Tag Archives: Sewing

Giveaway Days!

If you are on social media, follow along with me this week and win some handmade goodies!

I'm @adriprints on Instagram and you can also find my work on Facebook.

The DIY Mojo is Back!

Watch out! I'm getting that itch to make clothes again! Bought a sewing pattern after receiving some lovely new fabric from a friend. Bought yarn for the first time in over a year, and am now putting together some new DIY projects. 

Sadly our local LYS, the Loop & Leaf is closing, and Celeste the lovely owner of the shop had to sell all her yarn stock to prepare for the sale of the building. This meant steep cuts in price to the yarn and so I bought two small lots of yarn: 5 skeins of Juniper Moon Farm's Zooey and 7 skeins of Berroco Maya. We didn't have any stockists in Germany who carried Juniper Moon Farm or Berroco yarn so I was happy to finally get to try some of the more American brand yarns in warm-weather varieties. The Zooey is a cotton/linen blend and the Maya is a cotton/alpaca blend (chain structure).  I don't have too many warm weather yarns so it was perfect.

My first swatch in over a year! (Juniper Moon Farms Zooey)

Berroco's Maya yarn

We took a short trip to Germany, and I was able to catch up with friends. One of my friends is going super-minimal-no-waste in her household so she foisted some beautiful fabric on me (see the first pic). It didn't take much to convince me to take it! I want to make a blouse and a skirt for work.

Finally, I finished both sides of the fun "blue-green" patchwork quilt I started last year. So now all that's left is the actual quilting!

And that's what's happening in my craft-room (which is also the living room and art studio and general multi-purpose room)!


Have I mentioned how obsessed with Hamilton we all are around here? It’s been the only music played at home and in the cars for months now. We’ve also devoured the book, and though we haven’t actually seen the play, it feels like we know it cold.

Since my children perpetually have Halloween on the brain it was no surprise really when Neve and Oona announced they wanted to go as the Schuyler sisters this year. Since there are 3 – Peggy, Angelica, and Eliza – they insisted that I must go as Eliza. Twist my arm, why don’t you?

Oona was happy to be Peggy (I don’t know, I kind of thought no one would want poor Peggy’s part), so Neve is going as Angelica.

For me, the fun in all of this will be making the costumes. It’s been ages and ages since any of the kids wanted my help sewing their costumes. Neve wants to make hers on her own, but I will be making Oona’s and my own.


I’m looking forward to a lot of time in my craft room, working on all of the projects I’ve had in limbo. Like the Washi dress I’m halfway through.


So much sewing, so little time.

If you haven’t hopped on the Hamilton bandwagon……DO IT! Start with the soundtrack; you won’t regret it!

Tagged: Sewing

Pre-Surtex Sneak Peek

May Flowers bring Spring... 
& Surtex!
I cannot believe it's May and time for Surtex!!
It's heeere!!
I've been prepping all year long for this surface design and textiles industry trade show, and it feels a little unreal that it's only a few days away. 
May flowers are an appropriate metaphor I think. I've been planting seeds since last year, and now is when they are starting to bloom...

My seeds (preparations) included creating over 180 images, making booth banners, promo bookmarks, promo books, fabric swatches, greeting cards, brochures, and sewing some hand-printed zip pouches! My fellow members of Finch & Foxglove, my art collective, have also been prepping their hearts out in order to make our collective's Surtex debut a success!

Prep Talk: Little Cards,
Big Thanks!

One of the things I love doing is making things with special touches -- a handmade embellishment, a touch of real texture, a tiny print, or very intricate background. In preparation for Surtex, I created teensy tiny cards that I printed, scored, and cut myself in order to give thanks to visitors, art directors, or art buyers who stop by our Finch & Foxglove booth. I also sewed some zipper pouches that are fully lined inside! The outside fabric is my own work, and it's so nice to see it on an actual product!
This is a general overview of the items I'll be bringing with me to exhibit at my debut Surtex, and I will be doing a post-Surtex review once all is said and done. I'm excited to figure out what works (as well as what doesn't)!

Wish me luck!!

And, if you're going to be at Surtex in NYC this Sunday to Tuesday, you can find me and my work at Finch & Foxglove's booth #543.  Can't wait to meet you! 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

P.S. Let me know ahead of time if you'd like to meet up with me so I can be sure to be at the booth - we're taking shifts since we're 8 artists in a 10x20' booth.

Why Bother to Learn Sewing?

Why do I want to learn to sew my own clothing?

As a knitter who’s purchased $30 merino-cashmere-nylon sock yarn to make hand knit socks, I’m certainly under no illusions that it will be cheaper to sew my own clothes versus buying them (at least, not in the short run — more on that later). Most of us sock knitters have been asked why we bother to knit socks, when you can buy them so cheaply, and my answer to that will likely cross over to many of my reasons for wanting to learn how to sew: above all, fit; choice of materials; and pride of making something lovely with good techniques.

bayerischeAs a former Army officer, and as a veterinarian, I love the simplicity of uniforms.  I don’t have to think about what I’m going to put on when I dress for work at a vet clinic. I toss on a pair of scrubs and occasionally a lab coat.  I have a comfortable pair of clogs, and I wear my Bayerische socks.  I love that.  I get to wear comfortable clothes, suitable for my job. If I want to get on the floor with a big dog (or even medium or little dog!), I can easily do so in scrubs.

