On my Needles part 2

So, I’ve been a busy knitter these last two weeks. I finished the Waterlily a week ago and then started working intensively on the Brolly shawl. However, the rows are getting pretty long by now and every row there are two more stitches increased so it takes longer and longer to finish a row.  I am at 320 stitches now and still have a 100 to go, but that’s only 50 more rows BEFORE I can start the border…I decided to take some time away from it to work on other projects.   IMGP4880_PEF_modified

After seeing a couple of pretty Seaside Sundae blankets on Ravelry I got very excited to make my own.  When I first saw it I wasn’t very IMGP4865_PEF_modifiedinterested in it because I don’t really care for the colors they use in the magazine.  But colors are of course a matter of taste and seeing the other two blankets made me give it another look.  I decided to make this blanket for my mom since her birthday is coming up and therefore I chose green as the main color since that is her favorite.  IMGP4872_PEF_modifiedThe color combination reminds me of the ocean and I am quite happy with it.  Also, my mom is not a big fan of random (which is how I think the triangles in the pattern are arranged) so I decided to make it more orderly. Also the outermost border will be only one color.  I have decided to make it 2 rows longer so I expect it to be ca. 125 cm instead of 104 cm. So far I have completed 10 squares of the 60 that I have to make. The yarn is Drops Merino Extra Fine and luckily they it is currently on sale with 35% off.IMGP4866_PEF_modified

I had some leftover silk from my Waterlily and I have been crocheting bow ties from it.  Each tie is only a few grams so I will probably have enough for 8-10.  I still have to sew them together and add the central piece.  But I like the way they look.IMGP4882_PEF_modified

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Me Made May

I just signed up for Me-Made-May 2014 as you can see on the side bar.  My pledge is the following:

  • ‘I, María (mariawishes.wordpress.com), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear a handmade garment at least 5 days a week for the duration of May 2014’

I really wanted to write every day but figured that since I have not participated before, it would be better to stay in the shallow end of the pool. I am also confident that I have enough garments to stand behind this pledge, or otherwise I will find out what kind of garments I am missing.

Anyhow I will also try to take photos of every me-made garment day and post them here. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

A couple of Beignets

Hello!

IMGP4759_PEF_shotwell_modified I know I am very late since this pattern was released some years ago and so many sewers have made this skirt already and posted them online. I have been admiring this pattern and the skirts I’ve seen for a while and a few months ago I finally decided to get one for myself. Now I’ve made two versions of the pattern and I am totally in love with the style of this skirt, the high waist, the button down front and the loose A-line fit I find very flattering and the construction is juIMGP4748_PEF_shotwell_modifiedst so clever.  Because it is fully lined there are no visible raw edges on the inside and it looks very pretty and finished.  A skirt like this is not a very big garment so it is easy and not very time consuming to give much attention to the details which give a nice and polished finish, for example hand sewn hem.

 

 

I made the first skirt in black wool/polyester blend with black and white polka dot silk lining (very luxurious). IMGP4733_PEF_modified  I made size 2 and shortened it by about 10 cm since I am not the tallest person.   It has fabric covered buttons of which I needed 10. I omitted the belt, belt loops and the pockets because I read somewhere that they tend to gape and also, unlike everyone, I do not really like pockets in my skirts and dresses.IMGP4735_PEF_modified  I like this version because it is a nice skirt, perfect for special occasions and it feels very classy. The fabric is very soft and maybe a little to soft.  I guess a fabric with more body works better.  Which is the case of the next skirt.IMGP4738_PEF_modified

The second skirt is made from a fine cord in a pretty burgundy color.  Because of the thickness of the fabric I used quilters cotton from the stash for the facings and the lining is a bright blue typical polyester lining fabric.  IMGP4737_PEF_modifiedNot the most usual combination of colors but I think it’s fun.  No one ever sees the inside anyway so it is OK to have it unexpected. Since the first version was a little to wide in the waist I still cut a size 2 but made each seam a little bit deeper (1-2mm). Therefore it is a little bit tighter and I also shortened it by 10 cm. I have worn this skirt a lot and it’s been through the washing machine a few times.  It keeps it shape pretty well but it does wrinkle. And the only problem with this version is the ironing.  Because it is cord I don’t want to iron it from the outside but ironing it from the inside is a little tricky because of the lining.  Also, all those buttons get in the way.  It is a perfect everyday skirt in my opinion.IMGP4743_PEF_shotwell_modified

In all I really like this pattern. It is well made and the instructions are very good and thorough. I just have a few tips.

