I made this skating outfit shortly after ordering a pair of Moon Boots from Moonlight in 2020. It’s the Axis tank by Sophie Hines and the Summer shorts by Sew DIY. The fabric is from Spoonflower and I kinda hate it.
I didn’t quite get the fit right on the shorts, but I also think the fit is meant to be cheeky and that’s definitely not what I’m into when it comes to shorts. I’m a full-coverage gal, especially when exercising. I lengthened the pattern attempting to get more fabric over my butt, but it all pools under the waistband.
I made this skate ensemble at the beginning of May. It’s another Axis tank (it’s truly an excellent pattern) and a pair of Seamwork Mel joggers. For the joggers, I shortened the legs by 2″, added 1″ to the cuff length, and omitted the drawstring. I thought about testing out using a chain stitch (coverstitch) for the waistband, but chickened out and went with a zigzag. I’m pretty sure it would have worked. The fabric is a screen printed cotton jersey from North of West‘s warehouse sale.
I didn’t use my serger at all when constructing this Axis tank. I used the lightning stitch on my regular sewing machine for the back and shoulder seams, then reverse coverstitched them. I pressed the seam allowances open, but think I should press them to one side next time I use this construction method. The bands were also attached with the lightning stitch, then I used the narrow double needle coverstitch to topstitch in place.
Here’s baby me with my grandma who’s the reason I have any balance on, or interest in quad skates. She also made the pink pom poms on my skates.
December is usually the time of year I get to see my parents. I skipped the trip home in 2019 because I had recently flown home to attend a funeral and had just moved. In hindsight, I sure wish I’d gone home.
I’m not usually a handmade gift giver, but 2020 felt very different, so I decided to make some small gifts for my parents, brother, and husband.
For my dad, I made a pair of Sew DIY Quilted Slippers. I used leftover Big Sur canvas for the sole, IKEA fabric for the exterior, and some leftover sorta quilted fabric for the lining.
I also made him an oven mitt. After a very small first attempt, I re-printed the pattern at 115% and made a second one. I had hoped to send a blue pair, but I didn’t have anymore fabric, so he’s getting one black and white mitt. My cousin has claimed the mini mitt.
My brother is a hard person to shop for, so I made him two napkins and one tea towel. This fabric is… interesting. Even after washing, there was quite a smell when ironed. I soaked them overnight in some white vinegar water, which helped. I’m hoping it softens with use because they are a bit crunchy.
I made a Fairfield button-up for my husband. I waited until the absolute last minute to start this project and it took a very long time to complete. I also bought the wrong snap setting tool, so he got the shirt xmas afternoon and the snaps as a “bonus gift” December 30th.
I made my mom a Seamwork Drew headband. I didn’t snap a pic of the one I made her before wrapping it, but here’s one I made for myself. It’s a great, quick pattern and I plan to make more.
I’m also making her the Buckthorn backpack. Here it is in progress because I just started it last night. Yes, I started this 2020 gift in February of 2021.
I’m super curious if I’ll want to make handmade gifts next December, or if I’ll be able to get them done one time, or if travel will even be possible. I plan to cut out my husband’s gifts soon so they’re ready to go!
My motivation and creative practice was all over the place at the beginning of the pandemic, but I found a lot of comfort in piecing together shapes. It’s repetitive, which allows me to zone out, but also provides some fun opportunities to problem solve.
For this project, I copied an Anni Albers design. I believe there’s a difference between knocking off for personal use and copying for profit. I think that when it’s for personal use, the act of replicating can be an incredible learning process and a means to improving your skills. Copying encourages you to assess construction and puzzle out how things come together.
I used 10oz cotton duck in Natural, Black, and Khaki. I need to find a new canvas supplier because the company I got these from had blue lives matter bullshit in one of its recent newsletters.
I had a lot of fun figuring out the blocks for this. There is one section that I would do a different way, if I were to do it all over again, but whatever!
Initially I had planned to use the khaki canvas for the border but must have used it in another project. I’m actually quite pleased with how the natural color border turned out. This color definitely made the stretching process a little easier – the wonkiness from stretching is somewhat hidden.
Some day we’re going to rip out this terrible 70s “update” and make the fireplace a focal point instead of an eyesore.
Another piecing project I’m slowly working on is a scrap quilt. Whenever I cut out a woven garment project, I’ll cut 2″ x 2″ squares out of the leftovers. As a chronic over-buyer of fabric/project switcher, it’s making me feel better about the waste that comes with each garment project.
