Flannel Archer Button Up

flannel archer button up grainline studio

It’s time for me to get back in the blog saddle. I recently started a new job, and I gave myself a little break for a few weeks to adjust. The gig’s been great thus far, but I’m still getting used to dressing like a real person (business casual, y’all!) and coming into the office five days in a row without feeling like a zombie.

My previous job offered Work from Home Wednesdays. I hadn’t realized how much of an impact that had on my energy levels. Doing work braless, in my pajamas once a week really did wonders for my well-being. But alas, that life is no more. I’m finally used my new schedule and workload, and that means more energy for blogging. :D

image: Veronz

I know Halloween has come and gone, but daggumit I worked hard on my costume and I want to share it. Here’s the outfit breakdown:

  • Fleece and faux fur coat: Vogue Very Easy pattern V 8930
  • Dress: single layer of V 8904, sewn twice before
  • Red gloves, cigarette holder, and wig: Amazon.com
  • Red pumps (not pictured): DSW
  • Earrings and necklace: sourced from my late grandma’s fantastic costume jewelry stash
  • Emerald ring: panic attack central AKA Forever 21

The gloves were slippery, the wig was a little itchy, and the coat was hot as hell at the indoor party I attended. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel like a badass the entire night. Being a glamorous Disney villain has its perks.

flannel archer button up

When it came time for a practical sewing project, I turned to the Archer Button Up from Grainline Studio. Last year, I sewed view B in a red chambray. This shirt is view A, a classic boyfriend-style button up, in a super-soft Robert Kaufman flannel from The Needle Shop in Chicago. I was very, very hungover when I took these pictures (like, “oh god why did I do this to myself never again” stupid hungover), so I apologize for my glazed-over eyes and general derpness.

flannel archer button up grainline studio

The sewing process was so much less intimidating this time around with one Archer under my belt. I don’t have a ton to say about construction, but I did fudge the collar a little bit. Instead of using Andrea’s collar tutorial like I did last time, I followed along with the pattern directions and referred to Jen’s sew along. Her video on how to attach the collar is helpful, but my collar stand ended up jutting out past the button band a little bit on one side. It’s not enough to be bothersome, so it’s staying as-is.

archer button up in flannel

I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that I’m coming to accept little imperfections in my handmade work. Part of me wonders if I notice the mistakes more because I’m gaining experience. But, I could just be getting lazier. Either way, I have a wearable shirt at the end of the day. Right now, that’s good enough for me.

archer button up grainline studio
And this is why we press our hems

In case you’re interested in the boring details:

  • Size: Straight 8. My measurements are 36″-29″-38″ and I’m 6’0″ tall.
  • Alterations: Added 1.5″ to the sleeves and body (could’ve gone with just 1″ on the sleeves); used Jen’s alternate Archer pocket tutorial again.
  • Finishing: Used my machine’s overcast foot for a faux-serged look (this foot is AMAZING by the way); sewed faux flat-felled seams throughout.

It feels good to be back! Before I leave, did you all see Heather’s latest release over at Closet Case Files?

photo: closetcasefiles.com

The Clare Coat just pounced to the top of my queue. I know, I know, I did a whole post about which coat pattern I wanted to make and actually bought one from Burda. But this pattern just speaks to me. Now to source some wool and super-warm lining…

Have any patterns cut the line in your sewing queue?

Three Grainline Studio Lark Tees (and Halloween Costume Progress)

three grainline studio lark tees

It’s been churn and burn in my sewing world lately. I usually try to write a post fairly quickly after sewing something, but life’s been busy. Plus, lots of output means less time for blogging. But I’m here to remedy that today. Please forgive the garment and photo overload in this post! First up: the costume. Halloween is looming, and for once I’m not procrastinating. This year I’ll be dressing up as the most fabulous harpy to come out of the Disney empire:

disney style cruella de vil
Image from blogs.disney.com

Cruella de Vil. No, it’s not the most creative costume, but I’ve been itching to be Cruella for a few years now. I used Very Easy Vogue coat pattern V8930 to make the yellowish-cream “fur” coat. As in, I used banana-colored fleece for the body and faux fur for the facing/collar piece.

cruella de vil costume
I think I’m attempting “haughty” here. Also plz excuse the mess and graininess.

