Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Wrap-Up and June Plans

As you all know, the country and especially my city, is currently in upheaval. This is hard work but it is necessary work. America has a nasty history with many minority groups but the treatment of blacks in America has been unparalleled. We are fighting for freedom. We are fighting for justice. We are fighting for our very humanity. We are people. We are mothers and fathers, daughters and son. We are friends and coworkers. We are aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. We are worthy. And our nation's citizens, law enforcement, lawmakers, etc. just can't seem to find it in themselves to see as such. Well now, we will make them see. 

Do NOT comment on my blog with some blah, blah, I thought this was a sewing blog. In case you haven't noticed, I am black. You do not get to ignore that fact because it is one of the single most defining parts of my physical identity. It's certainly why I had a cop waiting for backup with his weapon drawn on me when I was 16 because I had a headlight out. It's certainly why I was face down on the asphalt with multiple officers, weapons drawn, when I was 19. It's why my son had been stopped by police, frisked, car searched, more than half a dozen times by the time he was 17. (Driver's licenses aren't issued until 16) 

So take solace in sewing if you must - I do. But do not bring your privilege here. If you can ignore all that's going on around you it's because you have the privilege to do so. 


This month, I got off track pretty quickly. I got fixated on this Mother's Day gift plan and spent a ton of time at the start of the month making gifts for family and friends. 

(I am an affiliate for Cricut but there are no links in this post. There are banners on my blog)

I bought a 12-pack of socks and used the Cricut to cut HTV to add some flair! :)
there's 3 of each design

Then, I used Cricut rose-gold faux leather to make keyrings. Each one has a word + mama on back. 
I got the swivel hooks from an Etsy shop. 

Then I used the Cricut Joy insert cards to make cards for everyone. 

It was fun! It was exhausting! LOL!! The gifts were super cost efficient but then there was the shipping. OY! :)  But they were well-received. Success!

Then I made a couple pairs of shorts for my daughter:

I was participating in Me Made May the life happened. My husband's grandfathered died earlier this month due to Covid-19. Last month, I lost my uncle. We traveled to Chicago to take care of things and ended up babysitting for cousins - 2 kids under 4 and welcoming their 3rd! So that was a bright spot. 

Then I got on a top binge because I really do need to replace almost all of my tops and dresses. 

So...this month I sewed 16.25 yards
  • New Look 6530 skirt - 1 yard
    • ivory ponte
    • elastic
  • Burda 6938 x2 shorts for my daughter - 1.5 yds
    • floral lightweight denim
    • blue midweight knit
  • True Bias Ogden cami - 1.5 yds
    • striped cotton poplin
  • Kommatia Relaxed Tee - 1 yd
    • print cotton knit
  • McCall's 6764 tee hack - 1.5 yds 
    • navy cotton jersey
    • elastic
  • Ottobre 2/2018 top - 1.25 yds
    • coral striped jersey
  • Burda Mag 4/2019 dress - 2.5 yds (estimation)
    • plaid cotton voile
    • buttons
  • McCall's 6886 dress - 1.25 yds (WADDER)
    • cotton rib knit
  • Butterick 6330 dress - 2.5 yds
    • black & white print jersey
    • elastic
  • Butterick 6621 dress - 2.25 yds
    • black & white stripe jersey
  • Jalie Clara x2 for my daughter - not counted in yardage as it was a muslin from my random pile 'o knits
I bought 4 cuts of fabric (6 yards) from Girl Charlee - NEVER AGAIN. More on this later when I review the tops I made. And I bought a cut of fabric from SR Harris. 

I think my Butterick dress covers by my favorite and accomplishment this month. It is exactly what I wanted. 

FAIL would be the M6886. I've made this pattern a ton of times and this is the first post-reduction. I forgot to undo my FBA + cotton rib with no recovery = YUCK. But the idea was cute so I'll toss that wadder in with another review post.


I am more hyped than ever to honor Linda Faye this month with this sewing challenge. Full announcement here

As mentioned there, there are no rules aside from sew a top or tops between June 1 and June 15! I will do roundup posts here on the blog. You can ensure I see your top by either using the hashtag: #FAYESTOPSTHATPOP or emailing me at sewcraftychemist (gmail) with photos. 

