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Black Knit Skirt

I really wanted to make a simple knit skirt pattern for a while now. A couple of months ago I even wrote this post about 5 knit pencil skirts that inspired me. While I would like to stay away from a true pencil skirt silhouette, I like the effortless and fitted look of a knit skirt.

black knit skirt side

This is just a first try. I am not 100% happy with how it fits in the back, but I will wear it a few times and see what I can improve. Without modifying a pattern, this would look much better in a more structured knit, with less stretch.

black knit skirt back

Maybe it’s just the winter blues (or grays) but this skirt would be so fun in a bright or crazy-patterned fabric. It’s really comfortable to wear which is very good in my book!

Garment details:

Pattern: Self-drafted (a few hours of trial and error, but I can use this in the future)

Note: this pattern was designed with a thick knit with just 25% stretch. The fit is not the same with a knit with more stretch. This would actually work best with a more structured knit or a scuba.

Fabric: less than 1 metre black Jacquard knit 5 CAD

Notions: elastic, from stash.

Cost: 5

Blue wool Oslo cardigan

I made the Oslo cardigan! In wool! Who-hoo.

I’ve been thinking about this cardigan for a long time and I am happy I finally got to make it.

I was a bit afraid I was going to fail horribly because my fabric wasn’t stretchy, like the pattern asked. I first did a test version in a dusty pink suede that was on sale for $1/m at the fabric store. This way I could see the fit in another non-stretch fabric and see what alterations I needed to make for the final garment to fit me well.

oslo wool back

Sorry for the badly lit photos!

I have this wool from Barcelona and wanted to make a coat out of it last year but… spring came! I don’t know how to call the pattern on this wool… it’s not plaid… it’s not Jacquard…

I took the risk and just cut a size bigger and sewed it using a 0.7 in (2 cm) seam allowance. I also widened the sleeves because they were to tight at the cuff. I lengthened them a bit and then made the cuffs smaller, even though I like the cuffs in the original pattern.

oslo wool 1

I shortened it as well, so it would fall just above the hip.

The construction was super fast and super easy. I pondered for a while whether I should line it – the wool is itchy and it would have given it a bit more structure – but I decided not to. I’m going to layer this over sweaters and it might look too boxy. I was also lazy to do it, but I might just do it one of these days.

I have another dark blue wool that I bought with this pattern in mind, but I bought too little of it! With the double collar and the cuffs, this pattern needed more fabric than I expected. So don’t even think buying less than 1.8 yards (1.7 meters).

Garment notes:

Sewing pattern: Oslo with the subscription 4 CAD

Pattern notes: because I used a woven fabric instead of a knit. I cut the pattern one size bigger and sewed it with a smaller sewing allowance than suggested because I didn’t want to cut it again, but if I would have to print it and cut it from scratch, I would cut two size larger for a non-knit. I also widened the sleeves and made the cuffs shorter to reduce bulk. I also shortened it to fall above the hip (and save fabric).

Fabric: 1.5 meters unidentified wool woven fabric – in my stash forever so I am not going to even try to reminder the cost 🙂

No notions, thread from my stash.

Final cost = 4 CAD

 

Green textured knit dress (a modified Mesa sewing pattern)

Happy 2016! May this be the year in which you create a masterpiece. This could be sewn, knitted, crocheted, embroidered and even just imagined in your head 🙂

The post today is about another Mesa dress version. After making my first version and realising I wasn’t very comfortable with that neckline (it’s beautiful, I just think a raised neckline is easier to layer + you don’t need to worry about lingerie straps showing). So I raised it a bit. A bit too much, I think, but this is a cold weather dress, so that’s good.

DSC_4773

I used a beautiful textured dark green/petrol jersey I found at Fabricland in the discount box.  Thick and warm (a little bit too plastic for wearing on bare skin, but perfect for layering.

DSC_4761

Since I had already sewn this, I could quickly make modifications to the pattern, cut it and sew it. In spring, I’ll use this to make a fun and vibrant version. Maybe flowers. Maybe cats. Maybe both (just kidding :)).

DSC_4762

Garment notes:

Sewing pattern: Mesa with the subscription 4 CAD (since I’ve already used it for another dress, I will calculate as 2 CAD)

Pattern notes: after making the pink ponte knit mesa I realised the boat neckline wasn’t the easiest to layer so I’ve redrafted it. I was a bit anxious that I will ruin this fabric as I didn’t make a muslin, but it worked out !

Next time I can lower the neckline a bit.

Fabric: 1.2 meters speciality textured knit 7 CAD

No notions, thread from my stash.

Final cost = 9 CAD

Not too shabby!

The softest and warmest sweater with the very long sleeves

I’ve finished this sweater without trying it on during knitting (bad idea) and never thought about sleeve length + dropped shoulder. You’d think a person who sews would know at least that. Well.

I used 5.5 skeins of Bernat Roving yarn, and made up very simple pattern for the front and back (basically a rectangle with a neckline decrease) and slowly decreasing sleeves. I wanted this to look big and I decided to make it long enough to wear with leggings.

handmade wool sweater unfinished sleeve

Well, it is big. It’s huge. It’s like a sea of soft, warm, fibre. A sea with very long sleeves, that I will have to redo (serenity now!) because I actually want to wear this sweater. And because it was tested (yes with the sub par sleeves) and it’s sooo cozy! 🙂

handmade wool sweater

Instead of sewing the seams I used a crochet but this gave me big, bulky, visible seams, so I will redo that as well.

I didn’t finish the neckline yet.

