The blog has been quiet for a while, but I have been busier than ever. I finally took the plunge and started a sewing business in March. I would never have imagined how fast it would grow! In fact I have as much as I can handle right now considering I’m still working my day job. I hope to start blogging about my makes as soon as I figure out how to better organize my time. For now, you can find Stitched by Shae’ Cannon on Instagram as @stitchedsc and on Facebook as Stitched by Shae’ Cannon.
Happy New Year!
As I mentioned in my last post, I had taken a few vacation days in December. Amidst all the “busy-ness” of the season I made some time to do a little sewing and drawing.
I have no idea how I missed this pattern in previous searches. It is exactly what I envisioned wanting. I have several cuts of medium weight linen from fabrics-store.com, and chose the gray color “asphalt” for my vest.
The above photo is after a full day of wear…not much wrinkling for linen. This pattern is such a fast make. the front and back seams are sewn RIGHT sides together and then the seam allowances are pressed open and topstitched down. The directions have you finish the edges before you stitch the seams (they recommend serging, but since I have yet to master my serger, I zigzagged the raw edges). I love the frayed edges:
I already have plans for several more versions in both woven fabrics and knits. I can see myself getting tons of wear out of this, especially considering we have been having 75 degree weather lately.
On the drawing front, I have been commissioned to do a portrait. I worked on it before Christmas, but the client and I decided that the photo chosen just wasn’t working (the resolution was low and I wasn’t happy with my resulting lack of detail), so she is taking more photos over the Christmas holidays. We will meet in the next week or so to finalize the photo and I will begin a new version.
In the meantime, I decided to try out some new techniques in an effort to improve my blending skills. A friend had given me a photo (a year and a half ago, eek!) of her son when he was a toddler for me to do a portrait, and had told me to “take my time”, and she “wasn’t in a hurry”. I don’t think she will ever do that again! I decided to pick it back up and implement the new (to me) blending techniques/approach to drawing and I am so pleased with the result!
I know that I still have room (a great deal) to improve, but I think this is so much better than previous attempts. My friend has only seen a photo of it, but she said she loves it, and that is all that matters to me!
I should just come right out and say it…I was a scrooge this year. Usually I am chomping at the bit to decorate for Christmas as early as my husband will allow (for the first twenty years of our marriage we had a live tree, so he always wanted to wait until the second week of December, while I was always wrangling for December 1st). This year though, I just was not in the spirit. For the second year in a row we had an artificial tree (an old one from work that I borrowed). It has been a very hectic year work-wise for the hubs (i.e., very few off days) which translates to added stress on me. Why, you ask? Well, first of all he is so involved with our boys when he is off that his added work days means I take on all those things he normally handles. Which, let me tell you, is an AWFUL lot! He also usually does most of the cooking, both because he enjoys it and he is BETTER at it than I am. Lately I have had to take on that duty much more (to everyone’s dismay), plus lots of other reasons I won’t go into. Needless to say, I only got the tree done after my 11 year old came home from school the week before Christmas break saying that if we didn’t have a Christmas tree up or the stockings hung on the mantel this year he would just leave Santa a note on the front door. YES, I was shamed enough to put the tree up that day. Unfortunately that was my only decoration until Christmas Eve, when I finally got around to decorating the mantel (yes, those are three Alabama stockings and one Auburn one),
the sofa table (my 11 year old painted the snowman this year :-),
and making the Christmas cookies (not iced!).
Luckily, my Christmas spirit finally showed up that day, and I have been enjoying it ever since! In fact, I am gonna embrace my English brother-in-law’s tradition of leaving it all up until New Years!
I also wanted to share photos of our tree and some of our ornaments. We started our ornament collection the year we married (1993) with one from the Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta, GA.
I was a senior at Auburn University, and my then-fiancé and I drove to Atlanta to pick up my wedding dress. While there we toured the museum and bought the ornament, starting a tradition of buying an ornament or two (or three!) each year.
This year was the first year that I did not use a single “filler” ball ornament. Our tree was decorated entirely with our special yearly purchases and the boys’ handmade ornaments from past years. Of course our respective college teams are represented:
These are a some of my favorites:
And of course some of the handmade:
I think our tree is beautiful, even if it IS artificial! (Disclosure: I still love a real tree, but I have to admit that an artificial one is easier to put up and take down)
Well, there you have it. Believe it or not, I have enough Christmas decorations for every room of my house (including bathrooms), a Christmas village, and outside items. Maybe next year I will get it all out and up, and in a timely fashion.
More importantly, we have had some good quality family time (the Hubs got home Christmas morning and was off the weekend), and I had some vacation days saved so I have been off some with the boys during their school break. I have enjoyed this Christmas more than almost any other we have had despite the “scrooge” beginning!
What is so exciting about this pattern is that it is drafted just for us “curvy” girls who need more coverage in the bust area than most RTW wrap dresses or wrap dress sewing patterns usually provide. Jenny’s pattern is sized from a C/D bust to a G/H bust and in sizes 12 -28! The sewalong officially starts today, but I will not be able to start until my fabric arrives. I found the most beautiful printed knit on MarcyTilton.com called the Montage Knit.
Cannot wait until it arrives and I can begin. I will have some “catch up” to do but I think I have sewn enough with knits that it will be doable.
If you have ever wanted to sew a wrap dress but thought they weren’t for your body shape, I encourage you to check out the Appleton. Every version I have seen has been lovely!
I have some medium Weight linen in a dark forest green that I have not been able to decide what to sew it up as. It was just too dark for my taste as a summer item. Where I live it will be pretty warm well into November, so I figured why not make a fall dress? I browsed around on the Internet for some dress ideas and found one on Etsy that I liked in the Idea2lifestyle shop.
I made a sketch of what i envision sewing:
I have an existing pattern I think I can alter enough to accomplish this. The black at the neck and sleeves are just attachments to make the dress look layered; I have some handkerchief weight black linen I think will work well for this. I plan on making the 3/4 sleeves vented to above the elbow to minimize wrinkling from bending my arms. I want to do some type of embroidery in black on the skirt, possibly shashiko, a Japanese form of embroidery dating back to the 1600’s. I like the inspiration dress’s long front ties, which are shown both tied and left hanging. I will probably wear them tied to cinch the waist in some and give a little shape to an otherwise loose design.
So I am a little obsessed with attempting fabric design again! I have just purchased Adobe Illustrator and gotten a trial version of Adobe Photoshop, but frustratingly, I am not comprehending AI at all. I have searched the Internet for tutorials but am having problems finding much that has been helpful. While trying to plod through I got impatient and went back to my old pal Windows Paint and made a few designs that I think repeat pretty well (these are screenshots of my designs after I uploaded them to Spoonflower.com and set my pattern repeat)
I am still working on getting the colors to be what I envision in my mind. I feel like I get in a rut with color combos sometimes. I was thinking about fabrics for jersey dresses and tunic tops to wear over jeans and leggings when I designed the trellis patterns. I like the geometric and coordinating stripes for tote bags, travel pouches, etc. I realize these are pretty basic and beginner. I have the Spoonflower book about fabric design (available September 1st) on preorder already and I cannot wait to get it. Hopefully it will help me get to the next level with designing.