My Hiro.

12 Apr

As mentioned in my Hollywood Sew Along- part 2 post, I usually see things I like and then make a direct copy of them. With Ravelry, this is now getting worse. If I see a pattern I like I usually just make it in the colour it’s shown in. I’m trying hard to pick other colours but most of what’s drawn me to the pattern is how it looks in that colour so…

Anyway, before I knew Ravelry existed I found a pin of the most gorgeous jumper- beautiful colour work and the colours worked really well together. Somehow I wanted to make something like that but I put it aside to get some experience in knitting jumpers in the first place before I decided to go and make my own pattern.

Then I found the pattern on Ravelry! And better yet, it came in a cardigan version too!

I added it to my ever-growing list of items to make and quickly worked my way through to get there. It was so much fun to knit!

 

As you can see there’s a lot of solid navy which usually I would moan about knitting- I didn’t even moan about the sleeves this time! It’s all done in DK but it knit up surprisingly quickly. I finished this cardigan in 13 days.

13 DAYS!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the colour work at the top and I even perfected my kitchener stitch to graft those armholes.

 

I’m kind of pissed with it though- it just kind of hangs there, there’s no shape to it. I don’t get what happened- there was shaping in the pattern.

What you see here is a modified version- it was much worse than this. I wish I’d taken a photo so you could see, but I added some darts to try and create some shape. Literal darts, like you would do with fabric: two fisheye ones in the back and regular ones in the sides. They’re really bulky but I’m too chicken to steek!

Here’s the inside: admire the colour work and then mock the darts.

I think what I’ve learned form my last two knitting projects are:

1) Don’t use acrylic yarn

Honestly, I’m not a yarn snob and I didn’t care whether my yarn was wool or not but wool blocks so you can create shape better. It also seems to meld together to make one ‘fabric’ but acrylic seems to leave little holes next to the increases and just does its own thing which is difficult to control.

2) I don’t think bottom up, yoked sweaters are for me. As I mentioned with my Owl jumper, the yoke just draws attention to an already quite prominent area and I feel like the rest of the cardigan is hanging off the yoke instead of working together.

 

One day I may remake this, in wool yarn and do some extra shaping around the waist to compensate for the coat hanger-yness of the yoke and my proportionately small waist but right now I’m going to stick with what I know and like- top down patterns! (Specficially Andi Satterlund’s! Any guesses on what I’m working on at the minute?!)

Hollywood Sew Along- Part 2.

7 Apr

How are everyone’s sew along plans coming on? Just over 1 month left to get those beautiful vintage garments constructed, photographed and blogged about if you have a blog. For me, 1 month has come way too quickly!

I left Part 1 with this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.23.03

I’m happy to say I have moved on and construction has begun, but I can’t show you that yet ;)

I’m pretty much going with the dress in the middle, the one Allie wore. I find it hard to get inspiration from things- more like I see something and then just make a replica. Copyright issues? Maybe…

I am differing slightly though as this is the pattern I’m using:

 

A wrap dress!

To add to my current love affair  I’m using a lovely purple silk-backed crepe. It’s a really deep, rich aubergine (eggplant for you folks over the pond!) and it feels all drapey and yum!

I won’t show you yet though- I can’t reveal everything can I?!

Do let us know what you’ve been up to- if you’ve decided on anything yet or even if you thought it was a good idea to join the sew along at first but now you’re panicking:

“One month to choose and make a garment?! Eeek!”

 

Go see what the others are up to and calm your nerves!:

Freya at The Dressmaking Diaries

Amy at SewsnBows

Charlie at This Blog is Not for You

Hannah at Made With Hugs and Kisses

Biggest project yet- eek!

4 Apr

My sister is 16 and has her prom coming up in June or July (I really need to find out!) and we’ve been out a few times to try on dresses etc but prom dresses are expensive!! She trains for swimming like 5 times a week so she doesn’t have time for a part-time job and really she’s struggling to find the money to buy one.

I politely offered to make her one, not really knowing what she had in mind, to which she accepted.

After talking with her it turns out this is what she wants:

 

EEEEEEEEEEEEK!

That’s a lot of beading. And I’ve never worked with side cut outs before so this is going to be a challenge!

The fabric arrived this morning, which I’m just washing and then I’ll be getting started. I’m making the main body of the fabric in a lovely wine chiffon lined with wine ‘silk’ (not real silk, she is on a budget!)

I’ve taken out the idea of a side zip now, I think in favour of fastenings (I’m thinking hook and eye) at the shoulder or a hook and eye system at the side, but I’m wondering if she might be able to slip into it without any fastening since the back is so open. I think I’ve figured out the rest of the construction in my head, it’s just the doing-up part I’m not sure about. Any suggestions? And well wishes- I definitely need those!

Baby project

28 Mar

No, don’t get ahead of yourselves, it’s not what you think. I am definitely not giving up my crafting evenings to a poop machine.

But apparently someone else is, so her Godmother, whom I happen to work with, asked me if I would knit her some cardigans she could give as a present.

Usually I’m not in the habit of taking on knitting projects for others. Sewing is a much quicker process so I don’t mind those so much (though I still accept most of them begrudgingly!) but knitting… that takes a lot of love and effort and much more time than sewing does so I usually laugh it off and hope they never mention it again.

However, I had seen some really cute baby patterns, plus they’re tiny so they wouldn’t take long to knit so I agreed. Sadly, her Goddaughter isn’t so into the girly girly so I had to tone it down and reluctantly put down the perfect white rabbit buttons I’d found but I think they’re still pretty cute.

