Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stashbusting Sewalong IMPORTANT Updates!

Hello Stashbusters!
I'd like to start with a big thank you for everyone who has participated these last two years. Especially as Cindy has had a shb and I've worked at camp and moved. Lots of changes and we've sewn through them all. I'm so proud of how everyone has continued on without our active participation!

You're all AMAZING!

We're in discussion about a Stashbusting 2015, because the fabric elves have been hard at work and we've still got fabric! There are going to be some changes though. To that end I've got a handy little survey for gathering more information about the future. Please take the time to fill it out so we can get a more accurate view of how to continue.

Thanks Everyone! I hope to see you all in the new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stashbusted Knitted Christmas Cowl

Look! It's a bird. No, a plane. It's a....

Giant sling! No! A papoose carrier?

Sillies! It's the GAP-Tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley. Brought to you using my best model poses and faces. I've been taking notes!

Drown yourself in this fabulous texture! 


  • A mindless knit was just what I needed in the middle of all this moving. It gave me something creative to do while sitting on the couch in the evening absorbing the new move or resting my aching muscles. 
  •  I used Jen's pattern as a jumping off point. I added the contrast bands and kept knitting until I felt the proportions were right.
  • This is my one handmade Christmas gift!
  • I used some stashed Lion Brand yarn I bought in my teens. It had been ripped out twice before...
How are the holiday preparations coming for you? Are all your gifts ready to go?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

La La La Lola!

It seems 2014 is quickly coming to a close so I guess I better get my bum in gear and finish blogging about my makes! Here's one I whipped out and photographed right before the move. It's my first Lola by Victory Patterns.

Nananananana, Disco! Or maybe Ninja! 
Dog, how did you find me? 

Obligatory, all around view.

  • So this is very bright and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear it around in public... but it makes a smashing around the house dress.
  • I'm 5' 10" and I added 3 inches to lengthen the bodice pieces and skirt. I probably did something to the sleeves as well but I can't remember what.
  • Between adding the length and the stretch of the pink fabric I'm feeling proportions are a bit off?
  • The pink fabric is probably too light for this design as I can see it really stretched and bags a bit. 
  • When I was researching this pattern a lot of people questioned the amount of pieces for a knit dress. Well it's superb for color blocking which gives you the look of a body con dress with the comfort of your favorite sweatshirt. (Don't believe me, wait till you see my second version.)
  • Pattern went together super easily and really pretty quick for all those pieces. ;)
  • These both came from the stash and I'm pretty sure this was one of my FESA makes!
I think that's about it... any questions please ask and I'll try to remember... 

Question for YOU! Would you wear something this bright out in public? Are you a solid or a print fan?

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Free Fabulous Fabric Organization System

Hello Sewing Friends,
  I found a blog post intended for June but never published so here you go! Enjoy! I'm so excited to share this fabulousness with you!

Oh Fabric! How we love to pet and look at you. The problem is we can’t always find the exact piece we’re looking for, as we wade in the depths of the piles and totes or poke into the nooks and crannies we’ve stashed our preciousessss in. 

I don’t know about you but if I can’t see it, I forget it’s there and it languishes deep within the pile collecting who knows what as it lays on the floor. I wanted a better way to organize my fabric than folding and refolding on my shelves or scooting piles along the floor. I believe fabric is meant to be used as more than dust collectors and bug nests.

I read lots and lots of articles and spent hours on Pinterest looking for storage solutions but for everything I saw I had to buy something else so the piles stayed. Until I was reading Miss P’s blog one day and her method clicked! Here’s why I like it 

  • Utilizes shelving you already have
  • Uses cardboard you can get for free
  • Able to see the fabric from all four sides of the board
  • Makes every piece of fabric the “same” size
  • Allows you to store more fabric in the same amount of space ;)
  • Doesn’t cause an avalanche when you pull a piece of fabric out 

Two points I want to hammer home are by contrast are: this is superior to the bolt at the fabric store because the cardboard is thinner and the fabric is wrapped around ALL four sides so it is VISIBLE however you stack it! 
 While this is similar to using comic book boards this method uses free cardboard you cut for YOUR shelving, allowing you to maximize what YOU already have!

This was not something I did all at once, in fact I’ve been working on it for about a year. As boxes come available I cut them up which makes it very manageable and less overwhelming. It has been glorious! Everything stays neat and it is so easy to grab things in and out of the stack. It has also been frustrating because I seemed to keep pulling pieces I’d already rolled out to use. I guess that means the visibility thing is working! 
If I was really organized I’d have written the yardage and attached it to the piece but when do I ever pay attention to my yardage requirements? :)
Grandparents helping for the first big cut and sort.
Getting Dad in on the cardboard cutting.

This worked wonderfully for all but my smallest pieces of fabric which were overflowing the smalls tub. My mother couldn’t sleep one night and discover pinterest for herself. :) The next  day she offered two file tubs that were stored away unused. This works just like the file cabinet system only these fit on my existing shelving and didn’t cost me anything but cleaning time. It’s easy for me to pop the lids off and see all the pretties crammed in a row because you can bet I was cramming as much as I could in them. :)

I’ve finally found a storage solution that works with what I have; and once it is set up, requires no maintenance to keep up. It’s always ready to go and is easy to add new pieces to. (Bonus: it was super easy to pack up in the move, slotted them into garbage sacks and filled in the cracks.)

