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WIP Wednesday: Grumpy

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Okay, feeling a little crabby over here this morning. It’s been one of those weeks when there have been too many distractions and not enough sewing. I’m behind on my SewOff skirt, behind on another quilt commitment, and I’m not going to Quilt Market. Hmmmph.

Well, I’ll probably get over it. Eventually. Honestly, I’m kind of glad/not glad that I’m not going to Market. Because I do love Market, but there’s so much hassle that goes along with getting there. I’ll just need to remind myself of that frequently when the Instagram pictures start pouring in. LOL.

Anyway. What am I working on this week? Or maybe the more apt question is what should I be working on this week, but for one reason or another am not? Sigh.

Let’s start with this: The Fair Isle Sew-Along kicks off tomorrow! Yay! And it seems like a whole lot of you are joining in! Super excited to get started and can’t wait to see how my new version turns out with the red background. (It’s not too late to join us! Click here to pick up the pattern and you can be cutting with the rest of us tomorrow!)

Sew-Off skirt? Well, I started it. I’m loving how it looks so far, but just wish I would have gotten farther on it. (And taken a picture of it while it was still daylight out—sorry for the crummy lighting!)

Quilts? I’m working on one right now. Let’s just leave it at that. : )

 

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @lee.a.heinrich.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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WIP Wednesday: Autumn WIPs

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
It’s another rainy fall Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening in my studio this week.

Skirts! That’s what’s happening! Flannel skirts, because of the rain and the fall and all that. I hope you all saw my post last night with my finished Tiny Pocket Tanks, and the next pattern that Jemellia and I are doing for our Sew-Off is the Get Up and Go skirt by Deborah at Whipstitch. The flannels above are Robert Kaufman’s Shetland and Mammoth flannels, and they are so delightfully soft and delicious.

Also in the works … my Fair Isle Sew-Along! I hope to have an official announcement post up tomorrow, and we’ll start the sew-along the following Thursday. There’s still time to get the pattern and order fabric—click here to pick up the pattern. Hard-copy paper patterns are also now available! Yay!

And what’s better than one quilt-along? Two! Yes, because I’m just that crazy, my Chandelier Quilt-Along is going on right now too, over on Bernina’s blog.  It’s is just getting started, and no pattern is needed (all the instructions will be right there on Bernina’s blog), so hop over there to check it all out!

 

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @lee.a.heinrich.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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A Finished Tiny Pocket Tank or Three

Yes! I did it! I made a tank! And then I made another one! And then another one.

Specifically, the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio. This pattern is great—very clear instructions and helpful illustrations for visual learners like me. I was not confused at any point in the process, which is more than I can say for other clothing patterns I’ve attempted. If you’re looking for a beginner clothing project, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

I ended up making a total of three tanks. Here’s how it went down.

Tank #1: I’m not showing you this one because I hate the fabric. LOL. It turned out okay, except that the pocket looked really sloppy, and I think I screwed up the neckline somehow because it seemed too low-cut and it was gappy below the arms. Not exactly the look I was going for.

Tank #2: I made this one in a purty red voile from Heather Bailey’s Momentum Voile collection. I totally love this fabric and therefore had high hopes here for something I could actually wear. Thinking about the too-large neckline/bust on the Tank #1, I made this one a size smaller, and I shortened the straps. I guess that was an over-correction, because Tank #2 turned out a little too small, especially in the bust. But there was good news too: I experimented with a different way of making the pocket, and this pocket turned out much better than the previous one. (I cut out two pocket pieces, sewed them right sides together, turned it, and then sewed it onto the tank. It looked much cleaner and neater.)

Tank #3: For this one, I debated about whether to make it the same (smaller) size as Tank #2, just without the shortened straps, or to go back up a size, to the original size of Tank #1. In the end I decided to go back to the original size, and I’m glad I did, because this time the neckline and bust seemed to fit better! Weird—maybe I cut on the wrong line when I cut out the first one? This one is still a little gappy under the arms, as you can see, but not nearly as bad as Tank #1. At any rate, I’m so happy I finally got one to fit right, and I think it looks amazing in voile. A tad light for the coming Wisconsin winter, but whatever, it’s layerable. LOL.

(By the way, how cool is it that I can use my phone as a remote control for my Canon DSLR? Yes, there’s an app for that, and it’s so much better than the timer—I can see the DSLR’s viewfinder on my phone, for one thing. So if you’re wondering why I’m holding my phone in this picture, and probably will be in every future clothing picture on this blog, that’s why.)

Overall, I think I’m actually enjoying making clothes! I know I’m enjoying buying fabric for clothes, at the very least. : ) I might come back to the Tiny Pocket Tank at some point in order to really perfect it. But for now I think I can put a check next to that pattern on the Sew-Off list.

