/cabled hat no.2


Oh, I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Mine was really fantastic. I'll admit I have a lot of catching up do do around these parts after spending the better part of December party planning and gift making/buying, but I'll begin with...

Another cabled hat! This time I bought a skein of Cascade Magnum, for the sole purpose of making a red hat. It looked like fluffy red cotton candy before I knit it up, which is a bonus.

I made the shorter version of this pattern. It was still longer than I wanted, so I just wear it with the ribbing flipped up. Crisis averted.

I've actually been done with this for weeks, but thought I'd get better photos before posting. I should have known that would never happen with everything Christmas going on. So, you get an awkward photo of me adjusting my hat wearing a crazy looking cowl. 
Note: The cowl has since stretched out and is looking much more drapey, which convinced me to make three more of them as Christmas presents! The absolute best zone out in front of the TV project ever. I recommend.

It's been unseasonably warm here, so this hat hasn't been too useful yet. Soon I'll be going on the annual post-Christmas trip when I get to do my once a year cross country skiing adventure, and will certainly be wearing this guy. That is, if my mom doesn't steal it from me first. (I'll be watching my back, mom.)

/bernina fevah


It's that time of year again...

I bought a new machine! A Bernina 215.
(Only because this post was a year ago... not because I really get a new machine every year. Promise.)

They refer to this one as a "sewing computer" in the manual- an important differentiation for me because I've never owned a computerized machine. I've actually spent a lot energy avoiding them.

I gave in because this machine is super sturdy, well made and has everything I need, nothing I don't.  It was the most basic Bernina the store carried, which automatically make it the most appealing to me. I was amused as the saleswoman tried to coerce me into the machine that "has the most amazing embroidery software you've ever seen!" (read: many K more than this humble model). I just let her know nicely that, "I would honestly never use that once." I think that was the first time she'd heard those words, and I sensed her confusion.

In a little over a week, I've hemmed three pairs of jeans, two pairs of trousers, one dress and altered another dress and a shirt. It stitches beautifully and I'm loving the feature I thought might annoy me, needle up/down.  It's also just the right size for my sewing table.

Aww, aren't these two just so cute together?

I'm thinking about a coverstitch & chainstitch machine next, does anyone have experience with one?

One more thing! I can't forget to mention that last weekend my good friend took a bunch of us to a trapeze class for her birthday. A TRAPEZE CLASS. We did this move (below), and flips and catches like pros. It was so much fun! Try it it you ever get the chance.
Here I am, flying in my StyleMint Fillmore tee that I wear three days a week (slight, not gross exaggeration). I am also sporting a skin belt, which is not a style recommendation.

/stormy turban


So, it was this past New Year's day that I sat in front of YouTube and learned how to knit (sort of), but haven't really done much about it. I believe it was in February that I decided on knitting a turban, consulted the yarn lady for needle size conversions, appropriate yarn and got knitting.

I finished a couple weeks ago.

I now understand why knitters always gripe about 'second sock syndrome', half-finished sweaters, etc. etc.
This turban is knit in two pieces; a cap and band.
Once I finished with the cap, I completely checked out from this project for the Spring & Summer.

original leaflet, from the V&A site

I used this 1940's pattern released again by the V&A entitled Knit Yourself a Turban. Knitters can choose the stocking stitch (as I did) or the moss stitch.  Here's my ravelry page for this project.

Until next time!

/french pumpkins (I did my nails again)


Base is Butter London in Jaffa, green glitter is super old from Bath & Body works and surely out of production. You'll find lots if you search "green sparkle nail polish" though!

Not the most attractive manicure of all time, but festive. Festive is what counts!

/(grey) cotton lace top


I finally have a few photos of the finished lace top! I went with the grey, which I knew would turn out light but only had one box of dye. It's a actually a really nice shade and matches a tank I have almost perfectly, which I wore under it for a wedding.
(The wedding I was making a velvet Macaron for. Two words; not happening.)
I also wore my favorite yellow skirt and favorite shoes.
Nothing can go wrong with your outfit if you put all your favorites together- just my philosophy.
A philosophy with many holes, I know.

