Bead & Button 2019

Another year has already rolled around and we’re also stationed in another part of the country! We moved coast to coast, basically 😄- we’re now in beautiful Monterey, Ca. My fave place to be.

Bead and Button is right around the corner and I wanted to give you guys a coupon for free admission you can print out to hand in at the door.

I’ll be table #24 for Tuesday night’s Moonlight Madness from 9-11pm on June 4th and Booth #1241 on the main show floor Friday-Sunday June 7-9th. Thursday afternoon will be open to show exhibitors and students before it opens to the public Friday morning.

Come by and say hi if you’ll be in the area, it’s a great show!


Last month was the Glasscraft Bead Expo and ISGB Gathering in Vegas and here are just a few photos:




Bead & Button 2018

This year I was commissioned to make the Commemorative Bead for the 2018 Bead & Button Show. You can find me and my work at Booth 1241 on the Show floor. Come by and say hi!6C696D5A-39B6-4F49-8939-E14B310ECAE5I made over 200 beads! The beads wrapped around my neck is only half the commission. These are blown glass beads, made off mandrel and then tumble etched to take away the shine. Since they’re handmade, each bead has slight variations in color and size. 39B9E40B-9819-4324-90DE-FC90C0D92C62847B3403-BB47-4799-AFE0-B55169E7D8368911F4B3-C2E2-470E-8258-98393719B281The Bead and Button Show is this week starting tonight for registered attendees from 4-8 pm at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, WI. It’s open to the public from Friday to Sunday. Print this coupon for free admission to the show! FA75F77A-986C-4988-AF49-F08430561F81D7962259-4C2D-46F0-9D49-78E22398199E5C0BD300-5700-45C3-B363-A31AA5DF8AF258891F26-1330-4B50-AA8F-2AE6B2217475

Hope to see you there!


Movin’, Movin’ and Etsy Re-opening

We’ve moved cross-country from TX to GA, Z started 3rd grade, and my very neglected (forgotten?) Etsy shop has finally been re-opened. sep 3 header for facebookStaying so long in San Antonio made me realize I’d starting putting down roots unintentionally. It hit me like a ton of bricks, usually when a PCS is coming up I’m allll about the new place and experiencing new things, etc. Hubby was a little concerned with how hard it was for me to get over the fact we were in small town Georgia vs. the bustling city of San Antonio. Spoiled by the convenience of having pretty much any store *somewhere* in town within a 45 min. drive or less. sep 3 kajari trio loose handComparison really is the thief of joy, so I’m getting over it. Slowly. sep 3 kajari hollow2Either it’s because I’m getting a little older, we’re getting closer to hubby’s 20 year mark, or the fact that packing around 2 kids for big moves has made it something to dread rather than look forward to. sep 3 kajari triolooseLight was found at the end of tunnel, thankfully, once my studio was set up and I could fire up my torch again. Ahhh, relief. And now my sewing space is nearly ready and I’m trying to narrow down which project to sew first. Fret not, brain, we shall find our equilibrium! IMG_3784I’ll slowly but surely be adding listings to my Etsy shop- why you take so long Etsy listings?!  This is the necklace worn to this year’s ISGB Gathering in New Orleans, the annual conference we Lampworkers migrate to every year to catch up, network and learn. It was so great to see friends and make new ones.

Named Inari Tee Dress Review

apr 7 inari linen hanging

Oh, Inari, how you’ve stolen my heart. This fabric has been patiently waiting to be made up for over 8 months. It came about when Vickie Hallmark came to visit with her dyes and we decided to experiment with some linens that weren’t flattering for my skin tone. What did I have to lose?

apr 7 Inari linen collage

Jazz hands to convey my extreme excitement!

apr 7 inari linen good front

Turns out, those happy mistakes- the ones like forgetting to serge the cut ends to avoid tangling in the washing machine- are the ones we end up loving the most. At least, it certainly turned out that way for this fabric. It was originally a pale aqua, then Vickie put in soda ash and that made it slightly gray. Then we added the fuchsia dye and it turned into this organic/psychedelic piece of lovely hand-dyed linen.

