Posted in Sewing

Hooray for the Wiksten Haori!

 

I had been eyeing the Wiksten Haori pattern for some time but the steep price of $18 was holding me back. Finally I just bit the bullet and purchased it and I am so glad I did!

I had a little bit of trouble when attaching the collar to the jacket. It was a little too small and I had to let it out as much as I could to make it work. Even then, I still struggled to make it fit. I think it’s because the interfacing I used was too heavy. It calls for a lightweight fusible interfacing and I used medium weight because I didn’t read the directions before I bought it (whoops!) The only slip stitching called for in the instructions is around the sleeve hems, but I decided to slip stitch the lining to the collar also for a cleaner finish than top stitching it. It took so long but it was worth it. I find that top stitching things closed doesn’t always leave me satisfied with the results on the outside of the garment. I also added patch pockets to the lining in case I’m ever feeling in the mood to wear this with the blue side out.

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The outer fabric is sage twill from Fab Scrap and the lining fabric is a Rag & Bone chambray from Mood Fabrics. Fab Scrap is a great company out in Brooklyn that collects dead stock fabric from fashion companies and re-sells it at a low cost to keep it from going to the landfill. I really admire what they’re doing and hope to get out there to volunteer one day. Volunteers receive five pounds of fabric in exchange for two and a half hours of work! So it’d be a great way to help out the environment and build your stash all at once. I just wish Brooklyn were a little closer…

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This jacket has been perfect for Spring and I’ve worn it so many times already.img_20190407_160902

I wore it while perusing my local yarn stores during the NJ Wool Walk. Here I am holding a bag with my purchases from my favorite yarn shop, Yarnia. I also hit up The Local Yarn Store that weekend and it was so cute and had such a good selection of yarn. I definitely need to visit them again. #ShopSmall!

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I also wore it to the Turtleback Zoo. I just love how comfortable and easy going this design is. It definitely fits my style because I am lazy and I do not like wearing tight fitting garments.

I do want to make a warmer one out of wool for the fall at some point but lately I haven’t felt the desire to buy much fabric. Yesterday I cleaned out and organized my scrap fabric and there is SO much of it! It makes me feel so guilty because I hate the thought of all of that fabric being dumped into the ocean. I’ve bagged up what I don’t think will ever be useful to bring to H&M to recycle. Hopefully they do actually recycle it…Fab Scrap also takes scrap fabric recycling to turn into shoddy for a small fee but their location in Brooklyn is just too far for me to travel to, especially with heavy bags of fabric. I’m hoping that once they open up their store front in Chelsea, they’ll accept scrap fabric recycling from there since that would be a little easier for me to get to.

 

 

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Posted in Sewing

A Couple of Kalle Shirts for Shirt Month

When Allie Olson of Indie Sew first announced this year’s Shirt Month back towards the end of January, I was excited to finally be pushed to make the Kalle Shirt. I had bought the pattern during Indie Sew’s Black Friday Sale two years ago but it just sat in a basket because I was too afraid to cut it out and also too lazy to trace it. Since January was also the first time I had found myself unemployed in over two years, it seemed like the perfect challenge to keep me distracted while I half-heartedly looked for new work and recovered from a stressful few months at the same time. I thought it was pretty humorous when Allie introduced the new fabrics she was stocking for shirt month the next day and one of them was pretty much identical to the fabric from my stash that I had planned on using. The only difference was that my fabric has that extra thin stripe running down and across it. Plaid Kalle Shirt 1

I traced out the size 6 and it took me so long. I usually don’t trace patterns and just cut into them because I just don’t want to deal with all that extra work. Sewing for other people for a living, I just want to get right to the fun stuff when it comes to myself. In the end, I’m glad I did trace it since now my original Kalle pattern is still intact and I will be able to make other sizes from it in the future. I also took the risk of cutting the pieces out of my fabric as I needed them because I just hate plaid matching so much and wanted to get straight to sewing, especially after spending so much time tracing the pattern. I was pretty sure I had enough fabric though so I wasn’t too worried.

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This was my first time doing the burrito method. The first time, I made the silly mistake of not attaching the front pieces so I had just enclosed the shoulder seams of the outer and inner back yokes. When I was done, I was confused as to how the front pieces get attached. So I referenced the sew along on Closet Case Patterns‘ website, said “duh!” to myself and then got it right on the next try.