I took a little extra care while sewing this top, because it's lace- there are absolutely no raw edges, inside or out!
The side seams and under-sleeve seams are french.  I joined the raglan sleeves to the bodice wrong sides together, trimmed and concealed the allowance with twill tape. The sleeves, neck and hem were finished with twill tape as well. I have a ready-to-wear top that I love finished with twill tape, so I figured it might be nice on this guy too!

This top is already becoming a staple, considering there are so many ways to wear it! A trans-seasonal sort of thing for sure.



So, I usually try to make a point of not talking about projects I have started but might never (ever)  finish.
That's just embarrassing, right?

I must have extraordinary faith in my ability to finish this cotton lace top, because here it is; very unfinished and on the interwebs. This because I'm having a needy, insecure teenage-girl TELL ME I LOOK GOOD moment regarding its colour. The whole thing will be garment-dyed either pearl grey or tangerine, but I just can't decide which one! Cannot.

I'm leaning toward the grey because I really want to get red pants this season, but is that really going to happen? The tangerine would be kind of amazing, not to mention wearable with all the jeans that I already have. 

Aspire to ownership of red pants, or be practical? As I said- quandary.

/last call tank


Okay, well yes- it is way too late to wear this tank by itself in my neck of the woods. I did make it (and a matching one for one of my sisters! adorable!) more than a month ago, so it had a little time in the sunshine.
It is THE softest fabric ever, a slinky knit I found at a giant fabric warehouse in Minnesota. I suspect it to be a modal/cotton blend.
So cozy that if I wore it during the day, I just keep it on for bed with some pajama shorts.

So simple, but I think if I tried to add anything else it would look silly with the print. The stripes are already broken up a bit.

I promise to do a better job with layering now that the temperature is in the 50's.
That scarf is really not going cut it.

/a month of nails


This month I've rekindled my love for fun nail colour.
Well, some would call it love- others, addiction.

You see, by the time I was in 5th grade I refused to cut my nails (but kept a file on me at all times) and had acquired so much nail polish I was pawning off the less desirable colours in the back of the morning school bus for $1 each. When I think about it, this is could be totally normal for today's 5th graders. Yikes.

Anyway, while cleaning my bathroom cupboards I found the gallon ziplock that still holds (and is filled to the brim with) all those treasures! Needless to say, I could do a different glitter polish on all ten of my nails and still have some to spare.

This month I started with a glittery paint job, then got out my more current colours.
I'm sure there's more to come!

grey: L.A.Girl Flare (Urban Outfitters)    sparkle: GAP circa 1999

light: RGB- Haze   dark: OPI- Lincoln Park After Dark

OPI- My Chihuahua Bites! (seriously.)
fall pedi

/organza twisty tank


One project I've actually taken photos of!
It's a tank, and the pattern is Cynthia Rowley 2593 from Simplicity.

The top was originally made because I always need something new to wear to weddings. I'm told I attend a disproportionate amount. I wore it with a mustard silk skirt, which seemed alright at the time, but looking back wasn't the greatest. (I'll spare you.)

I much prefer it with these denim cut-offs. And you know I don't buy my cut-offs already cut off. Just sayin'.
It might do well with my Seafarers, too.

The great thing about this nubby organza is that you don't have to iron it! In fact, every time I've worn it, I've have bunched and rolled and squeezed it to get it looking just right. As much as I love using my steam iron, that love really only extends to use while sewing.
The annoying thing about this nubby organza is that you have to wear something under it. Oh well.

 I only had to fudge one thing on this top, which was sacrificing cutting the neckline strip on the bias. Very little yardage.Thankfully, the fabric has a pretty loose weave so it ended up twisting alright. The pattern fit well (how could it not? it's pretty tent-y & long) and turned out just like I'd imagined, so I have no complaints- just questions about what to wear it with to still look fancy!



