Saturday, February 6, 2016


Hey guys!
I know it's been a while!  My dog ate my memory card (no, seriously, though) so I haven't been able to take any pictures for a while.  I've been doing some spring cleaning and wardrobe planning and decided to sell some stuff on instagram over the weekend.  I have SO MUCH and need to get rid of some stuff I know I'll never use.  I'm hoping it can all go to a home where it will be used!

You can check out the sale on instagram @craftsanctuarysale or by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Maya two ways

It's been a while since I've posted any completed lingerie, huh?

I haven't really stopped making lingerie, but for some reason I feel like a pair of undies doesn't always deserve a post.

I was about to skip out on posting these as well because they're not perfect, but I figured that it might actually be beneficial for someone to read about the changes I've made/plan to make on this pattern because it's a really good place to start for someone like me! (Largeish cup, small band)

The pattern is the Maya pattern from AFI.  I was sent a tester version of the pattern in September, and that's the version I used to sew these up.  I'm not sure if there were any changes made to the pattern since it was sent to me, but it's available now, and it's free!

My first version was made with nude cut-and-sew foam from Bra Maker's Supply and a bra kit from Summerset on Etsy.  I've used a couple of her kits before, and I'd say they're a great place to start if you're new to bra-making.  They're offered in lots of pretty colors, are inexpensive, and give you everything you need to get started.  In my personal opinion, the downsides are that the elastics are not the highest quality, the hooks are not sealed, and the fabrics are too stretchy to use without a lining if you're a larger cup size.  

For the second version, I stole the elastics from another Summerset kit, and combined them with neon green stretch lace from Sew Sassy, 15 denier from BMS, and cut-and-sew foam from Make-bra.  It's my fancy international bra.  Of the two foams I used, I like the Make-bra foam better than the BMS foam.  It sewed together much more smoothly.  You can see in the photo below that the foam is a bit wavy when it's not on the body.

Anyway, after sewing up the first bra, I was pretty happy with the fit of the cups.  The center gore was too wide, and wouldn't lay flat, so I altered that for my second version by taking a 1/8 in wedge out of the pattern piece that tapered out to 1/4 in at the bottom of the band.

I was pretty surprised when I tried on my watermelon bra and it didn't fit.  AT ALL.  I think it's a perfect example of how changing fabrics and tweaking lingerie patterns can make a huge difference in the fit.  The band is way too big, the center gore sits even further from my chest, and the straps are way too close together at the front.  I actually cut them off to play with placement when I tried it on after finishing, which is why they're detached here.

I think this pattern has some serious potential for me in the future, as the band and the cups fit pretty well they way they are drafted.  I'm going to have to play with the bridge and the straps to get a good fit there, but it can totally be done.

As for construction, I followed the directions on the site for the first one and found them adequate, but I really don't like the way the bridge is finished.  For the second version, I switched some things up to have a clean finish on the bridge.  You can see in the pictures above that the nude bra with the edge just folded over looks pretty crappy inside and  out.  The green version isn't perfect but it's a whole lot better.

For the cups on both versions, I used Erin's method of satin stitching them together, and everything looks and feels great.  I attached the straps to both the top and bottom of the back band, which is something I totally stole from my RTW bras.

So, now that I've relived my saga, I'd love to know: is this kind of post helpful/interesting for you guys, or do you really just want to see pretty things that actually worked out?

Stay tuned!  I'm fiddling with trying to create a vintage-inspired bra I saw at the one-of-a-kind show here in Chicago last week!

Pattern: Maya
Size: 32E EU/32F US
Fabrics and notions:

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Here we go, my first knitted garment of my 12 in 12!

I started this sweater a very long time ago, in May, if you trust my Ravelry notes.  I finished it almost a month ago, and then had an existential meltdown about buttons.  I bought a bunch of absolutely amazing buttons on Etsy and just couldn't settle on one.  After ignoring all of your instagram-y advice, I settled on the ones with the weird little flowers.

I think they look a bit like the flower the speck of dust lives on in Horton Hears a Who.  But, I spend my days with 60 or so 8 year-olds, so everything kind of reminds me of something child-related at this time of year. I may be a bit biased.

