sew | willow tank.

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I’m a terrible sewer. I don’t know why it doesn’t come easy for me, at all. But, it doesn’t. It’s still important to work on things that don’t come easy; to hone a new skill, to keep trying.

And so, I recently finished this Willow Tank from Grainline Studio. It’s a beginner pattern–a very basic tank with some nice darting at the bust. It was my first time making darts.

I think it came out pretty nicely and only took one day to complete, but it was still a struggle for me. Next up, a skirt in the same pattern to make it a lovely matching outfit. But, I’ve been avoiding since it is so hard for me. Maybe I’ll have a skirt by the end of summer.

sew | summer shirts.

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I desperately want to get better at sewing. It never happens, mostly because I don’t have a sewing machine. And so, my mum takes me down to her studio every once in awhile to give me a lesson. But, I get lazy sometimes, and don’t want to work on my projects. I’d rather just hang out.

And I’m shit at it, so I avoid it.

This summer, I have a goal to at least become a little better at sewing–maybe enough so to warrant my own basic machine someday. I’ll be off from work, and have the time, I tell myself. Evenings could be spent tooling around, rather than watching t.v. or falling asleep early. I can’t sacrifice my outside during the day time, but here’s a way to get it in.

I’ve decided Grainline Studio‘s Scout Tee and Willow Tank are two easy patterns that I could get some reward from and I could wear these in the summer, and likely, to work, in the fall and spring. Plus, I love everything Jen at Grainline does–from sewing, to knitting, and beyond. It’s inspiring. Her work is amazing–aspirational, in fact.

What are you sewing? What would you recommend I try?

basting.

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This past Sunday, I started my first quilting project. My mum has quilted for years, though not rabidly, and I asked if she would begin to teach me this winter.

My mum does all her quilting by hand–and I, too, hoped to try the same. We set out with a simple, but attainable, first project: a Christmas themed table runner for my dining room.

I decided on some cheeky old fashioned feeling fabrics because I like my Christmas’ to be fun more than stuffy.

So far, in one session, I have cut and pieced the entire runner. I have also basted on the quilt backing, and now, I just have to decide what kind of hand quilting I will do on top.

I think I might like it…

favorites.

These are some of the things I’m obsessing over in my maker world, right now. From top left to right: local wool roving about to become thrums for some mittens like these ; mini sketchbooks in bright colors by clairefontaine ; cheeky rubber stamps for letters, stickers, and homemade wrapping papers ; paper thin stitch markers ; wax paper treat bags in geometric prints ; fat quarters for small sewing projects ; my new windsor and newton travel watercolor kit, gifted to me by my guy for Christmas; and tiny skeins of cotton in various colors for wrapping and odds and ends.

What supplies are you obsessing over? As if I need anymore drool worthy maker bits…

coin purse.

My sister sewed me this adorable little coin purse recently and since I use a man’s style wallet, I finally don’t have a sea of jingly change bouncing around the bottom of my bag anymore.

Handmade gifts are the best.

project bag.

I’m trying to get better at my less than desirable sewing skills. My mum helped me make this basic drawstring knitting project bag, and whilst she did most of the work, just watching her makes me feel more confident that I can make one on my own. I mean, I have made bow ties and skinny ties. A simple rectangle has got to be easier, right?

This birdie bag has a basic liner in mustard, which you can see here. Didn’t follow any pattern, per se. Just used one of my purchased project bags as a guide and added a liner. This bag is 9″ x 12″, the perfect size for most portable knitting projects. I almost put a grommet on it, but haven’t decided for sure yet if I want one for the yarn to travel through.

sew, sew.

tie

I sewed a tie; I didn’t realize how much hand sewing was involved; there’s barely 4 machine stitched seams, a ton of ironing, and plenty of blind stitch. Still, they are easy, and I am pretty pleased with the results.

gnome, 9.24

When you have a midweek holiday, why not cross stitch something up whilst in bed, but awake, quite early. Now that I’m on school schedule, I tend to rise naturally around 6 a.m. But seeing as we didn’t have work today, I thought it entirely unnecessary to get out of bed.

And so I cross stitched another one of these little guys between the sheets.

What should I do with him?

finished bow tie, 2.10

I really adore wearing bow ties, and it feels so satisfying when you actually made it yourself. I think this particular patterning looks smart with a bright pink collared shirt.

Sewing Notes: men’s shirting style fabric; not so lightweight interfacing; 1/2 yard of each; adjust buckle; completed in 2 hours and some change.

 

sewing bow, 2.9

I took a bow tie sewing class at Gather Here in Cambridge with my favorite shop owner, sewer, and teacher, Virginia Johnson, on Thursday evening. Since I’ve been wearing bow ties as part of a regular work clothing rotation and style, this class was kismet.

Snaps of the finished product, forthcoming.

gifted to me: hand sewn table runner.

My Mum, even the inspirational genius, knew I wanted a colorful runner to add some spice to my otherwise bland dining table, and so set about sewing me this gorgeous one. It’s perfect with my potted succulents or provides some bi-polarity to my cast iron, conservative candlesticks, which I adore.

The reverse side is a chocolate brown with miniature cream dots to add some interest and change when I need it.

Love.