Delicious Liberty Myrtle!

Hello! It’s been awhile and let’s just say that a lot has been happening!  I’ll share my life news at a later date when everything is sorted out and I have time to breathe. For now I’m going to quickly share a dress that I made for a local shop I have been working at this summer. .. The Colette Myrtle!

_MG_6485Apologies for the headless photos…  was trying something new (*ahem* hiding a terrible hair day!)

As many of your already know, I have been working as a postdoc in an Immunology lab in Toronto for the last five a half years. An amazing time was had, lots was learned and all that jazz! I officially finished in June (yay! I am now “fully” trained!) but have more or less been working from home since March.  Applying for jobs, doing contract work for local biotech start-ups, etc. Basically, I have been sitting on my ass, all alone in my apartment. I was starting to talk to my cats waaaaay too often! So I approached my friend Claudia (well, with a lot of help from Angela!) and asked if she needed help over the summer in her seriously amazing store Eweknit. It was a great way to take a day away from my home and start to interact with people again!

_MG_6484Eweknit has been my go-to yarn store since it opened two years ago.  Seriously, for those of you that knit, check out their wares as this is one well curated and well stocked shop! Last fall, the shop started catering to the sewing addicted amongst us and now boasts one of the most impressive Liberty of London Tana Lawn collections I’ve seen! And recently, a few bolts of Liberty rayon jersey were brought in (details on these fabric lovelies can be found here). New pattern I was itching to try, new fabric that I could not wait to get my hands on…  it was a go!

_MG_6487Patience might have been a good thing here as I am not sure that one should ever muslin a pattern using Liberty! Nonetheless, despite some fitting flaws that could easily have been avoided with a little forethought and prep work, I am in love with this dress! I made the size medium based on my bust measurements (I would normally grade to a large at the hips but didn’t think it would be a problem here with the full, gathered skirt). Really, I should have automatically sized down to account for the drape of this fabric but I’m still happy with the result. Some would say droopy but I say bugger off to that!

_MG_6496I would even go so far as to say that I could have gone down to an x-small in the bodice.  The shoulders on this are a little wide, but this is not an unusual problem for me. My sister Kelley got all the shoulders in this family. But I like to remind myself that she’s old and then I feel better! Kel, I do hope you are reading this!

_MG_6497Bad hair? Check! Awkward pose? Sigh, check…

Words can hardly describe how amazing this fabric is. It felt more like cotton interlock than rayon jersey on the bolt but after being washed..? Silky, dreamy goodness! I have been living in this dress as though it were a nightgown! Who say your shouldn’t be fancy for your cats?!

_MG_6500I was sewing this for the shop so I didn’t make any modifications and while I find some of the steps in the Colette’s knit patterns unnecessarily complicated (the elastic gathering on the Moneta, anyone?!?), it went together with no problems. Some steps that I found a little fiddly with the slinky fabric were the hemming on the back bodice piece (the neck and the sleeves) and this could easily be overcome by doing a full bodice lining. The insertion of the elastic at the waist was also needlessly long and can be adapted in whatever way you prefer. Gillian skipped the gathered skirt on her version and instead just stabilized the waist in the usual way and it works beautifully! Overall though, I find this a clever little dress that appears to flatter most people. Case in point, see it on Angela!

myrtle7_480Let’s just say that our measurements are not the same and leave it at that! But it looks fantastic on her!

So who else is making this dress and what are you thoughts on the new knit-inspired patterns by Colette? Anyone going to give a woven Myrtle a try?

You can see and read more about this dress, the fabric and the pattern (shortly!)  here!

Sara

Refashion Month: Toddler Dress

It is refashion month over at House of Estrela and I am super excited to be taking part!

Refashioning is not something that I do often but since I have a steadily growing pile of discarded clothing from both my husband and my own closet, it is something that I need to start doing more of.  For this project I started with an old dress shirt of mine that shrunk the first time I washed it, making it just a tad too tight.

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Since I still really loved the fabric, I opted to turn this into a dress for my daughter.

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To do this refashion, I started with the front bodice piece from the geranium dress.  I lengthened it by a few inches so that it would hit my daughter at her waist and lowered the neckline to give it more of a scoop neck.  I used the same bodice for both the front and the back of the dress and I kept the button placket from the original shirt and used that as the front of the dress.

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I used the back of the shirt for the back of the dress.

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To make the skirt I used the rest of the shirt and turned it into a simple gathered skirt.

