Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1

Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1 - NoodleheadFirstly, I’d like to say a huge thanks on my last post. I’m so uplifted by your encouragement and excitement! It means so much to me. Thank you for your kind words.

This is such a happy finish for me! It feels like forever since I’ve made something just for me. And I feel like the more I sew, the more picky I get about fabric choices and patterns when it comes to making clothing for myself. It’s not a bad thing. I’m so glad inspiration finally struck. I’ve been contemplating a new top for a while now. I have a list about a page long of patterns I own that I’d like to sew. I need to get better about pre-washing my garment fabric so that I can have it ready. It wouldn’t hurt to maybe pair it with a pattern, too. One of these days I’ll get a system down, haha, maybe in the next decade.Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1 - Noodlehead

I’ve seen the Shirt No.1 by Sonja Phillips floating around the internet for a bit and am always impressed by how cute they all look. I think this past fall I got the Creativebug newsletter that announced the Shirt No. 1 class was live. I’ve been a member of Creativebug for a few years now, so I check out their classes quite regularly. I took notes as I quickly scanned through the class and then promptly set it aside for months. Oops. So as I was digging through the paper pile on my desk I found the notes, printed the pattern, and got to work! Also of note, in case you’re wondering, the pattern is included as a PDF doc in the class.

Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1 - Noodlehead

It was such a gratifying sew! I feel ecstatic about it actually! A simple top in gorgeous fabric, you can’t get much better than that! I took my time and it took maybe 45 minutes to sew. Dang, that’s good. I’m already scheming to make more. I highly recommend the class and pattern if you’re at all new to sewing garments.

Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1 - Noodlehead

I thought I’d show a shot with my cardigan on, the shirt is really so lovely layered underneath! yayyy!

Pattern: Shirt No. 1 by Sonja Phillips (or check out the Creativebug class here)
Fabric: Indah Ikat by Me + You, this stuff is amazing!!!
Notes: I made a size Small even though my measurements put me into the Medium sizing,
I’m very happy with the fit. Added 1 3/4″ to the length!

Indah Ikat Shirt No. 1 - Noodlehead


New Year, New Space

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

In 1902 it was The Olympic Restaurant

New Year, New Space - NoodleheadI’ve been dragging my feet on talking about this. It’s a big step.

We talked for the past year and a half or so about needing something different. It’s a combination of needing to kick my business out of my daily living area, giving our kids space (I have most of my things in our house’s third bedroom), and making it all work with our current home. Every option was considered until the very last idea came to life. Before this we talked about moving and building a home, constructing a new garage with studio space above, moving my workspace to our basement, or even buying a lot and building a small studio.

New Year, New Space - NoodleheadNew Year, New Space - NoodleheadNew Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Finally it dawned on us that I needed to try to find a commercial space to move my business into. It’s the only thing that made the most sense but there was only our local downtown area where I could ever possibly envision myself working in. It’s only a couple blocks from our house and about the halfway point between our daughters’ schools and home. The main problem was finding the right space. It isn’t that there was limited options, but there were really limited options that were for sale. Our downtown is slowly growing back with a few new business trickling in over the past few years and a few more that had abandoned storefronts, etc. We made an offer on a property that wasn’t actually for sale, toured another couple of properties that just didn’t feel right, and finally at the very end, found out from a friend about a property that was going up for a Sheriff’s Auction in a few weeks. It couldn’t have been better timing. We did a lot of investigating! And wondering! Knowing nothing about a sheriff’s sale was pretty intimidating. After talking with a few professionals and getting some legal advice, we decided to bid on the property. We were the successful bidders after a little bidding war and we ended up with a really affordable property that needs a lot of work.

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Before! The building was most recently used as a hair salon!

So we’ve been doing the demo work ourselves and are in the planning stages of the building and working with an architect. It’s very exciting feeling (finally) after being super stressful at first and then having the rush of the end-of-year business I’ve hardly had time to do much dreaming until now. I’m looking forward to keeping things simple, possibly doing some type of workshops in the distant future and primarily have it be a studio space. I’m looking forward to having a bit more space and not having my business stuff all over my house (maybe this means no more total rearrangement of furniture in my living room for photo shoots?!). It’ll be a while before we get to move in, but for now it’s been fun to get to work.

