Author: Liz

Beginning Embroidery with Vintage Mad by M

I wrote this post in February but didn’t bother to take pictures until literally today. I have a huge backlog of crap I need to photograph. Blogging is hard!

Late last year I got bit by an embroidery bug out of nowhere. It probably had a lot to do with coming across Sarah K. Benning’s work. I wanted to sign up for her monthly embroidery subscription immediately discovering it. I held off because I wasn’t sure I’d actually like embroidery, or even be capable of it. I also didn’t know what I’d do with finished pieces. Hanging embroidery hoops on the walls tends to look a little more cottagey or traditional than I like, even when the design is modern.

I told myself to hold off til the New Year to pick up another hobby. When 2017 rolled around and I was still interested, I decided I should start with a simple all-inclusive kit. I wanted a modern design that would teach me the basic stitches I needed, and include a pre-printed design with all the instructions and supplies I’d need. I found exactly that with Vintage Mad by M’s kits.

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“Not your Grandma’s embroidery!”

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February Preserving: Gravlax & Citrus Salt

I’m really enjoying the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge so far. We’ve already eaten most of last month’s marmalade. Turns out we really like marmalade. Who knew?

This month’s theme is salt preserves. I make kimchi regularly, and I’m pretty familiar with salt preserved lemons. I like the flavor of the lemons but I just don’t use them very often. I have a 1+ year old jar in my fridge that are super good in a Bloody Mary. I almost caved and made more anyway after I saw this huge list of recipes and the gorgeous preserved grapefruit. But I really wanted to make something that we’d eat and eat quickly, so I decided on gravlax and a batch of citrus salt.

What follows aren’t recipes or reviews, exactly. It’s more explanations of what I did, and reflections on what worked and what I might change.

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My first pants! Sewing Vogue 8909

Okay, so I couldn’t manage perfecting the fit on a simple shift dress. I knew what kind of low-maintenance, soothing, easy win sewing project to take up next: pants. The first pair I’ve ever made. What could possibly go wrong?

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The waist on this illustration is so misleading, these suckers come up to your bra wires unless you adjust the pattern.

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Sewing the Colette Laurel dress

Or not, as it turns out!

I bought a couple Colette patterns when they were on sale this fall: Laurel, Zinnia, and Moneta. Colette got really big while I was in my lolita sewing phase. I had a vague respect for the company and liked the idea of Seamwork’s modern & easy basics, even if the Mesa didn’t work out. I still wanted to try a minimal shift dress and had high hopes for Laurel. There were loads of successful Laurels on sewing blogs, and chatter in the comments indicated that Colette’s main brand patterns were better drafted than Seamwork ones.

Paige’s review for the Curvy Sewing Collective (CSC) was particularly inspiring. Her pictures helped me decide if the style would look good on me at all, and her post provided good guidance on what kinds of alterations I might want to make. I especially liked her attitude that it was worth fiddling with fit to find a solid go-to pattern. That’s what I want!

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This looks straightforward!

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Old Fashioned Cocktail Marmalade

I decided at practically the last minute to join the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, and this is my actual last minute entry for January. This month’s preserve is marmalade. I’ve made marmalade once before. A coworker brought a huge bucket of backyard Meyer lemons into the office and let me take 3 pounds for free. I made 5 half pints, I think, and I ended up giving all of them away as gifts. Time to try it again and actually keep some this time!

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Sewing the OhhhLuluSews Evelyn Romper

I started 2017’s sewing strong on Jan 5th and 6th with three Evelyn rompers from OhhhLuluSews. I’ve admired her custom lingerie for a while now. I really liked her wrap-front crane romper, so I bought myself a similar pattern for Christmas. This was my first return to garment sewing since sometime in the spring/summer of 2016, and it was a great experience.

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