29 April 2014

FO: Venus Shawl

I feel like I've spoken about this project a lot.  I probably don't have a lot more to say really, so gratuitous photos ahoy!

Many thanks to my good friend Lu for taking the wonderful photos :)

Pattern:  Venus by Aoibhe Ni.  Pretty much made as is, although I made it larger by continuing the pattern for an extra repeat and did a row of dc across the straight edge of the shawl because the edges seems quite messy and unstable. A few more notes and some really useful resources for helping you get your head around this shawl are noted on my project page.
Yarn:  Ms Gusset pure silk laceweight.  Same yarn as used for the wedding shawl.   Got it on sale, as it was full of breakages.  I used braided joins as I went to mend these which I think worked really well.
Ravelled here.


-Linking with-

Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

25 April 2014

FO: Safety Scarf

So this project has been sitting around for a loooong time.  I finally wove in the ends and took some kinda shoddy photos.  As it's a Stephen West, so I thought I'd try to channel him with my pics.

How did I do?

But seriously...

This took me so long because I was not liking how it worked up.  While initially I thought it was quite clever, as you go on it feels like a bit of a dogs breakfast.  So many different stitch patterns, not all seeming to go together.  But now that it's done I don't mind it.  Its certainly snuggly, and kind of interesting to look at.

I also think I did a bitchin' job of the seam.  Check it out mo' fos'.

Pattern:  Safety Scarf.  Love the icord eding, and some of the stitch patterns are interesting, but altogether?  Some of the stitch patterns are narrow and dense, and some are wide and loose.  But it does come together.
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10ply.  Not sure if I'm still in love with BWM, luxury seems to get a bit hairy upon handling a lot.  But it is mega soft after washing. mmm.  I think the economy of this yarn will keep me coming back for more.
Ravelled here.


-Linking with-
Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

21 April 2014

Albion coat: toiling

So since I last checked in, I have settled on a coat pattern!!  Guys, do you know how freaking huge this is?  I am making a coat!!  WTF??!?!?!

So, it's Albion for the win! There was a sewalong so I get the benefit of lots of step by step instructions.  Which would help if I actually read them properly before fitting... I cut my first toile based on bust, and it was 2 sizes too big.  The instructions recommend that you cut out according to your shoulder width.  Duh Tanya .. the size I cut was like 4 inches too big across the shoulders.  

Anyway!  I finally got a fit I kinda like, and after working on my toile for the past two days, I feel compelled to post pictures as evidence, if nothing else.

Ta-da!  I feel so proud.  So the left side is the 'correct side' - I did a narrow shoulder adjustment, I feel like a freaking wizard! See how the right shoulder is sagging?  That one hasn't had the adjustment!  I wanted to try to keep adjustments to a minimum, because I really have no idea what I'm doing, but the other one I did was grade the coat out 3 inches on each side (well, 3 inches on each pattern piece so prob 6 inches per side) from about 5 inches under the armpit to make it more roomy for my posterior region.

I also tried to modify the hood to add the tab to the hood, but it looks like it will be too fiddly so I will prob abandon that idea unless I can find a good tutorial which is unlikely.

So I've already shown you the fabric I'm using - well not fabirc, a blanket!  I'm still not 100% sure it will work, but I'm going to give it my best.  I've also picked up some odds and ends, chevron fabric for the body lining from Spotlight, some grey silk/cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics which I will use for lining the arms.  I picked up some heavy duty needles and a zip for the zip customisation.  I also want to add a drawstring waist (says the person who is trying to keep modifications to a minimum).

I'm going to work in as many suggestions from Grainline Studio as I can about working with coating to try to get a professional finish.  I'm also going to make my own toggles like Natalie from Gather and Sew.

I have all these grand ideas for this finished garment in my mind, I really hope I can do half of them justice.


P.S.  I'm tagging all my albion posts albion.  because.

14 April 2014

Planning a coat

I'm currently at the 'thinking about it a lot' stage of planning on sewing a coat for myself.

It all started with inspiration.  I saw Jenny's gorgeous purple blanket coat and was just gob smacked at how cleverly beautiful it was.  No need to buy expensive coating aye?  It kind of takes all the risk out doesn't it?

So suitably inspired I got myself a woollen blanket from the op shop.  Hmm not exactly my colour, but $5!  It's about 2m x 1.7m.  I'm also excited about the prospects of traipsing around town with my lovely yellow coat among the black and grey.

