Er, woops

You know what I can’t stand?  When people just abruptly stop posting without any explanation why.  SO much more annoying when they do it right after announcing a “comeback.”  How lame.

Dammit, I’m sorry I did that!  I’ve really kind of lost interest over the last year because of some combination of I hate taking pictures x Mr. Nice and I have more time off together x I miss having most, if not all, of my existence “in real life.”

Unfortunately having “in real life” sewing friends isn’t something that you find easily, and while I have been sewing the past year, I just haven’t been blogging about it.  Two things have made me REALLY tempted to though, the first being….

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Madalynne’s Bra-Making Workshop!!!!!!

Whoawhoawhoa I went the Saturday before last and it was SO COOL.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it the following week and I’m so sad I can’t go do this every Saturday.

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It was held in a gorgeous space and hosted by New Old Fashioned in Philadelphia, with perfect decorations, amazing food, makeovers, a photo booth, snacks, and take-home goodies!  Meeting Madalynne and Lladybird was, no joke, like meeting celebrities.  I was kind of star-dazed.  (OhmygodIsatnext to Lauren.  She IS as funny in real life as she is on her blog, in case you were wondering.  And her hair is an awesome shade of emerald.  AND Maddie used her machine to show us the steps so I had a front row seat to a REALLY talented seamstress.  Um.  It’s very different than when I sew.).

By the way, we made a BRA.


And I have to tell you, this is a bra.  I am over the moon with this thing.  Making it blew my mind, but wearing it and having it be…. THE BEST BRA I HAVE EVER WORN… is kind of amazing.  Truth be told I hate every RTW bra I have ever worn, thos wretched things.  I guess there is no “perfect” but the differences I feel when I wear this one is how much more stable and balanced it is.  I guess you would call that support – not something I felt like I needed a whole lot of, but it feels really nice!  And nothing is digging and tugging at me… and it fits!  To be more specific, the side and back bands are much wider than on most bras I buy and the difference is really noticeable.  The straps and elastic we used also seem like better-quality than those bras we pay way too much money for.

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Constructing a bra is not nearly as hard as I envisioned and I feel really empowered to completely do away with RTW bras and start an arsenal of handmade.  I started perusing recommended websites for lingerie supplies, if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them.  The one question I was left with wondering about is materials, I feel a little confused about fabric types (powernet, tricot, powermesh, ah what?!) and best elastics/channeling/straps.  I’ve been trying to do some research and if you search “bra” on Madalynne, it’s like a little encyclopedia of lingerie education.  I would have loved to see swatches of these things and understand the materials better.

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I could gush FOR. EVER. Not only did this little workshop come with all the delights listed above, but our pattern, fabrics, and even some new sewing tools were included.  AWESOME.  There’s enough to make some matching underoos!  Doing it.


You can check out more pictures on Instagram (#bramakingwithmadalynne and #newoldfshnd were a few of the hashtags).  I even created an Instagram account so I wouldn’t feel left out – I realize it is the most obnoxious name because of all the underscores but I couldn’t think of anything else.  Sorry, love, @_awfully_nice_

AND you can see recaps and really good photos (oh my, I’m in some of them!) on Madalynne and Lladybird.

It was so great I couldn’t resist coming out of retirement (ha!  that is so ridiculous I can’t even take myself seriously!).  You know what else makes me want to sing and dance about sewing?  Ginger jeans!!!!!  Ahhh!  Maybe I’ll even post again.


Man, it feels good to be sewing again!  So good, in fact, that I was willing to sew something for someone else!

IMG_4539I visited G Street last month right before some groupons expired, and since they had little selection for what I wanted, I had Mr. Nice pick out some flannel for a shirt.  I used Negroni by Collette – good pattern, I really liked it and now that I made some adjustments, I’ll definitely be making more.  Four years ago I made him a shirt (WHOA do I know a lot more now) from a Big-4 pattern and it was terrible, I had to make so many adjustments.

IMG_4544Mr. Nice gave me one of his best-fitting shirts to compare sizing, so I made some adjustments:

  • I added 2 inches to the length of the sleeves, and narrowed them by about 1 1/2 inches
  • I cut a L in the chest, then tapered down to a M at the waist
  • Due to the changes in the sleeves and chest, I ended up adjusting the armholes and giving a little bit of a sloping shoulder adjustment

I think it worked, because he approved.

IMG_4542I washed this flannel three times before cutting because I was so worried about shrinkage.  The resulting fabric was SO STRETCHY AND SHIFTY.  Cutting was tricky and I ended up doing neurotic pinning to line up the plaids.  I also had to tame my gorilla fingers to not pull and tug.  The result?  Hands up!  Plaid matching time!!

