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June13BasilThings have been growing around here, both literally and figuratively. Rob and I upped our garden plans this year (I’m SO CLOSE to finally getting chickens), and our favorite vegetables and herbs have been thriving under the warm Portland sun. I love fresh basil and sweet summer tomatoes, and I’d like to try sauce canning later on. I’m hoping to get my hands on a big flat of strawberries this weekend out on Sauvie Island to make strawberry vanilla bean jam. I love summer!



Isn’t that cucumber trellis that Rob built so cute? It’ll give the lettuce some protection once the cucumber begins to spread out. He’s quite the maker, that one. Whipped up a set of stairs one day, and built me a new garden bed the next. I can’t help but stop what I’m doing when he starts cutting and hammering pieces. I really love watching him figure out how he wants to put things together, especially when it’s something for me!

Of course, a particularly cute little dog has been taking his job of watching over us very seriously while we plant things. Sniffing the zucchini plants, chasing away squirrels and relaxing in the cool shade.


If I’m not in the garden these days, then of course you can find me in my sewing studio (shocking, I know). Jessica recently came over and brought her Singer 301 so that we could play around with sewing leather clutches. We had taken a little day trip to Oregon Leather the week before, so we played around with designs before putting our machines to work. My leather was actually quite thick, and my sweet Charlotte would only go thru 2 layers of it. Jessica’s 301 was happy to chug thru 3 layers of it, but I kept cringing to make Jessica stop. I couldn’t bear the thought of a needle breaking in her machine! She wasn’t so concerned, and I think she had a pretty fun time making me so nervous.

Our bags turn out to be really cute! I had originally intended to box the corners of mine, but my machine wasn’t having it. I rounded them instead, and gave the bag enough length at the top to fold-over. Inside I used a polka-dot print and put in a zipper and several small pockets.



I have some big things to write about this summer, and some of them I’ll need your (yes, you!) help with. I’ve stepped back from scheduling lots of classes so that I have time to pursue a few of my own creative ventures. I’ve got a big project waiting in the wings that’s been sitting there since MARCH. One reason I set some of my projects aside is because I was busy writing another class for Craftsy! I’m not sure when it will go live on their site, but I’ll be sure to let you know.


To keep myself around people (so that I don’t make Rob crazy and he ends up building me a room in the basement), I am still teaching a little bit this summer. I whipped up this maxi dress the other day for a class I’ll be teaching at Modern Domestic. I can see myself making lots of these!

Did I mention that all of my hard work this summer will be rewarded with a trip to Europe in September? I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself! I’ll post more about that later- I’ll need your help finding places and people to visit for my big project. I’ll share more soon!

  • Oh wow! That Mission Maxi is killer on you! i’ve seen so many great versions, but I’m still afraid that it will cling unbecomingly on me! Any suggestions how to avoid that?

    • Thanks so much, Gillian! 🙂 I really really love it.

      I am not one for clingy dresses either, but I do have to say that this dress pattern has nice amount of room in it to combate clinging. I didn’t make any sizing alterations to the pattern. All that I did was make the shoulder strap wider and cut the back with more bra strap coverage.

      To help avoid clinginess, I would suggest that you buy a slightly thicker knit. I always go for ones that aren’t thin and that don’t have too much drape to them. By “too much drape”, I mean that I pick up the fabric from the center of the width in the store, and actually bob it up and down to see how it stretches out and pulls with movement. I also place my hand under the fabric and check to see how much detail of my hand (topography-wise) I can see. If you can see every bump on your knuckles, then a dress made out of that fabric is going to have you putting on quite a show! This blue knit has some drape and movement to it, but it’s juuuust the right thickness so that I don’t have to feel self-conscious. Whip one up!

      • Thanks for the detailed reply, Amy! I sew a lot of knits, but it never occurred to me to test the drape oer the back of my hand! Genius. Thanks! I’ve ordered the pattern now – Can’t wait to give it a go as a tank, dress, and maxi! (If I make any pattern once, I make it a lot! 😉
        Enjoy your European adventure!

        • Of course! I’m happy to help. You’ll have a lot of fun with the pattern, but let me know when you get it because there are a few changes you should make in regards to cutting & sewing it. The blue version I made has the skirt back with the insert in it. It feels so “regal” when it drags (also I’m waving a wearing a tiara when I wear it, but that probably has nothing to do with it). I may hem it so it doesn’t drag, but for now it’s fun. 🙂

          • It does look awfully fun to wear with it’s mini-train! Like you say, not all that practical, but that just means you need another, shorter, version for running errands/walking around etc! 😉

          • It is! I really want to leave it, but I don’t want the hem to be disgusting. I plan on making many more versions- perhaps with some additional piecing lines…

  • Nancy Wichtendahl

    Amy that dress is stunning on you!!! Omg! Wish I lived closer to take that class! Maybe ill get lucky and that will be one of your Craftsy classes! Btw I’m in anxiously awaiting your next one! Still loving and doing again your serger class!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thank you so much, Nancy! I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It’d be so fun if you could come take the class! Sadly, no, it’s not a Craftsy class, but you have given me and idea with your comment! 😉 I’m so happy to hear that you love the serging class. That’s wonderful!

  • The garden looks amazing!! Nice handy work by the hubby. That maxi dress is killer.

    • Thanks! We’re working a patio next, so you and Ian will have to come over and lay in the hammock while we grill up some of our summer veggies. 🙂

  • Cute bag, cool dress! Oh Europe trip 🙂 Are you planning on coming to Sweden? Or Copenhagen maybe?

    • Thank you, dear! I wish we were going to Sweden! I would love to go one day, but it’s not a country on our list. We’re staying around the UK, France, Switzerland and then Germany. Otherwise, I’d love to come sew with you and meet baby Lucas.

      • Aww! You’re so sweet! 🙂 Hope you have fun & say Hello to the UK for me, it’s been too long since I was in my country.