I have two main sets of scrubs, both in black. I have two scrub tops from 1st Care for working their vaccine clinics (the company uniform is black pants, with their blue scrub tops). I have one additional, older pair of scrub pants bottoms in turquoise-y green that can be paired with a black scrub top, but I rarely wear those.

It’s a good thing I don’t need an extensive work wardrobe. We have a small house, about 900 square feet. It’s also an older home, built in the 1920s, and as such, it has tiny closets, and small bedrooms.  There’s just not a lot of storage space. I share our bedroom closet with Dave; including winter jackets that only get worn if we go somewhere snowy, I get a little over half of the closet.  I also have a bookcase that I used for everything that doesn’t get hung up in the closet.  Work out clothes, jeans, sweaters, and underwear (along with a few miscellaneous items) are folded and placed on the shelves.

The idea of a capsule wardrobe, where you have a limited number of items that fit and that you love, from which you draw your daily outfits, really, really appeals to me.  I’ve not gone through and counted my items that I wear for non-work, non-working-out activities, but I’d be pretty surprised if it’s more than 37. Given I live in coastal Southern California, my wardrobe doesn’t change too much over the seasons, so I have that in my favor!  I tend to wear the same things over and over: jeans, a striped cotton sweater, a red patterned tank, a denim skirt, a corduroy skirt, a black tank top (I have two of those), and a chambray shirt. All go with my black Tieks ballet flats that I’ve worn so much they’re getting close to needing to be replaced.  (I do have a pair of cowboy boots I adore but rarely wear.)

I also feel that the idea of slow fashion is critically important for so many big reasons, including conservation of our world’s resources and humane working conditions for employees in garment factories. Here’s a more recent article from NPR. Have you read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion?  It’s well worth reading.

This all means I want to have a simple non-work wardrobe of clothing that:

  • Fits well and comfortably
  • Is well made with fine finishing details and construction
  • Will both last a long time and be stylish until it wears out beyond repair
  • I love to wear, that makes me happy

Fit is one of the hardest things. I hate shopping, I hate trying on clothes, I hate ending up with something that just seems good enough because I can’t find anything else.

Good construction goes hand in hand with fit — things that are poorly constructed don’t maintain their fit.  Good construction is, if you can find it, expensive (as it should be, to fairly compensate people for their work) — and this is the point at where it might make economic sense to sew your own items.

I believe, if I learn to sew, that I can construct a wardrobe, over time, that meets those bullet points.

Of Gardens And Sewing

As much as it pains me to admit defeat, I’m throwing in the towel on the pumpkins. The squash bugs have won that battle.  I got one good pumpkin picked before they destroyed it, and managed a photo of one that was being turned to mush on the backside by the bugs.  Those fifteen days I was in Europe set the stage for a mass takeover of pests that I could not reverse.  But, it’s okay.  I’m still calling this year’s garden a win, and every year I learn a bit more and get better at how I manage growing food.

I did get several jars of green beans canned, and a good dozen or so jars of pickles made.  I picked lots and lots of zucchini.  I got three butternut squash, one field pumpkin, and four delicious cantaloupes (we are SO growing those again next year!).   There are two watermelons looking pretty decent still out there, and many, many large tomatoes waiting to turn red.


Next year I will use the deep mulch method again (it helped dramatically with the weeds!) and double down on the diatomaceous earth and Neem oil early on.


As for the rest of this year, I have carrots, beets, and parsnips going in now, and at the end of the summer I’ll put Kale and Chard in again, along with some brussels sprouts starts. And THIS year I have floating row covers so I can hope to avoid little critters munching down my plants!



September will once again see a massive basil harvest and several solid days making pesto ravioli. Tradition!

I’ve also been trying to get back into the craft studio on the rainy days (when I can’t get work done outside) and work on finishing up projects that have been languishing (Shepherd Sweater, anyone?) and working on my skill set (I need to work on fitting and finishing techniques).


I cut out another Washi tunic in cotton jersey, hoping to give it a bit of Alabama Chanin flair.


The animals in the house LOVE when I work on crafty things.  It’s their cue to hover.


Three big dogs piled onto the tiny round carpet in the studio. They’re pretty good company, actually, when I’m not tripping over their gigantic-ness.


The tunic is coming along nicely; I added a ruffled edge to the neckline and left the waist with a ruffled raw edge as well.  I’ll be adding cap sleeves and hemming it  next.

Tagged: Farm, food, Garden, Pets, Sewing

Super Simple Patchwork Quilt WIP

How do I deal with the stress of moving internationally?  I multitask like crazy, make lists, post stuff for sale... and do a simple patchwork quilt to deal with the need to do machine-like sewing and stash-busting.


