Tuesday, 23 June 2015

OAL 2015 Outfit 1 complete!

From the ashes of original planned outfit I'm really pleased that Plan B has already produced an actual wearable outfit.  I present Miette with a pretty boring yet super useful Lady Skater in black jersey.

I won't go into too much detail about the dress today, I've already got versions 2 and 3 on the go so I'll do a separate post about the pattern in more detail when they are all done.

This black version was always supposed to be a test run of the pattern, but my sudden realisation that it would be a great match for Miette meant that I was a bit more invested in it than a normal test run.  Honestly it could have turned out a little better but it's pretty good for a first stab at a new pattern and the two garments together make a really great every day outfit.  I have made tweaks to the pattern for future dresses but this one is perfectly wearable and is lovely and comfortable as only a jersey dress can be.

In other OAL news I have got to the point of joining the underarms of my Vianne without having to rip back again at all.  Casting on 9 times for a single project was making me wonder if this cardigan was doomed but I'm hoping I've moved past all that now... of course now I'm knitting the fronts and back all together the potential for mistakes is much higher so I'm not counting my chickens yet!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

OAL 2015. Plan B.

Although I was a little disappointed that my first intended OAL outfit didn't work out I didn't despair for long.  Far from having no outfit, what I actually had was 50% of 2 outfits, I just needed to decide on what to pair with each of them.  Of course I wanted to avoid any more dud outfits so I thought a little bit  carefully about what would go together this time.

When working out my original pairing my only real focus was whether the yarn and the fabric would go together, I didn't really consider whether things like how the necklines would look together, which obviously turned out to be a mistake.  To avoid this again I put on my dress and tried it on with some cardigans out of my wardrobe and now I know that I will be much better off knitting a cardigan a v-neck.  As luck would have it the Vianne by Andi Satterlund that I had already started to knit has a v-neck.  I'm making it in this rather fetching/completely horrible (delete as applicable!) shade of yellow which I think will look pretty good with the pale blue chambray.  Progress on this cardigan had been slow due to the fact that I have now ripped in back 8 times.  8 times!  I'm sure that's some kind of record, I would usually have given up and started something else by now but I will be persevering because there is really no good reason why this keeps happening.  The pattern isn't difficult, I think it's just that with all the lacy bits it's not so easy to just fudge when I make a tiny mistake and during the early stages it's easier to just rip back and start again than fiddle about trying to fix it.

I was initially a bit stumped as to what I was going to sew to go with my Miette.  Because that lovely forest green is not a colour I really wear (until now, seriously, I loves it) I didn't have much in the way of fabric I thought matched it nicely.  So I put it on the back burner and got on with cutting out the bits for a Lady Skater with some plain black jersey.  Realising that my cardigan looked perfectly nice with a black vest top and jeans I figured that fate may have stepped in and provided me with an answer.  Once I'd sewn up the shoulders and added the neckband I popped the bodice onto Headless Hannah, did up the cardigan over the top and bingo!

Not bad eh?  So that's the plan!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

FO: Weldon's 9134

This dress was made with the intention of being the second element of my outfit for this year's Outfit Along. I really wanted this to be great so I was really good and made a muslin first, I was pretty confident it was going to turn out well...and you know what, it really did.
Because this is a vintage, one size pattern I wasn't sure whether it would be the right size, but I'm mostly happy with the fit. I had to remove nearly 4 inches from the length in order to not look like I'd borrowed this dress from a giraffe, but I'm short so this was hardly news. I do have some slight armhole gapeage, but frankly I'm not a perfectionist, it will do.
I did slightly change the order of construction, because I thought I knew better than the pattern. NEWSFLASH: I didn't. Or at least I did, but I didn't actually go and check the exact directions from the last time I did it that way and complications arose. I overcame, but lessons were learned!
The detail which really drew me to this dress was the curved bottom of the bodice, I love the way it rises at the front and dips at the back and has topstitching in order to highlight that. I spent ages thinking about which colour to use for my topstitching. I wanted it to be a detail, but I also didn't want to go too crazy. I was just on the verge of going with baby pink when I remembered a whole load of metallic thread I bought a while back for plying with my handspun. I used a shiny pink and doubled it with the blue thread I used to sew the rest of the dress, I think it's quite a nice effect.
So the dress is a success, but now for the bad news:
NOPE! These items do not an outfit make, or at least not one I'd happily wear in public so this particular combo will not be my entry for the OAL after all. Panic not, I have a plan...sort of...

Monday, 15 June 2015

FO: Miette

Element one of my first OAL outfit is done and I love it, hooray!

Obviously I got a head start on it by being stuck in a caravan in the rain for several days, but this was a really quick knit anyway. I would happily knit another, possibly omitting the eyelets for an even quicker, more mindless knit.

I'm really pleased with the way this fits, it looks nice buttoned and unbuttoned. The only thing I might fiddle with next time is sleeve length, these are a bit neither here nor there on me. I could also do with slightly moving the buttons because the lace on each side doesn't quite line up. I'm far too lazy to actually do that though so it won't happen unless any of the buttons fall off.

The yarn, as well as possibly being my new favourite colour, is actually really lovely considering it's only 80p a ball. That's not even a sale price either! I used 9 balls (although I barely broke into the 9th) so this cardigan cost all of £7 in yarn. Nice and soft and smooth and not too splitty and with a nice range of colours I'll be using it again for sure.

