A Few Things That Are Awesome

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In case you were wondering, of course we coordinated our outfits so we'd match. (Not really.)

On my list of things that are awesome, the opportunity to hang out with people I’ve met through this blog, Twitter, Flickr and all the other social media and web platforms that I’m part of is way up on the list. I’ve met Rachel, Kim, Melissa, Caroline, Susan and a whole slew of other folks thanks to the internet, and I’m pretty grateful for that. How did sewing dorks meet other sewing dorks before the internet?

A couple weeks ago, Josh & I drove up to Seattle for the day to meet up with Antoinette, who was in the Pacific Northwest for work. (Read all about her fun weekend meeting up with bloggy friends over here.) We had a lovely dinner at our favorite Seattle restaurant (which is both vegetarian and vegan friendly, by the way) and had a fantastic time chatting like old pals. Of course, being the dorks that we are, we forgot to take pictures until we dropped Antoinette off at her hotel.

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Really, this may be the worst photo that's been taken of me this year. No lipstick, crazy hair, weird posture... Ugh.

Also, awesome is my authentic Yummy Goods Unicorn You=Awesome T-shirt. I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for Melissa to start offering these online–who doesn’t need a little Unicorn love in their life? I screwed up and ordered a size too big, but I love it nevertheless. The best part is watching people read the shirt and then kind of grin. Unicorn makes people happy. What made me happiest, though, was the sweet way Melissa packaged my order. Continue reading »

This & That: Catching Up

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by… This poor blog has been horribly neglected, and it kind of stinks, because we had so many folks we loved hearing from via Sewer-Sewist. I can’t promise that Josh and I will blog here every week–because, frankly, we don’t always have anything to say about sewing, crafting, printmaking or the other creative stuff you come here for–but we’ll make more of an effort when there’s something we’d like to share.

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Fremont Bridge

This spring, along with my friend Bryan, I took a wonderful digital photography class through PNCA’s continuing education program. (Shameless self-promotion alert: I’m still teaching there–check out all their wonderful, high-quality courses for the community over here.) I loved, loved, loved it–I did photography a million years ago back when I was in high school and it was one of my favorite things. (Okay, it wasn’t really a million years ago, but it was the early- to mid-nineties, before google and all that other snazzy stuff.) It’s remarkable how much I’d forgotten, but I have to say, I much prefer the digital darkroom to the “real” one I learned when I was a kid. Of course, now I’m jonesing for a fancy-schmancy DSLR. (Hey, Nikon! I’d be happy to “review” the D5000! And while we’re at it… Hey, Beats by Dre/some other headphone company! I’d also love to “review” some noise-reducing earbuds! [I obviously screwed up and never hopped on the blogger free stuff gravy train of the mid-2000s. Damn integrity...])

Some of my favorites that I took during the class are over here, if you care to peruse them…

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This photo of my mom is one of my favorites I've ever taken. She looks pretty hot in that hat, right?

Continue reading »

All in the Family

In our family everyone sews.

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So, Saoirse doesn’t actually sew, but she does love hopping up on the chair in front of the sewing machine. But my mom does sew.

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A couple of Mondays ago, my mom came over and hung and we each made a quick project–the Amy Butler Swing Bag. Oddly, my mom has never ever made a handbag. She had it in her head that it was really hard–and I think they’re one of the easiest things to make. She was kind of driving me crazy over the last year talking about how she was going to make a bag, but not actually doing–which resulted in lots of absurd conversations, for sure. So, we went over to Bolt and picked out fabric for each of us and she brought her machine over and we got to work.

Like I told my mom it would be, it basically took no time at all to sew up our bags–hers in a cool brown and orange Amy Butler print with a houndstooth lining, mine in an Anna Maria Horner print in aqua and blue with a complimentary lining. Here are a few photos of what we were up to (in reverse order, because my slideshow maker is not being cooperative at the moment).

It also seems like my making a quilt started an all in the family trend as well, because my mom finally pieced together the quilt kit that she’d ordered from Pink Chalk Fabrics “some time ago.” She brought it over that same day to show it off and get me to help her pick out her backing fabric (because, apparently, since I’m the only person in our family who has ever made a quilt, I’m now the resident quilting expert). Check out how gorgeous this is.

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She chose a very cool Joel Dewberry print for the back, by the way. At some point, I’m going to help her sandwich and quilt the thing. (Again, how funny is it that I’m now the “expert” on quilting around here? I literally have no idea what I’m doing.)

My point with sharing this random snapshot of an afternoon is to remind y’all about how sewing actually can be a “community” thing. For knitters, crocheters and needle-workers, getting together to work on projects and share knowledge is second nature, but–despite the history of quilting bees and families sewing an entire school year’s wardrobe together back in the day–sewers don’t really do that a whole lot. It was great to get the chance to share so new tricks I’d figured out with my mom, pick out fabrics and just talk sewing. It’s a great change from the normal solitary nature of sewing as a craft.

Modern sewing machines are pretty darn portable, and fabric isn’t that difficult to transport at all. Scheduling time to meet up with folks at your favorite fabric shop isn’t that hard either–I mean, you’re going to be going there anyway. One of the things I love about watching basketball (yes, it all circles back to basketball for me), is the communal nature of it, the shared experience. Sewing can have that same effect–try it sometime.


Wanted: Dead or Alive (Size 7)

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I need these Chuck Taylors. Need. Them. Unfortunately, the Converse website only has them in a size 12.5! And I wear a 7. This is a freaking tragedy. Because they’re meant to be my shoes. They’re red. They’re patchwork. They’re Chucks. They’re perfect. I’ve looked high and low online and can’t find them. So, if you see them, please, please, puh-lease let me know and send me a link. Otherwise, enjoy the gorgeous canvas shoe eye-candy.



Ten Things I Heart Right Now (And a Few I Don’t)

Ten Things I’m Really Loving Right Now…

1.) While I was in Pittsburgh, Josh was able to put heavy-duty grommets (Or are they eyelets? I never know the difference.) in the awesome Trail Blazers-ified Gadsden flag he made me and hung it in our entryway, which is looks totally amazing. Yeah, visiting our house is probably a strange experience for newbies.

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2.) When Josh picked me up from the airport, after I’d been in Pittsburgh for over a week, he met me with my favorite burrito from Laughing Planet (tempeh, pinto beans, rice, veggies, salsa verde). Some gals get flowers, I get burritos. Reason #817 I love my husband–he knows how happy a burrito would make me (I have lots of food weirdnesses, so Pittsburgh was tough on me with regard to eating). Continue reading »

More Buttony Goodness

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Some of the original projects from "Button it Up." I got to pick a necklace to wear during the event--I sort of felt like Angelina Jolie borrowing fancy jewelry for the People's Choice Awards.

