Friday, December 27, 2019

Make Nine 2020

When I wrote my 2019 Make Nine and reflected on 2018, I set the intentions to sew more regularly and play with my personal style more. And wow have I done that! 2019 has been a year of collecting big sparkly earrings, wearing more color, and working on larger, more long-term sewing projects that challenge my skills.

I've had a bit of stagnation in other parts of my life (career, romance), so I'm really proud of myself that I've made protecting and fostering my creativity a priority this year. I want to keep that going into to 2020, with projects that challenge me a little bit, all in different ways: size, unfamiliar materials, new shapes, pattern drafting and more!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Then Came June Sun Flare Quilt Part 2: Piecing

I'm still chipping away at my Then Came June Sun Flare quilt. It took about 5,000 years to cut out all the fabric, but it's a very satisfying sew once you get to piecing. I've finished my center squares, the corner "flares," and the middle stripes so all I have left is piecing it all together to make the blocks, and then finishing the top.

The very first quilt I ever made, using sawtooth star blocks, really frustrated me because it had SO MANY steps, and so many small pieces, that I nearly swore off intricate quilt patterns altogether. But, now that I'm a bit more experienced, know how to cut my fabric more precisely, and have shifted my frame of mind to relish doing little bits at a time and magically seeing it all come together after many many hours at the machine, I am enjoying the process so much more.

I had intended to finish this project this year as part of my revised 2019 Make Nine, but I have no desire to rush the process, so I'm just going to carry it over to my 2020 Make Nine and calling it grand.

Looking forward, though, I have a couple close friends getting married in the next couple years, so I'm starting to plan wedding quilts and it's been really fun pouring my creative energy into brainstorming and day dreaming and then getting to come home and work on a quilt!

Does that happen to you? Your excitement about another project feeds excitement for a current one? I often have the tendency of ditching a project for a newer, flashier one, so this is new to me!

I think if I were to do this pattern again, I would cut out all of the background fabric first, and then cut out pairs of the foreground colors and sew their blocks up, in an effort to break up the cutting. Doing everything all at once was incredibly tedious, but cutting is always the part I enjoy least.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Then Came June Sun Flare Quilt, Part 1: Planning

We're halfway through the year, and I've done four projects off my 2019 Make Nine list. I have a couple others bobbling around in my brain, but I'm also reassessing a bit. I like having projects that challenge me, but I think my 2019 Make Nine skewed very far onto the challenging side and away from a satisfying, balanced sewing year. As a result, I've kind of avoided sewing much lately because my mental and creative capacities can't keep up! That's not what I want, so I decided to pick up the Then Came June Sun Flare Quilt, swapping that in for the Carolyn Pajamas, which is the challenging project I have the least inspiration for at present. I think the Sun Flare Quilt will still stretch my quilting abilities, but the creative process and basic quilting skills are comfortable for me. Or so I hope! Ha! I also like having bigger projects that I can chip away at little by little when I only have a dime sized amount of creative energy on a given day, and quilts have been great for that for me in the past.

My updated 2019 Make Nine

I've decided to stay pretty true to Then Came June's original vision, but I had to make some swaps where I couldn't source the colors she used. I used from my stash where I can, and used slightly brighter colors in a couple places to satisfy my inner magpie:
  1. Kona Ice Peach
  2. Kona Peach
  3. Kona Orchid
  4. Kona Lilac
  5. Kona Baby Pink (I think—an unlabelled light pink on the Kona fabrics rack)
  6. Kona Deep Rose
  7. Light blue "cloud" fabric from my stash
  8. Medium blue tencel fabric from my stash, leftover from the Tiny Tiles Quilt I made last year as a wedding gift.
  9. Kona Violet
  10. Kona Hibiscus

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Self-drafted Lace Undies

Y'ALL. I made underwear. I made LACE underwear. I made lace underwear and it wasn't nearly as challenging as I had thought it would be!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sewing "Frosting": Bay to Breakers Disco Bodysuit

I totally missed the "Sew Frosting Challenge" hosted by True Bias and Closet Case Patterns last fall, but I absolutely loved seeing everyone's pretty, impractical makes. I love sewing for sustainability and it's super important to me, but equally important is having the passion for sewing that can get me to a slow fashion closet and sometimes that means something a little more "out there" to get the sewjo flowing.

Part of my 2019 Make Nine included "something sparkly." In the past year, since I moved to San Francisco, I've been experimenting more and more with what I wear. I'm into glittery earrings, colorful outfits, rich textures. It helps living right next to a bunch of really well stocked thrift and vintage stores and that my amazing queer community here is always ready to turn a look on a Friday night. I've been so inspired by London-based artist Florence Given, whose insta stories of her dancing and being silly in wild outfits make me smile every time. I had a moment where I was like "I wish I was an artist and could dress a little eccentric like that," and immediately realized that, while I work a more traditional 9-5, no one at the small company I work for gives two shits and I really and truly can wear whatever I want. I put no restrictions on what "something sparkly" means, knowing that when a special occasion or perfect fabric presented itself, I would know what to do.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Simplicity 1105 Trapeze Dress

I haven't sewn in MONTHS. I've not had the energy, and I've not had the inspiration. Sitting down to the machine felt like a chore on my to-do list, and I was feeling guilty for not posting more often. I had to actively remind myself that the reason I started sewing was to slow down my fashion, to be more sustainable. Forcing myself to churn out lots of new clothes is not the point.

Anyways, I was packing for my dreamy Hawaii vacation and wanted to have something a little nicer than the sundresses I already owned for going to a luau with my lovely host, my college roommate. I'm not a big dress person generally, so the sundresses I have are more beach cover up or picnic in the park level of casual. While I really really love them, they just weren't right for that particular occasion.

Lucky for me, a dear friend got me this gorgeous fabric (content unknown) when she was traveling in Colombia last year. I've been saving it for something special, and a floaty sundress is exactly what it deserved to be. I had this pattern, Simplicity 1105 by Cynthia Rowley, in my stash for probably 4 or 5 years and never gotten around to making it. Truly serendipitous.