16May, 2023

Finished (almost)!

May 16th, 2023|Construction|2 Comments

Our construction project is all-but-finished and so I thought it would be fun to look back with some before and after photos. The only thing left to finish is the stucco on the outside of the dormer and that should be happening in the next few weeks.

For those that haven’t been following my series, the quick recap is that about 18 months ago, the pressed fiber tile ceiling on our second floor died of old age and fell down all over the bedroom and office that we had up there. We worked with my dad, a retired architect, to rethink the space; took months to find a contractor and get on his schedule; and in October, we finally started fixing the mess. Instead of just repairing, we decided to add a bathroom and replace all of the windows. The previous space was like a cave. There were no overhead lights, ancient insulation, and everything was covered with knotty pine paneling. We had been intending to update this space for about 20 years (not kidding) and we’d been saving up for it, but some other project always came up with more urgency (like replacing the furnace) and so it wasn’t until the house decided to self destruct that it forced us to jump in.

The previous photos are a before and after of the space. The following photos are the brand new spaces we created by cutting a giant hole in our roof where you see that row of closets. We added a second dormer, which made the ceiling high enough to add the bathroom and window seat.

One of the last fun details I added was to design some wallpaper for the inside of our linen cabinet. When they demolished the old walls and insulation, they pulled out huge booklets of newspaper from the 1920s that were used to insulate between the floors. It was very fragile, but I went through pages and pages and cut out all of the advertising that had to do with soap, toilet paper, and beauty products. I put together a collage of these that was about 24″ square and made a repeating pattern. The cabinet and drawers of this beautiful vintage furniture piece are now lined with this wallpaper, which delights me every time I open a drawer.

24April, 2023

It’s Stanley’s 2nd Birthday!

April 24th, 2023|Everything Else|Comments Off on It’s Stanley’s 2nd Birthday!

Make a treat box party favor to celebrate Stanley’s second birthday with me. We all know it’s important to always have treats, especially on your birthday.

18April, 2023

Review: Spoonflower’s Fleece vs Polartec Fleece

April 18th, 2023|Everything Else, Fabric Reviews, Spoonflower & Fabric Design|Comments Off on Review: Spoonflower’s Fleece vs Polartec Fleece

Spoonflower recently launched a new fleece fabric made by Polartec. Polartec is the company known for “inventing” fleece fabric and I remember hearing that their fabrics were the “best” back in the 90s. So I was super curious to see a swatch when Spoonflower recently launched their new Polartec fleece fabric.

Spoonflower now has two fleece fabrics: fleece and Polartec Fleece. I am going to refer to the regular fleece as “classic” just for clarity as I talk about them. I have made several projects with Spoonflower’s classic fleece and I have been a little disappointed with it. The Polartec fleece is a slightly higher cost per yard than the classic, but in many other ways they are nearly indistinguishable. And I mean that pretty literally. Both are a bright white, made from 100% polyester, super soft on both sides. The print quality looks the same as far as color saturation and sharpness. I had to keep referring to the labels on my swatches to make sure I was looking at the right fabric as I was thinking about this review.

Differences I can see

The Polartec Fleece (bottom) is heavier/thicker than the classic fleece (top), but the difference is pretty slight when you feel the two fabrics. The classic fleece is 56″ printable width, Polartec is 60″.

There is an almost unnoticeable color difference between the two fabrics. I only mention it because I was really looking for differences I could talk about. Some of the colors look very slightly warmer on the classic fleece vs Polartec fleece. I really can only see it in the brown/tan shades and not the other colors.

The thing I was most interested in looking at was the amount of pilling. I have made myself two hoodies from the classic fleece and I hardly ever wear them anymore because they look really pilled. This is definitely more noticeable on a darker colored design. This adorable polar bear is this design by Scrummy and you can see the pilling really clearly here.

I washed both of these swatches several times before writing this review so I could try to see how they held up. I put them through regular wash and dry cycles with my everyday laundry. The results are not very clear. In the photo below, the Polartec fleece is on the left, classic fleece on the right. You can definitely see some texture/pilling on the classic fleece, but I can also see some on the Polartec. As of writing this, Spoonflower has the classic fleece fabric detail page with a pilling rating of 1.5 (with 1 being severe), but that detail is missing from the Polartec fleece detail page. Maybe it’s too new to have that information yet.

I think I would definitely order a swatch of a design in darker colors and wash it a bunch of times before I decided to invest the time making another project from the either fleece. In general it’s everything you expect fleece to be in how it sews and keeps its softness, but I am turned off with how it looks after a few washings. This is true of MANY other fleece fabrics for me, so this isn’t a knock against Spoonflower’s fleece choices specifically.

If you want to read more about Spoonflower fabrics and my experiences with them, be sure to check out my other fabric review posts.

Hi, I’m Becka.

Talking about fabric design, Spoonflower, teaching, and the life and business of being an artist.

Teaching online and in person classes in embroidery, handcrafts, technology, fabric design and artist business skills.

Making wearable art and fiber art geekery.


Upcoming events

DCL Online: Waterlily Box

Tuesday, June 13 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT

DCL Online: Embroidered Loon Art

Tuesday, July 18 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT

Shop my art

Go to Top