Sometimes you just need to sew.

And that’s exactly what I did.


mini sunrise making_carolyn friedlander


This week (and these last few weeks) have been a little on the heavy side, so some reconnecting with my sewing machine was very much in order. I gravitated toward making these little mini Sunrise blocks, because it’s such a great project for using up scraps. Totally in the mood to dive right in, I didn’t even grab for anything specific, but instead tried to work with what was sitting on the cutting table from some recent projects.


mini sunrise blocks_carolyn friedlander


What have you guys been sewing on?


clammy cargo.

Thing have been a bit nuts lately, but here’s something I managed to slip in last week thanks to some late-night, extra-curricular sewing. There were a couple colliding factors at play that resulted in this mix.


clammy cargo_carolyn friedlander


Number 1, let’s just say that the cargo duffle (free pattern!) has been on my mind ever since I first saw images of it. Anna Graham is so talented, and she generously designed the pattern to go along with the Botanics release. (I’ve been in the Noodlehead fan club for some time, see clutch, supertote and social tote.)


Number 2, I  just got an accu-cutter last week. Clamshells are great, but they are also something I’d probably never have gotten around to if I had to cut them out by hand, so I’m really glad to be able to roll them through the cutter. Now, I can get real about all the clams that Latifah (Clam Queen) has been inspiring me with. (Btw, for anyone else wanting to make clams, her video is a must-watch.)


accu clam

clams_carolyn friedlander


But, I also don’t have a lot of time for off-topic sewing…

So I merged the two things, and my clammy cargo was born.

Plus, I was hitting the road last week to teach in North Carolina, and I knew my trunk show would not be complete without a new Botanics-filled bag. (Sewing justification is too easy sometimes.)

 clammy cargo insides_carolyn friedlander


I tried out some 30-wt Aurifil with this bag. It’s a tad thicker than the 50-wt that I normally use, but this was a perfect application. The stitches show up quite nicely. I also threw some Railroad denim on the bottom and in the handles. I love that stuff.


quilted clams_carolyn friedlander

The only unfortunate thing about this version was that I had to leave off the front pockets. While I love the way they work in the pattern, I hated to cover up my clams. Those will just have to make it onto the next one.

spoonflower social.

spoonflower social tote_carolyn friedlander


It was a no-brainer when the folks at Spoonflower asked if I wanted to make a social tote out of their fabrics. Well, almost a no-brainer. My one fear was getting totally lost in all the creatively unique designs in their marketplace–that part would be no easy decision! But I managed to whittle down a long list of favorites and am so pleased with how it turned out. My wonderful Mom ended up putting it together and did an awesome job! Thanks, Mom!


spoonflower social tote_carolyn friedlander


Here are links to the fabrics I ended up using.


Exterior (which I had printed on the cotton/linen–so nice!)



And Noodlehead is doing a giveaway over at her blog, so if you haven’t already I think there’s still time to enter.





park sham brown_carolyn friedlander


Meet Park.

Another newbie to my Slow Sewing Studio group.


park shams_carolyn friedlander


The design is inspired by a cast-iron gate on Park Avenue in my town.


park shams quilting_carolyn friedlander


park cording_carolyn friedlander


park shams_carolyn friedlander_slow sewing studio


Could also be a quilt.


park ledger quilt_carolyn friedlander_1000px



In fact, this has also been my practice piece for the big stitch that I’ve been doing. I need to re-photo to update.



And I’ve also made a tote, which I’ll be sharing in a tutorial soon.


park tote side_carolyn friedlander_667px


stay tuned.







finding a social: update.

social tote in green architextures_carolyn friedlander

Hope you had a wonderful 4th!


I thought I’d share my architextures version of the social tote.


If you haven’t already seen it, make sure to check out Anna’s recent post on developing the social. Again, she is so amazingly talented and was such a blast to work with.


Thanks so much for all the interest in the pattern! I’ve really enjoyed opening my inbox each time to your kind words. And I’m sorry that some of you are having trouble finding it, but thanks for your incredible patience! With it being a new pattern it sometimes takes a little bit of time to find its way into the shops. While shops are awaiting their stock, I’m happy to get the pattern to you. Just send me a note, and we’ll get you set up. ( info [at] carolynfriedlander [dot] com )


This might be a good time for me to ask–would you want the option to buy the pattern directly from my website? How do you feel about having a downloadable option?

Because I’m curious, and I value your thoughts.




the social tote.

It’ll hold your handwork.


social tote_carolyn friedlander and anna graham


And she was a collaborative effort between myself and the very talented Anna Graham of Noodlehead. If you don’t know Anna’s work already, you should definitely check it out. She’s great and was so much fun to work with. (I’ve made her stuff here and here–see Super Tote.)


social pin cushion_carolyn friedlander


social tote_insides_carolyn friedlander


social tote_plan_carolyn friedlander_slow sewing studio


social tote_handle_carolyn friedlander


social tote_with stuff_carolyn friedlander


But wait.

There’s more.


social pin cushion_carolyn friedlander


We’ve got a pin cushion in there too. And she fits perfectly.


Bias tape tips here.


social tote_carolyn friedlander_bias tape


And since I’ve been getting inquiries, fabric creds here and here. (Sorry but it looks like the 3rd print is no longer available.) Superbuzzy has been a real terror on my checking account.



recent weekend makings.

It’s been fun slipping in a few non-market related items over the last few weekends.

The first was a camera strap for my sister and her brand new camera.


lauries camera strap

made from the camera strap pattern in this booklet.

(fabric credits : stamped, dear stella, and some architextures)


lauries camera strap_2

Then there was a Super Tote.

supertote outside_noodlehead

Except I added cording to the entire front. (Would have added to the back too but ran out…)

supertote outside fabric

Pleated gusset is a sweet lil detail.

supertote pleat

Loving the elast-i-fied inside pockets. They will hold a TON.

supertote insides

Great pattern.

(fabric credits : stamped, Yoshiko Jinzinji, Robert Kaufman linen, and some architextures)

And finally some wiksten tanks that I’d been dying to make. These suckers go together nice and fast–I whipped out 2 in one day.

First with tsuru.

wiksten tank_tsuru

wiksten tank_tsuru

Then with some architextures.

wiksten tank_architextures_carolyn friedlander

wiksten tank_architextures_carolyn friedlander

I’m going to be living in these this summer.

recently made: clutch.

Finally a new purse.


architextures clutch front_carolyn friedlander



I used this noodlehead pattern and really enjoyed it. The fabrics are from architextures with the exception of the strap and flap detail. Those are a Philip Jacob feather print.


Using my gray ledger print on the bias has been really fun–especially for some thick cording.


architextures bias cording_carolyn friedlander


architextures bias ledger cording_carolyn friedlander


Peach pockets on the inside.


architextures clutch inside_carolyn friedlander


My new go-to label system.


architextures clutch label_carolyn friedlander


Hardware (from the buckle guy) that I just happened to have on hand. Love it when that happens.


architextures clutch hardware_carolyn friedlander


architextures clutch backside_carolyn friedlander


Instead of using a magnet or velcro, I decided to go binder-style and use 2 vintage buttons from my stash with some braided embroidery floss.


architextures clutch closure_carolyn friedlander