Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The #YouMayNowSmithTheBride Wedding Roundup

As I may have hinted at before, in my handmade undies post, one of my oldest and dearest friends got married this year. As such, I have spared no expense in wedding gifts.

Beware: this is a very very long post. I have a lot to say, haha.

Let's have a look, starting with the biggest and baddest of them all:

The quilt.

Kelly&Ross Quilt

Oh, the quilt. This is the first quilt I have ever made! I'm apparently an ambitious idiot. I made a queen sized quilt for my first quilt and quilted it on a standard home machine. In the above picture my mom and sister are standing on extra tall bar stools with arms stretched way out above their heads and to the sides and the quilt is still touching the ground, that's a massive quilt!

It took me about 2 solid months to finish this quilt, but that includes a whole week of staying up into the wee hours sewing.

I found this quilt on Pinterest that She Can Quilt made, and I thought it was the perfect first quilt pattern especially since the bride requested blues (so vague). I ended up at JoAnn pulling out all the blue quilting cottons trying to find 12 different blues that go together. It was harder than you think. There's a whole wall of quilting cottons and yet somehow, they don't all mesh. I ended up with 7 different fabrics with grays thrown into the mix, plus 2 patterned whites.

I used Craftsy's Magic 8 method for making all the HSTs which made everything pretty quick.

And to make it extra special, I added some machine embroidery with their names and their wedding date to the bottom left corner square. I'm lucky that my mom was able to do the machine embroidery for me on a piece of the white fabric and then I stitched it onto my quilt top instead of having the embroidery done directly onto the quilt top.

Kelly&Ross Wedding Quilt

The mitered corners on the binding turned out pretty well using this tutorial from Merriment Design. I had made the strips in straight of grain but had ironed them like double fold bias tape. The white was left over from the quilt top, and I like the crisp finish it adds.

Kelly&Ross Quilt

What's this? Adorable kitty cat sitting outside my door? Boyfriend and I were attempting to take pictures of the quilt in the walkway outside my house, and my favorite neighborhood cat was hanging around. While we were occupied taking pictures, kitty darted inside the slightly ajar door to the house, but she came back out when I went in there to see where she had gone. I wish I could keep her forever, she so so sweet :)

A Friendly Visitor

The piecing together of the quilt top went fairly smoothly, but when I got to the quilting, that's when I had a major meltdown.

A photo posted by @laura.isasif on

I used a queen size microfiber sheet for the backing, but as you can see, I had major problems with it shifting and getting bunched up while I was quilting. I bought one of those precut queen sized batting rolls from JoAnn, but I didn't have any safety pins, so I pinned it with straight pins which was a huge mistake. Having to roll it up to fit under the arm of the machine meant I basically needed a chain suit to prevent from getting poked all the time. I quilted it like She Can Quilt did by following the outside of the squares in the depression block style. I tried to do three lines of quilting, too, but I only had time to do one line of quilting due to serious set backs from unpicking bad quilting. I wasted at least 2 spools of thread attempting to quilt this damn thing. I stayed up until at least 3 am every night the week before the bridal shower to finish this quilt, but I did get it done by the deadline.

I had to gift wrap the top and bottom of a copy paper box because it was the only thing big enough to contain this quilt. Now that I've gone to a bridal shower, I've become initiated in the cult of bridal shower etiquette, and so there was a massive amount of ribbon on the box.

As an extra little something, I personalized this bamboo cutting board for the bridal shower too. My mom found this cute turtle shaped bamboo cutting board at TJMaxx I think, so I used my newest toy (the wood burning pen, see examples 1, 2) to add their names.

Kelly&Ross Woodburned Cutting Board

I practiced drawing out my letters in a few different ways, and then I used the calligraphy tip to burn the letters into the board. Bamboo is pretty tough to burn, but hopefully, it doesn't look too choppy.

Kelly&Ross Woodburned Cutting Board

And here's just a couple of pictures from the picturesque wedding. This was the golf course/resort that the ceremony and reception were held at. The ceremony was set up just to the left of the shot (and my brother had to clean up the rose petals off the grass by hand after the ceremony was over :) haha) We were really high up in the mountains in Keystone, Colorado, about two hours west of Denver, probably about 10,000 ft elevation.

Keystone Ranch

And we stayed in a really lovely condo just a short drive away from the venue. This was the view just outside the window. Kind of unreal!

Keystone, CO

I just love that the flowers were blooming even in the middle of summer.

