Saturday, August 31, 2013

Polka Dot Knit Scout!

It's no secret that I have a mild obsession with Grainline's Scout T-shirt pattern...  I've made like 100 versions of the pattern made out of woven fabric and had always wondered what it might be like to sew in knit fabric.
Coincidentally, around the same time that I got my new serger (which makes knits easier to sew, woo!), Jen from Grainline posted a tutorial on how to sew up a Scout using knits.  Kismet?  Indeed. Thus, here's my knit Scout!

Vintage polka dot fabric is from Martha's stash.  I went down one size from my normal Scout size and lengthened it by 1.5 inches, but I think I could have gone down maybe even another 2 sizes because there is so much ease in the pattern.  It's definitely not a tight t-shirt!  My neckline is a little wonky, pulling a bit.  Maybe my neckband fabric wasn't as stretchy as I thought and thus I cut it a bit short? 

Despite these little kinks, I still dig my knit Scout and definitely plan on more in the future!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I went on a bit of a kiddo pants-making spree this week.  Here are the results:

Made by Rae's Big Butt Baby Pants (also made here, here, here and here) in batik (same batik as my Hammer pants) with a shirt-striped butt panel for Tim's soon-to-pop colleague:

Super cute shirt-striped Big Butt Baby Pants with up-cycled (from an old, ill-fitting dress of mine) chambray ruffles on the butt... pretty freaking adorable, these guys.  The photo does not really do them justice:

And another pair of Dana Made It's Kid Pants... this time made from chambray (also upcycled from my old dress, see above), sans pockets, but with contrasting top-stitching (pink!).  Some good basic pants to have in your wardrobe.  And no, I cannot explain why they are so wrinkly, given that I had just ironed them:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Long Sleeved Flannel Maggie Mae

I got the above photo Zoe this week rocking her Maggie Mae tunic, along with a note that said "This shirt looks precious on her!"  I interpreted that as an order to "Make more!"

This is a slightly different take on the Maggie Mae... sort of a combination of the Maggie Mae dress and the long-sleeved Maggie Mae... I extended the cap sleeves out about 12 inches and the bodice front and back down about 10 inches.  I added some piping along the seam to keep things interesting.

I used some very cute purple plaid flannel fabric that Colleen gifted me (thanks, Colleen!!!).  I was able to match the plaids pretty well on the side seams, but not so much on the shoulder seams.
Meh... I ain't mad at it.  

My photos are not doing this shirt justice... in reality it's pretty damn cute.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Artichoke Pesto

Due to some miscommunications and a kitchen cabinet that has the ability to hide dry goods within its depths, Tim and I found ourselves the proud owners of not one, not two, but three Costco-sized jars of marinated artichoke hearts recently.

In an effort to work our way through this ridonkulous overabundance of artichoke hearts, I did some Googling on ye olde interwebs and found this artichoke-centric recipe for lemony artichoke pesto.  I followed the recipe, a pretty standard pesto, for the most part, but substituted fresh basil leaves for the parsley, as flat leaf parsley is nowhere to be found in Jakarta.  My nut of choice (or convenience, really) was almonds, toasted, of course.  

Good stuff!  I put it on pizza, topped with mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.  It looks pretty good as a pasta sauce, too.  A fun, but not too crazy, adaptation of your typical pesto.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ruffle-less Ruffle Top and Hot Pink Ritas

After my success with my first ruffle tunic, I was itching to make another version with piping, like this one from StraightGrain.  Here's mine!:

I decided to use this linen-y material left over from one of my Grainline Scout tees... the long, skinny pattern pieces for the ruffle top made it easy to use scraps. 

And to match, hot pink Lovely Rita skinnies (same pattern as my crazy pants from a few weeks ago, minus the button band on the leg.):
These are made from some stretch bottomweight from Joann's.  I hoping they can also be worn under Zoe's batik bubble peplum top for the fall (she's been wearing it as a dress thus far).  Cute!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mixed Stripes Recess Raglan

I snatched up the Pattern Anthology Alphabet collection last week at the last minute after hemming and hawing over it for a while and then ultimately deciding I should get all the pieces while they were on super sale.

My first make from the collection is See Kate Sew's Recess Raglan, a cute little unisex raglan sleeve t-shirt.  I used scraps of old-school green and white striped fabric leftover from my Briar t-shirt and combined it with more green and white striped fabric from a t-shirt that Tim was going to give away.

