pretty patterns

Between a move, a job change and an engagement there hasn't been a lot of time for making things in the last few months. In fact, my sewing machine JUST got unpacked. But right on time, because the holidays are fast approaching and I've got some crafting to do!

In the meantime, I wanted to post this amazing, perfect, fantastic, dreamy piece of vintage Swedish fabric I found on Etsy and promptly ordered. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the perfect pattern to integrate into our wedding decor and paper goods - envelope liners, here we come!


to have and to hold

Jake's grandmother Tinka and I got along right away, bound by our mutual love of things... beautiful, handmade, thoughtful things that make every day a little more pleasant. So for her birthday, I wanted to make her something simple and lovely that could live up to both of our high standards - and I knew just where to look.

Inspired by the PurlBee's beautiful Wedding Clutch, I chose a classic starched linen as a base and a muted Liberty for the lining. For a special touch, I created an embroidery pattern based on the wood and wire fences that line the beaches near her family home in Sagaponack. 

It was a meaningful project and well worth the effort - I was flattered that Tinka loved it so much, she immediately commissioned two more for friends!


signed, sealed, delivered

Now in my third Christmas with Jake's family, I've been offered an official position in the Levin-Engel-Snow-Topping-Moore Secret Santa drawing. This year I pulled Chris's name. Chris is like me: a note taker and a list maker. So I knew he'd appreciate a few books in which to jot down his thoughts. 

The more difficult task would be designing a pattern that wasn't too feminine. But inspiration is everywhere, even on the gum- and oil-covered city streets. A few iPhone photos of manhole covers gave me plenty to work with and resulted in a collection of sweet, but not too sweet, notebooks I was proud to hand off.


selling wares

The time has come: I've opened an Etsy shop! It's a little itsy bitsy step, but it's an important one. I hope you'll check it out and tell me what you think! 

Some other big news: our home has been featured on the lovely blog Sacramento Street. The post was written and photographed by our good friends Material Lust and we couldn't be happier with how they captured our home. Take a look!


susie's sachets

Let's admit it, it's way more fun to shop for someone who shares your taste. The same goes for handmade gifts. Not only are you spending time on a project you're actually inspired by- an opportunity that can be rare in the life of a "creative professional"- but it's also gratifying to know that someone out there is enjoying something you've put energy into.

I'd been wanting to make sachets for a while, now that I'm on this little drawstring bag kick. Jake's mom Susie likes simple, rustic elegance as much as I do, so her birthday was an ideal opportunity. The combination of lovely high-quality linen, simple free-hand embroidery and Green Market lavender produced a set I would have loved to keep in my own drawers... but I was more than happy to pass them along to her.


to market

We go to the Green Market A LOT. And while we’re generally good about bringing our own re-usable bags, it’s hard to walk away without a few flimsy plastic bags for loose produce like cherries and fingerlings.

So when Design Sponge posted DIY instructions for produce bags, I pulled out my vintage linen collection and got to work. With four small drawstring bags and two full-sized totes, we’re now 100% market friendly. And as it turns out, the small bags are the perfect size for a bottle of Bulleit Rye... so it looks like we’ll get even more use out of them than originally expected.

Note: Stay tuned! I'll be opening an Etsy shop with more market bags soon!


simply stated

I've never met a pattern I didn’t like. In fact, I've never met a pattern I didn't want to chop up and combine with more patterns to create a larger bordering-on-too-much-but-just-balanced-enough super medley of pattern.

But when I saw this Japanese oil cloth at Purl, I immediately realized the best way to honor the delicate repeat was to leave it alone. A simple turned hem on each side easily transformed two yards of fabric into an elegant tablecloth.


terrace to table

Horticulture is a Fagergren family tradition. But until now- like any good rebellious kid- I had no interest in it. On a quarterly basis my mother, aunt, and grandparents would drag me to the Botanical Gardens. I'd trail behind as they walked the beds pointing at every (no really, every) plant, competing to see who could recite the scientific name first. Not exactly exciting stuff for a 13-year-old.

Fast forward twelve years and I've finally found a part of gardening I can really get behind: the edible part! Our balcony is now packed to the brim with three kinds of tomatoes, bell and jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, salad greens and 17 herbs. Every morning as I inspect our thriving little patch I'm amazed that this produce is actually growing 10 feet from our kitchen. That's a closeness I never want to be without.

So I'm happy to report that I've finally caught the gardening bug. And while I still don't care about the scientific names, I am toying with the idea of growing plants that I can't eat. 


shirt up or ship out

It was a year in the making, but Jake’s shirt is finally finished. Not knowing if he’d prefer a heavy flannel to something formal, or if Kwik Sew Pattern #2777 would be the right fit, I decided to make a muslin version first. That was last December. In March he chose his fabric and it took me the following nine months to garner enough courage to tackle the final stages of the project.

The blue-and-white cotton check was easy to work with and dutifully stood up to repeated seam rippings, while the lime thread and lining added a subtle punch. A set of shirting buttons from Tender Buttons made for a lovely finishing touch. 

Surprisingly Amazingly, it fits him perfectly! That being said, I’m not exactly eager to start another.


in the bag

I’ve finally discovered the the perfect gift for “the person who has everything.” No- it’s not homemade granola. It’s a tote! The person who has everything undoubtedly needs something to carry all that “everything” in, so why shouldn’t it be carried in style?

This realization came on the heels of another discovery- my new favorite loose weave linen. It has just the right amount of structure and is instantly made elegant when lined with high-quality muslin.

Even better, the linen is the ideal blank canvas for free-form cross stich. Using sashiko thread and stitch patterns from Mariska Karasz’s Adventure’s in Stitches, I loosely traced seam patterns from some of my favorite Gee’s Bend quilts.