So, do you guys embroider? I seem to love all things crafty, but embroidery was always something I snubbed my nose at. I'm not sure why. Maybe I considered it to old fashioned, maybe I had only seen embroidery in designs that I didn't feel were appealing.

My grandmother had lots of embroidered pillows on get couch, and I think I never liked them when I was little because they weren't comfortable for me to curl up with.

Well, I have a lazy day sewing project. (You know, a project that I can pick up and sew on for five minutes every couple of days and its easy to get out and put away.) It's a quilt that I am slowly making squares and just enjoying the process rather than racing trying to get a project done so I have something fun to wear.

I have made a few quilts before and since I am taking my time, I thought it would be nice to try some new things and expand my skills a little.

As I was perusing Lauren from Lladybird's blog I started seeing some embroidery that I loved. I got to thinking that it might be fun to as some embroidery on some of my quilt squares, plus it would be a good excuse to buy some new craft supplies learn something new.

So I started making a sampler. And I'm having so much fun! I never thought I would enjoy embroidery so much! (But then again, I never thought I would enjoy catch-stitching facings or hems, or inserting hand picked zippers either...)

So what about you? Do you enjoy embroidery? Do you have any crafts that you didn't think you liked and then found you secretly enjoy them?

Practice Heart that I embroidered.


No I didn't die.

Ok... you all deserve a large explanation.

Well, I got enaged.

And Then I got married.

And Then I moved.

Yay Salt Lake City, UT

So what have I sewn lately, you ask?


... And it's killing me!  But, I have moved into an apartment, and my husband and I set up an office space, which he calls my sewing room (love him).  I'm still settling in, trying to get used to a new job, figuring out the flow of our new life here together, but I'm really hoping to get to sewing again soon.  I probably don't have a single person that even checks this ol' blog of mine anymore, but if I do still have friends out there, I haven't died.  Promise.  Cross your fingers that I can get some things sewn up soon!

Miss you all!



Trending and Tops

Hey friends,

Does your life go in trends?  I have totally lost my blogging mojo, but I will say that in it's brief absence I've gotten some good work done!  Lets start from the beginning.  Prior to going on my spring break vacation, I spent not much time sewing and much time getting ready a few posts to go up while I was gone, and then between work for a week, vacation for 10 days, and then work for another week, by the time I was finally home for a stretch I was craving (and I mean serious cravings... like black tie mouse cake when at olive garden cravings) sewing time!  I hadn't actually gotten to sew anything in weeks!!  So I've spent the subsequent two weeks working some more, and sewing!  Glorious, glorious sewing!

So what does this mean for you, my friends?  It means that I am attempting to re-start the blogging trend, and it also means that I have several fun new pieces to photograph and blog about for you!

The first piece that I have managed to get photographed that I want to show you, I lovingly refer to as my "anthro shirt".  I don't know how any of you feel about it, but anthropologie is one of those stores that when I walk into it, I get a rush of wanting to spend way too much money.  So when I get the chance to sew something that I think has the same feel, well, I get a little giddy!

My Anthro Top :)

Pretending like I have wings like the birds...

Sans Sweater

My Man's favorite photo

And without the belt

This is a pendrell blouse pattern with a modified neck shape, shortened waist, and some ease taken out.


The Luscious Feel of Fabric

Hello there friends!

I am working on a Pendrell blouse with some fabric that I bought at fabric depot in Portland, OR last time I was home visiting my parents.  The other afternoon while I was running the fabric through Elphaba (who was doing a marvelous job of seaming), I got to thinking about how luscious the fabric felt in my hands.  It was soft, with just enough thickness in it to tell me it wasn't quilting cotton, just enough stretch to tell me that it was going to feel marvelous on my body, and just enough texture to make my fingers hum with excitment!  Do you ever let yourself completely drown in the tactile experience of exploring your fabric?  Does just the feel of a certain fabric make you dream up particular garments or projects or memories?

