Sunday, 7 May 2017
I've been wanting to make a shirt dress for a while and I have several patterns in my stash, but I started with this one because it is relatively simple compared to some of the other I have. I decided to make the sleeveless version of this for several reasons. Firstly because it will be nice for the summer but also easy to slip a cardigan over if it is chilly, secondly because it would be quicker to make, thirdly due to the sleeves too tight issues I've had recently and lastly because I just prefer the look of this dress without sleeves.
With regards to size I ended up choosing the size 10 which is the size I'd used for Nancy and Heather. They'd both fit fine everywhere instead of the sleeves but I wasn't sure if that was due to a larger amount of ease included in those looser fitting patterns. This looked as if it might fit closer so I considered sizing up but ultimately stuck with the 10. I'm glad I did because I would even say that this is a shade too big. It certainly doesn't nip in at the waist as much as I would like so I need to have a look at the fit as a whole before I make another to see if I need to size down or whether to just bring the waist in a little.
This was a very quick and simple dress to make and I'm really pleased with how it looks, except for one tiny little error that I made very early on in the process. Can you see it?
Thursday, 4 May 2017
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The fabric is a sparkly jersey with a loopy pile on the other side, it's not quite as warm as what I'd traditionally think of a sweatshirting but it's kind of sweatshirty if you know what I mean. It's actually lovely and soft, sometimes glittery bits can make a fabric a bit scratchy, but this is not like that at all. The only really problem I had with it is that the loopy bits on the back do unravel a bit so my cutting table needed a good sweep when I was done.
This one fits much better, it is still close fitting but there is a bit of room in there to wear something underneath. Somehow I managed to cut the waistband on the cross grain meaning that it has very little stretch but this just make getting the sweater on and off a little more awkward than it should be! Other than that I'm really pleased with this and it will be a really nice cover up for spring to throw over dresses and higher waisted skirts for cooler days and evenings.
This was a really quick little project, I think I made both of these tops on successive afternoons and that includes assembling the PDF. So, great as both a wardrobe builder and also for when you need a quick win to get you back into the swing of sewing. It's definitely getting a little warmer here now and it's usually about now that I start to slow down the knitting and pick up the sewing a little more so it's been nice to dip my toe back in the water with a few quick little projects.
Sunday, 30 April 2017
We've not been having the best week here, the weather has been cold and grey and not at all like it should be. I'd been looking forward to Felicity going to preschool for longer morning sessions and having a bit more time to myself and then Cassie came down with chickenpox so I've had both of them home all week instead. It looks like Cassie should be back to school on Tuesday and then i just have to wait for Felicity to come down with it too. However, May is promising to be a super fun month so there is lots to look forward to.
Today is the first day of a long weekend, so there's no work or school on Monday which is super useful as it's both the beginning of Me Made May and the latest Boo Knits Mystery Knitalong, Just Be You
Me Made May was really fun for me last year and also very useful when looking at my handmade wardrobe as a whole. I didnt actually find it too difficult to wear an item of handmade clothing every day so I wondered whether to bother again this year as it will probably be even less challenging but I do think it is a useful excercise for identifying wardrobe gaps and focussing on what I need to be making so I went ahead and made this pledge for this year:
"I Hannah of hannahknitsstuff sign up as a participant of Me Made May 2017. I endeavour to wear at least one me made item each day, with no outfit repeats for the duration of May 2017. I will be awarding myself bonus points for kids/husband also wearing handmade clothes,"
This is similar to the pledge I made last year, although I didn't deliberately try not to repeat my outfits. Essentially I will be trying as far as possible to largely wear only clothes I've made myself there are some things I will never bother making, like little jersey tank tops that I wear under shirts a lot so I just stuck with pledging to wear at least one item. Last year i discovered that i didn't have enough warm weather clothing and I found things more difficult towards the end if the month as the weather warmed so I'm currently working on sleeveless dresses and tops just to be sure I'm not caught out the same way again this year.
The main even in May will however be the Boo Knits MKAL. It is entitled Just Be You and there are 6 clues released between 1st and 19th May, which sounds pretty full on but I prefer that to having to wait for days for the next clue when I've completed the previous one. The suggested yarn for this one is Lichtfaden Meridian and as a massive treat for myself I waded into a Sunday afternoon Etsy update and found this one of a kind skein in Violet Grey calling me very strongly.
It made its way from Germany in just under a week and I have to say that it did not disappoint me at all. The purple is just beautiful and the yarn is shiny and drapey and just glows. I honestly cannot wait to get this stuff on my needles!