A few days ago I was going through the closet in my sewing room and found this old woodburning pen! I was a little scared to plug it in (I don't like it when things blow up), but after doing so was relieved to find it was in good working order.

 Let me tell you, woodburning is tricky business. That humble looking pen gets really, really (like, really) hot. This means one must keep their hands up on the black band around the pen if they'd like their skin to stay intact, making control kind of difficult.

I remembered I'd bought a couple of wood plaques at a craft store a few years ago with the intention of painting something cute on them. An illustration might be super cute for the next one, but this time I thought something with a lot of straight lines might be best for a steep learning curve (no practice wood). After brainstorming a variety of succinct Avett Brothers lyrics, I went to it! I think it's obvious which letter I started with (hah, that d is awful!). There are obviously spots that could be cleaned up, but I like the overall look! There's a certain charm when something looks like it was done by a 4th grader, right?

fun facts (?): the art of woodburning is called pyrography. and yes, woodburning is one word.

In other news, I put together a muslin version of the Macaron. The sleeves are amazing, definitely my favorite part!

My official self-imposed deadline is October 6th, so it might be a bit of a wait.
If there were no weddings, I would honestly never get any sewing done for myself!


/the biggest fabric store that I had ever seen.


During my 16 days in Minneapolis this summer, this was my only humble request; a little fabric shopping, duh! After thorough pre-trip internet research, and I knew I had found my place.

Here is just a taste of the aforementioned fabric wonderland called S.R. Harris.

I really have had dreams about it.

It's a short drive north of Minneapolis and is GIANT. This photo is just a weeee bit of what they've got! Talk about hyper stimulation of the senses; faux fur, denim, leather, sequins, lycra, silk- EVERYTHING! The only parts I didn't care to look through were the home dec and quilting sections, but you can bet I was quickly lured into both by my mom and sister requesting that I make them tablecloths and dinner napkins. I agreed.

We only had an hour to shop before closing, and had to cut and re-shelf our own fabric in the last five minutes (read: I had to cut all the fabric in the last five minutes)! I lived, because being so stressed out in a fabric store made me feel like I was on Bravo in its glory days. I had the fabric-wielding arms of a Project Runway contestant, and the sweaty brow of a Top Chef. Nothing wrong with that.

I showed major restraint, trying not to buy any fabrics I didn't have specific plans for. I usually fail at this in a big way, but was forced due to very limited suitcase space.

There wasn't too much labeling happening, but here's what I can guess about what I walked away with:

[top to bottom] Nanette Lepore brocade, synthetic blend for lining (purely for the minty colour), slinky knit- I'm guessing a cotton/modal blend? They'll all make their way back here in time! 

Oh yes, and everything at this place is always 50% off. This explains the dreams.

note: the post title is solely because I've watched this video about twenty times today. 
do yourself a favor.


Summer is finally here!
Really. We've just started to get summer weather in the Pacific Northwest in the past week.
Thankfully, I had a chance to escape to warm Minneapolis for two and a half weeks this month! (Well, not so thankful by the end of the trip- way. too. hot.)

We shopped. We ate. We attended sporting events and did all sorts of other touristy things.
There was also an outing involving a rental car and a GIANT fabric warehouse (I have since had dreams about this place. More to come).

 Before departure, I decided to procrastinate big time on the bridesmaids' dresses I should have been working on. After a week of mad sewing and a ton of silk crepe de chine, I'm done with 4 of 5 fully lined dresses! Hoooooooooooey.
If you sew, you'll probably be able to recognize the pattern I used right away. Kind of a popular one. (Simplicity 2360)
Hopefully I'll get a hold of some shots from the wedding so you can get the full effect!

worry not, I fixed that pesky shoulder seam!

Tonight is for grading the pattern for the fifth dress and refreshing my friendship bracelet making skillz for Grainline's friendship swap! This will be good. If you haven't already, you should join in on the fun too- but do it before tomorrow (July 29) at midnight!

