Computer sleeve

I recently got a MacBook Pro for work. I love how small and light-weight it is! I choose the smallest, lightest model. For months, I’ve been planning making a padded sleeve for it.

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First, I drew around it on a piece of paper and made a pattern.

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Second, I made a test sleeve out of three layers of felt and tested the fit.

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Finally, I made the sleeve out of left-over navy boiled wool and black velvet. The velvet is nice and slippery and makes it easy to get my computer in and out.

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I originally put a layer of batting in it, but it was too floppy, so I added a layer of felt as well. It has enough room for the power cord and adapters.

It closes with velcro (the button is just decoration). I really, really wanted to use a magnetic closure, but I reminded myself about a hundred times that magnets are not good for computer hard drives.

It looks great in my lovely Everlane backpack!

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Well, at least it’s original!

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A tale of two skirts

I recently made two skirts from the same pattern. It’s a narrow skirt that I’ve made before. I actually created the pattern myself, based on a couple skirts that I bought and some patterns I already had. But this time I added a pocket, for my cell phone, of course!

Even though the pattern is the same, these skirts are quite different, because the fabrics are so different.

This skirt is made of Japanese cotton fabric that I bought at a quilt store.

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I love the wavy lines! Plus, the fabric is a little thicker than regular cotton. And it’s nubby! Yes, I made the pocket fabric go the other way on purpose.

I lined it with gray lining fabric.

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This skirt is made from navy boiled wool. It’s really marvelous fabric, very soft, and thick without being stiff. I found some fun trim to put on the bottom and on the pocket.

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I lined it with a rayon fabric.

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Here’s what it looks like. My dog needed to be included…

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Embellished jacket

I saw a sweatshirt in a store that was embellished with ribbon and embroidery and so I thought I would try to do something similar.

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I used scraps of lace and trim that I already had. And I did some obviously freehand embroidery. But I like it!

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Reworking my grandmother’s embroidery

I have several pieces of embroidery from my grandmother that I’ve recently reframed, and one that I repaired.

These three cross stitch pieces were either not framed at all or framed in very plain wood without borders. I added cloth borders and lace or trim.

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Isn’t this sweet?

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I was obsessed with horses when I was an adolescent. I love how this pattern is somewhat abstract!

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This photo turned out a bit dark. The green felt around the embroidery is really much brighter. I don’t think it’s visible in the photo, but there’s gold thread in the headdresses.

When I was young, not more than 7, I drew a picture of our house for my grandmother. She transformed it into embroidery! We had a crab apple tree in the front yard and a huge weeping willow in the backyard. And apparently crooked windows… Because, you know, I was always very accurate.  Unfortunately, the felt deteriorated.

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So I replaced it, not perfectly, but well enough. I’m very happy with it, anyway!

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Ikat blouse

My mom gave me this heavy linen with an ikat design.

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I decided to make a sleeveless blouse because then I can wear it alone in the summer or with a shirt under it in cooler parts of the year. I used a blouse pattern that I’ve used before, but altered the arm holes and neckline.

The linen is pretty thick, so instead of doing a self-facing or rolling the seams around the neck and arm holes, I used seam tape then top stitched two rows. This is what it looks like on the inside.

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I added a row of pleats at the bottom.

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It’s a bit oversized, but that’s how I like it.

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Pajama top

I’ve been thinking about making myself a pajama top for a while, and I finally found a good pattern: Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files. The key to a comfortable pajama top is stretchy material. I found a lovely, smooth cotton stretch at Britex Fabrics.

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I really liked the Carolyn Pajamas pattern: the fit was great and the instructions were very clear.

I think this was the first time I sewed French seams: it was very easy with cotton fabric and the effect is so very tidy.

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Instead of piping, I added a silk cord. That means I couldn’t sew it on with the machine. Instead, I spent hours hand sewing it on!

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But overall, I’m very happy with my new pajamas!

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Embroidered flowers on a dress

My daughter asked me to embroidery flowers on her white linen dress.

I made a bunch of sketches of different flowers and she choose poppies. I drew them and she choose the colors.

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I used colored pencils to trace the flower outlines on the fabric. The linen is so thin that it was easy to see the lines through it.

This is the bottom of the skirt.

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I put a bud on the top left of the bodice.

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Here is what the dress looks like.

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