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Do you even lift, bro?

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My husband Luke has always been really good about working out on a regular basis. Me, on the other hand... not so much. I enjoy taking yoga classes from Niccola Nelson (and if you live in the San Luis Obispo area I highly highly recommend her!!!!), but other than yoga there wasn't a workout class or routine that I was totally sold on.

My bestie Ariana's husband is a personal trainer, so my husband and I have been working out with him. Matt is super knowledgeable, doesn't use "traditional" gym equipment, and mixes up our workouts so we aren't doing the same things every time we see him. His workouts are intense and I leave feeling exhausted, knowing that I gave it my all. I feel stronger, my anxiety chills out for a while as I focus on what I'm doing, and it's fun working out with my friends. At least, as fun as a workout can be haha

The point to all this rambling is to say that since I'm working out more I'm going to try and make some workout wear, starting with the Seamwork Shelly leggings. I've made leggings before, but never with a gusset and not without an elastic waistband. Wait, I take that back, I've made two pairs without an elastic waist and they wouldn't stay up during yoga and got banished to the pj drawer. So, I was curious to see how a different construction and a new pattern would hold up.


This fabric is a nylon spandex from Michael Levine. On their website it's listed under swimwear prints, but in the description it says, "perfect for creating designer swimwear and activewear separates." It might be great for laying out by the pool and drinking Mai Tais, but it's not ideal for yoga or anything super physical. There isn't four way stretch (which always makes fabric more comfortable in my opinion) and I don't like that. When I wore these on Saturday for my sewing day with my buddies I felt sweaty when I was sitting down and can't imagine what it would feel like after a one hour workout. Definitely going to wear them casually and not when I'm swinging a kettle bell around.

Can I just say that I am really pleased with how the fit turned out? I am in LOVE with this pattern. My husband and I both agree that these are the best fitting leggings I have sewn and the best part is that I didn't make a single adjustment to them. For my next pair I will have to make a little more room for my butt (I have a big butt) because the waistband dips slightly lower in the back. But even without that change I am super stoked on Shelly. Way stoked. Like, "I'm going to cut into the nice fabric I bought from Blackbird Fabrics" stoked.


The gusset was not hard at all to sew in, but the construction was different from the other leggings I have made, so I tried not to overthink things and trusted the instructions. The gusset ended up being longer than I originally realized, it reaches my knees. This fabric is super busy and it's hard to see unless you are looking for it, but just an FYI to you guys reading this in case you care. Oh, and another FYI, I'm considered petite and normally have to shorten patterns or omit cuffs to make garments fit better. The hem on these leggings are 5/8 inch as opposed to the 1 inch hem suggested in the directions. If you are on the taller side you may need to add some length.

Now I need to work on some tank tops for the gym. Do any of you have a favorite pattern that I should try out?

Named Inari

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One of my most loved patterns that hasn't been shown any respect (in the form of a blog post) is the Named Inari Tee Dress. I made a striped linen dress towards the end of 2016 and my sister called dibs on it 😐 Then in summer 2017 I made the knit version out of some purple fabric, wore it nonstop, and immediately didn't make a second version like I stated would happen. Finally, a month ago I righted my wrong and made another knit dress.

Photo of myself and the Inari thief, my sister Kelly.

There isn't much to say about the construction. If you can sew a t-shirt you can sew this dress. The fun details that I like are the slits on the sides, the slight cocoon shape, and the back hem which is slightly longer than the front. It's not a fabric eater (doesn't require a ton of yardage) AND it can be sewn in a knit or woven, which makes it pretty cool in my book. Perfect for showcasing a fun print since there aren't many pattern pieces.... hahah I have yet to sew it in a fun print, so don't even listen to me rn.

Check out my stripe matching 👍

Part of the reason I hesitated in sewing this is because of stripe matching. I got this cool fabric from Bolt Fabric in Portland when I was visiting friends in December and knew that I wanted to make another Inari, but didn't take into account that the stripes were irregular. I procrastinated, made an Instagram poll asking everyone if stripe matching was necessary (the answer was "no"), then got all annoying and lined everything up anyway. I figured that never once have I regretted stripe matching and if there was enough fabric I should just suck it up and do it.


