hats and dogs

Earlier this year, I decided to purchase Sewn Books by Carla Hegeman Crim and bring my experience with it along to my sewing book club. I’ll start by saying that I have no experience with millinery. Let’s assume that the fleece dinosaur hats that I made for my twin nephews for Christmas don’t count… but that won’t stop me from showing this pic…

it's the right way to wear it if he says it is

Yes, the spikes are supposed to go North-South à la stegosaurus, not East-West à la Statue of Liberty, but YOU try telling him that. And that’s his bro over his right shoulder, sporting a hat I did not make.

As on-topic and appropriate as any talk of my brilliant nephews always is, that hat pattern didn’t come from this book. (It’s here if you’re interested.) This one did, though: Continue reading

sticky taffy

You know, it’s funny. One of the main ways we classify a fabric is by woven or knit. The two are even on opposite sides of my stash closet. :) Yet, as anyone who’s worked with knit fabrics knows, all knits are so not created equal. I have knits that are so stable they would work better on a pattern designed for wovens, and then there are the ones that stretch so much, and so easily, that they’re difficult to cut out with precision. My second version of the Taffy blouse from The Colette Sewing Handbook is a perfect case in point.

this one was sticky - the Taffy blouse from The Colette Sewing Handbook

As I mentioned when I first made this pattern, I fell in love with the sleeves despite starting out dubious of them. I knew another version was on my horizon, and I really thought the sleeves would look lovely in a drapey knit. Enter this fabric which I purchased less than a month ago… Continue reading

ocean taffy

Wait, come back… it’s not another recipe post. This one is for the Taffy, not taffy. :~)

Taffy blouse – click for source (Coletterie.com)

My book club’s selection in June was The Colette Sewing Handbook. This book is designed as a garment sewing school… it gives lots of lessons and tutorials, then presents five projects throughout the book to practice and build upon the skills you’re acquiring. Sarai Mitnick, the author as well as the owner of Colette Patterns, structures the book around what she calls The Five Fundamentals: A Thoughtful Plan, A Precise Pattern, A Fantastic Fit, A Beautiful Fabric, and A Fine Finish. She starts with some sewing basics and then gives more detailed instructions within each of these fundamentals. I especially enjoyed reading the Thoughtful Plan section — she shares some fresh ideas on inspiration, editing, strategy, and even creating your own croquis. (Alana from Lazy Stitching has a great post about that last one.)

Continue reading


I’ve seldom been as excited for a new sewing book release as I was for this one: Lisa Lam’s A Bag for all Reasons. I mentioned not too long ago that I only recently began to execute her actual patterns; however, her technique tutorials have been useful to me for a long while. The vast majority of the twelve projects in this new book appeal to me. Actually, every single one has something I love or a technique I want to learn. This bag, The Access-All-Areas Pouch, was my first undertaking from this publication — I just made it this past weekend.

I chose this project first because I was interested in the recessed top zipper, which employed a technique that was new to me. Continue reading

let’s do lunch (bags)

Our sewing book club’s selection for May was Lunch Bags! from Stash Books.  I like these Design Collective publications — each pattern is by a different author (usually an Etsy seller and/or blogger), so you get lots of variety. I’ve had this book since soon after its release, but it is not one of the many that sits idle on my shelf. (OK, shelves.) Even before we chose it for the meeting, I’d completed four of the twenty-five projects, and a couple of those I’d made multiple times. The last one I completed before we met was the contribution from Elizabeth Hutton, the drawstring lunch bag entitled “It’s a Cinch,” seen below in its natural habitat:

It’s rare that I need to pack a lunch for myself, but any of the little bags in this book are awesome for all kinds of other things too: suitcase organization (bag o’ socks!), gift bag, shoe sack, snack or activity bag for road trips, crochet/knitting project tote… Continue reading