FWQ Progress: July

My Farmer's Wife Quilt project hit the wayside around May along with everything else non-wedding related. But, good news, I'm back on track! I jumped back in with the quilt-along block of the month, #23 Country Farm, and my excitement quickly turned to frustration. I don't know why, but this one really stumped me. I spent about 3 hours at it one night, measuring, re-measuring, even cutting out the bloody paper template, and just when I thought I was making progress, realized everything was the wrong size! %@#$!

Thinking that surely there must be a better way, I turned to the InternetThat's when I discovered Karen Walker's Farmer's Wife Quilt Revival Classes on Craftsy. Basically it's a series of pdfs that teach you how to cut and piece every single block in the quilt using modern techniques. Jackpot! That's exactly what I've been looking for! So I downloaded the first class and... bingo bango... I knocked out 4 blocks in one afternoon, the same time it took me to fail at one the night before! The classes are $8.50 each and there are 12 of them, released once a month, but to me it is well worth the money. Heck, with the time saved I'll probably come out even. 

Anyway, here are the four I made plus the quilt-along one. I'm super excited about this project again!

 #23 Country Farm

 #55 Linoleum

 #54 Kitchen Woodbox

 #48 Homeward Bound

#2 Autumn Tints

Deer & Doe Belladone Dress

There are a few sewing projects I finished right before the wedding craziness hit and therefore haven't had a chance to show off here yet, which is a shame because they're some of the best things I've ever made, in my humble opinion! Take this Belladone Dress, for example, from Parisian pattern company Deer & Doe. I made this for my bridal shower in May and was determined to wear it despite the chilly temps we had this Spring. That's what happens when you start making your own garments, you get attached. Anyhow, it fits me like a glove and I've worn it many times since, feeling like a goddess while doing so. If that isn't an endorsement for making your own clothes, I don't know what is.

I love the retro shape, which is why I chose to use this retro print. I picked up this fabric from the Fabric Fabric warehouse in Toronto years ago simply because I had to have it. As soon as I saw this dress pattern, I knew that this is what it was destined to become.

Obviously the back cut-out is a stunner detail and brings the style into this decade. In all it's amazingness, it was a bit of a bitch to fit, however. Getting it to sit flat was a task and a half and due to the back zipper, adjusting was nearly impossible without an extra set of hands (many thanks to Mikey J for that). I experimented with both darts and tacks to no avail, so ended up just leaving it as is. And, actually, I found that with a fresh wash and a relaxed posture the fit is fine. A dress that looks better when slouching? I can live with that. 

Pockets! Another design element I absolutely love in dresses and I love the style of these ones.

There are also lots and lots of darts in this dress, as well as pleats and a zipper. It was the first time I had made a hem facing too. That's a lot of potential construction hiccups, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out, often on the first try. I have no idea if that was a result of a good pattern or a sign that my skills are improving, but I did a happy dance all the same.

I did reinstall the zipper three times in order to get the waistband lining up perfectly, but I feel like that's pretty standard procedure for even skilled seamstresses. That's what I tell myself, anyways. What I learned about invisible zippers: (1) baste that sucker in place, and (2) place it as close as you can to the top because hook and eyes are the devil. There ya go.

I'm already thinking about what my next version of this dress will be. Chambray, perhaps? Chambray would make it a great transition piece for Fall/Winter. Hmmm.

We're Married!

Just over a month ago, on the first day of summer, Mikey J and I became husband and wife! The entire day was absolutely perfect, an overwhelmingly happy whirlwind that left us spinning for days afterward. I can't wait to share every detail with you, just as soon as I figure out how I'm going to organize it into blog posts, and more importantly, put it all into words. I'll likely spread it out into a few different posts, once a week. Stay tuned!

By the way, my Etsy shop is open again and lots of items are marked down!