Research was a lifesaver, since a lot have mentioned problems with arm mobility and taking height from the sleeve and armscye seemed to help. Find more fitting help on Gail’s blog, she posted plenty of pics for the visual learners among us.

apr 3 inari muslin collage

It’s not perfect, but it’s loved regardless. There is some gorgeous Liberty of London burning a hole in my stash waiting to be used for another Inari.  Size and fit details:

Size 42, with 3″ added in length since I’m 5’8-1/2″ tall. 1″ was added below the underarms, then 2″ added below the hip lengthen/shorten line. My current measurements are around 39/32/40. Took out nearly an inch in sleeve height and armscye.

The sleeves were a piece of cake, I had made a mountain out of a mole hill worrying about puckers, etc., but they went in perfect the first time. Normally, I always try to sew sleeves flat and then sew the sides and underarm seam at the same time. But if I don’t practice, I won’t improve and this was a fabulously drafted sleeve. The easing within the seam allowance probably helped, as well.

apr 7 inari back pumped

apr 7 inari linen back better

Tina Givens Bloom Dress in Cotton & Steel Double Gauze

A handful of times I’d visited the Tina Givens website and perused the patterns, then I saw she had free patterns to try and printed out the Bloom Dress. This is sewn up in Cotton and Steel’s Double Gauze from the Fall 2014 line. The colors are what I’m really into right now, especially that red and teal. This fabric had been languishing for months in my stash and had subsequently fallen in and out of love with it a few times. It would do for a wearable muslin.

july 15 tg bloom dress in cotton and steel dbl gauze collage

After it was all sewn up, my love for it was reignited. I did a cursory measurement of the bust and even the small was quite voluminous- over 50″. The pattern states the small is for busts up to 44″. I’m a 40″ bust right now and figured taking out 2″ on the front and back would be a good starting point and would make tweaks from there. Her aesthetic is very free-flowing and loose for lots of layering. There are no bust darts, but there are in seam pockets.

july 15 TG Bloom Dress in cs dbl gauze

Here is a quick and dirty pic of the two mods done for shaping:

Mods to TG Bloom Dress

For the hemline, I was hoping the hi-lo shape would help balance out all that volume. It will also look interesting if I get around to making the slip to layer underneath. The hemline from View D of McCall’s 7120 was my guideline. To save time and fabric, bias tape was used on the neckline and hem. This pattern calls for 54″ wide fabric due to the width at the bottom, but taking out those 4″ and moving it just enough over on the bottom so it fit worked out ok. The elongated ‘c’ shape taken out on each side near the underarms helped with fit at the bust. This was totally a shot in the dark, but it worked for the most part. Sewing by the seat of my pants. One thing to note, the front scoop is almost too deep when you have your hands in the pockets, something to remember for next time. Oh, and taking in the underarm helped slightly with side bra exposure.

july 15 tg bloom dress side

july 15 tg bloom dress front cropped

july 15 tg bloom dress back

Cotton and Steel’s choice of substrate in double gauze is even finer than the beloved Nani Iro in my stash. I’m no expert but taking the two different tops out of the dryer, Nani Iro’s sticks to itself like velcro whereas C&S double gauze will fall a little more smoothly. They both, of course, need to be ironed. It’s a very small difference and won’t keep me from Naomi Ito’s amazing fabric.   (No tsking, we keep it real in this household and if it’s not machine washable, it probably won’t be worn, lol)

After Googling the Bloom dress to see other makes, I was surprised to not see more- especially since it’s free! I’m happy with my comfy top, now to just figure out which bottoms to wear with it besides jeans since my red pants are too lipstick red compared to the tomato of this top.

july 15 TG Bloom Dress in cotton and steel dbl gauze hanger

Modified Vogue 8840

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Happy New Year, here is the first make for 2015 in a modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton. From Miss Matatabi, of course. Apparently, brushed cotton is a fancy way of saying flannel. With winters being so short in San Antonio, I had to stop waffling about cutting into this gorgeous fabric.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

Also. This had gold accents. Yes, gold..on me? If Naomi Ito designs it, I will probably love it.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

For a while I was wanting to make this into a Weekend Getaway Tunic, but didn’t have enough fabric. But my 2 and 1/2 yards would be enough for something a little simpler- Vogue 8840 (size 14) came to me in a flash since it was already cut out and would be easy to modify.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

So, modifications to the pattern: Added 8″ to bodice length, and sleeves. Did a freehand faux button placket, a la Lisette’s Market Blouse– sadly out of print. And added in seam pockets using the Endless Summer Tunic pocket pattern piece. I also sewed all the way up the back since the opening is just big enough to squeeze my head through after mods.