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To make it even easier, I kept the existing shirt tail hem.

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To finish the neck and arms I made bias tape from some pink cotton I had in my stash.  I love the pop of colour that it adds!

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The final product is a simple and quick summer dress!

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Make sure to check out the rest of the line up and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elizabeth

Julia Cardigan x 2

So as mentioned on my last post, I have been sewing up a ton of stuff for myself.  I wear cardigans to work almost everyday so when Welcome to the Mouse House had a sale a few months ago I snapped up the Julia Cardigan.  All of the cardigans that I have seen popping up on blog reader recently have looked cute so I finally decided to make one.  I had 2m of black interlock in my stash so I started with that and made a size M with the 3/4 sleeves.

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I also used the no hem option for the collar and the sleeves are finished with a cuff which meant I was able to construct the whole thing on my serger.  I love when I don’t have to pull out my regular machine!  Hemming knits has got to be one of my least favourite things to do.

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My measurements technically meant I should have made large, but I find that the medium fits really well.  Since I knew I wanted to wear it to work I didn’t want it to be too slouchy and I think this size worked out well.

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I found myself getting quite a bit of use out of my first Julia so I decided to make up a second.  When looking for fabric I had originally wanted a charcoal gray, but when I couldn’t find any at my local fabric store I decided to go with some colour and used some hot pink interlock.  Not a neutral like the gray would have been, but more fun!  I would still like to make up the gray one though.

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For this one I decided to try making the long sleeved version.  My one complaint about the pattern would be that she has you use the same cuff that you used for the 3/4 sleeve version which means the arms are really wide.  I did end up cutting off my original cuff and taking the sleeves in a bit.  I then added a slightly smaller cuff.  Could have been a bit smaller yet, but is much better than the first.

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Overall I am really happy with how these turned out and based on how much use they have gotten already I would call them a complete success.

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I desperately had a need for a plain white t-shirt so I made up a quick t-shirt using some white jersey and Doe and Deer’s Plantain pattern.  I have made one other version previously that I never blogged about (fabric colour is not so flattering so it doesn’t get worn very often) so I knew that the size M fits well.  From my previous make I knew that I found the neckline to be a bit low cut so for this one I used a smaller seam allowance when attaching the neckband (3/8 instead of 5/8) which made the band wider and made everything sit a bit higher.  Much happier with this neckline.

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I really love this pattern!  The fit seems to flatter everyone and I see many more in my future.  I don’t have a ton of basic t-shirts so there is a definite gap in my wardrobe that this pattern could easily fill.

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Elizabeth

Pattern Testing: Pleated Pencil Skirt

I love pattern testing and have been fortunate to do a bunch of it for my kiddos and occasionally for myself, but I am horrible at actually sharing what I make remotely close to the release date, if at all.  Well not this time!  I was lucky enough to get to test Delia from Delia Creates very first women’s pattern, the Pleated Pencil Skirt, and it turned out great which meant I couldn’t wait to share it!

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I am a huge fan of pencil skirts and often wear them to work, but this was my first time making one.  This skirt fit me great without having to make any modifications which is extremely rare.  This was thanks to the slightly more relaxed waist!

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The skirt does a great job at hugging me where it should without restricting my movements or make it uncomfortable to sit in all day at work.

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The skirt features a side invisible zipper and I think I did a pretty good job for only my second invisible zipper ever!

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It also has a closed kick pleat.  A first for me, but a detail that I love because this combined with the relaxed waist makes your fabric choices quite open because you don’t need a ton of stretch.  For this one I used a sateen with a tiny bit of stretch and it worked perfectly!

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I am so happy with the finished product and love that it looks so great with my Belcarra blouse!  This skirt was actually such a huge success that it can be credited for kicking off a ton of selfish sewing which means my face should be back on here sooner rather than later!

Elizabeth

 

a Graphic Belcarra

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Some slightly unfortunate pattern placement…!

What’s this? A sewing post? I will say that after the Albion, my sewing machine and I needed a bit of a break from each other. Or a longish one as it turns out. Nevertheless, I have been dipping back in of late and have a few simple projects to share. Up first is my inaugural Belcarra blouse from Sewaholic.

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I made this one using a graphic silk/cotton blend that I bought at a fabricland sale long, long ago.  It is fairly delicious against the skin! Light and airy and positively perfect for the humid heat to come! I opted to mix and match the versions to get the details that I love. I’ve used the pleated sleeves from view B and the wider cuffs from view c.