/bleach dipped tank


So, I made Grainline's Tiny Pocket Tank. Mostly because her version is the coolest ever. THAT FABRIC!

Mine was made with a light pink lightweight cotton twill (that I got in this shipment!) as a muslin - at first. Then, before trying it on I got way too excited about dipping it in bleach and subsequently wearing it every day into eternity. The reverse dye job turned out perrrrfectly! I love so many things about it, but unfortunately when I did try it on, I realized that it doesn't fit me.

I cut out a size 10, which according to measurements would have been (and almost was) a good fit. Just two things:
1) The problem with a lot of good patterns is that they fail to recognize the existence of gravity.
If you know what I mean. So next time I'll be moving those darts downward.
2) I'll also be making it a few inches longer to accommodate my torso.
emily : torso :: giraffe : neck

I think it would be beneficial to use a more fluid fabric too. I'm thinking crepe de chine, challis or a nice cotton/silk blend like the original.

Really though, it's been so long since I made this one that I might just scrap this style altogether and jump on the Colette Sorbetto bandwagon. Pretty sure I'm convinced after seeing this one from Jaimielee.

Wait a minute, did I mention my recent acquisition of my very first Colette patterns?! Welp, it's no lie:

I want to start a Macaron SO badly, but have once again committed myself to bridesmaids' dresses. This batch is super cute though, and so much so that I may want one too!
Uh oh.

until next time,

/on its way!


Look! I was hanging out on Amazon and decided to check up on the BurdaStyle book, to discover that it not only has an official release date (November 1st), but a pretty cover! What the what? The cover proves that yes, the skirt I made will be included somewhere in its pages!

You see, I was a little (read:very) weary about my skirt, because it was made in a frenzy last summer during the same week of the bridesmaids' dress nightmare. On someone else's sewing machine. Yikes. I do love most things about it though.

Anyway, I feel like secret keeping and being sneaky, so I'm going to wait until I get a copy to say which one is mine...

image via Amazon

Feel free to take a guess! (That is, unless I already told you.)

Here's the official announcement about the book from last summer in case you missed it!

/birthday stuff.


 I had a birthday this week! As you can see, I had the absolute best pre-birthday cake ever, not really a cake but a GIANT MAPLE BAR! When we picked it up from the doughnut shop, we were told that we "definitely had the biggest doughnut in town right now." I'll take it.

On my actual birthday, I woke up to find that I had been featured on BurdaStyle! What a great birthday present! You can click through to read my interview & look at the silly pictures accompanying it.

Later, I was treated to an amazing dinner with my family at one of my favorite restaurants, (it's in the woods and by the lake, of course it's my favorite) and wore my cotton & silk pajama top that I made last summer. 

This just in: a top that was meant to be pajamas is actually dressier than most things I wear. 
Is it just me, or is my closet is trying to tell me something?

There's been a lot of sewing going on around here, so stay tuned in case I ever get photos of these things!

/I won stuff!


The more giveaways you enter, the higher the odds you're going to win something, right?
Well folks, I enter a lot of giveaways. Some for things that I wouldn't even find useful (why is that?). Thankfully, the two I've won thus far are super fun, useful & much appreciated!

The first was from Trisha Brink, a local shop owner who's now got an Etsy shop full of pretty prints! I even got to choose my favorite (Yes to Yarn, below), which is perfect in my sewing room although I am really a novice knitter. I also love the 'Globulus Bloom' & 'Rosa' prints.

Giveaway #2 was from the fab interiors/style blog, coco+kelley. Waverly offered them bundles of decorator weight fabric from their Modern Essentials collection, which arrived at my doorstep this week. There's one yard each of five fabrics, and the prints are better than I imagined for a luck-of-the-draw giveaway! I'm thinking at least one mini backpack (probably in the chartreuse & cream zebra print, let's get real), and perhaps some throw pillow covers for my mom? There's really nothing better than a free project!

Thanks to Trisha & Cassandra for the rad giveaways!