The fabric that has me gushing about texture

When I pre-washed it, I debated whether or not to use fabric softener in the wash.  I ended up using the fabric softener, but it did get me to wondering if my online sewing cronies had any thoughts.  Softener?  No softener?  What do you do with yours?  I love using it to help my fabric become even softer right from the get-go, but I am curious to whether or not it is a bad idea, especially with a very first wash.

So what are your thoughts?  Recommendations?  Horror stories?  Please, do share.



Sunday Style Set: Greener Grasses

Hello Friends!

The Grass is Always Greener

The Grass is Always Greener by miss-mt featuring leather shoes

I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate with the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".  I can be gloriously happy with the spring sunshine, cool breezes, and flowers popping up everywhere, and inevitably one day, I will catch myself thinking "gosh, I can't wait until fall!  The boots, the scarves, the sweaters!"  It's not that I'm wishing for cold weather... oh no!, I just love wearing boots and scarves.  So here is my, glad-it's-spring-but-wish-it-was-fall inspirational board.

What is your favorite season to dress for?



Yellow Chalk, White Fabric: A little of what not to do, and how to fix it!

Hey Friends!

So, I had a dilemma.  I was using this pristine white fabric for a project that I am still working on, but when I was first tracing the pattern onto the fabric I couldn't see the white chalk, so I chose to use yellow chalk.  The fabric has a wonderful, intricate pattern on it, (white on white of course) and I tried to be really careful to mark only the "wrong side".  I was trying to squeeze a Pendrell blouse out of only one yard of fabric, and because I had to get tricksy with the cutting and folding and laying out of my pieces, I ended up marking the "right side" on two of my pieces.  (It probably didn't help that I was marking and cutting at two in the morning...) 

Anywho, I was stuck trying to figure out how to get yellow chalk out of my beautiful white fabric.  I had some scraps left over, so I decided to try a few different things, and luckily, I took pictures so I could share with you. 

So with much pride, and very little humbleness, I introduce... my first tutorial!

Working on a Pendrell Blouse

If you look closely, you can see the white pattern on the fabric.

My yellow Tailor's chalk.

Step One: Yellow chalk on white fabric.

Step Two:  I tried to use a toothbrush on the fabric, to try and brush out the chalk.
I saw this tip on the internet.  No such luck. 

Step Three: I even tried (on a different scrap) dipping the entire thing in non-diluted bleach.  Again, no dice.

Step Four:  I got my fabric wet and scrubbed on the chalk mark with the toothbrush.  Small progress.

Step Five:  I added a little Dawn Pure.  I happened to have this, because it is what I use for dishes, and in hind-sight, the pure (with no added coloring) is probably the best choice anyways.  Scrubbing with the toothbrush, Dawn, and a little moisture showed definite progress in getting the chalk out!

Step Six:  After seeing that I was able to get the yellow out (at least I thought so), I decided to see if ironing the scrap would a) not ruin the texture, and b) make sure that the stain was out and that it didn't set any color into the scrap.  I couldn't see the fabric well enough to tell if the stain was out while the fabric was wet.

Success!!!  The iron dried the scrap, there didn't appear to be
even a trace of the yellow, and the fabric texture was the same as when I began.

Suggestions that I would give...  Well, first I would obviously recommend that you not mark your white fabric, on the "right side" at two in the morning!  But, if you are as silly as I am, I would suggest trying a scrap first!  

When researching on the internet, prior to my little experiment, I found several fixes for several different types of chalk.  I am using the tailor's chalk triangles, and I don't think they are wax... I'm not really sure.  But either way, the other suggestions I found online didn't work (other than dry cleaning... I didn't try that one).  But this method seemed to work well!

Hope this helps at least someone out!  I know I learned something and had fun in the progress!



Serging the Day Away!

Hello friends!

This week, I have felt like I've done hours of prep work and no sewing!  Does it ever feel that way to you?  The frustrating part is that I have so much more prep work to do!  I still have to cut my pattern for the truffle dress for Sew Colette, and I'm on a Pendrell blouse kick right now, and I'm trying to make a couple more, but add some fun design details so they aren't all the same!  Gah!  So much.  