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I realize that the print is busy and that the pintucks get a bit lost amid it all but this is the detail that sold me on this pattern so I couldn’t skip them! And you would be surprised at how often people comment on this feature so apparently they are not lost at all.

I was worried about the wide neck on this from the very beginning and have no idea why I didn’t take it in… especially given my narrow shoulders! Indeed, the neck is wide.  Almost unwearably so.  Oh well…  a little slippage is not going to stop me. However, I will be bringing the neck in substantially on the next version and to make that nice and easy, this little alteration was covered in their recent sewalong.

2014-05-29 19.12.02“Maybe if I stand really still, the neckline will stay put!”

My only pattern alteration this time around was to add a curved hem. I’m a fan of this finish as it allows me to accomodate my generous hips without wearing a tent! I made the shirt according to my measurement but I do find it a little too large so next time around I will be going down a size in addition to taking in the neck. Maybe in a solid so that those pintucks can really shine! And I should have shortened by bias tape for the neckline a bit as that would have helped it lay flat. As it is now, it tends to flip up a little. What can I say…  it was late and I was lazy!

And that about covers it. A quick and extremely wearable make! Another pattern win by Sewaholic! Any of you interested in giving this pattern a try?

Sara

Rainbows Sequins and Unicorns!

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Sewing along with another season of Project Run and Play and this weeks theme was to create an outfit inspired by a zoo animal.  I really wanted to pick Finnley’s favourite animal which happens to be a unicorn.  Now I realize that the unicorn is not actually an animal, but rather a mystical creature, but I decided to go with it anyway.  So what do you think of when you think of a unicorn?  For me rainbows and magic jump to the front of my mind.  The starting point for this outfit was the skirt.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate a rainbow and this dress from Caila made came to mind.  I used the idea of the ombre flying geese, but instead I made a rainbow and used that for the side panels on a the skirt.  I especially liked this idea because the triangles reminded me of a unicorns horn.  The flying geese are made from broadcloth and the pink is a solid quilting cotton.  The actual skirt is a simple gathered elastic waist skirt, but when gathering I made sure to not gather the side panels.  I used this tutorial for the flying geese.  I love how this detail turned out.  It was my first time trying any sort of quilting technique and it was much easier than I expected.  The only difficulty was that my machine did not handle all the layers when assembling the skirt and after more skipped stitches then I have ever seen and every adjustment I could think of making, I just used my serger and hoped everything lined up correctly!

Skirt panel

Next I wanted to try and incorporate the idea of magic, which makes me think of sparkles and shine.  This is where the sequins come in.  Sticking with the rainbow theme I used a rainbow of sequins to add some sparkle and colour to a basic t-shirt.  I spent a couple hours hand sewing a ton of sequins to spell the word “einhorn” which is unicorn in German.  No special significance other than I wanted to incorporate unicorn without being too literal and this was my favourite way to spell unicorn in all the other languages.  The shirt is the Anytime At All tee by Shwin Designs made with 3/4 sleeves and about a 1/2 of width taken from the sleeves and body to make a slightly slimmer fit.

Sequins

To bring it all together I wanted to add an actual unicorn somewhere and decided to do so on an accessory that Finnley would enjoy using.  What little girl doesn’t love a purse?!  The purse was trial and error and it actually ended up working better than expected for my first attempt.  Not quite a perfect circle, but otherwise I am happy with how it turned out.  The purse is made from black linen and the unicorn was added using freezer paper and fabric paint.  I had meant to add some hot pink piping around the purse, but forgot so instead managed to find some pink leather cording at Michael’s which I used for a strap.

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This outfit turned out pretty much exactly how I had envisioned it in my head which makes me super happy.  Plus Finnley told me she loves everything about the outfit and that makes sewing for her so much fun!

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Elizabeth

Linking up with:  Make It and Love It // Friday Favs // Simply Create Thursdays // All Things Pretty // Sew Can Do

The Beast (aka Sara’s Albion Coat)

Hello friends.  I’ve been a bit absent on this blog of late.  Apologies.  I’ve got a few things to share but will admit that life has gotten in the way of the making of late.  That said, this project has sucked up a lot of my evening and weekend time in the last month! Four muslins and a fit bootcamp with Andrea, Kristin and Sarah for starts!  So.many.changes!    I may do a post describing the fit changes that I made but first…  my friend Anne modelling!

