Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along Week 9: Pina Colada

Monday, December 28, 2015

For week 9 of the Drunkard's Wife QAL, we're making the Pina Colada block. You'll need to cut:

Background Fabric
  • A - (3) - 6" square
  • B - (2) - 4.5" square
Colored Fabric #1
  • C - (3) - 6" square
Colored Fabric #2
  • D - (1) - 4.5" square
Pair up an A and C square to make (8) 2.5" unfinished HSTs using the 8 at a time method. Repeat with the remaining A and C squares for a total of (24) HSTs.

What we're supposed to do is lay the HSTs and remaining squares out as illustrated, sew them into rows, and sew those rows together.

Instead, bust out the champagne because we're celebrating New Year's early. Your drunk self will take care of the rest. As usual, finished block measures 12.5" square.

Cambie Dress Review

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Cambie Dress has been on my garment sewing wishlist since I first saw it. I love the sweetly vintage look of the fit-and-flare shape with the cap sleeves and sweetheart neckline. I had been anxious about making lined dress (I always skip the lining on my Emery Dresses) but the look of Cambie was just too enticing. With this Texas winter being warmer than usual, Cambie seemed like a good option for a Cotton + Steel Christmas Dress.

The wind wasn't being very cooperative.

I did some research on what fabric to use for the lining, and decided on using imperial batiste after reading this post. I wanted something light for the Texas weather as well as inexpensive. I found some 60" wide white imperial batiste on sale from an etsy seller for $5 per yard. 

I started off by tracing my pattern. My bust size calls for a size 6 but my waist calls for a size 8, so I blended the sizes and traced the waist darts for the size 8. I made a muslin for the bodice and sleeves, and determined the adjustments I needed to make: shorten the bodice by 7/8", and 1/2" to the side seams on both the front and back, and lengthen the waistband accordingly. The second muslin worked perfectly, so I went forward with those revisions. 

The pattern instructions initially surprised me in that they are so susinct, even with the illustrations. I like this because I habitually start skimming when there are walls of text, and that occasionally leads to mistakes. On the other hand, I've had experience making dresses so I don't need much hand-holding. A beginner would probably find the Sewholic instructions sparse and have lingering questions. For that reason, I'll say they are better suited for sewers with garment sewing experience, particularly with darts, invisible zippers, and finishing techniques. 

The lining ended up being no big deal. It came together without a hitch. The most time consuming part for me is always gathering, so that was standard. 

My finished dress fits wonderfully and is comfortable to boot. I love how the sleeves offer a natural range of movement without being sleeveless. And of course it has pockets! I'm definitely going to be making more Cambie Dresses in the future. 

Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along Week 8: Amaretto Sour

Monday, December 21, 2015

For week 8 of the Drunkard's Wife QAL, we're making the Amaretto Sour block. You'll need to cut:

Background Fabric
  • A - (2) - 8" square
Colored Fabric #1
  • B - (2) - 8" square

Pair up an A and B square to make (8) 3.5" unfinished HSTs using the 8 at a time method. Repeat with the remaining A and B squares for a total of (16) HSTs.

What we're supposed to do is lay the HSTs out as illustrated, sew them into rows, and sew those rows together.

Instead, do the thing. DO IT. DO ITTTTTT. Your finished block should measure 12.5" square.

Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along Week 7: Sangria

Monday, December 14, 2015

For week 7 of the Drunkard's Wife QAL, we're making the Sangria block. You'll need to cut:

Background Fabric
  • A - (1) - 6" square
  • B - (4) - 2.5" square
  • C - (1) 4.5" square
 Colored Fabric #1
  • D - (1) - 6" square
  • E - (4) - 2.5" squares
 Colored Fabric #2
  • F - (4) - 4.5" square

Start by using your A and D square to make (8) 2.5" unfinished HSTs using the 8 at a time method. Use these HSTs, the B pieces, and E pieces to make (4) arrow/dart/whatever you call these things.

What we're supposed to do is lay the darts, C, and F pieces out as illustrated, sew them into rows, and sew those rows together.

Instead, f*ck sh*t up. You're driving the sewing machine, so you're the captain now. When you're done, your block should measure 12.5" square.

World's Okayest Quilter T-shirts

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

After reading through Teresa Duryea Wong's book on Japanese quilts and quilters, I felt a bit...deflated. There are so many amazingly skilled quilters out there! I'm always amazing by how humble quilters are in spite of their abilities. That was the inspiration for a recent hand lettered illustration I created, World's Okayest Quilter.

I cleaned up the illustration a bit, digitized it, and have it ready to go off to my screen printer for some fun shirts!

Unlike with previous shirts in my shop, I'm going to be selling this shirt solely through pre-orders. Having extras on hand just hasn't worked out for me as well as I've hoped. So if you want a shirt, be sure to pre-order! You can get the full info on the shirts and pre-order over at my at my t-shirt shop.

