. Moving unsettles everything. All the sewing supplies are packed away and scattered throughout the rest of the household items. We're renovating our house while camping out in an apartment across the street.  We have half a house worth of stuff crammed into a tiny apartment.
I was sleeping on a nice air mattress bed until it molded, now I pull the sofa bed out each night and sleep there. Looking on the bright side, I was able to borrow a card table and set up my machines. I cannot tell you what a sigh of internal relief this brought me.

Check out the rest of the room. Every time we go out to the moving container I discover more treasures and drag them home. Bits of me slowly coming back together.

Bet you can't guess what project is up next in my sewing queue. ;) If I ever finish gluing...
My hanging ironing board doesn't mind chilling with my bath towel.
I literally stopped in the middle of a project to snap these photos because of that glorious sunshine coming through the
window. It's amazing how much light can cheer you up.
Today I realized I've come full circle in my sewing. I started out on a card table in the living room, watching old movies and sewing polyester. While I'm done with polyester and can't get internet in this back room, the card table remains the same. So does my love of sewing.

With new people, experiences and jobs, spotty internet and cell service, being able to pick up needle and thread and gain confidence in creating has been therapeutic. It hasn't fixed all my problems or made all the anxiety and confusion go away or shortened my to do list but it has given me brief moments of peace. It has allowed me to create beauty out of the chaos.

Eye candy for now... my silk dresses. Left is a new TNT pattern. Right is a Japanese pattern.

And while I haven't gotten up the courage to photograph my latest creations I had no problem filling my pockets with sewing paraphernalia and traipsing out to the backyard scattering buttons and stabbing pins in trees for some fairy sewing photos.

In a time when I feel quite blown about in spirit I'm grasping at the threads I DO have in an attempt to keep me anchored. So hello Sewing Machine. Hello Sewing Friends. I'm glad you are here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Aria's Needle ~ A Sewing Story

Inspired by Karen's story post I'm sharing something I've been playing with... It all started with this pin: 
Softly humming, Aria sat in an open grassy field; her needle weaving in and out, in and out, gently, rhythmically, methodically, quickly through the fabric in her lap. She felt the soft breeze brush her cheek on it’s way by, and the sun warm her head as she sat and sewed the fabric she had been given for that day’s assignment. With a jolt, her fingers reached for fabric and found none. She had come to the end. There was nothing more in her lap.  Jerking her head up, Aria softly gasped as she glanced around. While the fabric had disappeared, the once empty green field around her was covered in exquisite blooms.
From atop the tower of wisdom, the Headmistress of Fairy Godmothers turned away and began down the winding stair well, busily making plans for what now must be done. Aria had shown much skill and quick progress for one so young and newly entered into the School of Fairy Godmothers. Today revealed potential rarely seen and envious whispers were already rising from the girls in the court yard who had also witnessed Aria’s unintentional feat. Something must be done quickly so her thoughts would not be poisoned and her gift lost or twisted beyond recognition. 


Shivering, Aria wrapped her arms around her knees, pulling herself into a ball as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Where was she? This wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it. She was supposed to be at home! With her brothers and sisters around the hearth. Telling stories as she did the day’s mending. Not here in some dark hole! What gifts did she have? Sent away from home because she was special. Sent away from school because she was special. “A power to create.” the headmistress had said. Some creating! More like the destruction of her life! 
“There is power in your needle Aria.” the headmistress had explained. Some power. Where had it been when the bandits attacked their cart? When she’d been dragged away with a bag over her head and shoved in this place? 
She unclasped her hands and sat up, fiddling through the layers of her traveling dress to feel the needle sewn into the hem of her chemise. She poked it through and drew out that long thin bit of metal. It glimmered faintly in her palm.  
The headmistress’s words continued to echo through her mind, “There is power in your needle Aria. It is a power that you must learn to use and control. Many will want what you can give them and you must grow in discernment as you grow in skill. The Eagle’s Crag will be a quiet private place for you to do that.”
Power. She mused, index finger poking the needle. “Power. Well let’s see what this can do.” as she plucked a strand of hair from her head and threaded the eye. Her hands felt for the first of many rents in her cloak. “Dragging someone blindfolded through a forest could cause almost as much damage as her brothers in the pigpen.” she mused. 

Aria began to mend; her needle moving in and out, in and out, quickly, quietly sewing up the holes. She sat in the darkness and thought of home, of warmth.


Now Aria's Needle has taken on a life of it's own and I'm not sure where it will lead...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sewing Themed Stationary Adventures

My favorite.
If there is one thing all sewists have in common it's our tactile nature. How many of us are also letter writers? I'll be the first to admit to not being the most regular correspondent but I do enjoy popping things off in the post and not having reliable internet connections has made me more liable to pick up pen and paper in the evening.

I like this concept but not the photo itself

Since I'm always looking for ways to incorporate sewing into other aspects of life I went on a hunt to find sewing stationary, specifically postcards. It was a sad search my friends... Merchant and Mills, this lovely lady, a lovely watercolor, and one set of sewing machines. That was it. Are we really that small of a market? We with our swaps, sewalongs, secret valentines, sew bossyness and general friend making?

Since I'm also always looking for new income opportunities I've been researching printing my own postcards and the findings are surprising. Photography is always a work in progress as well. What makes lovely quality blog photos does not make good printing quality postcards. Composition is also an art. I took 65 photos and only three or four am I happy with.

So what do you think of my ideas? Do you send out snail mail? Would you buy sewing themed postcards?