Every year, when the holidays get close, I spend nearly all of my free time making gifts. This year was hardly an exception and I managed to make almost everything I had planned. All in all I made two zippered pouches, two knit hats, an explorer vest, a knock-off field bag and a handfull of lavender sachets. My deadlines extended a bit past Christmas, which helped the making feel a little more relaxed and enjoyable. Somehow in the midst of all the things I was making to give, I managed to make a few things for myself as well. The biggest project was an Archer shirt in a cute red and blue plaid flannel.
My friend Monica and I treated ourselves to a day of sewing at Dry Goods Studio in downtown Seattle in November and I promised myself I would use the time to work on a big project for me, since I knew that December would be dedicated to making gifts for others. We had 7 hours of studio time and I made 80 percent of the shirt during that time. However, when I made it back home and tried on the shirt, I realized I had set in the sleeves backwards and the fit was very awkward. The correction was a bit painstaking, but at least the shirt was salavagable. The pattern is from Grainline Studios and I really enjoyed making a button-up with some flair. I will definitely sew the pattern again, doing some adjustments to get a better fit accross my broad shoulders. Overall, I'm happy with the shirt and have found it a cozy addition to my closet this winter.
I really love the sewing space at Dry Goods and hope to get back again soon for some concentrated sewing time. Making do with a very small sewing area at home makes me fully appreciate large cutting tables and floor-to-ceiling windows bringing in lots of natural light. Plus the store has a great selection of fabric and notions and is right accross the alley from an excellent bakery.
In the midst of all this making, I've discovered several great resources, mostly for sewing. The short list includes Seamwork magazine/radio, Noodlehead (the best bag patterns -- my Caravan Tote shown above), Fringe Association (perfect taste in both knits and sewn items) and Grainline Studio. I always have a list of things to make that far exceeds my actual time for making. I've made a list of projects I'd like to finish this year and some monthly priorities to get started. The list is a nice mix of items for myself and items for others.
The bag shown above is my knock-off Field Bag, which I just gifted to my friend Deb as a knitting project bag. This was the third attempt at the bag, which I tried to reproduce by studying the photos on the website and the dimensions listed for the bag. I might give it one more shot, tweaking a few more aspects in my prototype. The original bag retails for $65, and I spend about $10 on fabric for each of the bags I make. I find myself thinking that way quite a bit lately, the "Why spend $260 on a sweater at Anthropologie that I could knit myself?" thoughts. As you can imagine, that adds quite a bit to my list of projects, but I'm trying not to be in hurry and really enjoy the things I make, as they come along.