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After that, it was on to the side seams! I french seamed them because I like my homemade garments to look as neat as possible on the inside when I have the time and motivation to do so.

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I didn’t realize there was a front and back piece to the sleeve cuffs and only traced and cut out the back cuff piece so it was huge! And I didn’t realize why until I was done. So I kept taking it in until it fit. So it’s a little awkward around there but I think it still looks fine. I also cut the cuffs out on the bias because, again, I hate pattern matching.

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And as much as I hate pattern matching, I love that inverted back pleat!

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I actually finished a second Kalle Shirt while I waited for some wooden buttons from Arrow Mountain to finish my first one. This one went so much quicker and smoother since I had just gone through the trials and errors of making it the first time. I lengthened both of them by 3″ and wish I had lengthened them just a little more since I don’t like my shirts to be too short. The original cropped length the pattern comes as DEFINITELY would have been too short for me and I am SHORT!

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I love this floral Rifle Paper Co. fabric so much. It feels so luxurious when I wear this shirt. I know so many places carry Rifle Paper Co. fabrics but I got mine from Sew Jersey because I like to support small NJ businesses as much as I can, it being my home state and all. The little buttons are from Yarnia, my favorite local yarn store.

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I wore my floral Kalle shirt to the bookstore and I think it goes pretty well with the wood of the shelves I’m standing in front of.

 

Here I am wearing my plaid Kalle shirt. I had been saving it to wear for the first time to my friend The Rambling Rosie‘s Easter themed get together. I even attempted dyeing an Easter egg to match my shirt. How’d I do?

Posted in Sewing

Being Aware of Fake Accounts on Social Media- Sewcialists Edition

I love Instagram. I love that I can find out about indie sewing pattern designers and small fabric shops through Instagram. I love that I can check out what other people have made with certain patterns before I try them out for myself. I love that I can make things and share them with other people who sew and will appreciate all of the work that went into them. I love that everyone who’s ever wanted to be a model can now be one with just the help of a friend or a selfie stick (I hate modelling myself but more power to those who do!)

I also hate Instagram. I hate that people become so preoccupied with gaining followers they’ll go so far as to pay a marketing company to provide them with fake ones so they look more popular or important. I hate that these companies are trying to rip off people’s identities in an attempt to create realistic looking followers to sell to their customers. I hate that it’s so hard to tell when we come across one of these fake accounts while scrolling through our favorite hashtags without digging much deeper.

Over the past few days I’ve found a lot of suspicious looking accounts on Instgram through sewing related hashtags. What initially tipped me off was, while scrolling through the #sewcialists hashtag, I clicked on a few profiles and noticed they didn’t have a lot of followers. I liked their photos (each account only having one or two) and decided to follow them. By the third profile this happened with, I noticed one of the posts was a #BestNine2018 photo with nine pictures of different handmade garments. I thought this was weird since the profile only had three posts altogether. That’s when I started to dig deeper.

Luckily, the sewing community has a lot of hashtags that aren’t inundated with photos (like hashtags for specific patterns), so the original post is pretty easy to locate. To track back to the original user’s photo, I’ll start by clicking on the hashtag that I think will have the least amount of photos. This gives me a lot less to weed through as looking for an old post may be like trying to find a needle in a haystack sometimes.

Here are some examples of usernames for fake accounts I’ve found over the past few days:

@93seckincinkir243

@wendikeith447

@demirturk905

@32laurelyeager903

@rahimozkan891

@32selmacrowley727

@gocen4334

@demirturk9335

 

The above photos are from a non-sewing related account. I don’t remember looking at it but I came across it in my search history while trying to collect a list of fake usernames I had discovered. I believe it was probably impersonating a sewing related account at first but then switched over to an equestrian themed one after it had been found out. It took me a while to track down where the original photos came from, but copying and pasting the bio into Google Search led me right to it. The photo on the left displays the real account and the photo on the right is the fake account.
More examples of stolen profiles (names and bios have been blocked out for security):

Signs that an account might be fake:

