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New Look 6871 & Noodlehead Envelope Clutch

The miscarriage has left me short on words but brimming with inspiration in my sewing room. Sewing is the most cathartic pastime I have yet to find. Hours upon hours can slip away as I cut, pin and stitch yards of fabric. The weekend before we officially learned Pip had died I just knew something was wrong. People who say you can’t tell when your baby dies at an early stage are full of beans. Alone in the house, I knew I had to keep my hands busy otherwise I might go insane so I made a trip to the fabric store and picked up the New Look 6871 pattern and some adorable navy fabric with tiny gray, mustard and red dots. For those who don’t know, I love navy and mustard. I also bought some yardage of another fabric to make a tunic, which I will post tomorrow.

I set to work, measuring, cutting, pinning and creating. In just one afternoon I had created my first successful top, complete with finished seams and bias tape trimming. The tiny finishing details of sewing are what I love. I want my creations to be beautiful inside and out. I’m really happy with how the top came out – it was easy to sew, taught me a few new techniques like gathering and using bias tape to finish seams.  I also used some of my recently acquired knowledge on measuring to help ensure the pattern fit properly. (For those curious, I used Version D of 6871 but left off the lower contrasting fabric – my torso is freaky short and that would have made the top an unflattering length.)

I will definitely make this top again, but next time will choose a softer, more flowing fabric. The inexpensive quilters cotton is a bit stiff and boxy for my taste. The boxiness right now, though, might be a blessing in disguise as it helps to hide the 10 pounds I have gained during the IVF/FET/miscarriage fiasco! Here are a few bad photos. Pardon how out of focus they are, it seems my camera was on manual focus and I am too lazy to re-shoot them. Also, ignore the trashy dark roots I have. I’m getting the hair fixed tomorrow!

This morning I paired the top with my denim skirt, thrifted for $2.50, mustard Miz Mooz sandals, earrings from ModCloth and my new Noodlehead Envelope Clutch (see below). The cats approved!

Ugh, I should only do these posts on days I wash my hair. Ignore the dark roots and the TERRIBLE zits. Stupid miscarriage is killing my complexion.

Best view of the back I could get with my remote shutter release.

This week I whipped up the Noodlehead Envelope Clutch to go with this top and several other outfits I have. This clutch is the ultimate scrap buster project! I used up a bit of some old canvas drapes, some left over yellow cotton lawn from a ruffled scarf and some bits of two fat quarters I picked up because they made me think of uterine lining and embryos (I seriously have problems). I made a couple of mistakes and my top stitching is less-than-lovely, but it was a good first try. I hope to make a few more to perfect it and then possibly make some to give as gifts with treats inside.

Behold my “Nestling Embryo Clutch.” Does that fabric not make you think of a fluffy uterine lining with some lovely embryos nestling in?!

I love the lining fabric. I made a ruffled scarf out of this for Spring that I wore with everything mustard, Kelly green and navy blue.

Noodlehead’s patterns and tutorials have such glorious little details! I love the little credit card pockets. Please ignore the bad top stitching. I’m quite proud of the magnetic closure in this bag. The last one I tried did not come out very well. This time I dabbed the closures in a rubber stamp ink pad to more accurately mark where it should go. It worked like a charm!

And the back!

Stay tuned for my next sewing project: Sew Liberated’s Schoolhouse Tunic!



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  1. 35life #
    June 1, 2012

    Love it! Love it all! Sewing is so therapeutic, totally agree! Glad to see you’re keeping busy.

    • 35life #
      June 1, 2012

      Me again. Where do you like to get your fabrics?

      • June 1, 2012

        These are made from less-expensive fabrics from Joanne’s. I just ordered some nice higher quality fabric from to remake this shirt and the Schoolhouse Tunic out of something more drapey. That said, if you rummage through Joanne’s shelves and can remove yourself from all the unattended children (they are EVERYWHERE at my Joanne’s) then you can find some real gems of affordable fabrics!

        • 35life #
          June 1, 2012

          I’ve gotten my quilting fabric from there. I’ll have to go again and browse around. I know what you mean about the unattended children! They seem to like to hang out in the remnant section in particular! 🙂

  2. June 1, 2012

    Beautiful work, Belle! You make me wish that I could sew. (I can’t even thread a sewing machine.)

