pendleton grainline archer

Pendleton Wool Archer Button Up

Do you ever buy a killer new pair of boots, or a fancy candle, or even a perfectly baked asiago cheese focaccia—and feel a pang of sadness on first wear, light, or bite? You’re not alone. Shopping-induced dopamine is a real thing! And so is the wistful feeling you get the moment your shiny new purchase isn’t so new anymore.

Anyone who buys fabric knows this feeling all too well, which is why so many of us hoard some of our most beautiful textiles. If we never cut into it, we can hold on to that shopping high forever… right?!

Wrong. If you’re anything like me (as in, you have the occasional neurotic tendencies), your fabric taunts you at every turn.

Remember meeee? Yup, you spent an extra 30 bucks on me because I’m a once-in-a-lifetime find, so you SAID. Now I’m piled on top of your lowly quilting cotton scraps, collecting dust while you try to remember what you even wanted to make with me in the first place. I could have been a skirt or a purse or 50 coasters by now… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

(My fabric can be a real B sometimes.)

pendleton woolen mill store

This August, I visited Oregon and made a point to stop at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store in Portland. The store houses bolt after bolt of stunning plaids, jacquards, geometric prints, and every thing in between, but that stuff is not cheap! After some serious deliberation, I settled on a 2-yard cut of a shirt-weight stripe for half off ($40 total). I also bought a thick jacquard remnant for $17—the jury’s still out on its destiny.

After a fleeting moment of indecision—this might make a cute wrap skirt or maybe a jumper—the rational side of my brain prevailed. With just 2 precious yards of fabric at my disposal, the choice was clear: I should make a tried and true Grainline Archer Button Up.

pendleton wool grainline archer

pendleton wool archer

sleeve detail grainline archer button up

pendleton wool grainline archer button up

The best way to overcome Fabric Fear? Just do it already! I highly suggest using a pattern you know and like when sewing up a particularly beloved fabric. There’s no shame in making the same pattern twice… or five times. I’m clearly an Archer fan, as evidenced by my previous four versions:

At this point, I don’t have much new to say about the pattern! I eked out all pieces from 2 yards of 58″ wide fabric, cutting the button band, back yoke, and pocket on the crosswise grain to add some visual interest. I sewed a straight size 8, adding 1.5 inches of length to the sleeve and the body. #sewingtall

Since finishing this shirt last week, I’ve already worn it three times. It’s. so. warm. Perfect for Chicago fall and winter.

grainline archer tamarack

And here’s a bonus sneak peek of my Grainline Tamarack Jacket! I’ll post about this…. eventually. It’s a light jacket that I finished in time for Chicago winter to hit. 😜

Now it’s your turn! Have you been sitting on any prized fabric? Consider this a Fabric Fear Safe Space for discussion and support.

gorton's fisherman and rainbow fish

Happy Halloween from Rainbow Fish!

rainbow fish

Who here was obsessed with the book Rainbow Fish growing up? I absolutely loved it. What little kid doesn’t like adorable sea creatures and pretty shiny things? I believe the moral of the story is that it’s good to share with your friends…? Sure, why not. What really stuck with me? The image of that goofy little fish and his beautiful silver scales.

I struggled this year coming up with Halloween costume ideas. Then I remembered how much Marc looks like the Gorton’s Fisherman. I thought maybe I’d go as a fish stick, but then realized I could easily be mistaken for a Twinkie or a mozzarella stick or a worm.

So Gorton turned vegetarian for the night and took Rainbow Fish as his date to the party.Read More »

My First Quilt

Up until a few months ago, I was quilt-indifferent. I had nothing against quilts. In fact, I was very loyal to a particular twin-size comforter from Target all throughout college. It just never occurred to me that I should try to make a quilt. Quilting has always seemed so distant from the kinds of things I like to sew.Read More »

alcoholic seltzer

Alcoholic Seltzer: My New Obsession

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you might be wondering, “Where have all the cocktails gone?” It’s a valid question, and I have a few answers for you.

1. I started to second guess whether I was “qualified” to write about cocktails. I’m not a bartender! I’ve only taken one cocktail class in my life! I realize that those reservations are stupid. I love cocktails. I buy books about them. I make them at home. I order them at fancy (and shitty) bars. I share them with friends. And I will continue to write about them if I so well please.Read More »

Flint Pants, Meet the Flint Pants!

I could not get the Flintstones theme song out of my head when sewing these pants. I’m sorry if this song gets stuck in your head, too, because we all know earworms spread like the common cold. I could talk earworms all day—good ones (thanks Queen), bad ones (eff you Styx)—but we’re here to talk pants.

Specifically about these high-waisted, wide-leg, cropped Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen Patterns.

megan nielsen flint pants sewing pattern
Flint Pants
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sewing tools and notions

10 Sewing Tools and Notions Under $10

Some of these sewing tools aren’t very sexy. Some are—I’LL SAY IT—downright flimsy. But I love them all. If you’re new to sewing, this is a great starting point for your sewing tool kit. If you’re a seasoned pro, tell me what’s missing! Better yet, tell me which pieces warrant forking over a few extra bucks.

I’ll include links to exact or similar items, but FYI—this post is not sponsored! I simply find myself reaching for the same items again and again, and I figured many of you probably do, too. Sharing is caring. Without further ado:

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maritime shorts closeup back

Maritime Shorts in Canvas

When Rachel from Oak Fabrics asked me to take part in a photo shoot for an upcoming project, I figured “Why the hell not?” I’ve loved her shop for years now. I even took a pillow sewing class there (then called the Needle Shop) when I was a wee sewing noob.

The shop is a beautiful, well-curated oasis in Chicago, which is unfortunately somewhat of an indie sewing store desert. Obviously, I wanted in on whatever Rachel was up to!

maritime shorts grainline studio oak fabrics
Rachel made these to showcase the collaboration| Oak Fabrics

When I found out the project was a collaboration between Oak Fabrics, Grainline Studio, and Leah Duncan, I knew it was kismet. If you haven’t heard yet, Oak Fabrics is offering limited edition kits that pair Leah Duncan fabric with Grainline Studio patterns. Above, I’m wearing the Maritime Shorts with indigo Lines & Shapes canvas. And you wanna know how creative I am? Huh…. huh…. HUH?!

maritime shorts closeup

I made the same shorts from the photoshoot… for myself!

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