No, it hasn’t gotten to be all buttons, all the time here, but Josh and I have both been sick with various bugs–again–so we still haven’t had much of a chance to do much in the way of projects or photograph a few (now) oldies for Sewer-Sewist. I’ve also not had a chance to take pictures of my progress on my colossal project for my letterpress class through PNCA’s Continuing Education program, but I’m going to go to some printing tomorrow, so hopefully, I’ll have an update for you soon! (Hint: My big project is looking like it’s going to be bad-ass.) Anyway… I just had to share some of the pictures from last night’s awesome event in support of Susan Beal’s new book, Button it Up. (Yeah, I’ve mentioned it once or twice.)

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Three of my button hairclip creations. I love these. They also reminded me that I need to accessorize more often.

Susan’s event was at the Best Bookstore in the World (aka Powell’s Books here in Portland) and was loads of fun. Not only did we get to hear all about buttons and check out the original projects from the book, Susan brought along the supplies for a really marvelous little project–hairclips embellished with buttons. It was so fun getting together with folks and working on this simple project. I honestly think I could have made button clips all night–if I’d had my way, they probably would have had to kick me out of Powell’s, clutching the tube of Dazzle Tack in one hand, vintage buttons in the other.

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I love the clip on the right--Michelle snagged those buttons out of the pile and said, "These so look like you." And she was right. I wore this clip around today.

It was also lovely getting to catch up with some cool folks from around our area–and it reminded me how fortunate we are to live in a community that really fosters such creativity. In addition to Susan, I got to chat with the undeniable Queen of Craftiness Diane, Knitter Extraordinaire Lee (who also took the crown for “Best Dressed”–check it out), Baking Phenom Caitlin and my fellow member of the Blazers Craft Posse (yeah, we definitely need T-shirts), Michelle. (Y’all know about my love of assigning random nicknames to people, right?)

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Three different sets of fingers digging into a rainbow of buttons.

Oh, and Caitlin and I “styled” this part of the display.

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It's sort of hard to believe all these beautiful pieces are made with something as simple as buttons. It kind of blows my mind, even though I've seen a number of the items before.

I totally think that we knocked it out of the park–we could totally get jobs doing window displays at Anthropologie based on our skills here.

It was loads of fun, and reminded me of the importance of taking a bit of time to do something simple, like make a little hairclip for yourself. I felt a nice bit of creative revitalization, and I think everyone else did as well.

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Don't you just want to plunge your fingers into all those buttons and play with them?

You can check out all of my pictures from the event over on this Flickr photoset.

Also, there’s still an opportunity to come do some buttony crafting with Susan and pick up a signed copy of her book. The Best Fabric Shop Ever (aka Bolt in Portland’s awesome Concordia neighbor, right on Alberta Street) is hosting a book event where you can also make a bit of buttony goodness to take home next weekend. As a double-bonus, everyone who buys the book at the event at Bolt will get their own sampler bag of vintage buttons to take home–so you can get started with your own button projects right away. Get the details here and here. As a triple-bonus, Bolt is a unique independent sewing shop, so if you haven’t been there before, you’re in for a real treat.


About that T-shirt…

So, thanks to a very brief mention by Channing Frye on his weekly show on a local Portland radio station (listen here–it’s in the first 40 seconds or so), we’ve been getting a fair amount of hits from people googling “Channing for Mayor T-shirt.” Which is super-cool. Welcome to Sewer-Sewist, a rather strange place, you’ve probably noticed.

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Front of the quasi-famous "Channing for Mayor" shirt.

Anyway, Sarah made the shirts as a silly project for herself and a few friends, and doesn’t have any more. But, we still have the screen, so there is the possibility of printing some more. However, there’s a fair amount of time and labor involved, so if you’ve landed here looking for where you can find your very own Channing for Mayor shirt, please leave a comment here (if you’ve never commented before, your comment will be held for moderation) or drop Sarah a line at sewersewist [at] gmail [dot] com, with a subject line that will be kind of obvious. If there are enough folks who want one, then we’ll do a small run–probably in the red and blue shown in this photo and this photo–and put them up on Big Cartel. We’re not looking to profit from the shirts or anything (in fact, we’re not a big fan of folks looking to make money off of other people’s image–if that makes sense), but but shirts + ink + labor do add up.

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Back of shirt - "Keepin' Portland Weird."

Thanks, all, for your interest in keepin’ Portland weird.

~Sarah & Josh

Completely Off Topic

If you’re weary of my Trail Blazers posts, you’re welcome to stop reading right now–you won’t hurt my feelings, I swear. But as you know, I’ve documented extensively here on this web site about my whole Channing Frye thing. So figure that I owe it to y’all to keep you up-to-date on any breaking news. If you’ve been paying attention here you know that he’s my favorite Blazer not named Brandon Roy, that I was worried that my “Buffet of Goodness” screenprints that I made for Susan and I might be cursed, and that I think it would be awesome if he were Mayor of Portland.

And I think I’ve shared the back-story here before, but here’s a recap. Back in summer 2007, it was pretty obvious that the Trail Blazers weren’t going to re-sign my then-favorite Blazer, Ime Udoka (local guy). They also shipped off two other local guys to New York as part of a deal to get rid the nightmare that was Zach Randolph. I was pretty tweaked out that I didn’t have anyone to root for–I love the star players, but I’ve had a lifelong habit of rooting for some player who is not a star that I really like (who will then, in turn, get traded sooner rather than later). It’s not intentional, it just sort of happens organically. Anyway… In that aforementioned deal, Channing Frye came to Portland. I was listening to the radio (I’m old school that way) when he did one of his first interviews where he was being very funny, slightly weird and actually mentioned a couple of neighborhoods he wanted to check out in Portland. Like actually in the city. Not the ‘burbs. I decided this guy had potential to be kind of cool. A few days later (my memory for the timetable here is foggy), we saw him wandering around the Pearl District (he’s very tall, so kind of hard to miss), staring up at the new buildings over on Lovejoy. I thought it was really cool that he wasn’t full of crap about being excited to check out the city, and wanting to live actually in Portland–a rarity for any Trail Blazer. I like to claim that I was the first Channing Frye fan in Portland (probably inaccurate, but whatever). Continue reading »

Snowed In

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Notice that the dog has kicked off one of her booties? She really regretted that once she realized how cold the ground was.

Ugh. It’s been frigid here in Portland, and we’ve even had a dusting of snow–a rare sight, for sure. So we’ve been stuck in the house (with the notable exceptions of Josh going to work for a few hours each day and venturing out to the Blazers vs. Kings game last night). You’d think that would help with the final push to get all of our holiday gifts finished and shipped. Yeah, you’d think. As of Sunday, this was the state of all of our gifts that needed to be made.

