Sorry about this stupid nav tray -- I hate it, but maybe you love it and then I'm sorry I said I'm sorry.

Anyway. Here's a collection of work and projects from science writing to poetry. 

A note about the blog title: in math and physics, the prefix eigen means one's own. It comes from the german, but mostly I always liked thinking about a particle's eigenvalues, and thought I might apply the same thought to my excursions.

Most of what I sewed in 2018

Most of what I sewed in 2018

Let’s see what I remember sewing this year. Should be more accurate than last year, as I’ve made an effort to track as I make, but I would be unsurprised if it isn’t, as my excel file recently broke, and my effort has been somewhat inconsistent. I think I’m going to try to start including mending and such in my personal tracking, because keeping track is a bit of a motivator, and who doesn’t want/need mending motivation?

makes by month

All in all, I made probably 34 items this year, fewer than 2017’s 46, but they were more full of pieces i’m pleased with, adult clothes, and more complicated projects (jeans and a proper shirt, for example). I’m not fully confident of the timeline of dates of completion, but it looks like i held kind of steady over the year, even though there were months that felt distinctly more productive or less so. A lot of that probably has to do with complicated projects taking up one month but getting finished in another, etc. Anyway, here’s a big ol’ roundup of them!

wearin’ Samara into the new year, and always

The year started with my wonderful, beloved, Samara cardigan. One of the greatest hits of the year, in part because I truly love this Kapynen fabric, in part because its shape is the perfect level of relaxed and dressy, and in part because its pocket is the perfect size.

Next up was a pair of undies from my Kielo scraps of bamboo jersey and bands from a sleeper made for a friend. Used the Scrundlewear pattern, which is perfect. I should make some more undies soon.

February brought a sleeper for to cover baby’s giant nighttime diaper and long long body - I used the Brindille and Twig footie coverall with a lowered crotch. Another hit that I look forward to having next baby wear. Kam snaps continue to be troublesome, but these mostly have stayed stable.

I also finished my first pair of jeans in February! I’ll be making more and with heavier denim in the future: these are currently sitting in my mending pile due to holes in the knees and butt. As I’m super new to fitting (and maybe my body wasn’t fully back to normal yet post-baby…), the waistband of these jeans ended up having tonnes of extra room, which ended up coming in very handy in the earlier phases of pregnancy #2. I had a tough time the first time around dressing in a way that felt like me without high-waisted pants, and the extra room these jeans are carrying gave me more transition time on this go-round, at least on the weekends (holes in the knees…). And the no fear topstitching is still something i loooooove in all its silliness!

I made a couple of Mama Can Do It fitted diapers, one of which has gone missing, and one we use regularly for nighttime. I should make a couple more for nighttime, but diapers are not an exciting project. In other diapering news: tried to make heavy-duty woolies from a sweater and the B & T cuff shorts. Cute and for sure heavy duty, but the wrong pattern for the purpose.

More exciting baby projects: using a tiny cut of an adorable deer print I got in a pile of remnants from Carden Fabric’s closing sale (still lots left from that; yay for more cute baby/toddler things in organic cotton lycras!) to make a B&T ringer T, along with a lil-one-sized circle skirt, for which I used the By Hand London calculator. These were for a one-year-old’s birthday in March; the circle skirt used up a hand-me-down dress’s scraps from another project.


Around this time last year, I met a fellow at Lugo who commissioned me to make him a Samara in some gorgeous batik he brought back from Indonesia. This was an incredibly fun project, what with puzzling out how I could possibly fit the right length in and capture the lovely edge print. Plus measurements, making a new friend, and attention-to-detail finishing. The insides of this one are lovely.

Matthew gave me a handful of Named patterns for Christmas, and I haven’t used them all yet (I’m holding out for the perfect same-but-different pairing of fabrics for the Wenona), but I made the Shadi knit skirt early in the year, and two Blair Batwings in May. For the Shadi, I used this wild super-stretchy animal print fabric I’d picked up for a song at the annual Persephone costume sale. It was easy and pencil skirts are a great thing for my wardrobe. The Batwings were made with Blackbird's ponte de roma in black and merlot. The black shirt was a birthday gift for a friend, and the red I kept for myself. I wear it frequently.

Right after the wedding, I made a spur-of-the-moment t-shirt traced off of a comfy turtleneck in my closet with some gifted, mystery knit fabric. It was by no means perfect, but it was a great relaxer. And with 30+ weather during our trip to Berlin, it was a great wardrobe piece to have.

