Archive | July, 2012

A Day at the Flea – July 2012

31 Jul

The flea market hit Nashville again this past weekend, and OF COURSE I went (never mind that I’m moving & throwing stuff away left & right – FLEA!). Joining me was Lauren, new friend Allie and my super awesome sister-in-law, Sarah. Since I don’t have a lot of money to spend, I budgeted myself on a strict $20 and stayed within budget… well, sort of. More on that in a minute!

If we’re friends on Instagram, you probably saw my loot pile after I dumped it on the floor:
And the rest of my flea market loot. $20.
SO GOOD. $20!

Now I’m going to show you every piece of it!

That big pile of zippers was an entire bag that I snagged for $3. I KNOW! I counted them when I got home, and there are 39 zippers. 37 of them have metal teeth. My zipper stash was running on empty, so this was a good thing to come across!

Crewel Pillowcase
That picture-looking thing is actually a crewel pillowcase that I got for $2. I stuffed it with poly fiberfill (side note: I have like 3 bags of this stuff. Why?? I don’t use it for anything, yet it is somehow reproducing in my sewing room! Help!) so it is now a proper pillow. I actually have another embroidered pillow that I got last month for $1, so they’re like pillow buddies now. And that, my friends, is how I started my newest collection.

Wool-blend Maxi
This isn’t fabric – it’s actually a maxi skirt! A nice wool-blend, I think it’ll go well in the winter. It reminded me of Stevie Nicks, so I had to take it home with me. Also, it was $3.

30s Lace Collar
30s Lace Collar, $2
I obviously need a dress to sew this onto – taking pattern suggestions!

Haha, ok, this isn’t part of my $20 because Sarah actually bought this for me. Isn’t it awesome, though? I need to find a frame for it, and where to hang it! I’m thinking right at the front door, so people will know what they’re getting into >:) Hahahahahahahha

Yellow Buttons
These are the yellow buttons from yesterday’s dress. They were dirty as hell, but they cleaned up real good! $1

Lemon Hook
The very last thing I bought – I had exactly $1 left, and we were walking to our car when Lauren decided that she wanted a utensil holder. I found this lemon-y goodness hook for my last dollar (and yes, there was a utensil holder at the table as well… it even said UTENSILS on it lol)

Retro Tablecloth
Awesome bright tablecloth, $5

Advance 7055
Advance 7055, $1

Fabric Scraps
Dude also made me take these fabric scraps with that pattern. Free! They are pretty small, but I think I can eek out some facings with them. My soon-to-be brown wool old man Thurlow trousers are totally getting the brown/yellow floral facing treatment.

Simplicity 4697
Simplicity 4697, $1
Already have a fabric planned for this.

Simplicity pattern
Simplicity pattern, $1
I want to make a corduroy jacket! With elbow patches!

So that would have been it… except upon leaving, Lauren & I came across this magnificent china hutch that she just fell in love with. When she asked about the price, the guy said it was part of a set he was not willing to break up. The set included a buffet, table & 4 chairs. Jokingly, Lauren asked me if I wanted to split the furniture with her…

I bought furniture. OOPS.
And they were amazing, so of course I said FUCK YEAH.
Seriously! I wish I had better pictures to show y’all, because they are incredible. Definitely 60s, real wood, and they are going to look amazing in my house. I am going to need to reupholster the chairs, but the wood is just beautiful.

60s chair - part of the dining room set
Here’s a bad picture of the chair (you can also see the buffet behind it)
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no space for them in my current house, so there really isn’t any room to walk… I have to crawl over stuff lol. Totally worth it, though!

In case you were wondering – I got all that furniture for $100. SERIOUSLY. I told you our flea market was a good ‘un!

And now, for something completely different – here are a couple sneaky peeky pictures of my our new house 🙂 I stole them off the rental website so they’re a little outdated, but you get the idea!

Living Room
The living room! It’s not this color anymore; it’s actually a soft burnt orange (really pretty!). I just love the big picture window. There is a really great front porch, with a porch swing!

Sewing Room
This is going to be my sewing room 🙂 It is being repainted – I chose Behr Mint Majesty. I just love the windows & the hardwood floors! This picture is actually a little deceiving – the room is HUGE.

In the meantime, I started packing my sewing room yesterday, so I won’t be doing any sewing for at least a week or so. I’m already feeling a bit stir-crazy, augh!


Completed: Advance 8295

30 Jul

Hey-o, remember when I got all that awesome swap haul a couple of weeks ago?

