Thursday, February 26, 2015

3 Year Blogversary!

I can't believe it's been three whole years, and 60 posts, since I started this blogging journey! Time really flew by. I've learned so much since I started, and I've been so inspired by our amazing online sewing community. To celebrate, I'm sharing some of my favorite makes over the last three years.

Sewing-themed Shorts

Blue Peony Dress

Elephant Pincushion

Peplumed Peony

Oak Leaf Beignet Skirt

Laurel Muslin

Sewing-themed Laurel Dress

Color-Blocked Iris Shorts

Cooper Backpack

Practice Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress!

Midnight Myrtle Dress

Thanks for taking a peek at my favorite makes from the last 3 years! I'm excited to see where the next 3 years brings all of us in the sewing community  :D

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Two weeks of fermentation!

In the last 4 weeks, Josh and I brewed, fermented, and bottled our first beer - a Belgian blonde. I bought Josh a home brew kit from Brooklyn Brews for Christmas. They have a lot of great kits and online tutorials, so it was perfect for learning to brew beer.

Bottling Day!

The brewing process was a little more complex and specific than I imagined. There is a lot of boiling ingredients, and waiting, and hoping, and sterilization involved. We were so worried that we might not have had the temperature perfect for the whole process, or that we might not have gotten the sterilization just right, and that our beer (after 4 weeks of work) could end up tasting terrible.

Finally pouring, after weeks of anticipation!

Eventually the head fizzled out and we could enjoy our beer!

I'm happy to report that our beer turned out delicious! We were so pleased and relieved. We may have added slightly too much honey (honey gets eaten by yeast to carbonate the beer) because our beer has a large head, but that's something we can easily change in the future. Once the head fizzed down a little, it was a delightful beer! We want to brew another batch soon, and maybe this time work with a recipe rather than a kit. We both love sour beers - so we might have to give those a go. Cheers!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oslo Sweater

Close-up of Oslo sweater

We had a snow day today, so I was finally able to finish my sweater! The pattern said it would take 2 hours... I started in December. It was really simple to make though, it took me longer because I would take week-long breaks from working on it. I really enjoyed sewing this, and I will definitely sew this pattern again.

This is the first pattern I've tried from Seamwork magazine, and it's great! For my next version, I need to take some room out of the bust and the bicep area - it just turned out a little too baggy for me. When I make those changes though, it will be perfect! I'd love to try it with a really thick sweater fabric, to make a sweater coat!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

European Adventure

Josh ahead of the Louvre

The last two weeks of December, Josh and I finally went on our honeymoon. It was a whirlwind of adventure. We spent a day and a half in London, six days in Paris (the week of my birthday), six days in Prague (the week of Christmas), and even got to see my sister during a nine hour layover in Chicago! We had an amazing time and took over 2,000 photos! I thought I'd share a few favorites  :)

San Chapelle Chapel in Paris

My favorite part of the whole trip, was visiting San Chapelle Chapel in Paris. It is a beautiful medieval gothic chapel started in the 1200s. I learned about San Chapelle in college, and have been dying to visit ever since. It was well worth the wait - absolutely stunning!

Window shopping in Paris's Latin Quarter

Amazing architecture in Prague's Old Town Square

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Enormous Christmas tree in Prague

Nettle beer and banana beer at Pivovarsky Dum!

Trdelnik in Wenceslaus Square

When we got back from our trip we moved into a new apartment, which we are loving. I also started taking a pattern drafting class! The class is going really well so far. We spent the first session taking measurements, and since have drafted our front bodice, back bodice, and sleeves. Next class we are sewing the bodice together to see how it fits - yay! I've also been taping together a sweater pattern from Seamwork magazine. It's only suppose to take a few hours to make the sweater, but so far it has taken me that long just to tape all the pattern pieces together  :)

Soooo much taping....

