The Marlborough Bra

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I love this new pattern. Not least because it fit perfectly with no alteration. From Orange Lingerie, available on Etsy . For those who don’t sew, she also makes custom bras!

Have a happy Labor Day!

New Blue Outfit

I’m a huge fan of the color blue. Until recently my all-encompassing passion has been frequently stymied by the whim of the industry dictating that RTW clothes be made in only the “trend color” and other coordinates to be worn with it. Well, nevermore, my friends. During my handmade wardrobe adventure over the last 18 months I’ve had the choice to eschew all lesser colors and pretty much have every item I want in blue. And choose I have.

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Not a lot to say pattern-wise, just a third Deer and Doe Datura blouse in a Liberty print and my fourth Papercut Patterns Sigma Dress in the flat-front skirt version.

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This is the first time I’ve done the skirt with no pleats or gathering and it fits well and I think it’s cute but I prefer having the comfort of those extra few inches in the gathered version. I used this adorable bias tape my brother gave me for the hem, and did my very first kick pleat rather than the slit in the back.

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For the top, I added 1.5cm length and used these cute painted wooden buttons on the back.
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While I like the outfit as-is for work, I discovered this alternate style while I was messing around taking photos:
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Aaah! I LOVE the fifties vibe that I get from tying up the back shirttails! Can’t wait to wear it to my next ladies night.
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Fall and Winter Wardrobe Plans

I set out Friday with big plans for doing some Fall/Winter wardrobe fabric shopping. Having come home in the past from the garment district bewildered and with $100 of things I don’t need, have no plans for, and don’t have all the components required for a garment or outfit, I knew I needed significant preparation. I spent over an hour sorting through my patterns and thinking ahead about what I want to wear in the next few months, what is missing most from my work wardrobe and what fabrics/colors I wanted to make them in if I had thoughts on that. List in hand, I planned to first stop in at Metro Textiles and visit Kashi, who is a beloved shop owner among local sewists here.

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Little did I know, Kashi is a charming and opinionated seller who will have you take home half the store if you don’t stick with your plan ;)! Even with my list and full knowledge that my office is too darn hot to wear heavy wool in the winter, I ended up buying two sweater woolens I didn’t need (“everyone loves this! Almost sold out!”) and an Italian quilted coat fabric (“it’s waterproof!” actually no, it’s not) for a coat I have no experience or desire to make and don’t need. I may put them all in my Etsy shop if I can’t find patterns to use them for.

My lack of willpower against soft things aside, this store is a true find. The fabrics I bought seem to be of very nice quality- soft, nice weight for the type and the gorgeous colors. Also, based on memory and some online research, at least $2 less per yard than comparable fabrics at the most famous garment district fabric store. Finally, Kashi provided outstanding 1-on-1 service that helped me get most of what I needed all in one place, and made great recommendations for things I might like after learning the color scheme I was going for. I walked out with a beautiful and unique palette that should translate into a fantastic Fall and Winter wardrobe.

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Here are (some of) the things I am really excited that I got and my plans for them:
A soft midweight navy cotton sateen with just a touch of sheen and stretch for a second pair of straight-leg Thurlows.

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Same fabric in fuschia for my new amazing fit skirt pattern.

IMG_9285.JPG Stunning poppy print lawn for my new Lisette Passport dress.

IMG_9287.JPG This gorgeous, soft and slinky wine colored wool knit for a draped cross-front dress, still looking for the right pattern.

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What is your approach to shopping for fabric? Do you fill your stash with things you might use in the future or try to shop to a list?

Deer and Doe Datura: Day and Night

Last week I worked on my second Deer & Doe Datura blouse – I LOVE this pattern!

IMG_9215.JPG The Datura is a simple pattern with lots of possibility for customization that I haven’t yet taken advantage of. There are two necklines, a collar, separate yoke and torso pieces, and a button-back. This Day version is bare bones as far as details because it is aaaaall about the gingham. I lined the yokes and the front torso, used all french seams and increased the length by 1 inch 4 cm.

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For the Night version that I completed a couple of months ago I combined a metallic dot polyester chiffon with a cotton-silk lawn.

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With a regular length and no collar or neckline detail, this one is also pretty basic besides the fun fabric and buttons.

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The gingham is 100% linen from Dry Goods Design and both black fabrics are from Harts Fabric, both online stores I highly recommend. The black top has been my go-to date night top this summer because it’s so lightweight it feels like nothing. I was a little worried the linen top would make me feel hot because of the muslin lining, but I wore it all weekend and the fabric stood nicely away from my skin. I’m totally smitten with both!

Wild Papercut Patterns Anima Pant

Whether for yoga, jogging or vegging on the couch watching some #BB16 (keepin it real), I love my new Papercut Patterns Anima Pant.

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After making the Papercut Sigma Dress three times, I was pretty confident ordering something from the new pattern line. While the swimsuit was calling my name, I was a little worried to buy what is essentially a lingerie pattern from people who mainly focus on clothes. It’s just a totally different process and I decided instead to leave that to the experts and instead order me some sweatpants, baby. (Though there are plenty fabulous Somas out there, so I need not have feared!)

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Since it’s summer and whatnot I used a super lightweight printed jersey from Girl Charlee. I used the reverse side to strike a contrast for my waist and leg bands and for a cute little pocket detail.

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Not a whole lot to say: they’re comfy, cute, and despite their primary residence planted in my sewing chair or on my couch, they have occasionally gotten a workout.

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(Also in this photo, my Ohhh Lulu Jasmine Bra with self-drafted racerback, which I will show soon.)

Have you made any Papercut patterns? I think I may invest in the Undercover Hoodie if my trusty Jcrew hoodie ever dies on me.

Stripey Rayon Belcarra Blouse

I’ve decided that if I want to continue my blog I need to do it 100% on my phone. Pictures, editing and text. I hate real photo shoots by myself and pretty much have no other choice but doing phone selfies. This means handmade wardrobe posts will be shorter and probably will not contain many links because have you ever tried to toggle between windows on a smart phone? Yuck. Also, when I switched up my theme last summer I installed a mobile-friendly one so it should be easy for you to read on your phone as well! And that is all we will say about that.

This weekend I worked on the Sewaholic Belcarra blouse.

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I unfortunately chose wide stripes for a raglan sleeve shirt. Such a rookie mistake!

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Despite the mismatching stripes I love it and have gotten lots of compliments at work about it. Also it’s rayon which is my fave cool summer fabric. My blouse inspired a ladies meeting in the kitchen (thankyouimadeit a’la oona) where a few of the older women told me about how they used to make their own clothes in high school. I said we should start having sewing dates and I hope that happens.

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Sewing notes: I was in between sizes and based on other finished garment photos I chose to size down. It’s still a little bigger in the neck and back sleeve than I would like, so I may alter the pattern before my next one. I did 100% french seams because I’m too laaaazy to re-thread my serger.

So have you made the Belcarra? Does this blouse make you want to repurpose a circus tent?

Abstract Quilt

This Abstract Quilt has been on my brain from very early in my quilting days, but I was never able to pull together the right project until January-ish. I was inspired by warm colors and lots of soft negative space.

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As I said it was a Winter make but I was waiting to post it until I gave it away, and then I forgot to post it!

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The new owner of this quilt was born to some of our favorite friends on Mother’s Day. We can’t wait to meet him, kiss his cheeks, and maybe even hang out with him on his new quilt.

New Product: Minky-Backed Blankets!

I have been searching high and low for the perfect new addition to the shop, and I’ve finally found it: the custom monogrammed minky-backed blanket!

custom baby blanket

It was inspired by my friend Lily, who just turned two. Lily’s mom won’t let her take her baby quilt out of the house (hah! But can you blame her?!) so I designed this simple blanket that’s lightweight and durable enough for her to tote along wherever she wants to take it, and monogrammed it so that everyone will know it is hers.

Pink Green 2 Bold Goods

The back is made of a material called minky, a chenille that is softer than fleece and flannel and doesn’t pill like those fabrics do – it’s perfect!

Pin green square Bold Goods

I’ll be taking custom orders for the monogrammed versions, and also selling pre-made versions in my favorite color combinations, like this:

Blue and grey minky blanket Bold Goods

Blue and grey minky blanket2  Bold GoodsI hope you’ll check them out next time you need a gift!

Inspiration for a Snow Day

I’ve been meaning to share my excitement for two new fabric designers I learned of in the January/February issue of Frankie Magazine.

