Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Vitamin D

I haven't blogged about this shrug yet. I finished it in the early days of summer and then never got round to blocking it properly.

That's why it still looks a little bedraggled on the hanger in the photo at the top.

It is called Vitamin D and the pattern is by Heidi Kirrmaier. She has some really, really great designs on Ravelry!  Check her out. I was smitten by them. (I am also making the Snow Mountain swing jacket, in a light blue linen yarn! And I bought another four patterns, whoops... All utterly fabulous and I couldn't pass them by)

I like the yarn-over detailing at the back of the nape and the bottom of the hem. 

I don't think that I chose a suitable yarn.  This is a bog standard black sock yarn and it's just a bit too firm for this pattern.  The centre front edges curl in and they still do all this time later.

I like the general shape of this and I am quite surprised that I haven't worn it yet.  To my defense I have to say that I did have to flat-hunt and then move house since I made this - which explains the lack of blocking and wearing.

Hopefully soon.

I will try and get a photo of me wearing it, that should show it a little better.

I was really good fun to knit: I kept storming through the different sections of the pattern (Ravelry link here) and can very easily see myself making this again - in a totally different yarn and very likely a different colour too.

Friday, 10 October 2014

More stash-busting ideas

Oooooooh, I just came across another fantastic stash busting idea in this blog post:

How to find and follow an idea - by Myrna Giesbrecht.

Have quite a bit in remnants left over from previous projects?

Answer: make a child's garment out of it!

Now if that's not another stash busting genius idea then I don't know what is.  How utterly fabulous!

The little girl's dress that Myrna is designing here is looking very gorgeous.  I will look out for her next post on the same project: I can't wait to see how it pans out!

I love her use of the thin ribbon like pieces (are they selvedges?)

Beautiful.  Now I just need to find time or make myself sit down to sew whether I feel I have time or not.  Let's get to it!

Monday, 6 October 2014

I seem to have bought a pattern

I went to this charity shop for a men’s shirt.  I wanted a shirt to upcycle (I just fancied it as a sewing challenge) and not having any men’s shirts to hand, I gave this charity shop a go.  They did have quite a few shirts, but none in a fabric that I liked.

Instead I found this:

Excuse the badly lit photo

Also a cardigan which I got rid off as soon as I got it home because there was a stain I didn't see in the shop, plus the fabric wasn’t all that nice.  So off it went to another charity shop.  Oh well.

This blouse looks lovely: I had not worn any ruffles placed like this before and now I think this works really well with my shape ('apple' as they say. Or 'barrel' shape: wide in the middle, tapering off on either side  - my waist is my problem area).  As a bit of a coincidence, I had decided a short while ago that I do need to add interest to the neckline area and the ruffles here do an admirable job.  I want to explore that element further in future in terms of clothes that I would buy or sew.

Unfortunately I don’t love the linen fabric and its thin weight.  The wrinkled linen look just doesn't look all that great in this particular linen.  Not utterly besotted by the colour either.  I don't hate it but I’m not in love with it either.  A chalky looking pale blue.  It is a bit insipid and puts me off from wearing this blouse.

Then I discovered that the bust dart is in the wrong place: it sits too high, points in the wrong direction and it is too short.  All of this is something that cannot be fixed in an existing garment.


But I can easily adapt a pattern to use the design elements of this blouse and position the dart in the right place.

Now that I discovered the dart issue I am more than happy to get rid of the blouse.  As in: get it out of my wardrobe to never be worn again (I did wear it once, today, so that's fine: I got some use out of it).

I am thinking of taking this blouse apart: this will give me the shape of the ruffles (I suspect that they are circular, with the lower ones cut out of a slightly bigger circle than the upper ruffle) and the main proportions of the blouse: length, width, neckline shape – and also the sleeve pattern.

The sleeves are definitely something that I have to take apart to see what pattern they are based on.

With all that information I should be able to draft a blouse pattern that’s very close to this one. I know that I’ll want to take the side seams in a touch at the top and make a slight change to the neckline: I would prefer a simple V-shape instead of this neckband type facing which doesn't contribute anything particularly clever to the design.  I do like the yoke across the shoulder, I want to keep that.

So its seems that I haven’t so much bought a second-hand blouse as a pattern to use to sew something that I know will fit!   It turns out that this purchase was not a waste but a clever way of getting a wearable muslin – it is exceedingly useful in that function too!

Do you shop in charity shops and what kinds of clothes do you look for?  Something to upcycle or to wear as it is?  Do you ever frankenpattern several old clothes into one new design?  I would love to hear and see ideas!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The little warm shrug that hugs

I did it!  I finished a project.  Phew!

This is particularly pleasing because I need this and want to use it.

I need something to keep the back of my neck warm.  I seem to be sitting in a draft at home, at work and everywhere.  My neck just hurts again and again and I am fed up ith it.

So here is the little shrug that could:

This is Drops Alpaca.  A delightfully shaded colour green with some bluey bits in it.  Just delicious.

It is a very plain K1 P1 rib, so it was very easy to make.  And quick!  I have to use up lots of my stash (a seemless continuation from my last blog post all the way back in July. Yep, I still have the exact same problem with too much stuff.  But I also moved house.  Into a smaller place! So I now I have to get rid of the excess) - and this did just the job.

The bit that hangs over the hanger and sticks up in the lower photo: as just a plain rectangle that's sewn together to form "arms" it didn't work well enough to keep my neck warm.  It cut off just a bit too low down.

So I added rows to the centre stitches (of the edge where I cast off partially for the sleeves) while knitting two together at the beginning of each row.  The lower edge is the cast-on edge.

This top bit does flop over when wearing it but the pull from the arms distributes the top edge well enough at the back of my neck to do the job that I want it to do.

If I make another one I might add straps to attach to the sides of the top curve (where I decreased by one stitch at the beginning of each row), so that these can be tied in a bow tie at the front of the throat.  That could look quite cute and would hold this curve in place a bit better too.