After the trip, I made Esther pants, which I had been dying to make since they came out. I chickened out of using the tencel twill I had in favour of a wearable muslin in viscose twill. Love these, although they are in the mending pile at the moment (and are unlikely to leave all that soon due to my waistline being rather the wrong shape).

Several more sleepers were in order: both the footies and my favourite baby gift, the tie-bottom See Kate Sew sleeper. My favourite was the bear painting stars sleeper I made for Cuss, which finally had the right level of dropped crotch for his diapers, but making a couple of tie-bottom sleepers on my mom’s machine with a decent iron was a positive revelation, and I was really pleased with the finish her machine+iron could achieve.

There were jean shorts for me, using up my leftovers from my jeans and allowing me to finesse the waistband fit. I can hardly wait to be at a stable body-shape again to make jeans, working from these adjustments! The only thing I’d fix on these is to make them just slightly less short - the crotch “hemline” is a little close for comfort.

train topstitching

From the leftovers from those leftovers, I eked out a pair of jean shorts for my toddler at the end of summer for Sew Style Hero (a tribute to Sew Andrew), in a size bigger than he needed. I’m still pretty dang pleased with the train topstitching and look forward to having him wear em in the summer!

Other summer projects for the kid: a pair of woolies made from mom’s merino sweater when we realized we forgot to bring our woollies for a visit (they turned out great, next time I need to add an elastic to the waistband though), a Metallica grow-with-me shorts romper (not my best work, but a good concept), and the most perfect outfit of tigers. Baby’s first word was “rarrr” and i just wanted to encourage it, so I slightly hacked some Brindille and Twig patterns (cuff shorts and the ringer T) for cute summer breeziness. (The fabric was another Carden closing find).

And then… sewing really slowed down. Pregnancy basically sapped my energy, and we moved. Nevertheless, I made things, but with more difficulty. For our wedding, I’d been given a gift card to Simplifi Fabric, and bought a couple of fabrics and some hemp webbing to make Matthew a much-needed backpack. While I was pleased with the backpack from the jump, I have grown fonder of it over time. The perfect scenario!

There was a too-small crop top, which I’m making work for now (get those 30 wears) as a maternity top. Meanwhile, we changed up daycare, both because we got into our daycare of choice, and our homecare provider was pregnant. I made another tie bottom sleeper for her with my all-time favourite clouds print. I was def tempted to keep it for my own future baby for ultimate mom and babies matching times (aside from my Samara, last year I made a grow with me romper in this print).

Then the bridesmaid’s dress, which was a real journey, but worth it in the end. Something about that pattern and my adjustments just wasn’t going to fit me, and with the combo of exhaustion and a time crunch, it was tough going. Repairs are still pending for this dress, as for unsurprising construction-error reasons, I popped the zipper at the wedding…

My mom gave me her winter hedgehog shirt because she decided it would be cuter on the toddler than her, so I basically made the same shirt out of it but smaller. Probably used the Apple Tree grow fonder pieces as a guide, but may have used the B&T ringer t. Hard to say. I left the bottom edge unfinished, since it’s a look I don’t mind and the lightweight jersey seemed like it would be a pain to hem (just used the existing sleeve hems for the sleeve hems).

November projects: I made myself a couple Named Anneli double-front shirts with some hemp cotton from Blackbird. The hacked second version is the frontrunner for me, since it solves the problem of annoying turning jersey edges, and it’s actually got the length needed to work properly for maternity.

And finally: the gifts I finished in December. 5 baby bows (2 a gift) made in the last two days of the year. One men’s shirt I’m super, super happy with, for my brother. And kitchen linens for my mom, which hardly count as a sewing project but I got to play with her rolled hem foot on Christmas Eve, so i’m counting them after all.

project success rate

I’ll rate 6 of these projects as greatest hits (my cloud samara cardigan, the batik samara, esther pants, the rarr baby shirt, the whale backpack, and my short shorts) and all in all I’m more on the happy side with 27/34, 3 were diapers, so it’s kind of hard to rate, and only 2 (the metallica romper and the crop top) were not so hot for me.

Named and Victory patterns were my most-used source for grownup patterns, and B&T ruled the makes for children. Most of my fabric came from online stores (16 projects), but another 8 were made from scraps from other projects and 5 from upcycled pieces of clothing etc.

One last note: it looks like my projects were fairly evenly divided between being for my son (12), my family and friends (10), and myself (12). This makes a lot of sense to me, since I made a habit of rotating through roughly these categories of projects and mending through the year.

On to a new year!

There were

Batik Perkins Shirt

Batik Perkins Shirt

New Year Baby Bows!

New Year Baby Bows!