Boardwalk Delight Skirt and Shorts

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I don’t blog anymore.  You all know that.  But when DANA from Made Everyday asks you if you want to sew with fabric that she designed and be part of her blog tour, you blog.  It’s what you do.  Well, at least, it’s what I do, so here I am!

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Dana’s debut fabric collection for Art Gallery is called Boardwalk Delight and was inspired by all the things that she loves about summer.  And it really does encompass the fun, carefree, beachy spirit that I love so much about summer too!

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I knew the bright, festive colors would be something that my daughter would love too, so I took the opportunity to do some back-to-school sewing for my kindergartner.  The fabric I used is called Candy Dots and the colorful dots reminded me of all our favorite fruit sherbets.  It also screams, “Party!” Dontcha think?

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The fabric is a crisp and smooth quilting cotton that washes and sews really well.  It’s lovely to wear too!  Though I should have anticipated this, the print is on white fabric so it’s quite light and I wasn’t sure what kind of garment I could make that wouldn’t be too see through.  The original plan was a simple skirt, so I figured if I gathered enough fabric, it would be fine.  And I think it worked!

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This is the most simple skirt, much like this tutorial I made a ridiculously long time ago.  I cut two rectangles the whole width of the fabric (about 44″) and sewed those together.  So I ended up with about 88″ of fabric around a 21″ waist!  It gives it a very full look and a bit of spinability.  That’s a word, right?

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When I tried the skirt on my daughter, it felt a bit too long, so I added a pintuck pleat to shorten it.  And I like that I can always unpick it and let it down as she grows taller!  And it gives the skirt a little bit of interest as well.  A happy accident.

After I finished the skirt, I had some extra fabric leftover and I wanted to make something else.  So I cut some strips on the bias to make a pair of Purl Soho City Gym Shorts.  This is the first time I’ve made these shorts and I love them so much!

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They are fast and easy to sew, they require such little fabric and the pattern is free!  And they are super cute!  Yuki has pretty much refused to wear shorts for the last couple of years.  I think she fell once while wearing shorts and scraped her knees up, so she thought it’d be safer if she wore leggings all the time instead.  The funny thing is, she wears skirts and dresses all the time!

Anyways, she’s coming around to wearing shorts and she loves these so I’m thinking of making a few more.

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This pattern doesn’t necessarily highlight the cute Candy Dots fabric, but it compliments it quite nicely and adds a nice little pop🙂

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boardwalk-delight-fabrics-by-dana-willard-1Photo credit: Dana Willard

I feel like this collection is basically Dana in the form of fabric.  It’s cheerful and bright, stylish and spunky.  She’s done a brilliant job translating her summer fun vision to reality that we now all get to enjoy.  Dana is such a pioneer and has always given so much to the sewing/blogging community, so I’m excited to see that she keeps taking on new endeavors like designing fabric.  The Boardwalk Delight collection includes 10 prints on cotton, 3 knits and 1 canvas, making it extremely versatile – you can use it for almost any project you can think of!  All of the details and a fun video are up on Dana’s site.

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And check back in weekly on Made Everyday for recaps of all the blog party posts, like Anna’s Poolside ToteRae’s Ice Cream Dress, and Amy’s Summer Star Quilt.  There are a lot of great bloggers and projects coming up throughout August, so stay tuned!

Happy summer, folks!  Until next time🙂

 

Sewing Happiness

Well hellloooooo!  Last time you heard from me I committed to blogging once a month about my Year of Making projects, but that was 4 months ago and it’s become clear to me that 1. I’m not really great at making huge commitments and 2. I really really don’t like blogging.  I’m still trying to practice my creativity every day, but at some point life got super busy and then I got really burnt out and it’s been hard getting back on the wagon.  I AM participating in Me Made May again and wearing something handmade every day.  Maybe month long challenges are more my speed.

But I’m not here to talk about my commitment issues!  Despite how much I dislike blogging, I could not turn down the opportunity to review Sanae Ishida‘s newest book, Sewing Happiness (affiliate link).  Sanae is one of those people with a generous heart, a humble spirit and loveliness just oozing out of her.  Her words, her paintings, her carefully crafted sewing projects – everything she touches has a sense of calm and beauty.

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida

From the moment I started flipping through the book, I was captured by the beautiful photos and sweet sewing projects.  But as others started sharing about the book, they kept talking about reading it, about Sanae’s story.

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never read a crafting or sewing book.  I’m just there for the projects and instructions and pretty pictures, you know?  But I’d heard a bit about Sanae’s story through her blog and I was intrigued, so one night I started from the beginning and read the book.  And it too, was beautiful and captivating – I couldn’t stop.