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The pile looks pretty daunting, eh?

We sent Sunday slogging through a couple of gifts for folks–the pieced bag (for Josh’s grandma) from Anna Maria Horner’s new book and a fancy hostess apron for Josh’s stepmother (also from Anna Maria’s book). Josh’s other grandmother is going to be getting an Amy Butler Downtown Purse, which she specifically mentioned when she didn’t get one last year (she saw Josh’s stepmother‘s last year), and it’s almost done, just needs the lining sewn attached to the bag body.

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Half of the pieced bag--this is looking dangerously close to quilting...

We’re on the home stretch, but totally blew our December 16 deadline. (Snow was a factor, but not the factor.) This year, we’re not attempting any insanity like last, in which we tried to make everything for everyone. That was just too stressful and exhausting. And, frankly, not everyone likes a homemade gift (weird, huh?).

In other–completely random–news, Sarah was shopping for the fabric for the pieced bag at Fabric Depot last week and was innocently minding her own business when she crashed smack into this pillar with her cart.

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At least they had the decency to paint it red.

Yes, it’s a concrete pillar, the same height as the bolts of fabric, in the middle of the aisle. Hands down, The Despot has one of the most inhospitable shopping environments ever. What, they’re booby-trapping the store now?

And, finally, this is Josh’s secret holiday project. He calls it, “A Very Zombie Christmas.” Can’t say much else about it…

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This guy was left over from our garage sale from hell.

Happy holidays, everyone. And please reassure us that we’re not the only ones who have totally botched up the gifting and decorating this year…

~S & J

More Blazers Craftiness

Obviously, I’m in need of a cell phone with a better camera, because I’ve spotted some awesome Trail Blazers craftiness at the last three games and my pictures suck, suck, suck. First, on Monday versus the Sacramento Kings, Susan and I were behind this guy on our way to the Fan Shop:

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This dude cut strips of black, red and white felt and then sewed them to a patch to create a wig fit for a true Blazermaniac.

Next, the lady sits in the row in front of us, and sewed a great blouse out of Trail Blazers branded fabric (they sell it at The Despot) that she wears as a jacket to the games. Her collar points are a work of art, and I wish this picture was better so that you could see them in all their perfectly pointy glory.

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This woman is a hardcore fan. Not only does she wear this awesome home sewn Blazers blouse, she simultaneously listens to the to games on the radio and keeps a stat sheet while watching the games. Impressive. She's kind of my personal hero now.

And finally… Josh and I got to sit in a suite in the game versus the Miami Heat because I was on the 2008 Fan Advisory Board and it was our last get-together. (This was a nice upgrade from our upper bowl seats.) The wife of one of the Board members made the most amazing sign ever. Ever. Check it out.

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For those of you not in the know, "G.O." stands for Greg Oden, the team's 7 foot center who was out last year (his rookie season) due to knee surgery.

The sign was created by Michelle, who is another Crafty Blazers Nut. She made this sign using glitter and installed a battery pack (battery pack!!!) to illuminate the basketball. The glitter letters pulled the whole thing together. Needless to say, her sign is unchallenged in its awesome. However, the geniuses who operate the fan cam thing that put people’s signs on the giant jumbo-tron thing obviously didn’t understand this and failed to feature her sign. Personally, I think this is a travesty of monumental proportions. My theory is that they didn’t want all the other sign makers to feel bad because their signs didn’t involve battery packs. It’s just a theory, though.


Bingo, Bango, Bongo!

That post title doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s a quote from the great Bill Schonely, the best play-by-play announcer of all time. When someone would do something really awesome, The Schonz would randomly shout, “Bingo, Bango, Bongo!” There were other things, too. Like, “Rip City!” or “Ocean to Ocean…” or “Lickety Brindle up the Middle.” I listened to him call Portland Trail Blazers games on the radio my whole life, and no on will ever be as awesome as The Schonz. Seriously, Josh and I saw him walking down the street last year and I literally started hyperventilating. He’s that rad of dude.

Anyway, this post is about a T-shirt I screen printed and embroidered, but you’re going to have to humor me a bit while I digress…

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I'm not a crazed fan! Really. I'm not. I swear.

It’s been well established that I’m a crazy fan of Portland Trail Blazers basketball. And keep in mind, Trail Blazers fans are a special breed of crazy in general, so that’s saying something. This season, we are actually season ticket holders. We have seats waaaaaay up in section 322 to each and every game this year. This is going to sound cheesy, but this is actually a life-long dream of mine. When I was a kid it was nearly impossible to get tickets. When Josh and I moved back to Portland, no one was going to the games, because of the whole Jail Blazers thing, and we were able to score all kinds of free or deeply discounted tickets (great seats, too). So we went a lot. (An aside: for the longest time, I thought that if I was at the game, the Trail Blazers couldn’t lose–it wasn’t until Portland played the stupid Clippers that season that I attended a Blazers’ loss.) That year, 2006-07, was Brandon Roy‘s Rookie season–he eventually become Rookie of the Year, Ime Udoka made the team (he’s a Portlander) and Nate McMillan was coaching. The vibe was changing, and fans kind of knew that it was Zach Randolph‘s last season before he was traded. Portlanders knew the team was changing–and something good was going to happen. Then Portland won the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

It was amazing.

Blazermania was back.

Continue reading »

Wear a Dress Week & Another Amy Butler Lotus Dress

I certainly love the Amy Butler Lotus dress. So much, in fact, that I’d planned on wearing this version in celebration of International Wear a Dress Day/Week.

Except, when I got dressed this morning, I decided that I really wanted needed to wear these shoes.

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Which don’t really go with my pink dress. At all. If I didn’t happen to have a meeting today and therefore be required to present an illusion of professionalism, I would have just worn the aqua shoes and pink dress and said “to hell with it.”

So, I pulled out my black stretch twill version (and I’ve got to reiterate my point in my earlier post about this dress–this one works so much better in a stretch woven, since it’s meant to be quite fitted) of the Amy Butler Lotus Tunic/Dress, because I know you can wear aqua shoes with a plain black dress. And it gave me an excuse to show it off to you guys.

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I also know that a denim jacket (my fave–I watched it at the Sundance Catalog Shop forever until it went on clearance) goes with everything–including both aqua shoes and a plain black dress. So I think I did okay in my celebration of International Wear a Dress Day/Week… Right?

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(My apologies to Antoinette for not wearing the dress I said I was going to wear.)