Keystone, CO

Lessons were learned in the making of my first quilt!
1. Everything takes longer than you think. Especially because you have to give yourself time to mess up two or three times.
2. Taping down the back of the quilt and basting it all together with safety pins is a very good idea. Bad things happen when you don't.
3.  Do not choose a queen size quilt for your first quilt. Just don't. Unless you happen to be very ambitious like I was.
4. Don't forget to buy fabric for the binding! Especially if you're not working off of a pattern that reminds you about this. Fortunately, I had enough leftover from the quilt top.

Obviously if you've made it this far through the blog post, I haven't lied to you about how difficult it was. Because it was. It was very very hard. I may have cried a few times. It was worth it though. In the end, I was very pleased with how the quilt turned out.

Since it was so time consuming though, I don't foresee too many more quilts in my future. Finally, a hobby I don't love ;) I keep telling people, "This is not a relaxing hobby!!"

If I've left anything out that you want to know about the construction, ask me! I've started to forget every little thing I wanted to mention here, but I'm happy to answer any questions! I'm also here for moral support should you decide to tackle quilting :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kirsten Kimono Tee in Paso Robles

You'll remember that I have gone to my first bachelorette party recently-ish in June. Exhibit A) Lingerie. There was also a strong suggestion that we all wear brightly colored clothes while the bride-to-be wore white so we could get a good photo I guess. Aaand since my wardrobe is mostly gray, white, or crazy prints, (and I can't leave well enough alone) I decided I needed a brightly colored shirt or dress in a solid.

I settled on the easy Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark since it seemed fairly quick and easy. No setting in sleeves! The pattern is free, which yay!, you just have to sign up for her newsletter.

I made my first knit garment! It was surprisingly painless!

Kirsten Kimono Tee

Isn't this covered bridge fabulous? I paired my new colorful tee with a white Express skirt obtained secondhand from a friend of my mother's. Side note about this skirt: Brand new with tags on, and the first time I washed it (granted the tag did say dry clean only) the hem fell out. I had to catch stitch the hem back before I could wear it, but it just goes to show you how shoddily made fast fashion is - even from what I would consider a somewhat nicer brand like Express.

Kirsten Kimono Tee

I didn't have time to go to the fabric store before I needed to leave for the weekend, so I had to stash dive for something suitable. I had some dark gray, dark purple, and mostly white florals in the stash, how surprising. Fortunately, I had somewhat recently picked up some mystery knits from an estate sale, and there were definitely some bright jewels in the mix.

Kirsten Kimono Tee

Yay for first time twin needling success! All my hems look so much nicer with the twin needle. I just used a single fold hem and left the edges raw inside.

Kirsten Kimono Tee

A tried a bound neckline using this tutorial from Megan Nielsen, and I think it looks pretty good! It's a little thick due to my fabric, but it's nice. I got some skipped stitches with the twin needle, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

Kirsten Kimono Tee

Here's the inside of my neckline. Everything is nicely enclosed, I do wish I had used a matching thread instead of white though.

Kirsten Kimono Tee

Pattern: Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark
Size: XS
Fabric: Mystery knit from estate sale, maybe ~1 yard
Notions: ball point needle and twin needle
Size Alterations: None
Design Changes: None
Techniques used: Bound neckline
Construction Notes: The pattern instructions are quite good and this is an easy pattern to begin with. I used a straight stitch on the shoulder seams, zig zag on the side seams, and twin needle for all the hemming. I used a ball point needle when I wasn't using the twin needle since it's supposed to help with knits.
Will you make it again? Definitely! Next time, I need to pick a drapey knit instead of the more stable mystery knit I used. It makes the sleeves stand out a little too much instead of falling nicely. I think it will make a good t-shirt dress too with a gathered skirt.
Final thoughts: This was a really easy sew and a great beginner knit pattern. The fabric I used has kind of an athletic feel to it, and I wasn't super impressed with it when I had finished sewing it. It's just a little plain in this solid color I think. It'll have to be dressed up with a good statement necklace or something (which I had intended to borrow from my sister on this trip, but she forgot to pack it). I do have a gray t-shirt knit with great fluid drape that will make a great Kimono Tee in the future.

Now that the technical sewing stuff is out of the way, here's some more pictures from our weekend in Paso Robles.

There was some insanely thick fog outside of Santa Barbara, but then we got high enough in the mountain that the fog instantly cleared. I loved the fog though. It was a crazy long drive between LA and Paso Robles, ugh.


We visited quite a few wineries on Friday and Saturday, there were quite a few picturesque places even if it was surprisingly windy. Also at the place in the center top, there were so many roaming kitties that let me pet them :)

Paso Robles

The full bachelorette entourage.



Is this boxer from Dover Canyon not the most adorable thing ever?


This was surprisingly one of the rare views of the vineyard. There was a great covered patio overlooking this.


It was quite a whirlwind weekend, but Paso Robles is quite lovely and quintessential Central Valley.