Sanae shares the story of how she turned her life around with the help of sewing.  Her words are deeply intimate and while her story is unique, she has a way of making it touching and relatable to all of us.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a few times while reading.

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida

The sewing projects are organized by season and with each one, Sanae shares why it’s included in the book, making each one feel very personal.  They are simple and appropriate for beginners and carry potential for elaborating and personalizing.  It was hard to choose which project to start with.

Sashiko Trivet by you & mie

I decided to make myself an apron first (more on that below), but also love that the book includes a Sashiko primer, a section that includes the basics about Sashiko, a style of Japanese embroidery.  I’ve been wanting to practice so this seemed like a great opportunity.

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida

Sashiko Trivet by you & mie

The Sashiko Trivet was a fun and quick project.  I got to practice sashiko stitching on a small and manageable piece of fabric and turn it into something pretty and practical.

Sashiko Trivet by you & mie

I used a really lovely navy brushed linen from Miss Matatabi fabrics for both the trivet and the apron.  I fused a lightweight interfacing on the wrong side of the linen and drew the pattern on it.  The stitches aren’t even or precise, but one of the things that I really took away from Sanae’s book was letting go of perfection and just making things YOU.  “Perfection is overrated!” she says and I took that as permission to just make for the joy of making and not getting hung up on making it look this way or that.  It’s so freeing.

Sashiko Trivet by you & mie

Like I mentioned, the first project I actually decided to make was the Crossback Apron because I thought it would be practical for all the painting, play dough playing, cooking and dishwashing I do.

Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida

Crossback Apron by you & mie

I like the simple design and that you don’t have to tie it in the back.  I made size Medium and it fits well (the fit is really forgiving, of course).  The only thing I modified was the pocket.  I increased the length so that it would reach almost across the entire width of the apron and separated it into 4 pockets.

Crossback Apron by you & mie

This brushed linen is really quite amazing.  I felt a little bad using it for something like an apron that would get so dirty.  But I do love the look and feel, though it’s a bit shifty and wrinkly, like most linens.  It would be great for the Origami Pillow, Eco Bag, Baby Kimono Top + Bloomers, or so many of the other projects in Sanae’s book.

I didn’t get any pictures of the apron on me, but you can check out Delia’s apron to see some amazing photos of the apron action!

If you’re a fan of Sanae’s blog, you’ll love her book.  I highly recommend it – it’s a must have for your book collection.  I did receive the book and the fabric for this post for free, but I would never make this stuff up – it’s a wonderful book and you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, Sanae for sharing your beauty with us!

January: a month of knitting

I’m back!  As promised!  This year I decided to embark on a Year of Making and I am already one month down.  Can you believe it’s February?  I am planning on blogging once a month to share some of the things I worked on throughout the month.  But honestly, if you follow me on Instagram, most of the pictures will be familiar.  I’m mostly documenting my projects there.  I aim to post a #yearofmaking pic every day, but I know there will be days I miss.

Anyways, about once a year I get sucked back into knitting.  And I usually make one thing and then put down the needles until the following winter.  Well January was kind of the month of knitting for me.  It just feels seasonally appropriate and all the knitters are posting their gorgeous hand knit creations on Instagram and it all looks so lovely and warm and delicate and perfect.  Last year I wanted to make the Schwimmen hat but I had already made one beanie and then gotten distracted by something else.  I had bought the yarn and everything but never got around to it.  So that’s the first project I picked up at the start of January.  It’s my big finish for this month, though it’s not the only thing I did, it’s definitely the one I feel most proud of.

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I’m not much of a knitter, so this lace design was a huge challenge for me.  It wasn’t the kind of project you can just zone out and methodically knit while relaxing to a TV show.  I had to count and use markers and look up stitches on YouTube and check off each round I completed so I didn’t lose track.  I made a ton of mistakes too.  The first one I noticed was a little petrifying.  I couldn’t go back the rows to fix it and I couldn’t rip it out because I was afraid I’d never be able to pick back up all the stitches.  I think I put it down for a few days not knowing what to do.  But finally I pushed on and just accepted the mistake, added a stitch to fix the count and it was freeing!  Every mistake that came up after that I just shrugged my shoulders and moved forward.  It’s definitely a forgiving pattern in that sense – I doubt anyone will notice the mistakes unless they are an experienced knitter and staring at my head trying to find the mistakes, right?

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So I finished it recently and it’s currently being blocked on a balloon (I’ve never blocked anything before)! I’m excited to wear it AND I’m excited to make more beanies!  In fact, I finished another beanie last month.  It’s the Northwoods Hat from The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar.  And not only did I knit this hat, but I actually dyed the yarn first and then knit it!