Party On

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This weekend I went to a party for an old friend of mine (like, we went to preschool together, old friend) in celebration her graduation from medical school. I actually got to see a bunch of people that I hadn’t seen in ages—including a friend of my who (thanks to Facebook) I recently found out lives down the street from me, a gal that I thought I didn’t like but who actually seems pretty cool (funny how we get so much less judgmental as we, er, “mature”), my favorite high school teacher (English) and the German teacher I was terrified of (he’d yell horrible things at us in German and whacked our desks with a yardstick—I wish I were exaggerating). I have to admit, there’s something very weird about drinking beer in front of your teachers—even if they haven’t been your teachers since 1995, and even if it’s high-quality microbrew. Just sayin’.

Like any relatively normal person would be, I was a bit stressed out about seeing everyone (it’s been awhile, people are busy with lives, reside all over the place, plus the smallish town I grew up in is a long 30 miles from Portland) and of course I wanted to make sure I wore something that seemed marginally cool, without looking like I was trying too hard. None of us went to our high school reunion that was a couple years ago, so this almost felt like a very mini reunion-esque function. I’m sure you understand the need to appropriately wardrobe myself.

Josh is still screen printing like a madman, and is constantly on the lookout for clearance T-shirts (yes, we could make T-shirts, but that’s about the most boring sewing project ever) to continue the printing adventure. He designed and printed me an OFFICIAL “Moon Family Band All-Star Show” T-shirt that has quickly become just about my favorite thing I own. (The Moon Family Band is, sadly, not a real band. But it should be.) He did some cool (and I’m not certain intentional) blending of inks, so there’s a snazzy iridescent effect as well.

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I combined this one-of-a-kind T-shirt with my first creation from The Alabama Stitch Book, which is a fairly new book that’s seeking to revitalize the hand stitching traditions of the southern U.S. (This book is going to get it’s separate entry—I promise.)

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I didn’t use the traditional hand stitched reverse appliqué method that the author prescribes, but I think I made a pretty nice approximation of the technique using the trusty Kenmore. (Again, I promise that I’ll cover my modified reverse appliqué technique in a near future post.) The purple knit fabric is a remnant that came for free in an order from Fabric Mart (the same order where I got the freebie wool for my mom’s jacket). the black knit backing is recycled from the sleeves of one of Josh’s T-shirts that he got when he used to work for a performing arts organization. I used some slightly-too-shiny (it’s probably meant for dance costumes) fold-over elastic for the waistband. Oh, and the pattern and leaf stencil are both from the book. I think the outfit achieved the balance I was looking for. I call it “Crafty Cool.”

Now, I didn’t tell Josh that I made the skirt so that I’d have something to wear to this shindig that went with the T-shirt he’d made me—’cause I had to wear the Moon Family Band T-shirt, just had to. He probably thinks I’m completely certifiable now. Wait ’til I tell him that this was our class song—yes, they played it as our recessional at graduation—and we had no clue whatsoever what it was really all about. Then he’s going to really wonder what he got himself into all those years ago. But, the shirt was a great conversation starter.

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The polka dot Vans really pull it all together, don’t they? Plus, Vans are the “Sewist’s Shoes,” if you recall.

I ended up having a great time at the get together and stayed out until an unheard-of 11:30 p.m.! (We’re wild here at Casa de Sewer-Sewist.) The oh-so-late night did result in my being way too tired and missing both Diane’s CRAFT release get-together and the Rose Cup Races, though. Too bad, both were going to be a lot of fun.

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This may come as a shock to everyone, but I actually finished something for once.

It’s been ages, and it’s not for lack of trying. I have had this pinstriped denim that I got at Bolt quite awhile ago (this fall, maybe?), but had grown way too attached to, and thus was reluctant to cut. It’s the same fabric that I used for the elbow patches of my “Not Knitted Sweater.” So, sort of on a whim, I decided to just go for it and make another pair of the Hot Patterns Jeanious Jeans, this time with the intention of not having them rip apart on the first wearing.

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So I wore these to work all day on Monday (which explains why I’m so rumbled in all these pictures) and nothing dramatic happened.

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To be completely honest, I was sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop on these. I figured that it would be inevitable that something would go wrong. I’d had another interesting zipper adventure with these, this time because I reused (Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! and all that) the zipper from my ill-fated first pair of Jeanious Jeans and accidentally yanked the zipper pull right off the zipper and had to have Josh bust oust out the pliers to make the zipper work again. (Of course, this was immediately after I’d had a painless fly construction and was talking all kinds of smack to Josh about why I couldn’t figure out why people thought fly zipper closures were so difficult. I kinda deserved this.) So, making a long story longer, I sort of assumed that the zipper would break. Of course, this didn’t stop me from wearing these jeans. It also didn’t stop me from being completely neurotic all day long, slightly obsessively checking to make sure that there wasn’t a huge gaping hole in the butt of my pants all day, or that I hadn’t had a terminal zipper malfunction.

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Anyway, the zipper held (it was one of those great metal YKK zippers that are actually meant for jeans) and I think these are pretty nice.

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Honestly, I’m more of a skirts and dresses for work gal, and a jeans-jeans person on the weekend. But, I really need more pants for work in the yucky weather during the winter. Sometimes the wet weather really doesn’t allow for the flippy girly-girl stuff I love to wear.

I will certainly make these again, as it’s a really nice, well-drafted pattern and a flattering style that works well for me and doesn’t make my legs look too short (I have this issue with pants–they seem to accentuate my annoyingly short legs sometimes). Next time, I’ll take in the front mid-section above the hip as well as the waist a bit, in order to get the fit that I like.

I think these would be fabulous in a linen, and I have some navy linen that my mom got me last summer that may be just right for the job. I had a pair of linen jeans in college that I practically lived in during miserable D.C. summers, so I’d love to recreate those.

But the real story here is the shoes that I’m wearing in these pictures.

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(I just love these and wanted an excuse to show them off. They have a painted bow on them–how awesome is that?!)


P.S. Some housekeeping and other notes…

A couple of people have tagged us for “7 Random Things” and a “Make My Day Award.” Thank you! How thoughtful! And we promise we’ll pass it along ASAP–things have been wild around here lately, and we’ve just not been as dutiful in our blogging duties as we could/should be…

Also, if you’re a total technology geek (I am!), I’ve discovered a great web browser and I’m spreading the word. It’s Flock, and it’s based on Firefox, but has RSS feeds (to manage all the blogs you read), Flickr (to manage all your photos and those of your contacts), YouTube (self-explanatory), web email and Facebook (which I’ve recently begun to love) all integrated as one into the sidebar. Hard to explain, but it’s great if you have lots of blogs you read and sites like Facebook and Flickr that you visit often to just have them sitting right there while you’re doing your thing online. Anyway, just thought that some of you may be interested if you hadn’t heard about it. (Is this a product endorsement? Should I be getting a kickback of some kind? Hmmmm….)

