The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

A PoldaPop Video!


Yes, that's right, another contest! I've been busy putting this one together over the course of the last few weeks with my friend and running buddy Jay Doyle. Lucky for me, his wife wanted sewing lessons so I was able to barter for his video editing skills.

So PoldaPop Designs made it in just under the deadline for this contest. And my business could win $25,000 and mentorship. Holy cow, would that be helpful.

This contest is mainly decided on by judges, but a component of the scoring is public vote. So if you have a spare few minutes, please go watch my video and vote for PoldaPop. Voting ends at midnight tonight!

Vacation Bag

I'm back from my annual vacation in rural PA and I feel fantastic! And, well, sore, as I did a lot of biking and trail running and my legs haven't seen a hill since about this time last year. But it's a good pain, and my eyes and heart are grateful for the views they found at the top of each hill. Living in a city, I don't often get the chance to see over things - I'm always surrounded by looming objects- and this trip always helps me feel free again.

My good friends are in them midst of a battle with a pipeline, so I had a few hours to sew one day when they were being filmed by a news crew and the girls were out playing with their adopted cousins. I purposefully brought only one item to sew for myself, which was fabric for a new bag. I've needed a new everyday bag for a while now - the old one is seasonally in the wrong (gray corduroy) as well as dingy and in need of a wash. I've been embarrassed to take it anywhere lately.

See? It even looks like it's frowning at me.
But left with personal time in my own sewing room, I'd almost always prefer to sew a dress or a top, so I needed to force myself a little.

And it turns out that a bag is the perfect for a little light vacation sewing: quick, easy, with no fitting issues. The beach novel of the sewing world.

This is the bag pattern from Burdastyle's Sewing Handbook. My only changes this time around were to add an internal zippered pocket, thermolam fleece interfacing to give the bag structure, and faux leather handles.

I bought slightly longer handles this time around (26 inches instead of the 19 inch handles I used for my last Burda bag) because I wanted to be able to wear the bag easily with a coat in the fall. They are maybe a tad too long now, but they hit about right.

I used fabric that I bought about 9 months ago from Ikea and the bag handles are from Etsy shop Merry Sewing N Fabric. The print is a little wild, but as these are all colors I regularly wear (teal/turquoise, purple, green), I figured I could pull it off. And I also don't care that much if it doesn't work - it's summer and I think the fashion police are all drinking Mai Tai's in their Hawaiian shirts.

This wasn't the only vacation sewing I did, as I brought some projects for Malinda and her girls that I'll show off for them later in the week. And I had so much fun with my own light sewing, that I made up a little clutch when I got back home which I'll post once the glue dries (my first metal frame!).

How about you? Have you done any beach sewing lately?

Vogue 8800 for Father's Day

Yes, a minor miracle occurred in the PoldaPop household this week. I sewed something for my husband.

This is only the third time that I have used my sewing skills in a husband-centered project, and the first two were so minor (fixing pockets, sewing a heavy metal patch onto his jean jacket) that they really don't count for much.

And what brought on this unselfish use of my personal sewing time? A mere seven years of fatherhood and parenting support.

Oh, and that we're trying hard to save money and I couldn't think of anything else cheap-but-meaningful to get for him.

  • I used Vogue 8800 for the pattern, size 46. The only adjustment I made was to add 4 inches at the "lenghten/shortern here" line (he's 6'4").
  • Flat-fell seam for the sleeves, side seams.
  • Button-hold thread for the topstitching - so manly!
  • Regular thread for the buttonholes - the thicker thread didn't work there.
  • The fabric is some kind of blue-grey viscose/rayon-like woven that was part of a lot I bought from a de-stasher on Sew It's For Sale. It was the only drape-y woven that I had enough of for the project (men's shirt sure take a lot!).
  • Skipped the top loop & button since he never uses those.

The only scary part of this project was the buttonholes, as I haven't had a lot of success with these on my machine. But I practiced for a bit and then just sped through them before the right feeling (and my courage) was lost. 


I'm a Semifinalist!

Exciting news, dear readers. I entered my Spring Elisalex dress in the SewStylish Spring Fashion Challenge and it was picked by the judges for the final round! Those of you who know me personally can just picture my little happy dance.

So now it's a matter of public vote. Please hop on over and vote for your favorite garment (even if it isn't mine, but I'll be smiley if it is!) - these ladies did great work! You'll find all the garments and the voting poll right here.

Help determine the winner of this years Spring Fashion Challenge by choosing your favorite by casting your vote.