The first is illustrator Elizabeth Olwen from Toronto:

Illustration by Elizabeth Olwen

Illustration by Elizabeth Olwen

She makes lovely florals, fresh geometrics, and has a great eye for color. She has lots of stationery and Apple products accessories available, but I was so excited to learn her first line of fabric, Grey Abbey, is supposed to come out this month (!!) with Cloud 9 Fabrics:

Elizabeth Olwen Grey Abbey

Cloud 9 Fabrics

I was hoping to whip up some fresh spring couch pillows in these exact blue and yellow shades after seeing this adorable house tour on Apartment Therapy:

Photo from Apartment Therapy

Photo from Apartment Therapy

The second is Dinara Mirtalipova, an illustrator from Uzbekistan and currently living and going to school in Cleveland:

Art Print by Dinara Mirtalipova

Art Print by Dinara Mirtalipova

I love, love, lover her work, I think she uses black in such an interesting way. Her first fabric line will come out with Windham Fabrics this Spring:

Swim Team Fabric, Dinara Mirtalipova for Windham

Swim Team Fabric, Dinara Mirtalipova for Windham

These prints would be perfect for a summer beach blanket or a kids’ romper.

Hope you’re all staying safe and warm today. I took a snow day from work, and am so glad I’m not waiting at my bus stop getting pelted in the face with blowing ice right now.

Into the Briar Patch Quilt

My latest quilt makes full use of the popular and sweet Briar Rose by Heather Ross fabrics.

Economy block front

Her illustrations always make me catch my breath. I don’t know how someone can both imagine the most adorable thing ever, and then draw it. I feel the same way about Lizzy House – some people just have unimaginable talent for us mere mortals. economy block bold goods

I wish I could tell you what the other fabrics are, but I no longer keep copious notes on such things. The sketchy looking ones came from a whole bundle of citrus-colored fat quarters that I am really excited to use.

I did what is now for me a standard back. Cute puppies, some color-blocked scraps, you know the drill. I love making them simple but also pretty. You can see the hand-quilting best on this side.

baby quilt back bold goods

economy block quilt bold goods

The quilt is perfect for a newborn, 36 x 36″, and I think it could really anchor a nice modern nursery, or “nursery corner” for us city-dwellers. It’s listed in the shop now.

economy block bold goods

I’ve started my cozy, funky, wonderful Christmas Quilt this week.

christmas quilt

Back in July, the lovely ladies of the Stitch That Stash bee made me various and fantastic Christmas blocks, while I diligently avoided sewing and tried to focus on the bar exam. They are all different sizes, so I decided to put them together into larger, 22×22″ improv-pieced blocks.

Christmas quilt

I am also making a few all-improv blocks to make the design more cohesive. Not sure if that makes any sense, as the idea of improv is lack of cohesion, but I’m going with it.

Christmas quilt

I’ve been really busy the last six weeks on a contracting project, but I’m happy I finished a few weeks before Christmas so I have time to make a few handmade gifts and work on this quilt.

Christmas quilt

Have you participated in a bee? I love that each person tried a different technique. I ended up with applique, paper piecing, square-based improv blocks, and traditional blocks. I never would have had this many interesting components if I’d done it alone.

My second Baby Memory Quilt is done!

onesie quilt

Check out how full of onesies, bibs, and accoutrements it is!

boy onesie quilt

The mom who ordered it told me I didn’t have to use everything she sent, but I felt like I had to because it was all so adorable. That meant that it took hours and hours to do the layout, though, so that the colors, contrast, and scale told a cohesive story.

baby boy quilt

This kid had a fun and stylish first year. I’m so glad that in 25 years he’ll be able to look back at this little bundle of memories.

Onesie Memory QuiltThe back is the swaddling blanket he came home from the hospital in – such a cute idea.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. How about you?

The claws are out! My 60’s Wardrobe Plans

Is this the sassiest pattern cover you have ever seen, or what?

pattern cover

McCall’s 5751

Plotting, scheming…the claws are out. Beware!

After reading one of Sherry’s archived posts about the Dior dart, I was really intrigued. As she discusses in the post, the Dior dart is basically a dart coming out of a side panel or a princess seam, rather than coming from the side seam. The panel or princess seam is slimming, while the dart helps the fabric fall really nicely over the bust.

I went searching for Dior Dart patterns on Etsy and I really scored! The technique seems to have been most prevalent in 1960’s clothes. Apparently my style is very 1960’s, because there were so many of my favorite shapes. (NB: the above blouse pattern uses a regular dart, not a Dior dart.)

