Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 39

Today's podcast caters to those of us whose brains are too overwhelmed with life to work on anything but the simplest knitting projects!

My favorite "relaxing knits":

A Sockhead Hat (ribbed brim on a stockinette hat, made out of fingering-weight yarn)
Vanilla Toe-Up Socks
A Simple Shawl, such as Groovy
Making Puffs for my never-ending Beekeeper's Quilt

I show a finished sewn dress project that uses this fabric from Spoonflower...

...and two baby gift sewing projects of the future.  They use this Spoonflower fabric and this adorable fox-print knit fabric that I picked up at JoAnns.

I show off two new pom pom additions to the Trappings and Trinkets Etsy Shop ("Tuxedo" and "Coffee") and remind viewers that if your local yarn shop doesn't carry pom poms, I'd love for you to pass my shop info on to your lys owner.  I'd love to serve more wholesale clients so you can have access to my soft, gorgeous pom poms in person!

I also announce that I'm participating in the "Pay It Forward Project" that I heard about from Kay of the Bede Sisters podcast.  I need YOUR help though.  Click over to this thread in the Trappings and Trinkets Ravelry Group and nominate someone from the crafting world (preferably someone who I can contact via Ravelry message) and tell me how they have made a difference to you!  I'll either pick someone or put a poll out asking for help if I can't find a clear winner among the nominees.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 38

This podcast is about ½ story time and ½ crafty time!  Start the show at 29:00 if you are just here for the crafts.

Topics discussed include:

Alan Cumming's book "Not My Father's Son"
his current touring cabaret show "Legal Immigrant"
and his cabaret show from a couple years ago, "Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs" (This album is available to download through iTunes and other digital music services if that's your jam.)

Here's a link to the *actual* Club Cumming in can see why I wasn't really expecting an office space with bottled water and bananas!

Go see the Mr. Roger's movie!

Books by David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day, in particular

A Couple Comedy Specials (Netflix):

Finished Projects:

An indigo's a link to Episode 29 where I explain my method of drafting patterns from existing garments.

A little pouch purse I made from this tutorial.

My second Groovy Shawl.

Projects of the Future:

And another dress of the future, made from a pattern I drafted myself

A Little Self-Promotion:

There is a beautiful new batch of bags in the Trappings and Trinkets Etsy Shop.
There are quite a few accordion-style needle cases, too!

Oh, and because I know you're curious...

Friday, June 29, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 37

This week, I did a lot of sewing, a tiny bit of knitting, and a lot of living!

I mention these two books:

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I show you my in-progress Groovy shawl

and two sewing projects:

the Metamorphic Dress (pattern available here and a detailed post including photos available here.)

I also ramble on about touring a house for sale, parent orientation day at our son's college (and a disappointing experience involving a fellow parent), and a bit about parenting kids in the second half of their childhood.

Hang in there, everybody!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sewing Project: Metamorphic Dress

Metamorphic Dress from Sew Liberated

Time to Complete: About 7 hours

 2.25 yds of Purple Fabric (97% Rayon / 3% Spandex)
2.5 yds of Tie Dyed Red Fabric (100% Rayon)

Machine Wash Cold, Hang to Dry, Cool Iron

Both fabrics were washed twice and hung to dry before cutting pattern pieces.  I didn't want to take the chance that the red tie dyed fabric would bleed onto the purple fabric because I didn't want the white dots in that print to turn pink.

I have been dying to make this project for a few months now, but I had put it off because I had a little trouble finding a good pair of fabrics.
The "underdress" (in my case, the red tie dye) needs to be reversible, because as you can see, it will show on the back side (under the peek-a-book hem) and on the front side (when you turn the dress inside out and wear it as a solid color.  I knew I didn't want a solid color, so it just took a minute to find something that wasn't a solid that looked basically the same from both sides.  Anyway, I found both fabrics at my local JoAnn Fabrics.