But speaking of prep work... I recently started doing something that the pro's have probably been doing for a long time and I'm just late to the party.  I used to pre-wash my fabric straight from the store, just throw it in with the correct wash cycle and off we go!  It was very frustrating though, to pull out my pre-washed fabric and have so many strings and tangles from the cut edge.  Only very recently did I think... "huh!  why don't i serge (or zig-zag) the edge and then wash it."  Genius.  I felt pretty proud of myself.  I'm sure this is in many sewing books and it seems so common sense after doing it, but I thought I would share.  Just maybe I'm not the only newbie out there who hasn't quite thought of this simple idea yet!

Dorota doing what she does best

Hope your week is going well!  Are you stuck doing prep work right now?  Or are you sewing away, happily creating your next masterpiece?  



Emma Pillsbury Inspiration

Ok friends,

Truth time.... who watches Glee?  Miss Emma Pillsbury has the cutest freaking clothes!  I know, there is even a blog devoted to What would Emma Pillsbury Wear.  Proof enough that she is adorable.  Well, late the other night, while catching up on some Glee goodness, I stumbled upon this little number.

I couldn't find a good picture of the entire dress, but if you haven't seen it you'll have to take my word for it.  I'm pretty sure that you could use the peony pattern as a base, change the neckline, add a peter pan collar.  Throw in a box pleat like from the sorbetto, add some ruffles, some pearls, make a full skirt and add a belt from the same fabric.  A-dor-able!  I'm seeing this in my future.


Sunday Style: Outdoor Style

Outdoor style

Hello Friends!

I am getting ready to go on a vacation!  I'm so excited, the boyfriend and I are going to go galavant around california; some theme parks, some beaches, a little yosemite action.  So in preparation for getting some outdoor time, I thought I'd make this style set for you.  I have a few posts planned so that my blog won't be completely dead while I'm gone.

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend!



Because I Truly Feel It is Important

Hey friends.

I am going to break from my usual sewing hype to post something that I feel is important.  Some may be critics and say this is not appropriate to share on my 'sewing' blog, but I figure, this is my personal blog that I chose to focus mainly on sewing; and today I am choosing to share something that I feel is important.

This video was put out by Invisible Children, an incorporation that I have been following and supporting for quite a few years now.  They started as a couple of kids that went to Uganda, saw the child soldiers and decided they could do something to stop it.  This idea is huge, and everyone can help.    This year, 2012, they are really trying to push a huge change.  I know that I have some readers in the US, and I also know i have some readers in the UK.  This applies to everyone, so please, if you feel impressed, watch the video and just see what you think.  If you are not interested in watching, that is fine. I hope I won't lose some friends through posting this, but I feel it is definitely worth that risk.

The video is about 25 minutes long, but worth the watch.  Thank-you all for understanding and I hope that this video moves you to at least think about the world around you and how you can make a difference, no matter how small.


*Update 3.7.12*
I want to state, that by posting this video, I'm not asking or suggesting that you donate money to this cause, that is a very personal decision.  I feel they are bringing the story of Ugandan children to light when a lot of people were unaware of what was going on.  But I also feel that they are taking a very simplistic view.  I'm reading more and more about it, from sources other than Invisible Children; I just felt that this was a good starting place if anyone was interested.

My Closet: Plum Peacoat

Hello friends!

So, remember back a ways, when I was telling you about some of my favorite pieces from my own wardrobe, a la Colette Sewing Handbook?  I told you about my Hunting Skirt and my Bikes & Top Hats Sorbetto.  Well, next up, my favorite Plum Peacoat from Macy's.  

I first saw this coat in the Macy's window while strolling down Main St. one early fall afternoon two years ago.  I drooled.  And then I drooled some more.  Then I took my roommate to see the coat in the window.  Then I showed the boyfriend.  Then I gushed about it some more to my roommate.  Then my roommate dragged me into the store, made me try it on, and then made me buy it.  True story.

