A little scrap busting

Sewing can generate some fabric waste. When cutting out a pattern I try and minimize as much wasted space as possible. Hopefully I’ll end up with a big enough piece to make another garment or color block with another scrap piece into a garment. For the smaller pieces I’ve been looking for smaller items to make with them, or combine them to make a patchwork item.

Scrunchies are a great scrap buster and really easy to make. I made a few out of two linen fabrics from my skirts. I’ve heard they are also easier on your hair, especially at night while sleeping.

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I’ve also used cotton and canvas scraps to make small bags. This first one is a utensil holder using canvas scrap from the mothers day bag I made my mom, and some gold cotton scrap from a quilt I’m making. I really wanted a simple and functional holder for my bamboo utensils and it came out perfectly without using any new fabric!

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And finally I used some cotton fat corners on the interior fabric of this small coin purse. The coin purse can also double as a travel pouch for jewelry or any small item, which is what I use it for. :)

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June Gloom 2019

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This years June gloom provided alot of really great light for photographing the garden. We even had a few days of light rain. I ran out with my macro to catch as many droplets as I could sitting on our poppy wildflower mix.

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Our Gila Globe wildflowers also grew to great heights. And my Queen Lime Zinnia’s also bloomed, showing off it’s many intricate curls and colors.

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A few of our tomato’s ripened, as well as a bunch of small tomatillos which made for an EXCELLENT salsa for our taco night. We also had our first mini bell pepper, which I refrained from picking for weeks thinking it would get bigger, but it never did! I picked a bunch of carrots that were growing too close together and unfortunately I ended up losing them in a pickle that went bad.

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I managed two makes this month - The Deer and Doe Fumeterre Skirt and a clutch bag I created from a remnant piece of fabric I bought in the downtown fabric district and some beautiful Cotton from Cottoneer. I added some bead work and french knots which really gave the fabric something extra. I’m looking forward to making more like it! I also revamped my Vera Slouch Bag with my yellow striped canvas. I absolutely love the new look. We also took a trip to Galaxy’s Edge and I whipped up a Fannie Pouch, also by Sotak Handmade, with leftover canvas from the Vera Slouch bag I made my mom for Mother’s Day.

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May Gray 2019

Some happenings in May..

Me Made May! It’s been so inspiring to see so many #memademay creations on instagram. I’m really jealous of everyone who has a handmade wardrobe to wear throughout the month. I was able to contribute three items to this months sewing challenge.

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Firstly I made my mom the Vera Slouch Bag by Sotak Patterns. I LOVE this bag. It’s my second one, and I fully admit that while making it I thought about keeping it for myself! But I sent it to mum and she loved it.

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My second #memademay was the Agave Skirt from Deer and Doe Patterns. I used a gorgeous Nani Iro linen from Cotteneer and a simple muslin lining. Due to this skirt being asymmetrical, I had a hard time getting the pieces to line up. I ripped out ALOT. In the end I’m pretty happy with it - and the fabric is stunning!

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And my last minute third #memademay is the lovely Belladonna dress from Deer and Doe Patterns. For this dress I used a beautiful linen/cotton from Blackbird Fabrics. I jumped on this linen as soon as I saw it posted online, and I’m so glad I did because it’s so perfect. I initially intended it to be for a different pattern but when I saw it in person I realized it would be perfect for this dress. I absolutely love it.

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Other happenings in May… POTATOES!

Potatoes might be my favorite thing to grow. This was my first time, and I bought a few seed potatoes from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds late last year. I quickly learned that buying seed potatoes is COMPETITIVE. Most of their potatoes were sold out by the time I looked. I managed to get three varieties - organic elfe, russet norkotah and organic purple majesty. I made a homemade potato bag out of landscape fabric and planted the seed potatoes in January, watered and watched them grow! As leaves popped up, I covered them with more and more soil. Here is a really great guide to growing potatoes from one of my favorite California gardeners: Homestead and Chill.

In late April the leaves started to die, and after it seemed like most of them had perished I waited (rather impatiently) another 2 weeks before harvesting. Then, we dumped out the bag of dirt and went on a potato treasure hunt! We ended up with 40 potatoes, from 9 seed potatoes. Not bad! We promptly sliced some up for dinner and agreed they were the best potatoes we’ve ever had. Sadly, I don’t think we can grow another round, since it will get warmer here shortly. But next year I’m already planning on making more landscape bags for even more potatoes.

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Other happenings in the garden - some flowers started to bloom. I planted a Marigold variety which turned into stunning blooms, as well as my little patch of buckwheat.

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My wildflower square is growing like crazy - and we had one purple poppy bloom this month, but I’m sure everything else will be blooming shortly. My favorite part about these stunning purple poppies are the small dots of purple on their leaves - which seems to distinguish them from their more well known orange siblings.

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And finally, what’s for dinner? Southern Italian food! This past month I’ve been cooking from Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South. We managed to eat our way through 12 recipes. Our favorites were the Ciatielli con Pulielo (Cavatelli with tomato and wild mint pesto), Pollo alla Potentina (Potenza style chicken with herbs and wine), Patate Raganate (homegrown! crispy potatoes with onions and parmiagiano reggiano), Brodetto di Pesce alla Termolese (Termoli-style fish soup) and the showstopper Focaccia Pugliese (olive and tomato focaccia).

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I loved cooking from this book. My mother’s side of the family is from the Naples region so it was fun to discover all these southern italian dishes, and see a few I already knew! All in all, it was spectacular!

That’s it for May!

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Superbloom 2019

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Thanks to all the rain we had this past winter here in LA, the mountains turned extremely green and everything has been blooming out of control. We’ve been to the poppy fields in Antelope Valley numerous times over the years, but this year with the excitement over the super bloom it seemed impossible that we would make it there.

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As fortune would have it, we both ended up with a day off on Good Friday. We decided to risk it, hoping that many would be out of town, and did we luck out!

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The hills all around us were covered in orange. It was so bright it looked as if someone sprinkled orange dust everywhere. I’ve always found poppies to be really hard to photograph, especially when there are so many. I found a lot of my shots were blown out, and I did some major editing afterwards in Lightroom to bring down the exposure and tone down the orange just enough to get definition back into the flower.

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Another highlight for me is all the other wildflowers mixed in amongst the poppies. I wish I knew their names, but this year I found a few purple flowers, some yellow and the most stunning of all, a bright white ball of petals. When I saw this flower I immediately knew it was something special. It looked like your typical blow away weed but the light really hits this flower in a spectacular way and it stood out to me from a distance. Upon a closer look each petal looks like a perfectly striped bow. 

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Next year I will definitely be looking for blow wives seeds to add to our garden.

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