What I’m Lovin’ in September

Despite the fact that 80+ degree, humid temperatures are still lingering here in South Carolina, it’s finally [officially] fall! My favorite season.

I’ve got some great things to share with you this month! Read on to hear what I’ve been lovin’ in September…

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1. Craft Fair Season

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you are probably well aware that my sister and I love nothing more than hopping around to the local craft fairs and markets to stock up on handmade goods and discover new local artisans. Fall brings more of these shopping opportunities with the holidays nearing.

We kicked off the season with one of our favorites: Martha’s Market (last year was our first time and we loved it – evidence here).

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My sister & I heading to Martha’s Market. {PS: I’m wearing my Magnolia Shorts & Katie is wearing the Date Night Dress I made and hand-me-down’d to her}

Unfortunately it looks like we’re going to miss several of our favorites this year (or have to go separately #AllTheTears 😦 ).

Upcoming local craft fairs we’re looking forward to:

2. My Magnolia Shorts

As evidence in the photo above {and in this photo from our weekend getaway to Charleston}, I have been wearing these shorts all around town! They are so comfortable and stylish. I may never take them off […until fall weather actually arrives].

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My Magnolia Shorts styled here with a thrifted shirt and gemstone flops from Loft.

Can I make a confession about the photo above? I posted it as my “Signature Look” for the #SewPhotoHop. At the time of posting, I had never worn the outfit which made my husband laugh when I told him. As I confessed in the post, my true style is leggings and a t-shirt but that is so not Instagram-worthy! 😉

Due to guilt, I wore the exact outfit the following week to Martha’s Market! 😀

3. This rug:

rug

The Hubs and I bought a new house over the summer. There is not an inch of carpet anywhere which is great (because dogs), but my sewing room needs a floor with cushion. I spend a lot of time on the floor tracing patterns and cutting fabric (wish list: wall-mounted fold-down cutting table…). That being said, I was in desperate need of a rug for the room.

My friend Caroline shared with me that Hendley Rugs (a local no-frills shop…with no website) was having a retirement sale so I jumped on it. I got a serious deal on this rug (A TOTAL STEAL! So good that Scott Hendley himself said “you have to send me $1,000 in business to make my money back” – SO GO BUY A RUG from him please).

Isn’t it so gorgeous? I can’t get enough of it. Scott has these ahhh-mazing rug pads (they’re like an inch thick and they kind of velcro [almost] to the back of the rug and stick nicely to the floor so no sliding. A great investment if you’re the kind of person who straightens the crooked frames of pictures at your doctor’s office…).

Bottom line: If you’re local to the Columbia area (or driving distance), you should go visit Scott at Hendley Rugs to celebrate his retirement and stock up to make your cozy (the store is located at 1919 Taylor Street in downtown Columbia. Scott estimates he’ll be open for another 6 months).

4. Wallet from the Braiden Manor

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A friend in my sewing guild [who is ridiculously talented and teaches me new tricks at almost every sew-in] has an Etsy shop where she sells some of the amazing things she makes – like burp cloths, diaper clutches, and wallets.

I snagged this wristlet from her at Martha’s Market. It’s sewn up in the Rifle Paper Co. fabric and some pink sparkle fabric. The best part about the pink sparkle fabric is that it won’t leave you looking like a toddler who spilled the glitter in art class. Kristy tested the fabric before adorning the wallets to confirm that the sparkles won’t rub off all over your hands (yay!).

I immediately switched over all my essentials and have been carrying the wallet non-stop since the market and love it. You can browse all of Kristy’s beautiful wallets and wristlets HERE.

5. My New Seam Ripper & Stiletto

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Another gem I found at Martha’s Market! I have been using the seam ripper that came with my machine so I was way past due for a new one. I didn’t realize how dull it had gotten until I got my hands on this one!

The best part about this little tool is that the seam ripper and stiletto tuck right into the ends so no accidental stabbings or losing of caps.

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This spiffy tool is handmade by a guy named Chester whose shop is called Pens and Turnings (he specializes in pens). If you are local, you can find a list of upcoming events he will be selling at on his website. You can find several seam rippers on his website (here!) if you are interested in ordering online.

I recommend the double-ended and request a stiletto instead of the large ripper. I had no idea what a stiletto was until my friend Kristy told me after she bought her seam ripper and got the switch (so of course I had to go back and swap). Not sure what a stiletto is either? Here’s a video for ya.

6. Quilt Block Challenge

Last month, my quilt guild launched a monthly quilt block challenge. Each month we are given a quilt block pattern to construct and bring to the next month’s meeting in exchange for instructions for the next block. The blocks will be used to construct our guild charity quilts.

