Tag Archives: stash




This is kind of amazing. I finished this dress, wore it to a party, took pictures, and got it posted all in one day!

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by JulianneThis picture makes it look like the wind was blowing my hair to the side, but that’s just how I wear it nowadays.

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purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

At the end of the party I smashed my thumb in a door, and wound up taking home an old-fashioned glass filled with ice because it hurt so much. There’s some discoloration and it’s sore, but luckily no major damage! Anyway, that’s why I’m holding my thumb in this picture.

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

I used Simplicity 3835, which is an out-of-print Built by Wendy pattern. Luckily I was able to borrow it from a lady in my sewing group, which has inspired a pattern tracing party to be held next week (and I can’t wait!). Thank you for the pattern Jill!

My step-sister-in-law got the purple fabric in Hawaii years ago (same as with my bathrobe). It’s a mid-weight cotton with fabulous drape. The orange collar was cut from a scrap of my wedding skirt, and the gold/blue trim was in my stash. In fact, the only new material for the dress was the $.50 zipper.

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

I’m really smitten by the orange/violet combination. I was inebriated when I made the original decision, and second-guessed myself a couple times while sewing. I’m so glad I trusted myself! So far I’ve only worn it during the day, but the colors are so luminous in the sunlight.

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

My version was originally inspired by Kristin’s chic dress, although I made many modifications to the pattern. The biggest change was that I lowered the neckline by drafting a new collar (I made a muslin of the whole dress first). Since the neck was lowered, there was less excess fabric to be gathered, which I might add back in if I make this pattern again. Instead of the back side darts I shaped the zipper seam, and added darts to the front. My pockets are slightly gathered at the bottom.

simplicity 3835, made by Julianne simplicity 3835, made by Julianne

Here’s my muslin with the original neckline. The picture on the right shows the original pattern piece (in yellow) and my wider collar (in white). I wound up shortening the collar piece to 1.5″ finished.

I cut the longer length for the dress, but wound up shortening it a few inches. This is definitely the shortest length I’m comfortable with, but I think that since I’m so covered up at the arms and chest that this dress needs to be short to keep its edge.

I finished all seams with bias tape, cut from a random polyester in my fabric cabinet (and also used on my Cool Contrast tee). I also made a belt, with orange stripes. I’m not sure if I prefer the dress to hang loose or to wear it with the belt. The belt has a tendency to create the illusion of a belly pouch…

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

Now I’ve jumped on the shift dress bandwagon! It’s not the Laurel pattern, but it’s still the sewing-world trend. I’ll definitely be playing with this silhouette more, with raglan and set-in sleeves.

purple Hawaiian shift dress, made by Julianne

I’m calling it a miimii because, when it was on a hanger before the side seams were sewn, my husband asked “what’s up with that muumuu you’re making?” And since it’s smaller than a muumuu it must be a miimii.

I wore it to my husband’s stepmother’s 75th birthday party in Malibu today, which just happened to be Hawaiian themed. It was extra perfect because it was her oldest daughter who had given me the fabric, and had planned the party.




I had a tiny bit of yarn left over from my first rainbow sack, so I decided it continue the momentum and use it as the base of another grocery bag.

knit rainbow grocery bag, made by Julianne Continue reading →

I followed the hex bag pattern pretty exactly, except at the handles. I decided to make two handles to more evenly distribute the stress, since the white yarn is a little thin. I think the mesh pattern for this bag (YO, k2tog for one row, k next row) creates a stronger netting that works well with this yarn.

knit rainbow bag, made by Julianne

The white yarn came from the Boys and Girls Club stash. I think it’s sport weight, and definitely acrylic.

knit rainbow grocery bag, made by Julianne knit rainbow bag, made by Julianne

Damn, I love the rainbow yarn in a garter stitch! I want wallpaper that looks like that. Can anyone recommend some great garter stitch patterns to take advantage of those gorgeous colors? If I make a garment, I will invest in a nicer fiber.

