What do you make once you’ve got your sew-jo back? The time and motivation to sew was there but the inspiration not quite flowing yet. Browsing through a year’s Burda Style magazine subscription and refolding my stash I managed to pair a soft taupe-mushroom ponte from Truro Fabrics with an open shoulder sweater. I’m not a huge sweater fan but I do have a soft spot for a quirky feature.
The pattern is #113 from 03/2014 edition of Burda Style. I omitted the leather elbow patches (ick) and the pocket. I also took the liberty of switching the suggesting Petersham ribbon at the shoulder opening for interfaced cotton lawn. I like the contrast and it’s always satisfying to use up some smaller scraps from my fabric stash.
It’s a really quick make -the dropped shoulders and boxy style mean there is no fitting required. However the Burda instructions for the shoulder opening were confusing. I muddled through and ended up with something functional.
My sew-jo was back but I still took over two months to get round to photographing and blogging. Like many others, any spare time I have I’d rather use for sewing or, more recently, playing and cuddling our puppy.
When you embark on a long-term project you’re never quite sure if it’ll be finished at a seasonally appropriate time or not. Luckily this one has arrived in time for Spring.
The pattern is Ready for Spring by Yellowcosmo – when I found the pattern on Ravelry, I added a number of other Yellowcosmo patterns to my favourites list for future. Her designs are just my thing (a bit of asymmetry, geometric lines or a quirky feature without being too eccentric).
I’m normally heavily influenced by the colours used by the pattern designer but I actually already had this yarn in my stash (Tosh Merino Light in Button Jar Blue). It was intended for a different project but I didn’t like the drape with the correct gauge so I had to find a new pattern for this yarn. I’m pleased with Ready for Spring pattern – it’s a good match.
There are three sections of lace plus some ribbing in the back. It was my first time with a lacy pattern and it took a bit of getting used to. I found myself making plenty of mistakes and having to go back to fix them. My favourite lace pattern is the one across the bust. I’d like to lift this from the pattern and use it on something else.
My only change was to add just a little shaping for waist and arched back – sneaking in some decreases evenly over the side and back. I’m two dress sizes smaller at my waist than hips so even with the open style I’d have ended up with a ripple of sway back fabric without this.
Do you have any tips for me… specifically blocking a cowl collar. Although I’d like to upgrade from blocking on a towel to a foam mat, I’m not convinced that’s why the cowl collar didn’t block well. It couldn’t work out a good way to pin for blocking and consequently it dried with ripples. Nevertheless, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to try some other blocking methods on the collar because I’m going to be wearing this a lot.
I’m still catching up on blogging my 2015 makes. This dress unfortunately wasn’t quite ready for Christmas but was finished by New Years. I wished I’d gotten round to photographing it over the holidays because it was much warmer back then. I was very reluctant to part with my coat even for just a few outside photographs today.
The bodice took a lot of work and multiple toiles to get the fit right, perhaps I could have done more but over-fitted can be restrictive. It’s hard to know when to stop sometimes. My fitting changes included narrowing and angling the shoulders, a small bust adjustment, raising and rotating the bust darts and raising the neckline (less about exposure, more to do with creating a more flattering line) and that was just the front bodice.
The construction is fairly standard and includes a lined bodice but I wanted to go further and line the skirt too. Life is too short to suffer skirt riding up tights. As always, I turned a relatively simple dress into something more complex but I must have been absorbed by this make because I even catch-stitched the hem by hand (I’ll do anything to avoid hand sewing).
The fabric? Gorgeous indigo chambray from Dragonfly Fabrics – a lovely birthday present from my husband. The lining was a stash relic that I’ve always loved the colour of and waited patiently for the right item to be lined in it.
Inspired by my trainers, I mentally designed a sports top during grueling switch lunges. By ‘designed’ I mean I paired the fabrics I knew I had in my stash in my head. I was focusing really hard on my feet in the mirror during the exercise, willing them to keep moving even when my legs were screaming “give up”. No wonder then, when the instructor said “punch up” at the end of the track, I gave the most enthusiastic air punch!
This is my fourth time at the Papercut Patterns Pneuma (1, 2 and 3) using fabrics previously seen in a bikini (don’t look too closely, it’s the worst swimwear I’ve sewn, I am not proud of it) and a beach t-shirt. I feel like a Pneuma veteran these days and every time I sear I’ll try a new sports top pattern next time.