I never expect to use up all my fabric nor do I want to. I just want it to be in a manageable form and not take up all my space. This is what works for me.

Odds and ends I rolled and stuffed into a box.
How about you? What are your feelings about your stash of fabric? How do you organize it? Do you have a favorite method?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving Sewing Blogging World!
Oh my! How I’ve missed chatting and sharing projects with you all. I was naive in thinking just because this move was a very good thing didn’t mean it wouldn’t be a time of huge change and big adjustments. 

I have some projects backlogged but no brainpower to put a decent post together…. so they are waiting until I can do them justice.

Today, as I was learning to use a screw gun as we put in the new floor for my bedroom, I was struck by the similarities between remodeling and sewing. This remodel has been like repairing a very fine but very damaged vintage dress. (Although for the record I’ll take armpit stains over crystalized animal pee any day!) You walk seam lines and measure for floor boards. You true up the grain line on pattern pieces and true up and level the walls. You even use tape measures! Screws and nails instead of pins and threads but the same principles apply.

I’ve decided to hang out my seamstress shingle for mending, alterations and custom sewing. Lessons and classes will have to wait until we are finished our building. Life takes time which is hard to remember as we read blogs which only show the beautiful finished project or a watch a house get renovated in a 30 min. time slot.

I’m thankful I have this opportunity and support from my family and friends. I’m thankful for the sewing blogging world that inspires me to keep sewing and shows me that it is possible to bring in some income doing what we love. I’m thankful; as I ache from getting glutened, I only have chronic diseases that allow me to function normally most of the time and not something terminal. 

I could go on but my battery has finished charging and the screws and floor joists? are waiting… 
Until soon,

PS. What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Oompaloompa Tunic

Hello Friends,
  Life is crazy. We all know this. And we all know the best cure for crazy is some sewing time. I stole some time from all the packing and made up this tunic that had been bubbling away in my head all summer. I used the super simple pattern from Happy Homemade Sew Chic and promptly made it as complicated as I could.

  Since it was a plaid, of course the yoke had to be cut on the bias, and I had to ignore Sanae's advice (which I can't find now) on how wide in the body it was and cut it according to the pattern measurements, also ignoring my own gut saying "That's really wide!!!" when I'd seen what I'd cut. A massive maternity moo moo was not the look I was going for.

  Despite all this it was the perfect soothing project I needed to work on. The gathers made me look like I was expecting, so I changed it to big chunky pleats across the front and back then shirred the life out of it to give me some waist definition. What makes playing with fabric so relaxing? I really enjoyed working on the puzzle of this top and am VERY happy on how it turned out. Even if it doesn't look so fabulous in the photos.

Look at the great poof and flare this has! 
Steam your shirring afterwards and it really makes it gather! This fabric was probably at the top end of gathering weight because it didn't really do much on the pleat sections since it was three layers of fabric.

Another random fact is look how much bias tape I had left over! Talk about a perfect stash bust!
Look at that little tail! Whew!
Tada! Another project off my FESA list!  When my guys saw it they promptly dubbed it the Oompaloompa tunic. It reminded them of this.

So how about you? Do you ever love something that maybe isn't the most flattering thing to wear? Is working on a sewing puzzle soothing or frustrating for you?

PS! It's the last day of 50% off my entire Etsy shop! I promise I'll stop spamming my Twitter and Facebook accounts after this. :) I know how much we all want more patterns and fabrics and how hard it is to resist a sale!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Big News and Big Fabric Sale

Hello My Sewing Bloggy Friends,
  Just in case you've been wondering why, after not being able to sew all summer, I didn't immediately come home and go on a sewing binge, it's because I'm MOVING!!! I've been wanting to leave these prairies that have cradled me through my adolescence for the last couple years but because of my health it has never worked out.

The little house on the little hill...
When I arrived home from camp it was quickly apparent the Lord had suddenly opened all the doors and I and my parents are going to be moving to a tiny town in Montana. It is a super creative community and I'm hoping I'll have lots of opportunities to teach sewing to individuals and groups. Opportunities of all kinds abound and I'm filled with delight as what I have been long hoping and dreaming of now seems to be taking shape.

Before I ride off into this new adventure I want to take a moment to say thank you and make a request. 

Thank you, you Wonderful Sewing Community, 
who gave me friendship and participation in community at times when I couldn't get out of bed, 
confidence and encouragement in front of a camera, 
and acceptance. 
Even if it is just in the realm of sewing, encouragement and kind words
 can impact a person's entire life. 

While I wish I could invite everyone to a huge sewing retreat or give hugs and cookies to you all but we live all over the world and I can't. What I can do is, between now and the 22nd, give you 50% off all the inventory in my Etsy shop, EmSewCrazy. Use the coupon code: 
(BF stands for Bloggy friends not boyfriends, just in case you were wondering. ;)

My request is that even if there is nothing in my shop that interests you could you please share this information with all your other sewing friends who might be interested in vintage sewing stuff? All my Dad's done is talk about how much crap I have and even though I let him know it's all his fault for dragging me to Antique shops as a child, I believe him. It's a dangerous place when a girl's business and hobby overlap. :) 
But as you all understand, I wouldn't have it any other way! I hope you all have a great weekend full of sewing fun!