I’m half-heartedly working on my third bag right now. I’ve realized that knitting with larger needles bores me; but when I’ve got size 7 or smaller in my hands I get so jazzed as seeing the yarn slooooowly turn into fabric. It’s ironic that chunky knits are supposed to be quick projects, but since I’m not excited to work on them it takes me forever (I’m sure I will revisit this statement halfway through my first sweater).

knit rainbow grocery bag, made by Julianne

Let me tell you, the cashiers and baggers in LA love my rainbow grocery bags. I’ve gotten most compliments from teenage boys. They just love the knitting, and the colors. LOVE IT.

knit sock, made by Julianne

In other knitting news, I’ve started my first pair of socks! It’s using a vintage wool/nylon blend and Liat Gatt’s charming instructions. This is one of the reasons I learned to knit, and I’m thrilled to be accomplishing this goal. However, my needle is too big (my yarn is sport and the pattern is written for worsted), and there are holes all over the sock. I know that in the end, I will be happier if I start over with smaller needles. It’s just a little sad to actually frog my precious sock, but that’s what must be done.




Jason picked out a very comfortable sofa for our apartment, and he did it as a bachelor. It’s good for lounging, and when we remove the pillows it’s as wide as a twin bed (for guests!). It’s even got sleek lines, and no extraneous “design details.” But it’s tan. I was overjoyed when he spilled soy sauce on it one night, because I officially had license to recover it.

rainbow pillows, made by Julianne Continue reading →

All these fabrics were freeeeeeeee. The gorgeous hand-woven top was a gift from my step-sister-in-law Ilaan. The green velvet piping and fuchsia were just taking up space in my fabric cabinet (and were free remnants from my days at Fabric Planet). I probably payed for the cording inside the piping, so this cost maybe $2.

handmade pillow, made by Julianne

I know from experience that getting a large cushion into a cover is a pain in the ass, and even if you only have to do it once why even bother? So I made this cover like a fitted sheet, but instead of elastic at the bottom edge I used a drawstring so that it can’t come loose. The underside of the cushion is still the tan microsuede, and that’s fine. Since this type of cover is easier to remove and replace, I’m more likely to wash it when it gets dirty, and it used half the fabric since I only covered one side.

rainbow pillows, made by Julianne rainbow pillows, made by Julianne

The back pillows are covered in an aqua linen that showed up one day, I honestly have no idea where 5 yards of bright linen comes from but I’m not questioning it (I also used this fabric for Jason’s wedding shirt). I did buy the yellow pompom trim from Joann’s, so the pillows cost $4. The long zippers were also in my stash, which is why they are baby pink. But who cares?

I left the back pillows in their original cases, because I should probably not throw them out and where would I store them? At some point I should re-wrap the pillows (foam cores covered in batting and filling) because they get awfully saggy after a couple days.

handmade pillow, made by Julianne

We’ve also covered the sofa with some pretty rad pillows. These two covers were handmade in Hungary and cost about $20 each. Adding to the sentimentality, the pillows themselves were given by Medora when she left for her first backpacking adventure.

handmade pillow, made by Julianne

This gorgeous printed cotton came from our friends’ honeymoon in Malaysia. The fringe and invisible zipper were from my stash. I’m pretty sure this is the nicest body pillow on the west side.

pillow, made by Julianne pillow, made by Julianne

This pillow was also a stash-buster. I bought the fabric in New Orleans in 2006; the pattern reminds me of Mardi Gras beads. Fun story: I was on the phone with a friend who left from El Segundo to come to our house in Mar Vista, and during his transit time I made the pillow from start to finish. About 20 minutes. So this pillow is the “Cosmo’s coming over!” pillow.

rainbow pillow, made by Julianne rainbow pillow, made by Juliannerainbow pillow, made by Julianne

My wonderful round rainbow tuffet was made in New Orleans in 2007 using scraps as well. It’s firm and great for sitting on the floor.

sheet, made by Julianne sheet, made by Julianne

I also made a fitted sheet for when guests sleep over. The blue seersucker came from my grandma’s fabric stash, although I think I bought it for her years ago.

So now you’ve seen my couch! It’s great for lounging, and napping, and has played host to many friends and wonderful conversations. I can’t tell you how gratifying and meaningful it is when Jason’s old friends come into our home and remark on how cozy and beautiful our apartment is looking nowadays (not that Jason didn’t have the apartment looking nice on his own, but he’s given me free reign to add my own sense of style).

handmade pillow, made by Julianne

It’s so welcoming to open our front door to this comfortable rainbow!

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