Showing posts from 2013

McCall's 9682 (1969), second time around

The original skirt I made from this pattern has earned itself heavy use by being the most comfortable and stylish skirt I've vet made, so a new take on an old favorite was overdue.

I shortened the hem on this one to accommodate limited yardage (not the 1st time-- this is what I often do because I LOVE vintage fabric), and kept my original pattern mod of expanding the waistband an inch. Otherwise it's pretty much the same.

Vintage patterns really strike my fancy, especially when I find ways to honor their original intent when I create them. Like its predecessor, this skirt features a solid metal zip from the endless grab bag of goodwill reclaimed supplies. 

I finished all my edges with the serger/overlocker (thanks mom for the equipment!) and think it's more durable than the seam biding that has frayed off the edges of my other skirt.

While I originally thought this was a stiff, treated cotton it must actually be a poly/cotton blend. My iron said so. Note to self, burn test…

Sewing the Anna Dress in wool

The social media universe is an interesting place to be. My world has expanded and I've found many interesting people (some of my best) this way, and along the path I've picked up numerous sewing feeds.

The Anna Dress came to me this way --from following seamstresses on Instagram that posted pretty pictures of By Hand London projects. When the independent pattern company announced their sew along I hopped on board, promptly spending too much money on delicious silk. Of course, then I was too scared to use it. And then autumn ushered in Portland's rainy days and I felt far more interested in wool.

I traced the pattern weeks ago (US size 4) and on Wednesday I finally knocked out a muslin for fitting. I'm a fair pear in body shape and find this design very flattering -- skimming and flaring in all the right places. Thursday I walked my dog to goodwill and found this fabulous vintage green wool for only $4.99, and when I came home I got to cutting, then overlocked all my p…

Sewing Hawthorn 1026 by Colette Patterns

ALERT: I stopped blogging because my life got REALLY FREAKING EXCITING. Sorry about that. I moved to Portland. I became immersed in vintage fabric and sewing pattern beauty. I met this amazing guy that swept me off my feet. I biked my butt off for pedalpalooza. I adopted a St. Bernard that weighs as much as I do. HE IS HUGE. And I started a new job in Human Services that is pretty awesome. Moving forward... (with a delay of many months)

This pattern was just too good to be true-- a shirtwaist dress with a semi-circle skirt, an opportunity to test a pattern before release, a pattern name that happened to be the neighborhood I'd just moved to after relocating to PDX from Seattle, and a pattern number that matches my birthday.

 I WIN!!!!!! They must have made this one just for me.

I love the way the skirt swings and twirls when I walk, dance, play, etc. My friend Emily gave (read: gives) me a hard for wearing this dress too many days per week, but this is the article of clothing that…

Dog love.

Brucey is coming home! After much time and effort and wishing and waiting, the pieces have come together and the dog I've been hoping to rescue will finally get out of his situation. Update-- HOMECOMING DATE IS JUNE 30th!!! EEEEK!!!. My landlord has agreed to let him live with me for now, and my housemate and I are looking for permanent dog-friendly housing in Portland (they're selling our current house). I've worked really hard on developing a friendly, honest relationship with the dog's owners and they've finally agreed to let him go (but of course, not without some $), and I intend to give Brucey his forever home. The last step is getting all of our needed supplies/services.

Brucey (might give him a new name since he doesn't really know his given name, Brewski...) has lived on a 6 foot chain his entire life. He will need a LOT of time, attention, love and patience while he learns manners like no jumping, and is house trained. Because of the neglect he's…


Sometimes it's important for me to pause.

I have food, and I'll be able to get food if I need it. This means I don't know true hunger and I'm thankful.

I have family. When I'm lonely, excited, goofy, confused, happy, have unanswered questions, or want feedback, my family is there.

I have love. Friends that care, parents that are involved even though they live 700 miles. People in my life that give honest affection, will join me on a simple walk or for tea, and sometimes tell me what I don't want to hear. That last bit can be hard but I really appreciate it.

Dogs. They're awesome.

Hobbies turned skills that are ever growing. Capable hands, how lucky!

Employment. By no means extravagant, but I'm relatively stable and this is good.

Knowledge, and access to education.

Sensory experiences. Last month I could smell the sweet flowers lining the streets of Portland. I can admire the faded colors of a vintage textile. I taste the sweet tartness of lemon juice o…

A New Year, the Same Old Me.

