Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Now I know I got a little lazy with working out last week and having too much dessert, but how could my dress form have known?

Apparently I overstuffed my form causing this explosion a few months later. After a little late night liposuction, it's all better now. I have started running again this week, though.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mini-Wardrobe Challenge

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was super excited to hear about Pattern Review's mini-wardrobe challenge. The idea is to build a collection where each piece matches each other or else ties into the general theme. Unlike larger wardrobe challenges, however, the mini-challenge only requires four pieces: two bottoms and two tops or two bottoms, a top and a dress. I'm going to do the first option.

Top 1: Simplicity 3777

I know I said "top" and I'm showing a dress here. I love this pattern (see the first dress I ever made here) and am shortening it to make it a top. I'm using white shirting fabric.

Top 2: Amy Butler Lotus Cami (picture from Amy B's website)

I think I'm going to omit the buttons in the back and use a side zipper instead. I'll use a brown linen-like fabric.

Bottom 1: Mccalls 5431

I started this skirt earlier this month. I'm using Ginger Blossom quilting fabric (so pretty). All I need to do is finish the hem.

Bottom 2: Simplicity 4036

Originally I wanted to make pants. However, I really need a khaki colored skirt. Plus, I only have enough khaki fabric in my stash to make a skirt.

Would you like to play along in this challenge too? The rules are simple: four pieces, each piece must match each other, you set your own finish date. If you'd like to join in, leave a comment saying you'd like to play too and include a link to your blog or flickr account. I'll create a list of all participants and post it later in the week.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brick Path Quilt

I finished the brick path quilt. Hoorah! I ended up attaching the binding by machine after an hour and a half of hand sewing only resulted in a foot of the binding being sewn. At that rate, it would have taken me weeks to sew the binding by hand. Despite this, I'm really happy with my first quilt.

For the back, I pieced together some leftover scraps from the top. I love how it turned out. I also love the crinkly goodness that resulted after it was washed and dried.

Some things I learned about quilting during this project:

1) Cutting accurately is the hardest part. A rotary cutter and mat are my friends. However, this pattern is so forgiving that it doesn't matter that I cut a few of the first fabrics less than stellar.

2) It's easy to overthink the layout. I spent at least a good two hours just staring at my quilt top and rearranging the pieces, and I could have easily spent a lot more time doing this.

3) Taking the time to make sure everything is smooth when basting together the back, batting, and top is worth it. I hardly had any puckers!

4) My machine is adequate for quilting. I was a little worried that my basic Singer wouldn't be up to the task of quilting. Could I fit all that fabric through the arm? Yes, and I could have fit more. The trick is rolling it up and starting the quilting from the middle. Worked like a charm. The walking foot was definitely helpful.

5) Quilting is fun! (Not that I needed to tell you that.)

I started the quilt mid-April and finished on May 21st. This is much sooner than I expected to finish! Thanks for playing along with my guessing game. I think Robyn had the closest guess (May 26th). Robyn, please send me your address and I'll try to send you something fun in the next month or so.

Ok, off to wrap myself in the quilt some more (and guard it from the cats who have been eyeing it covetously this whole time).

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The quilt has been quilted. The instructions have you just turn it inside out and quilt it, but I like the look of binding so I decided to quilt it the "traditional" way. I followed the directions in Last Minute Patchwork to lay out the backing, batting, and quilt top. I really spent a lot of time making sure everything was smooth and I think it paid off. I only saw less than a handful of puckers on the back after I quilted it. Hey, now I don't think that's too bad for a first time quilter! Now all I need to do is bind it. I'm nearing the finish line...!

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to make after I finish the quilt. Ever since I saw Adrienne's post about the mini-wardrobe challenge, I've been thinking about my own mini-wardrobe storyboard. I would love to do this challenge, but with my next two weekends completely booked (and a possible move!), the end of May is not possible for me to finish four garments. So, I think I'll just do my own personal challenge and try to complete four coordinating garments by the end of June. To up the ante, I'd like to use patterns and fabrics from my stash. Here are the four patterns I'm currently contemplating. I already have fabrics in mind.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday focus

My calendar turned out to be entirely free today. So when I woke up this morning, many sewing possibilities spun around in my mind. During my morning cup of tea, I pondered the big question, "What should I make today?". I needed to focus. My mind was all over the place. Should I design a garment?

Or should I start my friend's wedding quilt, (her wedding was last June!)?

Oh wait, don't I already have a quilt in progress?

Guess what I chose to do today? Yes, ladies and gents, I finished my Brick Path quilt top! I finished the backing today too. All I need to do now is quilt it, and bind it...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Juliet, oh Juliet

She's done! Katie's posts of her gorgeous Juliet gave me the motivation I needed to finally finish my own.

This is this first sweater and third item I've ever knit (I knit two dishcloths before this project). I immediately fell in love with the Juliet when I saw the pattern a few months ago. It is the reason I learned to knit.

After I finished knitting it, I wetblocked it. I can't tell you how nervous I was dunking it into a tub of water (it's 100% wool). I was very very careful. Luckily, all was ok.

I used Oasis Yarns Aussie Wool in Misty Blue. The yarn was a dream to knit with, though it is a little fuzzy. Overall, I love the final garment. I had read that the pattern runs large and so I knit the smallest size (XS). Unfortunately, I still find it to be slightly too big on me for my tastes.

I think this is going to be a Christmas gift for a friend who this will fit perfectly and who I know will appreciate the time that I've spent making it. I haven't given up on the pattern though. I just love it too much. I've already bought more yarn to attempt another one. This time I am going to use a single strand of worsted weight yarn (as opposed to the bulky yarn that the pattern calls for). Keep your fingers crossed for me!