And, of course, the coat is lined in vivid red. I made a simple black dress using the base layer of V8904 (also sewn here and here), except I sewed a V-neckline. The shoes are Anne Klein pumps from DSW. I’ve gathered most of the other accessories (red gloves, cigarette holder, green earrings), and now I’ve just got to settle on a wig, maybe make a purse, and find a real or fake dalmatian puppy for my pocket. Are any of you attempting a DIY Halloween costume this year? Spill!

I’ve kept my sewing machine pretty warm with Halloween stuff lately, but I’ve also made some non-costume-related garments. When Grainline Studio launched the Lark Tee sewing pattern, I bought it immediately and planned a trip to Vogue Fabrics to get my hands on some knits. I didn’t hesitate to buy Lark because A). I don’t own a T-shirt pattern, B). Grainline’s drafting is generally spot on, and C). it’s infinitely customizable, with four neckline options (crew, scoop, V, and boat) and four sleeve options (long, 3/4, short, and cap).

For construction, I used a ballpoint needle, walking foot, and the lightning bolt stitch on my sewing machine. Each is a size 8. Here are the rest of the dirty details about my three Larks (and counting):

Long Sleeve with V-Neck

grainline studio lark tee olive

cuffs grainline studio lark tee

I didn’t have a twin needle handy when I finished the hem and sleeves of this shirt, and I kind of botched the sleeve hems with a regular zigzag stitch. Since I didn’t stabilize them with anything, they turned out wavy enough to be bothersome. Luckily, cutting the hems off and adding cuffs turned out to be a really simple fix. I’m a fan of cuffs on long sleeves, and I think I might treat all of my LS Larks this way!

lark tee long sleeves

v-neck lark tee grainline studio

I looooove the color of this fabric—a sturdy ponte knit from The Needle Shop in Chicago—but unfortunately it’s pilling like crazy after just three washes. I think I might start air-drying this bad boy to avoid any more damage. (It might also help if I stopped wearing jewelry with it :-P). As for the neckline, this was my first attempt at a V-neck. It’s not horrible, but it’s a little more rounded underneath the point than it should be. I fixed that with my second V-neck after reading Jen’s tutorial for the Lark sew along. Speaking of my second V-neck…

3/4 Sleeve with V-Neck

v-neck lark tee grainline studio

lark tee 3/4 sleeves grainline studio

I know it’s kind of hard to see the V-neck detailing on black, but the point of the V is much prettier on this version. I folded the neckband strip carefully to get a thin line of white at the edge, and I like how that turned out. The neckline is anchored down with a twin needle stitch (finally replaced my broken one!). I also used the twin needle to hem the sleeves and bottom.

lark tee 3/4 sleeves grainline studio

This fabric is probably the best knit I’ve ever bought. Its a bamboo-lycra blend from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston. At $16/yard it’s pretty pricey, and I hesitated to purchase it at first. But I’m glad I went with my gut, since it’s washed and worn beautifully thus far and remains buttery soft to the touch.

Short Sleeve with Scoop Neck

short sleeve lark tee grainline studio

short sleeve lark tee grainline studio

This particular Lark Tee is a testament to how differently patterns can behave depending on the type of fabric you use. I can’t remember the exact content of this cotton-spandex blend from Vogue Fabrics, but it’s definitely more structured than the bamboo knit. I think I could’ve easily cut a size down for this, and I might go back and take in the sides if the fit starts to bother me. Again, I used a twin needle to anchor the neckline and finish the hems.

lark tee short sleeve grainline studio

The Verdict

This is a great basic T-shirt pattern to build your layering wardrobe. It seems like it runs a bit big, so definitely make a test version and go from there. I have pretty broad shoulders and a 36″ bust, and the 8 fits great around the chest. It falls into a looser shape around the hips, but that’s part of the design. I should also note that this thing is pretty long. I’m 6’0″ with a long torso, and I normally have to lengthen my shirt patterns (including other Grainline Studio patterns) by at least 1″. I didn’t lengthen these shirts at all, and they’re plenty long.

