Thursday, April 5, 2018

What's Stitching in 2018

Well, it has been a long time since I updated this blog. Welcome back! If you follow my personal blog or my sewing instagram, you'll be aware that in February I had surgery for endometriosis. Recovery has been ongoing. In addition, I've had to be on different meds that have really affected my ability to function creatively.

However my love of fabric and fashion continues unabated! I've been deeply obsessed with quilting this year, and have four projects in various stages of completion. That has been hugely rewarding, and also relaxing as I've done most of the sewing by hand, in my comfy chair.

Due to energy issues, my clothing sewing has been limited. I've done some smaller refashioning projects, and I also made a baptism gown for my new godson (which I hope to blog about in more detail soon).

Although we just got a ton of snow in Minnesota this week, the weather will soon be warming up and I'll be able to move back up to my upstairs sewing room which I am SUPER psyched about!!! I'm ready for SUNLIGHT!

I continue to deeply enjoy admiring costuming on TV as well, although I haven't had the energy to do any posts about it. Recently I rewatched "Jane the Virgin" and was delighted all over again with the cute, accessible modern fashion on the show. Makes me want to sew ALL the sundresses! We also just watched "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" which, although I'd declare it R-Rated (language and nudity), it has some really stunning clothing in there. However, as much as I can admire the beauty of 50's clothing, my own fibromyalgia has made me really think about how far women's undergarments have come over the past 100 years. "Mrs. Maisel" might look fabulous, but the girdles and corsets and petticoats required for such a look seem like torture to me now!

In addition to a couple of long-term costume projects, I'm also about to begin a special refashioning project--my bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding! And then I'll need to figure out something special for my brother's wedding as well. Yep, you read that right. BOTH of my siblings are getting married this year! Just three months between weddings! (And because you might wonder...while I've been honored to give some solicited opinions to the lovely brides, I'm definitely grateful to be spared the stress of being asked to actually sew or alter either dress!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I Heart Embroidery

I am addicted to embroidery. Embroidered fabric, embroidered clothes, embroidered home furnishings, embroidered towels...extra threads on fabric make my heart sing! I got my first embroidery machine almost four years ago, and it didn't take me long to figure out that I could manage a little embroidered towel business, even when my health was unpredictable. I love offering a wide range of whimsical designs (largely sourced from

I use the 4x4 Brother PE400, which is a fantastic machine for the price. I hope to get a machine with a larger embroidery field at some point, but I'm really pleased and astonished at how much use I've gotten out of this machine--several hundred towels, as well as many other fun projects and costume embellishments.

This year I even started stocking some of my towels in a local shop, where they have done very well. It's definitely cool to walk in and see items I made artfully displayed among other awesome products! (The Twisted Root, Hamel, MN)

And I wouldn't sell the towels if I didn't love and use them myself. Here is Nathan, demonstrating that even dudes can get on board with some clever towels.

I am currently running my very last sale of the season, and I wanted to invite you to come on over and visit! I try to minimize using this sewing blog for towel promotion (other than the widget in the scrollbar). However, this is the final sale of the year, and it's for everyone who finds themselves scrambling to get those last few gifts on their list. Not only do I have a variety of designs, Christmas and otherwise, but I'm also offering a discount of 15%, today only! (Normally each towel costs $6.99) 

(Although I personally don't tend to procrastinate on Christmas gifts, I do on other things, so I offer this sale in the spirit of solidarity as well as marketing ;) )

Even if you're not in the market for more shopping this year, I'd love to invite you to come on over and take a look at my little shop! And, if you like, you can also follow my photos of this adventure on instagram or Facebook, or sign up for my mailing list (the most I'll visit your inbox is once a month, but usually less than that).

Friday, December 8, 2017

My DIY Master Bedroom Makeover (For under $75!)

Because it isn't strictly sewing (or even very much about sewing, although there is a quilt), I posted about my recent bedroom redecorating project over on my personal blog. If you're interested in such things, you may enjoy checking it out!

More photos and notes at 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Green Corset - Part 3

Here we are! The final photos of the finished corset (which I like to call the 'Slytherin Green Corset'). It was quite an adventure stitching this creation, but I'm very happy with how it turned out!

It's quite difficult to sew creations like this and then send them off. I took a bajillion photos of this one.

Here you can see the lace and embellishments I added.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Green Corset - Part 2

Corset-making is an intense process, but it is so cool to see the finished piece come together. Part 1 covered the initial construction and busk insertion. Part 2 will chronicle the rest of the process.

Having completed two fittings and established the proper fittings of the corset, I now needed to cover the inside seams. I made bias tape out of black satin and stitched them down.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Green Corset - Part 1

Corset-making is an art of its own. One can be a fabulous costumer, and yet know nothing about crafting corsets. I am still very much a novice in this area, but I did complete a project for a friend this past year that I am pretty proud of.

This corset is loosely Victorian in design, although I'll admit to giving it plenty of modern flare in order to make finishing the project on time manageable! And, for historical accuracy's sake, I should also point out that the Victorian era was quite a long one, with the shape of the corset changing from decade to decade. I use the term "Victorian" here only to really set it apart from the Tudor corset I did previously.

I began the project by padding out one of my dress forms to my friend's measurements. Although I would do fittings in person, making the corset was helped tremendously by having a fairly close body double.

I needed this to be a time economical project, since I knew that even with time-saving methods it would still end up being fairly involved. Therefore, the corset is only three layers thick, and thin layers at that. A gold/green brocade, a thin interfacing, and a green poly-satin lining. I knew it would be easiest to fit the corset if there was one seam per section, rather than separate seams for the brocade and lining, so I stitched all the pieces together as though each brocade and satin piece were merely the front and back of the same piece. I'm really glad I did this, because it made the fitting process so much simpler.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Eowyn Coat

Several years ago I was given a length of textured brown fabric that struck me as being perfect for a replica of Eowyn's brown coat from "The Two Towers." I got a coat zipper and a bit of cheap brown fur and whipped the coat together. It was a little tricky to piece out all the necessary pattern sections, but I managed to pull it off! And, if I recall correctly, this was my first time working with faux fur.

However, despite the fact that I made this piece over twelve years ago, it has never been photographed! I meant to wear it during a photoshoot with my sister the other week, but the heat soared and there was no way I was wearing this ensemble in 70f weather! The coat pairs well with a medieval undertunic and surcoat in my wardrobe, but both of those pieces are made of synthetic fabrics so it is a very warm costume overall!

Perfect, however, for this past Tuesday, which was wet and frigid. It was also what I like to call "National Costume Day", and Chipolte gave out $3 burritos to those who went in costume.

No, I didn't bring the sword into Chipolte. But I had to get a few photos with it! And my Jedi Master husband, of course.

Eowyn's original costume does not include a zipper, of course, but I deliberately wanted to make a coat that had some actual practical function. I'm planning to keep it handy and see how else I can use it this year. It's quite cool to wear!