Advance 8295
And this pattern was part of the prize?

Advance 8295
Well, look Ma – it’s a real dress now!

This was a pretty easy/fast make – although I caught myself trying to cut corners to get it put together even faster. WTF! I actually considered omitting the buttons & installing an invisible zipper – WTF! The buttons are the cutest part! Thank god I put the pattern aside for an evening & got my senses back.

Advance 8295
But in all honestly – arranging those gathers at the yoke & sewing everything down was a giant pain in the ass. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s passable and that’ll be ok with me!

Advance 8295
The only change I made to the pattern was a drastic shortening from tea-length and I took about 2″ off the side as the bodice was a bit loose – I just folded the placket over one more time & that worked perfectly! Oh, and the bodice is underlined with batiste – the fabric is a bit sheer. Hope you can’t see my undies lol.

Advance 8295
I sewed the whole thing up without any clue what kind of buttons would make the final cut – I didn’t have anything decent on hand, and I needed at least 9 for this dress! And buttons are expensive, ugh! Thankfully, I found a little card of these yellow guys at the flea market – $1 for 9 🙂 Not too shabby! I wanted blue buttons to tie in the blue yoke, but yellow is good enough 🙂

Advance 8295
Oh, the blue yoke, btw – I don’t look too fine in this shade of yellow (or ANY shade of yellow for that matter!) so the blue yoke was necessary to keep my face from getting too sallow-looking. There is blue in the floral print, but it’s darker (the bright was all I could find). I think it works, Landon thinks it’s too randumb. Thoughts?

Advance 8295

Advance 8295

Advance 8295

Advance 8295

Advance 8295

Advance 8295
Do you see my tiny slip-stitches on the inside? NEITHER DO I. Seriously – the best thing I learned from that Bombshell class was slip stitch. I use it on everything!

Advance 8295
Here are those yellow buttons – I took a tip from Sunni and stitched all the button holes with bright blue thread, to tie in the blue yoke. Unfortunately, you don’t see it too well when it’s buttoned up. Ha, oh well!

Advance 8295
I also made a matching belt – it’s a tiny bit small. I suck at making belts, boo.

As a side note, it might be a little quiet ’round these parts for the next couple of weeks – Landon & I just got approved for a new house (it’s rental, we’re not buying!) so we’ve got a month to move. Which means boring stuff like packing & lifting, but also fun stuff like paint colors & new decor! I’m super pumped, albeit a little stressed (and poor!). Oh, and don’t worry – I still have a sewing room. A bigger, better sewing room – with hardwood floors. Yay!

Advance 8295

New Vogue Sewing Patterns Are Here!

26 Jul

Oh my god, you guys – Vogue just released their newest line of sewing patterns! It’s like Christmas in July today!!!

Unfortunately, the new line-up isn’t really fit for snark. The designs are inoffensive, rather plain honestly. *YAWN*

So instead, we’re going to make fun of the pictures! Because they are hilarious . Also there is a mysterious window.

Vogue 1316
That kind of side eye comes from someone who has been hurt before.

Vogue 1313
I’m curious as to why they decided the perfect moment to take the picture was also the exact moment the model fell directly on her ass.

Vogue 1317
Lurks McGee

Vogue 1321
Incognito McGee

Vogue 1320
Invisible Chair.

Vogue 1312
Oh, God… I can’t even… is she popping a squat? WHO DECIDED ON THE POSES FOR THESE PICTURES?

Vogue 1324
“Don’t go… it’s… it’s not safe out there.”

Vogue 1325
“Ok, hon, it looks like you’re a little too tall for the frame. Do you mind crouching down a little? I need to get those killer Payless shoes in the picture as well. There. That’s good, that’ll work. You’re a natural, doll.”

In all seriousness, that 1325 suit is pretty fucking cute:
V1325 (1)

Vogue 1318
I would love to make some type of snarky comment implying that the fan is necessary when you are wearing a stank-inducing vest made of plastic alligator skin but I think the picture speaks for itself.

Vogue 8832
For the gay pirate in all of us.

Vogue 8844
Or, if you’re a shriner, we’ve got you covered on that end too

Vogue 1322
I need someone to explain this garment to me because I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at. Is it… a suit jacket with no arms that has magically expanded into a cape?

Vogue 8843
I just love the randumb giant leaf they chose to include in all that handbag pictures.

Vogue 8829
A prime example of a tragic fabric choice. This pattern is actually super cute; it’s just impossible to see past the shiny on the envelope picture.