/denim short II


So glad to finally be done with these! I had pieced them together from two old pairs of jeans a few months ago (from the same pattern I drafted and made these out of), but never had the will to finish until now.

The lighter denim came from a pair of well-loved but too worn Gap jeans that I hadn't worn in years, and the dark denim from an alteration client's jeans she had me shorten. The pockets were once functional, but are now stitched shut. I should have realized that they'd gape massively, being at an angle on my hips and all... sometimes I do not think. Also, LOTS of flat-felled seams, because they are my favorite.

The sun has started showing itself (albeit sporadically), but it's definitely still not warm enough to wear shorts.
So I took a couple of awkward shots in the sewing room.

Shorts photos are much better if you can stage some sort of outdoor frolicking (picnic, walk in the park), but here I present to you the obligatory front and back photos.

Are back shots even obligatory?
If not, I definitely feel weird about this one...

Hopefully I'll be doing much more sewing for myself in the near future, because all I see are dresses! Sun & warmth, you are welcome to hold off another couple weeks until I make at least one more dress, but please come soon after that.
Much appreciated.

/I wore this.


I've decided I'm very much into messing around with my pen & tablet. So much so, that I've resorted to a pandemic blogging cliche, 'What I wore today'. I really don't mean to (or want to) become a 'style blogger', but this was so super fun it just may become a habit.


(But not.)

cardigan & shirt, j.crew; skirt, proenza schouler for target; flats, anthropologie.

/meringue nests


I hope everyone had a happy Easter!

This year I decided to accompany my annual coconut lamb cake with little nests. I had some chocolate & candy coated sunflower seeds, and had just made some delish lemon meringues, so this was the natural next step. I think they turned out pretty adorably, if I do say so myself! (They were tasty, too!)

As a bonus, these are great for gluten free people!  I was elated to see my gluten-free cousin throwing these back like I do malted milk eggs. I had to make sure and type up the recipe so I could remember what I did for next year, and the year after.

Really though, I'll probably make these again before Spring is over. Cute food is the best.

chocolate meringue nests
adapted from Joy the Baker

two large egg whites
pinch of salt
2/3 cup fine baking sugar
one tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
chocolate sprinkles
chocolate candy coated sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line one big baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside.

Use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip the egg whites until foamy (bubble bath status). Add the pinch of salt, then start mixing on medium/high speed. Add the sugar slowly, and continue beating the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.

Fold the cocoa powder and two tablespoons chocolate sprinkles into the egg white mixture using a rubber scraper.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with your choice of tip (round or star). Pipe a dab of meringue, then the 'nest' around it, forming approximately two-inch circles. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate candy coated sunflower seeds.

Place on the middle rack of your oven and bake for two whole hours.

Eat up.

/still chilly.


Last Thursday morning, there was snow on the ground. In April. You know, the stuff that's supposed to come from the sky in Winter, not the day after I plant my leek and lettuce starters; poor babies!

Still bundled in my sweater and sweats, I thought it was a good time to browse the Pre-Fall & Fall collections again.

Although this look is Pre-Fall Phillip Lim, it seems so perfect for right now. The suit would make an excellent Easter ensemble, but she's still bundled up in leather, boots & socks...with bare legs in hope that there will be a Spring.
original image via style.com

It's sunny today, but I'm skeptical. Will Spring ever come? Pllllllease?

/songs about clothes: Rosie


 (I’ll include a disclaimer for outrageously amazing craftiness & adorable stop-motion animation.)

Pretty Dress – Rosie Thomas 

I adore this song. It's about dressing for yourself,
not them.

/tea with coconut-infused milk


This morning, I drank the most delicious beverage. It's likely been done before, but is SO. TASTY.

Truth be told, I had made lemon macaron shells and was planning some coconut frosting for the insides. I simmered (then strained) sweetened coconut shavings in milk to use in the frosting, then realized we were out of butter.

Meh, the macaron shells weren't my best anyway. All wonky and sticky.
So I put the milk in my tea. Plain old PG Tips.

You get it.
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