*My unpublished reflection on 2012 that was written in January, an annual tradition. I guess it stayed unpublished because 2013 has continued to be a challenging year of finding out what life means/holds right now. I got stuck.

Every January I like to take a moment to reflect on the past year and remember what those 365 days contained, and some years are more impressive (see here, and here) than others. 2011 was the year of canning and I was sure that 2012 would be the year of sewing, but somehow 2012 became the year of finding out what defines me.

The year started off fast-- I was still busy being productive and having loads of fun. My mom and sisters came to visit Seattle in March and the four of us went to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo where I learned some helpful tips from sewing pros, shopped for sewing supplies like fabric and patterns, and built my sewing inspiration for the upcoming year. I canned and cooked a lot, knitted scarves and hats, spun yarn and sewed numerous blou…

Life is always changing.

The internet is filled with overexposure. You know what I'm talking about-- pictures of weekends that were too much fun, old livejournal pages where someone somewhere poured their lonely heart out for their virtual friends to observe from a safe distance, news that isn't really news except that we latch onto the most shocking, senseless, inane bullshit and promote its importance. And this kind of overexposure in the vast land of cyberspace is part of what keeps me from using this blog with any regularity-- what value do my words hold in this context? Why do I feel motivated to put this information (thoughts, emotions, experiences, projects, etc) into a sea already full of other information?

This space was once a home for creative writing. This space was once a home from documenting creative endeavors. This space once was a safety net when I felt like I didn't have people with whom I could share life's exciting, heartbreaking, or otherwise boring minutia; but the older…

An amazing day.

Homemade chicken noodle soup. Kitty cuddles. Clean doggie snuggles. Learning at work. Friend generosity. Chicken coop. Warm house. Conversation and beer. Gas stove. Wine. Happy. Red dress almost sewn. Far away friends. Nearby friends. Compost. Music. Dreams.
PS. I burned my scarf a little bit while I was cooking. oops.

Moths ruined my Valentine's Day.

Of all the bugs in the world, the one I dread most is the cloth-eating moth. With the amount of wool I have in my life it makes perfect sense, and for a while I had been vigilant about freezing or washing every new/old piece of fabric, yarn or fiber that came into my life. There were lavender sachets everywhere, I'd vacuum regularly, and fiber was stored in lidded bins to help protect their lovely state of fluff.

And then I got lazy and learned a sad lesson the hard way.
Feeling a bit pitiful and very single I decided I would celebrate this stupid love holiday by sewing myself a new dress. Who needs a companion to have a good time when there's a Bernina to keep you company? Feeling inspired at 10:00pm last night I pulled out my pretty length of fabric destined to be a new shirtwaist dress --5 yards of chequered wool in various shades of purple and blue-- and as I unfolded it to lay on the ironing board I spied bit of light shining through where light should not be. If you'…

Let's call this a welcome home breakfast.

*singing* Hot cereal, yum, yum, yum. Hot cereal, you make me so happy! With your delicious bits warming my old lady tits, you make me so happy!

A bit of melted butter for extra YUM
Home-canned pears with that sugary syrup on top
Hazelnuts, chopped and dry-roasted
Coconut milk, just a drizzle, for SUPER YUM

Yum is the word of 2013. Also, look what my housemate has hanging in the kitchen. I KNOW, RIGHT?! Gurl, this is home, sweet home.

You can find a better image of that pretty print by Mimi Williams at her website.

I'm going to go dance for a second because the sun is shining and I gotta keep my spirits up while I can... there's about 27,000 hours of cleaning awaiting my hard-working hands at my last place. Weeee!

An exciting move.

Friends, the time has come again for me to relocate and I'm SO excited about the new place I'm calling home. I interrupt this moment of box packing and car loading to bring you this...

I'll be living in a cute neighborhood in South Seattle, within walking distance of the lovely businesses (mmm... Tutta Bella. mmmm... Columbia City Alehouse) that make up Columbia City. I can bike/walk to light rail, walk to my friend Hanna Banana's house, and go to brunch at Geraldine's Counter. And the best part? I'm going to have an awesome housemate! Are you ready for the best roommate lost and found story ever?

In January 2012 I attended a tuna canning class hosted by Slow Food Seattle and when I was ready to blog about the fun experience some google work about other tuna canners led me to the blog post by Renai at, because she had attended the same class. Cool! But how funny and small the food world is... because I scrolled down and saw that one of her pre…