Big Printin’

Sarah made me a lovely Burda raglan sleeve knit T-shirt (8827) for the Christmas Day Blazers vs. Super Sonics game, where the crowd was encouraged to wear red. I didn’t have anything red to wear, so she whipped this one up for me (it literally took her like an hour). Let me say that while it is really comfortable, how often does someone need a plain bright red shirt? If you are me, not often. I must admit that I love t-shirts with things printed on them. I am not much for the logo wear, that acts has expensive advertising for a product (unless that product is a baseball team). Sarah and I have spent some time talking about doing some printing on fabric and even bought some fabric paint and a lotus root to do some abstract printing. However, the lotus root did not dry very well in this climate and rotted away—kind of gross actually.

After much deliberation, we decided to go for it and buy a screen printing starter kit. Now there are a lot of different ways to do screen printing and a lot of ideas of how to do it on the cheap, but we decided to go for the basic Speedball Fabric Printing Kit. If you decide to give this a try (and already I am going to spill the beans and say that it is great fun) a little comparison shopping is a must. The same kit varied in price by 20 bucks (with Michael’s Craft being at the high end). We ended up buying ours at a local independent art supply store, though with even more searching on the internet we probably could have saved a little more money. While the kit isn’t the greatest value in the world in a per ounce basis of the chemicals and ink, it was the cheapest way to get started with out knowing if we were going to like it or do it again. The biggest advantage with buying the kit is the INSTRUCTIONS. I should say that I am terrible at following directions (unless the Sewist tells me something to do), the few time in our lives that we have bought Ikea furniture, Sarah has to interpret things and we have to build the things together (the first time this happened, we were a bit frustrated with each other, but after many years we have settled into a nice routine on these matters). Even my dumb ass was able to print properly the first time around.

The image that I choose to print was a baseball player (surprise, surprise I know). The Library of Congress is a great resource for old images (among many other things) and I found this great baseball card in the American Memory Collection. I have Adobe Creative Suite on this computer because I use InDesign a lot for work and with that have Photoshop and Illustrator for work. After much tinkering with the image I was able to come up with a monotone black and white line drawing (later I found the live trace function in Illustrator which made this go really quickly, yeah I don’t know much about these programs).

We set up our printing station in the garage on an old table.

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Something everyone should know about this is it isn’t a tidy process (oh my god, if we had white carpet and I tried this on the imaginary white carpet you would be reading my obituary this week) and you need a sink to wash all of the inks and chemicals and either a table that you can destroy (or “customize) or at least something you can cover the table with.

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The first print we did was the baseball print and, amazingly enough, it worked.

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A couple of days later we printed AU Eagles t-shirts to celebrate the old alma mater’s first round lost in the NCAA tournament. (These shirts are hilarious. We’ll make sure to post pictures of them, but Sarah’s been sick and doesn’t want her picture taken with a big red nose.) We did these shirts later in the evening and I didn’t bother to wash the screen out well enough. Big mistake. You always have to clean the screen promptly, I have had nothing but trouble since.

This has turned into a great new part of the sewing hobby. Even the Sewist has gotten behind making prints. She wants to screenprint herself a “SuperTrout” T-shirt to wear to a Blazers game as part of her penance for saying really mean things about Travis Outlaw early this year (this is a long story that would only be entertaining to Blazers fans, so I won’t torture you with that).


Sewing Emergency

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Have your sewing troubles ever gotten this bad?

From the The New Zealand Herald:

A woman in a rush to get to a garden party called 111 to ask for help with her sewing.

The woman, who has not been identified, called police in Rotorua yesterday pleading for help to thread her needle.

Now our friend Bryan, who recently deserted us for the greener pastures of Auckland, New Zealand, tells us that dialing 1-1-1 is like dialing 9-1-1 here in the States.

But the best part is the police response to her panicked call:

No one was sent as the local police lacked the necessary skill, the spokesman said.

So are we to assume that if someone had known how to sew they would have responded? Perhaps the Sewing Police? What if they needed to call for backup? Like for a bound buttonhole or something? One can only imagine!

Well, aside from when Josh “Incredible Hulked” a shirt, we can’t say it’s ever gotten quite that bad here at Sewer-Sewist, but we’ve been close.

How ’bout you? Ever had a doozy of a sewing emergency?

~Sarah & Josh

Spring Training

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As you may know, I love baseball and I especially love old school baseball uniforms and hats (oh yeah and jackets and sweaters and stir-ups, oh my). While I am happy for spring training to have started, I do feel a little distant from my favorite game. Another bad year for my Reds is definitely on the books, and goddamn, I am sick of steroids. With my newfound love of the Blazers, I don’t need baseball to signal the new year. After working diligently to make Sarah’s idea hats realties I decided to tackle making myself a baseball cap.

Using the basic set of skills acquired from the Idea Hat Recipe book and the remains of an old hat that I ripped apart for pattern pieces, I set out to make myself a hat in the style of the early 20th century baseball. My first attempt was a lovely red wool number that unfortunately looked more like a bicycle cap than a baseball cap, with its bill pointing straight down. There was a really great look to the cap, unfortunately, trying to fix the hat and make the bill more symmetrical, I totally cheesed it up and had to ditch it. This sucked for a number of reasons, it had a great look to it and had already been to its first Blazer game, you know one of those “the path to hell is paved with good intentions” kind of deal. (Note: Sarah is still pissed at me for wrecking this one—it looked really good.)

This first example is what I am now calling “The City” hat (the “P” on the front for, you guessed it, Portland). Instead of doing the mathematics (err, liberal arts major that I was) I decided to guess and added an inch of length to the pattern pieces left over from the dearly departed hat from the last paragraph. Since I was guessing the hat turned out to be an enormous size. To get it to fit I added an elastic band which gave “The City” a cool look with a “baggy” style cap with a really 19th century bill. It took me a couple of days, but I really have grown to love the damn thing.

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Being that I really wanted to make an authentic cap I sat down at the kitchen table Saturday with the French curve, a piece of scrap paper and my thinking cap, in the guise of my previous hat. I took the circumference of my head, divided it by six (the number of panels) and added a seam allowance. I used the French curve to make the triangular shaped panels. After sewing the body of the hat together I tried it on and walked dorkily around the house with a nicely fitted unfinished hat. All baseball hats have vents, in the last hats I used the eyelet function on the sewing machine to make them in, with this hat we used Sarah’s lovely new “Crop-a-Dile” to add metal eyelets, which were sweet. I added the bill and used satin ribbon to make the band. After all the math, sizing and thinking, it was still too big, which meant a piece of elastic sewn into the back two panels to pull it tight. I wore this around Sunday and have decided to re-make the headband out of cotton, satin feels nice for a while but is too weak and just basically doesn’t work.