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead

Detail shots: first peek behind the plaster, ceiling, cast iron columns (pinkish piece in the center of the pic ) still there!

I’m excited about bringing back some of the original details of the building. I’m a huge fan of old buildings and houses and I find it really fascinating doing research on the property. I’m happy to be able to bring the building back to life a bit and make our downtown a little more visually appealing. Don’t get me wrong though, I still have moments of doubt and worry, but I’m trying not to let that stand in the way.

I’m planning on documenting some of the steps along the way on this blog, I always find it fun to look back. What about you? Anyone else out there carving out space for getting creative? Or maybe you like old houses, too? I’d love to hear about it!

New Year, New Space - Noodlehead


2017 was a good year

2017 was a good year - NoodleheadWhew! 2017 felt busy for sure. Looking back at pictures is always such a good reminder for me. Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you can accomplish over a year’s time.

On the personal side, I’ve continued in my yoga practice at my local studio. It has continued to be such a great stress reliever! I’m looking forward to more yoga in 2018 and that ever elusive search for ‘balance’ in my life. My girls are now in middle school (eeek!) and fourth grade. They’ve both been enjoying friends, soccer, and swim team as well as extra curricular art and creative endeavours. My husband has been doing a ton of mountain biking and running and I like going with when I can, it’s been fun to have those hobbies to share together.

In trying to recover from what felt like a slow year in 2016, I did try a bit more planning for the year in advance. Part of entrepreneurship that I love is its flexibility. That flexibility is something that I thrive on, it’s where I can change direction or trying something totally new that what makes me happiest. Tieing myself down with outside (and sometimes internal) commitments leaves me feeling less productive and less creative. I did, however, have a few select external deadlines that helped push me along the way. I think the most important factor is that I did take time at the beginning of 2017 and loosely map out projects I wanted to accomplish. It helped serve as a guiding light. I honestly have not done this in the years past, so I’m sure it might seem silly or and obvious thing I should be doing as a small business owner, but it was never something I felt I absolutely needed until now. I didn’t give myself hard and fast deadlines, but rather a quick list of projects I wanted to design or products I thought might be fun to add to my shop. I also took time mid-year to re-evaluate and explore new ideas which again was very helpful. I’m happy with how things ended up.

On the business side of things I released more new patterns than in years past, 5 to be exact (Explorer Tote, Wool + Wax Tote, Traverse Bag, Range Backpack, and Minimalist Wallet). I also shared my Canvas Pencil Pouch tutorial and Spring Snap Tutorial and shared a couple of videos for the Range Backpack (here and here). I’m hoping to continue to explore the world of video more this year as I find it both interesting and challenging. I also contributed to the No.3/DOTS issue of Making magazine (wallet). Towards the end of the year I also released a booklet which is a collection of 3 patterns, it was a goal I’ve had for quite a while now and really enjoyed putting it together. You can read more about my booklet, Everyday Essentials, in this post.

I was able to visit Denver, Colorado for the Sewtopia event. I had such a great time there! Once again I love how teaching pushes me out of my comfort zone and am always amazed at how much I learn in the process.

After launching my leather products in 2016, it was fun to watch things grow and change. With a bit of encouragement from a few friends, I decided to start offering hardware, some kits, and zippers to my shop. My goal is to provide a reliable source where you can find components that work with my patterns so you can get to creating instead of trying to track down everything from different sources.

And of course, there’s still much to learn and explore! I’ll be the first to say that I learn new things all the time and the business aspect of sewing is something that I am constantly trying to improve upon.

I’m continually grateful for my friends and support from this amazing sewing (and knitting!) community. I never could have imagined how my life would be when I started in this space back in 2009 and am so thankful for all of you. Thank you for your support, comments and encouragement. I’m looking forward to see what awesome inspiration 2018 brings.

If you’re new here, take a trip down memory lane and check out my previous year-end posts from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 20142015 and 2016. Wow, that’s a lot of years!

Oh, and I completely forgot to add a big thing that I’m working on this year, but that deserves its own post. Coming soon!