Friday, 1 June 2018

Me-made May 2018 final few days and round-up

So the me-made May challenge is over for this year.  Firstly, here's what I wore for the final three days

Day 29 - purple bricks dress and an rtw cardigan

Day 30 - Sew Over It Betty dress and rtw cardigan

And finally day 31 - a Sewaholic Cambie dress and rtw cardigan

Referring back to my planning post, I haven't completed the first item on the list, my pink dress.  This is because when I got it out, I found I hadn't actually cut out all the pieces - I thought I had at least done that much last summer, but no.  So no progress made on that dress at all.  One to carry forward, because I really do want to get it finished so I can wear it!

I did go through my mending/alterations box and found that, with the exception of the Anna dress which just needed a bit of top-stitching round the neckline, everything else needed a lot more attention - skirts to take in which have shaped waistbands, and button closures, so will take some time to do - the jury's still out on whether I can be bothered to do these... a couple of dresses which I love and have started to alter, but again neither is particularly straightforward - which is no doubt why I haven't finished altering them!  So, still a work-in-progress, or more accurately, not.

There was success on the sewing front though, I did make two dresses - yay!

I only finished one cardigan, the second one still needs button bands, neckband and sleeves and I've lost the impetus to keep knitting it.

It's knitted with quite 'woolly' wool, and with the temperature hotting up I'm just not feeling the urge to finish it right now.  It'll definitely get done, just not yet.

I did do the daily photos on instagram though, and here they all are!

And that's it for another year!

Thursday, 31 May 2018

#OAL 2018

Hot on the heels of me-made May, I have signed up for this outfit-a-long challenge again this year, and I'll be making the v-necked cardigan on the left (although possibly not with patterned sleeves, I'm still undecided on whether to do them per the pattern, or just stocking stitch)

and at least one, and preferably two, dresses from this selection of fabrics.

When I was going through my fabric stash for me-made May I spent some time matching up stashed yarns with the fabrics and this particular one - Madelinetosh Sock in Pop Rocks - was a good match for these and that's what decided me on choosing to knit with it (as well as the fact that it's a summery colour, I'm not going to be knitting with thick or dark coloured wool in June and July).

So... wish me luck to get one cardigan and two dresses made in two months - it should be possible!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Penelope cardigan

I don't remember where I came across this cardigan pattern, but as soon as I did, I knew I wanted to knit it.

As it turned out I made quite a few changes from the pattern, the most obvious of which I suppose is that I ran the pattern up the front next to the button band, not in a straight line.  I also changed the pattern.  The smocking part is the same, but I changed the eyelet columns to be stocking stitch, not reverse stocking stitch.  Actually, I did that for the whole cardigan - the pattern as written has reverse stocking stitch for the right side and I prefer that to be the wrong side.  I also didn't do any patterning on the back or the sleeves, they're just plain stocking stitch.

In terms of construction, I knitted the body in one piece up to the armholes, then did fake side seams and split for the fronts and back.  The shoulders are done with short rows and seamed, and the button band was picked up and knitted on.  I don't know why I did it in 1 x 1 rib when the waist and cuffs are 2 x 2, suffice to say that I didn't notice until I was half way down the first sleeve and had already made the buttonholes (one-row 2-stitch) and sewn the buttons on.  I wasn't going to undo all that.  The sleeves are picked up round the armholes and shaped with short rows and knitted top down.

I used Malabrigo sock yarn in the Water Green colourway to knit this, and I have no idea where the buttons came from (they were in my stash but I can't remember where I bought them).  I'm really pleased with it, even though it doesn't really look much like the pattern photo!

Me-made May week 4 round-up

I spent most of this week in Paris - I'd checked the weather forecast and packed accordingly, and the weather gods didn't let me down - there was a lot of warmth and sunshine which was very much needed after the interminably long, dull and cold spring we've had here in England this year.

Day 22 - off to Paris wearing a Sewaholic Cambie made with Liberty Tana Lawn in the Paper Roses print, and rtw cardigan

Day 23 - le tour Eiffel dress no 1, no cardigan necesary

Day 24 - Springtime dress and lightweight wool cardigan (which really wasn't necessary except in heavily air-conned shops)

Day 25 - Tulips in Paris dress, no cardigan necessary, it was a gloriously warm day

Day 26 - Flamingolex dress and short-sleeved rtw cardigan (didn't get much wear)

Day 27 - One of my By Hand London Anna dresses and an rtw cardigan - again, the cardigan was really only necessary on the Eurostar and train home

Day 28 - St Ives dress and rtw cardigan for doing the food shopping in an air-conned supermarket

I am so pleased the day turned out to be warm, it didn't look very promising to start with, but I hung out the washing anyway and it was all dry by mid-afternoon, so, pretty good weather for a bank holiday!

Le tour Eiffel dress no 1

The second of my me-made May pledge dresses, this is the same pattern combo as the Tulips and St Ives dresses and, apart from the time it took to cut out, came together very quickly.  I really like this bodice/skirt combo, it's quick to sew up and doesn't take long to iron.  Much as I love big, pleated and circle skirts on dresses, this is an ideal work-wardrobe shape because of the quickness of the ironing!

This is another stashbusting dress which I wanted to get made in time to take with me to Paris and I got it finished with a couple of days to spare.  I had several people comment on it as I was wandering around - the sweetest one was a little girl, about 3 years old, who tugged at her mother's hand "maman, maman, regarde cette robe" with a big smile on her face.  I was very pleased to have got it made up!

This took more metreage than the Tulips dress because the fabric isn't as wide, and I think the next dress I make will be from a smaller print which I won't need to faff about with pattern matching...

I love the graphic of this design and have this fabric in two other colourways (hence this being no 1), which I hope won't take me as long to get made up as this did (I've had it for at least a couple of years I think).  Although I think I'll probably use a different pattern.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Tulips in Paris

This is the first of my me-made May pledge dresses which I made a couple of weekends ago.  I've had this fabric in my stash for a while and I wanted to get it made up and get some wear out of it before tulips are out of season for another year!

It's a mash up of the bodice from Butterick 5748 and the straight skirt from New Look 6824 and is the same bodice/skirt combo I used for the St Ives dress I made last summer.  The fabric was 58" wide and I only had 1.6m of it, I think it was an end of roll remnant, but that was enough fortunately.

The dress gets its name because I made it to take to Paris and the song 'Tulips in Amsterdam' kept going through my head as I was making it.

Stitchcraft summer top

I started knitting this in October last year as part of a knit-a-long which had an extended finish date of 31 December 2017.  Plenty of time to knit a short sleeved top I thought.  Well... by the time I'd done several swatches to see which would be the best size needles to use, the weather was getting pretty cold and I lost the impetus to finish something that I wouldn't wear for months.  Plus I had other, more seasonally appropriate, knitting to get done!
Pattern from the July 1938 issue of Stitchcraft

And so it languished for several months.  However as the days lengthened (sadly without the weather getting warmer) I decided I'd really like to get it finished, because I love the design and I knew it wouldn't take too long - the pattern is really easy once you get into the rythym of it.  Plus of course short sleeves don't take long to knit.

I didn't do the collar because I didn't want that much wool round my neck in a lightweight top, so I altered the shaping of the neckline slightly and did a picked up 1 x 1 rib neckband.  Another change I made was to knit short row shoulders.

The flipside of the knitting not taking very long when it's in pieces is the time it takes to sew it up.  I can't remember now how long it took, but certainly a few hours.

I used Dream in Color Baby wool, which is sadly discontinued now as I would happily knit another of these tops with the same wool but different colours.  I've probably got something else suitable in my stash though if I'm honest...