Anyway, I suppose you're hear to actually learn something about my new sweater!  I knitted it up in deliciously soft Malabrigo Arroyo yarn that I picked up at my local yarn store in the spring.  I got gauge after sizing down one needle size (which is typical for me with Andi's patterns).  The yarn was glorious to work with, and lent itself really well to the design.  I got great stitch definition, and had no issues whatsoever.

The pattern was written really clearly, but was not mindless at all.  I added lots of extra stitch markers throughout the mesh on the back to keep myself from messing up.  In looking at these photos, I JUST noticed that I made a mistake somewhere, but since I've been wearing this sweater (yes, without buttons) for a month and haven't noticed it yet, I'll leave it up to your discerning eye to try and find it.

I've mostly been wearing this sweater unbuttoned because I don't like the way it looks buttoned.  When I knitted it up, I was expecting a sweater that would end at my natural waist, but it's a bit longer (like 2 inches) than I had bargained for.  While not a huge issue, it does mean that it looks silly with most of my dresses because the waist of the sweater falls below the waist on the dress.  It's just not a flattering look with a gathered skirt.

Overall, the sweater came  out much larger than I had expected, especially in the arms.  I sized down an extra size to knit the sleeves as I've had issues with this in the past, but they're still too big.  Not a huge deal for me, but something to note if you're planning on making this one up.

One final gripe and then I promise I'll stop: the shaping in the back means that the back is longer at the center.  The way the lace is worked gives you a slight "v" shape before you add on the hem band. (There's a good picture of this on my ravelry page if you want to see it)  This means that the back of the hem dips down at the center back.  This may not be an issue for someone else, but as someone with a pretty significant swayback to start with, it's pretty noticeable.

I'm really proud of this sweater.  I think that the yarn and the pattern go really well together, and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  The neutral color also means I'll likely get lots of wear out of it, even if it's not with the dresses I had initially planned on wearing it with!

Pattern: Vianne by Andi Satterlund
Size: S
Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Sand Bank

Ravelry notes here.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Back to Black

Just to prove how backlogged I've become with the old blogging thing, here's a dress I made a year ago and photographed 2 weeks ago that I'm just posting now!

Initially, I had visions of wearing this over a cute red and white striped shirt all winter long, but that didn't work out.  I actually made the Simplicity top included in a bamboo knit, but the fit was just weird.  The neckline came in wayyyyy to close/high.  It was almost like a turtleneck without the turtle/neck part.

Plus, I looked like a weird elf, so there was that.

Truth be told, this isn't the most reached-for make in my closet, although I do whip it out occasionally.  The saga of making it (I accidentally cut out the blazer front instead of the dress front, then ran out of fabric before stealing some extra from Sally's stash) left me a little disillusioned with it by the time it was done.
See all those lumps?  LIKE VELCRO.

It lays much better with just a tank underneath and without tights as the fabric tends to stick like velcro to whatever's underneath in an unflattering way.  I had a hard time finding photos where the clinging didn't make me look like I was wearing a too-small dress stretched to the seams.  In the photo above, you can even see that it's clinging to the top of my leggings.  The bodice is also just a liiiiitle bit too long.

And one where I un-stuck the dress before the picture...

I'm sounding really negative, I know, but I do think this dress has potential to be really cute if you had the right fabric!  The fit was pretty good out of the package, and it would have been a quick sew if I hadn't cut out the wrong pattern piece!

Overall, I'd recommend the dress if you've got the right fabric, but definitely not the top.  I probably won't be making it again; it just doesn't feel like my style.

Pattern: Simplicity 1325
Size: 10
Fabric: Polka dot ponte knit
Adjustments: Hacked 4 inches off the length of the skirt

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Into the Woods

The fall is here again!

I always do a little happy dance for my favorite time of year.  I had a chance to get out and take some engagement photos (a year later--we're on top of things here) last weekend which was a ton of fun.  The colors on the trees were absolutely perfect.  Hopefully I'll get them back so I can share them with you all soon!