Have you made any Larks yet? What’s your verdict?

Bee’s Knees Cocktail | Guest Post from Sarah of Reviews for No One

bees knees gin cocktail

When you’re someone who enjoys a good cocktail, it’s nice having like-minded cocktail-loving friends. Who else can you geek out with about things like the best sweet vermouth for Manhattans or how to serve a delicious punch without killing severely intoxicating your guests? Sarah—who writes a great book-review blog over at Reviews for No One—is one of those friends. When she posted a delicious-looking gin cocktail on Instagram a few weeks ago, I immediately thought GIMME, and then figured it’d be a great candidate for the blog. She gamely agreed to write a guest post, and here we are. Take it away, Sarah!

It’s almost October, but in the Midwest that means we’re feeling the last wispy breezes of summer. So on a recent 80-degree day, I took it as a sign that it was time to make my favorite gin drink one last time before it’s full-blown sweater weather: the Bee’s Knees.

Technically, it’s not specifically a summer drink. It’s yet another classic Prohibition-era cocktail that went from the forgotten drink of flappers to working its way into almost every Logan Square (read: hipster) bar opening these days. It also happens to be one of the easiest drinks to whip up at home. But gin in general just screams SUMMER to me and with the punch of citrus in this drink, it has porch sippin’ written all over it.

I favor simple, straightforward cocktails—the fewer ingredients the better. And the Bee’s Knees is just that. It pairs the bright, botanical notes of gin with the tartness of lemon juice plus a little honey for sweetness. That’s it. Just three ingredients, two of which are probably already in your kitchen right now.

That means all you really need to worry about is what kind of gin to use.

st. george gins

My sister got me this sweet little three-pack of St. George gins for Christmas and I have had a fantastic time playing with them! St. George’s comes in Terroir, Botanivore, and Dry Rye. The Terroir is that classic juniper-forward flavor, while the Dry Rye is spicy and oaky (hot tip: sub it in for your whiskey in your next Manhattan—it’s fantastic!). But the perfectly balanced Botanivore won out in the end.

I followed the Washington Post recipe exactly. Some recipes call for equal amounts of lemon juice and honey syrup, but I found that to be too tart. So, per the Post‘s recipe, I used:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • ¾ oz. honey syrup
  • ½ oz. lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, and then shake vigorously for 20 seconds or until the drink is chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and voilà!

bees knees gin cocktail in glass

“But,” you might say, “where do I get honey syrup?” Easy! It’s just like simple syrup—equal parts water and sugar—only you swap the sugar for honey. However, there’s no need to make some giant pot of the stuff just so you can stuff it in the fridge and forget about it.

Instead, pour about 1 tablespoon each of honey and water into a small bowl. Microwave for 10–15 seconds, and stir until thoroughly combined. Then you can pop the bowl with your single-serving sized bit of honey syrup straight into the freezer while you gather your ingredients and juice your lemon. A couple of minutes cools it off enough to stop it from affecting the flavor and temperature of the rest of your ingredients.

Aaaaand my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Author and photography: Sarah Gorr


Pattern Crushes: Fall/Winter Coats Edition

I’m torn about planning a seasonal wardrobe. I tried it for the first time this past March, when I posted what I considered to be a reasonable spring/summer sewing plan. “I can finish this in a few months, easy!” Not so easy it turns out, especially when you live in Chicago, a city that kicks any other city’s ass during the summer. Those sweet, sweet months between May and August begot more frequent late nights, beach volleyball, and patio drinkin’—and quite a bit less sewing.

My seasonal sewing plan wasn’t a complete bust, though. Here’s how I fared:

spring and summer sewing plans skitched

Sleeveless Button Up: I finally blew out the elbow on my favorite pink Levi’s shirt, so I lopped off the sleeves, took in the sides a bit to compensate for the deeper armhole, and bound the raw armscye with self-made bias tape. Cheating? Possibly. But I’m all for upcycling, so this one’s still a win in my book.

