Good Books

It’s time for summer reading! I really want to ramp up my reading these next few months. My goal is to set aside time every day with the kids and read while Sam is napping. Here are the books I read since I last shared, what are you wanting to read this summer?

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a fun poolside read. Historical fiction about the time Agatha Christie went missing. I loved the play with a classic Christie novel as well as the deep dive into the would be thoughts, emotions, and motivations of a famous woman in history.

What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz I keep thinking about this book but honestly can’t say that I liked it. The characters are all kind of horrible and the content is very sad. That being said, I can’t stop thinking about it! If you like a wide sweeping family drama and are ok digging into difficult content, you might like getting lost in this one. I will say the ending is redemptive (even if I thought a little hastily wrapped).

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab Full disclosure: I haven’t quite finished this one yet! I picked this up at a local bookstore earlier this year and am only just now getting around to read it. The first quarter of the book I was not enjoying, in fact it was stressing me out! But then I got hooked and now I can’t wait to neglect my family and all my obligations this afternoon to finish it! I’ll update if the ending is just horrible, but as of right now this surreal novel is right up my alley.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman I have been trying for months to get into this audio book and I just never could. I love this author, he’s a comfort read for me, but I don’t think the narration on this one worked for me. So many people I know and have similar reading sensibilities as me loved this one so maybe I’ll try it again sometime later this year on my own.

Knitting and Embroidery

Awhile back I shared that I had picked up knitting and I had this date set on the calendar to show you the things I made. Well… I have one finished hat to brag about and an almost half finished sweater.

The hat is the Beat It Beanie from Wool and the Gang and it’s the warmest hat I’ve ever owned. The sweater is the Venice Tee sweater kit from We are Knitters and it just took me awhile to get in the groove, but now I think it’s turning out pretty cute!

My big knitting plans are to finish the striped sweater in June and to finish the back of a sweater I started crocheting 2 years ago by July. Then I would love to knit a hat for Harper and some kind of little camisole for myself. I’m loving the knit loungewear I’m seeing around and would like to try it out!

I haven’t picked up my embroidery for awhile but with my recent office cleanup I got inspired to take on a couple of projects. I have one ongoing free form project I’m in the middle of and this piece in the picture is going to be a much belated gift for a friend.

What’s on your needles or in your hoop right now?

Things I’m Loving

Here is a list of things I’m currently loving in no particular order. Affiliate links used when possible, please enjoy and let me know the random thing that you are loving right now!

Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide I always look forward to these guides and have maxed out my hold limit at the library. I appreciate Ann’s descriptions and always find them helpful when picking out books.

These Spicy Noodles I know. I told you this was random though! I get these every time I grocery shop and am kind of obsessed with them. They are actually spicy and your mouth will be on fire, but so good.

Caroline Hirons and her book Skin Care: The Ultimate No Nonsense Guide last year I got serious about my skin care and experimented with some different products to figure out what my skin liked best. I am about to change over to my summer routine and this book has been extremely helpful. I’ve already changed the order I layer product and notice a difference!

This Archer and Olive Journal I just picked up to start bullet journaling. I love it’s beautiful paper- so easy to write on and holds up to markers and paint.

This Sunscreen, I’m also going to be trying this one soon The unseen sunscreen goes on like a dream and my make up works really well on top of it. No white cast, it’s not greasy, and my face (which is pretty reactive) has done well with it.

A Minimalist Meal Plan– right now we are baked potatoes and grilled chicken, rice and beans, chana masala, snack plate night, pizza night, grilling on the weekend!

Mare of East Town- we are so behind on this show but will eventually catch up! We’re loving it though (like the rest of the country) and I can’t get over how great Kate Winslet is. We also are rewatching Scrubs from the beginning to end our day with some comfort laughs.

Dressing for Pride! Happy Pride month! I plan on celebrating by dressing the rainbow over on my Instagram, come follow me if you don’t already.

Week in the Sewing Life No. 12

I’m a little behind on these posts so some of these links are older, but I still think worth sharing! I have started sewing for the summer and have a fun instagram idea for the month of June. If you don’t already follow me there, come check out my grid as we enter Pride month!

I think this tutorial for a Plush llama toy is so cute and something my kids would love to attempt this summer.

This Guide on how to read knitting charts is very helpful for a newbie knitter like me.

