Monday, November 24, 2014

One block wonder - FINALLY finished!

I have been on a finishing off mission ever since we moved to Sydney.  The now rather high visibility of all the WIPs is one reason, sheer guilt at transporting all these half-made things is another.

Of all the finishing off, I think I am most pleased at myself for finishing this one:



I have had this cut out since my son was young enough to sleep in the Phil & Teds Cocoon. That means he was less than six months old.  He is now 5!

In my defence, I liked the idea and then decided I had chosen totally the wrong fabric.  These quilts work by you cutting out 6 identical triangles, then sewing them together to form the kaleidoscope effect.  The ones I like best have very distinct areas of colour in them - whereas the fabric I chose (which has cranes all over it) made the end result very "wingy".  You can see this more clearly in the picture below (pre-assembly)

The  colours are so terrible in this picture - see the ones below for the actual colours!

I got all disheartened when I had only sewn about half of the cut out pieces together and just put away for another time.

Fast forward to moving here and I realised I had to ditch it or sew it up and give it away.  I also realised I liked it more than I remembered especially once all sewn into threes and I could lay it out like this and play with clustering the greens and blues and darker and lighter patches.



I used up all the triangles I had already cut and decided that was the size it would be.  I backed it with the remaining uncut fabric and then also bound it in that fabric.  I would have preferred to bind in a solid but I just wanted to be finished and the recipient didn't mind at all (see below).  I machine quilted it myself by going around each hexagon in the ditch.  It took a bit longer than just doing the rows but it made the hexagons stand out more I think.

All up am so proud of myself for gritting my teeth and finishing this.  Even bigger bonus - Thing One decided she really likes it and has claimed it!  So worth it after all :)





Friday, November 21, 2014

Chambray Bluegingerdoll Betsy Skirt

I recently (ish) won a blog giveaway (on Sew Mama Sew) for the Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

Here is the lovely picture from the site itself:

http://bluegingerdoll.com/collections/all-products/products/the-betsy-pencil-skirt-paper-pattern

I won the paper pattern which was exciting for me as I have been mainly buying PDFs recently (instant gratification...).  The patterns are in a lovely envelope with the little string closure and there is a good amount of room in the envelope for my traced pattern pieces (important details!).

I made View A, as those button belt-loops look great.



I love it!  I think the shape is flattering and I (mostly) love how it looks in the chambray.  Being able to add a belt really helps with a smarter look and feel.  My one issue is how little recovery this fabric has - the creases you can see here are just from me sitting down in the skirt to put on my shoes to go outside and take these pictures.  I had literally just put this on and it's already pretty creased!  I haven't done a whole day in it yet but I suspect it won't be a super smart effect.  I guess I should make another in something less creasey! :)

All up this was pretty simple to make.  I had one stumble where the cutting instructions specified two waistband pieces and interfacing when in fact they meant one.  I spent a while puzzling how I missed the step to put them together!  Luckily Abby from Bluegingerdoll is amazingly responsive - I sent a message asking where I was going wrong and she set me straight!  Awesome service :)

Not so keen on my posture in this one!
Definitely looks better with a belt...

I wanted this to sit a little below my natural waist (which is insanely high, not that you can see it in these pictures) as I am playing around with which silhouette is most flattering.  I think this is actually quite flattering for me, though the above picture doesn't really do it justice!  Look at the top one instead!  If you look at where it sits on the pattern picture at the top, this is a fair bit lower.  That meant I had to adjust things a bit to make the waist area come in less sharply (it's a pattern designed to highlight the curves).  I then of course cocked up the waistband and had to add a bit on each side to make it fit (argh!).  Totally my bad in redrafting rather anything to do with the pattern.



Speaking of the pattern, I felt the instructions were spot on - the right level of detail without being too verbose.  I liked that she links off to a web tutorial on the invisible zip instead of reproducing it in place also.  My only annoyance (aside from the incorrect cutting instruction) is the "finish the seam however you prefer".  It's a small thing but I feel like pattern makers should always say how they prefer to do it, or link to a discussion of why to use particular finishes in particular places.  I have a feeling this annoys me more than most people, who know they want to always serge or french particular seams anyway.  I just think there is always a good reason to use seam A rather than B (reducing bulk, additional strength in a high wear area etc) and I want them to guide me on achieving the best finish.


I used a turned and stitched (also called a clean finish) seam on the side seams of this skirt.  I like how the finish looks, and while the chambray is lightweight enough to deal with the additional bulk of the seam, it was also quite prone to fraying (I was surprised) so this worked well.  It also gave two lines of stitching on either side of the seam which adds a kind of jeans-y look which goes nicely with the chambray.

All up this is a great pattern and I plan to make several more - so glad I won it!



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sleeveless Archer (sort of!)

Some time ago (like yonks!), Grainline released the Archer shirt.  Like many others, I enthusiastically bought the pattern, traced it out and set about making one.

Not very long into the process I realised that I didn't have enough of my chosen fabric for sleeves :( Given I was living in the middle of a Tasmanian winter, I put it away and got on with other (warmer) things.

Now I live in Sydney, with a personal mission to finish some shit off (smaller house, more visible WIPs pile, slightly sarcastic husband...). So I got on with sewing a sleeveless version - here it is:


I like it.  I would make it again in a slightly more drapey fabric though to be honest, it's now what I would classify as a "sort-of" Archer.  I had to seriously modify this to get a fit I liked (more on that below) which I should say is less to do with the pattern and more to do with me, my body and my approach and my preferred fit.


I like it less tucked in:

The look on my face here says it all...

I don't think the fabric is drapey enough and the fit isn't yet perfect enough to be flattering (the shape and cut of the skirt probably isn't that helpful here either).


Here it is in on Jesse, mostly to prove I am using her :)  I had to do some serious bra-stuffing to get something like my measurements, and she is actually slightly fuller than I am at a couple of places, but I thought that was better than slightly less full, which was the alternative.  I didn't seem to quite get it in between.


I put the pocket on the cross grain, to avoid having to do any stripey matching


So I think it looks quite good, but the journey to that point was somewhat of a marathon.  As I cut this out a long time ago, it was back in the day where I thought cutting the size matching the ample bossom then adjusting everything else was the right plan of attack.  This is how I started after sewing the first seams:



The pictures aren't terribly clear, but the thing was enoooooormous.  The pattern is intended to be loose fitting, so combined with me cutting for my largest measurement rather than perhaps the most common size with an FBA, it was mucho grande.


Even after adding some bust darts (which aren't in the pattern), there were still inches of spare space at the armhole.


I added significant bust darts, took inches from both the front and back at the sides.  I also shaped the sides to come in towards my natural waist and then back out over the hips.  I bound the armholes and the hem, instead of turning it up and stitching.  It felt like it would be too short if I turned and stitched as the instructions suggest, plus this matches the armhole treatment which felt appropriate.

Overall I like the result, but I question whether to make it again following this method.  I *should* cut a smaller size and then do an FBA for the ladies, plus perhaps some additional shoulder room. However, this shirt is supposed to be loose fitting, and I am not sure that's actually what I want and is flattering. I might want to try something with princess seams instead. 

I guess I will think on it while I carry on with the pile!



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest posting at Sew Sweetness for Purse Palooza!

Am super super super excited to be guest posting today over at Sew Sweetness as part of the third annual Purse Palooza!

Go see what I made :) and don't forget to check out all the other great bag reviews in the series too!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mermaid Costume for Book Week

Yes I know, Book Week was a while ago.  I am not really keeping up with things so much at the moment, but then I did move state, house and job in July...I think I get to be a bit slack!

Someone at my old work in Tassie gave me this amazing dress.  It was a strapless (with boning), shiny turquoise number, with a ruffly frill thing down the side of the skirt.  Apparently, she used to wear it back in the day :)

I have had it in the dress up box for ages (that's why she gave it to me...!) but it falls off Issy still, so we decided to make it into a book week costume instead.

Another crappy phone picture is below:



I loved making this.  As I unpicked the dress I realised it was handmade (because why wouldn't you pour your hard earned time into such a shiny, itchy and ravelly fabric?).  It was really interesting seeing the boning and how it was constructed.

I hacked it in half, left the skirt fairly unchanged (except to make it fit) and then made the top a lot smaller and put shirring on the back to ensure it would stay up via the magic of negative ease...All that was left was to franken-graft the tail from another dress up thing onto it and we had a mermaid!

Fun times :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Y Do I Do It quilt (or my favourite quilt EVER!)

This one was actually finished quite a while ago, but then we moved and I forgot to blog for about 6 weeks or more, and I forgot I never shared this.

This is my new most favouritest quilt EVER:




Excuse the terrible phone photos, I was feeling very very lazy...

It's called Y Do I Do It (because it is sewn with Y seams) and it was a class at Patchworks in Hobart.  The quilt is the brainchild of my sewing "mom", Jill Griffin who runs Patchworks and it's super awesome.  The blocks are actually sewn as the Y shape, which was at first fiddly but super super satisfying once you got the hang of it!

The pattern for the class was on a slightly smaller scale than mine is, and was designed to be made out of print fabric, but grouped into three sets (light, medium and dark) to achieve the 3-D effect.  Some class participants used different colours, some used prints which were the same colour but split into the three shades, and I used only three, solid fabrics (mostly Kona and in greyish mushroomy shades)  What was amazing was how different they all turned out!  Sadly I only have pictures of mine...but that's OK because I LOOOOOVE it.

Despite starting to make quilts in 2003, this is only the second quilt for our bed.  I guess between making them for other people, the kids, sewing clothes, knitting and crochet, there just hasn't been time!  Having moved somewhere warmer I think we really need them - so we can have a flat sheet and just a quilt to pull up if it's a bit chilly, rather than the full on duvet and so forth.  Maybe I will make us another before 10 more years passes :)

The only other quilt I made for us is shown below.  I still love that also :)


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rockstar Bag Pattern Test! (and I'm BACK!)

It's been a while!  In between this post and the last I have moved house to another state, enrolled the kids in school and childcare, found and started a new job and (mostly) sorted out the new house!

I have also been sneakily sewing...


This is the Rockstar Bag - the new pattern from the lovely Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.  I was super lucky to get picked as a pattern tester for this one, and it's frankly my most favouritest bag ever!

I used fabrics from my stash - mostly this super funky Echino large scale polka dot.  The colour looks pretty true here, perhaps a little bit more mustardy in real life?

This bag pattern is (as ever...) awesome!  There are tons of details and the result is super professional.  As ever, I totally cocked one bit of it up (the sizing of the main panels) but not so significantly that the end result isn't great.  I think if you make this according to instructions at appropriate scale, it would be about 1 inch wider.  C'est la vie...


Another thing I stupidly did was picked up the incorrect set of D-Rings for the third strap attachments on the side.  As you can see, the front has nicely sized D-rings attaching the straps, but here I used a rivet instead of the ridiculously large set I managed to buy in place of the smaller ones when I was vagueing out in Spotlight.  I think it looks pretty cool anyway, and if I had done the rivets on the slanted flap on the front of the bag it would have tied in nicely.



I used this bag today at work and it was a great size.  I found the shoulder strap good, the other handles a good length and I just love how it looks.

Happy days :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moving house...

And job and state and kids schools and childcare and LIFE!

We are packing up and heading to Sydney - which is, if nothing else, a whole lot warmer than Tassie!


While this looks very organised, the disturbing back story is how many other tubs there are...

I would like to say this is a surprise, but to be very honest the first thing I thought of when we realised we would be moving house, likely to somewhere rather smaller, was what on earth I might do with The Stash of Doom!  Time to be a bit more disciplined about sewing up my stash only (mostly) I think!!!

Anyway - this blog might be quiet for a good few weeks while I move everything and everyone, get settled and get some internet action cranking in the new digs.  Happily for me, yarn club will still be sending me projects of awesomeness (poas, as they will now be known...), so hopefully I can at least keep up with some rather more portable knitting.

See you on the sunny side!


Week 7 of the Wardrobe Architect series focused on prints / patterns and solids.

I laughed when I read the title, as I knew my answers were going to be all along the same vein.  I just don't do prints/patterns very well at all.  The exercise which asked us to pick the 10-20 most worn items out of the wardrobe and see what percentage of them were printed?  HAHAHAHA.  If you don't count stripes, none of mine were patterned at all.

In a nutshell here is what I knew already:

  • I massively prefer solids
  • I do like textural variation (so slubby dye variations for example)
  • I love stripes
  • I don't mind an indistinct dot or something like a chevron (which is clearly just messed up stripes...)
  • All other patterns need to be small-scale and non-novelty and not in-your-face-patterny
  • I hate florals.  Even small ones.

What did I learn?  Perhaps that I should be more targeted in making sure I incorporate patterns into my wardrobe and that I buy fabric with pattern!  I also reminded myself that there are a few things I will really never wear as they are super patterny (I must have been feeling like I *should* wear more patterns when I bought them) and I should just get rid of those in the Great Moving Cleanout.

Some patterns I do like!

Week 8 of the series is on hair and makeup and beauty.  Not exactly my comfort zone!  Here are my answers to some of the questions from week 8:

  1. Which hairstyle was most flattering and comfortable.  Hmm.  I think long probably works best as it's versatile and "easy", though people often comment shorter suits me too.  Long it is!
  2. I don't like too much makeup - but always mascara and usually concealer or tinted moisturiser.  Everything else is mostly special occasion wear.
  3. No idea how they reflect my personal style, except they aren't super flashy I don't think.  I do need to probably wear more eye makeup when I go out as I wear glasses and it often gets lost.
  4. I want to own as few products as possible (I have too many now).  Just a core set which work for me would be good.
  5. I like products to be as natural as possible with as few ingredients and avoiding things like parabens where I can.
  6. Not sure which colours feel best near my face (not sure if she meant clothes here or makeup?).  Softer tones tend to work better for me - I will never be a red lipstick person.
  7. See 6 - bright yellow tends to make me look like crap, but not sure if we are talking makeup still...
  8. I currently spend about 10 minutes getting ready if I haven't showered (drying long hair takes time sadly) and am happy with that.  
  9. I wear perfume - currently Obsession by Calvin Klein for night and Miracle by Lancome for day.  I mostly wear those as they are just about the only two which people ever seem to be able to smell on me...

So that was weeks 7 and 8.  Probably areas which I already had a reasonable handle on and feel like I don't want to change awfully much, but still worth going through the exercises...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 5 and 6

So I have let this series slide a bit with all the whirlwind changes going on in real life (moving state...!).  However, I was finding it useful and once we have moved, I want to try and apply the analysis to the things I sew in my new life :)

So here is more...

Week five and six of the Wardrobe Architect Series were all about colour.  The first exercise required us to go and play with colours we liked and come up with a palette we are drawn to.

My first effort at doing this is below:


Apparently, I like blue :)

Actually, I don't think this palette is truly representative. The tool I was using made it hard for me to get to the colours I really wanted (as they aren't very colourful) and I am not sure the colours are really representative/true.  The grey-ness of palette 3 looks on the edge of lilac (definitely NOT a preferred colour!) and the mustardy colour I chose in P4 looks too yellow.

What I can say for sure is that I like these colours:
  • Black
  • Grey - pretty much all shades.  If I had to chose only one colour, it would be grey (hence I don't feel my palettes quite capture my preferences!)
  • Blue (clearly) - especially electric blue like in P2.  Nothing really bordering on the purple end, but I LOVE the teal / greeny blue shades.
  • Green, but only certain shades.  The ones above plus some kind of strong emeraldy colour seem to suit me (think electric blue, but green).
  • Cream and neutrals (you know, like grey...hahahaha).
  • Certain specific other colours like mustard - but they are more statement or fashion driven and much less about core preferences.
I don't seem to like warmer colours much at all.  If I had a red in there it would be a dark, burgundy-ish red.  I wondered if this is the hangover from being told redheads can't wear red or pink (which is total bollocks by the way).  I quite like some shades of pink too, though not as much as grey :)

Week six focusses on organising these colours into sets as follows:  neutrals, nearly neutrals, statement colours and metallics.  The theory is you can wear less and less (as a porportion of your outfit) of each category in descending order.  So you can wear just about all neutrals, but very little metallics or statement colours.  Week six didn't really add much to my skill set - I feel like I have the balance of colours and weights pretty much spot on (or for what I like anyway).  I also feel like there is some more subtlety to the balancing act - so you can't wear different saturations of colours together easily - like a light smokey grey just doesn't jive with an electric blue for example.

In my wardrobe and palette most of the colours go together well already.  The exception are things like the electric blue and stronger greens - I tend to wear those with black or possibly cream, which have enough intensity of colour to support the strong pop they give.

So that's enough on colour.  I am obviously quite boring but having recently trawled through and thinned my fabric stash, I can at least say that I have lots of the colours I like (am looking at you grey....)!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jellywares Yarn Club - Gaptastic Cowl

I have wanted to make this cowl for so very very long (why have I not?), so I was super excited when the latest yarn club instalment had this as one of the recommended patterns.

Here is it as a wip:



I love it.  So much so that my terrible phone picture put this in soft focus.  OR, the camera is dirty :)



The Gaptastic cowl is a free pattern from Jen Geigley on Ravelry.  It's pretty much an awesome seed stitch big loop and the colour of the wool that Jodie from Jellywares sent in the latest yarn club instalment was the perfect colour for this pattern

The cowl itself is so spongy and soft and can be kind of adjusted to sit however you want.  Here I a looking like I just found a very difficult maths problem in the bathroom mirror:



And again, wearing it with my super power suit (in my work bathroom) as a non-wrapped cowl.  Again a truly fabulously bad photo, but despite that you probably get the gist of how awesome this cowl is (it truly transcends my crappy photo skills!)



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Carnaby Cape Pattern Test - Handmaker's Factory

I was lucky enough to get the chance to pattern test the Carnaby Cape for Handmaker's Factory a little while ago.

www.handmakersfactory.com.au

I was interested to see when I got the pattern that there were no actual cape pictures.  Instead a rather lovely picture on the cover as above, and some extremely clear line drawings as shown below.  

www.handmakersfactory.com.au
 The first thing I noticed when I finished the cape was how much it resembles the line drawings.  This might seem like an odd point, until you see how many pattern reviews have comments like "the sleeves seem longer than in the drawings" or similar. Score one for the cape!

The cape is an interesting take on the usual buttons-to-create-sleeves approach as it uses a tie belt instead.  The tie feeds through some rather lovely bound buttonholes, and I was super impressed by the clarity of those instructions.  The pattern calls for a medium to heavy weight fabric with some drape, which does not fray (unless you want to finish the hem with a bound edge or similar).  I used a ponte knit fabric, which strays a little from the description.  While ponte is a pretty stable and fairly hefty knit, I do think my version could have done with more drape in the fabric, so am pretty sure that any seeming "bulk" or lack of flow in the garment is my bad.

Here is my version, on a very cold Tasmanian winter day:



I really like how it looks, and the flow of the sleeve is particularly nice.  I do think I would have benefited from using a fabric more like the specification in terms of drape, though this matched in that it didn't need any finishing on the sleeves and the hem.  This was SO quick to sew, even with the bound buttonholes, I was quite surprised.

As mentioned above, I love the bound buttonholes being used for the belt tie.  The instructions for how to achieve these was awesome, and they look so good oversized as a belt feed.  I now want to bind all of my buttonholes!  I also like the treatment of the belt, which feels very RTW and I think is quite flattering. My natural waist is quite high compared to normal people, so I did move the belt holes up by about 1.5 inches, but otherwise I sewed to size and it worked well.


As the cape isn't designed for stretch fabrics, there is a buttoned opening at the neck.  I chose some rather lovely buttons from The Stash Cupboard to add just a little pop of colour and detail to my (super chic) grey cape.  The method for creating the button tab on the cape was pretty nifty, and not a sequence of steps I have sewn before.  Once I got my head around it, I was impressed with how it was constructed and plan to come back to those steps to recreate this opening on other garments.


All up a great pattern and a pleasure to test.  Nichola was very responsive to questions and the instructions are a nice mix of detail when required (i.e. the bound buttonholes) without being overly verbose.

I am just about to head North to live in Sydney and am wondering whether a super light voile-type version of this might just be the go for a summer cover up.  I have ridiculously Scandinavian skin (viking heritage!) and so am always on the lookout for a floaty lovely cover up.  Am thinking this might be 100 times more flattering than a caftan type of thing, with the great belting and button neckline...thoughts?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Captain America Pyjamas

A very special young lady was in search of some super hero pyjamas.

Here is a truly terrible picture of the result :)

My kids wanted to photobomb :( Note I did not make the power rangers outfit...

The bottoms were the Alex and Anna Winter Pyjamas pattern without the cuff and the top was a Skinny Flashback Tee from Rae.

I cut the sleeve piece for the top in two at what seemed like the right point for the contrasting arms, then made two new pattern pieces from that single sleeve piece (you just have to add seam allowances on for when you sew it back together - it needs to end up back at the same size as the original piece would have been).  

I cut a star out of some wadding stuff I had left over (I think it was Annie's Soft and Stable, though I can't imagine it would matter awfully, as long as the stuff doesn't fray or shed fibres everywhere) and appliqued that onto the front with a zig zag around the edge.  

I then made the stripey curved front  piece to go on, and came up with the super (I thought!) clever idea to make that a kangaroo pocket instead of just piecing it on.  Hence I made two layers in that shape, sewed them together and then sewed that onto the top, leaving pocket hole gaps on either side of the main rise.

I also had ENORMOUS amounts of fun making a shield:


I discovered that my Bernina 1130 is as stupendously good as I thought it was, given it sewed nicely (ish) through multiple layers of wadding and cardboard.  Where the stitching in the above picture looks a bit crap, it's mostly due to my having to rush to finish this, as opposed to the machine not coping.  You will notice I rushed so much that I didn't even change from white thread to sew the layers.  Does that bug me?  Kind of.  Is it still a kick ass shield?  Totally.  Did the four year old girl care?  Not at all :)

I have discovered via this process and the making of the Incredibles dress-ups that I quite enjoy costume making, so I might do more of that for book days and the like in the future!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jellywares Yarn Club! It's where the cool kids are at...

I have followed the Jellywares blog for a long time now (as one of those silent, slightly stalky blog reader-but-not-commenter people).  Jodie lives somewhere remote in New South Wales, in a life which couldn't really be much different to mine (I have always lived in a City, though my current-and-forever hometown Hobart isn't exactly New York...).  Her blog is a gentle and natural narrative about life there and is mostly craft-centric (which pleases me).  She is also ridiculously prolific in her makings (also pleases me, I am not a patient reader!) and she sells gorgeous yarns too!

So when she launched a yarn club, I looked at the unfinished wool-related projects I have (crochet shrug, knitted beanie, knitted top and knitted socks) and thought - why not?  I love surprise packages of craft stuff in the mail, and I love distractions from all the WIPs I have lurking ready to depress me at a moment's notice :)

The yarn club was launched via her Facebook page here, though there is a post about it on the blog too.  Go check out the page and all the finished project photos popping up - I should probably get my ass into gear and block my first efforts...

I stupidly forgot to take a picture of the first, gorgeous parcel which arrived, mainly because I was too excited.  I got the knitting option (there is one for crocheters too, I do both so Jodie chose for me!) - and the first parcel included some gorgeous autumn-y yarn (Cascade Sierra - cotton/wool) with which to make several leaf shaped washcloths (I will post pictures of those once blocked).

Jellywares Yarn Club

The parcel also include some yummy biscuits and a beautiful bag in which to hold my project.  I was VERY pleased!

Meanwhile, I have made two leaf washcloths but not yet blocked them - and parcel two is already here!  This time I managed to catch myself because I dug in and took pictures:

Jellywares Yarn Club


Lovely indeed!  Jodie is a master of making everything beautiful - with additional little touches that make these club deliveries really nice to receive (go check out her blog pictures - she makes a ball of wool on a deck look so wonderful I want to give up my job and move to country NSW...).

Jellywares Yarn Club

Inside was the yarn for this month (Araucania - Alpaca, Merino, Silk).  Instead of one pattern like last time, Jodie pointed us at a variety of free options on Ravelry which would match the amount of yarn we have.  I haven't entirely decided which one to make yet (there is a very lovely tea cosy picture on the Facebook page which is tempting me!) but I think I am going to make a beanie this time - how gorgeous will that yarn be as a slouchy simple hat?

Jellywares Yarn Club

There was again a heap of beautiful extras in there - like this very cute crochet bunny gift tag - already stolen by my daughter!

Jellywares Yarn Club

Lace trim that Jodie dyed herself (seriously - she must be superwoman) in a beautiful rich indigo colour, plus (badly focused behind) a lovely card her friend made.


Jellywares Yarn Club


A mysterious easter egg...

Jellywares Yarn Club

which opened up to reveal heaps of very very useful stitch markers (how did she know I have bought at least 4 packets of these during my life as a knitter, but can never find one when I need to?).  I had to keep the daughter firmly restrained as she definitely wanted these "treasures"!

Jellywares Yarn Club


AND some chocolate shortbread.  Which lasted only long enough for this picture to occur.  Check out the amazing colour and sheen of that yarn - I have to restrain myself from starting now...

So - all up I am so happy I signed up for Yarn Club!  From now on I will post the parcel and finished items together I think, but I wanted to share the ultimate gorgeousness of the packages as a whole.

So why did I join when I have so much else waiting for me to finish it off?  Well a while back I read LLadybird's post on how she stays so prolific a sewist, and apparently it's because she doesn't really allow herself WIP/UFOs.  She starts something, she finishes it, she moves on.  Admirable, but I don't think it's how I craft (even though I would like to).  My life is such that I need something to cut out or trace in front of the telly, things to sew which are mindless for when I am tired but want to relax and stitch, stuff to knit or crochet on the bus (mindless) or on a quiet afternoon (more complicated).  Yarn club fits in with my need to stop knitting a whole jumper, take a break and knit a quick, rewarding, different project.  Like a palate cleanser or an amuse bouche :)

I embrace my wippiness (so totally a word...), especially if lets me keep getting parcels like this every month! Go check out Yarn Club - all the cool kids are doing it :)

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 3 and 4

The Wardrobe Architect

I am falling a little behind on the architecting.  But that's OK - I intended to work through this process when I had time and only if it seemed useful to me (it does!).

In weeks one and two we explored how style changes over time and how you feel about your personal style (argh!  feelings...!).  Week three was a little more specific - allowing you to explore shapes and how you feel about them and your style.  My preferences are apparently exceedingly middle of the road and can be summarised as below:

  • Pants and skirts can be any length except really really short and I like a mid to high waist
  • Tops and jackets are generally fine but never loose (that pregnant look...mmm!) and never cropped
  • I don't like high necklines (round, turtle) - I find them really unflattering with a large chest. I also don't like strapless or spaghetti straps (again, the boobalinas are influencing preferences).

I enjoyed this week's exercise, probably because it was easy for me and not overly threatening :)

Week four looked like an annoying amount of effort but I actually really enjoyed it.  I ventured into the world of Polyvore to build my preferred silhouettes, then posted them back to my pinterest board.  As a side note - building the things in Polyvore was surprisingly fun, though am not sure what I would ever use it for again...!!  Here are some of my silhouette favourites:



This was the first mashup board I made.  The combo of long leg, fitted but not super skinny jeans and a flowing (but not baggy) shirt seems to suit my figure.   I am tall with long legs, but also curvy.  I couldn't actually make my self just do silhouettes during this exercise - I had to find examples of clothes in colours and fabrics I actually wanted to wear :)



 Not sure this silhouette is really very fundamentally different to the one above :)  This one is slightly more aspirational as I can never find a non-stretch shirt which will fit the girls comfortably but not be baggy around the waist.  Yes, I know I can sew.  I am getting around to it!



I don't wear skirts often but really like that one above and it should suit me.  I also have the Mouse House Creations Julia Cardigan ready to sew (pattern is taped!) which is very similar to the black cardigan in this one.  The sleeveless top again works well with my dimensions and I have lots of tops of that ilk already...in fact - that sort of top became a bit of a theme when I did my final set - which was a many items work mega-mix below:




What do I want to wear to work?  Apparently, the same thing every day :)  These aren't that dissimilar from the top two casual sets.  Does that matter?  Not sure.  I didn't explore other silhouettes which I like, such as maxi dresses and the like, but that's because we are headed for winter and I won't wear them as much as this stuff (I work 9 days out of every 10).  If I am starting to build a basic wardrobe which is comfortable, flattering and in my style, this is probably how I need to begin.  I can add things which step outside of the basic later.

I did notice there are no dresses in here.  I like the idea of dresses, but not really wearing them.  I am trying to find the pattern which suits me, fits me well and makes me feel good - and the Go To Casual Lady I modified isn't far off, but it's still a journey which is as much emotional as about practical matters such as fit.  I think I should work on making the basics the staples of the wardrobe I own, then perhaps start working out how to sew more of the things I can never get to fit in RTW.

We'll see.  I am currently making a quilt so I expect this might be a long journey :)  Anyone else trying to refine their style and stop themselves buying stuff that doesn't suit because they like the "idea" of wearing that style?

C x