  • The username begins with numbers.
  • The user has a very small number of followers but is following a very large number of people in comparison.
  • The accounts the user is following are random and odd. (What gives it away for me when it’s a sewing related account is if the user isn’t following a lot of other sewing related accounts. Sometimes they’re not following any at all.)
  • Their photos have very few likes.
  • I remember liking the same photo from another username previously. A lot of times, businesses will re-post a photo of someone using their products so it’s not always suspicious looking. This is when it’s important to look at the username. If you still aren’t sure and it’s important to you, this is when you should go to their profile and see how many followers they have as opposed to how many people they are following. Who’s following them and who are they following in return? This is usually the dead giveaway. Like I said, for sewing enthusiasts it’s usually easy to tell it’s fake if they’re not following a lot of sewing related accounts. So it may be a lot harder to tell on more broad based profiles.

Reasons You Probably Don’t Want Someone Impersonating You On Social Media:

  • You don’t want an account with your profile picture on it following another account or liking photos from another account with beliefs you don’t agree with.
  • That’s your identity! It’s not for some marketing company to sell to someone to make that person look more popular!

So, I beg of you, please be more aware when liking photos on Instagram and report something if you see it. As social media and the sewing community become more involved, we can form a sort of neighborhood watch type of accountability program to protect each other. I don’t think we should let this get in the way of our enjoyment of using Instagram to be inspired by and discover other makers, but this is something we should all be aware of while we’re scrolling through our feeds or hashtags.

Posted in Sewing

Christmas Gifts 2018

Christmas is always my busiest time of year. While I enjoy the holidays, my work schedule always makes it hard to fit in celebrating. So I like to spend little bits and pieces throughout the year making gifts for my family as my own way of enjoying Christmas all throughout the year. Here is a summary of what they all received this year…

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This was the year of the sock. Back in August, Fancy Tiger Crafts announced a knit-along for a sock pattern called the Basecamp Socks. I had always wanted to knit socks but was always too afraid to try because I heard they were complicated. Someone in the comments section of their Instagram post asked if it was a good pattern for beginners and they said yes. So I decided to dive right in because I thought a knit-along would be a good motivator. Though it was a little tricky at first I am now addicted to knitting socks and most of my family members received socks as gifts this year. The red pair went to my mom. The beige pair went to my dad. And I gave the purple pair to my sister-in-law as part of my baby shower gift.

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I also knit my mom this Pre-Wrapped Wrap by Purl Soho out of Lily Sugar N’ Cream yarn. I like the idea of wearing this over dresses at special events when it’s chilly out so I may have to make one for myself at some point.

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I made a Linden Sweatshirt out of some of this peach print jersey I had leftover at the beginning of the year and set it aside for my sister-in-law. I also made her the Lil’ Foxy Roxy scarf in Lipstick Red by Wool and the Gang. It was a much brighter color than I had anticipated, more like a hot pink than red, but I still think it’s pretty.

My sister received an Oversized Infinity Scarf designed by Krysten Ritter for We Are Knitters and (surprise, surprise) a pair of Basecamp Socks in some yarn I got from my local knitting shop, Yarnia.

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My brother is an avid runner. He’s run the NY Marathon TWICE now and got his name in the NY Times both times afterwards! So I made him this drawstring bag using a tutorial from Purl Soho so that he could pack his shoes in it when he travels for races and not get his clothes dirty because I’m a germophobe and I think about that kind of stuff. I also included a gift card to Running Warehouse and a booked entitled “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” to keep the whole gift running themed. I’ve never actually read that book myself so fingers crossed it’s good! You can read about his running adventures at Rich Moy Runs.

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For my nieces and nephew, I made them these blankets using all fabric from JoAnn, except the green plaid, which I had to order from Amazon at the last minute because the fabric I originally purchased wasn’t wide enough. *Shaking My Head.* I also thought the Minnie and Daisy fabric was flannel but it turned out to be fleece so it was much thicker to sew through than I was intending it to be but I guess that’s what I get for ordering things at 6:00 in the morning and not reading product descriptions carefully! Oh well. They’ll just be extra warm this winter.

Animal Bonnet 3

I made my newest nephew this teddy bear using a pattern from Purl Soho and a Wiksten Animal Bonnet out of yarn that is also from Purl Soho. I CANNOT WAIT to see the little guy wear that hat. I’m hoping one day he’ll look at all the pictures and say to us, “You all really took the fox theme too far.”