Vogue 1315
This one was my favorite, which is why I saved it for last. She looks like she’s creeping around a doorway and I spent about 10 minutes laughing at when I first saw it.

It is basically Christmas today, so I suppose I owe y’all a gift of some sorts:
I hope you like it.

Completed: Gingham Thurlow Trouser Shorts

23 Jul

Fair warning: I am way WAY excited about pattern. Words cannot express.

When Tasia announced that she was releasing a Trouser pattern specifically for those of us with a generous lower half, I was already pretty excited. As with, well, *everyone* who sews pants, there are always mounds of alterations that need to be done before you can even cut into your fabric. For me especially, it’s the kind of stuff that requires a muslin & flat pattern adjusting – the adjustments don’t fare well with pinching & letting out seams. So naturally, I’ve kept my eye out for pattern companies that cater to my body shape so I can deal with less alterations. I already knew this pattern was going to be a go, regardless of the style – but wait, have you actually seen these trousers??? OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.

I think Sewaholic might be my new favorite pattern company. I’ve made up a handful of her patterns, and the more I see/work with, the more I’m just incredibly impressed. This pattern is no exception – it is wonderful. Thanks to the extra ease allowed for curvy hips & full thighs (and a narrow waist!), these fit almost perfectly straight out of the envelope. There are a million little pieces, but everything goes together supremely well & the instructions are clear & straightforward without being dumbed down. These shorts weren’t just sewn – they were practically engineered.

So anyway, let’s talk about my shorts!

Gingham Shorts
This gingham was one of the few pieces I allowed myself to buy during the biannual 50% off sale at my local fabric store (I’m saving my pennies for Chicago, eep!). I REALLY wanted giant gingham shorts, although a few people gave me the side-eye when I showed them the fabric lol. Whatever, I love them! The fabric is quite sheer, so almost every single piece (save for a couple facings) is underlined with cotton batiste. Cutting out all those pieces, plus making sure the gingham matched up, plus underlining – I think I spent close to 3 hours just prepping everything for sewing! Totally worth it, though. And as an encouragement to anyone who fears plaids – cutting it out kinda sucks. A lot. But once it’s cut, everything goes together with very little drama.

Gingham Shorts
Like I said, the muslin fit pretty well straight out of the envelope. I usually have to make a few drastic changes to my pattern (adding room for a full butt, reducing the waistband circumference & shortening the crotch), so this was a relief! I did pinch out the tiniest bit of length from the front crotch – about 1/4″ maybe, tapering to nothing at the side seams. I also added another small wedge extension – again, about 1/4″ – to the back crotch for a tiny bit of extra room. These are a size 0, btw. Haven’t fit into that size in a few years haha 🙂

Gingham Shorts
The only design change I made to the pattern was cutting the waistbands & welt pockets on the bias – I didn’t want to deal with matching those stripes. I do have a little bit of rippling at the waistband, which I also had with my Clover jeans (which, come to think of it, that waistband was also cut on the bias. Hmmmmm). But it’s no big deal – I just pressed the shit outta it. Ironing solves everything!

Gingham Shorts
I also took about 2″ off the hem – the original length is a smidge too long for my frame. And anyway, I like wearing short shorts. Deal with it.

Gingham Shorts
Don’t my welt pockets look gooood? I think those & all the action going on with those fly facings (patience, grasshopper, we’ll be looking at that in a minute!) make these pants look super nice. I may make the pockets a little deeper next time, however – these are only about 2″ deep! No room for the wallet!

Here are some close-ups (I told you! I’ve gone craaaazy!)
Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts
(I am very sorry, I have no idea why this is so blurry!)

Gingham Shorts
As you can see, I couldn’t get the pocket area to line up perfectly, gingham-wise. The lines on the leg are straight, though, so I guess it’s ok!

Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts - front

Gingham Shorts - fly facing
Isn’t the facing fabric so pretty?! It was a (handmade)pillowcase I found at the Goodwill Outlet. I barely had enough to cut all my facing pieces. I just love the colors against the black & white gingham.

Gingham Shorts - inside
You know, in retrospect, I should have checked that the bobbin thread was white when I was stitching on the waistband – that black thread on the waistband facing looks kinda dumb.

Gingham Shorts - back

Gingham Shorts - welt pockets
Close-up of welt-y goodness 🙂
Oh, and just for the record – I used ONLY the instructions to assemble these. No additional help via books or blog posts for that fly/facing or the welt pockets (these are the first welt pockets I have ever sewn, btw). The instructions were great & I am pleased with the results!