It seems like I always find the best fabrics in the fall, too.  This quilted jersey was just begging to be made into a cozy top of some sort, so the second I got it home, I cut into it.  I've been on the look out for a cute sweatshirt pattern for a while, but none of them really did it for me until I saw the cute little crossover on the back.  I bought it over the summer knowing I'd want something snuggly soon, and this fabric seemed like the perfect fit.

It was a pretty easy make.  It took a couple of hours, start to finish.  All of the raw edges are serged, turned under, and stitched with a long straight stitch.  I left the sleeves a little long because I like to pull them over my hands on chilly days.  Plus, in Chicago, every inch of skin needs to be covered come winter.

I'm not crazy about the fit in the shoulders.  I probably should have graded down there--I usually do.  There's not a picture of the front on the pattern envelope, and I think that it's meant to be pretty slouchy from the start.  Not a huge issue for me, but worth noting if you hate your bra straps peeking out.

Pattern: McCall's 7127
Size: 10
Fabric: Quilted jersey from joann

Friday, October 16, 2015

12 in 12

Ahoy there!  My camera is currently missing its memory card.  I think I left it behind on a recent trip to California for a wedding.  I have a couple of sewing projects to share once I get a new one, but I've been spending a good chunk of my time knitting recently.

I sorted through my stash a couple of weeks ago, and discovered I have four (4!!) sweaters in the works.  Two of them are nearly done.  Two of them are about half way done.  I did a bit of thinking and I think that's just ridiculous.  So, I'm doing something about it!

If you're a knitter, you may be familiar with 12 in 12 challenges.  The basic idea is that I'll finish knitting 12 things in 12 months.  I'm starting with October, so I'll end next October.  I'm hoping that I'll have a pretty good stash of warm things to get me through next winter by the time I'm done, and some new sweaters to get me through this one as well!

I'm not committing to anything really specific, but here are my general plans from my ravelry queue:




Raglan with Bow


I'm always updating on instagram, so you can find me there as well!

What knitting projects are you working on or planning for the big chill??  Have you made any of these before?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wrap me up in Ribbons

Hi all!  It's back-to-school time here, and it looks like fall has arrived just in time.  I tried to give myself a couple of responsibility-free weeks at the end of the summer, and it seems like it did the trick.  I'm much more relaxed going into this school year (it also helps that grad school is over) and I've found myself with a much more manageable schedule, which means more time for SEWING!  WIN!

In those last couple of weeks before school started up again, I made myself a sewing goal.  I really wanted to be able to go back to school with 5 new dresses: something new to wear every day that would be comfortable and would transition into the fall.  I started with these two (1, 2), and this one is the third.  I fell one dress short, as I'm just finishing up the 5th dress now (and I may put it on the back burner since it's a bit summery).  But, I'm excited to go back to school with lots of pretty dresses!

I'd like to think that this Emery is a little more special than the others I made, because I really took my time with the details.  The reality is that it's only special because the fabric is glorious.  I first spotted this fabric when Sarai posted another dress made up from it on the Colette blog.  I honestly wouldn't have given it a second thought if I hadn't seen hers.  The photos didn't do it justice at I'm not usually one for black. One glance and I was hooked.

This print checked off all my boxes: flowers, butterflies, and bows.  In person, it's much more gray than black, too, which made me happy.  The lining is a remnant of shirting that I found at Vogue ages ago, and it was a happy coincidence that it matched the accents of the print perfectly.  I'm going through a bit of a bow phase right now, so it just made sense to add a bit of contrast to the skirt.

The only thing I regret?  I forgot to staystitch the neckline and it stretched out big time.  The lining didn't stretch quite as much, so there's a bit of a bagging at the neckline.  Not a huge deal, though.  This dress is still fabulous.  I also tried mega hard to match up the back seam.  Failed.  Oh well.  Also worth noting: the fabric (if you were lucky enough to snag some) doesn't have the greatest recovery.  There are tiny pinholes everywhere a pin stuck through fabric, which includes a side seam I had to unpick and re-sew...

ALSO, I really need some hooks and eyes...mine went missing!

Fabric: Floral Cotton from Mood
Pattern: Emery from Christine Haynes
Size: 4
Adjustments: See this post

Song: Ribbons