I think this free pattern for A DIY runner belt is really handy and would make a great gift for anyone in your life that is out on the trails or headed on vacation this summer.

Loved this spread on Whoopi Goldberg in Variety magazine

Sometimes it’s nice to have an easy tutorial on how to make a pillowcase with an inner flap

And this twisted turban headband tutorial is a really practical scrap buster!

I hope your weekend is full of sunshine and fun! I’ll be back next week with that top you see up above as well as a knitting update. See you then!

Sew the Stash///June

I only made one of my plans for the April Sew the Stash and May had no plans and no stash sewing. I did, however, go through all my patterns and fabrics, purge and organize, and get inspired for what I want to make in the months to come.

Here are some ideas from what I took from my stash for the month of June!

Pajamas! I’m making some warm weather pjs for Sam as well as some matching pajamas for Harper and me.

Clothes for Harper! She will be getting a pair of shorts and a pair of pants that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time now.

Vintage Dress! I have a red linen fabric that I think will sew up to be an awesome vintage summer dress, maybe I will even get to wear it on a beach sometime soon.

I will share as I make and check in next month to see how I did!

In the Garden

At the end of last summer my dad and husband spent a week building me a garden. If that is not love of the highest order, I don’t know what is! I’ve been waiting anxiously for the weather to be warm enough to start planning and the past few weeks have been all about putting things in pots and in the ground. I thought I would share my progress here throughout the summer to help me as I learn how to grow vegetables in this new to me climate!

Hopefully I’m picking supper out of these beds in no time!

Spring Wrap Up

Happy June! We have made it through another Me Made May and I thought I would take a bit to reflect on this past month. I want to share my thoughts on my Spring Capsule, how I did on my Me Made May pledge, and some of my plans on moving forward through the summer.

Thoughts on the Spring Capsule:

I really loved using the Your Everyday Style spring capsule this month. For me it was a great building block- whether for buying or sewing clothes- and helped me assess what was missing in my closet in a way that was really useful to me.

It also made getting dressed every day really easy. I felt put together even in more casual clothes and found it helpful especially as I had some hard stuff in May. Being able to get dressed without having to think too much about it really helped my mood.

The capsule as well as The Everyday Style School podcast have been helpful in getting me to pinpoint my style, even more than I already had. I’m able to look at a piece or a pattern and know if it’s something I’ll wear or even something I really need in just a few moments.

Thoughts on Me Made May

Looking back at my pledge, I did get dressed and wear clothes from the capsule almost every day. Like I said, the capsule just made it really easy to put an outfit together so this part of the challenge was easy!

However, I did not document it. After a week in I got burned out and with other stuff going on in my life, I had no desire for daily pictures. I really don’t feel anything negative about this one, it just didn’t work for me this year and that’s ok.

And the thing I’m most proud of, I did reach my goal of no buying! I bought zero fabrics or patterns and felt great about it. Something that surprised me this month was that following Me Made May on Instagram just got overwhelming. So many patterns, so many fabrics, so much stuff. I stopped following the hashtag and disconnected from it a bit. This is interesting to me as I usually find the challenge really inspirational, this was not the year for me for whatever reasons.

Moving forward

I think I will buy more capsule guides, at least a full year’s worth so I can see each season. I got a lot out of this and am excited to see what’s in store for summer. I don’t really plan on making too much this go around, I would love to use a lot of what I already have!, and know I need to purchase things like shoes but hopefully most things are already in my closet.

I want to sew with what I already have (fabric and patterns) for at least the month of June. It felt good to not add more stuff to my office and I got inspired the other day cleaning out some of my stash. I have so many things I want to make, I would like to focus on those before I buy any more.

Summer is slower for me and my family will be home and together for most of it. I want to have fun with what I make and not stress too much about output. I will however will be posting regularly here and am excited to slow down and put together better blog posts about what I do make!

I’m looking forward to the summer and am thankful every year for the online community that participates in Me Made May! Even if I didn’t meet my pledge, it still teaches me so much to go back and reflect on the month.

Sewing My Spring Capsule///M8041

Today I have my eighth and final piece of my spring capsule to share with you! To see all my posts about this project, click here!

The Capsule Piece: The capsule guide called for a white blouse/top and I had in my head the idea of a crisp, white shirt that I could make and practice my shirt making skills.