IMG_4549Not bad, right?  I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I love how the flat-felled seams and bias-cut pockets and flaps looked and I LOVED the cuffs and plackets.

IMG_4545Maybe the man will make more frequent blog appearances now!

i’m making a comeback

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Marriage has made me try new things, like celebrate Valentine’s Day.  No gifts, but I sure would love a Whitman’s sampler of yarn (photo taken during a trip to Asheville, NC last year).


What I’m REALLY here to say is… I just ordered a laptop!  Which means that hopefully, blogging can resume soon.  Just an announcement for those who haven’t given up on me yet (thank you!)

mitts and a new dress

Happy New Year! Even though it was too quiet around this blog, it was for good reason. The month of December found me knitting and sewing furiously, as I needed new mitts and a new dress so that I could do this [on Christmas Eve]…!



These photos were taken by the wonderful Aram of Aram O Photography.  I probably owe you some more detail photos, but obviously taking photos for my BLOG was not exactly what he was aiming for [update: I figured out how to crop some more photos on my tablet].


My dress is the Elisalex from By Hand London and my mitts are Spate by Jane Richmond, in Journey. There was a hat too but I didn’t wear it and I’m not crazy about it. Maybe a later post.


I LOVE this dress pattern and will definitely make the sleeveless version. I actually made a real, live muslin and it was super helpful – I ended up slimming and lengthening the sleeves. Because of the high waist, I cut the same size for the top and bottom (usually I go a size up on the bottom). I ended up taking in the seams at the roundest part of the tulip because it was sort of collapsing on itself anyways. Too much tulip to hold itself up. You can’t tell from these pics but the fabric is actually black polka dot. I used interfacing on the skirt to hold the structure (after seeing this idea from Heather Lou who I SWEAR I wasn’t trying to rip off her [polka dot] dress AGAIN I bought this fabric, then saw her dress, OK for the second time, so maybe it was in my subconscious).


The mitts are a great pattern but I wish I had bought a yarn without alpaca – I used Juniper Moon Herriot and the fluffy alpaca didn’t give the stitch as much structure as it should for this awesome stitch pattern. I also wish I didn’t make them quite so long – in theory long mitts are super cool but in reality it just means they bunch up a lot.


I am really eager to sew and knit more but I have a major blogging problem – after my laptop died a year ago, I had to revert to my eight year old laptop, which apparently lost the ability to go on the internet a few weeks ago. Coincidentally, this occurred after I dropped it. Anyways, I have no way to get photos to the internet anymore (my tablet doesn’t have a USB) which is why I could only use the above photos that were already on the internet. I am bummed and not sure what I will do and when I will blog again. Boo.

taking inventory

One of those nerdy knitting things that we knitters do is take a picture of all our handknit sweaters when we see them all in one place.

IMG_4308This is what happens when you are packing, you don’t want to pack, and you start to realize good lord I have knit a lot of sweaters.  And a lot of other crap too.

Want to know why I was packing?  Because we bought a house!  We moved in this weekend.   And guess what – while I know the location of the box which contains my sewing machine, that’s about as close as I am to sewing right now… I hope it’s not too long…

geometry mitts

Did you know I knit?IMG_4274Apparently I almost forgot – it’s been a while… but I’ve had the idea for these mitts in my head for a couple years now.  In fact, I bought the yarn for them last September in Portland, OR at Happy Knits.

IMG_4271I love geometric patterns but I have no idea where this came from – I think one of those things that just pops! into your head.  I sketched it out on graph paper and test-swatched it several times – I like them overall, but as a functional knit project they’re a little tricky when you have 3-4 yarns going at the same time.

IMG_4262My other complaint is that I don’t think the yarn colors provide enough contrast.  Don’t use neutrals, right?  Yes, I know, but I love neutrals.  However, the gray and beige seem too close in tone – although in bright light it’s not too bad.

IMG_4291These are knit flat and seamed up the side with a hole for the thumb and the yarn is Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.  I had sort of hoped these would be something I could write up and sell a pattern of, but they are a little crazy in the middle there to knit, like I said, and my knits have never drawn as much interest as sewing, so I don’t know if anyone would be interested.  Either way, I think they will get some fall use out of me, but winter might be too cold.

IMG_4296Hopefully I’ll have some sewing soon… I’ve lost my sewing mojo recently and there’s a lot  of [good] stuff going on in Casa Nice lately so I have been a bit distracted…

p.s.  It probably won’t be up much longer, but look whose Belladone is up on the main banner on Kollabora (hang in there, it’s like 4th or 5th on the slide show)!!  I forgot to mention that they had my polymer beads up there recently too, AND on their blog they have posted both my Lakeside pajamas AND my Bombshell.  Kollabora, I sure do love you!