Slightly dressy and super comfy = a win in my book. Another dress to come, for serious this time. I bought fabric for it this week.

2018 Make Nine

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In an attempt to get back on track with my sewing/knitting/quilting life I'm going to join in on Rochelle's 2018 Make Nine Challenge. Basically, I'm just going to share nine things that I'd like to make this year. Since I am late to the game (aka months behind schedule) I'm shooting to make one item from the list per month. Is it doable? Am I even going to see this through without getting distracted and making something else? Idk, guess we'll have to check in during December and find out!

Quilts
1. The Kiss Quilt by Libs Elliott 
Probably going to either add a border or add extra blocks. 
2. XoXo Quilt by Green Bee Patterns
Queen size quilt for the guestroom. Time to use up the Cotton and Steel fabrics I have been hoarding.

Clothing
3. Seamwork Audrey Jean Jacket
Ummm how cute is this!?!?
4. Seamwork Shelly Leggings
I need to up my work out gear game and this will be a great addition.
5. Closetcase Patterns Sasha Trousers
Can't go wrong with classic pants.
6. Grainline Lark Tee
I need a new TNT shirt pattern.

Knit Stuff 
7. Andrea Mowry Rose Cardigan.
Yes. Enough said.

Misc.
8. Sophie Hines Euler Bralette
I bought the pattern and a kit. Just need to make it happen.
9. Noodlehead's Super Tote or the Sew Sweetness Aeroplane Bag or the Crazy Mom Quilts Show and Tell Bag.
Or maybe all three?

***List subject to change depending on new pattern releases and my short attention span. Do not hold me to above items because you will be disappointed.***

Boo Quilt

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 😂😂😂😂 Ok, this post is obviously wayyyyyy late for Halloween, but I want to share it anyways. I'm super into quilting right now and I feel like I better share this one before I jump into posting about my others.

Quilt Pattern: Orange Dot Quilts "Heat Wave."
Fabric: Cotton and Steel in last season's Halloween line, "Boo," because I am sooooo last season 😜 Fabric kit was purchased from Picking Daisies in San Luis Obispo, but then I saw some different prints at Birch Fabrics and I swapped them. I'm a sucker for anything Cotton and Steel, especially Halloween fabric, so it was hard to choose the fabrics.
Thread: Black. If I'm going to use black thread to quilt, it should be for a Halloween quilt, yeah?


Dora, the designer behind Orange Dot Quilts, is a friend of mine and I feel kind of fangirlish when I see her. I LOVE her patterns and she is genuinely the nicest person ever, which makes buying her stuff even more satisfying. Heat Wave, designed by her during a heatwave and sewn by me during melting temperatures that I am still annoyed about if you couldn't tell, was a simple one to piece together. I dedicated one night to cutting the fabrics, one day to sewing the top, and a few days to getting the whole thing quilted together.


Time wise this thing ended up taking a few months from start to finish due to my quilting indecision. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stitch in the ditch or sew on the diagonal, which would make my stitches very visible in the black thread. Then I figured I'd just go hard with the black thread and quilt on the diagonal being that it would go with the theme of Halloween/my life. I first quilted about 3/8 inch on either side of the seam, realized that it looked too shaky, and then measured the rest of my stitching from the side of the presser foot. The stitches look more confident if that even makes sense.

I'm happy with this, Halloween rules, and no, I'm not sharing it with anyone in my house mwahaha!

Be Kind

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I don't know if sewing would be a passion in my life if it wasn't for the quilt classes I took years ago and the kindness of some of the women in that class. For Christmas 2009 my husband bought me a sewing machine at my request, but I had no idea how to use it. Vicki, who I call my "new Grandma" because it's way easier to say than "my husband's stepmoms mom", was kind enough to teach me a couple of basic skills for quilting.