Picking beads was a a bit more difficult. I ordered 2 different types of beads to try out. Czech etched beads in Crystal Vitrail Light
and Toho Tanzanite Lined Crystal
and at the same time I ordered these Czech Etched Crystal Chrome which I had intended for another project altogether
Of course once I got them on the yarn it was clear that the Etched Crystal Chrome were the ones for me so I had to order a load more as i didnt have enough! Stu disagreed with me and was all for the Tohos but I decided that his eyes must be broken and have entirely disregarded his input.
So I'm all ready to go, roll on May!
Thursday, 27 April 2017
As soon as I got the email from So Over It introducing the Nancy dress pattern I knew it was one of those patterns that I had to have. The dress isn't my usual type of thing bit for some reason it really appealed to me. I joined the Sew Over It PDF Club for a fiver and claimed this as my free pattern so I saved myself £2.50 on the pattern, well worth doing if one of their PDF only patterns is calling you.
I chose Version 2, which has a slightly lower neckline, entirely at random as I think both necklines are very nice. This dress has a lovely loose drapey shape, but is fitted through the bust and sleeves as well as the back which stops it being at all sack like or giving off maternity vibes. All the volume is added with the addition of side panels which are sewn in under the bust. I was initially concerned that the panels would be super fiddly to sew, but actually it was really simple and they slotted in with no trouble at all. With a patterned fabric like this you can't see that the panels are there at all, but the shape they give is really nice. They are off grain, however, so I left the dress to hang for a few days before hemming like a good girl. A total test of patience for me! I'm aware that these photos make it look like I did a terrible job of hemming this straight after all that, but it honestly doesn't look that bad in real life. I think that as I'm leant slightly over all of the fabric sort of pooled over on one side and make it look super lopsided. It really isn't though, unless of course I generally list to the other side as I go about my daily business!
There is no fastener in the back of this dress, save for a hook and eye. I made a right dogs dinner of sewing mine in and I really should do it again. Next time I'll stick in a ribbon loop and button or just use a snap. I really like the way it looks, the open back adding to the whole easy-breeziness of the dress.
Overall I don't have a lot more to say about this dress, I really like it, it is super comfortable and very quick and easy to make. Mostly I just love it for the way it billows around me as I sweep down the stairs! Like my Sew Over it Heather dress it is a little snug in the sleeves, but whether that's because I chose the wrong size or because I have disproportionately huge arms I don't know. It's perfectly wearable, just a little fitting niggle I need to work out for next time. The fabric is a black anchor print viscose I bought recently. I always keep a stock of viscose with fun prints on to hand because its one of my favourite things to wear and with summer coming expect to see a lot more floaty viscose dresses right here.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Just to mix things up a little I set aside the beads, took a break from lace and chose Kindred Spirit for my 6th shawl.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
More tiny knitting today! With a new baby brother cramping her style I figure my niece Alice deserved some new knitwear too. I've had Miss Daisy by Lisa Chemery on my to knit list for an age so I thought this was the perfect time to go for it.
I used DROPS Loves You 5 again for this, in a very memorable shade of green. Nothing like eye searing acid green to chase away all memories of rainbows!
I'll admit that knitting this did seem like a bit of a slog. The raglan section was really fast but then you pick up stitches all around and knit the shawl collar and lower back all together in the round. The rows seem pretty long at this point and then you double your stitches and they get even longer. It was pretty inevitable that whatever I knitted after doing a bunch of tiny baby clothes it was going to seem epic, but this probably wasn't the best choice. Once that bit was done the sleeves went super quickly and all in all this only took 5 days of fairly leisurely knitting, so I'm aware that it seemed to take longer than it did in reality.
With the ends all woven in, it was time to choose a button which is always a fun task for me. I was very surprised by how many colours look really good with acid green! I toyed with bright pink, turquoise, purple and white but in the end I picked one that matched perfectly instead. I felt that all the other colours looked fab but drew the eye too much and rather stole the show. I'd love to make a plainer cardigan in a similar shade and let the buttons be the stars but on this occasion it didn't feel right. The button I picked does have a nice little pattern on it, so it's not completely plain. It's also nice to use one of the random single buttons that I have in the stash because I so often need a whole set and the ones with no friends always get overlooked.
Overall I'm happy with this, I think it will be a while before I knit another because it felt like a whole lot of never-ending ribbing but it's a pretty cardigan and I would love to knit one for Felicity before she gets too much bigger. She'll want purple though, always purple!