Back in the [sewing] Saddle

I’ve been a little MIA, not only from this blog and the online sewing community, but also from my sewing room.  I have been dealing with my marginally rare degenerative eye disease which has sent me to an opthmalogist, a corneal specialist/surgeon and now to UC Davis for specialty lenses which will hopefully stave off an unfortunately jnevitable cornea transplant.  This has all made me pretty depressed, but after a lot of thinking and researching, I am more confident and positive about the future and have got back to “normal.”  I am happy to be back in my sewing room making things and being creative. :)

wrap shirt 1

This pattern has been on my list for a while now and I finally got around to making it.  I have had this skirt since I lived in Georgia in 2005 during my archaeological internship and I have had hardly worn it since due to not really having anything to pair with it.  I did buy a shirt with this skirt at the time of purchase, but that shirt (a beaded corset-like top) long ago went to a thrift store.  And since I really do love this skirt and I didn’t want to see it lingering in my closet anymore, I made this wrap blouse to go with it.

Vogue 8833

Vogue 8833

wrap shirt back

This pattern is Vogue 8833 in a white polka dot cotton that I found at Joann’s.  I love wrap blouses, but they never seem to work for me.  I’m always adjusting them and this shirt is no different.  I don’t really know how I feel about this blouse and after having worn this already, I’m certain that I’ll be making another blouse to go with this skirt and that I won’t be making this pattern again.

wrap shirt 3

Yes, Snowball likes to photobomb me …..

I made the sleeveless version and followed the pattern directions with the exception that I changed the collar.  I have to wear a pin with this blouse to not be indecent, thus the main reason why this make won’t get much play.

Yes, Doc likes to photobomb as well

Yes, Doc likes to photobomb as well

So, hey, you win some and lose some, right? :)

Butterick 5302

Butterick 5302

I have been meaning to make myself some aprons, but they always go on the wayside.  I have entered myself in chili cook-off which is, coincidentally, tonight, and thought, well, what better time to make an apron?  I have had this fabric in my stash since last year waiting to be turned into an apron.  It is one I found on etsy and has all of these gorgeous ladies in 1950’s dresses.  This pattern, Butterick 5302 is one that I’ve made twice before already, for gifts.  The other ones I’ve made were lined, but this one I followed the directions, with the exception that I cut two pieces for the apron top piece instead of one.  I also omitted the lace and added a pocket.

dresses and polka dots apron macro

I used a black and white polka dot broadcloth from my stash for the contrast and made bias tape out of it.  I love the contrasting pattern fabrics SO much.  I normally would have added a solid color, but after seeing Shanni’s adorable dress, I decided to go with polka dots!  The teal piping is one I had in my stash and this is actually the first time that I’ve used piping.  I LOVE it and surely will be using piping again!

dresses and polka dots apron inside

I also made myself a knitting bag for my burgeoning craft.

knitting bag 1

Knitting bag

I wanted to have a big knitting back to store a lot of yarn in and looked at some patterns before I decided to just make my own pattern.  My bag has outside pockets and a zipper closure.  This is made out of a canvas print that I found at Joann’s.

Zipper closure

I also made a little zippered pouch that holds all of the knitting things (like stitch holders) that my grandma had given me.  I’m also planning on making a knitting needle holder, of which I picked the fabric up for the other day.

knitting bag 3

And yes, you can see what I’m knitting right now.  It’s just a simple scarf for myself made of a cashmere/merino wool blend yarn.  I’m a beginner and see myself knitting a few more scarves before i progress on to something more intricate.  I am going to try a pattern with my next scarf. :)

I also want to thank all of you who have offered some supportive words, both about my eye problems and my knitting.  :)  I finished another Hawthorn yesterday and had planned on making my first Tiramisu next, but I was reminded by my husband about taking our Christmas card photos, so I’ll be making myself an emerald green wool crepe dress instead.  I have been VERY busy buying fabric lately….. so much so that I’m a bit embarrassed to share my fabric finds as I usually do.  I have been buying fabrics to make fall/winter garments which include some new (to me) fabrics like the aforementioned wool crepe, wool jersey and sewing some knits!  I really can’t wait to get started. :)

Happy sewing and knitting!




Blouse:  Vogue 8833 in white polka dot cotton made by me

Skirt:  Tommy Hilfiger

Shoes:  Tommy Hilfiger

Necklace:  Etsy

Sunglasses:  Burberry

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  • prttynpnk

    Adorable makes!!!! I could stuff that apron in the bag and be out the door in no time!

    • tanya maile

      I’ll be watching you! Lol

  • ksgentry

    So sorry to hear about your medical issues, it is a tough situation and one that I certainly hope they can help. But you sure have bounced back, I love that apron with the vintage dressed ladies, the polka dot trim sets it off perfectly.

    • tanya maile

      Thank you! I’m really happy about how that apron turned out!

  • Honora

    So sorry to hear you’ve been down. I hope only the best for your eyeballs. You can get some huge fabulous glasses and be Edith Head! I have that same issue with blouses not made of knit. I love a wrap blouse, very flattering. But, unless the fabric has great stretch, I’m busting out. No buttons for me, or ties, or anything fun.

    • tanya maile

      Hahaha! Honora! I would just love some Edith Head frames!! I think you’re right about knits! I haven’t been much of a sewer of knits, but do think that may be the way to go with wrapped garments!

  • Nessa

    Glad you’re back, I had missed your posts popping up in my reader!
    I am thinking the same as you on wrap styles. I really like the tied waist but the low and gaping necklines have put me off. I shall try the Tiramisu but that will be my last wrap I think.

    • tanya maile

      Thank you, Nessa! I hope the Tiramisu will work better, but I’m pretty positive it will be a great pattern and dress to wear!

  • ShanniLoves

    Oh my gosh that apron is adorable!! I want to pair polka dots with everything now. So glad you got your sewing mojo back. I’m jealous that your wearing skirts and sleeveless blouses! It’s 20 degrees here. waahhh!!

    • tanya maile

      Who would have thought that polka dots could be so versatile?! I envy your 20 degree weather. 70 degrees in November is rather strange!

  • Melody Murdock

    I too am always having issues with wrap garments and pinning them to high heaven. I really like the pairing of the blouse with the skirt. Cute apron that lovely lady fabric is to die for!

    • tanya maile

      I think a faux wrap blouse or dress are for me from now on!

  • Amanda

    I wondered where you had been! I missed seeing your lovely projects. Sorry to hear you have not been too well, but glad it has not stopped a new sewing post from you! I really liked the blouse you made and loved the shoes! The fabric for the apron is so stylish! The ladies all look so elegant. Happy knitting and glad you are back!

    • tanya maile

      Thanks so much, Amanda! I love the shoes, too! I never wear them as they are blue and yellow and I don’t have anything else (yet) that matches!