Friday, December 12, 2014

Travel Pillows

DIY Travel Pillows

Josh and I have a trip coming up soon, so I decided to make travel pillows for our flight! It was actually really easy and fast. I had leftover stuffing from when I made my Halloween Log and I used fabric from my stash, so I didn't have to buy anything for this project!

To start out, I drew a rough draft of the pillow on tracing paper. Then I cut the tracing paper pattern out, and tried it around my neck for size. The first draft seemed a little small and I had forgotten a seam allowance, so I altered the pattern and drew it larger.

Travel Pillow Pattern

Next, I pinned the pattern to my fabric (I made sure to choose extra soft fabric) and cut out two pieces of fabric. Then I pinned the two pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing each other.

Pinning the pattern to the fabric

After the fabric was pinned together, I sewed the two pieces together - leaving a 3 inch opening. Then I turned the pillow right side out and filled it with stuffing.

Stuffing the pillow

Finally, I hand stitched the opening shut. Can't wait to use these on our trip!

Yay for comfort!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grey Cat Mask

Wool cat mask

For Halloween, I made this wool cat mask - similar to the fox mask I made a few years ago. Josh and I went to the All the Saints Parade in Richmond. It was amazing - anyone how wants to can join in, there was a marching band, and people made really cool giant paper-mache puppets that they paraded through the streets. After that, we went on a haunted hayride with some friends and ran (& screamed) our way through a haunted forest. The mask was a perfect/casual costume for the night.

Adding whiskers!

I started the project by sketching out my mask on tracing paper. Then I cut it out and tried it on. The eyes weren't positioned exactly right, so I moved them and tried it again. When I got the shape correct, I started cutting my materials. The grey wool is from a felted wool sweater, the back is the same shape cut out of black felt, and hidden between the layers is a thin plastic layer (cut from an old plastic folder) to add support.

My mask  :)

For the fox mask, I used paint to add details to the mask. This time around, I decided to needle-felt all my details on. It worked really well! I needle-felted all the black and pink areas, except for the whiskers - which are a thin black yarn. Finally, I hand-stitched the front to the back, sandwiching in my ric-rac ties. And it was that easy!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Log Saw Something That Night

The Log Ladies

Welcome to Twin Peaks!

Happy Halloween!! Josh and I celebrated last weekend as Twin Peaks characters  :) I was the Log Lady and he was Dr. Jacoby.

My costume was pretty simple, but I had fun with it. I already had all the wool and plaid cloths and even the glasses, so I just had to make my log. I bought woodgrain fabric at Jo-Ann's and light tan twill tape for the strap. I decided to make a log purse, so I could carry all my stuff in it. I filled the log with poly stuffing and lined the inside purse area, to avoid digging through the stuffing to find my stuff  :)

Log purse!

Spooky Sweet

Here are the measurements for my log purse:
1 - 19" x 19 1/2" woodgrain fabric
2 - 6" wide circles
1 - 20"+ zipper
1 - 32" twill tape (for strap)
1 - 19" x 10" lining fabric
1 - bag of stuffing

My log saw something...

The log was pretty easy to sew up. I started by sewing the zipper to both ends of the ~19" square fabric piece, to make a tube. Then I flipped it inside out and sewed a circle to each end. When you sew on the circles, put right sides of the fabric together and sandwiched the strap in-between the right sides of the fabric on both sides. The strap should line up with the end of the zipper on each side. Don't zipper the zipper up all the way when you sew the ends on, or it will be more difficult to flip the rightsides back to the outsides  :)  

Then I just stuffed the whole thing with poly-stuffing and I hand-stitched a lining to the underside of the zipper (after folding the lining in half, into a 19" x 5" rectangle, and sewing the ends shut on my sewing machine. I know it's not the best way to line something, but it was the easiest way since I was also stuffing it. And you see the finished product! A puffy log that could double as a pillow - if the Halloween party you attend gets boring ;)

For real Halloween, last night, I made a felted wool cat mask. Pictures of that will be coming soon!