2019: The Knitting
Five on Friday

2019: The Sewing

The first sewing I did last year was to re-vamp a long waffle-knit cardigan.


There had been ribbing at the bottom, creating an unflattering bubble-butt look, and also at the wrists. If I recall correctly, I'd picked it off the "clearance" rack at Goodwill for $1. It was so much better once I cut off the ribbing and I've worn it a lot! I'd wear it more if I ever got around to adding pockets.

The second thing I sewed was for my seldom-used BuJo.


I may begin using it again to track my soon-to-be-resumed DuoLingo Spanish practice. I was also pleasantly surprised to find some other forgotten notes, so who knows...

I spent well over 100 days sewing on my Alabama Chanin Car Jacket... and not just at home. I stitched on trips to NYC, Nevada/Arizona, Michigan, and in the car.


There is still so very much to do. My last attempt at 100 days was thwarted by... everything! Life, the holidays, and Ali & Rod buying/fixing/moving into a new house -- to name a few. I am currently in the process of cleaning up my workroom/worktable (Kate noticed, so progress!) and wish to resume this practice, as well.

I bought a new sewing machine in spring of 2019, but it was mid-summer before I even got it out of the box. I really loved my old machine, a Viking Husqvarna (which was already old when I received it in the early 1980s), but had been warned by my service guy that the plastic cams were wearing out and it was getting very difficult to find replacements. I found working cams to be indispensable in the making of buttonholes!

My new machine is a Baby Lock Jubilant, and I am learning new tricks! My favorite things about the new machine are the needle threader, see-thru bobbin case, speed control, that it always stops with the needle in the fabric, that the needle can be raised with the push of a button, that it's lightweight but sturdy, and making buttonholes is a breeze. I also like the free-arm sewing capability. I only bought two accessories right off the bat: an extension table and a walking foot.

My first projects were outfits for a family photo shoot -- matching dresses for Ginny & Malina and coordinating vest & bow tie for Junah -- using a sheet and old curtains, both fabrics closely associated with my mother.


Malina ended up wearing a romper, instead, that Ali had made when Ginny was a baby -- from the same sheet design! (There were numerous sets! Some are still in use!)


Oh Junah! He was just not into it that day...

The speed control feature of my new machine was very useful during Auntie Camp when the boys learned to sew and made their own pillowcases!


Those pillowcases were so much fun that I made a few more after they all left!


And I'd still like to make a few more!

I found some great fabrics at Field's when I visited with Kym in Michigan last fall, including some with a "world" design that made me think of all the travelers in my family. I bought a few yards with the very vague idea of making travel laundry bags. I found a pattern/tutorial that I liked, though as with so many online tutorials, there's an ad between every paragraph, a bazillion enormous photographs (which can be helpful, of course, but also t.e.d.i.o.u.s, and it's all so awkward to navigate and utterly impossible to print. So I used another favorite website/service -- Print Friendly -- to whittle it down, export it to a Word document, resize & rearrange the remaining photographs, and make a manageable, usable, savable, printable PDF for my own use.

I made some modifications -- no stencil, and fabric proportions were different in order to maximize the motif of the "travel" fabric, french seams -- and I made SIX laundry bags!


That's three photos of the same bag, which belongs to Kate, and which just returned from it's first trip -- to Brooklyn! Two other laundry bags are in Australia, and three more are in Spain! They are approximately 15" wide by 20" long, with a drawstring, and also a loop for hanging. I used scrap fabrics in b&w prints that I had for the "coordinating" pieces -- some worked better than others -- but they're laundry bags...

The real beauty of making/giving these at Christmas is that they doubled as GIFT BAGS!! They were extremely well received and appreciated. I love it when I hit the mark!

But that's not all... I also made actual, intentional GIFT BAGS!


OK, well, one gift bag was made in time to actually use for Christmas gift-giving -- the "fruit" bag was used for some of Rusty's gifts. The other three had been cut, but I finished them just last weekend (part of the clean-up effort in my workroom)! A few more photos & details about those are on Instagram here and here.




You had a really productive and beautiful year of sewing!


I love how you mixed practical/fun and stunning into your sewing. Those kiddo outfits - on a new machine no less - are amazing! and I am ever-so-grateful for the pillowcase tutorial. It's gonna be my go-to activity for years to come ... and whoa, I cannot wait til the boys can use the machine (and then the serger?!) by themselves!!


You did (and continue to do) so much great sewing! I always love your AC stitching, outfits from sheets, and gift bags are a big win. I bet nobody else has sewn such global laundry bags -- in use in Brooklyn, Australia, and Spain. Well done!


I love all of this! You sewed so much...and what a variety of useful items. I really like that you do hand sewing too and love seeing that. The gift bags are super...I may need to make some (so much fabric in my stash!).


I continue to be inspired by your Alabama Chanin stitching. I know it's a very long-term project, but it's going to be a true masterpiece. The sewn gift bags and laundry bags are a brilliant idea!


Beautiful sewing Vicki! I had forgotten about your darling little journal pen caddy! I need to make one of those!


I love it ALL! My sewing machine is a Viking/Husqvarna -- old now, but not quite as old as yours was! (And it's still going strong, with many bells and whistles.) I did quite a bit of sewing in 2019, and hope to do even more this year. Your projects are an inspiration, Vicki! XO


You are amazing! I'll bet everyone was soooo psyched to receive a bag. Sewing is on my retirement to do list...50 more weeks!


You made a huge variety of wonderful items. Your AC jacket all hand sewn (and embellished) is truly a work of art. The gift bags, the kids clothes, the pillowcases and travel bags will be well used and loved. You had a really great (sewing) year!

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