2013- What an Adventure!

Wow, 2013. Over and done with. It’s crazy how much we can accomplish in 365 days. Here are some of the things that I did…

-Became an Aunt!

-Graduated from beauty school and got my first job as a hair stylist

-Went on a fantastic vacation to the Yucutan Peninsula in Mexico

-Celebrated my one year wedding anniversary

-Went on a road trip to Colorado

-Started this blog

-Opened an Etsy Shop

and last but not least…..

-Started sewing!

I never would have imagined that I would have a desire to make my own clothes, but it happened. I only made a few pieces and then changed directions, but I am still proud of myself for doing it and actually wearing some of what I made.

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Sewing clothes got me excited about creating with my hands. I also did a little embroidery and knitting, and made a gift for my Mother In Law.

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Then, I got into quilting! I made a quilt as a gift for a friend who was having a baby girl and the rest is history! I fell so in love with quilting that I opened up my Etsy shop, The Arctic Fox Shop. I also decided to use it as an opportunity to get serious about something I have always had a heart for- sustainability. I am only using organic cotton and thrifted material. I also bought myself a compost bin, am planning ways to garden in my tiny back yard, and am eating locally and in season. I am betting that some of that will show up on here *wink*.

This year, I made 7 quilts. Technically I started sewing in July, so I really made 7 quilts in 6 months.

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I have really enjoyed 2013- it was a positive and productive year. Some of my resolutions for next year include getting fit, being more sustainable (as I mentioned), and continuing to work on The Arctic Fox Shop. There is also a big move in my future, but you will have to wait to hear about that!

Thank you so much to all of you that have stuck around and supported me! It means the world to me and I love to share my creations with you. I hope you had an amazing 2013. Have you made any resolutions for yourself? I would love to hear about them!

 

 

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Heart Quilt

This quilt was inspired by similar quilts that I found on Pinterest. I draw a lot of inspiration from roaming around that sight. I try my hardest not to copy what I find, but to use it as inspiration. I think that this quilt fits the bill.

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If you follow me on instagram, you have already seen this quilt about a bajillion times. I loved every step of making this quilt and it took all of my strength not to grab every person I passed on the street and gush about how happy I was with this quilt and about the process of making it.

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I came across this fabric at a quilting expo I went to. You can read about it here. It came from a shop called Island Quilter, and my LORD do they have a fantastic selection of fabrics. Island Quilter is on Vashon Island in Washington, and it takes about 3 hours and a ferry ride to get there from my house. I am so excited about this shop, though, that I am trying to plan a trip up there with my mom hopefully in the next couple of months. Note to self: start saving every penny starting now!

The quilt was super easy to put together. The front is not very much piecing- I used strips instead of squares to make it go a little faster. It does take a little bit of math- I had to dig through my closet to find left over graph paper from back in the day- but even that added to the fun of it all. Fortunately I bought a big enough cut of the backing that it is one solid piece which makes me happy.

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I borrowed my nephews nursery for the pictures, and I think it is going to become a trend. How adorable is the bird decal on the wall (off of etsy) or this rocking chair. I think a quilt is the perfect accessory for any rocking chair!

This quilt is for sale on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/172789500/handmade-baby-quilt-pink-heart-with-wood

If you love the quilt but don’t love the colors or the backing is a little too crazy for you, I do custom orders!!

Copy Cat Challenge/ Fall for Cotton Sew Along Dress!

Wow, what a mouthful. I originally made this dress for Fall For Cotton. If you know anything about me, you know that quilting cotton is my bestest fabric friend so I was all in to make a dress out of the stuff. I am excited that this challenge will open other sewists minds to using quilting cotton in garment sewing. I don’t usually wear vintage styles, so I knew that I wasn’t going to like any of the vintage or reproduction patterns that I came across. My solution was to scour Pinterest for inspiration. This is what I came up with!

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I used Simplicity 1609, which is a really simple shift dress. I used the pattern pieces, but I really didn’t follow the directions to put the dress together. I’m pretty proud of myself for that. I realize it’s a super simple dress and I had a picture to go off of, but I was all rebellious and it worked out! The bodice of the dress is a little crooked, but when I wear this dress with a cardigan you can’t tell.

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I realized later that this dress works for the Copy Cat Challenge, as well, since I used a Pinterest picture as my inspiration. I had the page open in a tab on my computer and then it decided to crash… So the only picture I have of my inspiration is a cell phone picture I took… Sorry!