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It was part of The Modern Natural Dyer Work-along hosted by A Verb For Keeping Warm.  I got the kit from Hideko for Christmas which is awesome because it came with all the materials I needed for the project, pre-measured and ready to go.  I won’t walk through the process because the book does it so well and the ladies of AVFKW have been doing it throughout the month on their blog, IG and Periscope (my newest obsession) and I talk about it a bunch in my IG posts, but let’s just say it was quite a lengthy process!  There were many steps, but it was totally doable, fun and I definitely want to do it again!

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I used madder extract to dye my yarn red and I wrapped and tightly tied string around the yarn every 3-5 inches to get those white/undyed spots.  I like the way it knit up with little flecks randomly scattered throughout.  The knitting pattern is really simple and because the yarn is bulky, it was a super fast knit.  I think I finished it in a day and a half!

Also in the knitting realm, I asked awhile back on IG about teaching kids how to knit because my 5 year old had been asking.  Some people suggested starting with a knitting loom, so I bought a set to try.  Unfortunately, the 5 year old doesn’t quite have the patience to do more than one round at a time and hasn’t finished a hat yet.  I tested out the two small sizes and made a hat that fits a baby doll and a hat that fits a baby (I was hoping it would fit my petite 2 year old, but it’s too small)!

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I’ve really enjoyed knitting this month and I think I might actually continue!  I want to make the Diode hat that Jen posted about.  And I might even try a sweater for one of my kids.  Do you know of any cute and simple patterns?  And then maybe one day I’ll make a sweater for me!

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Besides knitting and natural dyeing, I did a little bit of drawing and watercolor painting this last month, and I hope to continue to practice more of both throughout the year.  I love the videos and challenges they have on Creativebug.  It makes a whole lot of new crafts really accessible!  It also makes me want to do EVERYTHING.

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In January, I also did some arts and crafts with the kids and at work and I baked a cake and made dinners.🙂  It is interesting to see just how much making I do regularly.  Sometimes I have to make the effort to squeeze it in at the end of the day, and other times I make 5 things in a day without really trying.  The one thing I DIDN’T do practically any of this month was sewing!  But I’m pretty sure that’ll change in February.

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Thanks for all of you who left encouraging comments on my last post.  And thanks for coming along with me on my year of making.  I decided to use the hashtag #cheriesyearofmaking (original, I know!) on IG to document my year.  If you have any ideas for crafts or projects you think I should try – let me know!  And please also share what you’re planning on working on this year or this month!  Happy making🙂

 

Year of Making

Hello!  Happy 2016!  Is anyone still out there?  I’ve fallen so out of touch with blogland, I don’t know what’s going on anymore!  But to anyone reading, hello and happy new year.  I hope you’re well.

Last year I took a big intentional step back from blogging and it was pretty wonderful.  As much as I loved sharing things I’d made and the community I felt here, I just wasn’t getting enough out of it.  I’m an extremely slow blogger and I always had other things I would rather be doing besides taking and editing photos and writing and editing blog posts and then trying to share and promote the post on social media.  I couldn’t keep up with everything, so I decided to let this part go and I did continue on sewing (though it felt like a lot less).  And I shared a lot on Instagram and took part in a wonderful community there.

Best of 2015 // you & mieSome of my favorite makes of 2015

I also had the goal to simplify my life, to have, consume, buy, do, want less.  I won’t get into how it all went, but I’ll say that I failed and I succeeded and failed again and it’s an ongoing goal.  My life isn’t dramatically different, but I do try to make conscious efforts and smart decisions to move towards a simpler life and though we’ve got a loooong way to go, we’ll continue to do what we can.

One thing that I thought about over the last year as I continue to grow and maybe even establish myself creatively is a desire to find “my thing.”  You know how some people have a specific thing that they are really good at and they find themselves becoming known for that thing and then they go on to teach that thing and write books about that thing and become professionals and wildly successful and get to do that thing all day long?  Or they have a project with a cool hashtag that really puts them on the map and gets them noticed.  Well I want a thing!  But I’ve never been able to come up with my own original thing.  They all seem to be taken by people who are actually really good at them and have been working on it for years.  Until other awesome creative people come up with new ideas and I’m like, shit, why didn’t I think of that!?

Year of Making // you & miePicking knitting back up.  I do this once a year.