Photo by Jemellia

And Jemellia really did it up with this pattern too! Head over to her blog to see the tanks she made—here, here, and here. I had to go order some of that Anna Maria Horner rayon challis when I saw what Jemellia did with it.

Next pattern on the list for the Sew-Off? The Get Up and Go skirt pattern from Whipstitch! Deborah of Whipstitch is introducing a new “Learn As You Sew” line of patterns, and this is the first pattern in that line. (You can read more about it here.) Since “learning as I sew” is exactly what I’m trying to do here, that makes it the perfect project to tackle next! I’ve got a whole stack of fabric I can’t wait to try it out on.

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WIP Wednesday: Convergence

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Happy Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening in my studio this week.

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my next We All Sew project for Bernina’s blog—a quilt-along using Bari J.’s lovely Emmy Grace fabric line.

You know, sometimes a fabric line and a quilt design converge in the best possible way, so that each compliments the other perfectly, and I think this is one of those times. I can’t wait to unveil the completed quilt. I’ll be posting the full pattern in three installments over on We All Sew, starting next Monday. I hope you’ll follow along and make this beauty!

And my first Sew-Off garment is coming along nicely! (Click here to read about the clothing-making challenge I’m doing with my friend Jemellia during the month of October.) My Tiny Pocket Tank is almost done, I just have to add the binding to the neck and armholes (which admittedly might be the trickiest part). So far, I think I really like it. But I’m reserving judgment until that binding is on!

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @lee.a.heinrich.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!
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Sew-Off: Apparel Edition

I’ve long wanted to make more clothes. Well, make any clothes, really. : ) Not many people could work with fabulous designer fabric all day, every day, without sometimes thinking about how awesome it would be to take some of that fabric and just whip up a shirt to wear out that night.

But a couple of things always stood in my way: First, I had to learn that quilting fabric does not, in fact, make for great clothes. I know some people can manage it, but as a novice clothing sewist, that person is not me. The drape just isn’t right or something, so whenever I’ve tried it in the past, the results always looked very “home sewn.” And if you watch Project Runway you know that’s the kiss of death right there. So I need to learn more about all the other materials out there, like voile and knits and all that good stuff.

Second, if you make clothes for yourself and blog about them, you kind of have to model what you’ve made, right? It’s like part of the contract. And this may sound silly, but that’s a huge stumbling block for me. I’m not big on selfies (of myself, anyway). I think I’ve hated every picture of me taken in the history of ever. A model I just ain’t. : )

But then Sukie and Jemellia and Lee M. at May Chapelle hatched this idea for a Sew-Off. It’s a friendly little challenge designed to give us a kick in the butt to motivate us on something. Sukie and Lee are doing a quilting challenge next month, but for this month Jemellia challenged me to make … wait for it … clothes.

Okay! No more excuses! I bought some voile and other non-quilting-cotton, and I am making some clothes, darn it, and I might even put them on for a picture or two! Well. We’ll see about that last part. : )

This week Jemellia and I are tackling is the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio. I said to Jemellia, “What’s the easiest pattern on your list?” She said it was this one. So let’s do this thing! Follow along with both of us as we each bust out a Tiny Pocket Tank. Jemellia’s over at JemJam, check her out.

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WIP Wednesday: Sewing Summit Prep

It’s been all about prepping for Sewing Summit around here this week. And I’m not even talking about all the work Elizabeth and I have done for the class we’re teaching together!

Soon-to-be lounge pants

I got this adorable flannel for half-off at Joann’s the other day. Can’t wait to make myself some foxy lounge pants in Jana’s class.

Maxi skirt fabric

This charcoal heather knit will soon become a maxi skirt in Leanne Barlow’s class. I’m just glad to finally have this fabric in my hot little hands—I ordered it from Fabric.com on September 21, and they didn’t ship it until yesterday. And that was only after I made a threatening phone call demanding that they overnight it, or else. What is up with them lately??

Curves mini quilt fabric

I picked out this happy stack for the Curves Mini Quilt class with Christina of The Sometimes Crafter. Most of these prints are from Art Gallery’s fun new line, Floressence, paired with a texty background print from Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater.

Shapes and Angles pieces
Last but not least, I can’t wait to learn how to machine-piece hexagons, partial seams, equilateral triangles, and more with my friends Kati and Faith. For their class, I’m using some of the yummy new Kona colors, like Carrot, Citrus, Peapod, and Azalea.

