Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


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Cowl-neck, stripey Sadie tank

OK. I actually finished this a week ago, but have not had time to post it.


I used the same BurdaStyle pattern as this shirt, but used the version that adds a cowl neck.

The Sadie has a nice fit to it, I think. It’s a little snug, but I like it. I could go up another size, but then I think it would be too large.

This material is from the stash Nannie gave to me. I did not cut it so that the material would stretch from seam to seam (which would be the correct way) because I wanted the stripes to be horizontal. Getting the shirt on, therefore, is a little tough, but not impossible.

I had plenty of material, so the neck and arm bindings are made from the same material, making them softer and lay better than my first Sadie tank top. (You can’t see the neck binding as it’s behind the cowl neckline.

I didn’t like the shirt at first. I thought maybe it was too tight or didn’t look like a good fit. But after I wore it for a day, I really fell in love with it!

What do you think?

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Where to shop: Making Ends Meet

While in Shelbyville, Ky., I took the opportunity to visit Making Ends Meet, a store that carries home decor fabrics, trims, gift items and more. I’m not really into making home decor items, but I love walking around any fabric store and checking out the fabric colors and textures and notions.
And the employees didn’t seem to care. They welcomed me warmly and allowed me to wander around and feel fabric to my heart’s content!
Making Ends Meet is located in an adorable house on Washington Street, Shelbyville, Ky.
If I were to make a whole bunch of pillows and draperies or was in need of fabulous trims, this is the place I’d want to go. And, dude, they have an online store!
I found the store using the visitor center’s shopping directory posted in the center’s yard. Shops are listed by category and a map shows you what street and building to find them. Very helpful!

Here are some photos I shot inside Making Ends Meet:
I love the colors!

This would make excellent curtains, for windows or the shower.

I love the embroidery on these draperies.

The store has trims galore. I bet you’d never have trouble finding a trim to match your project here.
Across the street was a store called Needle Nest, a cross-stitching and needle point store that also offers framing. I didn’t go inside, but I wanted to let you know about it.

So, if you find yourself in the Shelbyville area, stop by and check out the shops!


Christmas napkins

As you’re reading this, we’re probably already on our way to Indiana to enjoy Christmas with the hubby’s family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the company of loved ones!

Ta Da! The final crafty Christmas presents of 2010 (minus some last minute baking) — napkins! These are four sets of 9 napkins made out of fabric Chris selected earlier in the year (scroll to the bottom of that post to read about it).

(From top left, clockwise) American flag and bird fabric for Chris’ parents, vine-y fabric (which I think looks sort of Christmas-y) for Chris’ aunt and uncle and butterflies for my parents. All this was bought at Mountain Plains Fabrics in Fancy Gap, Va.

I cut out 14-inch squares and rolled hemmed the edges with my serger. This is a quick and easy project if you’re still looking for something to make as a last minute gift.

To make more fancy napkins, cut out squares that are at least 15 inches and create mitered corners (here’s one way to do it, as seen on BurdaStyle). You can also make larger napkins, if you like.

Fold and tie them with extra yarn or ribbon and they’re ready for gift giving!


Hubby’s shorts, some tomatoes and brie dessert

Current projects
I haven’t undated with any photos of my current projects, mostly because none have been finished in awhile!
For the past two weekends I’ve worked on a pair of shorts for Chris. I am using BurdaStyle’s Jochen pattern. This is the first time I’ve used a print-at-home pattern. I’ve been using the traditional tissue paper patterns, which I use to trace out the size I need and then use that.
Let me tell you, I think I like printing out the pattern so much better. Because I’ve got the pattern saved on my computer, I don’t feel the least bit guilty in cutting off the larger sizes. If I need a larger size, I can print it off.

I also don’t spend hours taping together tracing paper and tracing out the pattern I need.

The downside is printing at home does use a lot of ink and paper. I did use the back of recycled paper so that helped somewhat. And recycled printer paper lasts longer than tracing paper because it’s thicker. Still a bummer about the ink though.
I am using remnant material that Nannie gave me. I really liked the fabric, but didn’t have enough to cut all pieces out of it. So, luckily, I had a blue in a matching shade and it works perfectly for inside pockets. Thanks to Ferny and lonemoose, BurdaStyle members, for the idea!
(Please do not use photos without permission.)
This is the front pants leg and pocket./Photos by E.A. Seagraves
With this pattern, which is actually a really nice pair of slacks that I’ve altered into shorts, I had to learn how to put in a back pocket. It took a while for me to study it and figure out what I needed to do, but I think I handled it okay. What do you think?

I hope to finish these before it turns cooler. All that’s left is the center seams, waistband, zipper, buttons and hemming.
I’ve also been working on this sweater since February. I’m knitting on the collar now. So it’ll most likely be finished before the fall.

Tomatoes
I have to say, despite early nibbling by deer, rot and insects, our garden has been a success! Look at this haul.

I plan to can these this weekend. Probably can more diced tomatoes and some salsa. I canned 2 quarts of diced tomatoes with chilies and 4 quarts and 1 pint of diced tomatoes the other weekend.
A dessert to try
For my birthday earlier this week, we bought a small wheel of brie cheese. I turned four triangles into dessert last night with left over egg roll pastry I had on hand and blackberry jam.
I got the idea from the web, but can’t seem to find the two recipes I’d found before.
I basically placed the brie in the middle of the pastry and topped it with jam. Then I folded it up and placed the folded side down. I sprinkled it with brown sugar and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
It was very tasty! You should give it a try.


Labor Day Weekend crafting

Since Chris and I aren’t heading to West Virginia for some camping, rafting and visiting a friend this weekend, I’m going to take the opportunity to finish up my last summer project — a skirt.

My grandma gave me a bunch of fabric from her stash lately, and besides the shorts I completed earlier this summer, I had plans to make a skirt.

I’m also in the process of teaching myself how to draft patterns. I’m excited to embark on this adventure and can’t wait to see how the ideas in my head translate onto paper.

I’m using Rene Bergh’s “How to make your own patterns: An easy step-by-step guide to making over 60 patterns.” You can buy a copy here, although I have a different edition.

I haven’t picked up a pencil and paper yet, but reading through the instructions gives me hope. I didn’t realize how easy patterns can be made, just using various measurements of your body. I figured it would be much more complicated.

Besides basic skirt, shirt and trouser patterns, the book also gives you instructions on how to make different bodice details, such as tucking, darts, gathers and cowl, boat and v-necks.

I’ll let you know how my new adventure goes into creating my own creations. The theme for my first designs is wild columbine . . . a beautiful wildflower you can find growing in rocks and crevices here in the mountains and elsewhere.

My favorite is the red columbine with a yellow center. Here’s a good photo that shows you the color. It’s so striking! I’m surprised such a color combination exists in real life.


Weekend delights

Since I had a three day weekend, I was delighted to spend a couple days sewing and finishing some projects.

I finally finished hand-hemming this skirt.
I made this skirt during a sewing class I attended with my mom last October.

I also took an old, torn pillow case and turned it into something useful.

Kerchiefs. I was able to make three, although only two are pictured here:

I used a kerchief that is the size I liked as a pattern.

I also figured out how to make button holes with my Singer Zig-Zag machine. They’re not perfect, but they are functional. Yay!

I was, finally, able to finish this wrap skirt I started before Christmas. I had to put it down so I could get some Christmas projects out of the way before the man in the red suit slid down the chimney.