Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you’re enjoying these last weeks of summer… I’ve been (over) planning for a weekend camping trip next week and can’t stop googling camping recipes, especially those that involve throwing my cast iron dutch oven directly in the fire. Do you have any favourite things you like to make out in the great outdoors? Taking suggestions!
In other news…
I love love love these hand knit socks on the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog; they look just like the wool socks I buy in bulk every winter!
I was recently talking about reaching “Peak Sewing Supplies” on Instagram. Over the years I’ve slowly accumulated a pretty well rounded selection of tools and supplies, but after I pull the trigger on an industrial snap and rivet setter this fall, I feel pretty confidant that this little studio has just about everything you’d need to make just about anything.
Sewing can be an expensive hobby. Sure, you can start cheap with a secondhand machine and a basket full of basic supplies, but as you start getting obsessed (it happens, don’t fight it), having just the right tool to do the job feels as critical as finding the right school for your kid (you can probably tell I am childless since I am comparing quality scissors with your offspring’s education but SCISSORS ARE IMPORTANT). While I could write a comprehensive list of “basics” to stock your sewing arsenal with, instead I thought I’d share my all around favourites; nothing on this list is more than $30, but most of my suggestions are a little more spendy than the cheapest “starter” version. Worth every single penny.
MY FAVOURITE SCISSORS
I’ve gone through so many pairs of scissors since I started sewing. I’ve worked my way through a few brands, trying to find the ultimate pair. While Ginghers are beautiful (especially my gold handled pair) they simply can’t compete with the smooth, Japanese perfection of Kai shears. They might not look as cute in Instagram photos but they are lightweight, sharp as hell and cut through everything from denim to silk like a whisper in the night.
I was so happy when Portia asked me to participate in The Refashioners challenge this year; my contribution is on the Makery blog now. It really brought me back to my sewing roots since modifying thrift store finds was one of the early ways I learned to sew. My favourite thing to do when I was 14 and in my deep hippie 90s revival period (it happened, I regret it, let’s move on) was to buy old Levi 501s and make them bigger (and baggier) by sewing in strips of brightly coloured fabric to the side seams. Basically I did that again, but with tone one tone denim and a little more skill, minus the bongos and patchouli essential oil (I said let’s move on!)
Since I had a stack of too tight Levi 501s in my research bin, I decided to make one of them actually fit me. I wanted 501 butt but without the dated straight leg. I also wanted to experiment with some of the beautiful jeans deconstructions techniques I’ve been collecting on Pinterest lately.
It was a super fun project and I’m delighted to add these beauties to my denim wardrobe. You can get all the construction details (and a lot more photos) over on the Makery.
Have you ever deconstructed jeans? Are you participating in the Refashioners challenge this year?
Happy Sunday everyone! I’m back from my weeklong trip out to the west coast to visit friends. I brought my laptop and worked a lot while I was there (we have a new pattern going to print shortly!) but it’s hard to complain when you’re working on an island paradise (I think I left my heart on Salt Spring – so dreamy….)
I’m still dealing with the after-effects from the fire in my building and my stash remains storage in at the drycleaners; I can’t bring everything back until my apartment is professionally cleaned, which is dependent on the demo schedule downstairs (this stuff takes forever to resolve). I keep wanting to start new projects and then I remember everything is boxed up and missing me. STASH COME BACK TO ME. I AM WAITING FOR YOU.
In other news, here’s what I’ve been eyeballing this week:
I just realized I’ve written ONE HUNDRED of these weekly posts! Feels like I should mark or celebrate it somehow but I’m in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia and am way too relaxed and sun stroked to use my brain in a productive way. I’m taking a working holiday with Harry to visit friends, and have been loving Instagram stories to share videos of the magical house I’m staying at (gardens for miles!)
All the hearts for eyes emojis – this gorgeous blue and white Sophie swimsuit from Le fil a coudre d’Anna
Totally charmed by this gorgeous summer sundress from Diary of a Chain Stitcher.
The nice thing about having a bunch of blocks and half drafted patterns sitting around (you have no idea how many things I have started playing with and then discarded like a baby with amnesia) is that when you have a vision of a very particular simple dress stuck in your head, it probably won’t take that long to just draft it yourself.
The original incarnation of this pattern was actually a shirt dress project from way back last year; I was inspired by the look of women in oversized men’s oxford shirts (nothing sexier in my opinion… nothing). It’s still an idea I love and may dust off one day, but my original drafts made the perfect base for this particular shirt dress. I wanted something super lightweight and loose fitting that would look great in linen, and be easy to wear during my travels this summer.
I couldn’t be happier with it if it woke me up every morning with a cup of strong tea and a croissant. It’s the absolute 100% perfect thing to wear when it’s so hot you want to cry, I can dress sit it up or down, and because it’s made from a beautiful creamy white linen, I feel like Meryl Streep in Out of Africa but minus all the problematic neo-colonial undertones.
It is also easily the most complimented thing I’ve ever made; I’ve been chased down the street to ask where I got it. “My Bernina” isn’t the most helpful reply, sorry ladies.
The construction is pretty simple. It has a banded kimono sleeve with a classic shirt collar. What’s unique is the deeply curved hem,
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you’re had a wonderful weekend. Mine has been filled with birthday parties, brunches and naps spooning with Harry. I’ve also been busy trying to get our new pattern ready for testing before heading to BC to spend some time with friends and family; I’m bringing the pup and am excited to swim in the Pacific Ocean and go for lots of hikes. Here’s what you’ve been up to.
There have been so many fun jeans refashions this week! I was in awe of Joost (JEAN SHOES!), swooned over Rosie’s ombre Inari dress and I love Fadanista’s patchwork jacket.
Hey y’all; just a quick announcement to let you know I will be teaching my Ginger Jeans workshop at A Gathering of Stitches in beautiful Portland, Maine this fall! Over two and a half days, we will make a pair of Ginger Jeans from absolute scratch, with a focus on getting you the best possible fit. The class starts October 20th and space is extremely limited. Hope to see you there!