Easing into the flow

I almost lost my cool last night. 

The two most important elements were driving me: intention and momentum. Obviously the house was quiet and free from distraction. I sat down with some music and carefully pinned in the sleeves, stitched them in and then the sides. Renfrew in a light knit jersey. I was this close to the finish line. The cowl would be an obstacle because I did not add the extra to it, as I did the shirt front and back. It’s halfway pinned….

But, nothing lasts forever! The fam returned and the usual din of tv, video games and childhood disagreement along with it. How do you keep the flow in your sewing amidst family chaos? I think I need a sign that says, “Double  check now or seam rip later.”

I lost my concentration and sewed the cowl on with the seam out. At the moment I realized it, I was pretty sure my night would include more seam ripping than sewing. Luckily, it turned into a productive evening.

I finished the Sutton.

Made two versions of Renfrew.

 And look at my pattern matching! It’s fantastic all around, sleeves included!



This was actually my first make last Saturday. It was windy and I wanted to make something that fit the weather. I pulled out my Bobeau card I copy from the summer and lengthened the body and sleeves.
The back is pretty full, so I’m going to add a detail band to pull some of it together, if only I knew what it’s called. I also want to add some detail to the sleeve cuff & maybe a toggle or two in front. It’s pretty bland, but better to wear than remain stash! What do you do to dress up a dull garment made on the fly? 

Unmentioned is my first take at the Lark tee. I whipped it up Friday from a double-knit originally bought for my daughter and think it’s really only suitable for pjs. It was the muslin, but I think there’s a fit issue. Will address that later this week. Maybe, hopefully.


Waffling around.

 Tuesday’s sunset: 
A simple reminder that beauty trumps whatever the day throws at me.

Wednesday’s happy mail:  
I splurged on the GC Knitfix plus some additional yardage to get inspired gift sewing. Lucky for me things coordinate well, my daughter likes the fabrics that I don’t and I am pulling ideas for what patterns I need. I pulled up my SewIndependent purchases and printed the Nettie (for black & grey stripe) and Saltbox (tbd). I think I’ll be playing in my Pinterest board today. I’m thinking a raglan for the elephant fabric, family holiday pj pants from the red buffalo plaid, the grey baroque is a good Jasper contender and the pink/cream Aztec coordinates with a brown leftover from last year possibly a reversible drapey cardigan or jacket (I have Burda fitted jersey blazer, not sure these are right fabric for that.) The striped yellow in back is also a possibility for a casual hoodie or Jasper. 

 Scrap pack bounty: 
I’m in love with Alison Glass prints and bought some bundles over the summer when she threw in a Scrap Pack. I wasn’t sure what to do, and the #ffnewyorkquilt inspired me. These began from 3″ squares. I see where pressing after each seam makes a huge difference. So hopefully I will remember to slow down and make greater effort to precision.  I also cut some 5″ squares and will continue playing with HSTs as I figure out what this will become.

Maybe, a sweater or is it a knit top?

Back in January I started knitting a random number of stitches just to use some stash yarn that I was not wild about. I didn’t have a specific outcome in mind so began in basic stockinet the first few rounds before moving into the pattern from Fifth Avenue Infinity Scarf from TenTenKnits. I love that pattern.

Lucky for me a friend loved the colors of the yarn and claimed the work in progress. Many moons later and with two and a half leftover skeins here it is. 

The pattern is complete improv. I tried it on just to make sure it worked before binding off the neck and the arm hole is tight. However my friend is at least a few sizes smaller than I am, so it should work for her. As I knitted the intended fit I saw was a slight shoulder hugging boat neck rather than the square look pictured, hopefully that will translate. 

Now to determine what to do with the remaining two and a half skeins…possibly these leg warmers?

Do you have any favorite patterns to use up this scant remainder and complement the gift?

Chunk two for #bpsewvember

I’m still not up to speed with #bpsewvember on IG, so here’s another grouped installment.

Day 6: Slow or fast?

Slow, but not by choice. And unfortunately for me, slow does not mean obsessive attention to detail either. But when I have a project ready to go I work fast, until I’m interrupted by the kids or have to clear my sewing from the dining table or put it up to protect it from pets.
Day 7: Stash   

This is my recently organized stash. I still have two old trunks, an under bed storage bin and a basket cubby organizer too, but I like where this is headed.

Day 8: Why sew?

Mostly I sew to feel better. I’m happier when I create tangible things to enjoy. Sewing gives me something to focus on and lose myself in. Plus, I really like wearing unique things. 
Day 9: Game changer

Sewing blogs have taught me so much. When I started sewing in 2009, I seriously winged it. I could follow a Big 4 pattern for my kids, thanks to the distant memory of 7th grade HomeEc. I scooped up the Heather Ross book of Weekend Sewing and a few others, but namely took risks copying RTW that I liked and did an ok job. 

When I started following sewing bloggers it helped me to identify the wealth of resources I could use to improve my skills. It also showed me that I wasn’t alone in this journey of making. Out where I live its been like a needle in a haystack to find friends to see with, so I love the community & insight I have gained from the online sewing community.

Day 10: View

Look at this mess! I will be so thankful for my improved sewing space, whenever it comes together.


Day 11: Tools

Hmmm. Sharp needles, scissors, seam ripper and rotary blades are my favorites. Sharp ones make projects so much easier.

Day 12: Community

I need this online sewing community. As I shared in my game-changer, it’s been an amazing resource for me. I’m still learning how to connect with others here and feel like I have something to offer to belong to the club of cool online sewists. 