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If you’re at all familiar with the Colette Albion pattern (and of course you are!), then it’s probably fairly obvious that I made some changes. I had originally planned to make this jacket in its original form for my Brother (still plan to do so!) but didn’t think I had any need for such a coat in my own wardrobe. However, on a search for RTW duffle coats, these two gorgeous coats from Burberry popped up and I was sold!

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I really loved the casual style of the grey one with the extra pockets, relaxed A-line shape and cropped length.  I also liked the idea of making the neckline taller or adding a collar as this would make the coat far more functional in a winter and wind friendly city like Toronto!  However, I also loved the deep pleat in the back of the red duffle coat.  I think it makes a boxy coat just a touch more feminine.  Anyway, after coming across these, I decided that I did indeed need a duffle coat in my life! The sewalong that Colette Patterns was hosting was just the icing on the cake!

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Sadly, disaster struck in the form of muslin #1!  First of all, one should always pay attention to the actual pattern instructions when they are  making a muslin and not assume they know how everything goes together based on previous experience! I made the size small (this is a unisex pattern that was really drafted with men in mind) based on my upper bust measurement. Then I made the mistake of adding the facing to centre front.  Oops!  Turns out that the facings were for the lining only! Needless to say, this muslin was HUGE! The facings ended up being a serendipitous mistake based on my plan to extend them at the top and add a collar. That’s the absolute truth and I am sticking to it!

2014-03-09 17.20.28OK.  I’ll attempt to quickly sum up the muslin stage, which hurts as the muslin stage was a solid 3 weeks of work while the actual sewing was only a week. A crazy, crazy week filled with late nights and little sleep but who cares!  It’s done!  Anyway, my second muslin was a straight size XS but I didn’t love this one.  It still had a lot of the same fit issues as the small (extra fabric at the front due to my addition of the facings, droop-y shoulders, low armscythe, etc). However, I found the XS a wee tight in the arms and across the back.  So I took the size small muslin to the fit bootcamp and stood like a lump while Sarah and Andrea slashed away amid mad chatter involving numbers and technical jargon. They did a rounded back adjustment (a big one!  Yoga, you and I need to be better friends), a forward shoulder adjustment and pinned a bunch of fabric out of the front (starting at the shoulder seam and working down to the hem in a line parallel to the grainline).  Now that I had taken that extra fabric out of the front, I widened the darts that were now in the back yoke after the rounded back adjustment (Andrea, please feel free to correct my jargon as I’m not sure that is the correct term) to eat up some of the extra fabric and used the feed dogs to do some easing to eat of the rest of it.  Incredibly, everything worked out!

2014-03-09 17.22.22I was tempted to do a narrow shoulder adjustment but decided that I liked a slightly relaxed look to the shoulder and the addition of shoulder pads kept everything from dragging and sagging.  I did try correcting the sleevehead to match the forward shoulder adjustment as Heather demonstrates here but my muslin and all of the horizontal balance lines told me that was a no go. The original sleeve worked much better.  I also raised the base of the armscythe a half inch using a tutorial found in the June/July issue of Threads (thanks for pointing me in the direction of this, S!).  This was a challenge without a large work surface! Using the same tutorial, I also took in the side seam a half inch at the armscythe and removed a quarter inch out of both sleeve seams to match. I still find it all a bit low and restrictive but it’s not too bad now that the lining is in.  Gives me lots of space for layering with those big sweaters I so love to knit.

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I kept the patch pockets but made them a bit smaller to accomodate the cropped length and rounded all of the edges.  Similarly, I rounded the edges of the sleeve tabs to be consistent and just to soften the coat and make it a but more feminine.  I kept the side seam pockets (drafted my own to keep things small and tidy) and added a double welt pocket with a flap above the patch pockets, successfully ripping off my Burberry inspiration coat!  I used the flannel lining fabric for the pocket bags of the inseam pockets to avoid a lot of bulk.  I lined the patch pockets with a bright pink rayon bemberg (also used to line the sleeves) using some tips from this book. I used the same pink bemberg for the pocket bag of the welt, again in an effort to avoid unnecessary bulk.

2014-03-09 16.56.57 I wanted to add some leather accents using leather scraps that I had picked up awhile ago. They’re small, which limited what I could use them for so I went for leather bound buttonholes (using this method). These were a time sucker but I love them! Well worth the effort!