The Pattern and Fabric: This pattern is McCalls 8041 and I made version A with the hemline of version C. The fabric is a pinpoint oxford cotton shirting in white from StyleMaker Fabrics. A great, classic shirting!

Details: I made the straight size 8 on this and am really happy with the fit. The finishings are nice and it was a pretty simple shirt to make. This is a ‘Learn to Sew Level 2’ pattern and I was disappointed in the instructions. I thought they would be more in depth? I couldn’t see a difference from a regular McCalls pattern and am not sure why they have this distinction.

How I plan to wear it: I’m sorry to be ending my spring capsule with this one because if I’m being completely honest… I don’t love it. I love the idea of a white button down, but it’s just not something I wear a lot. I prefer it to feel more relaxed so when I do wear it it will be with sleeves rolled up and maybe tucked in. I don’t like where the neckline hits on this and think I missed the mark with my fabric choice. I wish I had gone flowy or more blouse-y and loose instead of almost making a classic shirt.

That being said, it’s not a fail. The construction is good and I’m glad I tried it, just not for me. And sometime, you have to make something to figure that out!

I will have all my thoughts on this capsule on Tuesday. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to include them in my spring wrap up!

Sewing My Spring Capsule///The Rozan Blouse

Today I’m here to share my seventh piece that I’ve made for my spring capsule. Here are all my spring capsule posts if you want to catch up! I have one more top to share with you tomorrow and then we are moving on to summer.

The Capsule Piece: The capsule guide called for a blouse in one of the core colors. I knew I wanted to bring in more of this lilac color I’m loving and also that I wanted something that would easily work into summer. I wanted something easy to wear and casual enough to throw on every day, but still cute enough to dress up a bit should I get to go out on the town.

The Pattern and Fabric: This is the Rozan Blouse by Fibre Mood in a beautiful hemp and organic cotton chambray from Blackbird Fabrics. I don’t think this specific color is available anymore, but look at their other options as it was a really great substrate to work with. The softness mixed with how easy it was to press makes it a great option for summer. The buttons are from Pigeon Wishes and I love the texture they bring to the top.

Details: I made the size small with no adjustments. This is a pretty straightforward pattern and came together very quickly. There is a little issue with the top button- which I think I can fix but wanted to leave in to show you because I noticed it later in the model photos. Just something to be aware of if you make this top.

How I plan to wear it: In these photos I’m wearing it with my high waisted, cropped jeans. I think it will look great with my white jeans and even shorts as the weather gets warmer. This is a top that I feel really comfortable and like myself in so I foresee pulling it out to wear over and over again throughout the summer. I even think this pattern would translate well into a dress just by lengthening it.

Sewing my Spring Capsule/// Harlene Dungarees

Making progress in finishing all my pieces for my spring capsule and today I want to share with you my Harlene Dungarees!

The Capsule Piece: A pair of overalls is listed in the spring capsule I’m using and if I had seen this last year I would have scoffed and carried on without every making or buying them. However, I am now an overall/dungaree convert after making my Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs about this time last year. There is just nothing comfier than a soft pair of linen overalls and I was excited to make another pair.

The Pattern and the Fabric: This project came from my April Needlesharp Box. I’ve talked about this subscription service before, but man is it handy with a project like this when really specific hardware or notions are needed. I love that absolutely everything comes in the box ready to sew up!

These are the Harlene Dungarees by Merchant and Mills. I’ve never sewed with this company before and am really impressed by the quality of this pattern! This fabric is a speckled linen and I love how these kind of look like I’ve been painting in them all day.

Details: There is only one version of this pattern and I made the size 10 with no adjustments. Initially I lengthened the straps but ended up trimming them. Rarely are ready to wear overalls long enough in the body and/or inseam for me so I was kind of surprised these fit so well straight out of the pattern envelope.

This kit came with a Kylie and the Machine hardware kit and I love this product so much. Finding cute notions for jeans and dungarees is a little tricky and sometime expensive because you have to buy a bunch of different things. This kit is something to look for if you’re making your own dungarees. I found them here and will put them on my list next time I’m getting notions!

How I plan to wear it: These are going to be something I throw on for cozy, stay at home and play days. I like them with longer sleeves as well as cropped tank tops underneath. I imagine they will look cute rolled up with sandals as it gets warmer too!