I can't believe we are getting ready to wrap Summer sewing and start Fall projects! Did your summer include enjoying some fresh fruits and veggies, picking bright flowers, enjoying BBQ's with friends, or taking a hike to soak up nature? I sure hope you found this summer to be full of fun and a bit lighter than the past couple of years.
My summer went like this.....
First off a small spot on my upper check turned out to be skin cancer. A BIG hole had to be removed (Okay, it feels extra big when it is on your own face!), a bit of plastic surgery to stretch some skin back and a longer than I planned to let the scar settle.
Then, my birthday, June 9th... I tested positive for COVID! After two and a half years of staying safe and canceling outings and visits...it got me. I found myself a bit more emotional than I would have expected. A full 10 days to quarantine and rest, but thankful it did not hit me hard.
The latest...an unplanned gall bladder removal! Seriously....what are all of these extra body parts really for? I mean Appendix, Tonsils, and Gall Bladders are just "extra" parts that flare up, needing attention, when you least expect it. It seems to always happen when you have ZERO time.
I am sharing all of the personal information to say that I learned a few lessons this summer. As a type A person, I must constantly be accomplishing something, and multi-tasking is even better. To be quiet, ask for help, and let a few things go undone, was difficult. Never stop learning and growing. Big shifts ahead!
I enjoying cooking (let's be honest, my husband does nearly ALL the cooking in our household) and I found some delicious new dinner options in this amazing cookbook, Half Baked Harvest . As a lover of Salmon...I want to devour every salmon recipe in this book! Who would have thought I would push my husband out the door to go fishing?
We have a moderate size garden, so fresh herbs and vegetables are plentiful. Our potatoes, beets, onions, snap peas, blueberries, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers are delicious. Bad news is the bush bunnies ate all the cucumbers and artichokes! Slugs are trying to get their share, too! The joys of gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Try this easy and yummy Ivy Chopped Salad, I added an avocado for extra creaminess. Mouth is salivating a bit just remembering this one.
Other than obsessing over fresh foods, I did some reading and finished, Inheritance, by Dani Shapiro. What a ride Dani ended up on, and the connection to Reed College located here in Portland added a bit of a local connection. This makes me ponder the DNA testing that we all have easy access to...good for some, not for others. I do understand the pain of learning that something you thought you were certain of turning out not to be true. How off balance she felt and the struggles to try to construct a new truth. It hit home for me.
Podcasts are my survival tool when driving to and from work. Previously I would get so anxious that I was "wasting" time, and if things kept me from a meeting or call, my blood pressure peaked! Now I get so involved in the podcast, I have even arrived at my parking spot and stayed in the car to listen to the last few minutes! One of my favorites is, Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard and Monica Padman. They offer a number of shows, but Monday is typically a celebrity and Thursday is an more scientific guest...always so educational. My dear friend, Becky (you know...Workhorse Patterns, Portland Frocktails...) suggested I listen to You're wrong about: Marth Stewart. It was VERY good...Martha Stewart was huge in forming the DIY world, and she is a true SURVIVOR in this world that tried to keep her in a box. Strong, Smart women are such an inspiration!
What about sewing? Hmmm...this summer has been LOTS of ideas and planning, without much follow through on my end. I have no less that 5 dresses in my head, zero were sewn. I few pair of relaxed linen pants, zero were sewn. Some fresh tee-shirts, zero were sewn. You can see my pattern! I did accomplish mending a few suede pillows, mended some "yard pants" that my husband wears in the garden, created and made a dust cover for a competitive shooter (don't ask!), and completed a 6 year old's request for a Watermelon Skirt to wear on 4th of July. That seems to be my summer sewing accomplishments. But I am getting motivated for fall...really! I have layers to sew - cardigans, a couple of weekend sweatshirts, a light layering jacket, everything that will keep me warm and cozy as the nights get cooler.
I am always looking at new paper patterns to add to the Studio. This summer we increased our selection of patterns by Cashmerette, including the addition of the Roseclair Dress, in two size ranges. We added paper patterns by Christine Haynes, the Verano Tank is perfect for these last days of summer heat, and make the top for layering later. I am late to the party...but I am sure you are all in the know about Lindsey at Sew to Grow, she has a huge spirit and her patterns a all drool worthy. Take a look at the Charlianne Wrap Dress for a fall wedding~ stunning. I will always be a fan of Seamwork, it seems like I have been a member since close to the beginning! If you have not joined the Seamwork team, you should consider doing so - great community, education, two free patterns every month...too much! (plus, you get a discount on our fabric if you are a member!). I can't wait for Peggy offer her new Sauvie Sundress in paper...not only is Peggy a dear friend, but one of the smartest seamstress I know! If only I had as much creativity, as she has in just her pinky!
A quick deadstock shopping trip to Los Angeles in the Spring was a blast! First time I had been to town since prior to the start of the pandemic. Becky joined me this time, and she was such a help with research and keeping track of details. First, the not so good parts....many of the smaller vendors are gone, the pandemic was not something they could weather, a few restaurants are no longer in business, and fabric prices have increased. BUT...the rest was like a trip to Disneyland for me. I asked you all for fabric wish-list items before we left, and I am happy to report we came back with most. Ponte, without polyester, was a popular wish...we found SEVEN solids in basic colors that you can weave into your wardrobe, even a hot pink to fulfill your Barbie dreams, check them out here: Ponte Knits. You all LOVE the merino wool knits too....we get an amazing price on these deadstock knits, and extra digging unearthed some gems we restocked as well as a couple of new additions Merino Wool Knits. I went down a rabbit hole with the solid Textured Bemberg Rayon, the lighter colors are beautiful blouses or boxy tops, dresses, and the darker colors are lovely for relaxed pants, skirts, or even an unlined jacket. While I was on the mission with these Textured solids, we stumbled upon three Textured Linens. There are a few yards left of these, but they were a hit and have been leaving quickly. Another trip is in the works for September, so do let me know what you would like to see.
In addition to terrific new fabrics, there are now a few more notions to help make your shopping experience more complete. We have added more Buttons - click on the photo to see each of the color options. The latest buttons are from Germany's, Dill Buttons and of amazing quality. The Sewing Label selection continues to expand, check the latest options to customize your projects. Sewing Labels . For those of you looking for the BEST topstitching thread, we have added Gutermann MARA 70. Have you put off changing your rotary blade too long? Every time I cut with a fresh blade I ask myself, "Why did I wait so long to do this?". Grab a couple fresh blades to have on hand, makes it harder to stall the changing process. Olfa Rotary Blades. We will continue to add notions and tools - feel free to share what you would find most helpful.
As always, be in touch if you have fabric questions or ideas how I can assist with your sewing dreams. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and early fall.