Leather and Liberty clutch

I think my latest obsession has arrived! Leather, leather, leather. I have been accumulating and hoarding small pieces of leather over the past few months every time I see it on sale.  But I was too afraid to dive in and make anything with it until just this week.  AND I’M IN LOVE.


I cant tell you exactly what kind of leather this is, since lezbereal, I dug it out of a bargain bin. But it was labeled as EITHER goat or lambskin, so it must be one of the two. I vaguely envisioned making a couple of coin purses when I purchased it, but it seemed too wonderful to cut into tiny pieces when I got it home so I opted for a laptop sleeve in the end.




This Liberty of London print was practically MADE  to go with this red leather. When I was looting through my stash for something to line the bag with and came across this scrap, I immediately danced around in excitement.  Basically, I’m in love with this combo.


Unfortunately, despite my haphazard careful sizing of this bag, my laptop did not even come close to fitting through the opening.  I believe the root of the problem is the zipper. It would have been better to make a zipper that goes across the top and down the side a bit.  I saw a tutorial for this (and really the whole thing she’s making here is too cute) on craft passion, but I was afraid to try any around-the-corner zip installation on my first leather project.


Despite being a lost cause as a laptop sleeve, I am quite pleased with it and have been using it as a little clutch instead.  It fits all my essentials and I mean IT’S ADORABLE.  All told, it cost about $16 to make. The leather was $15, and the zip and interfacing make up the other $1.  The lining was just a large leftover scrap from last summer’s Datura, so I’m not counting that. American Apparel is charging $65 for these bitches.  The AA version doesn’t appear to be lined and according to their website, 14 of the colors on offer contain too much lead to be sold in the state of California,  so I think I made out pretty well all told….


The Illyria Hat

I knit this hat using a pattern I bought online from Ravelry– it’s the Illyria Hat by a designer named Bristol Ivy. She has some really cute patterns up there. This is my first time buying a knitting pattern through Ravelry and I was not disappointed.
20140327-160244.jpgThe pattern is a very pretty asymmetrical cable which comes out looking like a tree. I made it up just as written in the pattern, with no alterations.  I used some Lamb’s Pride bulky from my mom’s stash (which may tide me over until I die) in an olive green which I knew my boyfriend Dan would love.  I gave it to him for Valentine’s Day, which yes I KNOW was ages ago, but I haven’t gotten around to blogging it until now. 20140327-160303.jpg20140327-160310.jpgAnd I know what you’re thinking “but this is a sewing blog!” but hey, I was a knitter before I was a sewer, so this is just a little throwback to my roots.  I do like to keep at least one knitting project on the go at all times so that I have something to do while I watch a movie or on long car rides.  I like to stay busy….but it’s hard to take a serger on the bus so I’ll stick to my double points for now.

20140327-160317.jpgIn fact I loved the pattern so much that I decided to make another one in a different color for my Brother’s birthday. I still have more of that Lamb’s Pride bulky so I may yet make more….. Wouldn’t it be cute if everyone in my family had matching hats ala Molly Weasley?  Perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself….20140327-162443.jpg


And we finish with a GIF.

Short Skirt and a Long (story about a dyed wool) Jacket!

Once upon a time I bought an ugly tan coat, and I transformed it into a beautiful red butterfly.20140321-115952.jpg

The definitive before photos.20140305-080357.jpg

I found this coat a few weeks ago at a Savers thrift store.   It was a pretty amazing trip.  My boyfriend came away with an awesome vintage jacket, a pendleton wool flannel cowboy shirt (I think I loved it even more than him.  I kept fawning over the beautiful wool and fantastic detailing…) and an antique camera worth a lot more than he paid for it. This was the first time I’d ever ventured into the coats section of Savers and let me tell you, it was FUCKING epic.  I also found a beautiful wool coat in black and white houndstooth with a little peter pan collar. So cute.  Anyway, this beauty is a cashmere and lambswool blend, and it fit perfectly.  My boyfriend tried to talk me out of on account of that ugly tan color. NONSENSE, I said.  I will dye it.

Weeeelllll I hadn’t dyed anything since my first and last box of green RIT back in high school. That time, I didn’t feel like wearing gloves.  My hands turned green.  I literally wore mittens at school for 3 days. BUT I knew it could only go uphill from there, so I went out and fetched myself a couple boxes of red red red.

Here’s how it all went:


The instructions are hidden on the inside of the box of dye.  I followed them mostly as written, with the only exception being that I did not use the amount of water recommended.  Rit calls for 3 gallons of water for each box of dye used, and one box only dies about a pound of fabric.  My coat was two pounds, so I planned to use 2 boxes but only had a 5 gallon pail in which to do the dying.  So, needless to say I wasn’t about to fit 6 gallons of water plus my large coat in a 5 gallon pail.  In the end I filled it up about 3/4 full with water and hoped for the best. I also used a couple of cups of vinegar, since apparently that helps the wool absorb the dye.


As you can see, the bucket was full full full, but with the aid of a giant spatula I kept it churning around in there for the 30 minutes the package called for.

I rinsed the dye out right there in the sink, which took about 20 minutes of non stop rinsing.  I must say with extreme pride that I managed to do the whole job without getting any dye on myself or anything else important.  Things have come along way since junior year….


Post rinse I laid it out on a towel to dry, turning it after the first night and putting a dry towel under it.  Unfortunately the lining and buttons did not take the dye very well, which was to be expected since the lining is polyester and the buttons were plastic.  I decided I could live with the pink lining, but the puke colored buttons would have to go, so I lopped them off and replaced them with some brand new bright red ones. Also the thread in the topstitching and button holes did not take the dye- so I went over it all with a red sharpie!  Creative solutions, people.

And I think it turned out pretty bangin!



And as promised in my last post, I GIFed it for you!





I don’t think this post requires much of an explanation.  Let’s just say I’ve learned my lesson about pattern placement.  And no, he doesn’t want me to cover it up with a pocket.  My dad suggested a fly.



(in case you are wondering, the fabric is Marimekko, purchased at a Crate and Barrel Outlet fabric feeding frenzy)



Alva Collar

I whipped up this collar on Saturday in under an hour. And frankly, most of that time was spent looking for a matching button. It’s my second make from Named Clothing, the Alva Collar.


I copped the idea to make it reversible from
jolies bobines, and I made it out of some scraps I had hanging around- some black kona cotton and a piece of red cotton 30s reproduction fabric that I’m pretty sure I’ve had since high school.


My only complaint about it is that I don’t know how to keep it from sliding around on my neck and getting crooked or showing my shirt collar in the front.