Stash busting: the rest of them

So I fell a bit off the stash busting, but then I made about fifteen drawstring bags out of my scrap pile!030

I sewed the first one to hold spare change to take it be counted, and then it was so fun and quick and easy and a lot of other projects hadn’t worked out. So the bags were a fun rush and I got a bit carried away.

I’m planning to use them for wrapping gifts; they’re fun and environmentally responsible 🙂

I stared out with plain ones, but quickly starting spiffing them up, adding borders and mixing prints. Overall, it was a fun and productive stash dive!

 

Also: Me Made May – a simple purple jersey tank of my own patterning. I wore it with a cardigan to work, as well as heels and dress pants, but switched to yoga pants when I got home. The shirt looks classy but feels so comfy 🙂029

 

The Wall’s the Limit

I do most of my computer work in a little nook that’s basically a three-sided room. One wall has my desk against it, one has a window, and the third is — well, it could be better.100_2495That’s what it currently looks like. The map is a freebie I got in college when the maps library was updating and clearing out. It is definitely worse for wear, and it’s starting to get me down.

So I started browsing pinterest for inspiration, and came to really like the look of groups of small frames and pieces of art. And it just so happens I recently finished a cross-stitch — a cross-stitch that now needs a home, and I think I know just the place!

p.s. Did you know that whales are technically hoofed mammals?!

p.s. Did you know that whales are technically hoofed mammals?!

So I have my first piece! I need to hit up a thrift store to find a cool frame, and then I need to decide on the other pieces for the wall. I was initially thinking a whole series of cross-stitched oddities (maybe having ruminates and cnidarians join ungulates…), but I’m also thinking of mixing all kinds of mediums. That owl I stitched last year still needs a home…

Any thoughts? Do you have a mix-it-up wall in your house?

Bridesmade Work-in-Progress

Hello!

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Last week I shared my fabric and pattern. I got a lot done this week, but I’ll let the pictures take the place of my usual thousand words: See for yourself!

I have the top and bottom halves all sewn!

I have the top and bottom halves all sewn!

Detail of the front pleats

Detail of the front pleats

And the back pleats!

And the back pleats!

So all that’s left to do is sew the top to the bottom, put in the zipper, top-stitch the lining, see about adding extra bust darts, hem it, and…that’s a lot.

Possibly panicking now…

 

Blissful Bridesmade

001Over a year ago, I was awarded one of the greatest honors of a friendship and asked to be a bridesmaid for a dear friend of mine. She’ll be married in just over a month, so I figured it was time to finally get started on a dress. No time like the last minute, eh? This wonderful friend also happens to be very relaxed about the aesthetics of the ceremony; it’s set to be quite fun and informal. She left it up to me and the other bridesmaid to pick whatever dresses we liked.

My fellow bridesmaid bought a lovely vintage dress off etsy.com – 50’s styled and in an abstract floral print. In an effort to coordinate, we traipsed off to Jo-Ann’s so we could coordinate. See, I’m planning on sewing my own dress and being a bridesmade.

I picked up McCall’s pattern M6745, and am using dress version C.006 - Copy

And here’s the fabric! For the body, a batik by Legacy Studio; for the tie and piping, a teal quilting cotton; and for the lining, an off-white muslin.

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I’m super excited to make this dress, and to take part in such a meaningful part of my friend’s life. I’ll keep you all updated with my progress!

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Pattern Planning

This week, I’m switching out my needles for, well, needles. Rather than knitting, I’ve been sewing! I still hope to make a felted blue fedora before winter flees entirely, but for this week, a dress was in order.

Now I’ve been making my own patterns for quite some time now, and usually base them off an existing garment. This method works well for me, but the first few times I tried it I ran into an issue. To be honest, the first few times, I ran into quite a few issues, but I’ll just address one in this post. What I found myself doing, in the giddiness of creating my own clothes from scratch, was losing track of what pieces I needed to cut. To solve this, I drafted my patterns on a whiteboard before I actually drafted the pattern pieces on tissue.ImageHere’s the board for my latest project. It’s a fairly simple jersey dress, in a lovely print. I followed the same pieces as the template dress, and charted out visually what I would need to draft and cut, and made a few notations, like directions for gathering.ImageThe lines at edges of pieces denote gathers, which reminds me to cut the pieces to accommodate them. I’ll also use arrows to mark what pieces will be joined, and if there’s folded fabric, like the waistband above, I draw it like a tent. Additionally, I mark down how many of each piece a need – the “x2” by the bodice piece.