2014-03-09 17.19.49And then there is the collar. Sigh. I really wanted the collar to be the highlight of this coat and while I think it looks great, there are still things I wish I could change.  To start, I spent a lot of time trying on RTW coats to decide what kind of collar/hood combo I wanted.  In the end, I decided that I prefer having a stand collar that is separate from the hood…  I really, REALLY hate the feeling of having the collar being tugged backwards when the hood is attached and down! So I kept the hood as is and I will say that this is an excellent hood! The perfect size and shape!  I left it unlined and flat felled the seams as I didn’t want it to be a major feature and detract from the leather accents. I drafted the collar piece and on the muslin I was quite pleased with how it turned out. On the jacket?  Well, I have a few issues with it. It’s stiff! And I think it looks a bit like it should have a giant helmet attached to it! I honestly think it could support the weight of a helmet!

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Not at all irritated by the collar!

And on me, it looks like I have no neck but on my tall friend Anne, the collar looks great and she loved it so maybe I’m being hypercritical. I do love the leather accents on it!  I want to have mitered corners with the leather but by the time I got to making this, I was tired of the whole project and didn’t want to take the time! So I’m going to call the collar a success. Besides, the wool and leather will soften over time so I’ll feel less like I’m being choked by it!

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I used this buffalo plaid flannel for the lining of the body but used hot pink bemberg for the sleeves (easier to get it on and off). I’ll have to take a picture of the entire lining as the pink really is an awesome pop of colour!  I had planned to use the pink to make piping between the inner facing and the lining for another pop of colour. I have the piping but forgot to add it and again, was tired of the project at this point and didn’t want to redo anything unnecessary. Perhaps if I had not already graded the seams! I also added an inner welt pocket that holds my cell phone perfectly!

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I think that about covers it! Well, I did also add the deep pleat in the back but there’s not much to say about it. I’m not sold on the back tab that I made and I think I might make a bigger one with leather bound buttonholes. Certainly the entire coat needs better buttons as they are a definite feature. I plan to go digging through the vintage button collection that Karyn has at the Workroom to find something outstanding to finish this all off!

Finally, here are some pictures of me in the duffle coat.  The fitting was done on me but I really think this works better on Anne, which is funny as we are not built the same way.  She has broader shoulders, is much taller and does not have the generous booty of a pear-shaped woman!  Thoughts on the fit on each of us?

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All in all, I am pleased with the fit of this across the chest, shoulders and back. It looks a but big across the back on me here but I’ve only got a T-shirt on underneath. This is not a lightweight coat and is more likely to be worn over my usual winter layers and the fit accommodates all of that. Again, I think the collar is the wrong height and shape for me and the overall length… not so flattering.  It needs to be a bit shorter so that it doesn’t hit me at my widest point.

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In short, when I wear this I feel a little dumpy and irritated by things I wish I could change. When I see Anne in it, I think “shit, I made that!  I’m AWESOME”.

Make sure you check out the rest of the sewalong entries here!  There are some seriously gorgeous coats in this pool!

Sara

Linking up with:  Make It and Love It

Martha Bubble Dress

I have been doing a ton of pattern testing recently and all of the patterns except one have been released (one quite awhile ago now) so I plan on sharing them over the next few weeks.  To start I am going to go all the way back to December when I had the chance to test the Martha Bubble dress by Shwin Designs.  This adorable dress is a wrap dress that features a bubble skirt and a sash closure.

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For Finnley’s dress I used a quilting cotton for the bodice, shirting for the skirt, and lined it with a light pink voile.  I also used the voile to make the tie.

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I am really happy with how this dress turned out.  The only problem I had and need to fix at some point is the sash and the way it attaches to the bodice.  I put it at the bottom of the bodice so when it was wrapped about it would lie right between the bodice and skirt, but this makes the top of the bodice flip out a bit.  Will probably go and make a wider sash which should help take care of that.  The only other problem is the fact that the skirt is extremely wrinkled.  It has been sitting in a pile with a bunch of WIP’s since December, which also means it hasn’t been worn yet.  Need to find an occasion for Finnley to finally wear this dress. And I need to stop being so lazy and iron my finished projects!

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I love this scallop fabric I used for the bodice!  If you look carefully on the left side of the picture you can clearly see the issues I am having with my bodice.

Originally Finnley was going to wear this dress on Christmas Eve, but our plans changed and we didn’t have need for a fancy dress such as this one.  Because she was going to wear it in December I made a cardigan that she could wear over it and not freeze.  For the cardigan I used the slouchy cardigan from Heidi and Finn.