Solid Knit Tee: I made a knit Scout with some super-stretchy blue knit from my stash, but the ribbing I used for the neck band turned out a little gapey. I still wear this T-shirt, but it will probably be replaced by the arsenal of Lark Tees I’m planning on making. One down, at least five to go.

Floral Shift Dress: Colette’s Laurel in a floral cotton did the trick.

Printed Shorts: Nope. Next year: Maritime shorts. I hope.

Full Skirt: How did I not make this one happen?! A daggum SKIRT???!! I’m embarrassed, y’alls.

Woven Straight-Leg Pants: You can’t say I didn’t try. Try, and fail somewhat miserably.

The overall outcome could’ve been worse, but I still don’t feel great about failing to meet my goal. This season, I’ve decided to play it by ear, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been ruminating. Let’s get real: people who sew also love to plan. I already bought some deep-red herringbone flannel for another Archer (view A this time), and I’m trying to drum up the courage to finally sew some Ginger Jeans.

But the number-one-must-absolutely-try-to-attempt item on my list is a winter coat. I know it’s early, but if I don’t get started soon it simply won’t get done. I’m not trying to make a coat to withstand the 0º F days of a Chicago winter; those days are for my Michelin-man Eddie Bauer down parka. I would, however, love to sew a heavyweight coat that’s not only warm enough to get me through most of the winter unscathed, but also cute enough that I’m not embarrassed to wear it in public.

I’ve been scouring the web for intermediate-level patterns (sometimes in vain), since the only coats I’ve sewn thus far are the Willy Wonka corduroy monstrosities that I made for Halloween last year. I’ve narrowed it down to the following patterns:

cascade duffel coat

Cascade Duffel Coat, Grainline Studio

Difficulty: advanced

Design details: slightly A-line toggle coat with optional hood

Pros: Made up in a nice wool, this would be insanely warm. And it’s got a hood!

Cons: It’s pretty sporty, and I find myself drawn to more feminine coats lately. I also already own a coat with toggles, albeit in a much lighter fabric.


Andy Coat, Named Patterns

Difficulty: advanced

Design details: collarless belted coat with welt pockets and asymmetrical button stand

Pros: Who doesn’t love a good waist-cinching belt? And no collar means all the scarves.

Cons: No collar also means it runs the risk of looking homespun?

leanne marshall 1254

Simplicty 1254 by Leanne Marshall

Difficulty: easy (I’m skeptical)

Design details: fitted coat with an oversize collar that doubles as a hood

Pros: I love the look of the concealed zipper band and in-seam pockets.

Cons: That collar looks like it might swallow my head. Reviews note that the instructions are lacking, which might be a problem for me.

burda paneled coat

Paneled Coat #126, Burda

Difficulty: intermediate

Design details: fitted coat with panels, hidden pockets, and a lapel-free collar

Pros: The lines on this look modern and incredibly flattering. And, maybe it’s just the styling, but d-d-dayum this thing looks sexy for a winter coat.

Cons: While the neckline screams for a scarf, it might be a little too open to be practical for cold weather.

long wool coat burda

Long Wool Coat #104, Burda

Difficulty: intermediate

Design details: Long, semifitted coat with passants (shoulder straps) and one asymmetrical row of military-style buttons.

Pros: According to Burda, this coat is “the ideal accompaniment for a quiet walk.” Burda, go home, you’re drunk. But for reals, this coat looks polished and timeless.

Cons: I haven’t gone the military-style route before, and I’m a little afraid this will look too preppy on me.

There are several more jackets on my Sewing Pattern Crushes Pinterest board, but I find myself consistently navigating back to these five coats. Please comment if you’ve tried one of the patterns before!

