cabin / teapot / pillows / quilt / teacup / log basket
We’ve been stuck in a bit of a cold spell (breaking today!) here in Chicago and I’ve been doing a bit of curling up and tea drinking with Roamy. I want to start sharing some mood/inspiration boards for things that inspire both my everyday life & what I design, so I thought this would be a good place to start. Cabins, tea, quilts, a fire…you know.
Kind of an odd post for me today, how to hack this MICKE IKEA desk into a table fit for your messy serger. I’ve had a non-ideal serger table for a few years now and with the addition of my coverstitch machine it became completely non-functional. Enter this MICKE desk. Nothing groundbreaking here but if you put the desktop on backwards you end up with the little cord hole in the front corner which is great for…
Sweeping the serger scraps into! I just put a little tray inside the drawer aligned with the hole and sweep my scraps away during my project. When I’m done with whatever I’m sewing I can just dump the little tray into the garbage and I no longer have serger stuff all over my table and floor. Some of you may be lucky enough to have a serger with a little scrap trap on it but if you don’t this is a nice alternative.
A little bit of housekeeping here, just wanted to drop in and say that I’ll be posting the Archers made during Archer Appreciation Month on Friday the 10th so if you haven’t uploaded yours to the Flickr group yet, you still have a little time. There are some amazing Archers popping up in there!
Also it was brought to my attention that both the Archer and Scout are in a Most Reviewed / 10 Best Patterns of 2013 round up vote on patternreview.com. I don’t know if you guys use that site, but if you do and you’re up for a vote, stop by and vote for Grainline Studio! We’re up against some awesome patterns (By Hand London’s Anna, give that one a vote too while you’re at it!) so it would be cool to make it to the 10 Best of 2013 list! Here’s the link to vote if you’re so inclined!
See you guys Monday with a fun little IKEA serger table hack I did this week. I’m just way too proud of myself on this one…oh boy…
I originally had plans to do all three of these posts separately but as I planned and typed I realized that they’re all sort of intertwined. My previous post on my Top 5 Misses really functioned as a reflections post on the past year. Your comments on that post are all so kind and supportive, thanks so much! I didn’t mean for it to sound like I don’t have fun writing this blog, I really do and I’m very lucky to be able to have this pattern line as my job, and I have all of you to thank! With that said, I have some simple goals for next year and sewing / patterns / grainline studio…
work hard & have fun
That’s it. Well, not really, I have some really specific goals to work towards but this is the main gist of it. I don’t want to lay out anything on here like “post x times a week,” “make x amount tutorials,” “release x number of patterns” because I know that I won’t stick to my plan because things always take longer in reality than they do in my head. Instead I’m just going to work hard and try to have a lot of fun doing it.
I hope you all have had a great start to 2014 so far, I can’t wait to see what we all come up with in this next year!
Now it’s everyone’s favorite…the top 5 misses of 2013! Rather than doing specific projects that didn’t turn out I’ll be doing like Sonja and talking about 5 areas where I totally failed this year in sewing. After writing them out, they actually all seem to be super related to each other, so maybe that will make it easier to work on for 2014. I hope so!
I mentioned this problem in a previous post, but this year I completely sucked at photographing the garments I made. This year I completed over 60 sewn or knitted objects but somehow managed to blog around 20 or so of them. Major goal for next year…blog all of the things – because I actually wear (or use) them all!
Related to the above topic, I had a hard time maintaining any sort of blog schedule this year. I moved twice, basically started my life over, and plus, I didn’t photograph anything. All of this together = a really lame blog. I’ve already started planning and photographing things for next year so that I hopefully don’t have this problem again.
Not Making Enough Things
Okay so this one might sound strange but I feel like I only made half the amount of garments and patterns I wanted to this year. This was a pretty crazy life changing year for me so I’m not going to get too hard on myself here, but I do feel disappointed that fabrics I had planned for garments I wanted to make are still sitting under my work table in bins. Sigh… classic case of eyes being bigger than the stomach (or whatever analogy works for sewing) I suppose.
Not Making More Patterns Just for Me
A major way that I come up with new garments to release as patterns is just by messing around making myself garments with no intention of selling the pattern. This year though, I found I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to spend on just making patterns to make patterns. I got overly stressed out about releasing the patterns I did release, was super worried all the time that I wasn’t releasing enough patterns (cause there are SO many I want to get out there) and because of that I felt like I shouldn’t waste time on these types of fun projects. I really missed doing things like my seasonal wardrobe challenges that I’d done in the past, even though I usually only got about halfway through each one.
Not Having More Fun Blogging
The 4 previous fails really contributed to this final fail. This year I really I stressed out that I wasn’t posting about what people wanted to read. Not blogging enough tutorials, not responding quickly enough to comments, blogging garments that I haven’t released patterns for, or blogging things unrelated to sewing / too many personal posts. I just need to remember that this whole thing is supposed to be fun, and if I’m not having fun, most likely other people aren’t either. I’m going to just breathe, chill out, and maybe post a personal post or a cat photo here and there in 2014 because that’s what makes me happy!
This year I decided to participate in the Top 5 of 2013 roundup started by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow. I remember last year reading everyone’s top 5 lists and didn’t want to miss out on the fun this year. Today I’m posting my Top 5 Hits of the year. I made a ton of stuff this year, a bit over 60 knit or sewn items at last count, so narrowing it down to my favorite individual items seemed like a bit of an impossible task. Instead I’m doing my 5 general hits of the past year, in no particular order. Here goes!