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This was my first time sewing a Heidi and Finn pattern and it came together super easily.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t more specific fabric requirements depending on which size you sewed and I ended up buying more than was actually necessary.  In terms of  construction, the only step that was difficult was attaching the sleeve cuffs.  It was extremely challenging to stretch and sew around those little things, but it ended up working in the end.

And to end some pictures of my daughter dancing.  Put this girl in front of a camera and I guarantee the dance moves will come out.  And if you look carefully in a few of the pictures you will see her Minnie Mouse microphone. This girl loves to perform!

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The season of hats!

When in a knitting rut, make hats!  Lots and lots of hats!  And when in a sewing rut, make T-shirts!  Lots and lots of T-shirts! I’m all about the instant gratification projects of late!  I’m also trying hard to finish up all of those small projects that have been started or ready to go for ages. I had grand plans of completely clearing out my WIP drawer this month and while that didn’t happen, I did make quite a dent. So I’m starting with hats!  Not all were made in January but all were made in the last few months and really, it is a ridiculous number of hats!

hat fanI’m going to ask you in advance to ignore me in all of these pictures. If we’re honest (and I’m always honest!), I look like complete shit! I’ve been in bed with some virus for the last few days and when I woke up with no fever this morning, I felt grand and decided I should go to work. Well, feeling grand is all relative and I’m far from 100%! That became extremely evident as I scrolled through the pictures we took today!  Onwards, shall we…

I’m going to start with my most recent make and my new favourite. This is the Jul hat from Jenny Gordy. A FAST knit my friends! Instant gratification, indeed! I made this out of my one of my all time favourite yarns (featured in roughly half of the hats I am going to show you here), the Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino. It’s is a single ply yarn with a wonderful hand and drape. Seriously, this yarn is hard to believe if you don’t have it in your hands! It’s got a fairly strong halo, which is certainly not for everyone but what I love about it the most is that it felts nicely with wear. Makes for a supremely cozy winter hat. And this colourway (Autumn) is just plain fun.

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Next up has to be my absolute favourite knit of late… Bray from Jared Flood. If my knitting friends have not yet tried a Jared Flood pattern then get on it.  ASAP! His patterns really never fail to delight. He tends to play with cables and texture in his patterns and this is a classic example. Cables, lace and texture! Nothing too complicated but just enough to keep the knitting interesting. I don’t have ready access to his Brooklyn Tweed yarn so I went with the Rowan Felted Tweed. It’s a finer yarn than the pattern called for but I figured that the lace aspects of this toque already prevent it from being a real cold weather hat so a dk yarn was not going to be an issue. I really love the yarn choice! It adds even more texture to the project and gives it kind of an organic look that I enjoy.

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What I love the most about knitting Jared Flood patterns is that I always learn something new.  In this case?  The stretchy tubular cast-on!  I have played with this edge before but tend to be too lazy to use it regularly. However, after this project I am officially sold on it.  Such a lovely detail and it really is stretchy!

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Up next is the Rikke hat and if you spend any time on Ravelry then there is no doubt you have seen this pattern before! Again, nothing too complicated here.  Just a straight up garter stitch hat that uses a nice cast-on (the German twisted cast-on, which is a perfect edge for garter stitch). I’m a big fan of garter stitch over ribbing for hats as I find that it hugs your head nicely without being too tight and it has great recovery.  However, I HATE knitting garter stitch in the round so making these two versions was significantly less fun.  I made this striped version first (again, using my favourite suri merino yarn).

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striped rikke 2It really is a great hat and has gotten a ton of wear this winter. The downside is that it is just too big.  Anyone else have major sizing issues when it comes to hats?  I can rarely get them just right! Anyway, the up side to a large hat is that I can very comfortably tuck all of my hair into it.  The downside is that this sucker will go flying on a windy day, which we have often in Toronto. So after Christmas, I tried to give this pattern another go and made this version:

blue rikke 1blue rikke 2

Sigh. Hardly know where to begin with this failure! To start, it’s way too small! The combo of small hat and dark colour makes me feel like I am posing for a mug shot every time I put this one on! However, this hat is not a failure! On cold, cold days (of which we have had many this year), I layer my two Rikke hats for a toasty, toasty noggin’!

layered rikke 1I made this next hat last fall using leftover Tomato yarn from my Neon cardigan. It was a new pattern (the Lovejoy Slouch) from the newly minted Nerd Bird Makery and was a lovely pattern to knit up! Not a great toque for winter but I wore this often in the fall. And yes, it really is as garish at it appears!