I’m still pretty intimidated by the thought of making a heavy-duty garment like this, but I’m determined to give it a go. Have you ever sewn your own winter coat?

inari tee dress in tencel denim

Inari Tee Dress in Tencel Denim

After last week’s unfortunate pants episode, I’m happy to say that I love this dress. It’s my second version of the Inari Tee Dress from Named Patterns. instead of a knit, this time I sewed it up in a soft, lightweight tencel-denim blend. Have you ever felt tencel? I first laid hands on a tencel shirt in my one of my favorite Chicago boutiques, Study Hall. (If that shirt wasn’t a gnarly shade of Barney purple, I’d probably be wearing it right now.) It was incredibly soft and had such a pretty, fluid drape. Bonus points that tencel turns out to be biodegradable and sustainable! Sweet.

inari tee dress in tencel denim front

This fabric was so easy to work with—aside from the fierce fraying—that I’m letting it dictate my next make. Fabric.com is out of yardage in this color, but I’m planning on picking up some similar tencel chambray in a darker color to make another Archer. (Maybe with cuffs and a pocket made from remnants of the lighter fabric?! The wheels are a turnin’!)

inari tee dress

As I said, the innards were fraying like a beast after finishing them with a zigzag stitch, so I experimented with some binding for the side seams. Plus, the vented hem just cries out for a little extra something on the inside.

inari tee dress bias bound seam

inari tee dress hong kong seam

Experimenting is the key word here. I made some double-fold bias tape from leftover floral cotton and used it to create bias-bound side seams on one side (top image) and a Hong Kong bound seam on the other (bottom image). Honestly, I can’t remember my thought process or the steps I took when it came to the finish at the vent, but it necessitated a different treatment than the side seam. As you can see, things got a little wonky at both vent openings, especially on the Honk Kong side. I zigzagged any raw edges to prevent any further unraveling. Any tips for finishing a vented hem? I’m wondering if a simple zigzag finish (or overlocked edge if you have a serger) is the best option.

inari tee dress decorative stitching

As if some janky floral bias tape wasn’t enough, I also added decorative stitches at the vent. I seriously felt like a kid discovering Doritos for the first time when I started playing around with the decorative stitches on my machine. I settled on these loops, which are inconspicuous because of the near-matching thread. It’s all about those little details, amirite?!

inari tee dress in tencel denim vent

The Nitty Gritty

  • Fit: Again, I sewed a US size 8. Since my knit garment was so large at first (like, large even for a fabric with lots of stretch), I sewed the side seams at a 5/8″ seam allowance. I should’ve stuck with the pattern’s recommended 3/8″ SA, though, since I could use a teensy bit more room at the upper thigh. I thought about letting it out, but the dress was still comfy after two full days of wear. Just no sumo squats in this!

inari tee dress bias facing neckline

  • Neckline: I forwent the facing pieces and finished the neckline with a self bias facing. As always, I used the method outlined in this Grainline tutorial to get that sucker lying flat.

inari tee dress sleeves

  • Sleeves: I did a shoddy job setting the sleeves the first time around (I guess I’m rusty sewing them in the round?!), so I unpicked them and took my time pinning and easing. Unfortunately, the stitches from the previous seam are visible. Any tips for fixing that? I have enough fabric to sew new sleeves, but the marks don’t bother me too much right now.

inari tee dress sleeve detail

  • Sleeve detail: Again with the decorative stitches—I can’t stop myself! Instead of sewing the sleeve detail to the sleeve by hand, I used this pointed-oval stitch. It turned into a fish since I didn’t stop quickly enough. Kinda cute?

This dress is seriously so fun to wear. I’d say that after sewing two Inaris within a month, I should give the pattern a rest for awhile, but I can see making this up in a slightly heavier weight wool jersey to pair with tights this fall.

That gets me thinking: Are you geared up for fall sewing? I’m going to go with the flow this season and work on things as inspiration (or a new pattern!) comes along. And then there’s Halloween! But that holiday deserves its own post. Soon enough, my costume-loving friends, soon enough. :D

Woven Hudson Pants

woven hudson pants true bias aw shucks

Well folks, they can’t all be winners. I won’t call these woven Hudson Pants a fail—they’re still wearable and hella comfy. But even after some major surgery, they’re just… not great.