I recently made a small design wall for quilting projects. It’s just a 48″ x 48″ piece of homasote that I stretched cotton canvas over. It’s not as sticky as a traditional design wall, plus it’s right next to a vent, so stuff needs to be pinned to it.
If you’d like a tutorial for this, Farm & Folk has an excellent one.
Anyway, I started this project back in early September of 2019. It’s a nice long-term project that I can pick up and leave whenever feels right. However, my goal is to make 100 blocks and document them in my IG stories.
Initially I wanted to do 100 consecutive days, but I completely forgot about one day, then another… and then I felt silly about it. So now I’m just gonna call it a “100 Blocks” projects that will be completed in the time frame that feels good to me. I’m especially fond of these blocks. The pink seersucker is my first attempt at using natural dyes.
The third pieced project I’m working on is a quilted jacket. I’m lengthening the Seamwork Easton jacket and adding hidden pockets.
Here’s what a single block looks like (above). I am using leftover wovens, plus Ace & Jig scraps with a black linen. I like how this project will be a reminder of past garment projects.
I’m leaning toward using the composition on the right. Maybe this jacket will be ready by next winter!
Elizabeth Suzann was my introduction to ethical fashion. On the ES blog Liz Pape, the owner, would talk openly about pricing and consumption, business practices, environmental impact, and many other important topics. In addition to its unique business practices, ES had so many beautiful and functional designs.
Unfortunately, after two-ish months into the pandemic, it was announced that ES would be closing.
This incredibly sad announcement also came with the promise of eventually making the patterns available (and free) to the public. Bittersweet news for the sewing community.
Favorites like Clyde, Georgia, Harper, and Florence are available through this newsletter. The Dropbox link (the only thing you’ll be sent through the newsletter) will be updated with patterns until Liz Pape is able and ready to release them herself.
Currently, it’s just the patterns, no instructions, but many makers have already posted mini sewalongs on Instagram. Tutorials can be found via #ESMadeByMe. I’ve also shared how I constructed this in an IG highlight, but you can also view it at the end of this post.
Now for the most important part, donations. As these patterns are open source/free, we’ve been encouraged to donation to Black-led social justice organizations. Since I’ve downloaded the Clyde jumpsuit and work pants, as well as the Harper tunic, I’ve donated $15 to each of the organizations listed in the newsletter, and will continue to donate that amount per pattern download. I’m also planning to donate $5 each time I make a garment using any ES pattern.
UPDATE: due to the overwhelming response to the newsletter, it has since been shut down. It became too large of a project for our community members to manage. Liz Pape will be making them available sometime in the future, so hang tight. I will not email out the patterns I’ve downloaded.
I really love these jumpsuits. There aren’t any closures; the neckline should be wide enough to fit over your hips. The design is part of the ES signature collection and can be worn any season. The armholes can accommodate a sweater in cooler weather, or a t-shirt / on its own in warmer weather.
The iconic pockets are deep and sit slightly away from your body. They pretty much remove the need to carry a purse.
If you’re unsure about sizing, there are a lot of measurement available on the ES website. If after checking the size charts you’re still unsure, make a muslin.
UPDATE: recently learned all made-to-order ES products were washed after being sewn. The ES team did a lot of research into shrinkage rates for their fabrics, so I would not suggest you do the same. Prewash your fabric in the same way you will wash the finished garment, measure using the stitch lines on the pattern pieces to gauge if certain areas will fit you well, and make a muslin!
UPDATE: after wearing the small several days in a row, I think I will add 1/2″ – 1″ to the torso length. I still need to compare the finished “rise” on the medium to determine what additional length is needed to be able to bend comfortably in the small.
I will probably make two more jumpsuits. I’m imaging one in black linen and another in a brown linen. But before I make those, I’m off to make a Harper tunic.
This slideshow shares my method for sewing up the Clyde jumpsuit.
FABRIC: boro stripe in flax (main), speckled linen cotton blend (lining), Big Sur Canvas (sole), leftover batting
SIZE: B – I wear US women’s size 6 shoe but used the finished measurements chart to select size
MODS: made the opening about an 1″ wider. I did this for two reasons; it was a little challenging to get my foot in and I couldn’t attach the lining and exterior together because it wouldn’t fit around the arm of my machine.
Listened to ‘So you want to talk about race’ by Ijeoma Oluo while making these.
This post had to start off with my color inspiration for my Slabtown, which was another Klum House bag. I finished this Fremont Tote in early May and it’s the perfect day bag.