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I probably should mention that the wool I used for these hats was from the scrap bin at the Pendleton outlet in Washougal (we rushed up there one Sunday afternoon to get there before they closed—how dorky is that?), which totaled $4 for two hats that are wearable and two that are now in the trash pile. To make the bill, instead of using cardboard or plastic like modern hats, I used a piece of buckram and fusible fleece which makes a bill that is shape-able and works really well for the short brimmed style. If I were to make a more modern (like say the 1940s) hat, I would use a harder material because it allows for the hat to pull tighter on your head. I will probably be making a lot of hats for the next couple of days, (indeed there is a half finished “Idea Hat” for Sarah sitting on the table).

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Sarah and I went down to Civic Stadium (actual name PGE Park—Sarah calls it Civic Stadium because that’s what it was called when she was growing up here in Oregon) to take some pictures.

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We missed the big college baseball games from the weekend, but take a look at the Oregon State Beavers’ new uniforms. A nice retro style, with the contrasting colored facing which the Sewist has informed me is going to be really cool this year (she actually follows these trends). I just want the socks!

I am trying to decide what to do with a beautiful piece of cream-colored wool flannel, either an old style baseball jersey or a hat like the Babe’s.

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Any ideas?

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Sewing is an attitude.

It’s pretty bad when I’ve written about a project when it’s in progress, but totally forget to show y’all the finished garment—oops! I guess my foray into (Simplicity’s) Project Runway (patterns) wasn’t that memorable. Anyway, I think the photos were, though.

2256403835 a7921dfcfa Sewing is an attitude.

So, I think this sign is hilarious. I keep replacing the “Safety is an Attitude” statement on the sign with “Sewing is an Attitude: Think Before You Sew” in my head every time I look at these pictures. Advice I could certainly use sometimes.

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I actually kind of like this top, although I think it’s because of the fabric and not because of the design at all. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Simplicity just repacked this knit Built by Wendy Top into a woven pattern and called it a day.

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Having made both, the fitting weirdness in both—such as extremely broad shoulders makes me think I’m probably pretty correct. I always make shoulders a bit smaller and go down a size or two in Simplicity (since they make patterns with such an insane amount of ease), but this is a bit ridiculous.

I did follow a tip that was in the latest issue of Threads for this pattern: I cut the sleeves on the bias and I’m so glad I did. These would have been waaaaay too puffy if I hadn’t. Now they’re nice and drapey. I keep toying with the idea that I’ll remove the elastic and just have a normal sleeve, since I sort of forgot that I don’t like sleeves with elastic casings. We’ll see if I get up the motivation.

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Anyway, I’m just not really a Simplicity gal anymore, I don’t think. (Aside from my favorite Built by Wendy dress and the occasional retro style, of course.) This Burda pattern is looking much more like what I wanted, but with a decidedly more fitted, grown up look.

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(Ahhhh! That doesn’t mean I’m actually a grown up, does it? The horror!)


No Pain, No Gain?

from sarah the sewist 

I spent a lot of this weekend working on Amy Butler’s lovely new pattern, the Sophia Bag. However, this pattern has officially kicked my ass. Or at least my fingers.

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Yep, that’s my index finger—one of the many victims of this little project. As of this evening, I have had to stop bleeding on my fingers three times, and suffered a couple of bruised finger tips. I never knew that you finger tips could actually bruise! I believe about half of our pins are now toast as well.

Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself. No, I’m not apologizing for feeling sorry for myself.

This bag is shaping up to be a pretty cool one, despite all of the drama.

For something a bit different (okay, maybe a lot different), I’m using an Alexander Henry home dec weight fabric called “Tattoo Too.” It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s got lots of funky stylized “tattoos” all over…

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I love the slightly edgy look of this fabric constrasting with the very girly, old-fashion shape and lines of this bag. It’s fun and a little unexpected.

Here’s a close up of one of the tattoos—the only thing that would make this better is if it said “Mom” in the heart instead of “Amor:”

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Just like Amy’s High Street Messenger Bag (several of which I made this fall), there are a lot of pieces to this one—but, luckily, I’ve made enough of these bags to save my sanity and label, label, label each piece (ask my how I learned this lesson).

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I also had an adventure with the piping, somehow buying way too thick of cording to make the piping—I know I bought the quarter-inch stuff like was called for, but I think my stuff was a lot more dense that most cording, so I zipped back over to Fabric Depot before they closed last night and bought three yards of 3/32 cording instead. (I’m a big spender—my total came to 62 cents. This may be some sort of fabric store buying record.)

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So far, I’ve made a few changes, including the piping size: after staying up until 2:00 a.m. last night wrestling with the bottom panel with all of its piping and interfacing, etc, and then getting up wrestling with it some more, I just decided to omit the bottom panel’s piping. (Sidebar: I really need to investigate my options for creating a sturdy bag without so much thickness. There’s got to be a way.) Oh, and I added feet to the bottom.

I had hoped to finish this up this evening, but honestly, my hands and fingers ache. And the trusty Kenmore really needs a break. It was starting to get pretty aggravated with my abuse. It’s been so good to me, so I need to return the favor. After this project’s done, I’m going to give it a good de-linting and clean out as a reward.

Well, off to nurse my wounds.

Rip City Raglan

from sarah the sewist

People who know me, usually know at least this one thing about me—I am a tried and true, dyed-in-the-wool, unwavering Portland Trail Blazers basketball fan. It’s a bit embarrassing, because I think that I’m a fairly interesting person with a variety of things that I do and am interested in, but I have actually had someone (my boss, which makes it even worse) introduce me to someone else like this, “I’d like to introduce you to Sarah. She’s a huge Trail Blazers fan.” No, this didn’t make sense in the context of the conversation. So anyway, I’ve always been a Blazers fan, always will be.

Anyway, Blazers season started this month, and we’ve gone to three games so far. I have some pretty cute Blazers T-shirts, but I’ve noticed one tremendous problem: the terraced style of the seats combined with the seats’ odd, woven upholstery has a tendency to grab onto whatever you’re wearing and pull it upward, my jeans will then of course, slide downward. Not a pretty sight for those unfortunate folks who are seated behind me. Since I have a tendency to leap out of my seat (poor Josh, he’s such a good sport about my Blazermania [that's what it's called here]), this is a situation that desperately needed addressing.