Modified Vogue 8840 in Nani Iro Brushed Cotton by Aja Vaz

My 2015 is already off to a good start- hope yours is going swimmingly, as well!

Vintage Butterick 3084

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 collage

One can only hope to be half as cool as Lady E. #vintagepatterns #sewing

Finally finished the vintage Butterick pattern that has been languishing on the table for MONTHS. This fabulous fabric was found at Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz, CA earlier this year when I taught at Kiss My Glass.  It’s an organic cotton shirting, in a crossweave of faded/burnt orange and white. Very lightweight, which made it great to use for this pattern since it required two layers. It was tricky to photograph due to the weave, and feels like butter and makes me think of washed silk.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front partial

The neckline has an odd pulling, must not have done enough relief snips..next time. Maybe I can steam it out.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front

I actually had to do the sleeves traditionally rather than in the flat, which I prefer. After sewing the (many) darts, you face the fabric right sides together and sew all around the neck, down the back and bottom, leaving a space on the back to turn it right side out. I won’t lie, the sleeves were a bitch.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 shoulder

Pardon that bit of fuzz, please.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 front shoulder

I really hate setting in sleeves, and there are a few puckers that you see if you look closely. The shirt fits great, if a little loose. But if were much tighter, I’d have to unbutton to pull on the shirt. The length is pretty short for me, and barely hits my high hip. Thinking it’s meant for high-waisted pants and skirts. Gotta make sure I don’t inadvertently flash flesh that hasn’t seen the sun in more than a decade when I reach for something high.

dec 2 vintage butterick 3084 frontal

The pattern has great promise and plan to change a few things before sewing it again: longer sleeves, longer hem and fitting the waist a leeetle bit more. Next from this pattern will be the skirt, hopefully. The jacket looks interesting, as well. So many projects, so little time.

Merchant and Mills Camber Set

Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

Another Merchant and Mills Pattern, this time the Camber Set Tee. This was traced and cut out the same time as the Top 64, so it is in a size 16 as well. It fits loosely and is über comfy, but am thinking a 14 will fit better. Next time. Although this is a simple shape, there are a lot of places that need better fitting on me: the armscye, hem length, waist nip/tuck, and perhaps do a forward shoulder adjustment.

The yoke insertion was quite genius and felt like something new was learned, so a worthwhile make- even if there are adjustments to be made for the next one. The fabric is Nani Iro double gauze from Miss Matatabi on Etsy.

Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

My boy is home this week for Thanksgiving break and wanted to get in on the action. Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

You can tell how much ease (too much)on the back. Even though double gauze feels like a dream to wear, it does have a bit of body and isn’t nearly as drape-y as say, rayon. Merchant and Mills Camber Set Tee in Nani Iro

Having these gorgeous Nani Iro fabrics in my stash was making me antsy, so glad I finally have another make with her fabric.


Merchant and Mills Top 64

This is the Top 64 from Merchant and Mills in a size 16. Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz

I fell btwn size 14 and 16 and probably would’ve been fine with a 14 since there is a lot of ease built in the pattern. If you don’t want to pay shipping from the UK, some of the shops-mine was found at A Verb for Keeping Warm– on this side of the pond stock them.Here are a few shots of the interior, such a lovely shop- I even got some gorgeous Madeline Tosh yarn and I don’t even knit!

A Verb For Keeping Warm. Yarn and fabric inspiration.Ahhhh, the color. At A Verb for Keeping Warm.At a Verb for Keeping Warm.

I’m still ambivalent about the fit on me- it’s meant to be boxy and loose-ish since it’s modeled after a fisherman’s top/artist’s smock.

Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz
The pockets are more of a design element than useful, as you can see with my hand as a reference.

Merchant and Mills Top 64 pattern Aja Vaz
The fabric is Robert Kaufman’s cotton double cloth in Indigo- soo soft and comfy.
It’s a pullover, so no worries about closures- the main trouble for me was getting my top-stitching just right. Definitely shows when you get off track.
It will get worn, especially since my winter garb inventory is sorely lacking. And I’ve already cut out fabric for my Camber Set T-shirt, in some lovely Nani Iro double gauze, from Miss Matatabi on Etsy. Lengthened the sleeves to make them elbow-length, just hope it works out.