desert dessert


Hey guys! So about a week ago Nick and I packed our car and headed out west to Marfa, TX for a little desert excursion.  I go out there once a year for work, to give the resident artists a break from the humid Gulf coast and to become oversaturated in minimalist art.  It's always great to get away, even if it is for work.  I become a bit militant about sneaking in hotel pool time, a hike or two and lots of staring off into sunsets in between the tours and the meetings and the dinners (I know, it sounds awful, right? hehe...) 


During one of our last nights there, Nick and I snuck off into the desert to snap some blog photos.  It was super windy, and I had been on a long hike earlier that day, so please excuse my slightly sun-dazed and less-than-polished appearance in these photos! I've been meaning to get photos of this little shimmery skirt for literally months now. This is Grainline's Moss mini skirt that I made up, um... back in March...? Yeah... and it's now almost June... bad blogger!!! But this was really the pattern that made me decide that Jen was a genius. I'll try to keep my pattern-romanticizing to a minimum with this one (if you'd like to hear me wax poetic about Grainline patterns, then look no further than this post) but let me just say that, once again, the fit is spot on, the design is both modern, streamlined and classic, and the drafting of the pockets show that subtle attention to detail that makes a sewist like me go all gooey on the inside. 


The fabric is a linen from Tessuti fabrics (no longer available, but isn't is beautiful??) that I bought last spring with the intention of making a pair of shorts.  The shorts never happened, summer passed, and this pretty gold-flecked linen sat in my fabric pile for far too long.  Fast forward to this spring and all of a sudden I became obsessed with highly wearable, casual separates that could easily be incorporated into my wardrobe (hence the sudden interest in button-up shirts like my Archer, or this guy).  Not that a pair of shorts wouldn't have fit the bill, but my closet is decidedly lacking in this sort of versatile skirt.  Or really any skirts. At all. And that's just a shame, isn't it? I'm glad I went with the Moss mini skirt because it has been getting some serious wear ever since!

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I don't really have too much more to say about this make! It was a dream to sew up - everything from the pattern to the fabric just seemed to marry perfectly.  Once again, Jen's tutorials were a huge help - this time to hold my hand through her fly front zipper insertion method, which was different from the method I've used in the past.  While the skirt might look like a bit of a wrinkly mess on me in these pictures (blame it on the linen, the long day, and my 'I-don't-care-I'm-on-vacation' attitude) it's really a very flattering little guy! It's definitely a mini skirt, which made me feel a tiny bit exposed at first, but I swiftly got over it once I realized just how darn comfy and practical it is! And, also, I mean... I think I've posted far more risqué things than this... so what's with all the false modesty all of a sudden?

I'm excited to use this pattern for more makes - I've been envisioning some variations in bright wools (like chartreuse or fuschia...) for fall and winter...

And now... since I'm all out of things to say... some gratuitous vacation instagram shots!




Lucky Me got to be a pattern tester for Megan Nielsen's Crescent Blouse! How lovely is the new line of patterns, you guys? So lovely. I've gotta get my hands on that Cascade skirt - I was all ready to pounce on the sewing kit because I'm literally dying over the fabric used in the look book, but they're all sold out!!  I'll just have to put my fabric dyeing pants on and get crafty...


But anyway! Here is my Crescent Blouse!! I was super excited to test this pattern - it's such a fun, unique design.  As soon as I saw the line drawing that Megan sent me I knew I wanted to try some sort of color-blocked scheme with it.  In my mind's eye I was envisioning a gradation of blue-y-turquoises, but of course those colors didn't exist at my local fabric store (why does that always happen??) so I just had to start playing around with what was there until I found three colors that I thought worked well together.  All three are a medium weight silk crepe, which worked really well for this pattern.


I really wanted to make this blouse sort of feminine and 'date-night-ish'.  Typically I shy away from sweet little collars like this one, but there was something about pairing it with the bare shoulder, and the echoing of all the curves throughout this design, that made me feel like I just had to go for it.  There's a nice balance of sassy and sweet in the Crescent Blouses' design. So I decided if I was going to do a feminine collar, than I was gonna do it up!  I decided to try my hand at beading.  You know, because I'm sure that's something you can just pick up... (wink) I bought purple and silver seed beads, did a "how to: beading" google search (which, surprise surprise... turned up some very strange things...) and went to Bead Town!

And then I left Bead Town. Because, turns out, beads are heavy! Even these teensy tiny seed beads! The three rows that I did already started to pull the collar down, showing the grey binding on the inside.  Also, it was time-consuming, and a bit boring. So I stopped. I figured it was fancy-fied enough!


This was my first time working with one of Megan's patterns, and it was an absolute joy.  Her instructions were thorough and easy to understand, and she was full of useful little tips (like trimming all those curved seam allowances with pinking shears instead of clipping/notching to get a nice, smooth line). This blouse may look a little intimidating at first with the shoulder cutouts and all the bias binding, but it's actually quite simple to sew.  Megan did a wonderful job of making this an accessible pattern for less-experienced sewists, and even those who suffer from bias-binding-phobia, like me!

