Raglan Sleeve Top


Two weeks ago I made my first blouse at the Raglan Sleeve Top class at The Needle Shop. It’s a bit boxy and not quite what I was expecting, but I learned some useful things in the class and am looking forward to tackling my next blouse. Besides, it’s not too bad if I throw a cardigan over it.


(My minions were a little confused by my mini photo shoot and kept siting at my feet in the hopes of getting treats.)

The main thing I don’t like about the raglan sleeve top is the sleeve length, because it seems to compound the boxiness. I feel like it would look a little more flattering if the sleeves were a bit shorter, since in theory it would give the blouse a little more of a silhouette.


It’s hard to tell without actually shortening the sleeves, but here’s a picture with the sleeves rolled up a bit:


Still not great, but a little better. I may end up shortening the sleeves and/or trying it out tucked into a high waisted skirt. Otherwise, I know a cardigan will make it wearable for sure!

I do like the gathered neckline, though, because it gives the boxy shape a little bit of a feminine flare. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nick convinced me to go with a “safe” fabric choice for my first blouse, so that I might actually wear it (I have a track record of making things for myself and then giving them away because I don’t like them). The black fabric with white hash marks seemed safe enough and goes well with various things in my wardrobe.

This was my original fabric choice for the raglan sleeve top, but it’s now destined to become another blouse:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m torn between these three patterns (Sencha by Colette, Market Blouse by Lisette or Top 7051 by Burda).

Hmmm, decisions, decisions…



Let it Snow

As much as I hate the ice snow eventually melts into, I love the calm, quiet beauty after it’s just snowed and those cold snowy days give me an excuse to stay indoors and work on crafts! Lucky for me we’ve had a snowy December in Chicago.

Life has been a little nutty lately thanks to the upcoming holidays, but I’ve managed to finish a few projects I had in the works and start some new ones that I’m pretty excited about.

Here’s some of what I’ve been working on lately:


Sitting on my little wooden chair at my sewing machine for hours can get a little uncomfortable, so I bought some teal fabric to match the craft room’s accent wall and made myself the cushion/pillow you see above, so I can either sit on it or use it for back support depending on what I’m working on.

I made the blanket draped over the back of the chair back in early November at one of The Needle Shop’s mitered blanket classes. It’s baby blanket size, but since I wasn’t completely happy with my top stitching on it, I decided to keep it as a lap blanket for myself when I sit in the craft room since it can get pretty chilly in there, rather than having other people see my botched work. It just so happens that the fabrics in the blanket match my accent wall AND pillow and the little elephants just make me smile every time I see them. Next I’m planning on making some placemats to practice my new mitering skills.

Mitered Blanket

Here’s a shot of the blanket I took, right after completing it in class!

We’ve been dropping into negative temperatures a lot lately, so I recently bought myself these fabrics from The Needle Shop to turn into blouses and shorts for the spring/summer, as a reminder that after this weekend the days will start to get longer and warmth and sunshine are just around the corner.


Finally, since I love stitching AND photography, I recently decided to purchase WinStitch so I can turn my photos into cross-stitch patterns. First up, I’ll be stitching up this adorable picture of my dog, Ian MacKaynine.

ian pillow

I’m on the fence as to whether I should turn it into a throw pillow or frame it and hang it up somewhere – it all depends on how much time I end up putting into it and what the finished product looks like.

We’re supposed to get a big snowstorm in Chicago this weekend, so hopefully I can use it as an excuse to stitch to my heart’s content.

Hope everyone has a Happy Solstice!