  • Make sure that the fabric is not to soft and drapy, a stiffer fabric gives the skirt more body and structure.
  • You should decide the final length before cutting the fabric since shortening it after wards can be tricky because of the construction.
  • When I joined the lining to the facings (the long curved seam) in stead of following the instructions, I stay stitched along the seam line on the lining and the facings, then I clipped the curves and pinned the two pieces together matching notches. This way the seam lines are flexible and you can make them match exactly in length before sewing and there is no need to baste. I did this because I felt that trimming down the seam allowance of one edge before stitching together was more risky and if I made a mistake it would be harder to unpick, Using my way you do not have to measure anything and you can pin the two edges together accurately.
  • If I make this again I will try to omit the buttons and have the center front piece whole.  I think that then it will look a lot like Deer and Doe’s new pattern, Anemone

That’s it, two pretty skirts and hopefully more on the way.IMGP4765_PEF_shotwell_modified

 

 

Pause

So, I have been very quite here for a while now.  I was pretty busy. Writing a master thesis while raising two boys and running a home  can get a bit tricky, specially if you want to spend your whole time knitting and sewing.  I guess this blog suffered the most from neglect.  Now that the thesis is off my hands I can bring it back to life.

I have made a lot these last few months.  I made Christmas outfits for my boys, fancy trousers and shirts from the winter issue of Ottobre.  I finally decided to buy the Colette patterns I’ve been eying for a while and have made two Beignet skirts and am finishing a Hawthorn dress.  I made a Deer and Doe Plantain top, just a bit to late to enter the competition. I have also been knitting and crocheting and have two new cardis which I am very happy with.  Hopefully I can show all these here in the next weeks.

I also went to the fabric mecca: Mood fabrics in New York, and OH MY GOD, I have never seen so much fabric in my life.  It was very hard to decide what to buy and I was overwhelmed with decisions.  But I stuck to the budget I had set for myself and brought home some very nice fabrics.

However, what I am the proudest of is how much I have worn my handmade items.  I wore the parka all winter thanks to the mild winter weather.  With a thick sweater underneath I could wear it on the colder days as well.  An I still wear it a lot. The sweatshirt dress is in constant rotation, the blue skirt as well.  The tops I sewed and the sweaters I knit are also a big part of my wardrobe.  It is hard to make items that you can wear on a daily basis and it took me a long time to get there.  Making a pretty summer dress or  party dresses is more appealing but often these garments just end up in my closet and never get worn because I don’t have an occasion to wear them.  As much as I like making fancy dresses I am thrilled with my new approach and I hope that one day most of my garments will be me-made and I am confident that I can do it.

Hopefully I will write again soon 🙂

Quiet time

Hello.  I know I have been very quiet  for the last few weeks.

I had exams to prep for and after I completed them I got very lazy for a week or two and did almost nothing, except taking care of my two boys and running the home etc.

Well now I am back!

I participated in the Banksia Sew-Along run by Megan Nielsen and finished two of these lovely tops and have one almost ready, I just need to add the buttons and the buttonholes.

Since I like to do things all at once and find it difficult to do only a little bit everyday for many days, during the sew-along I also finished a Kelly skirt.

I am very happy with both blouse versions.  The gray one is made of jersey and is sans placket and has long sleeves.  It is super comfy and also very pretty.

Jersey Banskia and Kelly Skirt

The red one is made from quilting cotton and I managed to squeeze the whole thing form only a meter of 115cm wide fabric.  The only thing I had to sacrifice was 1cm of the sleeves.  This was only thought as a muslin, but it fits great and I have already worn it a lot.  A surprise feature which I found very practical is that the placket is low enough to allow nursing (I have a 4 month old son).

Floral Banksia Blouse

The Kelly skirt was really easy to make, except maybe making all these button holes and sewing the buttons so that everything matches.  It is fun and easy to wear and I really like it. When I went shopping for the fabric, there was only 1,1meter left of this fabric but I decided to get it anyways and try to make it do. The pattern calls for 1,4 meters of 140cm wide fabric but I only used just under a meter since I could easily lay the both skirt pieces side by side.  This is a size S, so if you want to make XS or S you only need 1 meter.

I have a third version of the blouse almost ready and will post pics when I finish it.

In all I am very happy with my makes 🙂

Productive weekend

This weekend was quite productive for me to say the least.

I finished those raglan t-shirts I was planing to make, plus one pair of pants, which means that my son has now one set of PJ’s and two shirts for kindergarten (pics coming soon).

I also finished the pillow I’ve been crocheting and am quite happy with the result.  I used almost exactly 5 skeins of Létt-Lopi from my stash.  I have this rule (since I have soooo much leftover yarn) that before I can buy new yarn for a project I must finish one skein from my stash.  That must mean that I can now buy yarn for 5 more  projects, right? 🙂 Happy, happy knitting!