When I’ve mapped it all out, I actually start drafting the pattern and cutting the pieces. At this point, I go back to the board and check off each piece as it’s cut. That way I have a quick and easy way to ascertain my progress.

This method takes a little extra time at the beginning, but I find that it more than makes up for it in the end! Oh, and because you’re probably wondering, here’s how the final dress turned out:Image

Cloche Complete!

Hello all!

I’m super-duper excited about this post. I’m super-duper excited because I managed to actually use some of the yarn I bought and featured in last week’s post! Do you realize I have a post from months back talking about work-in-progess that is still in progress? I happen to have born seventeen days late on National Procrastinator’s Day (September 5th, for the curious). Fate herself works against me when it comes to getting stuff done, even when said stuff is super-duper fun knitting projects.

But! I did it! I knit and felted a lovely cloche, using the Stirling Cloche pattern from One-Skein Wonders. And I’m sure you’d like to see pictures of how it turned out, so here goes!

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I didn’t take a picture of the hat knitted but not felted. Basically, it was a floppy saucer and I was worried about how it would felt. This is the first time I’ve shaped and felted (technically fulled) a project. To set the shape after giving the hat its hot, sudsy bath, I upended a bowl roughly the circumference of my head and put the damp hat on it. However, the brim limped against the counter, so I set the bowl and hat on empty peanut jar to raise it. Like so:

ImageThen, to give the hat shape as it dried, I wrapped two rubber-bands around where the brim was supposed to flair out. The pattern sorted this flair with decreases, but I wanted a more pronounced shape.ImageI’m very happy with how it turned out and feel much more confident with the yarn. I think I’ll use the blue yarn to tackle a felt fedora! Probably not for next week, but definitely up and coming!

The cloche is not actually completely finished, but only because my ribbon stash is lower than I realized and I didn’t have anything that complimented this hat. But here’s what it looks like on, as is:

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It’s actually more felted than it looks in this picture. I needed to use the flash – yay rainy days – and it seems to really pick up the individual stitches.

So I’m happy, and can’t wait to put the final touch of the ribbon band. And I hope I’ve inspired any other procrastinators out there to get their craft on!

Wool in the Spring

004In honor of the impending spring time, I went out and bought a bunch of yarn for felting! …Okay, so wool and felt don’t quite say spring like chiffon and daffodils, but I had a gift certificate that needed to be used and a deep, desperate desire to make a felted cloche. I have a bit of an obsession with the classic 1920’s hat, and have two commercially made cloches. I’ve been thinking it’s high time to make myself one or two.

With cloches in mind, I’ve been looking at different patterns for awhile, and I finally decided on two and bought yarn – four skeins of Alafosslopi by Lopi*. It’s lovely Icelandic wool, in a heavy worsted/bulky weight. Two of the skeins are a nice burgundy/berry and the others are the light blue of a spring sky – see! It’s totally a spring project!

001I also got two sets of Plymouth Yarn’s* bamboo double-pointed needles. I love working with double pointed needles, and while I don’t have actual problems using my aluminum needles, I find bamboo needles easier on my hands and wrists, and less slippery.

I got a set of US5 and US10

I got a set of US5 and US10

But what am I going to knit?

The first is a felted hat from Twiss and Weber which I found on Ravelry. It has directions for both a fedora style felted hat, and a cloche. Not sure which I’ll do yet; Both look fabulous!

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(c) Twiss & Weber

The second pattern I’m using comes from One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant. The Stirling Cloche (by Cirilia Rose) is a classic shape, and calls for a cute ribbon band delineating the top from the brim. Confession time: I tried this pattern already, but accidentally used super-wash wool. Which doesn’t felt. But this time! This time I have the right yarn! It will be beautiful!

002So while the warming trend continues and the snow washes away, I’m up over my head – literally, ’cause, ya’know, hats – in Icelandic wool! And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

*I have no affiliation with either brand and receive no compensation for using/mentioning their products.