This pattern holds a special place in my heart. When I was pregnant with my second child, I desperately wanted to sew maternity clothes, but my options at that time were so limited! I was thinking about the different shapes of the patterns that I owned and how awesome it would be if pattern makers would throw in an option to convert their patterns for maternity wear.

Seems simple enough, right?

In a fit of hormonal confidence, I took my idea to Amy Butler Design. Rather than ignoring my suggestion, someone actually took the time to respond! I was bowled over! Not only that, the sweet girl thanked me for my suggestion by sending me a new pattern of my choice.

I chose the Liverpool.


That was more than 6 years ago and this pattern has been patiently waiting for my attention. After pinning this great dress from LL Bean, I had my inspiration to make it all happen.


And here's the end result!




All in all, this was a super easy pattern to make. No drama. No tantrums. Just a few sessions of really enjoyable sewing.

And, cotton is such a dream to work with, isn't it? 

My only trouble came with the collar (I sewed it on backward) and the collar stand, which was just tough to finish cleanly. I kept trimming bulk from the seams and eventually made it work.


One major bonus with the gingham print is its amazing ability to disguise errors. There are plenty among those tiny little checks. But that's okay! Have you ever closely examined your ready-to-wear, off-the-rack garments? They have errors, too!


I really, really love this dress. Clearly, I need to do a little better with my styling, but that's not going to stop me from wearing it. I also plan to make this one again. It's such a great wardrobe addition! I highly recommend this pattern.

Can I just say how awkward it is to take photos of yourself? I'm just plain embarrassed to set up my camera and make goofy poses in hopes that SOMETHING works. Geez.

Bonus! I had enough of the buffalo check left over to make a sweet little pair of shorts. I chose Simplicity 1373 for those. 


Not quit ready to model them, though. Another post for another day... maybe...

{wink-wink} 

As always, it feels amazing to start and complete a project like this. Let me know if you have any questions about this pattern. I'm happy to help.

Happy sewing!!

I don't think I will ever understand the game of football. Other than the really important plays, like running the field, kicking a goal, or scoring a touchdown, the rest is just confusing noise. My apathy for the game has always bothered my husband (as someone who takes every-single-play very personally). Imagine his delight when I began my most recent major knitting project - Michelle Hunter's Scoreboard Scarf.


Participating in this nationwide "knit along" meant that I had to stay on top of the weekly scores for my team, which also meant multiple conversations about football - or "teaching" moments - with my husband. Seriously. He was giddy.

The idea behind this scarf was just plain fun - for every point that your team scored, you knit a row in one spirit color. For every point the opposing team scored, you knit a row in a contrasting spirit color. For example:

1 touchdown + good kick = 7 rows
1 field goal  = 3 rows
1 kick-their-butts-no-one-else-even-came-close-to-scoring game = 52 rows


I divided each game with a row of purling and alternated between black and gray for the opposing teams to break up the Halloween vibe.

By the end of the season, you have a wearable document of the scoring plays.

I knew I had to make this for my best friend, Kellie, for Christmas. We both bleed orange and black for our Mercer Bears, but she's the one dedicated to sitting through cruddy weather to cheer them on. Not me. I've had my lifetime's share of bad weather in the past 3 years. Reserve for me a permanent seat in a warm, dry environment.

So, I started this scarf at the beginning of football season and wrapped it up at the 11th hour, just before Christmas. There was A LOT of knitting, knitting, knitting... and with game scores of 52-0, there was a lot of monotonous knitting.


Look at all of that orange! Go Bears!!


I'm so pleased with the outcome (not so much with these pictures), but I'm not anxious to do this again for a long time. In the words of Squints from "The Sandlot," this project took...


It's not too late to knit your own scoreboard scarf! Just head over to the Scoreboard Knit Along site for the pattern and your team's website for the season's scores and knit away! If you need help deciphering those box score summaries, just give me a holler. I'm an expert now.

**wink-wink**


I may not have mentioned that I just made another big move. From GA to PA and back again!

As I was repacking my studio, I realized that I could have an entirely new summer wardrobe if I just used the fabric that I have on hand. So, I've been picking away at simple projects and planning for a few others.

(planning = buying more fabric)

So, while cleaning out, I opened a box and found this.


Do you remember this horrible purchasing decision? You might if you've been along for the ride with me for four years. I first found use of it for this awesome braided necklace.


I still have no idea what compelled me to purchase this tie-dyed disaster. The blue is redeeming, but the brown looks like a rag that's been dragged through red Georgia clay.

Ugh.

Anywho... I decided to give it a go with Vogue 8881, a cute asymmetrical top that is perfect for summer.


This was a project of firsts for me.

It was my first time sewing with jersey.

It was my first time cursing at my serger.

It was my first time falling in love with my serger. We just needed a little counseling and a long session with the owner's manual. It's actually working better than ever now.

While the fabric is still just as ugly as it was before I cut it, I love this top! It is so simple and would have taken one evening to make (had I not had my serger troubles). The fit is perfect. The shape is interesting. It will be perfect with jeans or leggings.




And, hey, I can sweat in it and everyone will think it's just part of the fabric design. Bonus!


I spent a little time yesterday digging out my UFOs - UnFinished Objects. I was a bit embarrassed to find so many. I honestly thought I was more diligent than that, but, then again, the past 2 years have been a blurrrrrrrr...

So, here's what I have lined up for the month.

I want to finish this dress...


And this one...


{gah. really, really not looking forward to this one}

And start this one...


And squeeze in a little sewing with my oldest son. He's expressed an interest, again, in learning how to sew so we're going to start on a pair of shorts and some pajama pants.

**squeee**

Yeah. I'm pretty pumped. And oh-so-glad to feel inspired about sewing. It's been a while.

I'm posting daily updates on Instagram - so hold me accountable, friends. Let's link up there - @alwaysaproject. I'd love to follow your updates, too.

I was able to squeeze in a little more than 30 minutes yesterday and made major progress on a dress that I started a couple of months ago. I'm really excited about the direction it's taking.

What are you working on?

When we decided to make the move back home, my husband took on the charge to find our new home. He was traveling back and forth to work in Georgia anyway so he spent time visiting properties, taking pics and measurements, and eventually narrowed down his search to two homes.

After building 3 homes and remodeling our home in Pennsylvania, I was tired of home renovations… yep, I had finally hit my limit. So my only request was “MOVE-IN READY!”

Obviously, I trust him implicitly.

Well, we didn’t wind up with move-in ready, but it’s not too bad (for me!). The husband has repainted the entire house (vaulted ceilings and all)… refinished the wood floors, added A/C vents here and there… and on and on and on…

Our biggest project will be finishing the basement – a huge, scary project that I will definitely document and share.

So for the first time in a long time, I really don’t have anywhere to sew, but I’m making it work! I’m camped out on the dining room table and on a folding table in the middle of our skeleton basement.

We’re working to get this renovation going quickly. Here are the before pictures of what will become my studio.



It’s a total blank slate. I really don’t have any vision for the after, but I know it will come together.


Do you have any ideas to share? What features would you put into your dream studio? Please share in the comments below.