Everyday Style Book Review + Blog Tour + Giveaway

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

About a month ago, the folks at Abram's Books and and Windham Fabrics reached out to me about participating in the blog hop for Lotta Jansdotter's new book, Everyday Style. I had flipped through the book at Quilt Market and even added it to my Amazon wishlist, so I jumped at the chance to participate.

Everyday Style is not your typical project-based book. The book consists of five "core" garment patterns (a skirt, jacket, pants, sleeveless top/dress, and a sleeved top/dress) that between two to five variations each as well as four simple bag patterns. Upon my initial flip-through, the structure was a little confusing, but everything clicks when you sit down and read it properly (something I'm not always good at). It reads more like a hybrid of Japanese sewing books like the Stylish Dress Book collection, a fashion magazine, and a series of journal entries. It's quite unique in that regard.

The first portion of the book is divided into four chapters by season. Each seasonal chapter features gobs of gorgeous photos of the garment patterns in fabrics and outfits befitting the season along with brief tutorials for accessories and embellishments (fabric jewelry, pom poms, wool cuffs, scarves, etc). If you're the type of person who likes to see different versions of patterns to get your creative gears turning, you'll adore this book. If you're more of a straight-to-the-point, no-frills type, Everyday Style might be a lot to wade through.

The second section of the book contains the actual instructions for sewing the garments and bags. Each pattern includes illustrated cutting diagrams, and all measurements are listed in both imperial and metric, so readers outside of the US will be happy campers. There are illustrations for the instructions, albeit small and somewhat sparse. For this reason, I'd say the patterns may not be for suitable for absolute beginners. I had no trouble understanding the instructions, but I've also had experience making garments. Instruction wise, the patterns are comparable to most of the Japanese sewing books I've read.

I made the Esme top using the spotted print from Lotta's Lucky collection. It was a super quick and simple project with the exception of attaching the set in sleeves. Like many patterns with set in sleeves, the instructions call for two lines of basting stitches to ease in the sleeve cap. This approach is a drastic over simplification of easing in a sleeve. It never works for me. The gathering approach always results in a puffy sleeve (which I hate) while the photographs clearly show a smooth sleeve. Instead of basting, I opted to pin the everloving crap out of of the sleeve cap, which results in less puff-age.

If you're looking for some basic sewing patterns and tons of photographic inspiration, Everyday Style will make a lovely addition to your library.

Blog Tour Schedule

Dec 1 – Lotta
Dec 2 – STC Craft
Dec 3 – Windham 
Dec 4 –  Noodlehead
Dec 7 – Modern Handcraft
Dec 8 – Sew Scatterbrained
Dec 9 – Crimson Tate
Dec 11 – Groovy Baby & Mama
Dec 15 – Craft Sanity
Dec 16 – Aesthetic Nest
Dec 17 – Sew Mama Sew
Dec 18 – Lish Dorset
Dec 19 – Fancy Tiger Crafts
Dec 21 – Generation Q
Dec 22 – Carolyn Friedlander
Dec 23 – Crafty Planner

Prize Giveaway!

The sponsors of the blog tour have a prize pack for one of my lucky readers. The winner will receive a copy of Everyday Style, a fat quarter of Lotta’s fabric from Windham, Lotta temporary tattoos, and Lotta washi tape.

To win, leave a comment with your email address by Saturday, December 12th at 9am CST. I'll pick one winner at random.

Extra Linkage

To learn more about Lotta and the contributors to Everyday Style, check out these links.

Drunkard's Wife Quilt-Along Week 6: Mai Tai

Monday, December 7, 2015

For week 6 of the Drunkard's Wife QAL, we're making the Mai Tai block. You'll need to cut:

Background Fabric
  • A - (1) - 4.75" square
  • B - (1) - 5.75" square
  • C - (1) 7.25" square
 Colored Fabric #1
  • D - (1) - 5.75" square
  • E - (2) - 4" squares
  • F - (4) - 3.875" squares

Once again, I forgot to photograph my pieces before sewing them up. Deal with the doodle.

Start by cutting your (2) E pieces in half on the diagonal. Use this tutorial to make a square-in-a-square block with the E triangles and your A piece. Trim your block to 6.5" square, making sure you have a .25" seam allowance between around the center A square.

Next, make (4) HSTs with your B and D pieces using the four at a time method. Trim each HST to 3.5" square.

Lastly, make (4) flying geese with your C and F pieces using the no waste method we've previously used. Each geese should measure 3.5" x 6.5" unfinished.

What we're supposed to do is lay these pieces out as illustrated, sew them into rows, and sew those rows together.

Instead...you know the drill. Be lucky it's not a real drill. If it was, you might hurt yourself with it in your drunken state. When you're done, your block should measure 12.5" square.

Previously: Introduction | Week 1: Happy Hour Star | Week 2: Whiskey Tumbler | Week 3: Dirty Martini | Week 4: Mint Julep | Week 5: Mimosa