Thao1Next up is the only hat of the bunch that I was really unhappy with. It was actually a test knit for Shannon and is now included in Journey, a knitwear collaboration between Shannon and Jane Richmond. The patterns in it (including the Swift hat) are beautiful and I think everyone should indulge in the hardcopy of this book if only for the gorgeous photography! It’s like taking a trip home every time I open it up! Anyway, the pattern itself was fun to knit up. Again, not too complicated but still interesting enough to keep from being boring. The yarn is a silk and wool combo that has a lovely sheen and great drape. The colour is vibrant and fun. However, the combo of colour, shape, etc just does not work for me. At all. So sad! But the hat works perfectly on a young summer student that modelled the hat for my Ravelry project page and has been promised to her. Now just to arrange to see Tash so that I can hand it off!

shannon2shannon1

Well, that covers the hats I made for myself. There are more that I gave away as gifts including these ones (the purple one is actually bright blue but was a pure bitch to photograph properly!).

IMG_1037anne 6

sophie 3

That was really a lot of hats so instead of linking to individual project pages I’m just going to say you’ll find all pattern, yarn and project details here.

As for my quick sewing fixes… T-shirts! I know there are already a million versions of the new Deer and Doe Plantain tee on the interwebs but since I happen to be wearing one of my versions today, I have decided to include it.  This is a great pattern, peeps!  Well drafted, a perfect fit (for me) and a blank canvas for all sorts of fabric and sewing fun! Now go and give it a try! I made no modifications except to add a couple of inches to the length of the shirt sleeve. This is actually my first Deer and Doe pattern but it won’t be my last.  I’m a sucker for a well drafted pattern!

plantain 1plantain 3plantain 2

I would normally link to a few of my favourite versions of this tee but I don’t even know where to start this time around. Go google it and you’ll see why!  So many awesome versions already!

I planned to include a January stash diet round-up but since I this is all I have pictures of, we’ll just have to have a running tally. With this shirt, I’m down a whopping yard of fabric! And the hats were all made from Stash yarn! Even better, the hats took a chunk out of my WIP drawer. Just winning all around!

Have a great weekend, Friends!

Sara

PR&P: Upcycled Colour Block Dress

Week 3 of Project Run and Play is here and the theme of the week was repurposing.  I decided to sew for Finnley this week and since my daughter tries to put on a knit summer dress most mornings, I thought that a more weather appropriate comfy dress would probably get a lot of use.

Finnley over top

I ended up making her a colour blocked dress using some old t-shirts for the fabric.  Not the most creative upcycle, but you can get quite a bit of yardage out of a cheap t-shirt so definitely economical.  My inspiration for this dress was this Burda pattern.  I felt pretty confident that I could recreate something similar so decided to save myself a bit of money and make my own pattern.  I started with a t-shirt pattern that I added some extra length to so that it was dress length.  For my starting point I used a soon to be released pattern from Shwin and Shwin.  To add the colour blocking I retraced the front piece of the pattern to change it from cutting it on the fold to making it one piece.  I wanted the back to be a solid colour so I just left that pattern piece alone.  (Sorry for poor quality of the next few pictures, but if you are interested in what I did you can see it when you click on them and look at them full size).

First pattern piece

Once I had my new pattern piece I decided where I wanted my colour blocking to be and simply drew lines directly on the pattern.  Then cut along the lines which meant my new bodice pattern was 3 pieces.

Adding lines

For the sleeves I kept the original pattern piece which is cut on the fold and then drew my colour blocking line and cut along it.

Sleeve

Then I decided where I wanted each colour to go and cut the pieces out making sure to add seam allowance where I was going to attach each piece.  I then took all the pieces and sewed them together.  Once I had my front and sleeves put together I assembled it the same way I put together a basic T-shirt.

Finnley smile IMG_7325

The other changes I made to create this dress was to add a flutter sleeve and add a band of fabric on the bottom to pull the bottom in a little bit.  Although I love the addition of the flutter sleeves I do think I made them a bit too wide and heavy so they lie a bit more flat than I would like.

Finnley sleeve

Pretty happy with how this one turned out and have some plans, if I can ever find the time, to make her a few more simple knit dresses.

Finnley surprised IMG_7322

Finnley seems to love the dress if these pictures are any indication, which means success!

Elizabeth