My best Dior dart find was this suit pattern:

60's sewing pattern McCall's 7112 princess seam jacket

 

Prior to finding Sherry’s post, I realized that I look terrible in blazers, and Mr. Bold Goods confirmed it (ouch!). But I thought a raglan sleeve might soften my sort of pointy shoulders, and a cropped length would make it seem like I have hips. Despite looking high and low, I only found one raglan-sleeve blazer online and it was somewhere around $400 – yikes. So I am really looking forward to starting in on this pattern for future Lawyer/Planner Nicole workwear. Are raglan sleeves too informal for business attire? Are they only for ladies who lunch? Will I need a bouffant to pull it off? Let’s hope not.

I also snagged this pattern for an overshirt, or as my mom calls them, a shell. I’ve learned that a shell/overshirt means a blouse that doesn’t get tucked in. Who knew. Probably my mom. Whatev. See how they are all staring into space working really hard at their jobs? P.S. my mom and I have both had the hair cut on the far left. Hers in the early 70’s, mine in 2000.

dior dart blouses

 

Also now that I put the photo up, I realize it is one size too small. I guess I will be learning how to take the pattern up a size.

Office attire is exhilarating, no?

All of these patterns are from Miss Betty’s Attic, where I used the code CIJULY (Christmas in July) for 20% off – and you should, too! But don’t buy office attire patterns. That would be boring.

Almost Done!

Hi friends. Just popping in to let you know I’m almost done studying for the bar exam, and will be back to my regularly scheduled posts and late-night sewing binges soon. So soon I can taste it. So soon I’ve started a list of things to make – and holy moly are we in for some good makes. That’s right folks, those links are my late summer and fall handmade wardrobe plans. I’ve also been sketching a new line of graphic black and white products for the store. Because hey, not everyone needs a baby quilt (gasp!)

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing whatever I can to stay positive in the midst of my never-ending, mind-numbing memorization tasks. I got this email from Burdastyle yesterday with their 10 favorite summer dresses which led me to browsing BS profiles, which led me to Esther. She happens to be immensely creative, brave, adorable…and barely 18 – wow are we in for treat watching this girl grow up! Her New Year’s Resolution post inspired me to make this new desktop:make-today-final

I think we all sometimes tend to take the everyday tedium, frustration, and hard work and let it get the best of our emotions. I hope this desktop helps me remember to be positive and thankful for all of the awesome things that happen in my days. You can have it too, download here.

Planning a Nani Iro Summer Blouse

I was really excited when I got the email that all of Fabricworm’s Japanese import fabrics were on sale (and still are today!) I grabbed a yard and a half of this Naomi Iro for Nani Ito Woodblock double gauze in silver.

Nani Iro Woodblock Silver

 

I immediately sat down to sketch out my idea, which I based off of a tank I’ve worn every laundry cycle for about five years now. I can’t find a good picture of it, but it’s gathered at the neck and sleeves and very loose like a tent on the bottom.

summer top sewing sketch

 

So far I have two votes for the narrow cap sleeve, and I think that’s my favorite option as well. Can’t wait to receive my fabric and touch it – double gauze is pretty much the softest thing ever!

Stitch that Stash: July

Happy July Everyone! And hello my fellow bee members! I am so excited to share my idea for my month being queen bee of Stitch that Stash with you. Want a hint?

christmas hoop bold goods

 

That’s right – Christmas in July! Mr. Bold Goods and I just love the traditions and feeling of Christmas. We love counting down the days to Christmas morning, picking out the perfect tree, cuddling under a quilt to watch The Grinch…but if you can believe it, we have NO Christmas quilt!! And that, my friends, is where you come in.

Rather than assign a specific block, I will send you off to gather inspiration from my Christmas pin board. But before you go, a few words of liberation:

You can make your blocks in any size, style, or type that you want. And they don’t have to match each other. You can also use whatever color and style of fabrics you want, so long as in your dear, sweet hearts, you think the block will read “Christmas” when paired with a dozen other themed blocks.

My pin board is a pretty accurate representation of motifs we love: peace, quietude (“Silent Night”), birds, mittens, snowmen, trees… we love to celebrate the season in all its natural and artificial characteristics.

I hope these thoughts of icy nights help you get through the sweltering July heat. I also hope this project stirs up some motivation for you to make something for yourselves for Christmas, seeing as how the months of November and December tend to vaporize like a popsicle on 100 degree pavement. If you do make something, I’d love to see it!