There is no requirement but since I need new tops anyway, and I am always complaining about lack of cute summer wear, I am going to go straight for cute summer tops. And I also decided that I am going to make things that I "couldn't" wear pre-reduction or wouldn't have wanted to make the FBA. 
So far, here are my plans:

Vogue 1507 has been on the list and I have it slated for this HOT pink cotton shirting. I'd love to use the woven below that I picked up from SR Harris but I'm not sure how much the wrong side being mostly white matters for those open, swingy sleeves or for the bow in back. So I have to think about it.

I love Simplicity 8385 and have a knit version of view C in RTW. I'm going to use this nice, weighty rayon challis in a peachy tan/black/white print. 

I plan to use the chartreuse silk on the True Bias Calvin top. The Ogden works so well for me that I'm hoping to have similar luck with the Calvin. 

The Pensee on the other hand...well I like it and will need to muslin it. So we'll see if I get around to it. The only other Deer & Doe pattern I've sewn is the Sirocco and I had to make SO many adjustments to make that bodice work so I'm not sure. And, that was knit, this is woven, and it was pre-reduction so I can't exactly transfer those adjustments over to this pattern. So we shall see. 

As always, more later. Stay safe physically but it's long past due for us to challenge ourselves in other ways. Injustice is a threat to us all. <3


  1. I also live in the Twin Cities. Trying to use what's happening as a reason to examine my own thoughts and actions (as a white woman) rather than talking about being "shocked and saddened." Thank you for sharing your experience. ❤️

  2. Thank you for what you have written. I live in another country. So I only have what I read and watch to go on, but I remember when Rodney King was beaten, and it seems like nothing has got better in 25 years. I have no words. My heart is with you.
    Also, this is a reminder to me to use the privilege I have in my own country, right now. I am sorry this comment is so inadequate but I didn’t want to leave without acknowledging the struggle.

  3. Mr Floyd and his family, black people don’t deserve the horrible violence and injustice this country has repeatedly given them, and we can’t continue to allow it. I see promises to be an ally, declarations that if you are silent you are complicit. Seen photos of cops and lawmakers taking part in demonstrations. I hope white Americans can be better everyday. I hope black Americans can heal.
    I’m glad you are doing Faye’s top tribute for her. I think the online sewing community has never hid from the horrible realities, but it’s been a good place to shelter for a while.

  4. You made lovely gifts! My husband follows the protests and police brutality closely on twitter, I get the more filtered version from the news. The brutality from police towards their own population, the attempts to silence journalists. It´s so very hard to comprehend.

    Next year its 90 years since the Ådalen shooting in Sweden (police and military shot five during protests) and it is still remembered and taken into account in regard to police brutality, the right to protest etc. Its a poem on the grave of four of them:
    Här vilar //Here rests
    en svensk arbetare// a Swedish worker
    stupad i fredstid// fallen in peacetime
    vapenlös värnlös// weaponless defenseless
    arkebuserad// shoot
    av okända kulor// by unknown bullets
    Brottet var hunger// the crime was hunger
    Glöm honom aldrig// never forget him

  5. Standing with you my friend. This has been a long time coming. White Americans needed a serious wake up call.

  6. *deep bow*

    You know my thoughts. I echo yours.

  7. I so appreciate your sentiments, well said sis. Your socks are fabulous. I am still on the fence about getting this item; Cricut Maker and crafters like yourself just make it that much easier. Praying for peace and comfort with you and your family.

  8. well said and I appreciate this post. Sorry to hear about the losses in your family. what a time and I hope by next year we will all be in a better place on all fronts.
    changing gears, those socks are so cute! and I'm looking forward to seeing that Vogue top, its really pretty (and shows a sophisticated take on the ruffle trend I think that is several years old)

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I agree in many ways. We truly matter, and should be treated as such.

    I like your plans for the tops challenge. That lime green fabric is beautiful.

    That is the most awesome Mother's Day gift plan I have ever seen! I am sure it was appreciated!!

  10. Thank you for your posts and thoughts about what is happening right now. I don't know if I have an adequate way to express my thoughts right now, other than to echo the sentiments of others; this has been too long in coming and I stand with you.

  11. Reading this from Australia, "Black Lives do Matter", and we have our own issues to work through, together with our Aboriginal family. I really do hope worthwhile changes can occur soon. X
    Sadness for you about the deaths you have experienced due to Covid.
    It will be interesting to see and read about your tops, with summer being 6 months away for me.
    Sam the Aussie

  12. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us- it is just heartbreaking that you and your son and countless others have been treated so inhumanely. I stand with you and the protesters demanding change and justice. I sincerely hope that this is a pivotal point in our history that propels us to a much better society.

    Your productivity continues to amaze me! I look forward to seeing your tops for the challenge.