I got the nudge I needed to make this dress when I read on Instagram about the "Summer Dress-along" that was being led by Sew Hungry Hippie and Modern Sewciety.  I purchased the dress pattern on-line and was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty easy to tape together and cut out.  And I actually love using regular computer printer-weight paper instead of the typical tissue-thin pattern paper that store bought patterns are made from.  If I accidentally let my cat walk across a thin pattern piece that is laid out on the floor, there is a 89% chance that my 21 lb. cat will punch a hole in it with his foot.  So A+ to cutting sewing patterns from regular paper!

Following the advice of the chart, I made a Size 14.  The bust for that size was drafted for a person with a 39" bust, and mine is about ¼  of an inch larger than that.

I found the pattern instructions to be very easy to follow except one step - the part she describes as the "burrito method".  Luckily, the pattern writer has a video on the You Tubes that illustrates this step quite well.  Definitely watch the video and save yourself re-reading that section of the pattern dozen times like I did!

What I like about my finished dress:

• The relaxed fit
• The length of the dress, and that the hem is a little lower in the back
• That the dress (overall) came out to be the size I expected it to be
• The back neckline
• That the dress has pockets whether you wear it with the top dress showing, or just as a plain underlay dress
• The shoulder straps have plenty of width to conceal a bra

What I didn't like / would do differently if I made it again:

• Side pockets for the underdress are about 2.5 -3" too low.  They are awkward to reach into because they are too low, and if I put my phone in one, the stretchy fabric allows the pocket to poke out under the hem of the skirt.  This wouldn't happen with a more rigid fabric, but the placement is still an issue.

• The front neckline is about 1" too deep for my taste, and the shoulder straps are slightly wide for my frame.  Looking at project pictures from other people on Instagram, this seems to be the rule rather than an exception.
• The arm hole depth is so low that this dress wouldn't be practical to wear without a tank top / shirt / fancy bra that you want to display underneath.  Since it's already a double-layer dress, I don't really need more layers beneath it for Illinois summers.  So in the future, I'd raise the arm hole depth about 2.5".  I'm hoping that doing this won't make the dress hang funny in the bust area, but I won't really know until I start experimenting.

• The patch pocket in this pattern looks fine, but if I made this dress again, I will probably substitute the pockets from Simplicity Pattern #1080 because those pockets are adorable.

Where I deviated from the pattern instructions this time:

I'm pretty sure that the only thing I did that wasn't in the pattern was that I top--stitched around the neckline and both arm holes.  I just felt like both my fabrics were unstructured enough that they wouldn't ever lay quite flat at those seams unless I pressed them and stitched them into place.  Now that I've done that, they look great to me!

Out of the 10 or so dresses I've made for myself over the past 3 years, this is definitely one of my top 3.  I am sure I will wear it often, and I can see wearing it over leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt when the weather turns cooler, too.  I will definitely make it again in the future, and look forward to seeing how my future tweaks might make this "solid A" dress turn into an "A+" for me!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 36

On today's episode, I talk about:

Interviewing a family member and recording stories "for posterity"

I give you a sneak peek of a new product that will be available in the Trappings and Trinkets Etsy Shop by Monday, June 18th

A great dairy-free ranch salad dressing I found at my local Kroger

Sewing Projects of the Future:

I'm planning to make a Metamorphic Dress soon as part of the sew-along that's being hosted by Modern Sewciety and sewhungryhippie.

I show off a couple sundress fabrics, one of which I plan to use with McCalls dress pattern #7350.

...and I talk a bit about a plan I have for a summer nightgown

Knitting WIPs:

Another Groovy Shawl, this one made out of Dream in Color Smooshy

and I show you a lace pattern that I'm swatching for use with the sweater pattern I am currently working on writing.

Welcome Blanket is once again accepting handmade blankets that they will give to refugees.  This year's collection point is in Georgia.  More information, including the address where you can send your handmade blanket, can be found here.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 35

There are a wide variety of topics discussed in today's podcast!

Mother's Day
a recent U2 concert

A couple snack recommendations:
Frozen Yogurt with crunch coating at Sweet Cici's (or maybe your local froyo shop!)
and Gary Poppins Classic Caramel Popcorn!