Note: Please forgive the optical illusion effect that the stripes give off in these pictures. They look totally normal in person—I swear!

For starters, the print I chose reminds me of pajamas. More specifically, Bananas in Pajamas. The fabric itself is fine: a 100% cotton stretch twill with 15% stretch across the grain. It’s a true medium weight though, and I think these pants—when sewn in a woven—would work better with a floatier, lighter textile.

Kelli’s woven variation tutorial on the True Bias blog suggests going up two to three sizes, so I cut a 12 instead of an 8 this time. I must have forgotten about the stretch in these pants when cutting—looking back, I should have cut a size 10 considering the 15% stretch. Here’s what they looked like before surgery:

woven hudson pants beofrewoven hudson pants before

As you can see, they are YOUUUUGE, even with a 3/4″ seam allowance (rather than the suggested 3/8″ SA). There’s tons of excess fabric in the crotch and hip area, and the length is kind of off. Here’s what they look like postsurgery:

woven hudson pants true bias bottom half

The fit still isn’t fantastic in the crotch area, but I had to stop somewhere. Fiddling anymore with these pants would’ve driven me mad, especially considering I sewed the elastic waist too loose the first time around and had to pick out a bunch of zigzag stitches through two layers of fabric AND the elastic. Woof. These pants were truly a test in patience. Pretty sure I got a C–.

woven true bias hudson pants

You might be thinking, “They’re not too shabby from this angle!” You’re right, they’re not. But what fun would a sewing blog be if it didn’t reveal its hideous underbelly? In the interest of transparency, here’s what the crotch looks like now (avert your eyes if you want to avoid gratuitous bunching):

woven true bias hudson pants
No, those aren’t headlights. It’s just the way the fabric on my top is folding.

Elastic-waisted anything always rides up that high on me. The extra crotch depth I added deters any camel toe, but there’s just still too much fabric there. I added a few darts to help fix the issue, and they definitely help. I’m glad I added the cuffs, as I think the pants look more modern and less pajama-like now. See, it’s not all cold pricklies and pessimism here!

woven hudson pants cuff

The Nitty Gritty

  • Lengthened the pants 3″ at the lengthen/shorten line.
  • Followed Kelli’s instructions re: altering the pocket pieces, adding length to accommodate for hemming instead of sewing on an ankle band, and grading the leg opening a little wider. I cut the main pocket on the cross grain, and I love the way the stripes play against each other.
  • Cut the waistband on the bias for similar stripey goodness.
  • Ended up adding cuffs, cut on the bias after measuring the leg opening.
  • Added 1″ to the crotch depth on the front and back pattern pieces. On my second pair of knit Hudsons, I added 1″ to the crotch length. That seemed to help a little bit with the camel-toe issue I had on the first knit pair, but the second pair seemed to pool too much in the front, so I figured it might be more of a depth vs. length issue. For a little background on that, here’s what the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing has to say:

The crotch depth is the measurement of the distance from your waist to the bottom of your hips, taken when you are sitting. . . The crotch length is is actual length of the crotch seam, taken between the legs, from waist at center front to waist at center back.

  • Added two small darts in the front and back to reduce some of the excess fabric.

woven hudson pants

All-in-all, these pants aren’t a total bust. They really are comfortable and I think they look okay styled with my Ruby Top. In reality, I’ll probably wear these around the house on my work from home days. Normally I’m wearing shredded old pajama shorts and a tank top when I work from home, so these pants will be a vast improvement. And who knows—maybe they’ll grow on me.

Have you sewn any duds lately? If you have, at what point did you throw in the towel? Commiserate with me, it’ll be fun!

On My Radar

Change is good. If you’re a returning reader, you’ve probably noticed that this blog has undergone a mini makeover. It’s nothing too crazy, but I was tired of the previous layout and wanted something fresher and brighter. I’ll probably switch fonts a few more times until I find the right one, like the dutiful overthinker I am. Please let me know if you have trouble reading anything, if the layout’s terribly confusing, or even if you don’t like that color green. (I don’t know what kind of MONSTER wouldn’t like that seafoam green, though.)

