Sunday, January 31, 2016

Linden Sweatshirt - making the most of leftovers

My Kielo Dress required a lot of fabric. And given the unusual shape of the pattern pieces, it wasn't easy to be resourceful when laying them out on the fabric. There was a lot of waste fabric, which seemed a shame given the fabric cost the better part of $60 and is so soft and light. So I did some thinking and had a look in the stash to see if there was anything I could improvise with. I think I came up with a winner.

Leftover blue merino knit + grey t-shirting, $5 from Fabric-a-brac + Grainline Studio Linden pattern = New Raglan Top!

This is the second time I've used this pattern, but the first time I've made the full sleeve, longer version. I am so happy with how this has turned out and how it's a great pattern for using up a few leftovers that might have been destined for the rubbish bin. Instead I've made a top that I'm sure will get a lot of wear, and how can you say no to merino sleeves? And another thing I love about this pattern is just how quick it is to make. A couple of hours yesterday and the shirt was all sewn up, and another hour today gave me the time to add the neckband, cuffs and waistband. I'm already planning to make these in more colours... I'm thinking grey with maroon sleeves next, although then there is a good risk of me and husband wearing matching outfits fairly often...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kielo Dress, and hiding from the sunshine

This city is beyond hot right now. The humidity is high. We're all sitting around as little as possible, perspiring a little too much, and in my case, avoiding the screaming sunshine until after 6pm when going out side is a little bit bearable. I sound like I'm complaining about the summer. And I'm sparing a thought for all those in the States caught up in the insane snow blizzard, but there's only so many layers you can remove before it gets a tad inappropriate. I've always been a winter baby. And so in my quest for shade, and making the most of staying close to the city because of work on-call duty, I've hidden away in the living room (which thankfully is west facing and doesn't sun until late in the day) and made a lot of progress on my sewing.

Here she is, my Named Clothing Keilo Dress. I've always been pretty bad at documenting my progress of any sewing project, and Keilo is no different. This time I was too scared of ruining several metres of quite pricey merino to distract myself with finding my camera and taking photos. 

I've never really worked with difficult fabric before, but let me tell you, this stuff is drapey. Every time I went to cut it, it moved. Every time I tried to pin a seam, it would take about 10 minutes to line everything up neatly. I thought about using my overlocker, but it's so temperamental that I avoided it completely, and a three thread with a knit fabric might not have worked well. The edges are unfinished, but as it's a knit, I'm not too worried.

The pattern called for a bias binding around the neckline and armholes. It was written for a woven fabric but I'd seen plenty of knit examples online. What I didn't really understand was whether you needed to use bias binding if you were making something with knit fabric. For the neckline I ended up using a strip of the merino as a stretchy binding, finishing the top stitching with a twin needle. For the armholes I just hemmed with a twin needle, wanting to avoid a bit of the bulk and also save me some time. Can you use ordinary bias binding on knits? Still a mystery to me!

 All that's left to do now is the hem - I need to enlist a girlfriend to help with this, as the finished length is a little long. 

I'm really happy with how it's turned out and it's definitely a pattern I'll use again - I'm thinking a couple of short versions for work maybe, with the additional sleeve pattern that's available. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 begins!

I can't believe we're almost half way through the first month of 2016 already! If I'd set myself a new year's resolution of making sure I blogged regularly, I'd already been failing miserably. But it was quite nice to take a bit of a holiday from being online and thinking of things to write about. The new year's holiday was spent in a vintage style wonderland of a vintage caravan that's been lovingly restored by a friend's mum. A big storm hit on new year's day, but I was more than happy to sit in here for hours and just knit and read. 

I think it's great to start the year with a bit of quiet time to be refreshed for the year ahead. The rest of the holiday was spent bike riding and drinking coffee and enjoying friends' company - can't really ask for much more!

My first project for 2016 is to knit a replacement Storm Shawl. I'm just over half way through and am keeping a much better track of how I made this the second time round. 

I hope to get started on my first sewing project for the year this weekend. 

I'm going to get started on the Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing. The pattern arrived earlier this week and this is what I plan to make for a friend's wedding. I need to get some fabric, I'm thinking a silk of some kind. The pattern looks quite simple, but that's probably a good thing if I'm working with slippery material. 

And in other very exciting news - last week I was accepted into a French language summer school programme in Paris, which starts at the end of June and runs for a month. So with this in mind, and wanting to enjoy the vintage and craft shopping in that amazing city, I'm going to be even more careful with what things I buy and make this year. The plan is to save enough to have a really good time on the other side of the world, and that means being really mindful of my spending. 

Aside from a couple of planned projects that have specific fabric or yarn requirements - like the Kielo Dress as there's no suitable fabric in the stash - I'll be crafting from the stash as much as possible. I'm sure I have enough in there for six months worth of making, and I am so excited for the trip that I don't want to cheat myself!

What are your crafty plans for 2016? Do you make resolutions or plan projects?