Anyways, I don’t really know what I want to do but I am feeling like I want to practice being more creative and explore different crafts, see if anything sticks and just have fun trying new things.  Last year I started following Meighan O’Toole on Instagram and she was challenging herself to a #yearofmaking, where she committed to doing some creative practice every day for at least 30 minutes for a year.  I think she got the idea from Kim Werker and the original idea traces back to Miriam Felton, as far as I can tell.  Well Meighan learned a lot from her experience and it was really inspiring to me too.  I decided that committing to a year of making might be what I need to stay out of creative ruts, learn new things, meet new people, maybe open new doors.

Year of Making // you & mieTrying my hand at natural dyes during The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along

I made a list of things I want to try this year.  There are like 13 things on the list right now.  Some of them are things I’ve done before and just want to explore more, like knitting or quilting and some are new and just seem interesting like watercolor painting or embroidery.  I don’t expect I’ll get through all of the things on the list and do expect that some of the things will change as I get distracted by the latest crafting trend.  (Ooh, weaving?  Sure!)  Some days I’ll paint a portrait and other days I’ll just doodle.  Or maybe I’ll make a cocktail.  Hell, last weekend I counted painting my daughters’ faces as my creative practice for the day!  And hopefully I’ll still sew!  I’ll always go back to sewing.

Year of Making // you & mieWool yarn hand dyed with madder extract

I don’t plan on posting to instagram every single day, but I will document my creative practices as much as possible and share them there.  I’m still trying to come up with a hashtag for all my pics so I can have them in my own pool.  And I’m going to try and write a blog post at least once a month to share the things I worked on that month.  So towards the end of this month I’ll share what things I focused on in January.

Year of Making // you & mie

Watercolor painting with my daughters

You guys, this may last like 2 months.  I’m kind of a slacker like that.  It’s probably why I don’t have my own “thing.”  Or maybe it’ll stick and be amazing and awesome, supportive people out in the interwebs will help me stay motivated.  Who knows!  Hopefully it’s the latter.  I hope that publishing this post will be enough to light a fire under my ass on nights that I just want to watch Netflix or go to sleep, ’cause, you know, I told everyone on the internet that I would do it.

Wish me luck!  Maybe you’ll join me?  Regardless, I can’t wait to see what comes out of 2016!

 

Dress No. 2 in Brushed Cotton

Hellooooooo!!  It’s been so long!  But guess what!  I blogged!  My latest Miss Matatabi Makers post is up on their blog, so go check it out!

Dress No. 2 in Free Way A // you & mie

I made a fall/winter dress for myself in some coooozy nani IRO brushed cotton.  It feels so comfy, I just want to sleep in it!  Get the rest of the details over on the Miss Matatabi blog!

Cotton + Steel Clothesline Floral Wrap Dress

Well hellooooo!  And happy summer to you, if you are, in fact, enjoying summer at the moment.  I’ve been having a lovely month of camping and beaches and swimming and sun.  But August is here which means I’m back to work gearing up for back to school, and honestly, I’m already behind.  How can that be possible!?

Anyways, I’m here with my latest Miss Matatabi Makers project, but since I ended up making two dresses, I’m sharing one here and the other on the Miss Matatabi blog!  So check out Kaya’s wrap dress here and then head over there to see Yuki’s dress.

Clothesline Floral Wrap Dress by you & mie

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Yorokobi Summer Set

Yorokobi Summer Set // you & mie

It’s nani IRO month!  I’ve already proclaimed my love of nani IRO fabrics before, so I won’t bore you with my gushing about how wonderfully beautiful, intricate, bold yet delicate, and one-of-a-kind each of Naomi Ito’s designs are and what great quality the fabric is and how lovely it is to sew and how it’s even lovelier to wear.  No, I don’t need to mention all of the many things I love about nani IRO fabric again, right?

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Tips for your closet purge

Hey!  So how is your wardrobe clean up going?!  It’s been so great reading all your comments sharing your own experiences, challenges and advice!  Thank you!

The Great Closet Purge 2015 // you & mie

I just wanted to check in really quickly and share a few tips that I’ve found helpful during my purge.  I already shared these on Instagram, but I know not everyone is on there, so here they are for you! Continue reading

The Great Closet Purge

The Great Closet Purge // you & mie
While I was participating in Me Made May, I spent time looking through my closet to find things that I’d made and as I was digging, I realized how much stuff I have that I just never wear.  I think most of us are in the same boat.  We hold on to clothes that we think we might wear if we have the right occasion, or we hope it’ll fit us again after we lose that 10+ pounds.  Maybe we are holding on to that shirt for sentimental reasons.  Regardless, they sit in our closets or drawers being passed over every day and whether we realize it or not, they weigh us down and take up space both physically and emotionally.  For anyone who has done a purge before, you know how freeing it can be.  How it feels like a weight being lifted.

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