Favorite Thing Friday: Stitches

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With a muse as active as mine, the world around me is full of inspiration. Wherever I go something always catches my attention or inspires a mode of creativity. Sometimes I end up with an interesting project and other times something just makes me smile. I figured it might be fun to start a series that documents the things that bring me joy or trigger a mad need to create. Thus, begins Favorite Thing Friday.

This week it’s all about sewing! Recently, I found an interesting book called Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified by Cal Patch. I’ve been intrigued with the idea of making my own clothes for a long time, but I never considered the concept of designing my own patterns. Until now.

Sewing my own clothes ties in quite nicely with my new love of knitting. Not only can I knit myself a cute cardigan, but I can pair it with a pretty top I created with needle and thread. Sewing is nothing new to me, so the learning curve lies in crafting accurate patterns.

I’m starting the process of patternmaking with a little reverse engineering. I picked up a few Simplicity Patterns of various skill levels to get a sense of how a pattern works and how to modify them. The fun part is I’ll get some cute new clothes as I pick apart each pattern. The first piece I made is this little floral top:

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Tailored to fit just right!
Photo and handiwork by: c.b.w. 2013

There are a few little mistakes, (I’ll never tell where), but I think it turned out pretty good. I even got to use my knitting skills to make i-cords for the draw strings in the sleeves. The fabric is Indonesian hand-dyed batik and I got it for the bargain price of $6 a yard, (what a steal!). For those looking for a project, the pattern is Simplicity New Look #6891.

As my day job winds down for the summer, I’m looking forward to more sewing and knitting projects. When I’m not writing, I’ll be stitching!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2013

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32 thoughts on “Favorite Thing Friday: Stitches

  1. I used to sew all the time; my girls never had store-bought Halloween costumes. Sadly, sewing is one of the things that’s fallen by the wayside in recent years. I never tried to make my own patterns, though, so I’m interested to hear how that works out for you. Perhaps you’ll be my inspiration to get my machine out again!

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    • I go into fits with sewing and its been a while since I pulled out the machine or needle and thread (last summer I think). My recent goal of making a wardrobe for myself fits in quite nicely with both knitting and sewing, so I am anticipating a busy summer! 🙂 Working with my hands has always been an important part of my writing process. I like to keep the creativity going even after I shut down my laptop.

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    • Practical and super fun! Most of the decor in my home is handmade and very personal. I like that about my house, because I know no one else has “that” pillow or quilt! Now, I’m looking forward to the same satisfaction with my clothes. I can’t wait to make a wardrobe that is uniquely me, (and actually fits my out of whack curves!). 🙂

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      • I hear you! Do you know about newdressaday.com? This gal takes used clothes that don’t fit her and styles each garment to her liking. The results are pretty and unique.

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  2. that is so cool! (& looks amazing!) i know what you mean about everything giving you ideas for everything tho — *huge grin* the world is like a playground!
    i’ve been dying to try my hand at designing some clothes myself, but still a bit intimidated by the hidden details of patterns. ;p so many ideas, but need to work up a bit of a skill/knowledge base. hehe… thanks for sharing.

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  3. Simple sewing is all I’ve ever been able to manage, so gave away my sewing machine. I envy you who, like my mother, can sew anything they set their minds to making. The material you used for that top is beautiful! 🙂

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    • That’s me – when I decide I’m going to do something, I’ll learn whatever I have to in order to get it done. The top I’m working on now has me researching how to sew in a zipper. Never done that before, but I like the top enough to give it a try. 🙂

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  4. Well done! The batik is beautiful. I used to make all my own clothes, and I still have a fabric stash, including some lovely batik fabrics. Now I use my sewing machine to stitch paper for my visual journal pages. My favorite thing this week is that I finished the raglan top of my sweater, moved the sleeve stitches to waste yarn, and I am now knitting the lower body (from arm holes down.) And I am learning all kinds of ways to correct knitting mistakes!

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    • Ooo, can’t wait to see your finished sweater. I just corrected a mistake on my sweater, too. Luckily it was just a small one, but there’s been projects where I learned A LOT about how to fix mistakes! 😉

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