Category Archives: handmade

January Crafting List

I listen to a lot of podcasts while working at crafting, mostly for background noise.  The Happiness Project with Gretchen Rubin is always a favorite and for the New Year, she suggests having a yearly theme, a word. 

I can’t decide. My word was going to be Home, since ours was neglected in the last two years. Or it will be Homemade/Handmade. Either way, I am adding to my crafting to-do list. 


  • ✔Wool n’ Spinning workshop Default spin
  • Wool n’ Spinning workshop Ratios
  • Purple Iris 
  • Fall leaves


  • ✔Finish the Ketterdam shawl.  Lost at yarn chicken by 12 yards in December. 
  • ✔Renamed that problem over-dyed yarn Evergreen (because it’s no longer a problem) and make a big winter cowl
  • Write pattern for Crisscross hat

    Crisscross hat in Evergreen overdye yarn

  • Doubleknit Ikat cowl 

    Ikat sketch needs a rework

  • Hats for charity
  • Continuous sock on needles
  • SSK KALs

A New Thing: 

  • A sketch a day
  • Calligraphy practicing the alphabet in a new to me font ( challenge). Brush is harder than I expected. 


  • Storage buckets for yarn & fiber
  • Winter crossbody bag
  • Finish project bags already cut (save for gift giving)
  • ✔Finish hand stitching for Alabama Chanin A-line dress
  • Printmaking

Home: Decluttering & Organizing 

  • ✔My closet & bathroom 
  • Garage & attic in warm weather
  • Taxes

Wishing These Magically Get Done:

  • Marbling more fabric for fun (make wire holders & order Orvis soap) 
  • Create practice Alabama Chanin jacket from Craftsy class. (Grey woven linen) Rethinking this whole project. 
  • Triptych painting in hall way (start sketches) finally settled on an general idea of a map
  • Paint dining room walls & ceiling Step 1: pick colors (Dover white & Sedate gray) 
  • Declutter and organize studio, attic and garage 

October Crafty List

Creating the list last month seemed to help me check off a lot of languishing projects. That or being at home, instead of on a roadtrip makes a difference.  

Either way, I like setting this up as a regular thing. A monthly list makes sense for now. 

October Crafty List:



  • ✔️ Doing: Start the On the Spice Market shawl by Melanie Berg. Using Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy gradient in Midnight Rendezvous and Black Trillium in Black Jewel. Participate in Melanie’s gradient KAL 

    On The Spice Market shawl progress

  • Select yarn for Ketterdam shawl by Laura Linneman Favorite candidate: Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy (interesting that Laura is currently doing the same.)
  • Swatch cardigan  
  • ✔️ Done: Finish Sister’s Christmas socks 

    Faux Wave sock pattern by Ann Budd,Regia yarn

  • Finish SSK socks, use Susan B Anderson’s SOS pattern 

Hand sewing:

I really like is switching between hand stitching and knitting when my hands get tired off one repetitive activity. Good thing, since I bought so much fabric already. 

If you are on Instagram there’s a tag #slowfashionoctober you might find interesting. 


  • ✔️ Done Get supplies for stenciling 
  • ✔️ Done: Swatch stencil paint colors for teal A-line dress or tunic (procrastinating…scared?!?)
  • ✔️ Done: Recut Maggie stencil 
  • ✔️ Done Cut fabric for teal tunic
  • ✔️ Done: Stencil teal tunic pieces
  • Hand stitch tunic pieces

Slanted Stitches Etsy shop:

  • ✔️ Done: Problem solve cable snaps
  • ✔️ Done: Finish Romi’s fortune cookie bag
  • ✔️Done: Eloise’s DPN holder
  • Fortune cookie bag – blue
  • ✔️Starting Purple take-out bags
  • Turquoise Japanese knot bags
  • Forest take-out bags


  • ❌ Fail. Botanical garden plant sale did not include veggies. 
  • ✔️ Done: Got veggies plants at local garden center
  • ✔️Done: Transition summer annuals to fall-winter plants. 
  • ✔️ Done: installed soaker hose to the dry sunnier yard. 
  • ✔️ Done:Start more veggies seedlings in the ground. Skip the trays. 

General Decluttering: not even thinking about these

  • Studio (straighten fabric, thread, patterns) SO NEEDED!
  • Kitchen (counter tops & pantry)

Wishing These Magically Get Done:

  • Marbling more fabric for Japanese bento bags. (make wire holders & order Orvis soap) 
  • ✔️done. Find label solution (source equipment/tools) 

    Prototype labels for shop bags

    Pyrographic leather labels for custom bags

  • Start grey fitted tank and skirt, and navy a-line dress.
  • Create practice Alabama Chanin jacket from Craftsy class. (Grey woven linen) Rethinking this whole project. 
  • Triptych painting in hall way (start sketches)
  • Paint dining room walls & ceiling
  • Every month declutter and organize one area. 


Long Project: Alabama Chanin #1 Done

I do not remember the first time I heard or read about Natalie Chanin and what she’s created at Alabama Chanin. I think it was a podcast called ThreadCult.

I love her philosophy of creating handmade couture garments with American grown and processed organic cotton knit fabric and hand stitched in her home state of Alabama.

Of course, that meant I had to follow her in Pinterest and Instagram. 

Her Craftsy class, Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric, is one of a few that I’ve actually watched from start to finish. I thought it would be a frugal way to have one of her garments. Except the project is a coat. Kinda big project. Scared me.

Coat pattern from Craftsy class

Then she published a sewing book, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns.  This I could do. 

Took awhile to accumulate the materials. You can purchase kits from her. But I wanted to practice.  Bought enough rayon knit at Hancock’s going-out-of-business sale to freely experiment.  Then the unexpected find of a linen knit at Harris in MN. 

Found linen knits at RS Harris in MN

Printed patterns & stencils at Office Depot

Cutting the A-line & fitted dress patterns

Swatching hand finishing options

Finished detail of A-line dress neckline

I didn’t hand stitch any of the seams on the practice dresses. I was more interested in making sure of the fit. And also practicing the finishing techniques for the neckline and armholes. 

Modified the A-line neckline higher for more coverage and then matched it to the Fitted dress pattern. (The Fitted dress has a scooped neck.)

Alabama Chanin A-line tunic over fitted dress

They both fit well. But I like the fitted dress a little better. 

Modifications: matched the necklines & arm holes to the tunic. 

Next time: change the grain line on the tunic to the center seam or cut off the flare at the center seam. 

Now I have to decide on the ‘real’ versions.