MMM ’18 – 3

Lots of decisions made, projects finished and clothes worn.

May 13: Winter graduation dress (another version)
May 14: Blue plaid pants, grey sweater with leather
May 15: Convocation/Wedding dress, white knit shrug

May 16: Winter graduation dress (yet another one), circle scarf – Problems with pockets, combining with clothes and itchiness
May 17: Grey pleat pants, eyelet sweater
May 18: Red plaid skirt, new dotted shirt (replaced the old version), Frances sweater

May 19: Cat shirt, brown knit sweater
May 20: Sport skort with pockets (because I went skating all day)
May 21: Mondriaan dress

So I’ve made a new dotted shirt to replace the old version. This one has a hem that comes up at the sides, like a button down shirt. The other resolution to chop of the stains on the green kiwi pants has also worked. I now have green knee length culottes. One of the other things I’d also resolved to do was finally replace the buttons of a bought jacket. Some of the buttons were really scuffed and it annoyed me, it took me 2-3 hours on wedding day, but it has happened!

I’m also going to donate the high low winter graduation dress. While it has short sleeves, it doesn’t really combine with any tops, it’s really itchy and the pockets are not very accessible. I also don’t feel very nice in it, so it will be relegated to the donation pile. The same goes for the Gaia sweater which I never ever wear. I just feel so terrible in it. I’ve also donated the colourful Maimu scarf to my mother. She might get more wear out of it as I never use it.


Byebye to these items!

Projects that are still on the go are to fix the sleeves of the riding jacket that shrunk hideously in the wash and are now, not even kidding, 6.5 cm too short. I’m also going to try to finish up a full length circle pant-skirt-thing that has actually been hemmed today (!) but now needs to have the straps and top edge finished. I also have 2.5 more knitting projects (1.5 sock and a poncho-type-item) that I need to get done at some point.

A lot to do and a bit more than a week to go, but so far, so good!

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Grey Scale Sweater

This project got started with the yarn. I saw three shades of grey that I thought would complement each other, so I bought them. In my library of Ravelry, I found a sweater that I liked the look of, the EazySqueezy Sweater. Well, I liked the interpretation of the lady in pink, not the original which was a type of ribbing all the way through. So I decided to attempt to copy her version.

Took a bit of trial and error but eventually settled on 22 stitches and a 1×1 ribbing. Knit to the armhole divide while increasing two stitches every 11 rows. I may have overestimated the length of my arms (or I thought I was a monkey, also possible), the sleeves are very long. However, this is fine as they can be rolled up and now have space to shrink. I may also decide to remove some length if it bothers me too much. Divided for armhole, then divided for the neck hole, all sort of trail and error. Made the front of the neck hole deeper than the back and kept on knitting the top. It took about 2.5 ball of the darkest grey. Then I picked up and knit the medium-grey along the chest hole. I quickly decided to take it in by 10 stitches or so because it was quite wide and continued decreasing for some shaping. Once the one ball of medium grey had been knit, I switched to the light grey. Then increasing again for more shaping and I ended with a high-low ish back, which also helps in identifying the front vs. the back.

I still need to wear it out for a full day, also to test the monkey arms. But I like the colours and the fact that I finally finished a pattern that had been in my library for years now. I also picked up another knit project that had been cornered for a bit again, in hopes that I can continue without straining my wrists/arms too much. Knitting with thicker yarn is easier for some reason.

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Knit Bag

It was Mother’s Day yesterday, for the occasion I made a bag for my mum, I am not in any way shape or form expecting her to actually use it. It was a proof of concept experiment.

My mother has indicated in the past that she has an interest in getting a bag that can be converted from a normal carry bag to a backpack. So I googled, visited internet shopping sites and pinterested for a while and found some interesting things (my board). I tried to make one from fabric but got distracted and it’s still in the corner of shame at the moment. However, after I’d finished another knit project, a grey-shades sweater, I wanted to start something else. I still had some very thick yarn in the hoard that I would not know how to use, so I decided, quick stitches = quick project and cast on 22 stitches on size 7 mm needles for the bottom (the yarn indicated 9-10 mm needles).

Knit the bottom in garter and when it was square, (and my green yarn was finished, no more than 50 cm left) picked up stitches on all sides. Those were put onto 10 mm needles and the stitch count was quickly decreased to 16 on all sides. Worked my way up, eventually decreasing two stitches on the two sides to create a pyramid shape. Switched over to the blue yarn when the green/white ran out.



A zipper was sewn in the top to close the bag and two handles were knitted on. The handles allow one to carry the bag like a shopping bag. Lastly, a long zipper was sewn on as the (backpack)strap. If the zip is closed, you can use it as a messenger bag, if it is open, it is a backpack. Imagine the chair below is a person to visualise the system. The zip is attached at the opposite side of the back, which means that it automatically closes when carried.

So I gave it to my mother yesterday and she thinks it is quite fun in theory, and in practice it may turn out that the holes from the knitting are too large. We will see!

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MMM 18 – 2

So far so good in Me-Made-May 18. I developed a cold on the 3rd of May, leaving me only wanting to wear easy pants options that I already knew worked for wearing. So far, none of the options have been unsatisfactory, so I think that’s good news.

