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2017

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Hi. It's February. I was debating if I should post about New Years goals for 2017 when it comes to sewing, knitting, and my personal life. Normally I don't get too personal on this blog, but since I don't have another writing outlet I will post about it all here. Because it's my blog and I do what I want 💁

Sewing and knitting goals: continue learning and have fun doing it.

That's it. I'm not going to promise that I'm going to learn specific techniques or make certain patterns. This year will be about going with the flow, making what I want when I want, and learning as I go. Short and sweet.

Personal life goals: be kind.

Recently I spent several hours with someone who is famous and she blew my mind. I could not get over how kind and engaged she was with my family and I. She was genuinely interested in talking to me and everyone else in the room and went above and beyond what I would expect of someone meeting total strangers for the first time. After she left the house I flipped through her autobiography and read about her start. When she first met new people many would freeze her out and be unfriendly on purpose because they viewed her as competition. She vowed to never do that to anyone and to treat others with kindness. It was really inspiring to meet someone who genuinely practices what she preaches. I want that. I definitely try to treat others how I want to be treated and that is something I have focused on for years, but I need to step it up and go out of my way for others. The little things can make a big difference.

My hero, Marc Ching, posted this on his website and it really spoke to me:
The greatest gift in life is giving.
My heart is dedicated to those around me. And if I learned anything from my journey back into that dark night – it is to try to be the best human being I can possibly be. We should all breathe into those around us, because that’s all it takes to change things. One breath. And giving.

When sewing and personal life collide
I'm going to work on some projects to raise money for my favorite animal rescue group, The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and knit some small things for others. Giving back is so important and I need to do more. Stay tuned.

Happy New Years, friends! I hope I didn't bore you to death, thanks for reading and being awesome all the time.

This is what I knit

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It's really a shame that I don't post more about knitting here because it is a huge part of my life. As of right now I knit more than I sew, so it's time to fill you guys in on what I've been making 😸

It's a bummer that I actually enjoy knitting beanies, but since I rarely wear them I don't want to focus on making them too often (more on this later). I treated myself to some Hedgehog Fibres Aran yarn in the color "birthday cake" and decided to get wild and make a beanie. It's soft and squishy and I get what the buzz is all about for Hedgehog now. Their colorways are obviously very beautiful, but now I can officially say the quality is 👍 too. So, yeah, I think the hype is justified.

The hat pattern is the Rosebud by Jared Flood. I've made it before, I like it, and I made no other modifications other than omitting almost all the purling which changes the whole look and the texture hahahha. I think I prefer it in stockinette and it was way faster that way too, I'm a slow purler. "Slow Purler" should be a band name haha.


Sock knitting has been my jam (code for "addiction") for the last couple of years now, but I had yet to use a self striping yarn. Nomadic Yarns sells a lot of beautiful color combinations with fun names. I am a sucker for yarn names based on things I am into. A "Molly Weasley" named yarn? SOLD. You'll see the Molly socks when I knit them, but right now I'm showing off the Practical Magick colorway. Oh, a Halloween themed yarn? SOLD.


I knew that knitting the heel the way I normally do would interrupt the stripe pattern and would make it look ugly around my ankle, so I decided it was time to do a different type of heel, an afterthought heel. Oh, and I also decided to not follow a pattern and just free styled everything. You can read my Ravelry notes to see exactly what I did. Everything went well until that afterthought heel. Ewww, the gaps along the sides were so bad! I should have taken a photo to share, but you guys would have thrown up. That said, do you guys have any tips for omitting those disgusting gaps? I did pick up an extra stitch on each side, but that didn't seem to do the trick. Oh well, I'll just do better next time.

What have you guys been knitting?

Tokyo Train Ride Quilt

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It's pretty lame that it has taken me so long to make another quilt. In January 2015 I made a big quilt in a month and it took me months and months to make this little one despite the fact that I really really enjoy the quilting process. Ohhhhhh well.

I purchased  "Sew a Modern Home: Quilts and More for Every Room" immediately after finishing my last quilt, but didn't break out the book until the middle of 2016. I had been hoarding some Tokyo Train Ride fabric by Cotton and Steel and decided to use it to make myself this little lap quilt.


Whenever I start a project I always dedicate a day to cutting/hunching over my cutting mat with my rotary cutter and making my back ache. There aren't very many pieces in this quilt, however, it took me a while to figure out how I wanted the colors to lay next to one another. A lot of the fabrics are directional prints, so it was impossible to get the fabric prints to all line up AND have the colors arranged the way I liked. In the end I decided to focus on the color placement and forget about the print direction.


