Chunky Twinkle Yarn by Wenlan
This is the first knit project I’ve ever posted on here! I started this Maximus Cowl over two years ago at Sewing Summit. I made good progress while we were in Salt Lake City, I had so many great knitters (Amanda & Amanda) around me on that trip! Somehow when I came home, I tucked the project away and could never manage to muster the courage to pick it up again. I pulled it out again in January and was determined to finish it up, once and for all!
I don’t consider myself a knitter, but I did learn to knit ages ago. I’m very comfortable doing basic knitting, but I’ve never progressed into anything too complicated. When I see the incredible shawls and socks that my friends are making, I’m really quite in awe.
The most intimidating part of this project was the finishing. I just dreaded the mysterious ’3 needle bind off’. When I put a call out regarding this last step, Natalie answered with the promise of her guidance. It really wasn’t that bad and actually it was a really cool technique!
Dare I say that I might like to knit another simple cowl?! Any thoughts on some great/simple cowl patterns that you like?
It was about this time last year that I started my Feather Bed quilt. The quilt top has been done for a little while now. I still need to finish off the back and decide if I’m going to quilt this one. I want to catch up on photographing my quilts in progress, so I took the quilt top with me last week when Maisy and I went down to the Humber River for our Monday adventure.
When we got down to the river that day, the entire park was filled with huge ice chunks that had started to melt over the weekend, cracked and then been pushed down downstream and eventually pushed over the sides of the river bed and across the fields. This has already happened a couple times this winter, but not to this extreme! I’ve never seen anything like it, but it made the perfect backdrop for these photos! These photos were actually taken on the river and you can see how thick the ice is.
I love this quilt top. I had a lot of fun making most of it at our 2013 winter cottage weekend. Both Jacqueline and Katherine let me raid their scraps and stash to add to the fabric I had chosen and to me those additions truly make the quilt top shine. I got the majority of the blocks done over this one weekend, but in the end, I had decided I needed to make the quilt top bigger and add a few more blocks.
The pattern for this quilt top is a free pdf download from Anna Maria Horner! I definitely recommend it. There is one piece of advice that I’d give, that I didn’t catch on to until I was through a lot of the sewing. There is a better way to sew & cut your strips for the plumes that is much more efficient! Luckily, Meredith at Olivia Jane wrote a great tutorial on the method.
I love seeing other versions of this pattern. I was originally inspired to make this pattern when I saw Lalu’s version. I love it on the grey background. Julie made a blue version with the Liberty Stiles collection which is really wonderful, too!
After months and months of working on this project, it’s great to finally be able to post photos of this community quilt made for Debbie’s baby. Sunday was Debbie’s last day of work and it seemed like the perfect time to throw her a little surprise baby shower to celebrate.
The beauty of a community quilt is the incredible personality it reflects. Not only of the person who sews the block, but the person the blocks are intended for. When I look at this quilt, I truly see this.
The parameters we set out for the quilt used this fabric as our colour inspiration along with a required finished size of 9″. Somehow with just those two guidelines, we ended up with this magical patchwork.
A quilt is always filled with love, but when it is worked on by so many people it vibrates that love so strongly. We can’t wait to meet your baby, Debbie!
All the quilt photos from this project can be found here.
Economy block by Karyn
Economy block by Karyn
Hummingbird block by Katrina
Maple block by Jacqueline
Maple block by Jacqueline
Star block with Hexagon centre by Johanna
HST block by Ayalah
Improv block by Ayalah
Feather block by Angelune
Postage Stamp block by Angelune
Improv block by Suzanne
Improv block by Katherine
Improv block by Katherine
Improv block by Elisa
Improv block by Lauren
Improv block by Lauren
Star block by Nadia
Star within a Star block by Carolanne
Cathedral Windows block by Alexis
Porthole block by Maria
Improv bloc by Carolina
Improv block by Rosalyn
Improv block by Jerisse
Vogue 1350 by Rachel Comey
Raspberry Purrfectly Happy from Catnap by Lizzy House,
lined with Freespirit Solid Plum Voile
Here’s my entry for the Lizzy House Catnap Dress Contest!
I don’t think I could have chosen a more difficult pattern to do under a short deadline. This pattern was not a sleepy catnap, it was a real challenge! I had wanted to try something new for the contest. I also wanted the dress to be a bit more formal to contrast the adorable cat print.
This dress is a beautiful design. It is also completely lined. Not just a lining that is dropped into the dress, but a lining that is sewn onto the facings and finishes the insides and hems cleanly. It’s serious. The front placket hides a row of snap closures. There is so much great detail and fitting in this dress. It’s pretty much a work of art.
While I was sewing it into the early hours of the morning before the deadline, I was definitely cursing myself for not choosing an easier pattern. That said, I do love this dress and how it turned out. It seems the perfect way for me to sport some kitty cats. Quite a few people have asked how Maisy feels about this dress – She doesn’t mind, she loves Lizzy House cats as much as I do.
You can check out all the entries into the Catnap Dress Contest here. There are so many wonderful Catnap dresses!
Portfolio Tunic : Lisette for Simplicity
Liberty of London Tana Lawn : Claire Aude
It seems like winter may never end, so it’s best to embrace it! Or in this case, head outdoors in a short sleeved shirt for 15 minutes to catch some natural light!
I have had the Portfolio Tunic in my pattern stash for a while. Amanda sent it to me ages ago but I could never decide which fabric to use and other patterns always seemed more pressing. Recently I spotted this Portfolio Tunic made by Allyson. (Thank you, Pinterest!) Immediately, I knew I had to make one and it had to be this sunny yellow Claire Aude print from Liberty of London that I had in my stash. Just the thing to cheer up some winter blues!
