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The Trials of Moving

Hi Friends! This past weekend I moved into my brand new single lady apartment! It’s very exciting, but I also have a ton of work ahead of me… as you may have noticed, I haven’t posted here in a while so I just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know I’m still alive!

Everything is still in boxes and trying to find specific items is like an obstacle course and treasure hunt rolled into one.  Sadly, this means I haven’t been able to so much as knit two stitches in the last couple weeks. The stock photo below illustrates the exact opposite of what moving is actually like:

               

Look at that smiling face and those neatly packed boxes. Lies!  I will have some time this weekend to sort stuff out and hopefully get back to making because I’m going a little crazy without my crafts.  For now, I will leave you with my adorable kitteh…                  

Introduction to Leather

I recently had the chance to work with a material that I’m not very familiar with - leather.  My favorite fabric shop, Grey’s Fabric and Notions, recently got in some beautiful pieces, some large and some small scraps that are perfect for fashioning into accessories. I had to try my hand at leather working right away so I dove in with some simple accessories inspired tutorials I found at Oh The Lovely Things and Freshly Given.

On the left are a pair of quirky earrings and the right is a wrist cuff.  I really like the look of the cuff when it’s on:

I loved working with the leather, it’s nice not to worry about finishing edges! I’d love to try making a small wallet next - I can just imagine the decorative topstitching now!

Weekend Escape

This past weekend I went home to Western Massachusetts where I grew up.  It’s been quite chaotic around here lately and going home gave me a chance to slow down and refresh.  I mostly worked on my current knitting project, a shawl which you’ll see more of later.

I spent some time admiring nature, a luxury I don’t often get in the city, and snapped this picture of a Black Capped Chickadee eating a seed.

Of course the weekend wouldn’t be complete without cats!

It was really nice to feel more relaxed and gather some new inspiration, and now I feel ready to tackle some bigger things… like my big move!

Etsy Wednesday

Hi friends! I know I’ve been a bit of an absentee blogger as of late so I wanted to touch base with a new Etsy Wednesday.  This time I’m featuring some home decor items especially for the living room.

This Etsy Wednesday is also accompanied with some news… I will be moving into a new apartment very soon, and this time it’s all by myself! Sure, I’m a little nervous, having never lived alone before, but this means I’ll have the whole space to decorate to my taste which makes me pretty giddy!

Here are some items from Etsy that I think would be perfect for the warm, classic, subtly feminine living room I have in mind:

 

         {Purple Vintage Wallpaper Inspired Coaster Set from No Sweat Coasters}

                       {READ Text Bookends from Knob Creek Metal Arts}

                        {Vintage Milk Glass Bud Vases from Becki B’s Remade}

Couture With Susan Khalje

Is the fact that Susan Khalje has a couture dressmaking class on Craftsy on anyone else’s radar?!

Craftsy is a pretty great site which features online classes on a wide variety of making including sewing, gardening, knitting, quilting, and more. You pay to sign up for the class and then have unlimited access and can also ask questions directly of the instructor.  Neat, huh? The first Craftsy class I signed up for is one by one of my favorite sewing bloggers, Gertie of Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Susan Khalje, she is quite the accomplished couture seamstress. She began in a couture house in New York and is now an editor at Threads Magazine.  Imagine, taking what’s almost a one on one class with her - whenever you want - in your house!

Ok, I know I sound like a commercial for Craftsy but I’m that excited.  What about you? Will you be signing up?

A Vintage Notion

Mention vintage to most makers and their hearts skip - whether it’s fashion and style, home decor, notions and tools, or methods and techniques, there is an appreciation for the past.  There are different reasons for admiring vintage and one of them for me is honoring what led us as makers, sewists, designers, and stylists to where we are today.

My mother taught me how to sew I am not only appreciative for the technical skills she gave me, but sewing and creating was also one of the ways we bonded throughout my childhood.

Of course the love of vintage is not always so philosophical - check out the packaging and typefaces on these needle packs! There is something so charming about having such an ornate label on such a little envelope.