Gingham Shorts - inside welt pocket
Oh, and not only do the pockets have these fun insides, but they are also faced with the gingham so it doesn’t show when you’re just walking around or whatever. I’m telling you – this pattern is legit!

I’m so so thrilled with my first pair of these – I can’t wait to make more! I want to make some corduroy shorts for winter (I’ve never been one for shorts with tights but I think this style of short would actually look really good!), and of course trousers. Trousers in every color, wheee!

Gingham Shorts

Gingham Shorts

Next Knitting Project – Another Sweater!

20 Jul

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was working on a second Agatha sweater – this time in black yarn. After about 2 weeks of knitting, I put it aside to work on something new & fresh, i.e., the Miette. Welp, that’s all done now & I’ve learned that I am unable to chill between knitting projects, so we’re back at the black Agatha. And, wow, is it knitting up WAY faster than the first one!

This is essentially just a dupe of the first Agatha – same yarn, different color. Same gauge, same size, etc etc. I am using Cascade 220 in a heathered black (although it looks super jet black in these pictures, there are subtle streaks of grey irl) with my trusty size 5 needles. I picked it up about 3 weeks ago & I’ve already finished the body. Magical!

This post also explains a little of my absence this past week – I’ve been housesitting since Tuesday, and while I did drag both my machine *and* my serger to the house (!!!), I haven’t gotten much sewing done because the commute is stupid long (I am staying in Hendersonville for those who know Tennessee… and I work in Midtown. Ughh!) and by the time I get back, I really just want to sleep. Ha! At any rate, I’ve been working on a pair of shorts that I’m REALLY excited about, so hopefully those will be finished soon!

Agatha v2.0 - body finished
My friend Amanda took these pictures of me. The background is where I’m housesitting – isn’t it gorgeous?! I made her crop my face out because I wasn’t feeling well & it totally shows.
Also, I had to lighten the pictures a bit since the black did not want to photograph at all.

Agatha v2.0 - body finished

Agatha v2.0 - body finished

Agatha v2.0 - body finished

Ok, this next picture is a really terrible picture of me, but look at the view!
Agatha v2.0 - body finished

I have also just decided that this sweater will be formally named the “blagatha.” That is all.

More Swap Bragging

12 Jul

I KNOW, it’s totally not polite to rub this in everyone’s face… but I have been the lucky recipient of not one, but TWO boxes full of goodies, from two of my favorite bloggers. It’s like my birthday all over again, y’all! Happy day!

The first box was from Sonja of Ginger Makes. We were matched up via Kestrel’s Summer Sewing Swap. Sonja sent her box FAST – I’ve been holding onto it for a few weeks now! I wouldn’t let myself post the contents (or use any of the stuff she sent me) until I sent her box, hence my delay. Anyway, I finally shipped hers yesterday – keep an eye on your mail, lady! – so now I can share my spoils. Whee!

The whole box!
Here’s the whole stack! We were limited to 5 items max (it was really hard to narrow everything down on my end. I wanted to cheat so bad haha).

I just LOVE the fabrics! Sonja also threw in some boning tips (at my request; they are cheap but very expensive to ship for some reason, blerrgh) and a generous length of fuzzy leopard print seam binding. And LOOK AT THAT PATTERN. I was dying that I couldn’t immediately start sewing it up!

Advance 8295

Next project
I, *ahem*, already picked out the contrasting fabric for the neckline/ties – a lovely blue linen blend. Yellow isn’t a terribly great color on me, but putting a bit of blue around my face will solve that!

Colorful Fabric
This colorful fabric is the bomb, dude. I kind of want to make it into a shirtwaist.

The second box came from Oona of oonaballonna. This wasn’t the result of any organized swap – she expressed love for those crazy zippers I bought at the flea market a couple of weeks ago, and I offered to send her one. She sent me a whole mess of awesome shit! Wheee! Don’t worry – her return box has more than one zipper 🙂

The whole pile
Here’s all of it! Not shown: the neat ziploc bag with a mustache printed on it, trolol

The crazy bright zig zag print was the first thing to catch my eye. At first, I assumed it was fabric. Awesome, awesome fabric.

Crazy awesome skirt
Nope, it’s an awesome awesome skirt!
Dude, it’s pretty much neon in real life haha YES!

And it fits!
So you know what this means… we are clearly the same size, at least on the bottom half. I guess it’s a good thing that we don’t live in the same city, because I would totally steal everything skirt-like out of her wardrobe haha

I made a whole outfit for it, because I got all excited.

