low beam studios

Last Weekend


Oh, what fun sewing retreats are!!!  I had been needing a getaway from the everyday and this was the perfect little vacation.  I traveled down with three (1,2,3) friends and met many more.  I sewed all weekend, enjoyed old and new friends alike, and even completed a few projects.  Last week I hurriedly finished a new dress to wear because aren’t all crazy sewers like that?  Don’t tell me you never decided last minute that you had to have a new garment right now for that thing you are going to tomorrow!!


the pattern:  the very recognizable Washi, size XS with a full bodice lining

the fabric:  Jay McCarroll’s Drop Cloth from his Habitat line

the inspiration:  When I saw this dress and remembered I had 2 yards of the fabric stashed I knew what my first Washi was going to be.  I wish it hadn’t taken me so long, but I am not going to dwell on that because I love it.  I have been wearing it with a wool cardigan and scarf to keep warm.  Yeah for last minute sewing!

***I will be back nest week with my retreat sewing finishes and a giveaway to spread the fun.

….updating this post to add a smooth bust dart tutorial.  It’s called a one thread dart and you should check it out before you sew any more darts:  http://www.coutureschmiede.com/2011/04/couture-technique-one-thread-dart.html




I am attending my very first sew-in this weekend.  Today I am organizing and packing a handful of projects to work on and trying to finish a new dress to wear once there.  I am rooming with two friends and excited to meet other creative and talented sewers.  I intend to have a great weekend.  I hope yours is crafty as well.

Happy Halloween!!!


The kids took over Halloween this year and I didn’t miss the planning and sewing one bit.  Genius struck at the thrift store when I spotted this $5 costume.  A little convincing was all it took to make a very happy astronaut.  That and a box on his head for a helmet!  I did help with a few stitches on the Wood Fairy’s wreath/crown but spent most of costume construction time selfishly knitting and sewing.  Go me!

the rest of Kids Clothes Week Fall 2013

I had two more finishes this week:  a Meridian Cardi and a not-so-skinny Flashback Tee dress.


The Meridian Cardi is sewn in a bright pink floral jersey (perfectly suited for a seven year old) from my Grandmother’s most recent bunch of hand-me-downs.  It reverses to a solid white jersey and closes with a sew-in-snap hidden by a cupcake button.  I helped in testing the women’s Meridian Cardi, which is soon to be released, and received a complimentary kids version.  Both versions are assembled quickly and perfect cardigans for the cooler fall weather.  Hidden underneath the cardigan is a modified Skinny Tee sewn in Heather Ross’s Briar Knits.  To make an a-line dress I angled the side seams out starting at the armpit and added length to the original pattern.


Kid’s Clothes Sewing

We are near the end of another kid’s clothes week.  I took a more relaxed approach this season, but I will finish the week with a few new garments for the kids.

First up:


the pattern:  Flashback Skinny tee

the fabric:  Birch Fabric Elk Grove Knits.  These are a more substantial knit fabric with more weight and less drape than Windham’s Heather Ross Briar Knits.

the rest:  Same as usual, this tee comes together quick and looks great.  The boy picked the fabric and is quite happy with his “deer” shirt despite his anti-model stance.

Selfish Sewing Week Continued


After a weekend away, I hopped right back into my selfish sewing plans.  Even though the temperature is eighty degrees today, I am planning for the cold weather around the corner.  And why is it eighty degrees in October anyway?

the pattern:  Anna Maria Horner’s Painted Portrait Dress

the fabric:  “Little Letter” Nani Iro brushed cotton; pockets, facing, and sleeve bands in linen (scraps) from www.fabric-store.com.  Have you felt this fabric?  It is perfect for fall and winter sewing:  A flannel textured twill weave that makes the comfiest clothes.  And the muted palette of this print is perfect.

After my first Portrait Blouse, I knew another garment from this pattern had to be quick coming.  This version is the pocketed dress with sleeves.  The loose fit of the skirt means no grading between sizes was necessary for my off-standard proportions.   Again I changed the directions by attaching the facing by hand and sewing french seams throughout.  This time around I also hand-finished the hems.  Although a bit more time consuming than machine blind hemming I much prefer the final product of handwork:  The inside looks as finished as the out.  The only noticeable change to the pattern is the hem of the sleeves.  I liked the pop of dark at the elbow during a mid-sew fitting so I changed it up to keep a bit of the bias peeking out.


An Autumn Favorite

Fall is also known as Johnny’more season around my house.  Due to their awesomeness (and the fact I enjoyed my first of the season last weekend) I am re-sharing last year’s post.

Click HERE.

The Beginning:  an apple and a donut

**Also, don’t you just hate it when you realize you sewed the wrong sides together in a seam right after you trimmed you seam allowance down to a scant 1/8″?  Off to repair that mistake….