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My aunts and uncles all received these wash cloths I made using a pattern from Purl Soho out of Lily Sugar N’ Cream yarn and these adorable soaps from Anthropologie.

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Lastly, I wrapped my mom’s and sister-in-law’s gifts in these reusable drawstring bags I made and I hope they’ll reuse them again next year to cut down on using wrapping paper. I think they look so cute and once the bags are done they actually make wrapping things so much easier. (You should have seen Kevin trying to wrap an oddly packaged toy kitten for our niece!)

Phew! Summing it all up here, it doesn’t seem like that much but I have to remind myself that this all took me almost a year to plan and execute. Homemade gifts are a lot of work but I find them so much more satisfying than buying a bunch of stuff from big box stores. I probably won’t be able to keep this kind of homemade gift giving up forever, but it’ll be fun to do while I can.

…Now what to make for next year….?

 

Posted in Party Time!

Incorporating Baby Gifts Into The Decor for the Shower

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Back in November, my sister and I helped our brother and sister-in-law’s friends plan their baby shower. My brother and sister-in-law didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby until he was born, so we spent the months leading up to his birth referring to him as “Mini Moy.”

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This is the table that greeted guests when they first arrived. The drawings in the frames are originals by my sister, Kathryn, and she used the same artwork to incorporate into the decor throughout the entire party.

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I was glad that the baby quilt I made came in handy when it came to covering up this shelf full of random things.

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These are the party favors, M & M’s (for Mini Moy), with tags featuring Kathryn’s artwork. Cute, huh?

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Kathryn insisted that the foxes hang out together. That’s a custom stuffed fox she designed and drafted the pattern for sitting with the fox I embroidered using a kit from TatSol on Etsy. Kathryn also likes embroidery and embroidered the neckerchief on the fox with what will probably now be the baby’s nickname for the rest of his life.

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Did you know that you can buy flowers in bulk with a Costco membership? I ordered these online and had them shipped to my brother and sister-in-law’s friend’s apartment, where she arranged them. Don’t they look cute? And better yet, almost two months later and they still look pretty good. I’ve had a small bunch decorating my apartment ever since the shower.

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This is the photo booth set up. Kathryn designed the banner in the background and we just used a plain gray flat sheet to mask the wall. I bought a photo booth back drop stand from Walmart and it just worked out that that bench was already at the venue.

Mini Moy has finally entered the world since the shower and both sides of the family couldn’t be more ecstatic that he’s here!

 

Posted in Sewing

Mini Moy Baby Gift Roundup

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When I found out my brother and sister-in-law were expecting a baby, I couldn’t wait to get started on making gifts for them. Their Pinterest board was full of woodland creature themed decor so I went onto Fabric.com and searched for “woodland creature fabric” and loaded up my cart with everything that I thought might look good together. Then I edited it down and the above photo features what I finally decided on.

I’m not really a quilter. The only other quilt I’ve ever made was a crazy quilt back in sewing class sophomore year of high school. So this may not be the most conventional way to choose fabrics for a quilt, but it is the lazy (and too excited to get started) woman’s way of choosing quilting fabric. The fabrics I chose were:

  • Dear Stella For Fox Sake Mixed Animals Peyote
  • Art Gallery Hello Bear Buck Forest Silver
  • Art Gallery Hello Bear Oh, Hello Fog
  • Dear Stella Cold Comfort Woodland Dreams Multi
  • Michael Miller House of Hoppington Frolic Fog
  • Dear Stella Stay Wild Animal Vignettes White
  • Cotton + Steel Magic Forst Squirrels Neutral
  • Dear Stella Stay Wild Fox Bunny Floral Skylight

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I brought my quilt top to Gotham Quilts in NYC for them to do the quilting on their long arm machine because, again, I was too lazy and excited to get it done.

I love the fabric I used for the backing of this quilt. I originally ordered it from Miss Matatabi last Black Friday with intentions of making a Fen Dress out of it. But once I received it in the mail, I felt like it was too perfect to make a baby blanket out of and stashed it away. Little did I know my brother and sister-in-law would be making their announcement only a few months later!

