Friday, July 31, 2015

Work In Progress: My First Dress

Last fall, I registered for free sewing classes at Mood in New York City. That was the beginning of my journey into sewing, which fell flat for about 10 months. I got sick and was unable to make it to the final sessions, so the cut pattern pieces sat in a bag in my closet.
I am sewing version E. 
As I mentioned previously, moving out to Denver meant that I had more space. After making a few basic pieces and then completing a shirt, I felt confident enough that I could tackle this dress, which is McCall's 6124.
I learned a few things in the process of making this dress: first, fabric shears definitely do make a difference. I cut this pattern out using regular scissors, and its evident that there are not any clean cuts on the edges of the fabric. I was gifted a pair of Gingher Left-Handed Fabric Shears for Christmas, and purchased a left-handed rotary cutter, and it has made my life so much easier.
Second: wash your fabric. I did not do this (mainly due to the laundry machine access issue which I discusses), and now I am compensating by changing the seam allowances on the body from 5/8" to 1/2" to give me a bit more room. This dress is a bit of an experiment - a wearable muslin, if you will - so I am hoping for the best.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In the Conductor's Booth: An Interview with Lisa of Indie Untangled

Kick off Rhinebeck 2015 the indie way: Indie Untangled is holding its second annual pre-Sheep and Wool Festival trunk show on Friday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Best Western Plus, across the river from the fairgrounds in Kingston, N.Y. Browse hand-dyed yarn and fiber, handmade project bags, buttons, notions and garments from more than two dozen indie artisans. The first 100 shoppers will receive a goody bag filled with gifts and offers from our vendors and sponsors. For more information and a full list of vendors, visit Indie Untangled.


We are kicking off this year's Road to Rhinebeck series by talking with the brains behind the whole operation, Lisa from Indie Untangled! She reached out to me last year, and it was so fun to do the blog series that we are doing it again. We talk about why she created Indie Untangled and the Rhinebeck Trunk Show, and find out what really happened behind that Humans of New York photo.

The UK version of Etsy: Folksy
Glass-top spindles: Mingo and Asho
Lisa's Rhinebeck Sweater: Rhinecliff by Laura Aylor
Alpenglow Yarn: Interview

We still have the 1000 member giveaway going. Only 33 more to go! 

Thanks for joining in!
Listen here, and subscribe here and here.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Hiking in Maxwell Falls

Our second hiking trip was last weekend to Maxwell Falls. The Aussie and I have discovered that there are waaaaaay too many options for hiking, and that leads to some difficulty in choosing what to do on the weekends. 
I found Maxwell Falls through the site Day Hikes Near Denver; it's a great site because it categorizes everything. We were texting each other screengrabs of various Colorado-based Instagram accounts, and we noticed that some of the most glorious images are those with water and lakes. Maxwell Falls counted as a waterfall, so off we went. 
As you can see, I am still learning how to use my camera - there is a pretty marked difference between mine and The Aussie's photos. I'm getting there slowly, like how I am getting used to hiking - we parked at the Lower Trailhead and walked till we reached the main loop and headed left. The creek you see here is after crossing a small bridge, and then head left again till you reach the falls.  
While the waterfall wasn't much, the hike was quite interesting and a good step up from our previous hike at Garden of the Gods - a bit more technical, and a lot more up and downhills. There were lots of dogs on the trail too, and they loved going in the creeks. 

Have to say, the view from 7,800 feet was gorgeous. 
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm Sew Fancy

Sewing has become quite addicting as of late. I have to admit, what really helps is that i just have so much more space now - I have a designated cutting area and a place to put my sewing machine and all my notions so that they are easy to get to. All I have to do is just move my sewing machine from the top of my two storage drawers to my desk, plug it in and I'm ready to go. 

The other thing is that now I have an in-unit washer dryer. No more schlepping to the laundromat just to wash one piece of fabric! I never actually did that really, so sewing was pretty much limited to project bags. 

Now I have lots of plans - I plan to get two dress pattern collections, maybe finish the one I started at Mood last fall, sew some tops for work, and I have a crazy idea to sew my own sleeping bag for when The Aussie and I go camping next month; I want something practical and warm, but doesn't scream "Got it from Cabela's." 

Yes, I admit it - I toe the line between glamping and camping. All I'm asking for is a toilet and some kind of access to water to wash my hair (I'll even take the shower bag option in a stall). 

Neverthless, I am very excited because I finished my first real garment! I made the Wearable Tunic from the Purl Bee first, but it doesn't suit my body so well, and it's quite annoying to wear as a dress, but it's good for the beach as a cover-up. So I am counting the Colette Sorbetto top as my first garment.  
I purchased pre-made bias tape and the fabric from JoAnn's, which is a short bike ride away. If you do a bit of digging in the quilting cotton section, there is some nice fabric for tops, skirts and dresses. I found the most adorable print for pajamas for my sister and I, which is the next thing I am working on. 

A few mods that I would make to this top when I make it again (because I so am!) is to make it about 2" longer, and to cut about 3/4" from the sides at the underarms. It ballooned out a bit under my arms, so I solved the problem with this version with a dart, and then sewed it down to prevent it from "popping" out. What I would do is just make that cut in the fabric from the beginning, especially since I was able to preserve the pattern by tracing it onto parchment paper. 

This Thursday, I start my Sailor Top class at Fancy Tiger Crafts. Between Sorbetto, Sailor Top and another pattern I got (New Look S0447, but I plan to take out the pleats), I think I am pretty set for tops for the fall! That and I am knitting two sweaters, hopefully a third by October.

I started to follow along with the #yearofmaking challenge, and I am a little bit late to the Colette Pattern's Wardrobe Architect challenge, but I think I am going to use the last months of 2015 to practice and experiment - learn what works for my body, and really understand how to set up, read and alter patterns to make 2016 truly a year of making. 

Anyone have advice and tips on how to source patterns and create your own wardrobe? Any sewing tips and recommendations for classes?
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Hike: Garden of the Gods

Last weekend was my first hike ever, at Garden of the Gods park. A coworker recommended that I go, and when The Aussie and I were trying to figure out what would be a good, starter hike, I remembered this place. 
Garden of the Gods was in a word, stunning. The Aussie had a grand old time as usual with his camera (he even got a special hiker's backpack designed for photography gear, its the LowePro Rover Pro 45L in case anyone is interested). 
 I was struggling a bit with my camera, so I just enjoyed the scenery and made sure I didn't trip over my feet when I was walking across uneven terrain. I was prepared: had boots, tech shorts and even a cute floppy hat for the sun, though thankfully, it wasn't that hot or sunny. 
 I could really just sit back and watch the scenery for days in this state. You really can't describe it, so I am just going to let the pictures do the talking. 
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