So now I'm on the hunt for a pattern.  It has to be simple with as few pieces as possible and appropriate for the thick woollen fabric of the blanket.  And I don't want something fitted - big and boxy is totally ok in a coat.  How much fun is pattern browsing?  SO MUCH.  I've wasted spent a LOT of time looking for a pattern that hits the right notes, so why not share my efforts here?

So, here's my list of jackets that might work.

I started with burdastyle because I love that website, I find it very easy to navigate, and they do fantastic outerwear.  Here are some that stand out for me.

Rounded jacket 09/2013.  I quite like the 3/4 sleeves and the double breasted look.  It also reminds me of Jenny's version.  However, the patterns calls for lightweight fabrics.  It also has princess seams which would be hellish to deal with with my checked fabric.  But cute eh?

Short jacket 08/2011.  So an initial question is if I need to make a cropped coat, or if I have enough blanket to go with something longer.  I really like the 50s vibe of this with the pleated back, but the sleeves look a bit narrow for the thick fabric.  Looks quite versatile though.

Dress Coat 09/2012.  Now I'm thinking I might get a longer coat out of my blanket.  Not really sure with this one, it might be pushing it.  I really don't want to deal with princess seams, but I love the neckline.

Wool Long Coat 08/2012.  Is this daggy?  I think it might be a bit daggy.  I was just excited to find a pattern that seemed appropriate for the blanket. But it seems easy though, that's good.

Long A-Line Coat 10/2011.  This is very nice!  But I am quite sure I do not have enough fabric.  I love the collar (or lack thereof) and the shape.  But that's a lot of fabric, likely to feel quite overwhelming I'd wager.

Duffle Coat 09/2011.  A totally different way to go.  I love the hood, the pockets and the double breasted closures.  I could see myself wearing this a lot and I think it would work really well with my blanket.  Not too many seams, fantastic pockets and subtle bust darts. The way the sleeves are inset worries me slightly.  Even so, this is definitely a front runner.

Here's another, Duffle Coat 11/2011.  The normal sleeves make me feel better about life, but it's missing the cute rounded pockets and double breasted look of 09/2011.  Do I dare attempt to combine my favourite elements of the two?

Ombre Coat 11/2010.  Still looking for simple.  I do like the mandarin collar and the few pieces.  Seems to be slightly A-Line too.  Might have to stretch to fit it on the blanket, but I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of the length.

Long Coat 10/2010.  Similar to the last one, but I'm quite attracted to the simplicity.  I really like the concealed buttons and the slight A-line shape.  I'd have to sacrifice length, which is OK because long coats are a bit restrictive.

I like some of the variations in Burda 7700, although the picture is so small it's hard to tell what's going on.  I suspect these are prob a bit too baggy for my liking.

Burda have a lot of these 'ample' fitting coat patterns. 7711 and 7732 also caught my eye.

So the more I look for patterns the more same sameness I am seeing.  Vogue 8960 is a case in point.  It's ok, but a bit meh?

McCalls 6657.  I quite like this, though they have chosen some crazy fabric for the sample.  The duffle-ish variant has normal sleeves, which I find more appealing than the Burdastyle crazy sleeve version.  

Butterick have some nice easy looking designs.  I quite like 5685, but collar seems a bit unnecessary.  Also prob a bit too fitted for what I'm looking for. 

Colette have a duffle coat pattern - Albion, though it's just not pushing the same buttons for me as the Burdastyle one.

Another Burda pattern, 8017 is quite cute.  I like the overlapped front and the cute collar. I do like that teapot pose too.  lol

I quite like the look of this nice casual hoodie too.  Butterick 5931.  I might just make this for fun with some polar fleece I've got hanging around. 

So this is pretty cute, New Look 6760.  I like that there is no collar, I like the cuffs and the pockets.  (cute dress too!)  6736 is similar and also cute. 

New Look 6619 is a cute little cropped jacket with a lot of variations.

I don't know about you but that was exhausting!  But I feel that it was a very useful exercise, because I'm now dreaming of a hooded duffle coat.  I'm sure I'll do another post about the pros and cons of all the duffle patterns I can find before I work up the courage to chop up the blanket!  I am acutely aware that a coat is about a million sewing difficulty levels to where I am now, but I also am of the view that big challenges are how we learn the most.  So why not throw myself into the deep end??

Did I bore you to tears?  Do you love looking at all the gorgeous things you'll never get time to make too?


12 April 2014

The Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL

Guess what everybody?  Lisa and I are hosing another KAL/CAL!! 