 Rip City RaglanJosh found this fabric to the left at Fabric Depot on Friday (we desperately needed some Stitch Witchery and braved the post-Thanksgiving crowds) and snagged a couple of yards for me (fabric and the Trail Blazers—in my world that’s perfection, true perfection). A few weeks ago, when we were at Portland’s new IKEA store, I picked up some vibrant red cotton to use to make muslins of some Butterick dress patterns I’d purchased recently.

The two had to meet. It was fate.

I whipped up (pretty much literally, this pattern takes basically zero effort) another Built by Wendy/Simplicity 3835 dress/tunic—this time in the shorter mini-dress/tunic length to wear over jeans. But long enough to sufficiently cover my butt when I leap out of my seat. I didn’t make the collar with this one, instead opting for the elasticized neckline in the alternate view (although I kept the back darts for shaping). I also eliminated the zipper, since I don’t used the zips much in two other versions that I’ve made of this dress—the modified neckline is large enough to just pull over my head.

However, I wasn’t done…

 Rip City Raglan I cut out one of the Trail Blazers emblems out of the fabric, backed it with some fusible fleece, and stitched it around with a narrow zig-zag in black. This went onto the bottom left hand of the tunic, like the tags on the players’ jerseys. (Yes, I know I’m a lunatic…please don’t hold it against me!)

 Rip City RaglanFinally, my last bit of embellishment was the addition of small number 7s in black (Blazer colors are red and black) on each arm. Why the 7s? Well, 7 is a very important number for the Trail Blazers. They won their first and only championship in 1977 (a couple of months before I was born—my mom has a complicated theory about how this influenced my becoming a Blazer fan). In 2007, they only had a 5% chance of hitting the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, and they won, resulting in the drafting of Greg Oden (center from Ohio State—Josh, being an Ohioan, was thrilled, as was I). 2007 was also the year that Brandon Roy won Rookie of the Year, which was pretty exciting. Oh, and 7 is also the number that Brandon wears, and he’s probably my favorite player at the moment. Plus that whole lucky number seven thing. (When I made this yesterday for that evening’s game, the Blazers were on a five-game losing streak, so a little luck is probably not the worst thing.)

So, after making this yesterday, I wore it to the game against the Kings. It was an awesome game—and the Blazers broke their losing streak (although it was pretty exciting, and was really close). The length of the shirt did the trick, too.

So, I guess this shirt’s record is 1-0.

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(In case you don’t recognize the location in this picture, that’s me at the Rose Garden before the game.)

A Sewer-Sewist Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2

Part 2 of our Holiday Gift Guide…

Miami Valley Pottery. This next one is a little tricky. Josh grew up with a guy named Nays (pronounced nace) who now runs a small pottery business near Dayton, Ohio. The thing is his website seems to be down and it is hard to get a look at the wonderful work that he does. Nonetheless, we strongly support his desire to bring hand made and wood fired pottery to people at production pottery prices. You can see we used one of his lovely pieces used to model the “Call of the Wild Hat” hat. You can read all about his shop here and get more information here . The pottery that the faux shearling Burda hat we made recently is photographed on is one of Nays’ originals.

St. Josef’s Winery. Neither the Sewer no the Sewist are experts on wine (or oenologist if you prefer), the Josh can tell you with all certainty that Turkish wine doesn’t taste particularly great, but will lead to pretty big drunkenness and a massive hangover. Sarah has much more refined taste and loves Reisling and whatever. We can both agree that St. Josef’s wine from Canby, Oregon is pretty great. Our love for their wine is more than taste; their vineyard sits right behind the home of the Sewist-in-law and the place the Sarah grew up. She can remember going to the Fleischmann’s bakery in Canby as a kid and both of us have enjoyed walking over to the tasting room when visiting the Sewist-in-law. Besides the nostalgia and the pleasantness of their vineyard, the wine is damn fine. Sarah prefers their Reisling and Pinot Gris while Josh likes the L’Esprit (Gewurztraminer) and Syrah. We are both looking forward to tasting their late harvest Pinot Gris desert wine. If you are out Canby way or are looking for a place to visit on the weekend definitely stop by or contact them to order.

Cello by Jan Vogler. Again, we are not experts on classical music (and the things the we are “experts” on, Race and Ethnicity in George Pelecanos’ D.C. Quartet, Beatrice Grimshaw and late 19th century feminism, building public support of bond and levy issues for municipalities are not necessarily the most exciting things to read about) but we both like the music of Jan (pronounced “yawn” but that’s the only thing that’s yawn-inducing) Vogler. The Sewer in the past had a contract to do marketing work with a classical music organization in Santa Fe and worked with Jan and his agent on promoting his appearance. Jan, in addition to being a great cellist, is a hell of a nice guy. Despite his working with a great big music conglomerate, we wanted to include his music in our list; musicians, even when successful, are always working to get heard. We would recommend his album of American composers Barber – Korngold – Bürger. (Just as an aside we are also fans of Portland hip-hop group Lifesavas new album Gutterfly in the car if you want to go in a completely different direction.)

Poppi Swimwear. Just the most rockin’, retro-fabulous, gorgeous swimwear anywhere. Sorry, guys, they only make swimwear for the gals. Poppi is owned by Portlander Pam Levenson, who is a great designer and very nice person. Her swimsuits are beautiful—the way swimwear used to look, and it’s actually flattering. For our Australian readers (you know who you are) who are enjoying summer right now—yes, we’re jealous—she has reasonable shipping to Down Under. Sarah really likes the Skirted Boy Short (who knew a skirted swimsuit could be so cool) combined with any of the Retro Tankini Tops—especially the Wendy top. It’s just so refreshing to see swimwear that’s attractive, flattering and fun.

Powell’s Books. Okay, we know there’s Amazon, but before Amazon was even a twinkle in Jeff Bezos’ eye, there was Mike Powell and Powell’s Books, a regular bricks and mortar store that always seemed to have it all (before Amazon had everything you could ever want book-wise). A gift certificate to this wonderful “City of Books” can be used in person or in their vast online store. The book lover in your life can load up on used sewing books (they’ve got some good ones, too, like the old editions of Readers Digest Guide to Sewing) like they won’t believe. Give it a whirl…

A Sewer-Sewist Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1

 A Sewer Sewist Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1

Despite the continued pressures of “buying stuff” we love the holiday season and love giving gifts (and the Sewer loves to get them—lots of childhood issues, that one). In the spirit of the season, we decided to put together a gift guide to handmade or unique gifts. Some of these are Portland-centric, but they’re certainly a great excuse to visit our fabulous city (aside from the lack of a sales tax and not pumping your own gas)—some of these may seem odd for a sewing blog, but we believe in supporting the unique and creative whenever possible. Besides, we know that (amazing as it may be) not everyone shares the sewing bug.

