Handmade for the Holidays.

I aspire to Becky made gifts for most everyone on my Christmas list annually, but this year felt like the first in a while that I actually succeeded in doing that, beyond handing out jars of pepper jelly and pickles and jam. Although this year, I outsourced most of the jam to my friend Daniel the jam god. Between the great canning jar shortage of 2020 and the dire straights of most small businesses this year, it was a no brainer way to support one of my favorite local purveyors while also handing out handmade gifts. Not only is he able to source things like Damson plums, he may be one of the only people I know who is at least as picky about where his food comes from than I am. I know, right? I honestly don’t know why I haven’t outsourced to him before, but I’m totally doing it from here on out.

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A Shawl for 2020.

I have this thing about being productive – at the end of the day, every day, I like having something to show for myself. I’m not sure if this is related to how I have a hard time sitting still, although I’m sure people that have known me for a long time who have complained for years about my need to be productive/inability to sit still /certain level of constant energy would probably say these things are in fact, entwined.

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Scarlett O’Nancy Vest

Remember last fall when I was hot to find patterns of a particular sort and spent entirely too much time looking all over for them? I had this fabric from my friend Nancy that I just knew would be perfect for a vest. An iridescent quilted satin, it was in a bag of upholstery and other decorating fabrics Nancy dropped off, ample sized leftovers she was sure I could do something with. (Question – do other people who sew have this happen? Where they are given all sorts of fabric because they’ll do something with it?) It screamed vest to me – and in my head, this vest was going to look exactly like one I already had, because the fabric was so similar. Continue reading

Off the needles.

I confess that most of the sewing I’ve done recently has been of the boring but useful mending sort, like hemming pants.  Knitting is far more portable and therefore conducive to traveling or just occupying my hands while watching tv. Along the way, I’ve actually managed to finish some!

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A flowery skirt.

Having successfully made myself a few A-line winter skirts with a pattern I’d drafted myself, I decided to pull out said pattern to use in in my efforts to refresh my summer wardrobe. I must have put the pattern in a very safe place though, because I couldn’t locate it. I spent two days going through all the piles and bins in my sewing nook to no avail. Realizing I was losing focus, I sucked it up and drafted a new one. Thankfully I found the notes I had made when making the first pattern, so I had those to go by.

Pattern drafted, I quickly got the skirt cut out and sewn together. I was a little too generous with wiggle room in the waist as well as the curve of the hips, as I’ve already had to take the skirt in once and mean to do so again. I need to go back and adjust the pattern as well, which  has already been labeled and placed in drawer where I keep all patterns for safe keeping.

The fabric came from a long ago tag sale – it still had the original stickers from the manufacturer. It’s completely synthetic, but lightweight – it feels like parachute silk to the hand. It has this interesting texture to it as well – I tried to capture it in a photo – be sure to click on the close up of the fabric to see it.

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of zippers (it only took close to 30 years of sewing!), I’ve started utilizing them more in things like skirts for a more tailored look. I’ve also realized how much quicker it is to whip up a skirt with a zipper and not elastic or a drawstring. I was in such a rush to finish this skirt that when I couldn’t find my interfacing to do the waistband lining, I texted a neighbor that sews. Thankfully while waiting for her reply, I found just enough to finish the skirt, as the idea of heading out to Joann’s at 4:30 on a weekday was just too much to bear.

The end result still needs a bit of adjusting on the fit, but it’s sort of the perfect Becky skirt – a little wild but incredibly comfortable.  It’s already become a go-to for throwing on in the morning with a T for early morning walks with the dog.

Behind the scenes.

In my seemingly constant state of ‘busy’, I often refer to projects I’m involved with that I don’t always share in this space for a variety of reasons.  Occasionally though, some of those mysterious projects do manage to see the light of day here.  I’m excited to share a project that while I was only minorly involved in,  resulted in my name in print. And when I say print, I mean, published in a book print, as in a cookbook – my very favorite type of book.

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