Not Knitting ‘Nough

About a wee while ago I post this photo to my Instagram. I’m making a knit 4 purl 4 scarf that I’m embarrassed to say I’m using a Patons pattern for. It merely says cast on 72, k4, p4, continue for two metres, cast off. In truth I, somewhat ambitiously bought the pattern book in the hope of making a jumper. As with many things in life, as I have discovered, you need to start simple. So I’m making a scarf instead.

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I was so proud of myself racing along with my new found interest. But the truth is that after we came back from holiday … well I haven’t made much progress at all.

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It think in a lot of ways I see sewing and knitting quite differently. I set time aside for sewing, I sew in my sewing room and it’s almost entirely solitary. Knitting, on the other hand, I expect to be able to do whilst doing something else, chatting to my sister, watching TV, eating breakfast.

How do you knit? Are you a social or solitary knitter?

PS. Don’t forget to vote on my facebook poll – what colour do you think would make a good Minoru?

Nostalgia: Plaid Apron

Often, in this blog, I talk about how I’m very new to sewing. I appologise, but that’s not strictly accurate. While it is true that I’ve only really taken sewing seriously for about a year I had actually been sewing for a long time before that. I sewed badges on my Girl Guide and Brownie sashes, did small cross-stitches and learned to knit very badly too. And before you think I’ve been leading you horribly astray I’d like to mention that before January 2012 I hadn’t used a sewing machine in at least 6-ish years.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to share with you one of the first things I ever sewed:

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This blue plaid apron was probably made circa January 2004, when I was about 14 or 15. I’m guessing that it was made in January, because this is when we have the long school holidays in New Zealand.

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I used newpaper to trace around an apron that we had in the cupboard at home and added an abritrary amount on the edges for a seam allowance. Unbeknowest to me, I made a pattern!

It looks to be made out of plain old quilting cotton. Check out that topstitching! There was definately something wrong with the tension here…

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I even included a facing! Go 14 year old me!

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I clearly wasn’t too hung up on things like accuracy and neatness…

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In case you’re wondering why this looks so worn out, it’s because it is. To this day my dad still proudly wears this apron when cooking.

What was the first thing you ever sewed? How did it turn out?

The Super “Boring” Skirt That I Love

Oh yes, I have completed the third of my patterns from the big pattern splurge I had a wee while ago. This may look like a super boring skirt. Plain black. Straight. No waistband. No frills. No pockets.

BUT BEFORE I PUT YOU OFF – let me say that I love my new skirt and let me tell you why.

First – look at that luscious material! It’s 100% wool and 100% machine washable. It’s delicious and warm and has a lovely subtle sheen to it.

Secondly, I love the fit! I sewed a 12 straight of the packet even though my measurements are definately for a 14. Previously I wanted to do things ‘right’ and would always cut a 14 but I always ended up taking it in so I’ve decided that I don’t care what McCalls says I think I’m a 12 – and so far it’s working out well. The sewed the petite (short person’s) version of this pattern as I usually have to take two inches of the bottom of anythign I make! Aside from that adjustment, the only chage I made to the pattern was to install an invisible zipper instead of a normal one.

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Third, I love the pattern. I used McCall’s M5523 and made view D (the yellow one). And without further ado here’s the most exciting part of the shirt – the back (I feel a bit odd posting a photo of my backside to the internet so be kind!)

I think the pleats really make” this skirt if you know what I mean. I think they’re simple but dress the skirt up without being fusy. The material I chose doesn’t hold the pleats in place quite as firmly as I’d hoped but all the same they do stay.

Similarly to Sew Busy Lizzy this was the first project that I used a double needle on. This, along with my new serger, I think, isstarting to make my sewing look a lot more professional than when i started at the beginning of the year. In case you were interested I found this video about sewing with double needles:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m03QoutPNDU]

I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK FILLED WITH LOTS OF SEWING!

Inspiration: Sewing with Oilcloth

Sewing with Oilcloth
by Kelly McCants

This book has some lovely crafty ideas for things to make around the house, gifts or for yourself. I really liked this make up bag and thought it’d be nice as a birthday present too.

I thought this Chalk Cloth Table Runner was quite a cute idea if I owned a cafe (hopefully I wouldn’t feel the need to label my food at home.)