Our first block was the Churn Dash which I had ironically already been practicing (remember?)!

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My “modern” Churn Dash block for the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild‘s monthly block challenge.

We get special handwritten instructions (which alone should motivate you to join our guild), but you can find a tutorial for the churn dash quilt block here if you want to make your own.

I’m really excited to build my quilting skills and even more excited for the accountability. I plan to stick with these (because I’m very excited about the charity we picked this year!) so stay tuned and I’ll post my blocks each month.

There is a lot going on lately and I have loads to share with you as soon as I get the time to write the quality posts you deserve 😉 For now, you can follow the bread trail of my adventures on Instagram. I hope you’re all having the coziest of falls!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

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Double Zip Wallet

We celebrated Christmas with my in-laws at Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law surprised me with a stack of new sewing books.

One of the books was Handmade Style by Anna Graham (aka: Noodlehead – you might remember several of her bag designs I’ve made previously like the Super Tote and Envelope Clutch wallets here, here, and here). She is my very favorite bag designer – her patterns are so thoughtful which make for incredibly useful purses and wallets.

This book has been on my wish list for a while so I was over-the-moon to finally have it. I have been carrying the book around with me non-stop since Thanksgiving, marking all my favorites with sticky notes.

After a few semi-unsuccessful garment sewing adventures, I wanted to end my winter break on a happy note so I decided to make myself a new bag (since my sewing experience began with bags / bags are one-size-fits-all, I figured this would be a safe zone to retreat to).

I inventoried my zipper stash to help with deciding which bag to make. The Double Zip Wallet won!

Double Zip Wallet

Since this project kind of stemmed from my avoidance of finishing the Veronika skirt {free pattern from Megan Nielsen} I’d cut [but was too intimidated by the idea of my first zipper installation / was scared I’d have yet another semi-unsuccessful garment to add to the pile], it seemed fitting for me to use the scraps for the wallet.

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I picked up this gorgeous floral print corduroy from Hobby Lobby after my friend Amber recommended it to me at our quilt guild holiday party {I can’t seem to find it online anywhere 😦 }.

I had some of this bright pink upholstery fabric lying around and it coordinated great with the floral corduroy so I used it for the interior. I also love how the mustard color zippers link the print as well.

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Excuse the bandaid – this bag was totally worth the 1 small seam-ripper injury 😉

The construction of this wallet was unlike any bag I’ve made. Even constructing the card slots was slightly different. It was a nice opportunity to grow my bag-making skill set.

All-in-all, the construction was quite neat! I re-read the instructions several times before starting each step to be extra careful since this was my first attempt at this project (and because I wanted to avoid adding to the semi-unsuccessful pile!). I particularly like how the zippers turned out – there was no puckering in the corners like I usually have with my zipper pouches.

But I did accidentally attached the card slots upside down (the card slots are supposed to be on the bottom with the bill flap at the top, but mine are backwards).

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I like the bias binding that is attached to the top of the bill flap (bottom of the picture above). I feel like it helps to hold the flap a little more securely. Being the perfectionist that I am, it bothers me that the flap is not lined (you can see the fusible interfacing I used on the underside. This is likely not a problem for most since I added the interfacing on my own volition because I like sturdy card slots 🙂 ). Next time I am going to try to make the card slot piece longer so that I can fold it at the top to make it “lined”. I may also attempt to add an extra row of card slots.

Having two fairly large zipper pouches in one wallet is fabulous! Between the card slots and bill flap, I had all the space I needed to hold my usual wallet fillers. Both zipper pouches are empty right now because I’m still debating what I want to house in each. I’m leaning towards lip balm and such in one and loose change in the other.

Originally I thought the Rainbow Clutch would be my favorite wallet from the book, but it’s going to be hard to beat the Double Zip Wallet!

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Up next on my “to make” list

I can’t wait to make a Market Bag – I’m debating between using some of my Liberty of London or Cath Kidston stash as the accent fabric.

market bag

Market Bag via Noodlhead {click for source}

I’m thinking the Zip Top Tote might make a nice everyday work bag [but you know my love for my Super Tote for work!].

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Denim Zip Top Tote via Noodlehead {click for source}

I also ordered button studs so that I could make Anna’s latest design – the Carkai Gatherer Crossbody Bag {free pattern!}. I can’t wait to give that one a try!

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Carkai Crossbody Bag via Noodlehead {click for source}

PS: If you want a sneak peek at the projects in Anna’s book Handmade Style, check out this beautiful post.