I’m off to Salt Lake City later today, and I’m really looking forward to seeing friends both old and new! So if you’re attending Sewing Summit, I would love for you to introduce yourself. I’ll be hanging out in the sewing room during open sewing time most nights, and I would like nothing better than to see some of your WIPs in person instead of on a computer screen for once! So don’t be shy. 🙂 For those who didn’t get into my Foundation Paper Piecing class with Elizabeth, I’ll be doing a short informal class on foundation piecing in the sewing room on Thursday night at around 10 p.m.—come join in!

And even if you won’t be at Sewing Summit, you can still share. Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments? : )

Can’t wait to see some of you in Salt Lake City! Safe travels!

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WIP Wednesday: Two Finishes

Two finishes this week. You heard me. Two. Finishes.
Completed:
Skirt Sew-Along – I did it! I made a skirt! That I can totally wear! Like, in public! It has a zipper! That I put in! This is worthy of all seven exclamation points in this paragraph! I’ll have a full post on it as soon as I can get some decent pictures of me wearing it.
Pear Tree project – also done. Also awesome. Mark your calendar for March, because that’s when I’ll finally be able to show it to you.
New:
I don’t know how far I’ll get on this one before Christmas, but I spent a little time today deciding which charms to use. I ended up with a combination of charms from AnneMarie‘s Spoonflower and Japanese swaps, plus some prints from my stash and Heather Ross scraps that Kelly was nice enough to swap with me.
I’m thinking of something along these lines for the accent prints in the feature blocks.
Completed tops awaiting quilting:
No progress:
• Halloween quilt
• Farmer’s Wife QA
• Skill Builder QA
• Kaleidoscope QA
• Figgy Pudding quilt
• Wonky Log CabinThis week’s stats:
Completed projects – 2(!)
New projects – 1
Currently in progress – 9
Link ’em if you got ’em! You all know the rules – link back here, comment, blah blah blah. Have a great week!

 

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Trying Something New …

I think I’ve officially lost my mind. I’m attempting to make myself a skirt!

I know, right? Since when do I make clothes? But one of the biggest lessons I brought home from the Sewing Summit was to try to break out of my comfort zone and make things other than quilts. Like bags, for instance. Or maybe even a skirt. (Because that has to be one of the easiest garments to make, right?)
Then I saw that Anna of Noodlehead had made herself the cutest little skirt, and that she was going to do it as a sew-along. Since patterns confuse the life out of me, what better chance for me to give that a try?
And here it is so far! It kinda sorta really looks like a skirt, right?
It has pockets and everything! I’ve only made it through the end of her Day 2 post, but so far, so good. I was concerned about the fact that the back of the skirt seemed to be at least 2″ wider than the front—leave it to me, the quilter, to want everything to match up perfectly. But Anna assures me I should be okay.
And behold my French seam! What a useful technique this is for encasing raw edges, and so easy too. Even if the skirt doesn’t turn out in the end, I’m glad to have learned this.
So no problems so far, knock on wood. Anna’s directions and photos have made everything very clear. I don’t think I would have gotten even this far if I were relying solely on the pattern! But then again, there is the dreaded zipper coming up …
I’m linking up to TNT Thursdays at Happy Quilting. This is definitely the ultimate “trying new things” for me!
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Look! It’s a Dress!

It doesn’t suck!

Does it look “home-sewn”? Probably. (That seems to be one of the worst possible insults Michael Kors can throw at somebody on Project Runway, so evidently it is to be avoided.) Does it have a few issues? Most definitely. (Bias facing? What? How?) Does my daughter like it? Yes, she does. Am I proud of myself for overcoming my irrational fear of garment sewing? Totally.

Okay, mission accomplished! You might even see a summer version of this one of these days.

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Addressing the Dress

I recently decided that I want to attempt to make a few little items of clothing for my daughters. I mean, what good is knowing how to sew if you can’t even make something adorable for your 4-year-old to wear? (And by “knowing how to sew,” I really mean “I have a sewing machine and a vague idea of how to operate it.”)

The problem is that I’m intimidated by anything with more structure than a quilt or a pillow. There’s something about that third dimension that scares the crap out of me. So aside from a couple of uber-simple unlined tote bags (tutorial here – I highly recommend it if you’re in my boat), I’ve stayed far away from garment and/or bag sewing.

But then I saw this kit from Above All Fabric and impetuously snapped it up (with a 15 percent discount courtesy of Jaybird Quilts!) It’s an adorable dress. It says it’s “suitable for beginner sewers.” Come on, it’s just a matter of reading and following directions, right? How hard could it be?

Oh my. This looks scary.

My goal is to complete this by Thanksgiving. We’re spending the holiday at my mom’s in Florida, so for once Miss E. can actually wear a sleeveless dress on a major holiday. Wish me luck!