Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pyjamas for Charles!

This is a bit late coming, but look!  I made Charles some pyjamas!
On The Great British Sewing Bee episode about patterned fabric, all the contestants had to make mens pyjamas out of a patterned fabric of their choice.  After watching that, Charles demanded a set for himself!  This is the pattern I chose, Kwik Sew K2388.
Simple button down shirt with a revere collar and piping, and regular elastic waist pants.  I omitted the pocket and the piping on the pants, as well as the drawstring (it's only decorative anyway... although now Charles has to look really hard to figure out which way is the front).
And the result (a bit rumpled as he just got out of bed)...
A roaring success!  I used navy spotted cotton, which is quite crisp and not what you'd usually use for pyjamas.  Charles didn't want flannelette as it's too warm for him.  I came across some problems with the fabric as it was super narrow.  I needed much more metreage because the pieces wouldn't all fit across the fabric like in the suggested marker.  I also had to add a bit on to the end of the pants, but you can't see unless you know about it!
This was my first time doing piping and I think it turned out ok!  Luckily the seam allowance is only 6mm, which was the same width I needed to sew the piping on correctly.
Piping!  Woo!
I made the set in the size small, with the length of the size L.  Charles is a tall dude!
He loves them and wears them all the time, so we're both happy :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Completed - Marion Cardigan!

I'm ripping through the knits these days you guys.

I bought this pattern a while ago, and sent it to my friend Violet for her birthday.  We both knit it at the same time and it's amazing how different they are!  Hers is in a beautiful deep red and turned out much smaller in length AND width.  Hers is quite lovely!  I almost went and bought red yarn and made myself another!
The only modification I made to this pattern was to put in an extra buttonhole above the others (which I can't use because the buttonband gapes), and to go down a needle size (as usual).  The cable patterns were fine once I got used to them but at first they were pretty confusing.  I'm bad at visualising what I'm doing when I'm knitting upside down (this is a top-down knit).
The wool is ... very pink.  I didn't expect it to be this pink!  It looked like a soft coral on the swatch but then turned out to be all HELLO HIGHLIGHTER PINK.  I still like it.
It came out a little longer than the original, I think because my gauge is quite loose.  I find it hard to get a gauge that matches the prescribed gauge both ways.  Although mine matches horizontally, it's still a tiny bit longer.  I don't mind though, as now I can wear it with pants!  I LOVE PANTS.  Although clearly not with these pants.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Completed - Shilshole hoodie!

This jumper is soooo comfy you guys.  It's so comfy I'm laughing in this photo.
 I made a LOT of modifications to this pattern.  If you have a look at the original design, you'll immediately see some of the changes I made.  For reference, here's the pattern photo:
1. Instead of garter stitch, I used 3*3 rib everywhere applicable: the bottom band, the cuffs, and the hood edge.  I just don't like how garter stitch looks.
2. I changed the sleeves to seamed (in the round sleeves drive me bonkers)
3. I changed the stripe pattern on the sleeves to match with the body
4. I didn't do little white squares, I did a stripe (who has time for that)
5. I changed the yoke design slightly (to simplify)
6. Did stripes on the hood istead of making it plain.
7. Added a stripe in to the pocket section.
Sleeves: I made up one as the pattern instructed and it was too long on my short arms.  This happens all the time.  So I worked out how many rows to take out, and then I wrote myself a new colour pattern so it matched the colours on the body.  You have to work down from the top so it matches properly.  My arms are longer than the body so there's an extra grey and white stripe on the sleeves.  When I stand to attention they match!
This hood be POINTY!  But it's cute now I'm used to it.  I really love the relaxed fit of this jumper, it's so different from the usual style I've been making.  This is awesome because I can wear it over jeans and it's so warm!
 The kangaroo pocket was fun to do - it was done by picking up stitches at the front using a lifeline, then knitting to the same length as the main front and then joining by knitting together.
 The raglan shaping was hard.  I just found the pattern really hard to follow somehow!  I'm not quite sure what went wrong but it was hard to follow.  I had to write it all out in longhand in order to get it right, and had to frog a few times.
I'm thinking of reverting back to Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic instead of luxury.  All my Luxury items are pilling beyond belief!  Although Classic is more scratchy, my Milena cardigan is still as new, whereas my Chuck jumper is already a world of pills.  I'd say I wear them about the same amount, so I might have to remake everything in Classic. But they don't have 10ply!!!
I wore this jumper all weekend at the Arts and Crafts Show, got a billion compliments, and was super warm against the ridiculous weather.  It was sooo cold last weekend! But I was snuggy as anything in my beautiful new hoodie.  Two thumbs up!

As usual you can see more detailed notes and in-progress photos on my Ravelry page.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

For Canberra peeps... Arts and Crafts Show opens tomorrow!

This weekend only!

Friday 27th June 10am - 8pm
Saturday 28th June 10am - 5pm
Sunday 29th June 12noon - 5pm!

Yarralumla Uniting Church. ALL proceeds go to charities!

Also Sunday is my birthday... so come along!

We're featuring Adventure Pants and Gatbi cushions this year... as well as some of my own creations :-)

Apologies for terrible photos, they were all with my phone!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review - Nessbow’s Guide to Developing your Personal Style.