The two sewn shirts I wear / show were made from Simplicity's "New Look" pattern line.  The package says both "S0184" and "50184" on it, and unfortunately I can't find it anywhere on the web to give you link.  I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics  (and accidentally again at Walmart) in spring of 2018.

Faux-Fragment socks are based on this pattern by Helen Stewart.
Vanilla Socks are made from this gorgeous yarn from Brew City Yarns.

Here's a link to the article about your teenager being a cat.

And if you haven't checked out The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu yet, you're missing out!

Finally, here's a link to the tile I used for my easy new kitchen backsplash.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 34

It's all sewing today, especially t-shirt hacks!

You can find quite a bit of info on my t-shirt sewing hacks in the two blog posts that precede this one.

New sewing patterns I discuss and show in this episode:

Butterick Pattern B6173

McCalls Easy Stitch 'n Save Pattern #9203

I know....doesn't look like I talk about much for a 50 minute podcast, but I swear, this is everything!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 33

Here is the long, long list of links for Episode 33 of the Trappings and Trinkets Podcast!


Simplicity Pattern #8422
I used this paisley fabric from JoAnns
and a Sushi-print fabric that is very similar to this, but a darker gray color for the background, also from JoAnns

Here is the Kathryn Morgan video that is the most similar workout to what my gym class does, but she has all sorts of videos on her YouTube channel, and if you work through a bunch of them, you will definitely build your strength and your skills as you progress.

A couple links where you can buy ballet shoes.  Amazon and Discount Dance Supply

I can't track down online the shirt pattern that I talked about in the podcast.  I accidentally bought the pattern twice this spring, once at JoAnn Fabrics, and once at Walmart, so I think it probably is still available in stores.  I'm not sure why I can't find in online.  It is the "New Look" pattern line from Simplicity, and I see the pattern number listed as "S0184" and as "50184" on the packaging.

I can give you a link to the fabric I used though, over on

Here is a video that will walk you though how to make your own necklace.

Knitting WIPs:

Design Project in progress is made from Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine yarn.  I can't overstate how great this yarn is.  The ONLY negative is that if you have to frog & reknit it, it can start to look a little shabby from the friction.

WIP #2 is a pair of socks made from Brew City Lucky Charms Sock yarn in the "Spectacular Spectacular" color way.  Gorgeous, saturated, variegated color with flecks of gold sparkle.

The Freakanomics Podcast, specifically this episode.

Atul Gawande - I have personally really enjoyed the following books authored by him:
Being Mortal
The Checklist Manifesto
and Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

The Resident (it's terrible, but it totally sucked me in.). You can find it on Hulu, and apparently it is also airing Monday nights on Fox.

Finally, get your laugh on with Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

T-shirt Hacks

It's Me-Made May!  I am headed to ballet barre class this morning, so I am sporting an exercise-y Mostly Me-Made Outfit, which includes some fancy gray & white paisley leggings that I made yesterday (Simplicity Pattern #8422), plus a t-shirt that I definitely did not make, but hacked to have a much more flattering fit on me.  

My main objection to this shirt was that it was just too long and shapeless.  I, of course, did not think to take a picture of it before I started my hacks, but it was a t-shirt with no shaping that was a fairly close fit (not a big, baggy thing), and the hem hit me right under my butt.  So it was kinda sausage-y, if you know what I mean.  It also had a fitted crew neckline, which is my fashion nemesis.

Step One of my plan was fixing the neckline.  I don't understand why fitted crew necks are the style du jour for t-shirts, because I hate them.  I tend to take scissors to them in order to create more of a scoop neck, and indeed I did that last year when I bought this shirt.  I've been wearing it with a raw cut edge ever since.  But recently, I cam across a great sewing tutorial that shows you how to finish off the edge of a knit piece.  The tutorial focuses on sleeves, but you can extrapolate and use the same idea to finish the edge of a neckline.  I used some lightweight black knit fabric that I picked up at JoAnns as my new neckband, but if your t-shirt is super long, you could hack a 1.5"- 2" wide strip off the bottom and use that instead.