I chose to do the short tunic to see if I liked the fit and the pattern in general, so I missed out on doing the awesome pocket detail with this version. But I already have a next Liberty print set aside for my next version and it will be the longer tunic for sure. The pattern is a dream! Very simple, clear instructions and easy sewing. The front square yoke detail is so cute. The sweet two button closure at the back was the perfect place to use a couple of vintage glass buttons from The Button Dept. My only note would be that you need to really clip the seam allowance for the curve of the sleeve so that it sits properly.
Unfortunately, this pattern is out of print! I didn’t realize it, but quickly found out as people started asking where they could get a copy. Luckily, Liesel Gibson commented on one of my posts that she is working on an updated version of this pattern that she’ll be putting out herself. Hooray!
A few times a year, I pick a month to dedicate to finishing projects. The main objective is to cross things off my list whether they are brand new projects or projects that have been lingering for months (or even years!) Sometimes, all it takes to finish something is sewing on buttons. For larger projects, like quilts, finishing a block or a stage of the project is considered a ‘finish’ to me.
January seemed like the perfect time to start a finishing campaign. I also took a week off work towards the end of the month to just stay home, relax and sew. Heaven! I had ten solid finishes in January, ranging from a quilt top to a duffle bag to a knit cowl that I started over two years ago. Here are a few sneak peeks!
Tomorrow!! I hope to see you there.
Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton in Mistral
Firstly, a woven tee. Such a great wardrobe addition! Secondly, a simple and quick sewing project! Brilliant on so many levels.
This is actually my third Scout Tee. I made two during The Sewing Factory. One in Nani Iro double gauze and one in a strawberry linen. I love those short sleeve tees, but with the fall here, I knew my wardrobe really needed a tee with a longer sleeve.
I pulled out the sleeve piece for the pattern and traced it out. I made the sleeve piece about 14.5″ long, but when I sewed it up, I found that length a bit short and had to hem the sleeve with binding. I will cut my next version out with a sleeve piece at 16″ or 16.5″. I also adjusted the side seams of the sleeve and brought them out a bit so that they drop straight down. I feel like I could adjust the sleeve a bit more, but I’m going to need some expert advice on this. I am wondering if I need to add any fullness to the sleeve cap due to adding the length and weight to make it sit nicer. I’ll report back after I do some consulting!
I also added a couple inches to the length of the body. I tend to like things a bit longer in length.
I love having good basic patterns to fall back on and this is definitely one them. The Liberty Tana Lawn is perfect for this pattern. Okay, it’s pretty much good for everything. But once I perfect my changes, I will be turning out a dozen more, for sure.
p.s. This is our garden!
Victory Patterns : Roxanne
Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton in Susanna
I have had the pleasure of watching Victory Patterns emerge from dream to reality in the last couple years. When Kristiann Boos, one of the workroom’s instructors, told me she wanted to start a pattern company I was absolutely thrilled! Kristiann’s sense of design and style is so unique, I knew right away that she would produce patterns that were unlike others out on the market. She started out with PDF patterns and finally this year launched printed patterns. Kristiann’s patterns are lovely to work from. They are clearly written & illustrated, plus beautifully packaged.
The Roxanne pattern is a beginner level pattern. I chose to make the sleeveless version, mostly for the amazing collar detail. I went with the dark navy Susanna print from Liberty. The pattern was very simple, with the most complex part being that collar. The design of the collar is very clever and I got huge amounts of satisfaction sewing it. Once you’ve completed the collar, the rest of the top flies together. The top has a lot of volume, there are pleats that fall from the yoke at the back. With the right fabric, such as the Liberty Tana Lawn this volume creates a gorgeous silhouette and movement with the high/low hemline. I love that this top feel very elegant and dressy. I can’t wait to try a version with sleeves next.
This is the second Victory Patterns pattern that I’ve tried. I made the Hazel first, but still need to photograph it now that the weather has cooled down enough for long sleeves.
See all the Victory Patterns here & see the Roxanne pattern here.
Lizzy House ‘Constellations’ fabric
This dress was made earlier this summer when Lizzy House was in town. Lizzy was here for ten glorious days teaching classes at the workroom, plus living and working at The Sewing Factory. Lizzy explains The Sewing Factory perfectly here. Basically, The Sewing Factory is a team of three comprised of Katherine, Lizzy and I. It’s what we love to do best, which is to be together and sew everything we can.
You can see all our adventures together in photos here.
You’ve seen this Simplicity pattern before in many versions. This won’t be the last, it’s just too good. I knew I needed to have a Constellations dress using this pattern since it’s my idea of a perfect dress and Constellations is my idea of a perfect fabric line. And I got to fussy cut some adorable fabric covered buttons for it! This dress is a dream. And it’s blue. I’ve made a lot of blue clothes this summer. You’re about to see them come your way as I’m photographing them slowly.
Speaking of blue. I just got some Chambray for a skirt. It will probably be made with this Simplicity pattern. To add to the 2215 collection that I’m creating. I think Chambray is the fabric of the season. I am falling in love with it for clothing projects and I love that it’s coming out in other colours besides blue. We just got some Chambray at the shop yesterday and we’ve got even more on order for the fall!
I also wanted to introduce you to Ashley! I had the pleasure of meeting Ashley in person this summer, when she visited the workroom. She was sweet enough to drop by to meet me at the shop while she passed through town, as she is all the way from California. She has been sewing up a storm of beautiful clothes that has got me inspired these days and I think you’ll love them too.