This time we've (well, Lisa) found a super funky retro knitting pattern for a pineapple tea cosy.   Not a knitter?  No worries, Lisa has whipped up a gorgeous crochet version, so there's no excuse not to participate! 

If you would like to join in our Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL, all you need to do is download the pattern and get crafting!  Please also join our Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL Ravelry Group  to connect with other KAL participants. 

Click here to download the knit version.
Click here to get the crochet version.
We'll officially begin the KAL on 5 May, and you will have until 2 June to post pictures of your completed cosy in our special purpose KAL group on Ravelry.  Click here to join!!!

And what's a KAL without prizes?  One person will receive the GRAND PINEAPPLE PRIZE of all the pineapple themed goodies you see below, and maybe more.  Just like last time we'll also have some minor prizes, which will include some amazeballs handmade goodies! 

You just know you want those cool pineapple sunnies.  
So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to the rav group to let us know if you're in!  We'd love to see all your WIPs and FOs! 

Finally, we'll be using the tag #giantpineapplecosykal for those of you wanting to play along on instagram! 


08 April 2014

WIP: Babies

I kinda want one of these tshirts.  Do you think my expectant friends would be offended?

Kate Beaton is da bomb. 
But seriously, good for them!  I could think of nothing worse, the whole experience sounds super gross.  But people still enjoy their babies, so I wish them well!  And I like making baby things, so there's that. 

Here we go, babeh caridgans.

In red we have Easy Baby Caridgan for a lilttle girl.  I'm thinking red riding hood?  Ugh so cute. 

In pink we have Hatchling Cardigan for another little girl (duh).  It's cotton but I'm afraid the needles might be a bit big?  My stockinette is kinda crappy.  Damn you purl! 

I'm so clever, starting things before finishing other things.  


Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | Fluster's Creative Buster (Fluster Buster) | Yarn Along (Small Things)

07 April 2014

FO: Winifred

So I participated in my first sew-a-long and met the deadline and everything! 

So a local (to me) designer, Bluegingerdoll patterns hosted a sew-a-long with the Winifred dress.  I'd seen it on my facebook feed a few times, so I thought it a good opportunity to give it a go.  It looked like a great simple pattern, very versatile and quick to put together. 

I cut a size 16, my bust size being 1cm smaller than that size.  As per the designers suggestion, I cut a straight 16 rather than go down to my waist measurement, on the basis that the elastic would cinch in any extra ease.

To complicate things I decided to colour block it.  I cut straight across the front and back pieces at the marker indicated for the top of the bias for the elastic and the corresponding marker on the front.  Other than that I didn't make any other alterations, even though that's kinda the point of a sew-a-long I thought I might make a wearable muslin, because I really hate all the effort that goes into calico only to do nothing with it.  

I'll start with the finished item.  Not bad eh?

I couldn't find a buckle for the belt, so I picked up some D-rings.  I might change this if I find something I like better.

The collar gave me hell. I really could not work out how to ease that sucker into the back neckline.  I ended up kinda gathering the back, on the basis that the collar would cover it anyway. I thought the gathering would also mirror the elastic gathering (the things we tell ourselves).  I think it worked out, though it's definitely not correct.  Hmm. 

A post-script on the collar, the pattern is a bit inconsistent about how many pieces you need to cut, so watch that.  The patterns tells you to cut 2 x main fabric and 2 x facing.  The instructions do not mention the facing.  In hindsight maybe it meant interfacing?  The collar would definitely benefit from some interfacing.  Anyway, I haven't gotten to the bottom of that.

Now unfortunately, it's quite tight!  I'm not sure if you can tell, but I could barely get this sucker on.  I'm disappointed, but maybe I'll come back to it in a couple of months after getting back on the fitness bandwagon ;)  I'm also wondering if going up a size would help or if I need a fba.  I don't think I have a full bust?  Hmm.

Like my headband? I grabbed one of the couch ties so I could have something red.  Just missing the red lippy eh?

Despite the difficulties I had with the collar, and the fact that I'm a bit too chubs for this dress, I really like it!  It's a beautiful pattern, fairly clear (sorry collar!) and has a great shape to it.  It's a hella versatile and flattering shape, and I definitely see myself sewing a couple more of these up in various fabrics.  I'm thinking a collarless version next! 

And that is that!

Pattern:  Winifred dress
Fabric:  Plain and printed poplin.
Notions:  2cm wide elastic, d-ring.