Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Craft It Forward - Let's Play!

A few months ago, I responded to a post from Nessa from Nessa's Place about a Craft It Forward experiment. She offered to send out a little something to the first 3 people that commented, and I was lucky enough to be one of them! Then I waited patiently. :)

She sent me the most amazing gift!! It's a pin cushion weighted by rice that also has a felt strip for needles. Below that is a pocket where I can slip my sewing materials (no more getting lost in the couch!), and then it has a loop where I can attach a small bag for excess thread and scraps. It's perfect, and something like this has been on my list of items to make - I've just never gotten around to it and now I know why!

She also included a lovely card, some Liberty of London samples, and some Scottish candy - which I ate almost instantly so no pictures of that!

And here's a picture from her blog, which I'm including because my photos skills are lacking:

Thank you so much, Nessa!!!

Want to participate?

Basically, the rules are this: you should have your own blog and you should be one of the first 3 people to respond on this blog that you want in. Send me your address, and I have up to 12 months to send you my own handmade gift. Then, you post the same challenge on your blog!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Why do you knit?

I'll get back to sewing news next week. This week, I want to take a moment and share with you - and it's actually perfect because there's a movement to show that just because pictures look perfect doesn't mean they are, and it's a wonderful reminder that everyone is human.

I try to keep it honest here, and while I don't go into many details, I know I've mentioned some of the obscene comments people make while I'm taking pictures, the sadness I sometimes can't escape in the winter, and the chronic illness that left me out of commission for a few months last year.

However, those are just quick comments at the end of post full of pretty pictures. I actually wrote a longer post about some of my struggles with depression and anxiety, and the Huffington Post published it earlier this week.

I was nervous when I got the email that it was going live. I really just wanted to share my story and maybe inspire someone who was in the same place I used to be in that there's hope out there.

But I was completely blown away by some of the responses I received. Here's just a couple:

I blocked out the names and faces because I don't know any of these people; they were just kind enough to share their own experience with me.

I'd love to know more about you: Do you knit? Why did you start?

(And if you want to start knitting, but don't have anyone to show you, I have lessons up at We All Knit Here. I walk you through everything from picking out yarn to finishing your first project.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Finished: Siren Seafoam Beach Top

I finished this when it was still chilly out, but the weather is (almost) perfect now!

So in the spirit of stashbusting, I went through my yarn to see what new projects I could begin working on, and I found a large stash of Wool and the Gang cotton. It's been hanging out in my stash for over a year now because I couldn't see the point of cotton yarn... I mean, how is it supposed to keep you warm if it's cotton?

Then I remembered a season called summer (that's been getting rarer and rarer around these parts), and so I decided to make a fun top for the beach.

One of the things I dislike about summer tops is all the skin showing. I know, I KNOW. I just made a top with holes in it. But I'm rather self-conscious about my body so I love that this top has some structure and the skin peeking through is more of a peek-a-boo type thing rather than large cut-outs.

The top is cropped, which is perfect since I wear it with high-waisted skirts. I'm still a little shocked that cropped tops are a thing because I never thought I'd see them come back into style after the 90s - but I also never thought the 90s style would come back either. I now understand what my mother meant when she said, "I refuse to wear bell bottoms again. Once you live through it, there's no going back."

But I digress. :)

On a side note: You might think it's cute to pose with ice cream on a boardwalk, but it's not. Ice cream melts everywhere, and it's horrible. Also, dudes think ice cream resembles something phallic. Get your mind out of the gutter!

You can read more about it here, and my ravelry page is here.

Are you working on any summer knit projects?  I have one more that I hope to finish soon!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finished: Simplicity 1801

In the nick of time!! As host of April's Stashbusting Sew Along, it would be quite in embarrassing not to make anything, right? I thought I could knock out two projects pretty quickly: a jacket that's bright and beautiful and just needs cuffs, a lining, and some buttons and this dress. Both proved challenging in their own ways, but mostly I've just been way too busy to concentrate on sewing.

I sewed up Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1801, view C. I really love the pattern, I love the lines and the gathers, but I hate that it's for woven fabrics. I mean, doesn't it just look perfect in a jersey knit?!

Anyway, easy enough to remedy. I cut it out a two sizes too small and used my serger to stitch everything up.

 I don't typically wear maxi dresses, but this one is just so comfortable and perfect to throw on when I'm feeling lazy this spring/summer.  Plus, I'm excited to have more colors in my wardrobe. :D

While I tried to make the top look super nice, I didn't bother hemming the bottom. I know jersey tends to stretch over time so I'll just hack it off as it grows.