Several months ago, the lovely Vanessa of Nessbow asked me if I would complete and review her ecourse, Nessbow's Personal Style E-course.  I said yes immediately because I really like thinking about style, clothes, fashion, and inspiration!  And then I promptly got super busy, then sick, then it was Christmas, and then I went away!  So it went on the back burner for a while.  I'm sorry, Nessbow!

The course is set out in 30 lessons, which are all either something to read or watch, and then some homework, where you write down your responses to some questions or do something with your wardrobe.  The idea is to do one lesson each day for a month.
The lessons are carefully set out on a wide variety of topics, such as your style inspirations and icons, your wish lists, how to mend your own clothes, how to style neglected clothes in your wardrobe, body image, tips on how to personalise a uniform, and adding more colour into your outfits.  The homework is designed to make you really think and distil your own opinions on the topics.
One thing I really liked about this course is that some of the lessons are videos!  They are links to youtube videos that are only available when you know the address, which is such a cute idea!  
My favourite lesson was definitely the one on cleaning out your wardrobe!  I always feel almost guilty about the amount of clothes I own, so it’s helpful to get rid of a bunch.  I always feel like a weight has been lifted when I get rid of stuff!  I also really loved the lessons on mending clothes, and also on what clothes I consider staples.  No more party dresses until I actually get invited to a party!!
I found this course really thought-provoking, and it enabled me to nail down some thoughts about my style, such as who I get inspiration from, why I dress the way I do, and how to cultivate my wardrobe so that it suits me and I get less unworn items.  I think we all have that item in our wardrobe that never sees the light of day!
So, get this ecourse if you:
Have an item of clothing you really love, but never wear,
Don't seem to have any clothes that match,
Are unhappy with your personal style,
Have an overflowing wardrobe,
Have negative thoughts about your own looks,
Wish to develop, refine, or alter your personal style

Pretty much everyone right?  The ebook is available here on Nessbow's website. You can get it on pdf or for kindle!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Completed - Crocheted Ripple Blanket

I have finally finished a very, very, VERY long-going project.  My giant ripple blanket! I don't think I ever blogged it before, at least not that I can find.  Enjoy some progress photos and comments!
I literally began this project in 2006 and have worked on it on and off since.  I remember crocheting in my first year at ANU, in youth orchestra!  It was nice to crochet in winter sitting on the couch with my parents, as it would cover them too!
For the stripe order I used the Random Stripe Generator, which is a fantastic tool for this kind of thing.  I just imput all the colours I had and told it to give me rows!
My problem was that the blanket was ending up TOO huge.  Once I started the blanket at a certain length, it was constrained to that size.  I realised that it was so wide that it went to the floor on either side of my queen size bed.  Too wide!  So... I cut!
Which wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd imagined.  I just had to ensure all the ends were tied off and were not going to unravel.  I made it wide enough that it would cover the bed but not obliterate the bed.
Then I edged the whole thing with a row of the teal colour.  I was foolish to start the blanket with teal, because I only had one skein and couldn't find any more!  I eventually found some more in a wool shop in Melbourne but by then I couldn't just introduce it in the middle.  The edging covered up any untidy cutting remains.
And here it is!  I showed it to an old lady friend of mine who said "it's like a jewel!!" so I always think that.
I learned to crochet from my nana (at least in part).  Before she died I showed this to her in her nursing home.  She was very sad at that time, and constantly anxious, but when I showed her this she pored over it and was happy that she had taught me how to do it.  Handmade things bring happiness!
So now it's on our bed and we're nice and cozy!  Tonight it's going to be -2 so we need it!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Me-Made-May days 24 - 31!

It's over!  This is what I wore for the last 8 days of May.

Saturday 24th
Miette cardigan. Today I did a whole lot of exercise and chores n' stuff.

Sunday 25th
Black Miette, and Lady Skater dress.  I had to accompany my student in his year 12 recital!  He was fantastic.  Please excuse crazy hair, I hadn't looked in the mirror yet and thought it'd be ok!  Of course Charles didn't notice T_T

Monday 26th
These are my handmade pyjamas!  The top is traced of a singlet top I already had, and the shorts are from a boxer shorts pattern I used in textiles in year 7!  They still fit :-)  Mostly because they're stretchy.  I'm not sure if I wore handmade during the day but I've been wearing these most nights.

Tuesday 27th
This is a handmade blouse, I forget the pattern.  I think that originally it was a weird old pattern and I just decided to put pleats in the front. I kind of love it but the fabric is extremely fray-y and it has fallen apart on me before.

Wednesday 28th
Another Lady Skater dress (or the same one maybe) for another student's recital.  Isn't this jumper cool?  Mum bought it for me as an early birthday present.

Thursday 29th
Chuck jumper and alpaca scarf - a favourite outfit of mine.

Friday 30th
You don't get to see my face here.  Owls jumper. A bead popped off this and I can't find it anywhere!

Red and blue, how patriotic or something.  Unblogged long-sleeved lady skater dress, and Chuck jumper.

Round-up and reflections post to come!