The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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July, 2014

Mid-Week Kalamazoo Field Trip

Every summer a local to West Michigan small chain of fabric stores called Field’s Fabrics take turns having tent sales where they put a ton of their fabric on sale for between $1-3 a yard. My mom and I use to drive around to a bunch of locations and pick up a ton of fabric! I haven’t gotten a chance to do that in a few years, but this year I had a ton of sewing projects piled up and knew I had to make time to take advantage of the sales.

Fabric Hall!

Fabric Haul!

On Tuesday my friend Laura and I drove up to the Field’s Fabrics Kalamazoo location, just over 2 hours away from Chicago. My mom drove down from Allendale to meet us, too! So the three of us hunted for deals, and it was awesome.

Patterns Galore!

Patterns Galore!

So what’s the plan here?! Starting top right, that square grey-low fabric will soon be a Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress! Hopefully.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress

SO CUTE! I’ve been dying to sew up Jennifer’s patterns, and now I’m finally making steps to do that!

The center bottom floral print and the top left orange flag print fabric will both be Grainline Studio Scout Tees:

Grainline Studio Scout Tee

Grainline Studio Scout Tee

And the teal and yellow circle print fabric is kinda slinky and sheer which I love! It will be Built by Wendy Tee from Simplicity, pattern 3835:

Built by Wendy Top

Built by Wendy Top

Which I’ve made before! If you’d like to go into the way back machine I knocked out two of these tops in 2010! I still wear that blue one all the time.

Pile of White Stuff

Pile of White Stuff

I also got a pile of white silky fabric and lace because I’m making another pair of tap pants. Remember these?

Tap Pants!

Tap Pants!

I followed this how to make tap pants tutorial from MakeZine before, and I’ve got to use them again because I’m getting married and my dress is pretty short!

Oh, did you see how I just slipped that in there? Yeah I’m getting married!

Ohh I'm Getting Married!

Ohh I’m Getting Married!

Shane and I are getting married while we’re in Europe in September. Crazy right? So yeah I snagged my dress at H&M the other day but it’s a teensy bit short, so I’m going to whip up some cute tap pants to wear under them. If you’d like to go back into the way back machine, I cranked out my first pair – that I also still totally wear all the time! – back in 2011.

Bias Tape Maker!

Bias Tape Maker!

Another super exciting purchase made on Tuesday was a bias tape maker! I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time, and am excited to finally have stumbled upon one. All the bias tape!

So look for some fun sewing projects to show up here shortly. I’ve got to knock out a couple more sweaters for the Holla Knits Fall Collection, but then I’m sewing my fingers off! I’m very excited to get started!

My Pretty Little Paris is Finished!

I feel like I’ve been working on this cross stitch project forever, but I finally got a chance to buckle down and finish it!

Pretty Little Paris!

Pretty Little Paris!

In LOVE With How it Turned Out!

In LOVE With How it Turned Out!

My Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street turned out so great. It’s hanging on my wall near my TV and I find myself just gazing at it sometimes! Seriously couldn’t be happier.

Sept 18-22, 2014

Sept 18-22, 2014

I knew I wanted to add the dates Shane and I are planning on being in Paris to the piece, so I did some searching on Pinterest through hundreds of cross stitch pattern fonts and finally settled on this one. After one misfire – I originally forgot the 2014 when I spaced it all out, so I had to pull out some progress in order to recenter it with the full date – I went to town! I used the same dark blue that is predominate in the pattern, and charted everything so I wouldn’t do something stupid like spell September wrong. I’m still not 100% sure that it’s currently spelled right!

Close Up Details!

Close Up Details!

I used most of the same colors suggested in the pattern. Where I subbed I subbed for necessity and not because it was any kind of choice – some colors I just couldn’t find! And I have no patience to put down the project and wait for an order to come in. So I made due and super love it!

One Down One to Go!

One Down One to Go!

