Falling in Love with Linen

Twisting Pleats Pillow

Today there were blankets piled half way to the ceiling, but, I didn’t have to pick up a single pillow.  The color of these pillows is even growing on me.  Neutrals are good that way.  This fourth and final pillow means they perfectly span the back of our futon couch giving each of us something to lean against on movie nights.  This was the easiest of the four pleated linen pillowcases (one, two and three) and the quickest to complete with its minimal straight pleats.

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Pure Jealousy


Robert Kaufmann Shetland Flannel in red with its subtle texturing really shows off in this simple dress.  A simple warm dress in flannel, that is what it was supposed to be.  My first Geranium Dress.  Only I found ways to complicate it.    Getting up a couple of hours early I managed to nearly turn the previously cut pieces into a dress, but just as I had attached the bodice to the skirt it was time to go.  My husband and I had our monthly Pathfinder session at our local game store.  Well, the instructions said that the interior of the bodice could be hand stitched.  That could happen right after I hand finished the back seam. Leaving a line of black topstitching down the back of the dress seemed a crude thing to do, particularly after I’d gone to the trouble of top stitching the neckline and the sleeves/armholes to keep the fabric from shifting which complimented the design lines nicely.  That straight line down the back would have been distracting.  Into my bag went needle, thread and dress.  While we played I folded under and finished the back seam, stitched the bodice down and the went ahead and hemmed the bottom since I had time and materials.

It was probably a good thing that buttons had yet to be selected.  I hate buttonholes.  Not because they are at all difficult, but because of the little frayed edges left after you open a machine stitched buttonhole.  Perfectionist, I am not, but those  frayed edges bug me.  I’ve recently done a few hand stitched buttonholes.  The results are great and they actually take me less time than machine stitched buttonholes. Plus, I can do them when the kids are around.  Somehow this dress wanted more.


I’d been looking a little at bound buttonholes for an eventual coat project and Seamwork magazine had a tutorial on triangle bound buttonholes.  In all honesty, the tutorial left a lot to be desired.  The instructions are occasionally vague (how big should the fabric be?) the finishing techniques are sloppy in the way I’ve seen in many Seamwork patterns and the basic matching up of photos instructions left things like “…first fold the top down, then fold the lip back.” next to pictures that some type of vertical fold…  My past experience with origami and a knack for spatial relations allowed me to figure out what was supposed to happen, so yes the article was helpful and useful, but it’s lack of clarity was disappointing.  It would have been nice if it had also covered how to achieve the effect in a lined area as well.   Still I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn a new skill.

A quick aside:  If you are not a subscriber to Seamwork magazine, you may not know that   three magazine pattern credits can now be traded one Colette PDF pattern.


The Moment of Truth

Once again not tossing my scrap box has paid off.  Thinking black would be a great contrast fabric from buttonholes I thought of the black dupioni from last year’s Holiday Washi and found pieces of both the dupioni and  Shetland flannel were right on top of my scrap pile.  Practice pieces galore and enough dupioni for my button holes.   More care with lining up the buttonholes would be good for next time. It might look nice with the middle buttonhole triangle pointing in the opposite direction next time too. Not quite satisfied with my newly complicated buttonholes, with four strands of DMC310 I created quick lazy daisy stitches at each buttonhole corner.

Feeling super pleased, I now want to go back and add piping to the neckline and do some embroidery in black along the front neckline.  What else could I do to complicate it?

I want to be a two year old with a fancy new holiday dress.  My holiday dress options are as follows.

Option 1: still needs me to finish PDF assembly, trace the pattern, do alterations, and muslin it and probably do more alerations, before I can maybe make one with my fashion fabric.  Then I’ll find out if I like it.  I don’t think that will happen in the two days during which I will have sewing time before the holiday party.

Option 2: I have a custom made dress that didn’t turn out quite right (if I had a second set of breasts below the first it’d fit great.) and may be salvageable.

Option 3: Recycle the dress I wore 2 years ago.  Which it now occurs to me may not fit after all of the weight loss this year.

Yep, I like the idea of being 2 again.  I could just show up in a stained onsie with peanut butter and boogers on my face and everyone would think I’m adorable.

Posted in Clothing, Holidays, kids, Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Give and Give Again Gifts: Deluxe Addition

Everyone who loves to sew loves to get sewing gifts.  At least I’ve never heard otherwise.  If you found my posts from the last two years  (Give and Give Again Stocking Stuffers for the Sewing Enthusiast and Give and Give Again Stocking Stuffers for the Sewing Enthusiast: Part 2 Paper and Tape )  useful you may want to step up your game.  This year I have a few deluxe items for you to add to a stocking or place under the tree.

Luxury Fabrics such as Nani Iro double gauze or Liberty of London Tana Lawn can be used for making garments or quilts.  If you aren’t ready to dole out big bucks for by the yard cuts you can also find fat quarter bundles (consisting of a quarter yard of each print) or charm packs or even bias binding tape.  A quilter might like squares as small as 1.5″ or 2.5″, but for garment makers I’d stick to 5″ squares or larger.


Made By Tags allow makers to take the projects to the next level by adding a personal message.  In this same category you can gift fabric care labels.  Below are just few resources.

For Garment and Accessory Makers:


Dutch Label Shop


For Quilters:

Modern Yardage Custom Quilt Labels


Learning Platform Gift Certificates

Craftsy, Creative Bug or other similar learning platforms offer makers the opportunity to learn more about their chosen craft or to try a new one.



Time for sewing free from making dinner/washing dishes/watching children/folding laundry.  This can often be the hardest thing for us to find on our own.