Archer Button Up Pattern
My number one hit this year has to be the Archer Button Up pattern. At last count I’d made 16 Archers, mostly for myself but a few were for other people. In addition to making a bunch of these I also taught a class at Lillstreet on making the Archer so I think it’s safe to say this pattern has pretty much ruled over my 2013.
Polka Dot Moss
I made this Moss Skirt shortly after the new year with fabric from IKEA and have worn it to death. I think there was a 2 week heat wave period this summer when I wore this skirt every day. I love it in the summer, love it with tights in the fall, I had no idea how much you could wear a polka dot skirt. Major hearts!
Sewing with Knits
This year I really dove into knits more heavily than in the past, and I really enjoyed it! I started with this polka dot sweatshirt, then adapted the Scout Tee for knits, finishing with the release of my free Hemlock pattern. Sewing with knits is a good time but I was always frustrated that between my sewing machine and serger I was always faking a professional hem. I admit that I’m one of those people who likes to do things the right way and having a fake coverstitch hem on these shirts drove me nuts so a few weeks ago I purchased a coverstitch / chainstitch machine. I’m really excited to work with it in 2014 so expect to see more knit projects around these parts!
Ikat fabric seemed to be a real theme with my sewing this year. I was on a bit of a silk kick in the years past but for some reason I kept buying up ikat left and right in 2013. The fabric usually has a great drape and is cool in the warmer months so that made it perfect for summer. I think that chambray was probably a second runner up in my fabric department this year, but it’s not as exciting so I’m giving this one the win, ha!
I’ve had a bit of a knitting dry spell for the past few years but I really got back into it this year through small projects. Hats (top, middle, and no idea what pattern I used for the bottom), socks (Priscilla’s Dream Socks as always), and a hot water bottle cozy (Garment House). I also finished up my Icelandic sweater earlier in the year and started on the Stonecutter by Brooklyn Tweed this winter. I’ve got a bit to go on that but I’m chugging right along and am about half done with the back. I’m looking forward to doing more knitting this winter now that I’m back in the game!
Well that’s my Top 5 Hits of 2013, check back tomorrow for my Top 5 Misses. Not looking forward to that one… ha!
It’s time for the 2013 Ornament Exchange ornament reveals! You may remember this exchange from last year, Kelli over at True Bias came up with the idea last year and I’m so excited to be a part of it for a second year. Last year I made this little Narwhal ornament and because I love a good theme, I stuck with nature and went all Snowy Owl over here!
I have full instructions and a pattern for the little snowy below the jump. Be sure to check out the other ladies participating, I’ve been receiving their ornaments over the past week and it’s been so fun checking my mailbox every day. Thanks Kelli for organizing this swap again!
kelli | miranda | sonja | krista | jennifer | katy | laney | erica
A quick little tip for your plaid Archers if you’d like to cut your outer yoke on the bias, consider cutting the inside yoke on the straight grain. I find this cuts down a bit on stretch at the shoulder seam and neckline. Super easy!
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about plaid matching since the release of the Archer Button Up Shirt and especially now with Archer Appreciation Month. Today I’m going to show you a really easy quick way to make sure your plaids match up. Personally I’m of the camp where I don’t worry too much about the general placement of each vertical stripe on my garments, I kind of like a bit of a random look with that, but I do want my stripes to line up horizontally across my shirt from front to back to sleeve. This is a really quick way to make sure that happens. Draw a straight line connecting the underarm points across the front, back, and sleeve. Since the pattern is drafted for these points to meet up this will make sure your plaids meet as well.
When cutting plaids I find it best to cut a single layer at a time. Actually I almost never cut double, you can get such a better yield with cutting a single layer! With plaids cutting one layer at a time will ensure that your plaids match exactly where you want to without the excessive time suck of lining and pinning the two layers of plaid together. If you do cut this way though be sure to flip your pattern pieces so you don’t end up with two of one sleeve or anything like that. For the center back and other pieces generally cut on the fold you’ll want to make sure you trace out one half, then flip and trace the other half.
This Archer is for my class at Lillstreet so I don’t have any finished photos of how the plaids match, but I do this method for all of my Archers so any previous plaid one I’ve made I’ve cut with this method. The above photo demonstrates how it works out. Pretty nice I think! If you’re looking for something more in depth than this simple method you might want to check out this series Amy over at Really Handmade did on plaid matching. She gets super in depth with it and just had an article inspired by the series published in the current edition of Sew News. Check out her posts here, she has links to all of her previous plaid matching posts, the article, and downloadable templates for if you’re still feeling nervous about plaid matching!
Hey guys, I have some super exciting news for you. Erin of Miss Crayola Creepy and Rochelle of Lucky Lucille have put together a little challenge called Archer Appreciation Month for December! I was beyond excited when they contacted me about it, you guys know I need no reason to sew one up for myself but if I have a reason I feel a little bit less crazy. If you’ve been thinking about sewing up an Archer or making a second or third, now’s a great time to sew along with us. Once you’ve finished your Archer, upload it to the Grainline Studio Flickr Group with the tag #archerappreciation and I’ll be posting all of the December Archers here to show them off in January.
You can download the Archer pattern here and if you need a little extra help along the way you can find the Archer Sew-Along posts here and I’ll be posting a few Archer tips and style changes over the month as well. I hope you’ll join along with us! Grab the badge above for your sidebar if you’d like and tag your social media #archerappreciation so we can all see it! Now I’m off to work on Archer number 12 or so. I’ve lost count at this point…