With this change in look, I’m also going to augment the content a bit. For awhile now, I’ve been bouncing around ideas for new kinds of posts, only to shoot them down in my head for fear of failure. That toxic fear is unfortunately pretty common for me, and I’m doing my best to get over it and just write. It’s my own damn blog, after all. I’ll still post all the clothes and cocktails I make, but I’m going to start peppering in some new types of posts and series. “On My Radar” is a random assortment of topical and not-so-topical things that I consider worth sharing. Simple as that.

Without further ado:

Image: http://www.findwhatfeelsgood.com

Sweat: Yoga with Adriene

Any yoga teacher that says the word “fart” during class is alright in my book. Adriene Mischler, the namesake behind the Yoga with Adriene YouTube empire, has a way of making her online classes laid-back and accessible while explaining each pose perfectly and still imparting some grounding yogic wisdom. She’s got a series for true beginners, a more intense series called Yoga for Weight Loss, and specialty videos for everything in between.

I don’t know where she studied yoga, but her cues are by far the best I’ve ever heard in online yoga classes. If you want to supplement your studio yoga practice or just gain some flexibility, you should check her out. It’s weird, but after doing Adriene’s videos a few times a week for months, I feel like we’re almost… friends? My guess is that the other 825,000+ YouTube subscribers feel the same.

Here are some of my favorite Yoga with Adriene videos:

There are a few I’m forgetting, but you get the point. You can follow along with Adriene on her YouTube channelblog, and Instagram. Namaste, y’alls!

umbrella collective bucket bags
Image: http://www.theumbrellacollective.com/

Drool: leather bucket bags from Umbrella Collective

These bags. They’re so buttery soft I could rub my face on them all day. I came across Umbrella Collective at a Renegade Craft Fair popup at the Hideout in Chicago. At first, I bypassed the booth since everything looked EX-PEN-SIVE. My curiosity brought me back, though, and I fell in love with a super-soft, navy bucket bag priced at $138—not cheap, but reasonable considering each product is handmade in the USA. For better or worse, I take every clothing and accessory purchase pretty seriously ever since I started sewing my own clothes. It means something to me that I got to meet the maker behind the bag, and I’m willing to save up for her quality product instead of impulse-buying something else. (Steps off soapbox.)

I didn’t buy anything that day at the craft fair, but I’ve been eyeing the brand’s goods on Etsy and Instagram ever since. The camel and navy leather purses and the striped canvas totes are on point. If I don’t go for a bucket bag, I might snag a canvas-and-leather tote. Which style do you like best?

Listen: Jemaine Clement on You Made It Weird

I went back and forth for awhile about which Flight of the Conchords member is sexier, but it’s got to be Jemaine. (Sorry, Bret.) That voice—dem LIPS! Anyway, I’ve been a fan of FotC since their first season on HBO, and even saw them live in concert in Chicago. If you’re a fan of Jemaine, check out episode 276 of the You Made It Weird podcast. In his wickedly dry deadpan, Jemaine talks to host Pete Holmes about death, being a dad, and American–New Zealand misunderstandings. My favorite quote of the episode involves fanny packs, and I’ll leave it at that.

bees knees gin cocktail
Image: Sarah Gorr via Facebook

Drink: Bees Knees gin cocktail

Save for the piña coladas I mixed up on the reg this summer, I’ve felt a little uninspired on the cocktail front lately. And then my friend Sarah, who blogs here, posted her version of the Bees Knees. It’s a simple, classic cocktail with just three ingredients: “gin, lemon juice, [and] honey simple syrup.” YASSS. All things that I have in the house (or can easily make). I will be mixing one of these before the summer’s out, and then probably into the fall, and then winter. I’m a Gin for All Seasons kind of girl.

Thanks for reading the first edition of this series! Now spill: What’s on your radar?