The actual sewing of the quilt top was quick, I finished it in a day. And by the end of that day I became very close friends with my iron 😐 There were a lot of seams that needed to be pressed open! It was not a tricky top to sew though, so if you are a beginner who is interested in quilting I would definitely give this one a go.


My absolute favorite part of this project is how I did the quilting. I just did straight lines randomly spaced apart at different distances. I use a Pfaff and it has a built in walking foot, but other than that I didn't need any "fancy" quilting tools. I have a presser foot for garment sewing that I use for stitching in the ditch/edge stitching and by using that foot in combination with moving my needle to the right at different distances I was able to achieve a random line combination. Occasionally I would get out my clear ruler and draw a straight line of chalk one or one and a half inches from the line I just sewed and stitch over it. Definitely time consuming, but the end effect is very pleasing, at least I think so!


I love my quilt and solemnly swear to make more in the future.

Seamwork Kenedy

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Aloha bro bro. This blog entry is going to be the last of my Hawaiian themed posts, so I will stop talking about Tom Selleck and Kenny Powers ("mahalo, you surfers") for at least a few months. Ok, more like until my next trip to Hawaii or if my husband dresses up as Tom for Halloween, whichever comes first. For years I have been trying to convince him to dress as Buddy the Elf, but for some reason he isn't into that idea???? Not sure why because he would look like a total badass.

The lighting in all these photos is so bad, you guys. Sorry! It was one of those Hawaiian days where the sun was peaking in and out of the clouds and randomly raining :/

Anyways, today I introduce you to Seamwork Kenedy, a dress in fabric that would make the cast of Magnum PI v v proud. Kenedy was a breeze to sew with straightforward directions and only a few pattern pieces, but the back is where the party is at! Check out that v-neckline, I'm into it! The idea of dealing with bra straps showing and the scarring on my back being visible made me hesitate, but I am really glad I sewed the pattern because I LOVE the fit, the look, the fact that my bra straps didn't end up showing, and who cares what my back looks like anyway? Life is too short to worry about what people think about my back or my run on sentences. You can quote me on that one hahaha.


Pattern was sewn as is, with no alterations other than lengthening the sleeves an inch. Cap sleeves are not my jam, so if you think my sleeves look weird you can blame me and not the pattern. I'm into how they turned out though. The hem of the sleeves and bottom hem of the dress were finished with a rolled hem, a technique I have not been successful with in the past. You can bet that I practiced on a lot of scraps before committing to my final fabric. I give my sleeve hem a thumbs up and my bottom hem a thumbs sideways. In short spurts I seem to be able to get the rolled hem foot going alright, but the longer the fabric the more room for me to mess up. The end result was pretty decent, but I would like to give it another shot to try and master it. It's worth the effort, rolled hems look so pretty. Oh, the only thing I would change for my next non Hawaiian version would be to add some length to the bottom. Man, I am a shorty and this dress is short!


The fabric for this dress was purchased online from Hawaii Fabric Mart before my trip. I am a giant fan of rayon and this only costed $3.99 a yard (five yard minimum). So, for $20 I got five yards, didn't use it all, and have at least two yards left for another project. Yeahhhh! The quality is good, it feels nice, and didn't bleed in the wash. I'm impressed, will buy again, power seller, A+++, fast shipping, blah blah blah.


Mahalo!

Britex silk chiffon = conquered!

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Back in 2012 (I think?) I sewed with silk chiffon for the first time and it was a total disaster (not trying to quote Donald Trump here, but it was). I didn't realize then how big of a disaster, but now that I have learned more about sewing I felt ready to try again. Round two was a success.


The fabric in this post was generously given to me by Britex Fabrics in San Francisco, California. It's so cherry, isn't it? Initially I was terrified of this silk chiffon, but after deciding that I badly wanted an orange silk Named Asaka Kimono in my life I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and make this combo happen. And I'm so glad I did. Worth the extra effort for sure.

Sewing with a slippery fabric can be tricky, so I did a lot of research and felt much more confident about silk. If you'd like to read my tips, tricks, and revelations please head over to the Britex blog where I wrote a blog post allllll about it. Of course, it didn't hurt that I was using a high quality fabric that was perfectly on grain, but in conclusion: it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be once I was prepared with the proper supplies and knowledge.