I only have one, itty bitty complaint about this top - and it's a really curmudgeon-y one, at that. It requires me to wear... a strapless bra (looooonnngggg suffering sigh...) And anytime I'm required to wear a strapless bra I'm reminded that the only one I own is way too big for me (thus the odd lumps and pulling apparent in my boob region in these photos) and I really need to buy a new strapless bra.  I'm sure this is not an issue for anyone that has a relatively grown up underwear drawer, but the general state of pathos that my underthings have been in for, oh, I don't know, the last seventeen years means that me and strapless bras are not on good terms...

Also... I wish I would have made the top half some other color besides this dusty-rose pink. While a lovely color all on it's own, it's not exactly pleasing to my complexion... But! That's why there's always a next time, am I right?!


I coerced my husband to take these pictures of me the other night since our camera remote has decided to go it's separate way... Nick's always a sport about taking my blog photos, but I always find myself more self-conscious about posing when he's behind the camera!

As we were walking around the neighborhood trying to find decent light (and, you know, the perfectly disheveled looking abandoned house - because there's so many to choose from!!) we walked by our little neighborhood handmade ice cream joint.  Gotta love beach towns! Ice cream is never too far out of reach! So I suggested an impromptu ice cream date. After all, I was wearing my 'date-night' top... I mean... how could he resist this face?


Until next time!!



summer linen


Wow. Where did I go?

So sorry for disappearing on you guys like that! Unfortunately I don't have a really great reason for it, just, ya know, the usual... Life got super hectic this spring and there was just no time for sewing! And when there's no time for sewing, well, what is there to say on this here blog-o-log? Unless you wanted to hear about how busy and tired I was, how I had no time to sew, and how my couch and Girls became my new besties... Which, lets be honest, I don't think you do! So let's just forget about those dark, dark days and chat about some recent makes, eh?


Meet my new summer uniform! What is it about this time of year that always makes me gravitate towards blue and white? Is it something subliminal? Can I blame Pinterest? (I love to blame Pinterest) well whatever it is, here I am, once again, decked out in blue and white.

I made the shorts last year, but the shirt is a new make, a Grainline Archer. What seems like, oh, eons ago now, the lovely Nettie sent me this pattern basically on a whim (have I mentioned how much I love our corner of the Internet? Seriously you guys, you're just the best) it was such a lovely surprise. Like everyone else I fell in love with Archer upon first sight, and literally kicked myself for buying the McCall's pattern I used for my polka dot shirt. I wasn't sure I could justify two button-up shirt patterns in my "carefully curated" pattern stash (read: broke and stingy). However, after making both shirts now, I can safely say that they differ pretty greatly, and I think they've both earned their distinct places in my pattern drawer.


To me, the Archer is the ultimate "boyfriend" shirt. It's roomy, and comfortable, but with just enough feminine touches that you don't feel like you're drowning in it, or, you know, like you actually raided a man's closet. I love the subtle details on this shirt: the angled cuffs, the petite collar, the slim button bands... They feel very current and modern to me. The McCall's shirt has a much more "lady-like" vibe with it's bust and back darts.

This is actually the second Grainline pattern that I made this spring (I'll reveal the first later - yeah, we're a little out of order here, just bear with me...) and I have to say, I'm really really impressed. As someone who mostly sews with Big Four patterns I've generally come to expect that level of quality and fit from my patterns.  But Jen's patterns prove that there is an art to pattern drafting.  Her designs are classic and oh-so wearable, but with these misleadingly simple nuances that make them a cut above. I think I remember Sonja once saying that Jen's patterns are "beautifully drafted" - and I just can't put it better myself.


I made my Archer in a straight size 4 (for once all my measurements were in one column!! I'm telling ya... it's true love...) trusting that the ease would be just enough for it to be roomy, but not sloppy.  I did add 1 1/2 inches to the length because I liked how long the McCall's shirt was on me and wanted the Archer to have the same booty-cloaking ability. Sewing it up was pretty easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy with the help of Jen's awesome sew-along posts, which were just so chock full of awesome tips and tricks for sewing shirts (like that ninja-like move you make with the front of the collar stand and facing... any one know what I'm talking about?)  The fabric is a linen from Mood that was described as having a "chambray-look" - and, well, who doesn't love chambray? And a chambray-look-linen = perfect for summer! Also perfect for looking cooly disheveled (right? right??) with all the wrinkly glory that's going on. You will note I did not deign to iron the shirt for you after a day of wearing at work... because that would take away some of the cool... obviously...


Overall I'm really happy with how the shirt turned out. There was minimal cursing involved during it's construction (always a good sign) and while my topstitching may not be the thing sewing wet-dreams are made of, it still is pretty darn passable! Not to mentions almost completely invisible due to the white warp threads (as opposed to weft - not like... of the time-warping variety... that would be weird!) in my fabric...

Now I just need to get my blogging act together and show the rest of the stuff I've been hiding from you! I've got a couple of beauties up my sleeve...