My new shoes
ALSO can we talk about my shoes? They weren’t part of the swap, but they are pretty sweet! I got them for $37, marked down from $150!

Ok, back to the swap…

Skirt - pocket & piping
More skirt detail – here’s the piping & pockets.

Skirt - pretty zipper!
The pink zipper (you can also see my nails – they look like an early 90s beach condo, no?)

Skirt - crazy stitching at waistband
And the crazy stitching all over the waistband (and hem, for that matter).

There was also fabric – 2 yards of each
Teal/White floral fabric

White/Black/Blue floral fabric


Tiny Car for Landon :)
And a gift for Landon, haha 🙂

I am pretty excited about my new stashies! I’ve already got some ideas rolling around my head haha 🙂 If you have any suggestions for the fabrics (other than the yellow – fancy sundress, you can’t talk me out of it!), let’s hear ’em!

Thanks again to Sonja and Oona for your boxes of awesome! Keep a look out for your packages from me 🙂

Completed: the Miette Cardigan

10 Jul

I have a confession to make: this cardigan has actually been finished for about a week now. All I had left to do was to sew on the buttons. It is pretty uncharacteristic of me to put off the final touches of a project – I want it to be finished so I can actually wear it! – but this sweater stumped me for about a week.

I tried a regular ol’ wet block the day I finished it, and let it sit on the back porch so the sun could do it’s thang. Of course, that day had a 20% chance of rain and OF COURSE it decided to rain while I was at work (while we’re in the middle of a drought, no less). GR. When I got home, it was obviously still wet & that’s when I realized that it was quickly growing several sizes too large. I knew that cotton yarn has a tendency to grow, but I figured the wool blend would stop it… nope. So I tried to throw it in the dryer. It was at that point that I learned our (new-to-us) dryer has a busted heating element. That is also when I decided to let Amelia use the sweater as a cat bed while I went over my remaining options.

I’m happy to report that I did manage to fix it, though!


So now let’s talk about the pattern, and my issues with cotton yarn.

This is the Miette pattern by Andi Satterlund. Can I just say that I wish Andi had more sweater patterns, because I would totally knit every single one of them. I love how she lays out her instructions & I think her designs are just so pretty. The sizing is always perfect for my body, too. Anyway, this pattern was pretty awesome – simple, fairly quick (the actual knitting of this sweater only took about a month!), and mostly mindless. I used Cascade Sierra, which is a cotton/wool blend yard (80/20), and I barely pulled into my 4th skein. It feels so soft against my skin! These pictures are kind of deceiving; the navy is much more rich in real life.

I did make a couple of changes to the pattern – I left out a few rows on the sleeves, because I liked the length (and I actually think they are a smidge too long still, eh). I also knitted the sleeves with DPNs instead of my circular needles, since I didn’t want the cotton to stretch out. The ribbing is supposed to be knitted with a smaller needle size, but I didn’t have a smaller size DPN on hand so I just used my regular 8s (same size I used for the rest of the sweater).

I love that it is all knit in one piece! Yay for not having to sew it together!

Sorry that these pictures are so bad – I caught a break in the rain & had to rush! The dress I am wearing is actually lavender, but it looks white here!

Of course, now I notice that the ribbing doesn’t match up at the bottom band. Huh. I guess I didn’t block it enough the first go-round.

The button band is stabilized with petersham ribbon, so it doesn’t gape over curves. I really like this method, although it is a bit time-consuming to sew all that ribbon on. This time around, I tried machine-stitching my button holes on the petersham before sewing it to my sweater – it was MUCH easier than handworking button holes. Me gusta!


So how did I get it to fit, if it apparently stretched all out of shape?


Ha! It was sooo easy (and soooo much better than going to the laundromat lolol)! I just laid it on my table, scrunched up the sides & steamed the shit out of it with my iron. While it was hot, I molded the sweater to be smaller. Then I left it to dry. Easy easy! And it actually worked – yay!

Miette - neckline
The next thing I did was thread some thin elastic (like the kind you use for shirring) through the neckband. I sewed 2 rows of elastic, all the way around, and pulled it very slightly. Hopefully this will keep the neckline from stretching out again.

Miette - detail
The buttons aren’t my favorite but they were the only thing I had on hand that even remotely matched (and that I had enough of!)

Miette - button band

At this point, I got really pissy at how bad my pictures turned out, so I started playing around with effects haha



Anyway, that’s 2 sweaters completed at this point! I feel so proud of myself 🙂