    • June 1, 2012

      I could not sew a year ago! I bought an inexpensive “starter” machine and invested in some semi-private lessons with a woman and one other student. I learned and a lot and the rest is just patience and trial and error. You can totally do this!

  3. June 1, 2012

    Wow!! The top and the clutch both look great! I wish that I knew how to sew. Maybe after we move to Chicago my mom can teach me a few tricks….it really is a handy thing to know!

    • June 1, 2012

      So jealous of your upcoming move to Chi-town! Mr. Husband and I dream of living there one day. And you can totally learn to sew. You just have to remember your first attempt at everything is gonna stink so use REALLY cheap fabric and be prepared to laugh at yourself. But after a couple botched attempts you actually learn your way around a pattern and then find yourself sporting a nifty new purse or top!

  4. June 1, 2012

    OMG, those are beautiful!!!!! I wish we lived near each other and I would pay you to make me clothes =)
    Totally agree that people are full of crap if they say they didn’t know something was wrong regarding miscarriage. I could tell you almost the exact day my baby died even though I didn’t find out for almost a month, I KNEW, just knew something was off.
    I love that you’ve got your creative juices flowing through the pain, it helps to have something to keep you busy while you wait for your body to sort itself out.

    • June 1, 2012

      I have read a couple other folks who said they KNEW when it was over, too. I didn’t tell anyone that weekend because I knew I would be met with “Be positive!” cheerleaders. I know my body, though, and I knew the connection I had with Pip. When he was gone, there was no denying it.

      • June 2, 2012

        With both my miscarriages, I just woke up one morning and knew. It was like a switch had been flipped, somehow. It’s hard to describe the sensation, but yeah. I knew, too.

        But I ADORE your sewing projects. I can’t sew, but do other crafty stuff and you’ve just inspired me to dust off my craft box and start getting creative again. Sounds therapeutic.

  5. June 1, 2012

    I love your work. (I also love your fireplace.) I started knitting a blanket for my mum from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern and it has been a grounding, human experience in the midst of all this pain and loss.

    • June 1, 2012

      Kristen, I went and read your last few blog posts (sorry, I’m behind) and I’m so deeply sorry you are stuck in this place. It hurts and sucks and I have no words of wisdom other than do what you need to heal. I find that by keeping my hands busy my mind can work on mending my soul. Additionally, I would love to see this blanket! I admire knitters. I can’t coordinate two sticks at once to save my life so I stick with crochet 🙂

  6. June 1, 2012

    Love all of it! I wish I had half your talent! I love little crafts etc too, haha the closest I have come was a latchhook rug years ago as a kid, but I really enjoyed it. The shirt looks great (I would never know the material is too bulky, it is beautiful) and the clutch is adorable!

  7. June 1, 2012

    Superduper cool! You and the clutches!!

  8. June 1, 2012

    Love it!! I want that clutch 🙂 I have been teaching myself to sew off and on for a few years, but I never accomplish more than curtains or pillow. Perhaps this is the inspiration I need to try something more challenging. Also, I LOVE you house!

    • June 1, 2012

      You should totally step out of your comfort zone! My two biggest pieces of advice: choose one of those “patterns for dummies” your first time to build your confidence (I made a basic apron and was so happy when it was done, even though it is sort of rough). And see my comment above at being prepared to SUCK the first few times 🙂

  9. June 1, 2012

    Love what you have done there!I would totally pay good money for either one!You have a real creative flair to you and well done on using your talents to keep busy 🙂

  10. June 1, 2012

    This really makes me wish I knew how to sew. Sadly I am not very crafty.

    Btw- I know people say that you don’t know when a baby has dies that early on, but I knew too. I had a sense of dread a few days before the bleeding started that I couldn’t shake. I told myself I was acting crazy but low and behold. You are not alone on that end.

  11. Life is Hard #
    June 1, 2012

    wow!!!! I love the clutch and the top!!

