Cut Out Top

So, I found a new website with free patterns on it, always a good time. It’s called On the Cutting Floor, and it has a number of interesting, but mostly simple, patterns. I found one that was really cute, called Cut out top (you can find the tutorial here). The free patterns are size 4, which I hoped would sort of fit me. The pattern was printed, I cut it out, cut out the fabric (the same fabric as the Shrug) and sewed it all together. I did make some changes to the shoulders (squared them a little) and took in the sleeve cap a little. I think I also possibly overlapped the cut out bits a little more.

I still need to wear it out, but I hope that it will be nice and warm and that I will be able to wear it by itself. The length of the body seems quite nice and covering but the sleeves may be a little too long. We will see once I wear it out, wish me luck!

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Riding Jacket

I wanted to make a riding jacket. I just didn’t really know how, or whether I had the skills, or what fabric to use, among other things. So I did what I tend to do, collect pictures on a Pinterest board (Blazers in this case) and let the project rot, fester, mature in the back of my mind. One of the pins that sparked my interest was this Nanette Lepore Sherlock Coat. I’m not entirely sure whether riding jackets have been a relatively recent dream of mine, or whether it’s been there for ages, but it was time to do something with it.

The relative success of the graduation dress meant that I used the same pattern again, but with some alterations, effectively none of the pieces stayed the same:

  • The bodice pattern pieces were printed out off scale (accidentally), so a size larger was cut and the bodice was lengthened by a centimeter.
  • The shoulders were made square and thereby shortened the center front.
  • The center front was split, broadened and curved with a longer front edge.
  • The sleeve pieces were lengthened to full length and got an elbow dart following this tutorial from A Challenging Sew.
  • The collar was drafted following this tutorial from Em Makes Patterns.
  • The shirt/peplum pieces were drafted.
  • An attempt was made to pattern match the pinstripes in the fabric.
  • The lining had a vent added at the neckline.
  • Hanging loop added at the back.
  • Facings were drafted for the sleeves ends and a bias strip for the bottom.

Perhaps more things changed, but this was a multiple month project and I have terrible memory. The fabric was wool-esque (not sure of the actual content), dark blue with light blue and gray pinstripes. The sleeve lining was some bright blue lining stuff I also used for my dark blue winter coat. From that previous experience I knew that that fabric was really shifty, and my overlocker was still in the naughty corner for not working so I got myself a new toy! I bought a walking foot; oh my, the improvements in my sewing are staggering! The remainder of the lining was some dark with blue triangle fabric that also produced a failed shirt before.

Everything was sewn together and I didn’t have to do too much editing to the fit. The design is not completely the same as the original inspiration, as I hated that back and was more into this type of thing. I did want to keep the option of closing the front, like this. I used some buttons I had in my stash for some time now. Domed military jacket inspired buttons that worked really well and attached nicely. I also added a button to the inside right to close the front. I am quite happy with the finishing, I think it looks quite nice on the inside too.

I did my best to do stripe matching where possible, and I’m quite proud of how well that worked. I wore it for Easter this year, and while I was afraid that the sleeves would be too tight, I didn’t have any troubles on the day. There are three ways of wearing the jacket: open, with hook & eye closed and completely closed. The longer back-end does take a little bit of getting used to, but I feel really happy when wearing it.

I proclaim it a successful project!

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Easter 2017 – Communal Effort

This year, my parents invited us all to their house for Easter, where we reinstated the tradition of painting eggs and trying to find them in the garden. I brought some water colours home and the whole family was convinced to paint the eggs. We also used some of those egg painting tablets in six colours to give our boiled eggs a base coat on Saturday evening while my dad was preparing dinner. There were quite a number of different types of eggs; sexy ladies, aliens, stripes, minions, cloudy ones, a hedgehog and other indescribable things. In total, 20 eggs were painted and on Sunday morning my mother hid them and the garden and we had to go find them. The neighbours, I think, found it very intriguing to see 5 adults walking around a garden and looking in and behind every plant. We enjoyed it and managed to find all the big ones, and 19/20 of the small chocolate ones. Hopefully we can improve on this next year!

The ones I made included one with two colours base coat and stickers, a striped one, one alien and a triple eyed minion. I have been more creative in the past, but it didn’t matter. We had an hour of fun and even my non crafty brother participated and managed to create some nice eggs.

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Baby Booties

(This post was written on the 25th of March. Since it is a gift, I waited until it was received to post this account of the project)

You may or may not know that I have not really been able to knit for a long time now. My arm starts to hurt and it’s just not fun. So when a friend had her first baby, I wanted to see if knitting would be possible again. What better way to test than with a small project: something for baby. I searched ravelry for some baby booties patterns and eventually found one for Baby Hausschuhe. Now, just a boring booty wouldn’t work, you understand. I needed to.. do something to make them stand out just a little.

