Y'all... I am sewing like a mad woman over here. Two large storms are brewing - my last semester of accounting classes (fingers crossed) and tax season! Once they arrive, I'll be too tired to even shop for fabric.

Well, maybe not that tired...

It's so great to feel inspired to sew, though. I've mentioned that it's been one heck of a year. In addition to the personal challenges we've faced, I just haven't had the proper space to encourage regular sewing. Whenever I'm ready to make something, I have to lug all of my machines and materials up from the (still unfinished) basement and set up on my dining room table. I haven't had the chance to unpack all of my studio boxes so I often find I'm missing tools that I need. Too much trouble!!

I'll tell you what has really inspired me to keep it going - the various Facebook groups for sewing that I've joined. My favorite is the McCall Pattern Company Group. I absolutely love to see what others are making. There are so many talented designers!

So before the ball dropped on 2016, I was able to squeeze in a few more makes. My obsession with knit continues with Burda 6667 in a Hacci sweater stripe. It's just so dang easy to sew with and wear. Admittedly, most knit patterns are relatively easy and that appeals to me, too.

(And, it was totally coincidental that my fabric is really similar to the photo!)

I've never made a Burda garment before so this was a great one to start with. I love, love, love long and flowy cardigans that I can wear with leggings. This one fit the bill!

Essentially, this is one huge rectangle with sleeves. Two pattern pieces, a few seams, and voila! You've got a fabulously easy cardigan.

The only challenge with this garment was the sleeves. There is a curve to the top of any sleeve. This pattern requires you to fit the curve into a straight slit cut into the rectangle.

I'm not saying that this is a hard task. It's not! It was just a bit frustrating to set the sleeves appropriately. But, I managed to make it work. In retrospect, I wish I'd added an extra inch to the sleeves. I have very long arms, which is why I usually stick to 3/4 length sleeves as a rule. I tried this on a few times before hemming, but the sleeves still wound up a tad too short for my comfort.

I don't often sew for other people. I still lack the confidence in my abilities to fit garments for others. I can't imagine anything worse than creating something that didn't fit! However, I am definitely making another one of these for my mother. I plan to make a few more for me, too, when I find the right fabric. It really is a perfect layering piece!

Have you made any long cardigans lately? What patterns would you recommend?

Sometimes projects just don't turn out the way you envisioned them.

For some of us (pointing at myself), that happens more often than it should.

I purchased this really fun, 90s-tastic knit from Girl Charlee, thinking it would make a great pair of leggings. And, honestly, it will probably make a GREAT pair of leggings. Unfortunately, I decided to have a second go with Simplicity 2472.

Now, I've made this pattern once before with no success; however, I totally forgot about that project until I pulled out the pattern pieces and found them already cut out.

That should have been a red flag, but I kept going.

I made the tunic version and it came together without a hitch.

Honestly, I have no real critique of the instructions or construction. It is a simple pattern and easy to follow along. And, there are some really, really cute versions of it on Pattern Review.

For me, the problem with this garment is the overall shape. It's just not an attractive fit. The gathered sleeves look a bit dated. The baggy-to-fitted shape looks a bit awkward. Add to that this crazy abstract print and it's just hilarious. In fact, my family keeps referring to it as my "ugly shirt."

After having a good laugh over these photos, it occurred to me that it might actually work styled a bit differently... maybe with a wide belt, the right jewelry, and skinny jeans.

So, I'm not willing to give up on it just yet.


And with that, I bid Simplicity 2472, "Adieu!"

In my year of healthy changes, I've become very interested in the healing properties of essential oils. I've read and researched and interviewed and experimented... it's all just very, very fascinating to me! While my collection of oils is small, I've picked up several to help with my family's sinus and skin issues, muscle aches, sleeplessness, and just overall wellbeing.

You may be thinking... the placebo effect is strong with this one...

And maybe it is, but I've been pleased with the impact they have had on our household.

So, for my handmade Christmas efforts this year, I thought it would be nice to share a gift of health with my kids' teachers and a few friends. Not to one to knock a great drinking vessel, but do they really need another mug?

My other idea was a gift card to Dunkin' Donuts. Mmmm... doughnuts are my kryptonite. They may really wish I'd given them a gift card!!

I made blends that I thought would be universally appealing - for sleep, alertness, and sinus relief. I used some recipes that I found on Hello Glow as my base and customized from there.