4.5" scrap squares that have been hanging around for a while

later that day...

sewn into strips

and today!
nearly done with the quilted top

I still have five more rows to add, then sashing, then quilting!
Lots of progress!  Hurrah for the feeling of pseudo-accomplishment!

Finished: Amelia Dress

I have been relying on Neve to take my pictures of finished apparel since I haven’t got a remote for my camera.

Usually it turns out well.  She’s got a little work to do making sure she frames the shots right and doesn’t get me a totally unflattering angle (she likes to sit and shoot upwards at me, which tends to me me look super top-heavy).

Today we had a cute distraction, so it’s okay.

But first, the dress.  I used The Amelia Dress pattern from Green Bee Patterns (you should check out their other offerings; there’s some cute kid patterns!) which is a dress that uses regular woven cotton or linen, but is cut on the bias so it hangs in a more flattering and comfortable fashion.

For the fabric I chose “Sprinkles” in Indigo from Dear Stella.

I’ve made the dress once before and enjoyed both the project and the dress itself, so I thought I’d have another go at it.


I super love it. Also, it’s 100 times more flattering in person. (and it’s got pockets!!!!!)


(This is my “I’m going to move a bit to the left but oh are you still taking pics?” look.

I really like that that the fabric has a kind of universe/Doctor Who-y kind of feel about it.

Orzo really liked it, too. In fact, he showed his appreciation by rolling all around on the ground at Neve’s feet while she was supposed to be taking pictures of my dress.


Which is how I wound up with many more pictures of him than me.

Oh well. Can’t argue with cute!




Then she handed off the camera and cuddled him up.

In other news, the roses are blooming, and there’s a sweet little bird’s nest in one of the bushes!


So far I haven’t seen any activity going on in it, but it’s still nice to see it there.

We’ve also been getting a respectable amount of strawberries out of the garden.


So far we are getting a good handful every evening.  I haven’t been allowing them to spread so that they will focus their energy into berry production. I’ll stop picking off the feelers after the peak fruiting and next year we should be absolutely awash in strawberries!


Tagged: Farm, food, Garden, Pets, Sewing

Toddler Streaky Legs & Moneta

That felt really weird typing the title to this blog post, but yes, admittedly my son is now a toddler and most definitely not a squishy baby anymore!  I finally finished one of his "Streaky Legs" poofy pants this weekend!

The Facts
⁃ Fabric: <1m single jersey, <0.3m ribbing for cuffs
⁃ Pattern: Ottobre "Streaky Legs" pattern
⁃ Year: 2014?
⁃ Notions: waistband elastic
⁃ Time to complete: 1 day for tracing and cutting, an hour for sewing
⁃ First worn: May 16, 2015
⁃ Wear again?  He has no choice! hahah!
⁃ Mods? Nope, they fit great on him.

and I finished Moneta from Colette Patterns for me!

The Facts
⁃ Fabric: 3m soft interlock, maybe french terry in turquoise
⁃ Pattern: Colette Pattern 1028 Moneta
⁃ Year: 2014
⁃ Notions: Framilon clear elastic
⁃ Time to complete: 1 day for tracing and cutting, 1 day for sewing
⁃ First worn: May 17, 2015
⁃ Wear again?  YES!
⁃ Mods? Yes, I would like to make the shoulders wider so it doesn't fall off my shoulders... or expose my bra straps to everyone.

Finished: Thurlow Pants

Confession: I’ve never really made pants before.

I mean, I’ve made kid pants, but they’ve been of the yoga and sweat variety, all with elastic waistbands.

These are honest to goodness, zipper and pockets kind of pants. They are Thurlows from Sewaholic, and I used a fantastic sewalong over at lladybird to work out the pattern better.

As the first pair, I am pretty pleased with the results.


Although I’ve been trying to work through (and use up) my existing fabric stash, these were made of  leftovers from my Minoru jacket.


I’m more or less happy with the fit as well, though I’m not sure they are as flattering as I’d like. They are comfortable, and the length is just about where I’d like it, if a teensie bit long (and I finally learned how to use my blind hem foot on my machine!).


The one thing I can say that I need to improve is the fit in the seat/back thigh area.  It’s a bit bulky.  To fix it, though, I’ll have to unstitch the crotch area (lordy I hate that word) and pull in the extra fabric allowance. (yeah……I didn’t use a muslin to work that out first. I’m far, far too lazy and impatient for that).


I took a bit of width out of the cuffs, as well.  They were quite a lot wider than I liked.


The funny thing is, the details that I thought I would have the most trouble with came out the best. The zipper, the back welt pockets, the hem.


See what I mean about saggy baggy back?

But check out those pockets!

Honestly I think it’ll only be a minor adjustment to the fit to fix the sag.  It’s just going to take me awhile to feel like actually doing it.

Tagged: Sewing