Hello! I’m feeling the change of seasons a bit even though it’s been so cloudy and rainy here. It always gets me thinking about my wardrobe and what I can sew that’ll feel fun and new for Spring. I’m trying not to buy clothes as much as possible, especially when I have enough fabric and inspiration to sew my own!
This lace had been a super cheap score from my old Hancock Fabrics. They used to have these fold out tables once in a while piled high with all sorts of fun fashion fabrics. I scored many a cheap knit to use in those piles that’s for sure! This lace felt special though and I knew I’d have to figure out something to make with it. Fast forward at least five years to now and I finally found a perfect match. I’ve wanted to try a Hemlock top for a very long time now, it looks so cozy and appealing. So I was trolling the Hemlock inspiration on Pinterest when I stumbled back on Kelly’s (Cut Cut Sew) lace Hemlock. Of course I remember when she made hers (umm, three years ago!!) and I’m not sure why it didn’t click in my brain then, but it sure did this time!
It took hardly any time at all to sew. Actually, it took longer to take pictures and write this post than to make the top, so if you’re feeling inspired for Spring, this is a super satisfying project! I did take a few inches off the bottom and of course left off the sleeve. I ended up serging both front and back pieces on all sides before sewing and it went together so quick.
I’m excited to try one with sleeves next! Maybe with the split hem variation that Jen so kindly shared.
Pattern: Hemlock Tee by Grainline (free when you sign up for the Grainline newsletter,
the sign up link is on the right column of their website)
Fabric: mystery lace picked up at Hancock Fabrics
I thought it would be fun to share a few workspace improvements I’ve made in the last couple months. It’s very easy for me to get situated in a space and just make it work. Even if that means that it’s not the most efficient work flow or if something isn’t working right.
So at the end of the year I almost switched my sewing space to our basement. Almost actually means that I moved everything down there and realized the lighting situation was going to make working down there really difficult. I could only imagine running up and down the stairs every five minutes to look at fabric combinations in natural light. So after my current room was cleared out and I decided to move everything back in, I took the time to try to re-evaluate how my space was working for me.
I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect rug for under my desk. Because my little rolly chair had worn off the finish on our wood floors, I decided I needed to get a rug quick. Eventually I’ll have the floor re-finished, but the rug is a nice fix. It’s soft and has enough texture that little bits of thread and fabric won’t look too terrible in-between vacuuming. So in my search I went through about three different rugs before this one and I’m so glad I was stubborn enough to find the perfect one. I love it.
Another tiny improvement was a new scrap bin! I had previously had three plastic bins from the Target dollar spot that I had gotten maybe five years ago. They were okay, but one ended up cracking and I was always kicking them under my desk. I decided to try to simplify the scraps and go with one bigger basket. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before! My sewing room is right off the main living areas of our house, so little details like the rug and basket make it feel a little cozier. I picked up this guy at TJ Max, they always seem to have a nice selection of cute baskets.
Lastly, I purchased this rolling cart from Target for my hardware supplies. Of course I’ve seen the Ikea ones around, but when the nearest store is over two hours away it’s not so convenient. I’m super happy with Target’s version. I love that if I need to I can move it around in my space. It’s perfect for the hand presses I have as well as having plenty of space for tools I use frequently. Plus there’s room to queue up some projects as well!
So that’s what I wanted to share today. Maybe some of the things I mentioned will help you get your creative space working to its full potential? I’d love to know what you’ve used in your space to make it work best for you. Let me know! You can see a view of my whole sewing room here.
p.s. I added some Turn Locks to my shop if you’re in need of one! These are what I use for my Explorer Totes!
I’m excited to share today that my Wool + Wax Tote that was included in the second issue of Making magazine is now available as a stand alone PDF pattern. It was almost a year ago that I made a version of the tote for my mom and I’m so happy that I get to share the pattern finally.
(photo by Carrie Bostick Hoge)
I tend to talk about making useful things a lot around here. This tote is definitely at the top of that list. You can’t really beat a classic tote with handy pockets. These of course are great for gifting and perfect for customizing to your needs. I can’t wait to see what you make.
Of course don’t let the name trick you, I give several other suggestions for materials that will work great for this classic tote. My rule of thumb for making bags is that if you want a sturdy and durable tote, start with sturdy and durable fabrics. Cork would also be a great fabric to try for the contrast bottom! I’ve got my first cork purchase just waiting for me to give it a try.
Included in the pattern are all my tips for working with waxed canvas (which is what I recommend for the contrast bottom), just like the Explorer Tote, it makes for such a great bag! The waxed canvas is so durable and beautiful, I think you’ll love it! If you haven’t tried some already you should!
You can read more about my other versions of this tote in their original posts here:
Pattern: Wool + Wax Tote
Leather Handles: available in my shop
p.s. There’s a new issue of Making coming up soon! I’m excited to have another project included!