Some Little Bits

Hey, y’all. Happy 2016!

Mine has started off swimmingly. Two great bits of career related news and some  little bits of sewing.
Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn
That scrap of fabric under my mitten cuff is leftover from this refashion. I had been pondering what to do with it. Since 2011, apparently. That’s a hell of a long time to hang onto a hunk of gorgeous sweater knit.

Spurred into action by the cold. I finally turned it into these puppies.
Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn
Here they are in action with another QUICK must-stay-warm project.

Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn

Leather and wool mittens! Look how happy they make me ;p

Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn

For the leg warmers, I basically cut that large scrap into four, stitched them together at the raw edges leaving the ribbed portions at the top and bottom and then made one long seam up the side to make two long tubes.

Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn

For the mittens, I used a collection of scraps and Purl Soho‘s felted wool mitten pattern. The leather is from a jacket I made for my husband, the wool from a wool Nettie dress and the looooong ribbed cuffs are leftovers from yet another project I never blogged about, lol. I simply cut them off at the wrist and added the ribbing. The only other change I made was to line the mittens with the same wool.

Some Little Sewing :: Sown Brooklyn


And they kept me warm, today.



Brooklyn Des

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn

Pattern :: The Desmond Roll Top Backpack
Fabric :: Heavyweight Denim (long in the stash from
Muslin (Mood Fabrics) and indigo shibori dyed fabric (made with love and friends at the TAC).
Notions :: D-rings, hooks, sliders & webbing from Pacific Trimming, denim zip from SIL Thread (NYC GD)

But does she like it, you ask? Check out that puss! I think she digs it!

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn

This morning, Brooklyn Des carried lunch and snacks and books. I’m really so happy with it! There are some things I will do differently next time, though. My webbing is quite slick. It wants to slide out of one set of d-rings, something with more of a tooth would work better. I’d also like to pad the straps. They’re not uncomfortable at all, but walking to school with 4 book bag carriers highlights how common it is to do so.

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn

I like my plain muslin lining, with those sentimental pop-o-shibori pockets, but I’d add a contrast band to the top so it doesn’t show while carrying. I also think the thicker fabric would help the roll stay in place when the bag is less full. And I would not use a jean zipper! Those teeth really want I stay shut, lol. I added a little leather pull that helps some.

And it’s cute!

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn

I think Desmond is the perfect blend of casual and chic. It totally worked with this outfit and would fit just as well with sneakers and sweats. I took my time working on this, but once the exterior was complete, I raced to the finish line. It was great fun, almost as much as coat or jean making.

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn

This denim is HEAVY. My machine was a rock star, though. I only broke one needle and had only a couple thread jams. But attaching that zip pocket was a real sonofabitch. It was my first time doing something like that. I’m glad I didn’t realize how much harder the thick denim would make it, I’m too happy with how it turned out to wish it any other way.

I’m already planning the next one!

The Desmond Backpack :: Sown Brooklyn//

Hudson Valley Tap

Hudson Valley Tap

Pattern :: Katy and Laney Tap Shorts

Fabric :: Mystery blend from Metro Textiles

Tan Lines and Glare :: Blazing Hudson Valley Sun

Hudson Valley Tap

I wish I could provide more details on the size. I started these AGES ago, made a muslin and everything. Which turned out MASSIVE, lol. I cut the shorts out of this fabric in a smaller size, plus some length added (no public exposure for the tops of these thighs), and dove right in. Still too big. I tossed them aside…until I needed some shorts to wear for a long day in the park. Of course, by this time, I had no clue where my pattern was, my computer had died and I was running out of time. Thanks to the Laney half of the K&L team, I got the pattern and was off to the races. I fudged a smaller size, as much as I felt comfortable doing without making them too small.

But. Still too big.

Hudson Valley Tap

But, after sitting on it a while, I think the barrier here is more specifically about preferred fit. The fit on these is perfectly fine, but I have never really worn loose-ish shorts. In fact, all of my bottoms, aside from fit and flare type skirts (of which there are few) tend towards curve hugging. I was reacting to how unfamiliar they felt, not how they actually fit.

Hudson Valley Tap

Once we disembarked from the bus, crossed the scorching grass and settled in for many, many, many outdoor hours at our family reunion, I was grateful (SO GRATEFUL) for a little room to groove.