It has two exterior pockets that are perfect for my phone and a mask, plus a d-ring to clip my keys to. It has a small interior pocket for my wallet and sanitizing wipes, and a spacious main compartment for other essentials. Enough room for a book, sketchbook, planner, snacks, sunglasses, etc. – it’s really the perfect size.
I purchased the Fremont Full Maker Kit, which included all of the hardware (brass), pre-cut and marked waxed canvas and lining (natural), and pre-cut and punched leather (tan).
This greenish gray waxed canvas has been in my stash for years, I honestly don’t remember what I bought it for, but it felt like the perfect accent fabric. Once Klum House reached out to see if I’d be up for making the Slabtown (duh), I knew I would have to make a matching backpack. The pair will be a great travel set in the future (I hope… please wear a mask).
KH Full Maker Kits are so good. They include EVERYTHING and you can also purchase the necessary tools. I’m not sure if the full maker kit comes with the pattern, but I received it since the lovely KH folx knew I needed to cut my accent. The instruction booklet also comes with labels so you can keep track of everything.
It’s really easy to agonize over the color combinations available. Klum House even released a few new colors (hi, field tan) with the Slabtown release. But I stuck to my matching set plan and was gifted the Slabtown Full Maker Kit, the felt strap expansion pack, and class in mid-May.
I gained access to the class before my kit arrived and watched the whole thing that same evening. It’s comprehensive, digestible, and Ellie is delightful. It makes the whole experience really approachable and fun.
I’m really happy I bought the Bakelite Mallet from Klum House and this Mini Anvil from Blackbird fabrics. They’re great for setting rivets, snaps, and jeans buttons.
Side panels constructed and ready for hardware. What the backside of tubular rivets look like.
Each step in this project is so rewarding. Here’s my fully constructed front. I ended up adding another line of topstitching on the hidden pocket zipper because there was about an 1/8″ of raw edges peeking into my front pocket. My accent fabric was surprisingly stretchy.
I used the interior pocket from my Fremont kit. It was leftover because I ended up using the greenish gray waxed canvas. I guessed at its placement and it worked out great!
Front and back become one, then on to boxed corners! The seams are finished with twill tape and once again Klum House shares some extremely helpful construction tips.
Once the rolltop is on, the last step is adding the straps!
The strap reinforcement leather is the perfect place to personalize with stamps.
Although there are other parts of my Slabtown that aren’t perfect, the way I messed up the straps is super disappointing. All of the leather is pre-punched for you, but if you get the felt expansion pack you’ll need to punch four holes in your straps. And I punched one of them 1/2″ off. GAH.
My solution was to add this silly little leather loop. I will eventually add a brass key ring so I can clip my keys to it. I guess it’s better than a random hole?
I’m so happy with these bags. Klum House provides you with the most complete and caring experience with their kits. I cannot recommend their patterns and products enough. It blows my mind that I made these.
And made the Seamwork Joss pants out of some natural linen that might be from Joann Fabrics.
I made size 6 for both patterns. I shortened the crotch depth by 1″ and the legs by 2″ on the Joss pants and raised the neckline a teeny bit on Bo. I could probably size down to a 2 for Bo, but I already had a 6 cut out. I’m planning to make the Joss pants again out some wide striped fabric. I’ve been wearing both a lot.
I’ve been in a making funk lately. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s because work life isn’t killing my soul and I don’t need an outlet as much anymore. I don’t necessarily feel bad about it, it’s just weird to have idle hands.
I started writing this post well before COVID-19, but now I’m in even more of a personal making funk. I want to make things but my brain is really scattered and I’m finding the process not as satisfying.
I’m so grateful for my job, our house, food, the company of my husband and dog, and our current good health. I hope you have what you need during this weird and scary time and you are able to find some peace in making right now, or know it’s okay to take a break . Now on to the make details since I find looking at other’s makes a nice distraction.
My first LB Pullover was made out of this super textural woven cotton I found at Bolt. I can’t find it on their website, but check them out anyway – they have a lot of amazing fabrics and if we’re able, we should support small fabric stores right now.
The second version I made used this drool-worthy jersey knit from North of West, another great small PDX business. The sister duo occasionally hosts warehouse sales where you can scoop up yards of fun fabric. I purchased three fabric bundles which had well over 12 yards of fabric! If you’re interested in scoring some of their fabric, follow them on Instagram and hopefully in the near future we can all meet up at their warehouse.
The third and fourth versions also used North of West fabric. The cream squiggle print is a yummy terry. The other black version I made for my mom.