Monday 17 January 2022

Impromptu swimwear sewathon

I should have seen it coming, as I've sewn swimwear almost every summer, but this year it snuck up on me.

In the country over Christmas the kids were at the pool every day it became apparent A had only one pair of swimmers that fit. Between returning home on the 1st of Jan, and her flying up to the Queensland beaches with her granny on the 3rd, there would have to be some new swimwear created....

The pattern choice was immediate: She wanted the same as her "school swimmers": Jalie 3134

Previously she's always measured longer in the torso than her width, but I took some fresh measurements and that had all evened out, which is nice, cause figuring out where to add length is a bitch

So, two versions of this seemingly perfect racerback swimsuit (I really must try it for me), in straight size P, using her choices of fabrics from the stash were made in about a day and a half, between the necessary things like sleeping, and went off with her to the beach. Lucky kid.

Saturday 15 January 2022

12 months, two dresses

For Christmas 2020 I gifted my mum some fabric that I knew she'd like and the promise to make her whatever she wanted.

The first was easy; The red fabric should be a Gallery Dress

Ages ago I gave her this one that I'd made and she liked it enough that she wanted another just the same. Very straightforward. 

The fabric is a lovely midweight jacquard cotton/linen that feels like a heavy double gauze. I bought both fabrics from Potter & Co in Perth and was very pleased with them.

Having bought, and gifted 3m of each I did get to keep the remnants and so A has these shorts to match.

The second garment required a few months deliberation. My mum knew she wanted it to be a pull on dress, with sleeves, but not much more than that. We looked at various patterns and eventually I chopped  up some bedsheets and  made muslins of Butterick 6567, The Liesl + Co Cappuccino dress and the Style Arc Hope dress

None of them were right, although I'm tempted to make the Butterick one for myself (and am I the only person to have sewn a Hope dress and not liked it?). And so I set to the task of turning the block of the Gallery dress into something with the visual appearance of the cappuccino dress.

There's a blog post over at Oliver + S where I show, roughly, how to do just that. Here's the link

A full twelve months later it was nice to see the dresses on my mum.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Trophy Hare

Ever since I made the trophy head swan, A and I were in agreement that there should be more trophy head animals in her room.

We agreed that the next one should be the hare, and I couldn't love it more!


The wool is a really lovely, and very reasonably priced alpaca. It had just the right amount of fuzz to give the hare a bit of a furry look.

it's Cloudborn Alpaca worsted, from LoveCrafts I think. The pattern is from Vanessa Mooncie's book: Trophy Heads to Crochet

The eyes were done by blending some strands of embroidery floss in gold and brown together, and then the whiskers are the same heavy duty fishing line used way back here for my mice.

As well as the backing plate, the ears have some curved mount board in them to keep their shape. I was really happy with the hook size and yarn for this project as it has good density, unlike the recent lobster where the stitches are a bit too open.

I can see myself making more of these as I love pretty much every pattern in the book! Maybe a fox next?

Saturday 8 January 2022

Catching up on 2021

Once upon a time, back when I was a more diligent blog updater, I would have had my little mosaic images of everything I'd made in the preceding year ready by now.

Now I just have a backlog of little projects that I do want to document before I forget them altogether. Maybe I'll start with a post about those items that were Christmas gifts:

First up, I stencilled another T-shirt for my nephew. 

I don't expect anyone recalls all my various stencilled T-shirts, but the penguin has been done before: Back in 2018 I made T-shirts for his band: The Flying Penguins (blog post here)

My brother and his family have spent the last year in Australia, so my nephew's band have been separated, with the only other band member still being in Germany! I figured a memento of his solo tour down under might be alright, although, like many of us, it might be a year he'd rather not remember.

I borrowed the x-ray light box from work and hand cut the stencil using freezer paper. I just wish I'd thought to place it a bit higher up. It's easy to forget, when you just have the T-shirt front pattern piece in your hands, how high up an emblem or image should be to look right. 

The pattern is the Jalie 3669 Nico in size P (12 years) using stashed cotton lycra fabric.

For my sister in law I decided I would gift her the raw ingredients and a pledge to work like a fiend and create her Christmas gift in front of her eyes over the following week. - That's a neat way of saying, I've run out of time but now I'm on holidays...

I bought 2 skeins of the beautiful brunt terracotta coloured Aran weight merino from Fibresmith, along with one skein of the fine mohair. They came in the nice Cloud Mountain Cowl gift bag, so I scored that pattern and the stitch markers and then popped the yarn back in the bag with a picture of the cowl pattern that I knew I could crochet in a week.

I'd made the cowl pattern before for myself: here and since the whole purpose of this blog is to make notes of yardage and pattern sizes, you'd think I might have thought to look back at it. But no.

I merrily set off crocheting, and by the time I'd finished the first skein of merino it was clear that two skeins wasn't going to be long enough. Now I check my blogpost and realise I'd used 3 full skeins for my version. I ripped it all back and started over with 70% of the width as my starting chain. Thank goodness you really can make this stuff up!

The last thing I made as a surprise was a shirt for A. Years ago I turned an old shirt of mine into a little check shirt for P (he needed a check shirt for his prep grade school concert. I think he was a duck, but a country duck, so a check shirt was appropriate ?!).

After he'd outgrown that shirt it was loved by A who wore it in a much more '90s grunge way. And ever since she outgrew it she's been asking for one just like it. Every time I saw a blue check fabric online I'd show her but it was never right. It had be blue only, no other colours and it had to have the same short of plaid, and the same sort of feel as that old shirt.

I stumbled on a really nice feeling yarn-dyed linen at Rathdowne fabrics and snapped it up. Without letting her know what I was up to I had her try on P's Ottobre black shirt but she decided it was too big, and the sleeves too long (well of course!). So I went ahead with the Oliver + S Button Down shirt in straight size 12. It's the shirt of her dreams, only it doesn't quite fit (grrr). The sleeves and armscye are a bit tight. I'll see how much room there is to let the seams out to the overlocked edges.

Meanwhile, I made her a pair of shorts that fit perfectly, and a gorgeous dress that we collaborated on and did multiple muslins to get just right. Hopefully I'll bribe her for some modelled photos soon.