We’re trying to make most of our gifts, but, undoubtedly, some will come from this list once our sewing energy wears out. The following represent our favorite individuals, small companies or large companies with a unique approach to their business.

Bolt. Obviously we love Bolt here in Portland’s Alberta Arts District/awesome Concordia neighborhood. You guys have heard us sing the praises of this wonderful little fabric shop a time or two, and we’re lucky enough to have this shop right here within walking distance of our house. What better gift for your favorite Portland-based sewer or sewist (or even a quilter) than a gift certificate to this lovely shop? If you want something more personal than a gift certificate, how about a couple of yards of fabric from her selection of interesting wool blends or silk, or some funky sweater knits, or maybe even an interesting embroidery pattern for someone looking to learn a different type of stitching. Sadly for those of you outside of the Portland area, Bolt is a bricks and mortar operation. (While you’re at it, check out some of Alberta Streets other interesting, independently-owned shops—you’ll be sure to find something unique, handmade and thoughtful.)

Ebbets Field Flannels. Sometimes you just want to buy something that you could probably replicate. As you can tell the Sewer loves (loves) vintage athletic wear. Mitchell and Ness (now owned by Reebok, which is owned by Adidas) is probably the name that is most associated with the “throwback” look, but if you are looking for old baseball stuff Ebbets Field Flannels is the place to go. Located in sunny (har!) Seattle, their flannels are made in the U.S. and Canada of original fabric, construction and craftsmanship. After a brief merger with Stall and Dean, when the Sewer felt the quality was not as high, the original owners are back. The Sewer has a jacket and his eyes on a ton of flannels. Two favorites are the classic Josh Gibson (the Sewer’s namesake, by the way) Homestead Grays Flannel and this 1953 Estrellas Orientales Road Jersey. They can also custom-make a jersey of your choice. Their stuff isn’t cheap, but that’s sort of the idea—it’s not cheap, it’s made authentically, and we don’t see quality like this much anymore. By the way, the Sewer’s father has always enjoyed great customer service, especially by phone.

Arbor Longboards. When the Sewer was a kid he had skateboard and rode all around the little town in Ohio in which he grew up. Josh was also terrible at: tricks, jumps and cool stuff. Now that he is feeling old and wants to skate again, he is riding a longboard, which allows him the free feeling of skateboarding without the pressure to do anything but go forward. The Sewist is starting to pick up this habit and has been riding an Arbor Longboard (the 36” Bamboo Bug to be exact, a great size for Sarah). The Sewer has been looking on in great jealously and plans to upgrade to an Arbor soon. Why do we like Arbor? Well, their longboards and snowboards are incredibly beautiful to start. They use environmentally friendly woods like sustainable Koa and maple wood, bamboo and non-toxic glue in their boards. Did we mention that they are beautiful? To order we suggest Daddies Board Shop here in Portland (in person or by their extensive website), they have always been great to deal with, can answer any questions you might have and are strong supporters of the skate community in PDX.

Uniwatch. Do you or significant other love a specific sports team or care about one at an unhealthy level (The Sewer slowly raises his eyes to the Sewist, who is dressed in red and black for her beloved Blazers as their game against Detroit is broadcast through our radio). One of the most unique gift ideas we have seen is a membership to Uniwatch. A great website to track sports uniforms and a great access to insider information on uniform design, construction and materials (believe it or not the Sewer has figured out construction techniques while reading an entry). This lively community not only features your “ra-ra” sports fan but also includes professional and college equipment managers, designers (not just sports), sporting good manufacturers, and jersey customizers. If you love Purple or Nike this is not the place for you. If you love socks you will like it here. The website is free of course, but one of the advantages of membership is a custom member card that features your name and number on the “jersey” of your choice. You can choose the back of your favorite teams jersey from your favorite year and color, even the 1977 Blazers.

The Button Emporium. Buttons, who doesn’t love ‘em and who doesn’t need them. The place we go when we need something unique or specific is the Button Emporium and Ribbonry here in Portland. They have a metric ton of buttons (we didn’t actually measure, but it is impressive). We have found them to be incredibly helpful and have picked up tips on buttons and sewage hookups. Really this place is small town America (and all of its wonderfulness) in the middle of Portland. If you need to close something, this is the place to go. The do have online ordering, but it’s worth a visit if you’re here in Stumptown.

Well, that’s the first five. Hopefully, you’ll find this useful for the oddball in your life. We’ll post five more in a couple of days.


from josh the sewer

The dog and I got a kick out of this. The Sewist accidentally mixed up the back piece and one of the arms on her current rain coat project. She did fix it quickly, though I thought it would be much cooler to leave it with the trunk opening. I am sure she will have more to add shortly.

We sewed quite a bit during this rainy and cold weekend. I am working on another pair of pants (this a pair of jeans made out of velveteen, I love Bolt, because I always find the neatest fabric) and a flannel shirt. The Sewist is keeping my head spinning with her multiple projects, which are all coming together at once.

Shoe contract?

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from sarah the sewist

So can you get a shoe contract for sewing?

Josh saw me sewing with my brand-spankin’ new shoes on (oddly, Vans seem to be the only shoes that I can wear while sewing and get enough traction for optimal foot pedal control) and stuck the sticker that was in the shoe box on the foot pedal. We have a lot of vintage skateboarding magazines around the house at the moment (believe it or not, these are related to my job—I have a very cool job) and Josh was inspired by the ads in them. They always show some cool dude doing a really cool trick in the shoes. Well, I guess I’m a cool gal doing a really cool trick with the sewing machine.

The SewER

from josh the sewer

Here is a little bit about me and my sewing (I don’t have, at the moment, any great projects to share):

1. I can use the sewing machine well and even sew straight
2. I suck at pinning
3. Patterns still don’t make much sense to me, I can make a garment but I need my co-host to help me figure out “what’s next?”
4. I have a problem cutting the seams to close, this has resulted in having to re-sew the seams on the raglan shirt I am working on and a hole in my pants (errrrrrr)
5. I like cotton “chillin‘ shirts”
6. I once (not too long ago) “incredible hulked” a shirt I was working on; I thought the sewing was wrong, but turns out the cutting was bad. It was a muslin, so not a huge loss
7. I am not very good with scissors
8. I have 8 yards of double knit polyester in the garage, but I hate it
9. My goal is to make a really nice “throwback” baseball jersey and to use scissors well; one is possible, the other, maybe not
10. I really like texture
11. I am obsessed with piping (but I like to call it pipping (soft “i”).