Cue some dinosaurs! What else?

I’d found a chart for a cute little dinosaur that I figured could work here. It transferred it to an excel file so I could work it. The dinosaur would be on the left outside of the first booty, facing backwards (otherwise he would get caught up in the toe decreases). But before I could start on the body of the shoe, I had to work on the bottom. So I cast on two booty soles in yellow and started knitting. Once the soles were done, I followed the first rows of the pattern until the purl how, then I knit 6 stitches and started my dinosaur pattern there. It all worked out pretty well. After following the pattern for the toe decreases and about 5 cm of ribbing, I was bored. My arm also hurt again – stupid.

On Saturday I felt like working on the second one, but I wanted a different pattern. I’d first looked over ravelry for a fun dinosaur chart, but I couldn’t find one. So on to google I went. Eventually settling on a pterodactyl. I found this picture of a Pterodactyl slipper that became the basis of my pattern. I made something resembling it in Excel and again kept my fingers crossed. This one also worked remarkably well. I knit until I got to the same hight as the other one and then transferred them both to a circular needed so I knew that they were the same hight. A few more rounds, some stretchy bind off and two booties were done! I think they are cute, but I hope the new owners also like them. We’ll see.

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Birdy Scarf Repeat

Dinosaurs are awesome, unfortunately nice fabric with dinosaurs on is hard to find. Birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. They are quite nice themselves too, and fabric with birdy prints is really easy to find! The local market stall had two really nice bird print fabrics, one white with hummingbirds, one navy with white swallows, which I clearly needed to have in my collection. They were both soft and slightly see through and combined beautifully with each other to form a scarf.

A friend of mine has a hummingbird tattoo and it was her birthday. So although I didn’t finish it exactly in time, there is now a circular scarf waiting for her neck. I also wanted one for myself, so there are now two double-birdy scarves in existence. The recipient of the other one seemed to like hers, so I’m happy.

The proof is in the wearing as they say, and I have worn this one every day since it has been finished. I’ve determined that navy is a neutral and must thus go with everything. In contrast to the light blues and greens in the previous circle scarf, I’ve decided that I can wear this with red too.. In any case, Happy Easter!

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Home Decor

You may have read in Shrug? that I have been looking for curtains on the fabric market. On the first try, I went with my Dad to Utrecht. That time showed us that even market salesmen don’t like snow… Only about a third of the stall were there and it was very cold. We went back and forth a couple of times, with my dad complaining of a cold neck most of the time. At some point I convinced him that we should just get a bit of fabric for him to wrap around his neck. We found something that was super nice, and that I wanted to have. Five minutes later, my dad had an improv scarf and I had enough fabric to make some pillow cases.

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It look me a little bit of time, but Sunday morning, I figured it shouldn’t take too much time. Luckily, I was right. About an hour after I’d decided to start my project, I had six finished pillowcases. Granted, the fabric didn’t need to be finished, so it was just cutting pieces and sewing two seams, but still. Cutting always take the longest..

Anyway, here they are in their new natural habitat. I need to see how long it takes for them to felt up, because that happened a little to the scarf bit…

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Finally Finished

Sometimes you have these projects that are nearly done, so very nearly done, but not quite. This was one of them…

Back in the day (summer 2015), I’d just finished the Winter Sweater in Summer and had quickly cast on a kangaroo sweater with a similar yarn (here is my project). It was dutifully knit all the way to the top, adding some additional shaping here and there. I struggled with the collar a little but got it all worked out in the end. There were seven buttonholes, about a million ends to weave in and I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t feel like it at all. Into the box it went, and it stayed. It came out occasionally only to go back in when all the hairiness from loose ends kept going on. Pure drama.

Cue the house move in December. With the project so close to completion I didn’t want to just throw it away. I also didn’t want to finish it just for the second hand store. I’d since figured out what my problem with it was; I chose the wrong pattern. I don’t do large collars very well, nor do I do semi-long length sweaters very well. I just wasn’t going to wear it, even if it was finished, hence the back burner. But, my brother’s girlfriend was coming to help with the move, and she is skinny, although quite a lot taller. I asked her if she would like it. If I only had a target to finish it for, I might even get it done, or so my thoughts were. We chose some buttons from the stash, which meant I had to close three button holes, but that was fine.

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I realised a little while ago that the holiday which was my deadline was approaching quickly, so I sat down on a Saturday and Sunday to weave in all the ends, to put on the buttons, to finish the button holes and to just make it presentable. The project was finally completed, the relief was palpable. This is the project on the receiver, marking the end of a struggle!

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