Until the next round…

Phew: crossing items off the list

Saturday wins:

Motivation to seam rip the dress that wasn’t working. Ironed the fabric, folded it carefully and envision it as two separate pieces, eventually. For now it’s just fabric not an unfinished WIP.

Cool wind inspiring me to attach the button band to Maude, complete with Iris buttons that my mum says she stashed when I was a baby or earlier.

Pairing the Maude with the Camas and rather liking it. (My kiddos are the photographers….need to work on this.)


Water colors of spruce trees and the moon.


The clog in the grey water drain that backed up into the house & now (kinda counting as a win) temporarily prevents us from laundry and dishes.

Quilt pieces moved from one table to another. Not a thing was stitched.

High hopes for the few unclaimed hours I can direct tomorrow. Flipping a coin: baking muffins/quilt or the final details on this skirt.


I have nine outstanding projects in various stages of disarray to conquer (I mean complete) before I can do anything new. This was what I told myself yesterday before reevaluating the status of my quilt. I quickly figured out what my next steps were and that it was best not to do anything until I was home with my machine and could actually do something.

But, I had lugged some Alison Glass fabric with me. And I remembered something that a local quilter replied to an IG comment after returning from Quilt Market. 

Curious IGer: “…Did it hurt a little when you cut into it?”

@gina_pina “I love to use fabric that is new/ reorder-able because you can always buy more if you mess up or need more…”

With this in mind and taking a baby step I pulled out the Alison Glass scrap bag, stacked similar sizes and cut some 3″ squares. There is an HST block recurrently showing in my IG feed #FFNewYorkQuilt and I could try my hand at one of those.

So even though my big plan was to attach the button band to my Maude, I pulled the quilt stuff out instead. I thoughtfully set out some triangles and considered the best combinations. I sewed a little, and cut other squares, and squares into triangles. My iron also reminded me  to trust in pressing when looking for precision.


I inevitably need more of the solid. It’s the negative space from AG Handcrafted colorway Petal in charcoal. There is no similar solid color in my stash, so it’s either head to Austin or order online. Or order online from Austin and maybe (fingers crossed) get it tomorrow?

So detours. What sewing detour have you taken lately?

Late to the BP Sewvember party….

Since I follow many sewists on blog/IG and keep seeing their #bpsewvember posts, I am going to force myself out of the corner & participate. Albeit a few days late.

Day 1. Three Facts:

1.  I don’t have any budding sewing friendships, because I’m not sure how the whole blog sewist friends thing works. (Surely it’s commenting and the like, but half the time I will start to write something, then delete it.)

2.  I’ve made outfits for my daughter from pictures she’s drawn.

3. I have way too many animals. Seriously, just ask about my collection of orange cats!

Day 2. 

Complementary fabrics. I have a good eye for picking choices for quilts and clothes, at least according to friends I’ve gifted items to. 
Day 3. Inside:

Linings are fun! I used to be guilty of certain RTW because I liked the linings. I haven’t sewn clothes with a lining (because I’m a giant chicken or just haven’t tried that yet) but for bags I am always excited about the inside. Squee! I love those Charley Harper ladybugs!

Day 4. Inspiration:

Daydreaming of beach days and perfect weather. A climate that lets me have wider options to express my sewing/knitting likes.

Day 5. WiP refer to today’s earlier blog post. 

Tomorrow I’ll check in with this and continue with the #bpsrwvember fun on the IG

Project headaches + Rearranging

I wish I could say that I’ve finished something. All I can muster are pictures of the same projects, seemingly in unchanged states. But hope is on the horizon as you can see by the small to-do list of finishing tasks.

Update on Maude or Grandpa Maude as I’ve titled it on my Ravelry. 

My sleeves knitted up like a dream. I tackled my first raglan sleeve joining and yoke without snarls. The button band was a different story. I tried to pick up stitches and even did a whole round of knitting after I picked them up, but there was this unattractive gap. So in my wisdom, or folly I might argue at this point, I decided to rip off the button band and knit it separately. Now I have a very pleasant looking button band and I am not certain of the best way to attach it. So I am stalled out. Any advice you can offer (or sympathy, for that matter) is totally welcome.

Now as it seems buttons are NOT my friend I’ll fill you in on the problem with my Camas. (Tell me to stop lamenting about this and make a stinking muslin next time!) I finally conquered the placket and took a weeklong breather. Only to wait a week happily thinking the rest will be easy. 

Buttonholes, done. Buttons, not so fast! I added some cheap plastic buttons from stash that match, but I have the placement all wrong!  If I match up the bottom of the shirt fronts, when I attach the buttons I get weird gaping on the top right chest. So, then I took the opposite approach of pinning the top to eliminate the gaping, followed by pinning the bottom to see where that sits. This method leaves the bottom fronts off by 1/2″. Ugh!

So, now a lightbulb goes off because I had a similar issue with my Archer. I checked the length of the side seams to see if my pattern pieces were off, but they match. So I can only assume one of my shoulders dips and creates this awkward fit issue? Does this sound crazy to anyone? 

I guess I’ll just modify the fronts to match AFTER I’m 100% confident the gaping issue is solved by the adjusted button placement. Then I can safely hem the bottom edge with some seam tape for help and add green contrast narrow cuffs to the sleeves.

End headache. Begin Rearrange.

Seeing all my sewing stuff cozy in a line can only mean one thing. Construction begins soon! Our family creative space/my sewing room/guest room will be a reality instead of a daydream. 

I am so thankful for this transition!