So that's that. OAL element two just needs hemming, but SPOILER ALERT there will be an element 2.5... More on that soon.

Blue Steel! WTF?

Pattern: Miette by Andi Satterlund

Yarn: DROPS Love You 5


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

What we did on our holidays

So we returned from our week away, one day earlier than planned, on Friday and almost all of us were very pleased to be back.  It turned out that my dire weather predictions were not far wrong and on the first few days and the last day we were treated to this view from our caravan.

Unfortunately I'd failed to realise that as well as being very rainy it would also be really cold and I completely failed at packing enough warm clothes.  Oops.  That left us all shivering in a caravan, with uncomfortable seating, teeny weeny beds, even smaller TV, no internet and a potty training toddler who kept weeing everywhere!  On the plus side I got loads of knitting done.  Look, my Miette is nearly finished.

When I completed the main body I tried it on and not only does it look like it should fit nicely (hoorah) I'm also completely in love with the colour on me.  It's not a colour I ever really wear, but I was like it and I'm pleased that it likes me too.

Because I don't like to moan too much I will admit that the mid week of our holiday was much better.  It stayed pretty chilly until Thursday but then we were treated to glorious sunshine so we headed off to the beach.

The girls had a lovely time, Felicity last went to the beach at 5 months old so it was really her first time and she looooved stomping about in the sand and popping out from behind little dunes.  They had so much fun that they both had a nap in the afternoon, which is pretty much unheard of.  My joy on that one was short lived when Cassie was still awake and jabbering at me at 11pm, but we won't dwell on that!  Anyways, we are all now much more appreciative of home and so we'll draw a line under that particular holiday experience.

Now we are home I have finally been able to cut into the fabric for the OAL and I'm just about to begin by stitching the darts.  I'm a little behind where I thought I'd be because on Sunday I finally admitted defeat and decided it was time to buy a laptop and I've spent most my time fiddling with that.  I've managed fairly well for the last 2 years with only my iPad, but we were having a load of issues with the memory card out of my new (to me) camera and I was really needing to add some more music to my iPod so I admitted defeat.  I'm really pleased with how much easier it is to have nice photos to share so I don't think I'll be regretting it any time long as it stops eating into my crafting time!

Friday, 5 June 2015

FO: Simplicity 2054

I recently gave you a little sneak peak of the pink version of this dress, but as I've now made two I thought it was time I wrote this post. I had actually hoped to have a third version of this dress completed, but I didn't manage to squeeze it in before we left for our holiday. I'll certainly be making it soon though, because I love this pattern.

There's nothing all that exciting about these dresses, but they are really comfortable, pretty neat and so easy to sew. Given the time I could quite happily knock one out from beginning to end in a couple of hours. I sewed most of the seams on my overlocker and did the neckband hems and set in the sleeves using a walking foot and twin needle on my sewing machine. I learned far too late that I really need to loosen the tension a little when twin needling and the hem on the stripy dress did pop when Felicity plopped herself down on to my lap this morning. It shouldn't take too long to fix though. I'm pretty pleased with the stripe matching on the strip one. I didn't get the sleeves quite right, but it looks ok. I've just bought a whole heap more stripy jersey so I'll have plenty of opportunity to practice!

This dress is a little shapeless, there is a lot of ease included at the waist but it's perfectly fine for slouching about in and of course I can always add a belt.

All in all, this is a lovely simple casual dress. Next on my knit dresses agenda is the Lady Skater, which I'm hoping will be another success story, but I'll be returning to this dress before too long. But for now I'm working on my OAL projects....more on that soon!


Monday, 1 June 2015

Outfit Along 2015

The 2015 Outfit Along begins today, so I thought I'd quickly outline my plans for the next couple of months. I'm sure there will be other project snuck in here and there but these are my outfitty type plans. Yes, I did say plans because I'm kind of hoping to squeak out two! We have until the end of July and I'm quietly optimistic that I can knit two cardigans in that time, especially as right now this minute I'm probably sat knitting in a caravan in Norfolk while all of the world's water falls out of the sky on to my holiday.
So, Outfit 1, which will definitely happen, consists of a dress and a cardigan. For the cardigan I'm using Andi Satterlund's Miette, mainly because I was planning on knitting this up soon and I already had the yarn. The yarn is Drops Loves You 5, which is ridonkulously cheap (80p a ball!) and perfect for a summer cardi. For the dress I'm using some lovely chambray to sew a vintage pattern that I got off eBay a little while back. Being a one size pattern I wasn't entirely sure how well it was going to fit, so I was a good girl and made a muslin. On the whole it fits pretty well, however I need to remove about 4 inches from the length. Now I'm the first person to admit that I will never be described as either tall or leggy, but I'm slightly terrified of meeting anybody on whom this would actually be above the knee! Attack of the 50ft woman! I'm still undecided on whether I'm going to add sleeves the sleeves on this or not, but as I won't be cutting out until I get back from my hols I've got some time to mull it over.
Outfit 2 is still not entirely set in stone. For my knitted piece I'm definitely going to be knitting the 'official' OAL pattern, Vianne again by Andi Satterlund. I really liked it as soon as I saw it and it will be nice to join in with the knitalong. I'll be using some Stylecraft Ethical Twist from my stash, probably in it's natural state, but I may consider dyeing it if I change my mind about fabric. I'm leaning towards either of these 2 patterns at the moment, but I reserve the right to change my mind at least 5 times before I cut into the fabric.
So them's my plans, stay tuned to see how I get on.