Step Two of my plan involved creating some ruching.  I cut a 5" piece of skinny elastic and pinned it in a straight line about 5" in from one side seam.  The bottom of the elastic was pinned right at the hem seam, and the top of the elastic was pinned 8.5" above the hem seam.  So when it was pinned, the shirt was all crumpled up underneath because the elastic was a lot shorter than the fabric it was pinned over.  

Step Three was sewing the elastic in place.  Getting this started was a little tricky because you have to stretch the elastic as you are sewing the seam.  (My sewing machine was being a jerk, so my seam looks terrible on the elastic side.  On the front side it was fine though.)  I used the stretch stitch on my machine, although you could probably just use the straight stitch, since you are stretching the elastic as you sew.  Just make sure to stretch the elastic only as far as you need to in order to make it the same length as the t-shirt underneath.  Don't stretch it all more than that.  I was using two hands to stretch the elastic as I pulled it all through my machine.  

Next, I cut a 1" strip of black knit fabric (This was the same fabric I used when I finished the neckline.)  I divided the width into thirds and folded one side over the other like so:
then I just sewed right down the edge.  There are probably fancier ways to do this, but it looked fine and I knew it probably wouldn't be a problem since the fabric was so dark.  

I tied it into a bow, knotted the ends and cut them off, then sewed the bow onto the bottom of the ruched seam.

Voilà!  Fancy-fit t-shirt!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 32

Finished Objects: 

Faux Bernstein Shawl
Branches and Buds Pullover

Sewing Projects:
Housedress (Simplicity Pattern #1080)
I made it pretty much as is, except that I had to cut the body of the dress in half at a different spot to accommodate my fabric-buying mistake.

Leggings (Simplicity Pattern #8422) 
I had to make a size Small, even though my measurements are firmly in between a Med & Large on the pattern's fit chart
I also omitted the elastic completely, shortened the pelvis, and shortened the legs on the darker blue pair.  

Projects of the Future:
A design project using Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine
Yarn purchased for Émilien: Feza Organically Dyed Harvest

I show off a couple new pom pom options:
Tiny Tufts
and Petite Pom Poms

I also answer a couple questions, and recommend a couple remote shutter releases.  The DSLR one I have doesn't seem to be available anymore, but here are a few similar options.  The iPhone-compatable remote I have is this one.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 31

Today's podcast includes the following-

Finished Projects:

Snowbelle Trapper Hats - Adult Size and Baby Size

Meowf Hat

[Pom Poms for both hats can be found on Etsy here.  If you want small-size pom poms like the ones hanging from the strings on the Snowbelle Trapper Hat, just use the "message to seller" button to send a special request.)

Wishmaker Mitts

Shawl Inspired by Bernstein (but I found the pattern too difficult to follow because of the language barrier.  If you speak German though, all the successful German project pages lead me to believe that the German version of the pattern is very usable!)

And, I talk about:

An Easter Basket Scavenger Hunt

Spoonflower - specifically the sampler pack of all their different fabrics

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs. (The album can be downloaded on iTunes)

using iMovie to put edit together home videos & photos

And I'm wearing my Boho Blush Shawl.

Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in a couple weeks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 30

Colorwork is the theme of this week's show!

Finished (kinda) object:
Branches & Buds Pullover

Works in Progress:
A double knit hat (no pattern)
Meowf Hat

I also talk about college basketball
using a controversial book to encourage intelligent and civil discussion
and show you how to find your tax information if you have an Etsy shop and use Etsy Payments
and talk about my #makenine2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 29

Would you like to know how to sew a garment based on a relatively simple shirt, sweater, or dress that you already own?  The first 40 minutes of today's podcast will show you the step-by-step process of drafting a sewing pattern.  Also, cameo appearances by my cat, Tevye.

A couple new tools I used when sewing this sweatshirt out of knit fabric:

And an excellent tutorial if you want to put a neckline or sleeve binding on a sewn knit garment.  Actually, SewCanShe has lots of great sewing tutorials, if you're into that!