Hudson Valley Tap

All in all, I’m glad to have the pattern in my hands again and this finished pair on hand to help choose a size.  I love a good shorts, tights and oxfords combo, so I see these made up in wool for winter!


2014 Hi&Hi: Sewing and Friends

High&High cuz with sewing and family and friends there can be no true lows.


 Gearing up for 2015 {oy!}.
Reading lots of best of posts.
Here are mine.

2015Maravilloso MalvarosaBlack White Houndstooth & Sexy : Double the Kimono : Malvarosa en Denim : Gabby in Ikat

And, an obvious highlight, the Nettie. Which was named for me.  14052346552_dfc61c51cb_hBut, that’s not why it’s a highlight. The deepening of my friendship with Heather, is. She’s just one of the many awesome women who have been instrumental in making one of my dearests wishes come true: having true friends to do shit with.

And to lean on.

They helped me get through some truly stressful parenting and spouse issues. The NYC high school application process has taken years off my life, and an untold number went with worrying for my boys who are hurtling towards teenage-hood. And then there was hubby’s health scare. They’ll never know how much they helped me stay sane. And how much they added to my family life, too. My children adore them and my hubby is happy to know that I have such special friends.

So many of my non-sewing highlights involved them. So many stories shared. So (SO MANY) laughs. No documentation is necessary, but you may have stumbled across an Instagram post or blog hint, or two. I DO wish I had taken a moment to snap a pic of my favorite handmade look of the year which was worn partying with them. But stay tuned! That black wool Nettie dress and my absolute fave Le Animal sweater coat deserve some pics! But until then….


Malvarosa en Denim

La presentación, Malvarosa! Numero dos! En denim!
Malvarosa en Denim

This was a real touch and go make (much like the last one, just can’t call it until it’s done!). I’m still not totally sold on it. BUT it’s really comfy to wear and easy to make and I loved styling it with chunky boots and tights.

Malvarosa en Denim

Malvarosa en Denim
I totally intended for this version to have long sleeves, however, the puzzle of getting those two curves to lie together, in holy matrimony forever and forever…the power eluded me. LOL I cut the facings out of the sleeves and I was happy to salvage the bodice after clipping the curves. I also think I could go up to the larger size. But I’m not fussed.Malvarosa en DenimThis denim is quite thin and has zero stretch. I think this was the perfect project for it as it’s a bit stiff and would have made one awkward fitted garment.

Malvarosa en Denim
I hand stitched the hem.

Malvarosa en Denim

And I tacked down those unruly facings, too. Why do I still suck at facings????

Anyway, this shiny, golden bias tape?
Malvarosa en Denim

She is purty but she ain’t comfy. SO ITCHY! That shit has got to GO!
And I was so proud of this top stitching job!

I have another all cut out and ready to go. I have to work while the mojo’s working, or I won’t make another garment for weeks!
My fall wardrobe won’t make itself!

Hello, fall!

Couture Adventure Part Duex?

My birthday is next month. I will be 35. I’m not a huge fan of birthdays. That has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with the incredibly shitty ones I had as a kid. Though the bdays have improved drastically as a wife and mom, I am still somewhat reluctant to make an event out of them. For fear of…I don’t know what really. I think I still tend to restrain my emotions due to some long held fear of….something.

Well, I enjoyed my recent dressmaking experience so much (thanks for your kind words!! I will try to get better at replying to those much appreciated comments!) that I’ve been trying to think of another reason or occasion to indulge and completely disregarded my birthday as an option.
But, why?

The bug to bone (PUN!) has been reawakened (with a vengeance, please help me refrain from ordering that beading tool) by viewing some spectacular examples of couture artistry in motion via that most excellent medium, YouTube.
Look at all of this deliciousness and tell me you don’t want to spend weeks working on an outfit you’ll only wear a handful of times 😉

discovered via Pauline Alice

discovered via Frau Fleur

discovered browsing Dior

I’ve been collecting couture/high fashion-y inspiration in a pinboard, naturally.


Or from here, where I could work with a new and challenging material (like leather!!) rather than more traditional couture techniques.


I realized, somewhat belatedly, that I could create my own reason to wear finery. That I have friends willing to play dress up, just for the hell of it, and a husband who would take me anywhere I wanted to go to show off my hard work.

Do you need a reminder that any day can be a special occasion? Look at those videos and dream with me.