denim kimono

A denim kimono-inspired jacket

I made this kimono jacket last year, I think. The whole last year and a half is all a blur in my head, I should make better use of my sewing journal to track these things in the future. It’s a very simple shape, a big square and two square sleeves, slightly tapered at the wrist. A side tie keeps it closed.

kimono like denim top

I can’t even remember when I bought this denim, it feels like it’s been in my stash forever, and I am happy I have put it to good use.

I wore this a few days ago with a black of linen pants and felt amazing. I looked a bit like a ninja, and felt like a million bucks. Nonsense, I have no idea what a million bucks feels like. I’m sure it’s overrated. It was very comfy and it felt like me. You know that feeling?

kimono inspired denim top

If you are interested in making this, I can make a simple pattern recipe, it’s a very simple construction.

A Harper-inspired tunic

I’ve seen so many beautiful Harper tunics on Instagram and I wanted to make one as well. I made this wearable muslin in a 100% cotton bedsheet from Ikea and when I first tried it on, it was huuuge. I then made some adjustment, and took it in on the sides, and it’s still very oversized. Bear in mind, I am also quite short.

striped tunic with linen pants

“I made a muumuu”, I told myself looking into the mirror. And not the lovely, traditional, Hawaii style dress, but rather the one Homer Simpson wore in that episode in which he got really fat.

I think this would look better on me in a fabric with more drape. At the same time, because I made it, I want to give it a chance. It is very comfy, and it will probably come handy come summer. However, this make was not the success I imagined.

striped tunic

I’d like to try and make this a bit smaller, but I am afraid it won’t look the way I envision it either.

Well, I’ll keep you posted.

harper inspired tunic

Nani iro georgia tee tunic

A Nani Iro Georgia Tunic and wide leg linen pants

A Nani Iro Georgia Tunic and wide leg linen pants

It’s been a while since I was really pleased with how something I made turned out. I loved the feeling of wearing these two new things together and feeling that my plans worked out, that I’ll be wearing these items gladly, and that I feel that I look just like myself.

I made the tunic top from Nani Iro double gauze I bought from my local Japanese fabric shop, Nunoya. I love the print because it looks like something I’d like to paint. For a brief second, I even considered framing it and putting it on the wall. But wearing it would be more fun, I thought!

I bought ⅕ meters of the fabric and made a size SM of the Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Series Digital Pattern. I had practised before on fabric that felt less precious to me, and I realized I could omit the signature sleeve cuff and still love the look of it. In this case I needed to be efficient in the use of my fabric, because I wanted it to be longer than t-shirt length.

elizabeth suzann georgia tee made my me

I also made a belt, inspired by a Korean ti, such as the ones used in martial arts. I like the look of the top with and without the belt.

The trousers, also inspired by the another ES clothing item, the Florence pant, were made with linen fabric I bought second-hand as a sheet. They are quite see-through – I didn’t consider that white linen will show my undergarments, but with the tunic length of this top it’s fine.

It’s interesting to see how with the warm weather my appetite for sewing grows and my knitting projects find themselves unattended in their seagrass basket.

mandarin and a blue painting

Thoughts about making things that are beautiful but maybe not essential

At the beginning of last month I got a boost of inspiration for sewing. It was very specific what I wanted to make, and I knew that these were things I was going to wear a lot. I bought the fabric I needed for these very specific, planned out, thought out items, and in a frenzy I sewed all of them over the course of a couple of weeks.

In total, I made myself:

I finished a stripey long-sleeve shirt that I started months ago and which I stitched slowly by hand
A pair of black linen elastic-waist pants
Two black linen tops (one Georgia top by Elizabeth Suzann and another inspired by their Harper tunic)
One double-gauze top inspired by the Harper tunic
One double-gauze lounge set from Peppermint Magazine

That’s a lot of new stuff!

I’ve been wearing all of these in rotation since I made them, but I can’t stop looking at my already large amount of clothes that are perfectly fine, feeling guilty about making so many new things, and wondering about the best way to make less, but still learn and experiment and follow inspiration when it strikes.

I know about myself that I prefer to have fewer things, but if I keep making things, and also don’t want to create waste. How can a hobby of sewing and making be more sustainable? How can one get closer to zero-waste when we are constantly making things?

Do you ever feel guilt about making new things? How do you slow down?

handknit sweater

Blue sky, green grass, short-sleeved raglan sweater

After making my first raglan sweater, I wanted to play a bit more with colours and tension.

wool sweater

When I first saw holstgarn at my local yarn store, I bought two skeins each of sweet pea green and opal blue yarn, but I hadn’t decided what to do with it before knitting that first raglan. I held it together double and the fours skeins were enough for a cropped, short-sleeve, boxy t-shirt sweater.

wool sweater detail

I love that I’ve already worn it so many times and how light and yet warm it is.

raglan short sleeve

After making this one and seeing how easy it is to layer and wear, I am planning on knitting more.

handknit sweater

The colours, together, once knitted, remind me of the old screensaver with the really blue sky and the really green grass.