If you're not into sewing, just fast-forward to the 40 minute mark and you can check out a couple finished projects,

And a kinda finished object (that I will need to rip out and reknit half of:

And then I talk for a minute about a new project I'm casting on:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 28

Today I am rambling on about:

Sewing Machine Maintenance
Deep Cleaning My Bedroom

I share a couple planned sewing machine projects

A sock heel fail

Another pair of DK vanilla socks in LFA Dramaturg

You get a glimpse of my Wishmaker Mitts

Branches and Buds, a planned knitting project

Then I chat a little more about a new eye drop that is really helping my dry eyes

A couple Brene Brown books that I have read and am currently reading

and The West Wing

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 27

I am having issues uploading to iTunes and Google Play at the moment, so for tonight, Episode 27 is only available on You Tube.  I will work more on the uploads in the morning....hopefully it's just a matter of the internet being slow due to too many users tonight!

In episode 27, I talk a bit about the Knitting Pipeline retreat

I share a little tip for substituting yarns....Always stay within 5% of the yarn used for the pattern sample.  I explain that a bit further in the podcast.

FOs: (Finished Objects)

Wine in the Wool Cowl

February Morning

HOs: (Half-Objects)

Wishmaker Mitts

Vanilla Socks, and I talk about getting a great result using German Short Rows to make the heels

There is some self promotion for pom poms and project bags (will be relisted in my Etsy shop by Thursday, February 22....I'll add a link once they are up!)

And a couple recommendations:

Braving the Wilderness

SuperSoul Conversations between Brene Brown and Oprah: Part 1 & Part 2. (These are You Tube links to the audio of the two conversations, but they are also available wherever you get your podcasts.)

and the CEO series that the Freakanomics podcast has been recently publishing (This link takes you to the Freakanomics Podcast webpage, but you can also find these 5 episodes wherever you get your podcasts.)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Show Notes: Episode 26

Things have been crazy around here this month....sorry for the delay!  This podcast was recorded on January 14th, but due to some major technical difficulties, it isn't being published until the 31st.  I think all of my computer issues have been resolved, so (fingers crossed!) I should be back to my bi-monthly recording schedule moving forward.

In Episode 26 I talk about:

Check Meowt Socks (actually, I don't talk about them, I just show them)

Trying out a new ballet class

attending Hamiltunes


A Hat Pattern of the Future (anticipated release date: February 6) called "February Morning"
Rainbow pom pom on the hat, and the silver pom pom on the hat I'm wearing at the beginning of the show are both from the Trappings and Trinkets Etsy Shop.

My WIP is a Wine in the Wool cowl

I give you a preview of a new bag design!

...and I talked for a couple minutes about the upcoming Knitting Pipeline Retreat.  Leave me a comment if you are attending!

I'm wearing my Rock the Lobster Sweater for most of the podcast.  I talk about a disastrous washing experience I had with that sweater, and how I resolved it.  I also mention the level of color work I consider this sweater, and a bit about steeking.

A Project of the Future: Wishmaker Mitts

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Show Notes: Episodes 24 & 25

Episode 24: I recorded it and published on You Tube, iTunes, and Google Play, but never quite made it around to writing show notes.  Holidays, man.  Sorry about that.  Let's just blame Christmas Craziness and move on.  

You can still enjoy the episode sans notes if you are in the mood! :) 

Then a week ago, I recorded Episode 25, but it took me a solid week to edit and publish it.  So Happy New Year (six days late)'ll enjoy this 72-minute episode if you're a big fan of tangents!

I talk about The following finished projects:

Mom's Stocking Cap (Sorry, not project page or pattern page yet, but it's coming soon!)

I talk a little about jewelry making. (Necklaces, in particular).  Here's a link to the handy jewelry-making tool I'd recommend if you want to give it a try!  (I'm not sure if this link will pull up the exact tool that is most similar to mine, but in case you have to select it from the nine choices on the page, it's the one labeled "Black-11"

I also talk a lot (a LOT) about Crohn's Disease, what worked and what didn't go so great last year, and what my "Word for 2018" is going to be!