Category Archives: sew

fabric + machine = joy

WIP Report

My hat model

A Fitting Hat

So far, March has been mostly a market making month. I’m itching to do some sewing for myself, but it’s not in the books quite yet. There’s a Music Box Jumper that’s been waiting patiently for a couple weeks now and a Sorbetto Top pattern that the printer just finished for me. I just might indulge. I added an “Abandon” category because let’s face it, some projects just aren’t ever going to get finished!

Finished projects

  • Mittens (Pumpkin): Just in time for spring!
  • Drop sleeve shrit using Mandy Boat Tee pattern. It’s very wide, but I like it. Maybe another version in a nicer fabric in the fall
  • A Fitting Hat: Hinagiku Hat made with Drops Lima in grey.
  • Dress up dress skirt (Pumpkin): used scraps from curtains.
  • Knight’s pants (Peanut): A hit – must find/take pictures to share.

In progress

  • Pillow: finish buttons and assembly! (it’s been a year and 2 months in progress for no good reason at all
  • Serger cover: draft pattern
  • Button down shirt: draft pattern using Cal Patch’s Design it Yourself
  • Clutch: The next BMB Challenge bag. Waiting for hardware to arrive!
  • Sorbetto top: Put together pattern, make muslin version
  • Neutral long-sleeved top: from my own pattern. This one will have more ease throughout than the tops I’ve made in the past.


  • House pants for Peanut: These didn’t work out in the end. Maybe another time.

New Projects

  • T-shirts for summer: I think there’s only one in my pile that I really like. Time to make some for myself!

Sewing for market

Sewing, sewing, sewing


Work in progress

Card Holder

This has been my busiest and most productive sewing week yet. I’ve been making inventory for the Feel Good Market on Sunday – that’s 12:00 – 18:00 on 16 March 2014 in Eindhoven. Last October I visited the Feel Good Market with a friend. It was during Dutch Design Week and there were lots of people, lots of energy, and lots of really good and interesting products to see. People were there with everything from artisan breads to greeting cards, to gorgeous scarves and vintage interior pieces. I knew it was a place I wanted to be and can hardly believe it is going to happen on Sunday.

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BMB Challenge: the money question

Reversible Bucket Bag

Shortly after embarking on my Bag Making Bible Challenge, I decided it would be interesting to look at the costs of bag-making at home. Sewing is often seen as a money-saving hobby. You sew your bags or clothes in order to save a bit of money and to have a personalized finished product. But it isn’t always the case. A lot of the bags in the book require hardware and interfacings I’ve never used before. I’ve always been wary of spending too much money on sewing doo-dads. By that, I pretty much mean anything beyond fabric and thread. If you sew at all, you quickly realize that cost of the notions (buttons, zippers, tools, interfacings) required to make something can be a bit shocking. The first two bags from the book were easy and frankly not too pricey, I used fabric from my stash and there was very little extra that went into them, so they won’t be included here. For a more careful look, let’s look at what it cost to make the Reversible Bucket Bag .

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Preview: The first bag

Bag in the wild

Exterior pleated pocket

interior zipper pocket

Exterior detail

The perfect bag for each purpose is different for every person. I started my bag challenge with the goal of learning more about bag making. The amount of inspiration that’s come with the experience has surprised me. It has me reflecting on some well known and wise words about creativity by Ira Glass and . Essentially, it takes a whole lot of work to get good at something and diving in and doing it is both the hardest and the most important part. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to make this year the year of diving in.

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WIP Report

Morning modeling

My first Cargo Pant pocket!

It’s that time again – an update on what I’ve been making. My littles were patient with me for another quick photo session before we got on the bikes for school, so you get to see his Oliver & S Field Trip Cargo Pants in action. I’m so super pleased with them. They took many hours to make, but the directions were outstanding and the result is fantastic. Last month I intended to make a few pieces of clothing for myself. That got all pushed aside to sew for littles and make more bags. Let’s see what happened…

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BMB Challenge: Reversible Bucket Bag

Reversible Bucket Bag

Reversible Bucket Bag

While my parents were visiting, there was a lot of time for sewing. It was a great time to do the next project in Lisa Lam’s Bag Making Bible – the Reversible Bucket Bag. Lisa describes this project as an opportunity for trying fabric combinations. It’s also an introduction to interfacings, or adding structure to your bag. I find fabric combinations challenging – mainly because I feel my choices are rather conservative. Putting together lots of great patterns (a la Maureen Cracknell, for example) isn’t something I do. This project pushed me to at least try.

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Send off…

Grandma & Grandpa visit

This morning we said good-bye to Grandma and Grandpa. They have been visiting for a couple weeks. The littles have had a grand time basking in all the attention and love and I’ve gotten to do a whole lot of sewing and got time to get my Etsy shop up and open. It seems that Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed themselves as well – they keep talking about coming back! We call that a win for everyone. And, you wonder, what have I been making?

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Open house, open mind

Wenche Wolff Hatling's quilt

Workshop prep

Apparently, the local (this corner of Europe) Moda distributor is 30 minutes from my house and hosts an open house several times a year. What choice does a girl have? Last Sunday I went to their open house! It was my first wholesaler experience and it was an eye opener. I saw beautiful fabrics, patterns and notions and learned about the business cycle for fabric. It was overwhelming, but also super interesting to start thinking about all the possibilities that access to fabric like this presents. They also offered a workshop by Wenche Wolff Hatling from Northern Quilts to show her upcoming fabric line, Winterfall by Lecien. Despite being full, they let me join in and a couple nice ladies from offered to share their machine and good humor with me, so I was in!

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