After figuring out how to thread my machine and sew straight lines I decided to sign up for a quilting class in 2011 taught by Bobbi Porter. I didn't know a soul in the room and went in with very little sewing knowledge. Everyone had been going to the class for years, some for over a decade, and had their own cliques and unofficial designated seating. I first sat at a table with some women who weren't very friendly and didn't seem interested in talking to me. They'd wait for the weekly assignment and then leave. I'd sit alone at the table and silently struggle, trying to figure out things like how to use a rotary cutter properly or decipher the pattern instructions. Bobbi, the instructor, was really amazing and fun and SO helpful, but she had a large class to help and couldn't sit with me the whole time, nor would I ever expect that of her. I'd nervously fidget with my machine and slowly made my way through the three hour class.

One day a lady, Peggy, came to my table and invited me to sit with her group. She informed me that the women at my table weren't very friendly, told me that I was welcome to sit with her, and gave me a dvd made for beginner quilters that she thought would be helpful to me. From then on I sat with Peggy, her daughter Carrie, Kathleen, and a few others. They were all so encouraging, friendly, and gave me tips and advice when I needed it. Class became so much more fun with my new friends.

There was another lady, Jane, who brightened my day. She wasn't shy and would stop by my table and talk to me. It was always small talk, but it made me feel happy that she would take time out of her day to walk over and start a conversation.

I've been thinking a lot about Jane and those quilting classes over the past few weeks. At the end of last year I went to a memorial at her home, she passed away from cancer. I was never close with her, but I remember her as being so nice to me when I needed it most. If it wasn't for the warmth from Jane, Bobbi, Peggy, Carrie, and Kathleen I genuinely don't know if I would be sewing today. I could have easily gotten discouraged in class and given up. The kindness of the women in that room made a lasting impression on me and for that I am so grateful.

I hope you'll join me in being kind to others, it can change lives. xo

Halloweenish

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As I was sitting here thinking about what to type I realized that I like giving myself little mini themes or goals that no one knows about (until now). This post and my next blog post are going to have a Halloween theme, even though it is currently November as I write this. Not to be that "Halloween is everyday" girl, but, hey, Halloween is everyday 😂 By that I mean I'm going to wear this outfit 12 months a year, not 1 month a year. I don't discriminate when it comes to skull fabric, especially when it's Cotton and Steel skull fabric 💀.

For me, the Grainline Driftless Cardigan is the perfect Fall piece. The weather is so up and down right now (rained one morning a couple of weeks ago, was in the 90s and 100s, and now its 75 degrees, wtf), but for the days that might have a slight chill, Driftless is my go to, my ride or die, my Fall soulmate. K, I'm being kinda dramatic since this is only my second time sewing the pattern, but I really love it. I never blogged the orange red version I made last year, but I assure you that it has gotten a lot of use. It's a little dressier than a hoodie, so I feel more pulled together when I pass on my worn out American Nightmare and Bane sweatshirts and put on a nice cardigan instead.

what's up with how I'm standing?

This is version 2 of Driftless, the version with the split hem. Didn't add buttons because I'm not going to waste four buttons on something that is never going to be buttoned up (how many more time can I use "buttons" in a sentence, jeeze). Construction is super interesting due to how the pockets are sewn. The first time I cut out the pattern pieces I was scratching my head and wondering how it was going to work, but in the end it did. Jen, the designer behind Grainline, never disappoints. And honestly, I really really like that this is a different take (construction wise) on an oversize cardigan. The only change I made was omitting the sleeve cuffs for my shorty arms.


Oh, this leopard print sweater knit is from Michael Levine and it was on saleeeeee for $4.80 a yard! 👏 I love when I lurk a fabric, don't buy it, and then go lurk again and realize that it's 20% off. Actually, the whole website was (is?) 20% off, so I should stop feeling like such a genius haha. And in no way am I affiliated with Michael Levine, just wanted to give you a heads up that they have good sales.


The shirt is from one of my favorite pattern companies, SBCC Patterns. They specialize in patterns for petites, and since I'm petite this is right up my alley. You've seen this pattern before on my blog and also on my Instagram, but it's the Paloma Blouse in version 2. No changes/adjustments made other than lowering the pockets and adding a couple of inches in length. This pattern holds a special place in my life because it's perfect for crazy quilting cottons, uses a little under 2 yards of fabric, and it's a great shirt style for my work. It's not a basic t-shirt and it's not a full on ballgown, the best compromise 😂


Thanks for reading, friends! xoxox