  13. As a black woman this is my take on this situation: something more sinister is happening during this time and it goes deeper than you think. Every time I watch that video, I shudder as I see the evil, almost possessed expression on Chauvin's face, as he strangled Mr Floyd. Now Chauvin has a long list of complaints made against him regarding brutality and he was also implicated in the death of a Native American, yet he was not disciplined for any of them. My theory is that he is a freemason and that he was given an instruction from someone higher up the command chain to murder Mr Floyd. Freemasons alwyas try to protect their own, even if they are as guilty as hell!! The reason I say is because: at first he was terminated from his job and that was it!! Only after pressure was applied - it took FOUR DAYS to arrest him and he is not being charged with first-degree murder, instead he gets the lesser charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter!! Then the reports from the official autopsy were a complete farce and claimed that Mr Floyd had underlying conditions that contributed to his death and not asphxyation. Also the toxiclogy reports came back super fast and even I was surprised, as I used to work as a Toxciologist. Someone is trying to protect that scumbag Chauvin, but it won't work on this occasion. The racism in the police force is intrenched like an aggressive cancer, it is time to root it out and destroy it.

  14. Thank you so much for your words. Racism has been the air that we have breathed as a country for far to long. My sincere hope is that people will not forget their outrage, horror and convictions in November and now as we are facing primaries. I sincerely appreciate your voice, thank you. I am also so sorry for your family's loss.
    In regard to sewing, I am excited about Faye's tops that pop. I am swamped with school but maybe I can squeak one out in her honor. She was a beautiful human being and I loved reading her blog. Even if I can't manage to make a top I'll be following along.

  15. I amsam about the losses in your family! You had such a busy month, it's amazing how much you have gotten done. You are obviously very well recovered from your surgery!
    Crazy times we live in, thank you for sharing all your adventures. Will always keep following your blog ♥️

  16. Autocorrect acting crazy, I meant sorry for your losses.

  17. I am so sorry for the losses, two and so close. But God gives and to be able to meet your new little family member must have been such a joy. I am so upset over this that words fail me. Just know my heart is with you and all who have endured the indignity of bigotry. I am utterly disgusted over it all. I really appreciate your words. Thank you.

  18. Thank you for your post. I understand as best I can as a white woman, from MN, lived in Minneapolis for 8 years. I feel lucky that I gained some friends in the black community after college, and had these types of deep conversations. I needed that.
    It was interesting that I went on to work as a "minority" in a hospital on the Navajo Nation. I am grateful for the experience, and some wisdom I may have gained during those years. The Navajo are an interesting people also; they would talk Navajo in front of you and you had no idea what was being said. They would give Navajo nicknames to Anglos, some in ridicule. I found out I was just "the blonde one". I had the privilege to be invited to some of their traditional ceremonies, a rare thing then. Though violence was not part of my story, it could have been, 50% unemployment there among men, lots of alcoholism and their traditional way of life threatened terribly. Health problems were rampant among older Navajo, and babies, though the middle generations reached out as more of the women were educated as nurses and teachers. The terms "listen" and "respect" go through my mind even today as we visit the beautiful Navajo Nation. As I said up top, I needed that to become more human and aware. Thank you for listening to my story!
    Oh, and. love your sewing. You deal with fitting challenges as a sewer so well, I learn a lot from your descriptions.

  19. Thank you for your thoughts and words. I hope it's okay, but I'm signal boosting this post from my own blog. I'm trying to share first-hand voices speaking about this situation.

    Sewing: LOVE the Vogue 1507 top. The print woven is pretty, but I would ask how much the print might obscure the interesting lines of that top.

  20. Hi, I came across your blog while researching the Brother coverstitch machine. I've been sewing for 10 years now, but am just about to attempt to sew clothes, after having bought a Brother serger a few weeks ago. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say about the Girl Charlee knits! I bought a few yards from them but now I'm leery of trying them, lol.

    Also wanted to say thank you for your thoughts on George Floyd. I'm a white woman who is married to a black man. We've experienced discrimination and racism together as an interracial couple, but I know that it's only a tiny bit compared to what my husband has experienced his whole life as a black man. It is important for white people (myself included) to hear black voices about their experiences as black people in this country, even if it is difficult to hear. Hugs to you.

  21. I see you, I hear you, I stand by you. I appreciate your voice, thank you for this well written article.

    On a sewing note, I live in the same metro area as you. I love your style and hope to meet you at a sewing event soon.