Thursday, April 27, 2017

January, February and March 2017 in Review

What a year it has been so far! My free time has been limited, but I have still managed to finish a few things. Attending the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat in March resulted in one finished quilt and two finished tops. For April, I've switched gears to garment sewing, as Me-Made-May is just around the corner! 

January 2017 Finishes

Jewelry Organzier Pouch 
Cotton + Steel gift bag 
Blue Rail Fence Baby quilt  

February 2017 Finishes

Butterfly Box Lined Drawstring Bag 
Cuzco Lined Drawstring Bag  

March 2017 Finish

Cyan Chaos quilt

Monday, January 30, 2017

Heather Gray Basics: Oslo Cardigan, Jane Tee and Hemlock Tee

January in Seattle is gray and cold, so it was fitting that the garments I made this month were gray, too! A while ago, I purchased 5 yards of Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper. It's a lovely fabric that has a little bit of a pattern, but reads as a solid. The plan was to make an Oslo Cardigan and a Hemlock Tee. Before I found time to cut out the pattern pieces, the January 2017 issue of Seamwork dropped. I loved both patterns, and decided to make the Jane Tee immediately. After playing a little pattern piece Tetris, I realized I had almost enough yardage to make all three items out of the yardage I had on hand. I dug through my apparel scraps and found a big enough scrap of Heather Pepper for the Hemlock Tee sleeve. (I used it previously for a Wembley Cardigan.) Thus, I made three things from the yardage I had planned to use for two garments. It felt like finding a free shirt! Here are more details about each garment. 

Pattern: Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork 
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Reduced the cuff length by 50%

Thoughts: When I first made this pattern back in 2015, I considered it a failure. Part of the reason why was the color (When I ordered it online, I thought that Royal would be a deeper, truer blue than it was), part of it was that I choose the wrong size, and part of it was that the cuffs were way too long for my taste. This time I chose a fabric I had used successfully in the past, sized down by one size, and reduced the cuff length by 50%. I am much happier with this version. The sleeves are still a little long, but they are not too bulky when folded back. I'm tempted to make another in more challenging fabric, like a sweater knit, now that I have a serger. I've worn this cardigan once or twice a week since making it, so now I consider the pattern a success!

Pattern: Jane Tee from Seamwork 
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Graded the pattern up at the hip by adding 1.25 inches at the bottom edge on both the front and back pattern piece

Thoughts: I'm always on the lookout for good, repeatable basics. I know from experience that my measurements mean that I usually have to grade out the waist/hips 1-2 sizes with Seamwork patterns. Since this is a simple pattern, I just added 1.25 inches at the bottom edge of each torso piece and drew a straight line from there to the arm scythe. While I'm really happy with the fit around the waist/hips, the loose sleeves and high crew neck aren't my favorite. I'm still happy that I tried this pattern. It's a wearable basic that taught me that I like tighter sleeves and lower necklines, at least for my tees.


Pattern: Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio  
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit in Heather Pepper 
Alterations: Added 1.5 inches to the sleeve 

Thoughts: The Hemlock Tee is one of my current favorite patterns. It's free, it fits and it's quick. Last November, I whipped up four Hemlock Tees and they have been in constant rotation ever since. For this version, I extended the sleeves by 1.5 inches. I really like the extra length for winter. This shirt is a definite wardrobe workhorse.

While making three plain gray items in a short period of time may seem boring, it's very satisfying to make basics that you know will be worn often. It's also super satisfying that I've already made two of the patterns from my #2017MakeNine collage! I've ordered fabric for a few more basics, but after that I may start reaching for prints over solids. We'll see.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Earlier this week, I wrote about my 2017 creative goals. Today I want to drill down into my garment sewing goals. The #2017MakeNine exercise, created by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille, is a fun way of honing in on what I want to sew this year. Here are the top nine patterns that I'm most excited about making: 

Top row (Cardigans and Sweatshirts) 
#1: Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio: I'd like a sweatshirt/sweater to wear over button down shirts, and I've read only good things about this pattern. 
#2: Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Magazine: My first attempt at the Oslo Cardigan was a bit of a disappointment. I think it was because I chose the wrong size. I'm ready to try this pattern again and have already started working on it, in a different size. 
#3: Driftless Cardigan from Grainline Studio: I absolutely love this pattern and think it will go together quickly on my serger. Looking forward to wearing a cardigan with pockets! 

Middle row (Dresses and Shirts) 
#4: Kenedy Dress from Seamwork Magazine: I've loved this dress ever since it came out. I just need to find the right fabric. 
#5: Neenah Dress from Seamwork Magazine: I'm planning on hacking this pattern into a mock turtleneck shirt. Looks cozy. 
#6: Jane Tee from Seamwork Magazine: I'd love to find a knit shirt pattern that I can make repeatedly. I've already started making this one. We'll see how it goes. 

Bottom row (Pants and Skirts) 
#7: Mabel Skirt from Colette Patterns: I've been eyeing this pattern ever since it came out. As soon as they announced that you can now spend Seamwork credits on Colette Patterns, I grabbed it. I'm planning to hack Version 1 into a much longer skirt. 
#8: Moji Pants from Seamwork Magazine: I've never made pants, and want to try my hand at it this year. This pattern looks easy enough. 
#9: Margo Skirt from Seamwork Magazine: When this pattern came out, I was immediately drawn to it. It's similar to the Mabel Skirt, so I'm interested in seeing which skirt works better for me. 

I tried to pick a variety of patterns that would work well with each other. It's not quite a capsule wardrobe, but I hope to add some variety and interest to my existing handmade wardrobe. Of course, I'm not going to limit myself to only these nine patterns, but it's a great starting point for 2017.