floral linden1

Pattern: Linden from Grainline Studios
Fabric: floral scuba knit from Metro Textiles, black fleece from Fabric Place Basement
Size: 4

Jeans: Paige Denim
Sneakers: Reebok

Happy New Year!  It’s the first Monday after the holidays and the winter “blahs” are setting in for me…temps are dipping waaaay low this week (12 degrees tonight, brrr), the snow we’ve avoided in New England so far this winter arrived last weekend (with more to come this week), and spring feels very far away.  So what’s a gal to do but hunker down with some tea and whip up some cute sweatshirts!

floral linden2

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve been living in a couple of new Linden sweatshirts I recently made over the past few weeks.  At first I wasn’t sure about the pattern – the fit is much boxier than garments I usually wear and felt like I was wearing a big, shapeless sack for a top.  But since I kept reaching for my first version over and over again, made out of a navy striped double-knit, I knew that the style grew on me and I really liked how easy it is to wear!

floral linden3

Like a lot of Jen’s patterns, the Linden is versatile and can change in look and feel depending on what kind of fabric you use – heck, I wore my gray version for New Year’s Eve with some sparkly necklaces and skinny black pants.  For my third version, my favorite, I paired a floral print scuba knit (aka neoprene) for the front with a super soft black sweatshirt fleece for the rest of the sweatshirt.  I like that the floral makes it a little dressier and special than a regular sweatshirt, sort of unexpected.  When I was sewing this, I kept getting flash-backs from the 90’s of a floral shirt and leggings set I wore in elementary school!

I made all of my Lindens on my serger, which made them a fast sew.  Like, criminally fast, even for someone as slow as I am.  The only change I made was to lengthen the neckband pattern piece by about 5/8″ since it was too difficult to stretch correctly on my first version.  The longer length fit better around the neckline, and I didn’t get any puckering as a result.

floral linden4

I never miss an opportunity to take a cheesy photo.

In all honesty, the Lindens I’ve been making are just “sewcrastination” – I keep putting off prepping for my Great Coat Project of 2015.  I have one more project that I’m just about finished with (which will be my first finished garment of the year!) and then I’ll start.  Pinky swear!


polka dot popover3

You guys, I made a popover, wooo!  The lazy girl’s answer to a collared shirt!

Pattern: Archer from Grainline Studios
Fabric: cotton shirting from Mood

Jeans: Levi’s
Jacket: Michael Kors
Sunnies: Bulgari

polka dot popover2

Oh man, there are so many more of these in my sewing future.  When Jen posted her popover version of the Archer Shirt last December on Instagram, I literally squealed out loud – it was the perfect solution to the J Crew shirts that I love so much but are outrageously priced (plus, I’m trying to make all of my clothes now…so there).

polka dot popover4

I whipped this up pretty fast the night before Chris’ annual family gathering, which is always so much fun (actually, I was planning on making this for the blogger meetup in NYC but I changed my mind and wore something else last minute!).  Not sewing buttons made it go together even faster, and because I’m super lazy, I decided to not make cuffs and instead made the sleeves shorter.  The only problem I ran into was, yet again, the collar – but I’m getting better.  Honestly, it was so stupid on my part.  I forgot to staystitch the neck and was so excited to try on the popover after I made the placket, and I must have stretched out the neck when I tried it on.  Sigh.  There was some creative problem solving when I attached the collar stand, but it all worked out ok.  Next time I will have a perfect collar, I know it!

polka dot popover5

This was a pretty easy pattern hack – I’m thinking about doing a tutorial (it’s been a while since I wrote one!) on how I added the placket to my Archer shirt.  I don’t think it’s the “proper” way to add a placket, but once I figured out what to do with the fiddly bottom part, it went together smoothly, almost like fabric origami.  And honestly, you can make your placket any length you want!  Maybe make it a bit longer and wear it over a cami, or be a saucy vixen and don’t wear a cami, ooooo.

polka dot popover

I’m thinking my next Archer Popover will be out of a green voile I bought from Mood on Black Friday.  I was going to save it for a button-down Archer, but I’m envisioning: slightly longer placket, cropped sleeves, waist ties that tie in the back for a more fitted look, and no collar.

Do you like popovers?  They’re so easy to wear, and look great with skinny jeans or pants!


owl sweater moss skirt1

Patterns: Owl Sweater by Kate Davies, Moss Skirt from Grainline Studio
Yarn: Rowan Cocoon, Scree colorway
Fabric: wool from Metro Textile
Sizes: sweater – small, skirt – 6

Hat: Topshop
Leggings: DKNY
Boots: London Fog

During the snow storm late last week, I dreamed up the idea of escaping the cold by going to Maine (hah!) for the weekend and staying at a resort with hot tubs and fireplaces.  It was a great weekend last weekend, and so weird to see the place where I vacation in the summer covered in snow.  Chris and I walked down to the beach on Sunday, which was a surprisingly warm and sunny day.  It felt like a totally different place, seeing all of the beach stores and cafes boarded up for the winter.

owl sweater moss skirt2

Do you remember the sad story about this sweater back in January 2013?  After I wove in the ends and blocked the sweater, it stretched out into measurements that were impossible to wear (we’re talking 30″ sleeves, peeps).  I threw it in my pile of WIPs, waiting for fall to come so I could harvest the yarn for a big, chunky cowl.  Just before I started the frogging, I tried it on one more time – what the heck, it fits!!  Since then, this sweater has been in heavy rotation, especially on cold cold days like what we’ve been experiencing in New England lately.

owl sweater moss skirt3

I really really love this sweater!  The sleeve are still a little too long, so I just cuff them up a bit and the sleeves are perfect.  The stitches are still a bit loose, but it’s ok because I always wear a shirt under the sweater.  I’m not sure how I’m going to care for this; I’m afraid of the stretching happening again and the idea of taking it to the dry cleaners doesn’t really appeal to me.