Notions / Kits

Jeans notions , bra notions  (I’m not going to reinvent the wheel on this one.  Orange Lingerie has a great list of suppliers (scroll down) and most of them can be found online), laser cuts for applique such as these offered by Shabby Fabrics .  Craftsy offers kits for clothing, bags and quilts.


As usual my opinions are my own and are not sponsored by anyone.

Posted in crafting, Crafts, Holidays, Quilting, Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Uluru Muscari


Happy Turkey Day!

Still digging this yarn.  The above picture of the shawl is pretty accurate colorwise.  The yarn might be just a hair more bluish.  This was the second skein of Uluru I found in my tote of “not roving after all”.  I worked up a Muscari Shawl, but found that I needed more yarn just before the lace edge.  Bought the last skein of this color and ran out about halfway through the lace edging.  It’s big enough and nice enough that I’m going to call it good.  The recommendation of 700-850 yds.  Might be a little low.  It may have taken 2 more skeins to finish, definitely one, which would have put this closer to 1230 yds.  Below you can see how far I came with the lace.  Another note on this pattern is that it’s another pattern where the designer is better with the chart than the written form.  I ended up working from the chart, though I personally prefer working from written patterns.


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Snowy Day Stitches


Good intentions regarding my WIP list have been nothing but that, until now.  The very first item from the UFO corner, Snowflake Tree by Cathy Bussi, is my current project again.  It’s the perfect project for our first snowy day of the season.  Started last year, it was set aside when I couldn’t figure out where an error was and then had to another project with a deadline.  Snowflakes are one of my favorite winter decorations and inspired by a project on pinterest I am stitching this on a blue/grey background with one strand of white DMC and one strand of krenik 032 blending filament.  Here’s hoping one item will make it off my UFO list and onto the wall.


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Imperfect Mathematics


A quick note of catch up.  Sorry about not posting Sunday.  Intentions were there, but then the kids were sick and I was tired and photos didn’t happen and posts weren’t written.  Lots of projects in various stages are waiting to be shared (some from September) and my camera is fixed so if  time and weather cooperate I may get ahead again before the holidays throw everything off track.  Maybe I’ll even remember to take a few NYC pictures.  I’ve yet to decide if I will spend my 3 free hours exploring the garment district, which is less exciting when you haven’t had much sewing time in months and don’t need fabric.  I may just check out one or two shops (or maybe, I’ll stick a project in my purse and hide out in a café for three hours).

Now on to sharing the latest project:

Sometimes I believe that throw pillows are the bane of my existence.  They never lie nicely upon the couch where the belong.  They are a burrow under which O hides, or a wall to keep his sister away.  She likes to put them on the floor to tuck all of the dollies and plushies in when she is tired.  Bean bags are turtle backs and monsters and pits of lava.  The imagination is awesome, but I don’t want to pick the damn things up one more time.   They are all going.  Instead we will have four large euro-style pillows (26″x 26″).  One for each of us to lean against when we watch a movie.   That’s it.


Having considered trying various quilt blocks and a multitude of colors it occurred to me that neutral shams are a must.  They can be washed and will match whatever may happen to our living room in the future.  A few hours of Pinterest later, four pleating/tucking/smocking options were selected for trial.  When the linen arrived it wasn’t quite the right shade so dyeing was added to the to do list.  Then the washing machine died (Yep, these have been in the works since July.).  Last week finally presented me with time for testing dyes…and I hated them all.  For now the pillows will be as is colorwise.


Maybe, I’ll tea dye them later.  At least they will be ready before the holidays making my living room and craftroom just a little bit neater and easier to keep tidy.  Unfortunately, my math (and/or my notes) were subpar when I converted numbers to get them to be the correct size and my sewing was a bit wonky.  So much hurrying. In the end I gave up on math and decided they would be art-wonky and imperfect and fine all the same.  Three are finished and ready to go on the couch.  The fourth will need to be repleated and then sewn up, but I ran out of 24″ white zippers anyway so it can’t be finished for at least a week anyway.


They’ve come a long way from here.

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Secret Blankets

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I don’t believe in secret pajamas, just comfortable clothes.  Secret blankets on the other hand, are my dear friends.  My first adult size cardigan is the sleeved circular cardigan by Maz Kwok  Get the details on Ravelry.  My husband says it looks like a blanket, which is not as flattering as I’d hoped, but it’s comfortable (and blanket-like).   This pattern doesn’t lend itself to an fba because of the orientation and style of the stitches, but others may be more workable. If anyone has any knowhow on the FBA for crochet please share. The front looks funny if it doesn’t come together, but so far it’s just tied with a scrap of yarn.  What do you think of a frog or a toggle closure?  An idea for a peplum cardi based on this is marinating, but the amount of time required means it won’t get designed or made anytime soon, if ever.img_8643

Ever versatile shawls are my go to for cold season warmth.  Culling my shawl collection left me with about 18, which left many colors unrepresented, which corresponded to finding that a tub of roving in the back of my closet was actually a tub of yarn with a bit of roving on the top. A go to pattern for when I don’t have much yarn, the Lion Brand South Bay Shawlette, never seems to disappoint.


This is what the color really looks like.   This yarn is surprisingly nice despite it’s make up.  It’s a cotton/acrylic/poly blend, which makes it washable, but it’s shiny and soft too.  A second ball of this in a different colorway is in progress as a Muscari shawl.

Maybe this is an improvement over my need to crochet a blanket every year when I was in college? Or maybe I’m an addict.

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