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival 2013, Part Two

I was debating whether to add this Sweet Dreams quilt into the Baby Quilts category or the Birdie quilt. Then Jamie commented this was her favorite quilt of all time, so…

Lizzy House Improv Bold Goods

As I described in the first post, this one is improvisationally pieced using the gorgeous Lizzy House Constellations, adorable Kokka Mustaherukka print characters, and ladybugs from Kokka Stamped, which is in my top two favorite fabric lines of the year.

fabric close up Bold Goods

I had so much fun creating my own free motion quilt design, too, with these big connecting stars. That’s definitely something I want to do more of.

Improv ladybug Bold Goods

I usually do just squares and rectangles when I improv, but I like how this one uses different block types, I think it draws your eyes to different spots each time you look at it. This baby quilt is on the small side, 30 x 34″, good for strollering or traveling.

Lizzy House Improv chair Bold Goods

Thanks so much for stopping by. If this is your first time here through the Festival, welcome! I’d love for you to leave a message so I can meet you. If you enjoy the blog, you can follow me by email or Bloglovin through the links on the right-hand side over there!

If you’re a regular visitor, make sure you head over to the Festival to check out the hundreds of beautiful quilts on display!

AmysCreativeSide.com

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Spring 2013, part one

This year for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival I’m sharing my most recent project, my finish for the Give Me Liberty! sew-along that Krista and I held.

bricklayer square Bold Goods

 

As further described in the first and second posts about this project, the design is called Bricklayer and the whole process was inspired by Loretta Pettway of Gees Bend, my all-time favorite quilter after my grandma, Julie French. Precise quarter-inch seams were not used, rather I used my 3/8ths foot and let the seams waver a bit to get a vintage piecing look.

bricklayer Bold Goods

The fabrics used are about half vintage that I purchased as a lot on Instagram recently to help someone clean out her stash, and half of the new Liberty Lifestyle prints as well as the chicks and posies fabrics from the Locally Grown fabric line. I had fun testing my brother on which were vintage and which were not – he failed! So I think that means the pairing was a success. (He was still kind enough to take this photo of me using the quilt!)

Bricklayer reading Bold Goods

 

The quit measures 36 x 42″. I hand-quilted about 1/4 inch off the seam of each square using Perle #8 in off-white.

Bricklayer stairs Bold Goods

 

I started hand quilting in 2012, and have done it more and more recently. It takes me about twice as long as machine quilting, but I prefer loose lines to keep a quilt soft so quilting doesn’t take more than about five hours either way (for this size quilt).Bricklayer quilting Bold Goods

 

For those of you who are new to my blog through the Quilt Festival, WELCOME! If you like this project, I’d love if you leave a comment so I can get back to you, or over there on the right you can sign up for emails from me or my Bloglovin’ feed. Thank you for visiting.

 

AmysCreativeSide.com

Give Me Liberty Link-Up

The Give Me Liberty! Link-up is here!

liberty-banner

It’s been a great three weeks seeing the gorgeous projects that several ladies have been working on. And it’s been so fun working together with Krista on planning and organizing.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

church steps block, Liberty Lifestyle block

As I mentioned in the first post, I wanted to capture the contrast and hand-sewn look of Loretta Pettway’s Housetops quilts that are part of the Gees Bend tradition. I made a baby quilt (cause that’s my bag) that is 36×42″.

I used my standard foot instead of my 1/4 inch foot to get somewhat wobbly piecing, then hand-quilted the outside edge of each rectangle created by the 2.5″ strips.

Church steps quilting Bold Goods

The mix of fabric types (vintage lightweight polka-dot and striped lawn, floral printed denim, and calico, and new Liberty Lifestyle prints) also adds to the feeling of a Gees Bend quilt, where clothing is often used instead of medium-weight cottons.

I’ve pieced and quilted the blocks, but haven’t yet had a chance to bind it up.

Curch steps 2 Bold Goods

So now it’s time to share what you’ve all been working on! Remember it can be any project featuring Liberty or Liberty Lifestyles fabric – quilts, pillows, a new top, etc. The link-up will be open through next Monday night, but I encourage you to share today whether or not you’ve been able to finish.

 



Thanks so much to those of you who have played along through Instagram (#givemelibertysewalong) and on your blogs. It has been so much fun watching projects come together. Make sure you visit all of the other links!