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My Instead Collection.

Finally, I can share with you something that I’ve been thinking about and working on for more than the past year.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m so happy to share with you my Instead collection.

Instead started as an alternative way of thinking for me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

A fabric collection has many places where it can start. It can start with the design or a sense of shapes and patterns. It can also start with an overall concept of ideas to explore, OR in the case of Instead it all started with a sense of color that took hold and inspired me to take action.

Sometime before the Wainwright QAL last year, I became really interested in dark and moody color palettes. Light and bright is great, but I realized that I’d never really done a project where my range reached to the deep and dark ends of the spectrum. An obsession with the idea continued to grow after realizing my own need for the fabric to take me there.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Enter the dark seeds of this collection. I wanted to explore the depths of a rich, dark color palette, and I wanted to find a new mood.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Instead is a 15 piece collection on quilting cotton. It has been such a treat for me to be able to create designs for several different substrates (linen, yarn dyed, knit jersey, etc), but with Instead I’ve been excited to get back to the quilting cotton. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about patchwork! (That said, now that the release and a few quilts are behind me, I’ve been dreaming up a few garments and other things to make with this collection…)

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The collection is designed to work well with other things–especially all of my previous collections (I’m eager to start mixing it in!), but it’s also designed to work well on its own – like in the case of the new version of my Sunrise pattern.

Instead Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This has been one of my favorite patterns over time–it’s great for beginners, and it can take on so many different looks depending on the fabric. Like the collection, this version gives an alternative voice to the project.

The collection can also be mixed in different ways and with others, like in my new Arlo quilt. (I have been so excited about this project–more on Arlo soon!)

Arlo Instead Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Arlo was made from the entire Instead collection, plus a special set of coordinating solids that I put together.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

I always love putting together a set of coordinates, because it lets you think about how the collection can start speaking to other things. In this case, I liked the idea of adding loads of texture with a variety of linens. I don’t usually look to coordinates to repeat something that already exists, but instead I’m looking for ways to complement and expand the opportunities of all of it.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

So there we have it–my newest collection, Instead. I hope it can inspire you just as much as it has inspired me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

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Mercer Tunic in Harriot.

Now that the weather is warming back up, I am very excited to make use of my new Mercer Tunic in Harriot. It is sooooo comfortable.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

The Mercer Tunic by Whitney Deal and I go back several years and many versions. It’s such a great top that I wear often!

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

This yellow yarn-dyed woven was crying out to me to be a Mercer from the very beginning. This fabric is really soft and has a nice drape. (PS, if you aren’t a newsletter subscriber, here’s a link to last week’s mailing that includes a bit more about the different fabric weights in Harriot.)

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I make this pattern mostly as-is, but I’ve shortened the length just a bit. In previous versions, I’ve explored different lengths but this one seems to be my favorite.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I always like picking a different fabric to use on the yoke lining as well as any bias tape facing for the neck and armholes. (Here’s how I generally do it.)  Using this method for the hem is also great, not only for the visual contrast, but also in any case where you’re ever tight on length. I wasn’t tight in the case of this top, but at other times when I might be pushing the boundaries of what I have, this hemming method is my go-to. Instead of multiple turns under, you only need the width of your seam allowance to attach the binding, before it all gets turned under.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

There we go, a new top!

Pattern: Mercer Tunic by Whitney Deal (and Moji Pants by Seamwork)

Fabric: Harriot (and Euclid for the pants)

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Harriot String Bag and Bucket Totes.

Harriot String Bag and Bucket Totes.

For the Harriot release, I tried out a couple of new bag patterns. First up is the String Bag pattern by Green Pepper Patterns–a pattern company that I’ve mostly seen at Joann. They have a huge variety of designs, and I was curious to give one a try.

Harriot String Bag . Carolyn Friedlander

On the String Bag pattern, I made the Small size, which is actually a pretty handy size. I didn’t want one that was too big or too small, maybe one that could hold a pair of shoes for going to the gym. This is the perfect size for that, and I love that it is fully lined.

Harriot String Bag . Carolyn Friedlander

One thing that I really liked about this design was the front, zippered pocket. It gave me an opportunity to play with and feature the scallop.

Harriot String Bag . Carolyn Friedlander

This gray version is the most subtle of the scallops, and I like the results, especially paired with the brown zipper and drawstring.

Harriot String Bag . Carolyn Friedlander

I will admit that the instructions were a little hairy at times. If you’re new to making bags, there were a few parts that weren’t the clearest, and I do remember tweaking a few aspects to suit my taste. But in the end, I’m pleased with the outcome.

Harriot String Bag . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up are a couple of versions of another pattern that I wanted to try, the Finch Bucket Tote by Stitch Mischief. I’ve been doing a little bit of knitting lately, and this seemed like a worthwhile project to check out.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

I made two versions, mostly because I couldn’t decide on just one!

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

Both make use of a couple of the different yarn dyed wovens in the collection as well as some screenprints.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

I always like a bag that has lots of fabric opportunities as well as extra details like the corded drawstring and webbing strap on this one.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

The inside of the bag has a nice, flat bottom, and the sides feature a wrap-around pocket.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

On the other version, I used the scallop for the pocket.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

Even though the finished size for these bags is clearly listed, they still seemed to surprise me a bit by how big they are. They are a little too big if you’re knitting socks, but easily large enough for a sweater or any other big project you have in the works.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

There we go! A few new bags, and a couple of new patterns checked off my list.

Finch Bucket Bag in Harriot Fabric

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