The image below of “The Perfect Pinker,” is what was used instead of pinking shears. Opposite the zig-zag wheel there is a smooth metal wheel and the fabric just glides through. How ingenious!

These notions were given to me by a neighbor’s (who passed away some time ago) family.  She had all sorts of vintage goodies left over in her stash and I feel happy that I could preserve some tools which were used in a previous generation for making, an endeavor that I am passionate about today.

Do you have a soft spot for vintage? What’s the draw for you?

Mini Gardens

So I know it’s the middle of winter but I couldn’t resist writing about some of the exceptionally cute miniature planters that seem to be popping up in the handmade blogosphere.

           

                                  {Shell-Potted Succulents from radmegan}

Succulents are hardy and easy to care for and if you’re apartment dwelling like myself, what a perfect way to garden in a small space!

                                     {Micro Planter How-To from The Etsy Blog}

Happy Growing!

Etsy Wednesday

Here in Massachusetts it’s been a very mild winter so far but it’s getting colder and rumors of snow abound. For me, cold weather, snow, and little sunlight mean my mood takes a dip so I thought this would be a good opportunity to feature some Etsy finds that promote warmth and comfort.

Why not make yourself a hot cup of tea with Organic White Jasmine Loose Leaf Tea from The Cozy Leaf?

Grab your tea and head to a steamy bath with some French Red Clay Soap from Rocky Top Soap Shop:

Then, why not curl up under this cozy throw blanket from Biscuit Scout:

If the throw itself is out of your price range, grab the downloadable pattern for the same throw and knit away!

Happy nesting!

Holiday Fashion

Hi Readers! I thought about it was time to make a post about the dresses that I made for the holiday season.  The first you got a glimpse of in this post where I was especially excited about the tulip sleeves. Here’s the finished dress:

                                   

For the base pattern, I used the Dirndl Dress that comes with the Built By Wendy Dresses book (which I highly recommend). I then made the sleeve modification as well as lengthening the skirt by three inches.

The next dress I wore on New Year’s Eve:

                                        

For this dress I used McCalls M6460 pattern and made version C. The only modification I made was unintentional… I didn’t use a contrast band of fabric for the hem because I was crunched for time. You may call me Ms. Procrastinator.

I wasn’t thrilled with the results and the main reason is because the chiffon I used for the yoke was so hard to work with! I definitely need more practice working with difficult fabrics. Feel free to pass on any useful techniques!

The last dress I made is definitely my favorite:

                                    

I used Simplicity’s 4070 and made version B. I made no design modifications, I only widened the skirt and the skirt lining in the hips (a mod a make to almost every pattern).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture from the night but I wore this dress to my company’s holiday party paired with this beautiful updo from {this is glamorous} and some red lipstick.

So there you have my holiday fashions! Now on to some desperately needed everyday clothes. Work appropriate dresses, here I come.

Silk Charmeuse, A Love Story

Stopping by the fabric store, or any crafty type shop is a test of my willpower. I nearly always have to suppress the urge to run around like a crazy person, pile everything into my arms and/or basket, and purchase it in the midst of a craft supply induced haze before I realize what I’ve done.

Occasionally I’ll visit a local shop on my lunch break if I need something for a current project. Today it was a packet of hooks and eyes, and a couple zippers. Simple right? Well then I saw this beautiful faux fur remnant for only five dollars that was perfect for the faux fur capelet project which has been floating around my head for the past couple weeks.

                               

Ok, so if I have the fur, might as well get something to line my capelet with… It was then readers, that I saw the most beautiful silk charmeuse:

                               

Now the picture doesn’t do it nearly enough justice but I swear, this charmeuse is like a field of flowers and a cup of tea by the fire all rolled into one, it’s THAT awesome.

For the capelet, I’m envisioning something along the lines of this:

                     

Has there ever been a time when you’ve found true love in a fabric/craft/yarn store and just can’t leave it behind?