Good Night, Sleep Tight :: roman chamomile + lavender

WAKE UP! :: frankincense + peppermint + orange

Breathe :: eucalyptus + peppermint

I then knit up these adorable little bags to carry them. For the knitters among us, this is the first pattern that worked up on my own! I shouldn't be this proud because it's so simple, but I am.

I added a Christmas ribbon and a menu card... Voila! A simple, yet very personal little gift.

If you think this is an idea for you, you are completely welcome to my files, recipes, knitting pattern, etc. Just let me know what you'd like.

I am curious - if you are a teacher, would you use a gift like this or would it be regifted? I would love to know if I'm just thinking inside of my own bubble.

What are you crafting for Christmas this year? I'd love to hear all about it!

My face is looking really old these days...

Random thoughts as I comb through my photos for this pattern review. I suppose there is good cause for that as 2016 has been one of the two worst years of my life. I honestly can't wait for the ball to drop at midnight on December 31 because I do believe in the magic of a new year.

Bring it, 2017!!

Old face or not, I am so excited to share this fun top with you! It was actually difficult to decide what to make with this amazing Girl Charlee pineapple knit, but I finally decided on Simplicity 1199 simply because it was already in my pattern stash.

After pleading via the interwebs for someone to help me decide which solid knit to pair with the print, the majority decided on this dark gray.

Perfect pick, my friends!! Perfect pick.

I would rate this pattern as intermediate in difficulty. There are some tricky seams, such as easing  of the sleeves at the shoulders, that might intimidate a beginner. But don't let that scare you! This is the perfect top to learn with.

I don't usually get into the nitty-gritty of construction, but I did want to share a few changes that I made that I believe enhance the quality of the garment. I also RARELY show the inside of my garments because I'm lazy and my finishing efforts typically reflect that.

**confession is good for the soul**

The pattern indicates that you should sew the right sides of the underlayer together to join. I did this for the sides, but then turned the garment right-side-out to sew the shoulder seams. That way, there is no exposed seam on the inside of the shoulders. Here's a photo of the shirt turned inside out.

It was a small change, but I'm pleased with the result.

And while I have this garment turned inside out, take a look at the neckline. The instructions indicate that you should essentially make a double-folded bias tape to conceal the raw edge of the neckline. Instead, I folded the piece in half and sewed all of the raw edges together with my serger.

I then pressed the seam down and finished it off with an edge stitch. I'm lazy, remember? This change satisfied my lazy character and turned out a pretty fabulous finishing touch.

One final point to share. I absolutely love sewing with double needles when working with knits. If you look at any RTW garment in your closet, you'll see the same hem detail. Just for fun, I used a coordinating turquoise thread to topstitch the gray.

And that's that!

I adore this top. I do worry that the print is trending a bit young for me, but maybe I can get away with it? Meh... I've never really cared much about what others think of how I dress.

Do you and rock it!

I'm actually working on a few handmade Christmas gifts to share with you. It's been a LONG time since I've shared a craft. Life is just too dang busy.

Stay tuned!
I don't know why it took me so long, but I have fully embraced the knitwear lifestyle - and I don't care what the judges on "Project Runway" think. Knit is comfortable, cute, fun, and easy to dress up or down. Leggings... t-shirt dresses... simple shifts... I'm in looooove!

I stumbled upon Girl Charlee several months ago via Instagram and the rest is history. I've been turning out knitwear every other week since. Knit is so easy to sew with, too! There was a slight learning curve (slightly stretch that fabric when you're sewing a seam!), but the fabric is so forgiving. I have nothing bad to say about it.

Upon ordering a load of fabric from Girl Charlee, I knew what pattern I'd use first - McCall's M6886, a very simple, very versatile dress.
There are so many combinations of hemlines, sleeve lengths, and necklines, you could make an entire wardrobe of new dresses and they would all be different in some way.

One of the best features of this pattern is the number of pattern pieces that you actually work with.


That's it.

A front, a back, and two sleeves.

This really is a two-hour dress! I threw together two right away.

The only alteration that I made to the pattern was customizing the length of the hemline on the navy dress. I love dresses that just hit my knee.

It's pretty obvious that I'd recommend that pattern to anyone - seasoned or beginning. It's a great wardrobe builder.

Proudly wear your knitwear, ladies! Live in daily comfort!!