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And I thought these were totally sweet and homely too:

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I’m also quite keen on this tote bag:

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Just a couple more things on my wish list….

ISBN: 978 – 0 – 470 – 91232 – 4

I’m Making a Cape!

The other day when I was choosing fabric with my sister for her birthday dress (link here) I saw these in the end of roll basket.

I know – white wool – what an extravagance!!! …and how impractical…

A long time ago I blogged about Capes, Yay or Nay? after I first fell in love with Erica’s Camel Cape. Since then I’ve seen some lovely capes that other bloggers have made. The overwheming response was that people in blogland think that capes are awesome. And who am I to argue with bloggers? (A very opinionated lot!) So I guess I’m making a cape.

I think I’ll go with the same pattern Erica used – Vogue 8776. I love that this pattern is loose fitted and has the high collar so snuggle my face into when it gets cold.

So more opinions please – shall I go with this pattern and this fabric?

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Now that I’ve finished my velvet dress I’m thinking about the next thing I want to make. As we’re heading into winter in the Antipodes (the ends of the Earth) I was thinking of making the wool I bought in Wellington into a pencil skirt. So these are my pattern options:

From top left: Very Easy Vogue 7101 c.1987, view A (brown); New Look 6274c. 2003, view A (floral print); or Butterick 6662 c.1993, view C (yellow).

And here is the wool. It is woven out of thick strands (?) of cream, brown,and dark pink, almost fuchsia. Its a bit on the thick-side, and does not have any stretch. My first choice of pattern was the Very Easy Vogue, however I wonder if the pleats, belt loops and the pockets will make it look too bulk? So my next thought was the New Look pattern. This is a very simple two piece pattern (plus facings). It would be simple to put together and and definitely not bulky-making. The third option, the Butterick pattern was a bit of an after-thought. I thought that making it with the split to one side could make it a bit more interesting.

Can anyone offer any suggestions? All much appreciated!

Sewing Room: Part III

A little while ago I blogged about my new sewing room (also here). Unsurprisingly, yet saddeningly, my graduation bouquet did not live forever *mega sad face*.

So I bought this little pot plant to bighten up my room:

My dad brought me the little Nessy from Loch Ness, Scotland. I put them together so they can live together and have some company.

I’m still on quite a Florence and the Machine buzz so here’s a video of my first favourite Florence song:

Velvet Dress Finished!

As I mentioned yesterday I finished my velvet dress. It’s first outing was to Florence and the Machine. Whilst the dress is not perfect, nothing in life ever is, so I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Here are some pictures:

    

I wore it with this necklace that I bought from Tiger Eye Beads in Wellington (check them out – they’re pretty cool).

In order to get the dress finished on time for Florence, I had a mad rush of sewing the zipper in and slip stitching the facings down. I did a slack version of a lapped zipper where I just lined the zipper up off to one side of the centre. If you want a tutorial on how to do it properly Gerty has written a great one or here’s my slack one:

Somewhere along the line I forgot that my Sewing Class tutor had suggested that I only put in half the darts as there were eight in total. Whilst this seemed a good idea at the time, it meant that my dress was MILES too big for me!

I was in quite a hurry by this stage, so I decided, that rather than doing it properly and sewing the other FOUR darts in I would take it in on the sides and whack off the excess from the sides (I know, I know – slacker!).

I’m very pleased with how the dress turned out and will post photos of me wearing it soon. For now here’s one of me and my Lovely at the concert:

Velvet Inspiration: Pattern Suggestions Please?

So I haven’t exactly finished my current velvet dress project but I’m already onto thinking about the next one. I saw this amazing dress in an etsy shop but unfortunately it is a touch too small in the waist (damn you 1950s sizing!) Also, I feel like I’ve seen a couple of sewing patterns for this type of dress and was wondering if anyone had any pattern suggestions to make this?

VELVET HOURGLASS Dress – 90s does 50s – Handmade – xs

But it got me thinking more about velvet and velveteen dresses and how they are both classy and super warm – which is important as we are heading into winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So here are some velvet dresses for inspiration.

Velvet A-Line Dress
ASOS Velvet Puff Sleeve Dress
Velvet Halter Dress – Looks Lovely in Plum Too
Little Velvet Dress – Red Dress

And my personal favourite – unfortunately no link *cries*

What ‘s your winter fashion fix?