The pattern was super easy to put together, especially with my new serger.  I was able to zip through it in less than an hour (not counting cutting time).  I used the existing hem from Tim's t-shirt, which helped speed things along, too. 

I think it looks pretty cute, although I am a little worried it will be tight, especially the neckhole, since the vintage fabric doesn't have all that much stretch to it.  We'll see!!  

Can't wait to make the other patterns in the collection!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Flamenco-esque Cascade Skirt

So, having made her Briar t-shirt, I was on a Megan Nielsen kick a few weeks ago and I sewed up her lovely Cascade skirt.   I love so many of the iterations of the Cascade that I saw online, including this one from Melissa Esplin and this one from Cut Cut Sew.  Problem is: I'm not sure that this pattern, like the Briar, is particularly flattering on me, despite how much I want it to be.  Sigh.

My Cascade is made from some deep red batik rayon that I bought here in Jakarta.  I thought it would work well with the Cascade, hopefully lending somewhat of a flamenco dancer feel to the flowy, cascading wrap skirt.  I made the third option for the waist band- the ties that wrap all the way around and tie in the front.

The skirt was super easy to put together and went very quickly thanks to me using the rolled hem option on my new serger (there are miles of hemming to be done on this skirt, which isn't difficult but could be time consuming).

While I like this skirt in theory and I think it came out pretty well, I'm not sure I'll get much wear out of it because I don't love how it looks on me.  I think it might be a smidge small, so that when I wrap it around my junk in the trunk, it pulls the fabric apart in the front such that it loses its cascadeyness (if that's a word).  Oh well.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Featured on...

Hey dudes, some  of my projects have been featured on other blogs!!

Check it out:  

Kollabora (a cool crafting community through which I have recently been showcasing my stuff) included my batik Hammer pants in their Weekly 6 post: All About Bold Prints and Bright Colors!!  

Woot!  Thanks for the shout-outs!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Faux Cable Hoodie

While on the road with Martha in Singapore and Indonesia, I worked on knitting this tiny faux-cable hoodie for Baby Anna. 

I used the "Mock Cable Cardigan" pattern by Jeannine LaRoche, from same Knit Hoodies booklet that I used for Zoe's pullover hoodie earlier this year. 

The yarn is Fibranatura Sensational yarn (which looks like it's been discontinued), a bouncy superwash merino that I picked up at Webs' massive Christmas sale when back in Massachusetts.

I think the faux cable design on this cardigan is easy and cute.  I like the hood a lot and love how the cables form the buttonholes, but I will say that the way the cardigan is constructed drove me crazy.  It's knit in 4 separate pieces need to be seamed together at the end (and the sleeves are not knit in the round, so they needed to be seamed as well), which I hate.  It's a raglan style cardigan, though, and could have been knit top down, seamlessly in one piece (plus the hood), like some of the other sweaters I have knitted.  That is, it could have been were I savvy enough to know how to modify a pattern to make it that way.  Someday...  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Washi Tunic in Nelly

I have had Made by Rae's Washi Dress/Tunic pattern  on my to-sew list since it came out last year.  Not quite sure why I didn't buy the pattern and just make the damn thing until now, but I was so happy with the result that I wore it out approximately an hour after finishing it!


I sewed up the tunic version of the pattern using this beautiful fabric, Sapphire Nelly from Sis Boom's Honey Child line.  The colors in the fabric are awesome.

I made a few changes to the pattern:
1. I lowered the neckline so that it was even with the bottom of the Washi's U-shaped cut out. 

2. I have a facings phobia, so I skipped them and used bias tape around the neckline as a facing.

3. After wrestling with the elastic thread and my machine for a while in a failed attempt to shir the back of the tunic, I gave up and sewed a strip of fabric across the back on the inside and made 4 rows of casing for thin (1/8") elastic.

4. After making 2 muslins of Washi bodice, I decided to go one size down from what my measurements called for.  

I can't wait to make the dress version of the Washi.  Maybe I'll line the bodice to eliminate the need for facings and make the elastic casing in one go.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kid Pants with Piped Edge Pockets

Ermagerd, I love these pants!  And I am pretty proud of them, too.