As I mentioned in my last post, the boyfriend (he's so great!) he generously helped me take some photos around town while we were on a nice little saturday afternoon walking date.  So, while I show you pictures of the coat, I thought I'd show you a few fun pictures from around my adorable little town.  You don't mind, do you?

Plum awesome!

Ok, how fantastic are those buttons?!

A 'bikes & top hats' underneath for good measure!

The boyfriend (who oh so wonderfully took these photos for me!)

So hard to get a non-blurry photo when no one is behind the camera!

My favorite part of this coat is the second hem!  I love how the coat ends, and then 'surprise!' there is another bottom waiting to peek out! (Oh, and I'm standing in front of one of the winery tasting rooms)

Our great little candy shop, Brights!

More candy

Gigantic lolli!

The local record store

So there you have it!  My favorite peacoat, and a few little glimpses of my home :)


One Week, One Pattern!

Guess what?!  Another fun group to join in on!  This genius idea was put into motion by Tilly and you can find all the details here!  I am trying to decide if I can actually make this date or not, and also trying to decide on which pattern I will use.

Have you joined this sew-venture?  What pattern are you going to use? I want to hear about it?  Are you worried that you won't be able to make enough in time?  Or do you already have several made in your closet?  Hmm...

Sunday Style: Satsuma


P.S.  I haven't died.  I'm trying to actually get some sewing done, and I'm also working on getting some photos for you that are half decent :)  They boyfriend is helping me!


Sunday Style Set: Dreaming of Spring

Hey Friends,

I'm going to try something new.  I really need to get better at putting together outfits, so in order to push myself I'm going to try and post a set from Polyvore every Sunday.  Truly, you can ignore brand names etc, I'm just trying to better grasp colors and styles.  I have found a wonderful blog Design Seed, and she says that her inspiration boards can be used on blogs, so I'm using her color schemes and basis for the style set.

Let me know if these are something you enjoy :)

Dreaming of Spring


12 in 2012 Project!

Hello friends!

Have you heard about the challenge that Suzie, from Su Sews So So is doing?  She is calling it the 12 in 2012 challenge.  She has picked out 12 projects, 12 skills, and 12 techniques that she wants to accomplish in 2012.  I really think this is a great idea and want to join!  I wasn't really sure what techniques and skills I wanted to do so I decided to just make a list of 12 projects and will talk about new techniques and skills that I may have learned or used when I blog about each completed project.  So without further beating-around-the-bushage...

For my first project, I decided I would give myself a little leg up...  I've already made my Peony dress, but it was a goal that was totally on my list before Suzie came up with this fantastic idea.  So, why not cheat a lot a little and put a completed garment on the list.  My peony!  Blogged about here and here.
And since I said I would talk about techniques and skills used when I blog about the piece (which I didn't do) I'll talk about it now!  This is the very first dress that I have ever put pockets into!  It was a great learning experience that I have since used on other patterns.  I also used Colette's technique for inserting invisible zippers.  This was a dream!!  I will never put one in another way.  I also moved darts for the first time!  The waist darts were too narrow and I moved them outwards about 1/2 inch each.  Very easy to do, but still a good skill to learn.  Along the same lines, I also shortened the waist to meet where my actual natural waist was.

What is my second goal you ask?  Why, my Minoru jacket of course!  Which is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself!  I'm itching to show it to you!  Can I be super honest with you all and tell you a secret?  I may have already finished my jacket... shhh!!!  *ahem* I mean...  I'm strictly following the sew-a-long, and will unveil my finished Minoru jacket along with everyone else.  But just in case you missed the preview of my fabric or *gasp* forgot, here it is again.

Kokka Trefle Oxford Cotton Canvas Cherries Red

Third.... bomb, bomb, bum..... Bombshell!  I bought this Craftsy course quite a while ago, and I watched the entire video and thought to myself, "wow, I can actually do that!"  then promptly didn't.  You know how doubt creeps in... that voice in my head can be a real little rascal sometimes!  The rational side of myself says, "oh I'm waiting until I have a little more experience under my belt before I try something that involved."  So this darn dress is for sure on my list of 12 in 2012.  I need to just do it!