I did use black thread on a hot pink dress, which could have been bad, but I don't think it's super noticeable.

Look at the gathers in the back!! I think it's one of my favorite projects just for the design.

I spent the day at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and it was just so lovely. I still ache from all the walking I did, but it was one of the nicest days so far this year, and the scenery was just incredible.

Is anyone else making vibrant, spring projects from their stash?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Stashbusting Theme: Vibrant Color

Hey, everyone! Have you heard of the Stashbusting Sew-Along put together by the lovely Emily from Tumbleweeds in the Wind? If not, no worries - I'll fill you in!

Basically, it's a pledge to put a temporary stop to the buying (and hoarding) of fabric and patterns and start using what's actually lurking on your fabric shelf (and closet and dresser and in boxes...). Each month has a theme and a host, both of which are completely optional.

In case you hadn't guessed, I'm April's host and the theme is VIBRANT COLOR.

So if you follow my blog at all, you know I'm not really a fan of the bright, shiny colors. I tend to make and wear dark colors.

But that doesn't mean I don't buy vibrant colors with the intention of making and wearing them one day.

The Stashbusting Sew-Along has been great for me. Some ladies in the facebook group are incredibly productive and make large dents in their stashes.

I am not one of those ladies. I'm lucky if I get one finished project in a month, BUT I really love that I'm not continually adding to my stash by shopping for fabric. I have so many great silks and cottons and jersey that I adore, but because I would go fabric shopping frequently, they'd always get pushed to the back of my closet.

Not this year!

If you want to join in the fun, grab some of your brightest, boldest, and most striking fabric and let's get making! Upload your pictures to the flickr group and I'll do a little roundup at the end of the month!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Finished: Colette Zinnia

 I've been secretly hating on the bloggers who are all, "I see signs of spring and I LOVE IT," but only because I'm jealous and I can't wait for spring.

The temperature has gotten a bit warmer so surely that implies that spring is on the way; however these photos are a lie. It is still really cold, and it snowed the day after I took these pictures.

Anyway, onto the skirt.

I've wanted to make a wool skirt for awhile, probably since last winter. So it makes perfect sense that at the end of February, when the season is almost over, I pulled out my stash and set about making one.

Guys, I am so excited to say that I made this in an afternoon. Typically, I'd get distracted by my phone or computer, or discouraged when I'd have to rip something out... But I just started out by going, "Just cut out the PDF. You don't have to finish." Followed quickly by, "Just cut out the pattern pieces. You don't have to finish."

Anyway, I did it all at once, which is something I have never been able to say.

The skirt is made well, and it's my first finished Colette piece ever.

I feel a little weird about the skirt though because it seems a bit dowdy... but still fashionable. I feel very much like a hip mom in this - not in a bad way. Just like a should be carrying my children to fencing class or whatever it is moms do.

I really want to make another one in a lighter fabric to see if the dowdy factor is still there or if I created it.

Anyway, the boyfriend told me I looked like I just stepped out of a Young Republicans boating event, which means at least he doesn't see the dowdy! ;-)

Skirt: Zinnia by Colette Patterns
Top: The Gap
Cardigan: Banana Republic

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finished: Chevron Fingerless Gloves

So even though I've been in my winter slump, where I mostly want to cuddle up in front of the TV, I managed to finally finish these gorgeous gloves.

If you've been following me on instagram, you'll know I've been working on them since before November. And it's not that they take forever; they're pretty simple after all.

It's more that I had to work and rework the pattern and then figure out the proper size because I can't just make something for FUN, you guys.

But these were a lot of fun. I love the design, and it was a challenge to figure out how to convert the chevrons to working in the round. (And weirdly, I was trying to figure it out for awhile. I took these on a plane ride, thinking I'd have hours to really study it when it just clicked before we even left the runway. So simple, yet so hard.)

(My weird head shot pose - but the gloves are so nice!)

I had a gorgeous photo shoot all planned out in my head, but the sun didn't come out for days (weeks?) and then this past weekend, when the sun DID make an appearance, the real feel temperature was -13F (-25C). I wasn't going anywhere.

You can check out my Ravelry page here, and if you're feeling the chevron like me, you can use the coupon code WARMMEUP until February 25 to download them for free! Definitely let me know if you make them because I can't wait to see!

Hopefully you guys had a much warmer weekend than I did, and you enjoyed your Valentine's Day!

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted Spice Gingerbread
Dress: Susana Monaco
Cardigan: Banana Republic