Fall Palette Challenge

Although historically my sewing tapers off after summer, I've decided this year to participate in Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge. The goal - make a unified palette of items within 8 weeks! I'm going to be overly ambitious here with my challenge projects, but here we go! Fall Palette Fabrics

For the challenge, I'm using all fabrics from my stash. They are (clockwise from top left corner): super pale peach silk charmeuse from Denver Fabrics, large check gingham shirting (source unknown), green stretch twill from Denver Fabrics, and blue/black wool houndstooth from Fabric Row in Philly.


My first project up will be New Look 6909,View C. I saw this dress in a display at JoAnn's and knew I had to make it. The fabric will work perfectly, as it's both warm and work appropriate!


Second up, Clover from Colette Patterns in the green twill. I was so excited to see Colette do a pants pattern, especially since pedal pushers/clamdiggers/capris have been on my to-sew list for ages. If I have time, I'd love to do a pair in black as well.


Thirdly, Sew Liberated's School House tunic in the gingham. This is a pattern that's been on my wish-list for ages and I think the fabric will be a great fit. I'm leaning toward the shirt length version.

If I have time (and I assuredly won't) I'm aiming to use the silk charmeuse for a Cinnamon Slip.

So there's my pieces for the Fall Palette Challenge. I'll keep ya'll updated as I go along, and let me know if you're playing too!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

In the Studio Part Two

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. But with the past month I've had it's not surprising. Here's a quick recap before I move on to new things. Since July 2nd:

    • Tour de Fleece happened and I have about 600 yards of handspun yarn
    • Turned 28
    • Saw the final Harry Potter movie
    • Helped write and turn in our major funding application at work
    • Took a business trip to Buffalo and spent inordinate amounts of time in the Philly airport
  • Saw an Elvis Costello concert
  • Released Alaria with Quince & Co.
  • Submitted a potential project packet to a knitting mag
  • Painted and revamped my studio
  • Knitted a design for another knitting mag to be mailed off today
  • Had a giant BBQ in my backyard with over 30 friends and a live band.

Whew! and I thought summers were supposed to be slow!

I'll post about the BBQ later this week, but today I wanted to show off my newly revamped studio space.

As you may recall, when we moved in, the first floor bedroom looked like this:

Downstairs Bedroom

In the early days of moving in, we stripped the wallpaper and I'd been using it as a studio in this configuration.

Studio (for Now)

While the hearts and bears stenciling was an improvement over the baseball wallpaper, I still wanted an update. So my big birthday request was to paint the studio (I ended up with a much bigger gift than that, but more on that later this week).

There was a heat wave the weekend of my birthday, so we waited to paint until the next weekend.


Steinbeck was very helpful and only stepped in paint once.

The color is Yolo Colorhouse Water .02 - a fantastic blue that looks at alternate times of day anywhere from periwinkle, to lilac, to grey. The trim is the same Air .01 as in the living and bedroom.


The other major change comes from hanging things on walls, particularly the addition of the pegboard.


Pegboard makes me feel so organized.

Some other notable items - the original Ms. Cleaver portrait by Sharon Barto and three old knitting magazines courtesy of Bristol Ivy.


I still want to put some kind of yarn storage on the wall to the left of the loom, crates or hatboxes maybe and eventually all the carpet in house should be replaced, but other than that, I'm pretty darn happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to start making stuff in there!

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Adventures in Pattern Making: Take 1

Zig Zag Skirt

A little over a month ago now, I took that pattern-making class at the local art college and in the weeks leading up to our Philly trip I tried my hand at my first pattern-drafting project.  As one might expect for a first go, this one had its ups and downs and a number of changes along the way.

Big change #1 - this started out as a dress. I'd carefully drafted and sewed together a bodice and had started doing some draping with a skirt when I realized that this pattern was waaaaayyy to busy for a head to toe garment, at least for me.  As

just a top I wasn't digging it, so I turned my focus to skirt portion. (As I side note, I wouldn't recommend using a heavily patterned/directional fabric like this for your first drafting project, but then again I never did anything the easy way).

Skirt on Hanger

Over all it's a pretty basic high-waisted a-line skirt, but it's rather fitted. The most major design feature in it's construction is the inverse pleats at the waist.

Big Change #2 - the pleats were originally mirrored on the reverse side for shaping, but that made the posterior region look terrrrrible.  So again, we adapt. I ended up moving the shaping into the zipper seam and let me say that it's an interesting experience trying to put tailoring/pins marks on the backside of something that you are wearing and then trying to take it off. That said, it only took three round of basing stitches to get a well fitting seam that didn't make me look like I was wearing a bustle.


After that it was just finishing, which was easy. In honor of clean lines and hand-sewing month at Sew Mam Sew! I handstitched both the waist band and hem, which looks really sleek.

Hand-Stitched Hem

Overall, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It fits really well, though  in hindsight, I think I would have added an additional inch of ease in the hips (is that a pun?). But not too bad for a first try. I'm looking forward to doing more of this in the future!

Zig Zag Skirt

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Roadtrip: Philly

Last weekend, Mr. Cleaver and I took our big summer vacation, a long weekend in Philadelphia.

Franklin Memorial

We were fortunate to spend a few days with Mr. Cleaver's college roommate and his family, who showed us around town and make sure we got plenty of great food to eat.  Our days pretty much went like this: sleep in, eat break fast, go out and see awesome things, eat some local food, head back to the house, play with the kids and chat with the adults, sleep and repeat.

Some of the awesome things we saw?

Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute (nerds, eat your heart out!)

Star Trek: The Exhibition Engage!

If sci-fi tv series aren't your thing, the Franklin had a lot of other incredible exhibits including the Amazing Machine, which contained one of the coolest things I've ever seen, an automaton who can draw pictures and write poems with better handwriting than me (seriously - check out the videos - so cool).


Another great thing about the Amazing Machine is that a old Singer sewing machine was used to explain the majority of the types of machine parts. Also - the first sewing machine caused a tailor's riot in France!

Singer Scale Model

The Franklin also had a lot of great hands on exhibits including the Franklin Airshow and Sir Issac's Loft, when Mr. Cleaver is shown literally pulling his own weight.

Pulling His Own Weight

Of course it wouldn't be my first trip to Philly without my first cheesesteak and for those who know about these things: Geno's, with, no wiz.

A Monument to Cheese Steaks Cheese Fries to go with that Cheese Steak

On our second day, we went out to Valley Forge to pick up a little Revolutionary War knowledge, including learning about General Baron Frederick William Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben, who I had never heard of and turned the Colonists from a rag-tag band of individual militias in the U.S. Army.

Steuben overlooks the Grand Parade

Valley Forge Obligatory Musket Shot Shot

And there's no better way to follow up a load of history with some Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero with Zack and Ben

Our last day in Philly we headed out our own to Old Philly for some more history and learning. We saw the Liberty Bell, which was smaller than I thought it'd be; the National Constitution Center, which made me cry and I highly, highly recommend; and a lovely and haunting performance of a glass armonica.

Guarding Liberty

Under Washington's Watch

Glass Armonica

These are just a sampling of the photos I took on the trip, but if you want to see more you can check out my "Philly Trip" photoset on Flickr.

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly