Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tiny Roller Skate Dress


I made this tiny Oliver + S Roller Skate dress for my cousin's baby.  It's the 6-12 month size, since I didn't make it until she was almost six months old.  It was pretty easy to sew, didn't take too much fabric, and turned out pretty cute.  I would definitely make it again, maybe with pockets if it was for an older child.  Next time, to save even more fabric and make it lighter for summer, I might try using bias binding for the elastic casing and to finish the sleeve/armhole edges.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Me-made-May: the last few days

What I wore:

  • Monday, May 29: Blue jeans (RTW), green long-sleeved henley (RTW), handknit socks, Geneva undies. In the evening I changed my shirt to my floral woven t-shirt and put on my maroon fleece (RTW)
  • Tuesday, May 30: Blue jeans (RTW), floral woven t-shirt, gradient shawl, maroon fleece (RTW), Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 31: Blue jeans (RTW), black long-sleeved t-shir (RTW)t, Lofoten sweater, Geneva undies
What I made:

I finished the blue lace shawl I've been working on for a year!

What I thought:

I felt good about me-made-may this year.  It wasn't too hare or too easy to do the challenge, and I have some Ideas for what I want to make to fill out my wardrobe.  I have hardly any me-made shirts, and if I had been teaching, I would have had a really hard time with it (our spring semester ends at the end of April).  I have plans to make more shirts/blouses, including work appropriate ones (I bought some lovely Liberty of London lawn for a blouse ...).  I also want to change the way I think about my projects, maybe shifting to an actions list in the style of David Allen's Getting Things Done system than a list of things I'd like to eventually do.  I think doing that would help me avoid some of the decision paralysis sewing procrastination that I tend towards, and help me enjoy my limited crafting time more (and help me move though projects more quickly - I'm at the point of finishing up a spinning project that I've had on the wheel for almost two years, which is just embarrassing).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 4

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 22: Black slacks (RTW), floral t-shirt, yellow cardigan (RTW)
  • Tuesday, May 23: Blue tiered skirt, brown long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW)
  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 24-25: Jeans (RTW), green long-sleeved henley (RTW), Lofoten sweater, pink socks 
  • Friday, May 26: Jeans skirt, J. Crew button-down shirt (RTW)
  • Satuday, May 27: spotted Adelaide dress, Lofoten sweater
  • Sunday, May 28: Jeans (RTW),  floral woven t-shirt, gradient shawlette, maroon fleece jacket (RTW), handknit socks
What I made:
I finished the two little polo shirts for my nephew and grandcousin!

What I thought:
I'm beginning to feel like wearing me-made clothes every day is no big deal, but I simultaneously feel like there are a lot of ready-to-wear clothes that I'm not wearing , and I kind of want to wear them.  Towards the end of the week, I actually forgot that it was me-made-May. Luckily I wore something I had made anyway!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 3

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 15: Adelaide dress, Geneva undies
  • Tuesday, May 16: Navy blue gathered skirt, red tank top (RTW), grey linen cardigan, Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 17: straight-leg jeans (RTW), floral woven tee, Geneva undies
  • Thursday, May 18: damask skirt, black long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW), striped cashmere sweater (RTW that I visibly mended), Geneva undies
  • Friday, May 19: my favorite thrifted jeans (RTW), mauve floral button-up (RTW - this is possibly my favorite shirt), my Lofoten sweater, stripy socks
  • Saturday, May 20: straight-leg jeans (RTW), flannel shirt (RTW), purple cable pullover sweater, Geneva undies
  • Sunday, May 21: Washi dress, Smartwool tights (RTW), half-slip, autumn leaves ankle socks, Geneva undies, burgundy cardigan (RTW)
What I made:
Unfortunately, I didn't spend much time making things this week.  I cut out the pieces for two size 2T Oliver + S Parachute Polos for my nephew and grandcousin - the deadline to finish these is Wednesday, May 24.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make it.  I also finished spinning the singles of the Hello Yarn merino top that I've been working on for over a year!

What I thought:
I want to change the way I do the Future Projects page on the blog.  I will organize it into one list of things I "need," like more cloth napkins, things for which I currently own fabric and have a pattern picked out, and another list of more nebulous sewing desires.  I want to reduce the waffling that results in procrastinating sewing that I really want to do and enjoy, because I feel like I have so many things I want to make that I can't possibly figure out the next step.

I also really enjoyed reading these two posts from the Whipstitch blog.  They really get at what I've been feeling with my sewing and wardrobe lately - I have a lot of clothes that I don't particularly love or feel comfortable or attractive in.  I want to build a practical wardrobe made up of clothes I love, that isn't over-full.  I don't want a large stash.  I don't have the money or storage space for it, and I don't like the feeling of greed or the impulse to hoard that comes with it.  I would rather buy high-quality fabric that I love and will use soon after I buy it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Me-Made-May Week 2

What I wore:
  • Monday, May 8: My black and polka-dot Adelaide dress, yellow cardigan (RTW), and Geneva undies
  • Tuesday, May 9: Re-fashioned denim skirt, altered shirt, grad school hoodie (RTW), and Geneva undies
  • Wednesday, May 10: Damask skirt, long-sleeved t-shirt (RTW), striped cashmere sweater with visible mend (RTW, mended by me), mushroom socks
  • Thursday, May 11: Favorite thrifted jeans (RTW), newly finished woven t-shirt
  • Friday, May 12: Lady Skater dress, Blue shoulder-button sweater (RTW)
  • Saturday, May 13: In the morning I wore my brown and yellow floral skirt and an orange embroidered t-shirt (RTW).  In the afternoon I changed into jeans (RTW) and my new woven t-shirt
  • Sunday, May 14: My blue tiered skirt and a purple tank top (RTW)
What I made:
I finished up the top for myself that I mentioned last week.  It fits pretty well, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  I'll write a full post on it once I get some photos taken this week.  

What I thought:
I was going to say that Friday the 12th was the first day I wore a repeat, but then I realized that I wore my Lofoten sweater twice last week and I wore my mushroom socks for the second time on Wednesday the 10th ... but on those days I also wore me-mades that I hadn't previously worn this May.  I'm simultaneously surprised and not surprised that I made it 11 days with so few repeats - I have almost 20 pairs of hand-knitted socks, but not a ton of other me-made items.

The weather this week definitely shifted.  It's warm enough now that I can wear a skirt without tights or a t-shirt without a sweater and feel comfortable outside.  This is the weather that my me-made wardrobe is designed for, which reminds me that I want to work on sewing more cold-weather appropriate clothes for myself.  I traced out the long-sleeved version of the Lady Skater dress this weekend, and I have fabric washed and ready to get started sewing this week - of course, I also need to get started on birthday polo shirts for my soon-to-be-two-year-old nephew and grandcousin, so I might not get it done this week!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Moda Love Baby Quilt

One of my good friends from grad school had a baby girl in mid-April, and I wanted to send a quilt for her.  I decided to finish this little quilt top, which I stitched up in November 2015.  The quilt top was really cute, but it had two problems: it wasn't flat, and it was too big for the 1 yard of backing fabric I had bought when I bought the charm pack I used for the top.
I did exactly what I had outlined in my previous post about the quilt top.  I trimmed a few inches off two of the borders, and pieced a row of leftover charm squares flanked by grey strips into the back.  It was a tight squeeze (the pieced back was exactly the same size as the top!) but it worked.
This is the first quilt I quilted on my new vintage Singer.  I did an orange peel pattern in the grid, and wavy flower vines in the borders.  The non-flatness of the top was indeed not a problem, especially after I washed the whole quilt.  It's soft and cosy - not too densely quilted.  I forgot to measure the quilt after I washed it, but I think it's about 40 by 42 inches.

I'm very happy with how this little quilt turned out.  I like the pattern, and I could definitely see myself using it again, either as a baby quilt or as a bed quilt for a full or queen sized bed (using 10" squares instead of 5").

Friday, May 12, 2017

Old man sweater

This is the last of my Christmas gift knitting ... finished in April!  Robert had been wanting an "old man sweater" since Christmas 2015, when I made an olive green cable cardigan for our nephew, who was then six months old.  I wanted to knit one for him, but I wasn't quite sure what he wanted, and I definitely didn't want to knit him something he wouldn't like.  When the Interweave Knits Winter 2017 issue showed up, with a feature on sweaters for men, I was excited, and with Robert's cooperation, I mashed up two of the patterns in it to make this sweater for him.
He decided he wanted a pullover, not a cardigan, and we agreed that a shawl collar was required.  This would point to the Donegal Sweater, but he thought the collar poofed out too much at the back of the neck, and he wasn't wild about the stitch pattern - he really wanted cables.  He did like the cable panel on the back of the Belfast Cardigan, although he didn't like the overall fit or styling on the model.  So I replaced the decorative panel on the Donegal Sweater with a slightly adapted version of the cables from the Belfast Cardigan (the stitch counts were only off by one, so that was pretty easy).  I measured a ready-to-wear sweater that he wore a lot last fall and winter to choose the size, and then I started knitting.

Unfortunately, I started with the wrong size needles, so I had to re-knit half of the first sleeve when I didn't get gauge, and I was also knitting or sewing several other things for Christmas, so I ended up wrapping one and a half sleeves to put under the tree on Christmas morning.  I finally finished the sweater in April, and Robert loves it!  He got to wear it several times before the weather warmed up too much for wool sweaters, and every time he wore it he eagerly reminded me that I had made his sweater!  The fit is pretty good - the sleeves are a bit long and wide, but that certainly hasn't stopped him from enjoying wearing it.

Pattern: Donegal Sweater, with modifications
Size: 47"
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton, Color #50 Medium Grey, 100% wool, seven skeins
Needles:  US6 for ribbing, US9 for body
Started/Completed: December 2016/April 2017
Modifications: Replaced the decorative stitch pattern on front and back with cable panel from the Belfast Cardigan.  Reduced height of the the back neck shawl collar