Buy Handmade

One day while driving down Main Street in the city where my kids attend school, I noticed a new shop’s sign on a long-empty storefront. An artists’ market. I was so excited, it took everything I had to not pull over and peer through the window. Of course, it was 6:30 a.m. and nothing was open, and I really needed to get home so my husband could get to work. I made a mental note to check back later.

It was about two weeks before I could stick my head in the door and scope things out at Leasa: Life’s Work. And what I saw made me a bit giddy. Cool handmade goods. Some other neat gift-y things. A cool workspace for classes. Best of all was Leasa, the owner, who’s been making and selling handmade cards forever. I loved hearing about her work and her vision for her new shop. I think it’s a great thing for our area and I can’t wait to support it and the craftsmen who are selling their wares there.

I’m also excited to be offering some of my things there. I’ve already taken three Miss Madeline dresses adn a couple of wristlet bags.

Miss L watched me take the dresses into the shop and was so sad to see them go. Of course, they’re all too small for her and it’s not like I can’t sew her others. (In fact, I’ve already made her a different dress with the Heather Bailey and Dena Designs fabrics, so I’m not sure what the deal is.) And I always love sewing with Paula’s Flights of Fancy. It always makes me smile!

The wristlets are my own design and feature embroidery from Urban Threads of two lovebirds. I thought it added some interest to the little bags and I especially love the repetition of the Park Slope fabric with all those cute little birds.

Dress Me Up

One of the coolest things to me about experiencing Quilt Market was seeing sewn and modeled samples of so many patterns. Which is probably why I came home with so many patterns in hand or on my wishlist! LOL!

This Indygo Junction pattern was one of them. It’s the Day Shift Dress and I thought it would be a great one to make for wearing instead of my usual tee-and-jeans or tee-and-skirt.

I picked out some brighter fabrics than the examples I saw (some of Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern) and got to work. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the pattern is sized pretty generously. I traced and sewed the Medium but I might have been able to go down to a Small — and I wear a size 12.

It’s a pull-over dress so there are no zippers or button plackets to deal with. The downside? It’s not a close-fitting style and I’m not sure how flattering it is on me. No, seriously; I’m not fishing for compliments here. Even Josh (who took my picture) said, “It makes you look wide but you’re not wide.” I’m afraid he may have a point.

The dress also runs short. Like, above-my-knees short. Can’t-lean-over short. I’ll probably add a faux layered hem panel to give myself a few more inches to work with because I think wearing it over jeans adds to the wide-and-bulky look I’d like to avoid.

Overall, the pattern was pretty easy to sew and I still like the look of it, even if it’s not super flattering on me.