I didn’t mean to color block it first, but I bought this yarn without knowing very well what I wanted to do with it. I first considered knitting a simple shrug, but I liked the texture of the resulting knitting fabric so much, that I went and bought more. And they were out of my colour of course :((

handmade wool bulky sweater back view

Look how crazy these sleeves are 🙂

handmade wool sweater extra long sleeves

Well, working with this yarn was so pleasant and the fact that I was knitting it while talking over the phone with love ones makes it even more special. Like their goodness is knitted in each loop of the sweater.

Garment notes:

Pattern: self-drafted (it’s really too much to say it’s a pattern. I just knit a 20x 20 swatch to get gauge then used very simple geometry to create this soft monster) – cost 0

Yarn: 36 CAD

Notions: wool needles 2 CAD, I already had the knitting needles.

Total cost: 38 CAD

 

Magenta ponte knit Mesa

I had this thick knit in my stash for a very long time, maybe more than 3 years. It was one of the fabrics that I brought with me when we moved to Canada, because it was beautiful and I wanted to make something I would wear for a long time. When Seamwork magazine introduced Mesa I finally decided to cut into this fabric.

It wasn’t all fun and games though. I spend an entire day stitching and unstitching. Neither my serger and my sewing machine wanted to sew this with the matching thread I had bought for this. My twin needle snapped too.

In the end I had to let it marinate for a week and get back to it with a calmer mood and ready to be ok with sewing it with white thread. I bought a new twin needle. This snapped as well. I might have not been completely zen in the end.

I finished the whole dress in tiny zig zag stitch.

ponte knit mesa dress back

Looking at the photos I notice there’s a lot of extra fabric at the back, any ideas how I can fix this? Would darts work?

This fabric is very interesting, yet so difficult to work with. When you look at it, it seems like a really nice sweater knit with a soft inside and a crisp outside of the fabric. But the elastic fibres in the knit are quite strong (it reminds me a big of scuba fabric) so even though it’s elastic it doesn’t drape too much and it’s quite rigid for a knit. It doesn’t feel like plastic at all though and I am hoping that after a few washes and drying cycles the fabric will loosen up a bit. We’ll see.

Note to self: never again wear this dress with these leggings, the stitching seams are not flattering at all 🙂

Pattern: Mesa with the subscription 4 CAD (since I’ve already used it for another dress, I will calculate as 2 CAD)

Pattern notes: I removed the slits at the hemlines and make 3/4 sleeves. I cut an M because I didn’t remember if I pre-washed the fabric (oops 🙂 and ended up grading the to an S around the waistline.

Next time I want to alter the neckline as I am not completely happy with the boat neckline. It looks great as it is but when you layer, problems happen 🙂 Plus I don’t like my lingerie straps to be showing. Also, I should make a long sleeve version as well.

Fabric: 1.3 meters thick, rich, elastic knit that broke two double needles (aargh!) and was a pain to sew! I bought this from a trip a few years ago and I don’t remember how much I paid for it. Let’s say a 10.

Notions: Doble needle 15 (never buy your double needles at the fabric store!), thread from my stash.

Final cost = 27 CAD

I’ve already worn it twice so cost per use is already 13.5 😉

Best of October in sewing and making

October was a good month. Not a lot of sewing unfortunately, but lots of ideas for projects and things to try.

I loved the October Slow fashion movement. I’ve written about the items I wear most and love most, the link between mindful making and slow fashion, and talked about buying pre-loved and mending things you wear. It’s also pretty cool because the end of October and beginning of November mark the eight months I didn’t buy any new garments (with the exception of socks and intimates and 1 blizzard emergency winter layer last March 🙂 I’m more and more interested in reusing materials, from tiny things like reusing paper for printing sewing patterns, to refashioning things you own and visible mending.

I have a refashion idea for a long sleeve I’ve been wearing weekly for some autumn and winters now and I’m getting inspired by the beautiful embroidery I see on Instagram.

I’ve experimented a bit more with knitting and crochet and made this tiny purse. There’s a tutorial too, but I guess I should read more patterns to be able to really write a good tutorial. Or make a video maybe?

I’m a bit impatient with patterns so I tend to just jump in and try things, but sometimes this actually takes more time in the long run because I don’t learn basic concepts everyone knows. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to understand things like gauge and how to predict the number of stitches you’ll need to create a simple garment, so I’m enjoying that as well.

I’ve sewn some new things as well,  but more about that in a future post :>

Lemon banana muffins recipe: illustrated

Another little change you might have noticed on the blog is the new This Foodie tab, which is a link to my (very small) food blog. So if you’re into food, check it out 🙂

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How was your October?

 

My light chambray Adelaide dress

There are several reasons why I loved sewing the Adelaide dress from Seamwork. First, because the magazine really inspires me, from the patterns created to the thoughtfulness of the articles. And it’s that thoughtfulness that is contagious.

This dress is supposed to take three hours to sew, but I made it across several weekends, cutting it slowly, then sewing it slowly and finishing it, you’ve guessed it, equally slowly. Which is something I’m trying to learn how to do.

I really like the pattern and how it’s cut. It’s like Sarai knows women have curves and where those curves are located 🙂

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, except raising the waistline and shortening the bottom hem. I’ve initially made the bottom a size larger and graded it, because I’ve seen other versions of the Adelaide where the bottom part was wrinkling at the hips and I wanted to avoid it, but that wasn’t necessary so in the end I had to remove that extra fabric.

I like how the neckline is shaped as well. One little trouble I have is a gap between the first and second snaps. Do you have any suggestions for that? What did I do wrong?

Otherwise, I think it looks quite nice from the back and I can see myself layering this with tights and a shirt. I most definitely want to make another one. Maybe one with sleeves? 🙂

I’d like making this in a light denim and try my hand at buttons and buttonholes. I enjoyed Seamwork’s challenge to use snaps. I really like snaps, just don’t like when they snap out of your fabric!