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I decided to change the white skirt to black, it’s just more wearable for me. I got rid of the bow, and instead added the metal zipper detail. I thought it modernized it. Other than that, I loved the plaid, buttons, and waistband and stuck with those.

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It has started to turn to fall weather in Portland, and has been raining the past few days so I had to make do with taking pictures inside my tiny townhouse, so sorry they aren’t the greatest.

I am so excited to see what everyone else has come up with for both of these challenges! I know I had a blast and it mixed things up to have someone else guide my sewing for a little while. I definitely will be participating in more.

Herringbone Blouse

I spotted Butterick B5890 at Joann a while back but they were all sold out. I was pouty for about ten minutes until something else caught my eye, you all know how it works. A few days after, I spotted this one on Amy and I knew I had to go back to Joann and see if the pattern was back in stock, and it was!

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This pattern is super versatile depending on the type of fabric that you use. I knew that I wanted this to be more of a work top, so I decided to use a silk. It’s no high end silk, but is still super soft and has a beautiful shine. My husband’s first reaction to the fabric was not a positive one, but I knew what I was going! I was afraid that it was going to be hard to sew with, but it went really smoothly.

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The pattern is super simple, just four tucks, side seams, zipper, bias on arms and neck, and a hem. Easy peasy. It just looks so classic and I love how fitted it is. I made a muslin in a size 10… needless to say I was swimming in it!! I made a 6 out of my fabric and still took in a little bit through the bust. I have come to figure out that I have a really slender chest and back. I have been having problems with gaping backs and arm holes needing to be raised. It has been fun to figure out how to pinch in here and sew this there to get the right fit. I really want to take a couple of classes on fit and tailoring. Any suggestions on resources for such information?!

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My husband being all artsy 😉

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I think this is probably the most wearable thing that I have made so far. I have already worn it to work twice. I am starting to figure out how to pick patterns and fabric that work for me and my life and not just that I think are cute. Sewing is an expensive hobby and I want to make sure that I love every piece that I make. I think that’s everyone’s goal, though.

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Also, NEW HAIR! You probably noticed the terrible grow out in my Mission Maxi post (don’t judge). I know, I know, I am a hair stylist and I should always have perfect hair, but lets be real… life is busy.

Also, NEW SHOES! Can’t beat adorable wedges on clearance for $15!

 

Modified Mission Maxi

ImageThis is the Mission Maxi pattern from Jamie Christina and I love everything about it. It literally took me an hour to sew this up! I fell in love with Sophie’s super creative side cinch version and decided to make one myself.

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The pattern is 2 pieces. The front and the back. If it weren’t for the fact that the jersey kicked my butt, I would probably have already made 10 more of these. Even with my walking foot, finishing the arms and neck took 59 of the 60 minutes it took me to make this dress. I obviously need some practice with knits. Any tips?!

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Even if I had known the fabric would make my life difficult, I probably still would have bought it because of how adorable it is!  Hot pink felted stars, how could you say no to that?! The lady at the fabric store said that she made a sample dress from this fabric and someone STOLE it off its display in the front of the store– that is how adorable the fabric is.

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But seriously– what are your tips for sewing jersey? I really want to make more of this pattern because maxis are super trendy and super comfy.

Come Away With Me Clutch

I am super excited about this project! If you follow me on instagram (which you should!) you would have seen the progress of this embroidered compass.

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I used to embroider when I was a girl. My family and I would go to Mexico at least 3 times a year when I was growing up and I would take my little embroider by number projects with me on the plane (those were the good old days, today you would be tackled if you tried to take a needle and scissors through security!) Somehow over the years I stopped doing embroidery even though I loved it as a child. I was inspired to pick it up again when I saw that Colette Patterns was hosting a little sewing get together. Check out there blog post about the event- I’m the one with the big red bun on top of my head. I am lucky enough to live in Portland where Colette Patterns is based and am interested in meeting other sewist in my area, so I ran out to Joann’s and picked up a little project to dip my feet back in to embroidery and have something to bring to this event. It was tons of fun and got my head spinning with ideas for embroidery projects. I came home and immediately scoured every corner of the internet that has to do with embroidery and stumbled upon Urban Threads. I WANT TO EMBROIDER ALL OF THE THINGS ON URBAN THREADS! No kidding. I almost died and spent next months pay check on all of the incredible, beautiful, modern patterns. I even told my Husband I NEED an $8,000 embroidery machine. To which he said, “Yeah, okay, babe.”