  12. June 1, 2012

    I *love* that you are sewing your fingers off these days. First of all, you are making some amazing things, second of all, it keeps your hands and mind busy, which is a good thing. I have tried so many times to sew but I am so terrible at following directions, measuring, and all the other detail-oriented things involved in sewing that I just stick to painting and messy arts. I love that top and the clutch!!!

  13. Rachel #
    June 1, 2012

    Lovely!… and I like the little couch watcher staring back at us.

  14. Denise #
    June 1, 2012

    just wanted to say your sewing looks awesome and you look great!

  15. Wife #
    June 1, 2012

    So freaking cute love all of it!!

    Also I’m so with you in knowing something was wrong before the miscarriage. I knew I was losing our baby before the bad bleeding and cramping started and while the doctors were saying the spotting was fine. I knew it was over and just couldn’t believe it was true. But it was 😦 I hope that knowing you aren’t alone in these feelings helps ease the pain a little. I wish there was more I could do. Hugs!

  16. Esperanza #
    June 1, 2012

    You are amazing! And your stuff is amazing. Truly. Even makes me wish I could sew, and that is saying something!

    Thinking of you always during this impossible time.

  17. June 1, 2012

    You are too friggin cute. Stop posting adorable pictures of yourself before I drive my happy butt up to KY and steal all your cute clothes! I actually think the quilty fabric holds well. It looks very flowy in the pics. Even if it doesn’t feel that way, it looks great. Also, your clutch is awesome! You’re too talented!


  18. June 1, 2012

    Oh my gosh your sewing is awesome! That shirt looks professional! Even if the fabric is stiff it hangs nicely and I love the pattern. The little bits of yellow in it are so nice. I am going to have to look for tops like that. I think it would be flattering on me.

    I love love love the clutch!!! It totally does look like a nice fluffy lining and embryos! Totally awesome!! So jealous of your skilz!

  19. June 1, 2012

    Lovely outfit and purse! I have to say that I especially love the shoes which I know you didn’t make, but Oh! Miz Mooz!!! Mustard yellow Miz Mooz!

    I think people know when things aren’t working too. I know that I’ve never been officially pregnant, as in having a positive pregnancy test, but I’ve known a few times that things felt different..then they stopped feeling different.

    I think it’s good that you’re sewing and making things. It’s cathartic.

  20. June 1, 2012

    Awesome! I have found my creativity shines in the wake of my loss, but sadly I have no sewing talent at all. I wish I could make pretty things like you do! I hope it helps in the healing process.

  21. June 1, 2012

    Wow, you’ve been busy! I love these! Makes me want to give it a try, although I’m sure I’d need some practice with something really simple first!

  22. Evelyn #
    June 1, 2012

    Awesome job on the sewed items. I haven’t sewed in years and you’re making me miss it. The fabric does remind me of embryos in a lining.

  23. jak #
    June 2, 2012

    killer top!! that is so beautiful (and so is your model, hehehe!). i kind of like it in the stiff fabric. i’m sure it’ll be great in drapey fabric, but I like the way the stiff fabric holds the shape it gets from the pleats.

    by the way – your cats must be fake. i dont see tumble-weed style mounds of hair on your floor like i have on mine.

    • June 2, 2012

      Lol! That is because right before photos I take a dirty towel, stand on it, and scoonch my feet around to pick up any fur in the photo. Rest assured, there are tumble cats out of viewing area 🙂

      • jak #
        June 2, 2012

        brilliant suggestion! now i will see how my dogs like having towels tied to their feet so they can clean up the mess they made!

  24. ozifrog #
    June 2, 2012

    You’re one tough cookie, Belle. Cannot believe you made that purse. Impressive. Local market stand for you, I’m thinking. Good to see you chanelling those energies into productive things. Good things will come to you, I’m sure of it xxx

  25. June 2, 2012

    I love that clutch! Simply gorgeous. And you look marvelous in the top! Well done, Belle!

    I’m glad that you’ve been able to find an outlet during this time. You’re dealing with a lot of emotions and sometimes the only relief is distraction. You are constantly in my thoughts and I hope that with each passing day, the pain becomes a little less sharp. Hugs to you.

  26. June 4, 2012

    I just have to say that you are just AWESOME! I can only hope to be able to make those beautiful things as you have. Simply beautiful! xoxo

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