I have been dying to make a circle skirt!  I'm pretty sure my love of circle skirts started with Sunni's skirt.  And then I found the wonderful blog Casey's Elegant Musings, and discovered that she had a fantastic Circle Skirt Sew Along.  I was reminded again how much I wanted to sew a circle skirt when I saw Lauren's fan-frickin-tastic version here!  So, needless to say, if you didn't already have it monotonously repeated into your head... I want to sew a circle skirt.  


Gertie's Gathered Skirt Tutorial!  Gah, this skirt makes me go weak at the knees and want to put on heels and dance around like a lil' trollop (in a good way, mom.)  I just mean, looking at the skirt makes me feel sassy, and spunky, and utterly feminine at the same time!  Yes please!

Numero Seis...  A tailored coat.  Through A Good Wardrobe's wonderful list of indie pattern designers, I discovered Jamie Christina Design and this adorable coat pattern!  The Abby Coat is so fun and flirty, with an adorable peter pan collar detail.  I would probably add a few details to really make it my own, but I want to go through Gertie's Lady Grey tutorials and really learn how to tailor a coat, and apply the principals toward the Abby Coat.  I am torn though, because the original Lady Grey pattern is so darling!  Oh the choices!



Next project on my list to tackle is a good pair of jeans.  I have actually been quite terrified of this idea until I stumbled upon the Jean-ius course that I blogged about here.  I'm so thrilled to be taking a class taught by Kenneth D. King, and he makes it all seem so easy and manageable.  I actually have two different pairs of jeans that I'm considering copying.  One pair is a boyfriend fit jean that is oh-so-comfortable, and the other is a skinny jean that has a slightly more relaxed fit than most. 


The Chantilly dress pattern by Colette Patterns is a dress that I have lusted over, ever since I saw Tasia's version.  I have some fabric stashed away exactly for this project, but I've been putting it off because the fabric is slippery and I'm going to have to not only line, but probably underline most of the dress.  


What is one wardrobe staple that every girl should have?  A basic pencil skirt, yes?  I think so.  Probably one in black, and probably one in just about any other color imaginable ~grins~  I do love me some color.  My roommate has a knack of calling them "Montana colors", and then I tease her about her increasingly gray wardrobe!  I don't know exactly which pattern yet, but I think the Jenny, by Burda would be a good place to start.


Next on the list, the Pendrell blouse by Sewaholic Patterns.  If I'm being truly honest with you about it, I've made one before and was really unsatisfied with it.  But it wasn't anyone's fault but my own.  I used fabric that was too thick and had too heavy a drape to it.  I just didn't fit right.  I also needed to chose a smaller size, because the pattern has so much ease and I like my tops to be slightly more fitted.  


So, I am an American, but will everyone forgive me and/or accept me if I say that our friends in the UK have a much better idea with the word knickers!  Underwear is just so blah... but there you have it.  I want to make my own knickers!  It seems like such a fun idea and a fairly easy pattern.  There would also be so many fun colorful fabrics and bits of lace that I could add.  Suzie, who actually came up with the whole 12 in 2012 idea just posted a lovely tutorial for making lace knickers!  There are also several lovely tutorials to be found on Pintrest.

Last, but not least;  Mary from Idle Fancy has totally inspired me to make a dress.  She continues to make Simplicity 2215, which is a button down dress that is so lovely!  I'm dying to give it a go, I just have to find the right fabric... and belt, and cardigan, and shoes, and.... I feel like I'm finding excuses to go spend money.

So there you have it!  My twelve projects I hope to accomplish this year.  I don't expect to do them in order, but I will try to do them all!  Geez, it seems a little daunting, doesn't it!  How about you?  Have you joined the challenge, or do you have a personal goal list?  Do we have any goals in common?  I'd love to hear from you!

P.S.  Maybe you have already noticed, but I've added two pages to my blog.  One is a little more about me, if you're interested, and the second is a page with audiobooks that I enjoy, since I'm usually listening to one while sewing.