Anyway, after all of my embroidery excitement calmed down, I finally decided to start with this compass pattern. I was drawn to it, I think, because I love steampunk (if you don’t know what that is, look it up!) and because my last name is South. The compass originally pointed North, but I changed it, because of my last name, I thought it was kind of fun, and, I know,  totally dorky.

I embroidered the compass while watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, and it took me about 5 evenings. I knew from the start that I wanted to turn it into a clutch bag, so that is just what I did with it. I was limited on what shape I could make the clutch because of the placement of my embroidery on the fabric. I wish that it was a little wider and not as tall, but oh well, I still like it and am proud to carry around this cute little bag that I made all by myself!

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The sewing of the bag only took me about an hour. Except I did the stupidest thing– I was sewing through the vinyl and my machine started making this clunking noise so I stopped sewing and tried to figure out what was wrong. I opened up the compartment that holds the bobbin and it was FULL of fuzz. I cleaned out a years worth of belly button lint, so, note to self, clean out that more often. I thought I had the problem diagnosed and it wasn’t something that I could fix by myself. The next morning I drove my machine to a sewing shop to get it fixed and I tell the lady there what I think it wrong with my machine and she says, “Well, just let me take a look at it before we give it to our repair guy”… first thing she sees- my needle is bent to high heaven. Seriously. That was what was wrong with my machine. The needle was bent. Rookey mistake, yeah? I drove my machine all the way out there just to find out I needed to replace my needle. Sometimes we just look right past the little things and assume its some gigantic problem, don’t we? Sigh. I am glad that was all that the problem was but I was a little embarrassed at the same time. And now I just told all of you… don’t judge! The bag is done now, and I learned a good lesson along the way, so all is well.

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I will probably carry it around folded in half like this.

Make me feel a little better and tell me what silly mistakes you have made with your sewing machine/ projects!

Butterfly Sundress

This dress is the second piece of clothing I have sewn. It has been done since the middle of June, I have just been too busy to get pictures of myself in it. Which is weird, because I wear it all the time! It has gone to a high school graduation, on vacation to Mexico, and picking peaches. It’s a well rounded dress.

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It was love at first sight with this fabric! I love the mustard yellow color and I have a soft spot for butterflies. Yes, it is quilting cotton, I told you I had a weakness for the stuff! Every time I went to the fabric store I would go over to this bolt and admire it some more. I knew I had to find something to do with it. Then along came a 50% off patterns sale at Joann’s and there she was– Vouge Easy options V8184. I made view A. It seemed like a good option for summer, and my Husband says that a sundress is the cutest thing a girl can wear. Gotta keep the Husband happy!

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This pattern has a TON of ease to it. I made a size 8 in a muslin and it wouldn’t even stay on. I cut a 6 (my pattern envelope was size 6-12) and still had to have 2 inch seam allowances. Oh the big 4 pattern companies, how will we ever teach you?!  It fit me pretty well with the huge seam allowances, but then I went on a diet and have lost about 10 pounds in the last 2 months since I made it, so now I can’t wear it without a belt. I am thinking about going back and taking in the seams- I just love the dress so much I want to be excited to wear it instead of dreading pulling it up every 5 seconds, you know? Also, I didn’t finish my seams and since I have washed it a few times, the cotton is beginning to unravel. Whoops! Lesson learned.

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I love the way the dress fits, just enough flounce to have some fun in the sun but not too much that everyone sees your panties when the wind blows. I’m not a huge fan of big skirts, so I like that it has a closer fit. I added the lace trim to the bottom just for a little something something and I think it makes a huge difference, dresses it up a little bit and adds some edge.

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UGH, I am so in love with this fabric. Also, writing this post has made me want to sew another one of these dresses. I think I will try F next– I see the perfect LBD in my future!

On a more personal note, this weekend the Husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary! Here are a couple of pictures because I know you are as nosey as I am about other people’s personal lives. 

ImageWe hiked to Oneonta Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

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Then we had dinner at Timberline Lodge which is where we got married. After dinner we went outside and stood in the same place we got married in the Ampitheater and watched the sunset. *awwww*