Happy May the 1tst!

Pig amigurumi toy from Pica Pau book

Gift knitting has many surprises. I wanted to learn how to make crochet toys and got the wonderful Animal Friends of Pica Pau by Yanina Schenkel.

This book is clearly written and the characters are lovely. I was surprised of how well the piggy finally looked. I was also a bit surprised I was able to follow a crotchet pattern, another first for me.

I had this pink cotton in my stash for the last four years, it was bought with an event-related project in mind, then frogged, then reknit into something else that didn’t work out, then frogged again, only to become something good, finally.

If you want to learn how to crochet toys and never held a crochet in your hand before, this book will explain things step by step.

handknit cardigan

A boxy brioche cardigan

I’ve been in love with babaa sweaters and their whole aesthetic for some time now, and even if I respect the ethos and the branding and offering decent wages to their employees, based on their price tag, I am not in the target audience. But I can make something that reminds me of what I like about babaa: wooly wool, defined stitches, boxy silhouettes.

I made up this cardigan and for a first time doing it, I am pretty chuffed with how it turned out.

brown cardigan

I knit it in holstgarn supersoft, held double in the colorway embers and used modest plastic buttons from the bazaar.

It’s big, cozy, I can wear it on top of many sweaters and I love it.

squishy brioche

Of course it’s time for it to be packed away now and rediscovered in autumn, when the auburn cozy goodness will feel new again.

handknit cardigan

Why I love knitting with rustic yarn

I have been pretty obsessed with Holstgarn Supersoft since last autumn when I discovered it. I was already obsessed with a Spanish brand called dLana, because the rustic wool reminded me of the wool my grandma used to knit us socks with.

In summer I’d see her card the wool, wash it over fire, spin it and knit it into warm socks and sweaters for all family members. They had sheep, my grandparents and they were soft and friendly.

Processing wool from scratch took a long time, but every chore had its time and place in the village.

My mother tells me stories of my grand-grand-mother drying petals and herbs, and waking up at dawn in summer to make soap. On the day of soap-making diners were simple and everybody had to manage on their own. Then soap was made and dried for the whole year.

In comparison, turning fleece into yarn was a much longer process, from my grandpa shearing it in summer when the sheep enjoyed the breeze, to cleaning it before autumn when it was spinned and knit. All winter, sitting cozy by the fire, my grandma would knit.

A few years ago, when I learned how to knit socks, I made her a pair in undyed wool, the same she used to knit with, and it felt magical to see her joy and see her wearing it. My grandma doesn’t knit anymore but I in the last few years I’ve learned so much about it and I’ve become so enchanted by the slow practice of making fabric hoop by hoop.

So when I use this rustic yarn, and I know it’s a hype thing at the moment, I connect with her and that kind of life, full of work, much harder, but which to me, living in a big city, sounds magical. I love the scratchiness of rough wool, the lack of shine, the definition, and how warm it is.

green handknit sweater

A raglan sweater of many firsts

I had tried making a sweater on circular needles five times before this one. I wanted to love circular knitting on circular needles and I couldn’t. With this sweater I discovered it was the cable or my circular needles: first I had always used circular needles with thick, unbending cables and the size of the cable didn’t fit the circumference of the pieces I had attempted to knit.

detail rib on raglan sweater

With this sweater, a new pair of cable needles and a well explained pattern, a new world, full of possibilities, has opened. Now I want to knit everything in the round and even try to… eeek… steek!

The pattern I used is the Tin Can Knits Flax pattern, which is a free pattern. I have a profound dislike for the garter stitch, so I skipped the garter motif alongside the sleeves. This pattern explains the construction of a raglan, so it’s easy to use it as a base for future sweaters. The wonderful Amy Palko swapped the garter stitch with a lace motiv in the same number of stitches to make a completely new sweater, for example. She wears it in this episode of her podcast, which I recommend to all knitting lovers.

neckline detail

I knit this on 3.5 mm needles, in Holstgarn supersoft yarn (my newest yarn obsession), held double. The colorway is dark apple. When I ordered it online I thought the green was going to be brighter, more like and apple, than like a forest green, if that makes sense? I love the color anyway so no hard feelings there. I used a cone, but I would say I used about half of the 500 grams cone for a size SM, cropped version of the sweater.

I wore it already five times or more, and it’s the perfect winter into spring kind of garment. (I am even wearing it as I type, how lovely!)

green handknit sweater

Yet another first for this sweater was trying out the very short cabled circulars that are made for sleeves or sock knitting. I used the Addi Sockenwunder, which I got from the Holstgarn website and even if at first I wasn’t sure, I ended up loving them. I like knitting socks with dpns, but sleeves, the turning, with all the bulk and the falling needles… not fun. But the tinky circulars got me over sleeve island.

I have a Tambourine cardigan without sleeves waiting for me since last year in my abandoned WIPs, maybe this is the time to bring it back to life.