Recently, Liz of Elizabeth Suzann announced that she was closing her business. She does have plans to open back up and offer sewing patterns and kits in the fall, but in the meantime, she had generously offered her patterns for some of her most popular designs to the home sewing community thanks to some crowdsourced funds from the sewing community. Lucky us! Thanks to organizers (@MinimalistMachinist, @mombasics and @thestoryclubpdx for all their work on providing these. They requested that you make a donation (for non-Black and able, to a local or regional Black led organization for the amount you would have paid for access to these patterns. They offered a few suggestions: @glits_inc / @mvmnt4blklives / @thelovelandfoundation. I chose a local chef’s (Adrian Lipscombe) fundraiser, 40 Acres and a Mule. ****Lastly, in anticipation of Liz releasing her sewing patterns, the files are no longer available to the community (read the post here), but I think it will very much be worth the wait when she releases them! Plus, they’ll be accompanied with the full instructions which will be so great! I’ll try and touch base again when I hear more about her timeline for when the patterns might be available. Or sign up for her newsletter. ***
So it took me a little bit of time before I could dive into trying one of the patterns, but the Georgia Tee skipped to the top of my list once I saw other sewists making it. I spent an hour or so putting together the paper pattern and then it seemed like it took hardly any time at all the cut and sew the top itself. The last garment I made was the Archer Buttonup shirt. I had so much fun making it, even though it was more time consuming, it was totally worth the feeling of accomplishment once I finished. But the Georgia is such a lovely simple tee, it was refreshing to sew it up so quickly. I love it’s boxy shape and the fabric that I tried was really fun and easy to sew with. I cannot figure out what fabric this is! It’s been in my stash for a few years at least, but I was thinking it was a silk noil? You can find it at places like Fancy Tiger Crafts, Blackbird Fabrics, and Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics (and probably more! if you know another shop feel free to add it to the comments below). I serged my seam allowances, too, which also helped contribute to the super speedy finish.
I checked a few sources on the patterns as far as seem allowances go, 3/8″ seam allowance was what I went with and it seemed to work great. I also checked on the neckline to see how that was constructed. @trishington on Instagram added her construction info on her caption. Here’s a rundown: I did the neckline similar to how I would do quilt binding. Sewing the short ends together first and then pressing the loop in half wrong sides together, then attaching the loop to the neckline. I actually hadn’t sewn a neckline this way before that I can think of, but it was really slick and sewed on without a hitch.
I lengthened the bodice by 1/2″ and it feels just right. I’ll wear it a bit more before I set to make any further adjustments to a second one, but it feels really nice to wear! I’m so excited to add this to my (very small) closet. I’m pretty sure I might just have to make another! P.s. you can see more versions of the upcoming patterns using the #esmadebyme)
It was my niece’s birthday last week, so I had fun picking out a fun and cute fabric combo for a Buckthorn Tote for her. She loves bags and zippered pouches so I had fun making this tote knowing that she’d be able to use it.
Fabric Funhouse had sent me a remnant of the beautiful Apricot Brandy color of their waxed canvas (it’s a beautiful peachy coral color) and I knew it would be so cute for making my niece’s gift. I found the cutest little happy suns print in my stash, it’s the Sunshine print by Alexia Marcelle Abegg. I couldn’t resist those cute faces!
I do love working with the waxed canvas for bags, it does, admittedly, take a little more patience than other materials. I find that it’s worth a bit of experimentation to see if you like it, too. I’m really pleased with how this particular waxed canvas works with the Buckthorn Tote (and backpack – read that post here). It was a nice break from work sewing. I’ll be able to share more about at the end of July.
Also, I have a video that I recorded a few weeks back that goes over setting the oval base (applies to the Buckthorn as well as a few of my other patterns). I’ll be sharing that in the next week or two. Do you like watching videos of sewing techniques? I’m still pretty new to knitting, so I use videos a lot, but sometimes just a quick one is all I need instead of a longer format. Do you prefer a quick (less than 4 minute) video or a longer format (10 minutes plus) that goes over in something in great detail?
I hope you all have been safe and staying healthy!
Pattern: Buckthorn Tote
Fabric: Apricot Brandy Waxed Canvas from Fabric Funhouse, lining is Sunshine from Alexia Marcelle Abegg (from her Sunshine collection with Cotton + Steel fabrics) here’s a google search, it’s an older collection so it might be harder to come by
Webbing and zipper available in my shop (you’ll need 2 yards of 1″-wide webbing and one 14″ handbag zipper).
Taking action is important to me. Black lives matter. I stand for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black lives that have been lost. I want to consciously take time to learn of my own biases and evaluate how I can help moving forward. I want to support Black makers and creatives. I am making a choice to stand up for what is right and I am working on acting on that. Please take time to learn from Black leaders and support Black owned businesses. Below is a small list of where you can start:
Follow along with @blkmakersmatter, this is a brand new platform which is lead by a group of Black sewists!
The Great Unlearn
Social Justice Sewing Academy
Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Momentum Fund
We Love Lakestreet
Justice for Breonna
George Floyd Memorial Fund
Color of Change
My plan going forward:
- make a conscious effort in sharing Black creative’s work
- make a conscious effort in asking Black creatives to pattern test (and to fairly compensated them for their time and effort)
- donate (making a monthly contribution to Social Justice Sewing Academy as well as a donation to Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Momentum Fund is where I’ve started)
- I am working on setting up a college scholarship for my community specifically for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) who are pursuing degrees in creative and/or business related fields, will plan to keep you posted on that
- continue to educate myself and my family, talk to friends and community members and stand up for the BIPOC community
This is how I’m beginning. I wanted to share this here to let you know where I stand. I believe in human rights, I believe that Black lives matter. This is not a checklist to move through and then forget about, but a reminder for myself of what promises I want to keep. I am still learning (and unlearning) and want to continue to learn. I do apologize for not speaking out about this sooner. I want to continue to seek out ways I can improve. I am one person, but I don’t want to sit idly by and watch without taking action.
Also, please take time to read this message explaining why it’s harmful to say “All Lives Matter”.