The pattern was very clear and easy to read and follow. It was a delight to stitch this up! It was a great break for my hands from knitting, and I feel so damn accomplished now that it’s hanging on the wall! It also got me even more excited to go to this beautiful city in a few weeks. Working on this was kind of like studying for our trip! Though if all these sights aren’t pink-washed I still might not recognize them.

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My Dragon is Finished!

My Little Dancing Dragon!

My Little Dancing Dragon!

Last week I shared a WIP I had sitting around of my Dragon Schacht Zoom Loom Swatch Critter Kit, and I finally finished putting him together!

Fat Belly!

Fat Belly!

And came together he did – pretty darn well I’d say! I Zoom Loomed him up relatively quickly. I could make almost 3 swatches on my Zoom Loom in 1 episode of Top Chef, and I think I assembled him in about 3 episodes or so. Like I said last week, it was a great break project! I could weave up a few swatches between work projects and not just fall asleep on the couch. And I love how he turned out!

Big Tale for Stability and Wings!

Big Tale for Stability and Wings!

One thing I always wish I had around the house are pipe cleaners because whenever I make something like this I think it could use them to make them more stiff. The kit included one to help shape the wings, which I love! They stick right up and look awesome.

Vivid Colors and Clean Seams!

Vivid Colors and Clean Seams!

The Woolery is hosting a critter-along in their Ravelry Group next month, so if you want to put one of these together yourself, or are just curious about how the other kits come together, keep an eye on their ravelry group!

My dragon was gifted to Shane, who loves dragons like a weirdo. Though his comments were, ‘Isn’t he kinda fat? Is it because you overstuffed him?’ Um NO he’s just a fat dragon! Come on! I think he’s use to more ‘realistic’ fantasy book dragons, where my dragon is more of a fun cartoony representation. So you know, adorable! I would not gift him to a child. The nature of the woven swatches are pretty delicate, and he would very easily get ripped apart in any kind of play I think. But he will be a perfect gift for any fantasy nerd in your life!

Schacht Zoom Loom Swatch Critter Kits! Dragon WIP

You may remember that last February I got a chance to try out one of the new fun Schacht Zoom Looms. I had so much fun trying out this product and working on my weaving chops!

Working on my Kit!

Working on my Kit!

The Woolery, the supplier of these looms, are hosting a kit weave-along in their Ravelry Group next month, so I thought it would be fun to try out one of these kits so you could get even more excited about participating.

So obviously you’ll need a Schacht Zoom Loom to participate, and The Woolery has them for $10 right now! Snag it here. 

Dragon Swatch Critter Kit!

Dragon Swatch Critter Kit!

The Swatch Critter Kits for Zoom Loom come in lots of animals, like turtle, lion, and of course DRAGON, which I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on.

What's Inside?

What’s Inside?

Inside you’ve got the instructions to make your critter, all the yarn you’ll need, and any other notions.

Mountain Colors!

Mountain Colors!

I just started mine so I haven’t needed to dig into the instructions too hard yet, but they seem super clear. The yarn is from Mountain Colors, which you know is beautiful. I love how my green dragon will be mostly green – the different colors in the yarn really pop, too!

My Pile of Swatches!

My Pile of Swatches!

I’ve got 12 swatches to make before I can get started putting my dragon together, and right now I’ve got 7 down. Looking so good right?

More about my dragon soon! So far I’m having a really fun time with this project – it’s a nice break from all the work-knitting I’m swamped with right now. I’m hoping to have him finished next week!

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Excelsior Giveaway Winner!

Excelsior by Allyson Dykhuizen

Excelsior by Allyson Dykhuizen

Last week I was giving away a copy of my new pattern Excelsior in the just released Holla Knits at Home Collection, and today I’ve chosen a winner! Congrats lucky comment #4!

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 6.44.16 AMCongrats Kelly! I’ll shoot you over your new pattern now. And I can’t wait to see a picture of your brown, orange, and cream Excelsior!