Monthly Archives: June 2017

Sewaholic Rae Skirt in Metallic Linen

Summer has finally hit the East Coast! I have a great quick pattern for your summer-time enjoyment. Truth be told, these pictures were taken in April and even though it looks like I am basking in a warm sun, it was COLD! If you look closely, you can actually see the goosebumps on my legs! Brr!

This is the Rae Skirt pattern by Sewaholic patterns. The pattern company was started by Tasia St. Germaine in 2010, and she drafted for the pear shaped customer. Lucky for me, that is just what I am. I have a small chest, tiny waist but larger hips, hence the “pear” shape. Even though she drafts for my fellow junk-in-the-trunk people, I have seen numerous renditions of her patterns by non-pear people that look amazing, so  fear not! Tasia sold the business a few years back, and quite honestly, we haven’t seen much new from them. There are some solid, fantastic patterns, so the line is still quite popular. You will see her Renfrew, Cambie, and Granville still popping up around the sewing blogs.

This pattern in particular was produced to help people learn how to sew. I am talking about giving confidence to someone that has not even sewn a pillowcase, let alone a skirt. The instructions are fantastic for new sewers, and she holds your hand with every turn. If you are not an in-person class taker, this is like having Tasia with you every step of the way. I am not a beginner, but I love sewing this skirt. It is one of those things that I find flattering (which is tough to say about an elastic-waisted skirt!), a quick sewing palate cleanser, and yields endless opportunities to use up fun fabric.

My initial thought was to do this in a Cotton + Steel gingham, but I decided that with the way the pattern pieces were shaped, it might be a bit of an eye-sore with the plaids blending into each other. It might have worked, but I will probably never find out. I found something else to do with said gingham, and instead used the Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic linen in red with a golden tone for the Rae. It is super fun!

This is my third version of this skirt, and I almost have it perfect. This time I added belt loops, which are a must. I was in a time crunch to finish the skirt so even though pockets would make this the PERFECT skirt, it is sadly sans pockets. Next time though!

I sewed up a size two and it fit pretty much spot-on. I mean, it does have an elastic waist, so fitting is pretty much nonexistent, but the amount of fullness is just enough for my frame. I really want to do my next version in something with a bit more drape. And with pockets.

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Working with the linen was not a problem. I was concerned it would fray like crazy, but I just zigzagged over the raw edges and all is still good. This linen is a dream to wear in hot weather. I recently wore this in Athens, which was standing-on-the-sun hot, and I was very comfortable. The composition is about half linen and half cotton with a little lurex, so you don’t get the crazy wrinkles, but it is still lovely and breathable.

This skirt took me two hours to make from tracing to attaching the last belt loop. What could be better than that?? I will need to block out a bit more time for pockets next time, but still a great and satisfying project.

Have you sewn any Sewaholic patterns? Are you a fellow pear-shape? What are you sewing for your summer wardrobe?!?!?!

Row by Row with Salty Oat

It’s that time of year again! Row by Row begins next week on June 21st, and we are ready! If you aren’t familiar with Row by Row, here is the scoop: participating quilt shops around the US (and some countries around the world) offer a quilt row pattern for free that they have created for every person that comes through the door. Each pattern is created by the shops, so that no two should be alike. If you have a competitive nature, you can put together eight different rows, and if you are the first one to bring in a finished quilt (pieced, quilted, bound and labeled) you have the chance to win a prize of 25 fat quarters! Such fun!

We have teamed up again with Caitlin from Salty Oat, who has designed our row this year, and we are so excited! We thought we would take this opportunity to get to know a little bit more about Caitlin and her design process and have her tell us all about the row this year!

Can you tell us a bit about Salty Oat?
Salty Oat is a one-woman quilt business, which I run from my home studio in Framingham, MA. I sell both readymade and custom patchwork quilts, pillows, and a small line of hand embroidery patterns. I also teach both sewing and embroidery classes in the area.

How long have you been quilting?
I’ve sewn since childhood, but I began quilting in 2009. One of my first quilts was made from the fabric bunting we used as a decoration at our wedding.

What was your inspiration for this year’s row by row design?
When I was brainstorming ideas for the row based on the theme of “On the Go,” I kept coming back to the idea of tires and the infinite number of rim designs I see every time I’m driving on the highway. I thought it would be fun to create a somewhat abstract design based on tires by creating circles within circles, each of which is unique. I opted to use an improvisational framework for the construction of the blocks–each circle is cut by hand, hand-sewn, and placed at random in each block–so no two blocks are the same and no two rows will be the same. I also love how the random placement of the tires suggests movement across the row–perfect for this theme!

What drove your fabric choice?
Maggie has such a gorgeous selection of Liberty of London Tana Lawns in the shop, and I thought it would be fun to incorporate such special prints into the row. I love mixing different substrates into my work, and lawn is also a great fabric for hand sewing.

You chose hand appliqué for this year’s block, why?
Since this year’s theme is “On the Go,” I loved the idea of creating a row that you could sew while you’re actually on the go. Hand appliqué is super portable, and I love the idea of people working on this row throughout the summer, taking blocks with them to the beach or the pool, or while traveling in cars or planes.

Do you have any tips or advice for putting together this block?
Enjoy it and take your time! The construction of this block will require you to slow down a bit, as is the nature of hand sewing. Also, embrace the imperfections of hand sewing and be patient with yourself. I guarantee you’ll see your skills improve as you work your way down the row!

Thanks, Caitlin! We are super excited about this year’s row and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Photo of Caitlin by Linsey Hite