Let's discuss the pattern. But, let's first start out with a list of things that I talk shit about:
  1. Cutting and taping pdf patterns.
  2. Not having AC during the summer.
  3. People who torture animals.
  4. Neegan from the Walking Dead (such a psycho jerk!!!!!!).
  5. The neighbor who would climb onto our trash cans to pick avocados from our tree.
Well, take number one on my list (cutting and taping pdf patterns) and times that by ten. That is how I feel about putting in all that work and THEN having to trace the pattern pieces because they are tiled on top of one another. Yeah, I know that I could have taken the pdf to the copy shop and had them print it out, but it was going to be $$$$$$$ and that made me annoyed too. THEN I realized after taping, cutting, and tracing that I needed to add 1/4 inch seam allowance to the pattern pieces if I wanted to use French seams.... @&*#^@!(#^$)!@^$. Alright, now that I've got that complaining out of my system. I'll work on my PMA for the rest of the post, promise.


Sewing the fabric went really really smoothly. Like, "too good to be true" smoothly, so shout out to my extra prep work and this silk. The directions for Asaka were great too. I think the pattern would have came together really fast if it wasn't for the French seams, but they were necessary, as the fabric is super sheer. The only minor changes I made, other than the French seams, were to add some extra top stitching around the collar and to make the belt loops bigger. Not sure if that last change was a good one, but oh well! This garment is going to get a lot of wear when the weather is hot, it breathes beautifully and feels amazing on my skin.


Underneath the kimono is a True Bias Ogden Cami made in cotton voile. I didn't get any solo shots of it, which is my bad, but it is the same fabric that I used for the collar and belt of the kimono. The pattern was a super straight forward sew, a great day project. I don't have much to say about it other than I like it and will probably make a few more as layering pieces. It's so nice to have a pattern for a wardrobe basic. Sometimes it seems like the simple pieces are the ones people buy from fast fashion stores, so it is awesome to have the option to make this instead of purchase.


It's such a good feeling to face fears and then beat them. And it's so freeing to know that I don't need to shy away from silk in the future. In fact, I'm planning a black silk dress right now :p

Mauiiiiiiiii!

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Once upon a time I had a blog and I actually updated it! Life was freaking crazy lol. It's been a while since my last post, so I decided to shock people and actually update this thing! I even remembered my password!


I went to Maui recently with my family and of course I had to make some Hawaiian themed clothes (yeah, I was THAT tourist) and I want to share them with you guys over the next couple of posts. The scenery there is stunning, but you prob saw that if you follow me on Instagram, and I took full advantage of the natural backdrop.


First off, my fabric choices were completely inspired by Tom Selleck of Magnum PI fame. He was my mom's number one celebrity crush until she discovered Chris Isaak, so I am very familiar with ol' Tommy. This Hawaiian quilting cotton was purchased online from Hawaii Fabric Mart. At the time there was a five yard minimum order for their fabrics, so I bought five yards at $4.99 each, but now the website is saying they can do one yard cuts for some of their stuff. Not much to say about it, but it's pretty nice fabric and was a good choice for the patterns I paired it with. And I'm actually stoked that I ordered five yards because the print is beautiful and I want to make something for my niece if I ever decide to stop being selfish with my time.


Let's talk about the SBCC Paloma Blouse. Actually, why aren't you guys talking about it?!?! It's a great pattern from a great company. It is geared toward petites, and I now realize that I fall into that category, so I rarely have to make any adjustments to the patterns, which makes me happy! This shirt was sewn without any major changes (other than spacing the buttons a little wider apart) and I am really really happy with the fit. The style is awesome and will be perfect for showcasing some of the quilting cottons I have stashed away and will also look good with silk or rayon, two of my newfound loves. Well, View B (the view I made) will be great for the quilting cottons and View A will be good for the other fabrics. My only complaint, and I feel so petty and dumb for saying this, is that I wish that the instructions told you which seam allowance to use while sewing. It's listed at the beginning, but I like being reminded during the actual step because there is a 76% chance that I will forget and sew the wrong one.


The shorts are the Seamwork Weston pattern, a high waisted retro style short. I didn't make a muslin for it and didn't make any changes, but I feel like I ended up with a decent wearable muslin! Yeah, I for sure need to adjust the fit for my next pair, but I am still stoked on these. I prefer a higher rise to a lower one, so once I make some changes this is going to be my dream pattern for summer. Of course, I sewed these at the end of summer, so the next pair will have to be my Future Summer Dream Shorts of 2017. The actual sewing of it went well, however, I did get confused when it came to doing the fly front. I've only sewn one a couple of times and I needed more help than the directions provided. I think I referenced the directions for the Ginger Jeans since that is the only pattern I have successfully done a fly front for.


Shout out to my sister for taking these photos at our Airbnb. I have to give her a shout out or she'll probably hit me with a lawsuit soooo fast. jkjkjk

I have to include this photo because I look so awkward and it cracks me up!

Any Tom Selleck fans out there? Mahalo.