It’s clear I have a thing for the colour family of seafoam and teal at the moment.
My latest Pneuma works as well for switch lunges as it does for contemporary dance. Punch up for that!
Just over a year ago, I hacked the April Rhodes’ Staple dress with the Maria Denmark’s Audrey dress and I kinda liked the outcome. Except that it didn’t last too long before the seams became holey and I had to abandon it. I think this was partly due to the overlocker needles that were onto their second project and partly due to the fabric. It was inevitable that I’d remake this pattern combo… but better.
I upgraded to a heavier weight fabric for warmth and to get rid of some of the wrinkles but it was a compromise on the drape of the dip hem skirt. This luscious teal ponte was from Ditto Fabrics (24 weeks ago according to my Instagram account!). It’s really soft and, as always with Ditto’s fabrics, it’s great quality, not the disappointing poly-shiny ponte. I actually wore this dress on Christmas day (I’m behind on blogging) and a few times since. It’s holding up well to washing, wearing and keeping me warm.
For the pattern mash up, I went from a duo to a trio of Staple–Audrey–Renfrew. There’s a “two’s a crowd, three’s a party joke” in there somewhere but the addition of the cowl collar certainly works well with this fabric for a winter dress.
So that’s me back on the blogging horse. More 2015 makes coming soon… maybe!
After knitting socks without a hint of second sock syndrome, I appear to have acquired a compulsion to knit in pairs. Although not matching, these hats seemed a logical double project.
When a wool band reads “Born, Bred and Made in Yorkshire” and you are born, bred and made in Yorkshire, you know immediately you have to buy the yarn… in three different colours. I don’t think I’ve been as excited or impulsive about a yarn before. Serious warm fuzzy feelings inside and out.
Ramsdale is Yorkshire wool (all 100% of it) from Masham fleece. Not only that but each of the 12 shades are named after Yorkshire market towns or villages. I bought two red, one navy and one neutral. Also known as Settle (amazing walking), Hawes (highest market town in England, I don’t even know why I remember that fact) and Malham (location of too many Geography school trips but I can still appreciate it’s natural beauty).
As if hailing from North Yorkshire wasn’t enough, this yarn has great qualities… good squish, soft without pilling, not scratchy and nice to knit with.
The hats; ombre and Latu. Ombre because I was itching to try stranded colour work without committing too much (I’m not ready for a full on Fair Isle Jumper project yet) and Latu because I really liked the neat cable pattern. Both are free patterns – I’m always terribly grateful that knitters share these patterns so generously on Ravelry.
I had did use some of the second ball of red making the hat but there was plenty left for a pair of wristwarmers. I fudged the cable pattern of Latu onto a gauge adjusted version of Anna Wilkinson’s wristwarmer pattern. These are knit flat and seamed afterwards so I knit with both ends of the yarn at the same time until I had just enough left to cast off and seam – I hate waste!
Many things in sewing (and knitting too) are far cheaper to buy in the shops than make yourself. This is not one of them.
Spotted in a fancy country life type of shop, the type that sells quilted jackets and expensive wellies, was a neck warmer. Tweed on the outside, fleece on the inside. I did a bit more investigation of these items, undoing the buttons and fully expecting a shape I’d have to make multiple iterations of to re-create at home, I was pleasantly surprised that it was a simple rectangle.
My pleasant surprise turned to mild elation when I looked at the £75 price tag. £75 seriously? I tried to keep my face expressionless when the tweed suit-clad assistant/shop owner sidled over to me explaining that there were 5 colours but they had been so popular there were only 3 available now. “Very nice” I muttered approvingly then nonchalantly executed my exit of the shop.
I have to hand it to them, the shop owner certainly knows her/his target market with that price tag. Now, I don’t want to rip off small businesses (it is an independent shop after all) and I’m all for handmade items including a fair wage for the time taken to make the item…but I am not the £75 for a neckwarmer target market.
I seized remnants of coating, cotton lawn, 4 buttons from my stash so my only cost outlay were 3 press studs to make my own version. Also because I used press studs instead of button holes, mine is reversible!