May 3: knit sweater, circle scarf;
May 4: blue plaid pants, cat shirt, knit sweater;
May 5: eyelet sweater, forest blouse, hand-crank jeans;

May 6: white dot shirt, kiwi pants (These now have orange stains, only way to keep on wearing them is to shorten them);
May 7: circle scarf, black bolero, white bolero (but too cold for that particular day), blue graduation dress, striped shorts; 
May 8: new black shorts and white dot shirt;

May 9: different blue graduation dress (too tight in the front armpit, too wide across the top bust), striped shorts, circle scarf, black bolero;
May 10: green plaid pants, bicycle shirt;
May 11: Harry Potter sweater, grey fake sweatpants, striped shirt;

May 12: winter graduation dress

There are some items that still work but that have seen better days and that might just need to be relegated to the ‘used cloth’ pile and be replaced with similar versions. This mainly concerns the white dot shirt.

From all the outfits pictured above, the only one that had issues concerning fit/wear was the blue graduation dress with darker blue piping. It’s still a bit tight at the front armhole, making computer work uncomfortable. It’s also too wide across the front, which possibly is not helped by the armhole issue. I remember this dress needed extensive re-figuring of the top, so this is probably the reason.

I also managed to ruin an item of clothing. There seems to be a plant (and/or evil weed) in my garden that releases orange fluid when pulled out of the ground. Some came on the green pants and will not come out. In order to make them wearable again, I may need to shorten them to knee-length or possibly even further up. This also means that I need to replace this type of pants (very lightweight and summery) in my closet – i.e. more projects!

On to the rest of May, where I hope to actually wear more of the dresses I own and clearly never wear.

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Striped Shorts

After sewing the Tantalus scarf, I started leafing through my pattern magazines and I spotted some shorts I thought looked cool. Burda 6/2009, shorts 120. I liked the idea of the vaguely paper bag looking waist and the ties on the side. So I copied the pattern onto pattern paper, made an adjustment in the width of the crotch (need to remember for next time to add even more width), since that tends to be a regularly required adjustment and gave up for the day.

 I hadn’t figured out which fabric I wanted to use, but the next day it came to me. Why not use some striped black stuff I’d previously used for something – cannot remember what – and make them look vaguely formal. So off to work I went, cutting out all the bits and pieces. Then I tried to follow the (dreaded) Burda instructions…  Well, until the zipper. The instructions were half a page full of text, no pictures whatsoever. I did not understand what in the world they meant. So after pondering for a little bit, I decided to ditch the instructions and use me some google to get the job done. This led me to a page of someone who also had had problems with the instructions and gave me the new name for all my boxes of fabric: the hoard. This is the quote from ‘Sewing for Life’:

“my hoard (I stopped calling it stash…it’s really a hoard of fabric I have.  A stash is something to work from, constantly being used and renewed.  A hoard is just a stockpile that keeps getting added on to and therefore keeps getting bigger and bigger!” (here)

I managed to get a good zipper in, when I figured out that the pattern also had a button. I was not interested enough in undoing all my hard work and just left the button off. The next day I finished hemming the end of the first and the second leg, and project was done!

There are in seam pockets, and those two little ties and I think it looks good. I’m hoping it will actually be nice weather again soon, because I cannot wait to try them out for real.

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Red Birds and Foxes

A year ago, I added a piece of light coloured fabric with grey leaf-ish things and little deer, birds, squirrels and foxes to the stash. On the hunt for a project, I re-discovered this fabric and decided to finally make (at least part of it) into a top of some sort.

Enter Simplicity 9, model 59 minus ruffle. This pattern came in size 38-40 at the smallest. In general, that tends to be too big. However, I hoped it would work anyway without resizing the pattern beforehand – spoiler alert: dumb choice.

In order to get it to fit, I made a 2 cm pleat at the back, ending at the small of my back. The shoulders were lowered 1.5 cm. I redrew the neckline at the front and back to correspond to the original size. So in total I probably managed to shave of more than 8 cm or so. I now like the fit a lot better. The fabric does crease like crazy and I don’t like ironing, so this is why you see it in all its wrinkly glory.

The fabric is super cute though and those five buttons also came from the stash. The original pattern had more buttons, but I was not going to let such a good match in buttons go to waste, so five it was. The button bands might have a little to much interfacing for the thickness of the fabric, but all in all, it wears well and it’s very cute. So far, so good!

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Fire Playsuit

I have had a piece of stretchy stuff with a sort of fire-ish pattern on it, hanging on a hanger in my sewing room for a seriously long while now. Finding a pattern for it had never worked out so it was just hanging there. One day, I think a few weeks back? I figured I needed to get my act together and actually make something from it. I searched through my pattern magazines yet again and discovered an interesting looking playsuit-thing with a front zipper in Simplicity 27 – model 15. So I copied it onto pattern paper and got myself into gear.

I wanted the whole front to be firey and since the fabric was fire down the middle and black on the sides, this meant that the back of the suit would be completely black. Now, I’m not completely happy with this thing. The interfacing I used along the zipper is too stiff, the whole thing feels frumpy and the neckline is too low. I’m not sure of the length of the legs and overall just not really happy with it. Perhaps it will grow on my once I wear it a little, so I hope the good weather comes out to play and I can incorporate it into my Me-Made-May 18 pledge. If I figure I will not wear it, I might just donate it to someone else and/or goodwill.

Some items are just winners, some are losers but if you have some suggestions on how to make it look.. better, I’m all ears.

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