These are the Kid Pants from Dana Made It, a free (and pretty awesome!) downloadable wide leg pants pattern (size 2-3T).  I had also used the pattern earlier this summer to make Z some Retro Racer Shorts.

This time I used a pretty pink, fine wale corduroy from Joann's that is covered in little button flowers (which kinda reminded me of my old employer's logo, which may have prompted me to buy it.  also it was on clearance.).  The fabric is super soft.  I used store-bought piping, which is not a perfect match to the fabric, but close enough for government work ;-)

I used Dana's pocket pattern (the larger size) and sewed some piping along the edges of the pockets as Dana did in this tutorial, to make them stand out:

I placed the pockets such that they continued over the top of the waistband (which I made flat-front, per Dana's instructions here).  The back waistband is still elasticized:

I top-stitched all of the seams for strength and some contrasting color, although the top-stitching sank into the nap of the corduroy a bit.

Love these pants!  Can't wait to see Z in them!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Strawberries Galore

I know strawberries are out of season now in the U.S., but they still seem to be going strong here in Indonesia.  I think they might have multiple seasons here, in fact.   My understanding is that growing strawberries is relatively new in Indonesia, but people seem to like them a lot.  Strawberry seems like the new hotness as far as flavors go here in Jakarta... 

I got a couple containers of strawberries at the store recently and whipped up two strawberry cakes:

First, Franny's chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream, which I made for a BBQ Tim and I attended.  I figured you can't go wrong with strawberry and chocolate as well as two tried and true recipes. 

As usual, the cake was light and moist, and the frosting was really nice, albeit slightly
 soft in Jakarta's heat:

Second, I made Smitten Kitchen's strawberry summer cake, which was pretty awesome right out of the oven.  Like Deb said, jammy strawberries combined with a slightly crunchy, sugary crust, plus a tender cake below.  Good stuff.  I successfully substituted a third of the flour (1/2 cup) with whole wheat flour and that worked quite well:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Upcycled Comfy Knit Dress

Used my new-found knit fabric sewing skills to make this cute little dress for Miss Z!

This free pattern from LBG Studio, which I found via Pretty Prudent, is pretty simple to put together... I struggled a bit with connecting the shoulder straps- they kept getting gummed up in my machines (both the sewing machine and the serger), but in the end they're serviceable, if a little bit lumpier than I would like.  The topstitching also made the edges of the bodice a little bit wavy, even after pressing, but it's not the end of the world.

I upcycled fabric from the skirt of an Old Navy dress I found in my closet that I never wear and lined it with white knit from an old tank top.  It's a size 2-3T, so I'm hoping Z can wear it as a top layer over leggings and a long sleeved shirt for this fall and then by itself next summer.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Crazy Pants!

Aren't these pants delightfully crazy?  They might be my 10 year old self's dream pants with their wild, florescent-tinged pattern.... so late '80s/early '90s and so awesome.  Hopefully 2 year old Zoe shares my love for this crazy print.  She seemed to like the throw-back Hammer pants that I made her, so I'm optimistic.

These are the Lovely Rita skinnies from Shwin Designs, cute little skinny jeans with a button flap on the leg.

 I made them from some stretch bottom weight fabric from the Red Tag clearance rack at Joann's... I love how the fabric looks like it's been printed with that bubble-wrap stamping method that's been bopping around the interwebs of late.  Plus I got to use some comically large buttons I have had for a couple years now!  Woo!

I love how they came out... just hope they fit!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Briar, Take 2

Told ya I'd be right back with another Briar t-shirt!  This one is the full length version and actually in my size, so there are better photos than my last Briar.

I made this one with some kelly green and white striped knit fabric I got from the Real Martha's stash of vintage/old fabric... it has a bit of an '80s feel to it.   It's a much more stable knit than the last fabric I used, which made it much easier to cut.  Pretty easy to sew, too, except the edges curled like a mofo.

Sewing this baby together was super simple except for a serger user-error on my part which caused my serger to eat up the neckline a bit.  So my neckline is wider than called for and the band narrower.  But in the end, I think it looks better this way! This time I included the pocket, which I cut it with the stripes running vertically (I did the same for the neckband).

Overall, I like the final result.  I am a little concerned that it is perhaps a bit too long in the back... it fully covers my butt.  Hmmm.  Also, I think next time I'll center the pocket a bit more... it's inching towards my armpit somewhat.