I was actually working on this very quilt the day our downstairs neighbor (who played loud music at all times of the day) came storming up to our apartment and told me I “couldn’t” have my sewing machine anymore. We moved out a month later. So I guess this baby has already changed our lives for the better!

 

Boppy Pillow Cover 3

My sister-in-law had pinned a Boppy Pillow slip cover from Etsy with fabric I recognized from JoAnn. So I offered to make it because I knew it would be much cheaper if I did. Then I realized that that fabric was sold out on their website but I think this Robert Kaufman fabric is much cuter anyway. I used a pattern I found online to make it but I can’t find where I got it from for the life of me! Luckily there’s so many tutorials on how to make these online if you just search “boppy pillow cover pattern.” For some reason, I just can’t locate the exact pattern I used. I do remember the blog post stated that it would need to be fit and adjusted to the pillow so I had it sent to my apartment so that I could fit my new cover over it instead of having it sent directly to the mom and dad-to-be.

Forest Animal Hoops 2

One of the images on my sister-in-law’s Pinterest board had the most beautiful embroidery hoops with different animals on them. I am not the best at drawing, so I ordered a kit to make these hoops from TataSol on Etsy. I’m very bad at checking dimensions on things before I order them. So I was surprised at how small these were when I received them in the mail (about 2″ in diameter) but I think being so tiny makes them even more adorable.

Yarnia Socks 3

And last but not least, a pair of hand knit socks for the my sister-in-law because the mom-to-be deserves a homemade gift as well! She is doing most of the heavy lifting, after all! (Sorry, brother!) These are my own two feet modelling the socks because there was a knit-along going on for this sock pattern (the basecamp socks by Kaylee Lockhart) hosted by Fancy Tiger Crafts and I wanted to share them before it ended on September 25th. The best part is that the pattern is free on their website!

 

And there you have it! I was glad to have these projects to keep me busy while we anticipate the arrival of my future niece or nephew. Thankfully, work will be busy for the next couple of months to distract me because time always goes seems to go so much slower when you’re excited about something!

Posted in Sewing

Striped Chambray Tamarack Jacket

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I had had my eye on the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio for a while because I still wore my old North Face fleece jacket from college when the weather turned cool in the Fall and I wanted something more adult looking. Thankfully Jen Beeman, the owner of Grainline Studio, announced a new sew-along for this pattern to give me the push I needed to finally make it. The quilting took me the longest and my lining seized up a little bit underneath in the process, so I think next time I make this jacket I’ll cut the lining pieces out slightly larger than the outer fabric.

It all still worked out in the end though. Look how pretty this fabric by Kelly Ventura for Windham Fabrics is?! I love her artwork so much and was so excited to come across this fabric at Michael Levine Fabrics on our vacation to California. While the quilting was the most time consuming part of this project, the welt pockets were the most difficult. I can’t believe in all my years of sewing, I’ve never done a welt pocket! They came out alright though. On my first attempt, I hadn’t sewn far enough past the welt and had to go back and stitch a little further so my corners are a little awkward. Next time I need to double check my markings! I think my they were off on my lining since it had seized up during the quilting process.

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We had the perfect weather for this jacket a couple of weeks ago when we went to Greenwood Gardens to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I love the snaps that I had installed by Nancy at Steinlauf & Stoller. They look so professionally done and I didn’t have to run the risk of ruining my new jacket in the last hour! Better yet, Nancy kept complimenting my jacket when I brought it to her which made me feel really good. I bet she looks at things like this all day so she probably knows her stuff, right? I also followed some tips I read on Instagram before making my jacket and made the sleeves a little longer so I could cuff them and show off that beautiful lining fabric.

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And here I am flashing you! Underneath I am wearing another one of Grainline Studio’s great patterns, the Linden Sweatshirt. I think I have about a half dozen of them because I’m so obsessed. Next time I make this jacket, I’ll probably use flannel to line it for more warmth. While I love this one, it’s already gotten a little too cold where I live to wear it so it’ll probably be more of a Spring jacket.

Even though I’ve finished my jacket, I’m still loving following the hashtag for the sew-along. Search #TamarackSociety to see some other amazing Tamarack Jackets!

(And if you want some of that chambray fabric for yourself, I bought mine in the NY Garment District but I came across some on sale at Miss Matatabi as well!)