Instead of putting eyes on all of the owls, I just did one owl – it’s more subtle and not as twee looking.  Also, I need to try using a needle a size larger when I bind off – I’m barely able to pull the sweater over my head!

owl sweater moss skirt4

Actually, I really love love everything about this outfit!  I made another Moss skirt, this time out of wool and acetate from my failed Beignet skirt, and it turned out even better than my first one.  After some practice, I think I finally have the hang of inserting a fly front zipper.  I went up a size this time since my corduroy skirt was a bit snug, and lengthened the skirt about two inches since my first one was a little too short for my liking and comfort.

owl sweater moss skirt5

 It’s absolutely perfect now!  I need to make some more of these for warmer weather, this skirt is definitely a TNT (tried ‘n true) pattern in my sewing arsenal.

What are your go-to winter outfits?  Mine seem to be mini skirts, leggings or tights, and boots with a cozy sweater on top.


plaid archer1

Pattern: Archer by Grainline Studio
Fabric: cotton flannel from stash (bought at Joann Fabrics a few years ago)
Size: 2 graded to a 4 at hips
Snaps: Dritz

Jeans: Michael Kors

Well, I think I successfully used my new camera remote for these pictures!  It was a little tricky, especially with the late winter afternoon lighting, but I’ll get the hang of it.  I’m just glad I finally got pictures of my Archer, because:


I really wanted a plaid Archer shirt after seeing Lauren’s awesome Lumberjack (or Lumberjane?) Plaid Archer on her blog.  Let’s be real: plaids scared the crap out of me before I attempted this shirt, and to try to match them up not just at the side seams but also at the front?  Getouttahere.  But her tutorial was awesome on how to cut out plaids and I owned this plaid LIKE A BOSS.

plaid archer2

I think the trick is to really take your time and breathe when cutting out plaid.  Oh, and cutting out the pieces on a single layer really helps as well.  Being that this fabric is flannel, which can be tricksy and shifty, added another dimension of difficulty to cutting this out, but after the pieces were prepped it was smooth sailing with the sewing.

Oh hey there, pretty perfect collar stand #grungesewalong #archershirt #grainlineatudio

I will always use Andrea’s tutorial on collar stands from now on.  Andrea, you rock!!  This shirt would not have been a success without your awesome step-by-step instructions.  Muah!

plaid archer3

I have the sleeves rolled up in the other photos because I haven’t installed the snaps yet on the cuffs!  This was the first time I tried using snaps as a closure on a garment, and while it’s super-fun to rip off my shirt Hulk-style, they kind of were a pain to install properly.  I had the handy Dritz pliers, too, and I kept screwing up snap after snap, so I gave up on the cuffs.  I probably won’t use snaps again, but it’s something I can at least say that I tried – I didn’t find them easier to do than buttons.

plaid archer4

The bias cut pieces were another key part of plaid success.  Certain pieces, like the yoke and pocket, would be a bitch to cut out and match up, so I cut those two pieces as well as the button-band on the bias.  It broke up the striping of the plaids and added interest, and forget trying to get all that stuff matched up.

I absolutely love this shirt and have worn it several times since I finished it around Thanksgiving.  Maybe I’ll make a striped one now?  But it’s a definite: I never need to buy a slouchy J Crew button-down ever again.  Look out, 2014: there’s a boat-load of Archers headed your way.


Matching plaids like a boss #grungesewalong

I’m conquering two of my biggest fears/challenges this month: matching up plaids (eek) and sewing another button-down shirt with a collar stand (double eek).  I had three yards of this red cotton plaid flannel hanging out in my stash for the past two years, thinking that I would make a cape from it (hello costume, I don’t think so) or maybe a dress (again…no).  Funny enough, when I decided to throw caution to the wind and cut out the plaid to make another Archer, there was conversation on Twitter about November being a Grunge Sew-a-Long month.  Perfect timing!  I think the Archer pattern is a great pattern to pair with plaid – it has a loose, but not too loose fit, and I think it’ll look adorable with skinny black pants and boots (not leggings, please, because leggings are NOT pants.  That’s your public service announcement for today).

Thanks to Lauren’s tutorial, I feel like I’m matching up plaids like a boss so far:

Heck yeah, side seam!

I was freaking ecstatic when I tried this on and saw the plaids matching up perfectly!  Sadly, I don’t think I cut the sleeves out correctly so they don’t match at the underarm seam, but I’m really happy how this is turning out so far.  Just cross your fingers for me, I’m about to tackle that collar…

Oh, if you want to participate in the Grunge Sew-a-Long this month, post your finished projects in the Sewcialists Flickr group.