The first one she picked is a hoodie/cardigan

 

This was a free pattern from Bernat which was knit in pieces and then seamed. I made a massive cock up at first and read all the pattern sizes as cm instead of inches (I swear, I checked them like 20 times!) and when I pinned it together I wasn’t sure. I mean I don’t have children so I don’t know how big babies are but this thing wouldn’t even fit a doll so I assumed it was wrong. So I basically started again and it was a pretty quick knit.

However, since the ends aren’t in a true rib (they look slightly ribbed because they’re knit on a smaller needle) it kept rolling up which was pissing me off no end. I tried blocking it, even though it’s acrylic, and boy did that take some pins!

As that made no difference whatsoever I then crocheted the edges for a bit more stability. It worked on the arms but nothing else so I moved on to plan C.

I stabilised the bottom, hood and button bands with some bias binding and then decided to go the whole hog and bind all the seams, even the armholes!

That was a good few hours of hand stitching but I do think it was worth it.

The second one didn’t require nearly as much work and was a joy to knit.

The reason it was so lovely to knit was down to the construction.It has raglan sleeves which are provisionally knitted along with the top of the cardigan, with some clever increasing that leaves that lovely pattern, and then the stitches are put on hold whilst you finish the body and picked up afterwards to finish off the sleeve. I’m sure many of you have come across this before but it’s the first time I’ve knit this type of construction and it really makes the second sleeve syndrome much easier to deal with. I’m definitely going to be looking out for more of this type of pattern for my own cardigans- I really love the look of the increasing along the sleeve.

The pattern was well-written too and worth the couple of quid I spent on it.

(Also, I promise the button band isn’t wonky- I was just about to give them away when I remembered I hadn’t taken photos so had to do it quickly!)

The recipient seemed really pleased with them and to be honest I am too. It took me about 6 weeks to do both (and I finished one of my own cardigans in between!) -really quick knits. Maybe I should get on with the baby-making…!

Owl never make this again.

16 Mar

Have you ever been really excited by making something, eager to finish it and then show it off to everyone only to be let down by the fact it looks absolutely terrible?

Guys, this happened to me and I kind of want to cry as well as drop-kick the offending item into oblivion.

Kate Davies’ Owls jumper is cropping up all over the inter webs. According to my Ravelry Notes I started this in April 2013 but you know how it goes with me and second sleeves so I put it away for a while. Seeing everyone else’s made me pick it back up and I powered on through to get it finished.

Except it looks awful. Look:

I think I just have too much boobage to pull something like this off. All of the attention is drawn there because of the yoke detail but the detail is kind of distorted by the boobs. Ignoring the stupid wind face here, look how much worse it looks from the side:

I’m also really pissed at the sleeves. You guys know I hate knitting them so I decided to make these 3/4 length. Only you wouldn’t know that! I put them on to measure them as I went and stopped when they reached my armpit, just as the pattern says, and yet when I’ve got it on now the sleeves sit longer than that, and yet not a full-length sleeve so now they’re a stupid weird length.

And then there’s the fact that bottom-up construction is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever encountered. It is so difficult to knit the sleeves and body all in one go and also it leaves a hole! A great big gaping hole that you’re supposed to close up afterwards. What is that about?!

Anyway, none of this is the pattern’s fault. The pattern is actually quite straight-forward to follow, this is just down to stupid body shape and poor yarn choice. I can’t quite remember what I used but I think it was Sirdar Hayfield or something and it’s just too stiff and it doesn’t meld together. There are holes around the back and arm shaping which look awful.

The owls look awesome and my friend really likes it. I’m tempted to give it to her but I don’t know if I could give her something I’m not completely happy with.

Kelly the First

7 Mar

It’s skirts, skirts, skirts here at Makesphere towers. I’ve gone from wearing them maybe once a year to wearing them almost interchangeably with my dresses. Granted, they don’t suit me as much as dresses, but it does give me the chance to wear tops that for some reason I kept buying but had no reason to wear.

So here’s the third instalment of skirt central, my first Kelly!

Yup, I’m pre-empting again. I’ve got at least 2 more Kellys planned but they are going to require some work.

Pleats are supposed to be my friend. For my huge arse, pleats are a godsend because they allow me to still have a small waist and yet there’s enough fabric to cover said buttocks. These pleats are not my friend.

It’s kind of difficult to tell because the skirt’s black but the skirt is pulling, or rather I should say my bum is pushing its way out through the skirt and the pleats aren’t sitting very well at all.

I did add a bit of extra fabric to make the pleats slightly bigger to accommodate for this but obviously not enough so for like the first time ever I might actually have to make a… *gasp* muslin?

I mean I’m OK with the skirt. Like I said it’s black so it’s difficult to tell and people probably won’t notice anyway. But for my next two versions, this won’t fly at all.

Back on the positives though, I’m pretty happy with the pockets!

And, these were my FIRST EVER BUTTONHOLES!

I’m really quite pleased with them, I even Instagrammed this picture of them

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 10.49.05

(Please note that the second buttonhole has a chalk marking next to it, it’s just as good as the first really!)

The buttons I used are the ones I bought as a substitute for Hetty until I realised that they just weren’t as good as the ones I had. Luckily for me though, Hetty requires 7 buttons and so does Kelly. Poifec!

I used a black rayon/linen blend from Minerva for this version. It was quite easy to work with in terms of slippage but man does it shed. Black strands everywhere!  I seem to have made a habit of linen skirts lately, having never worked with linen or made a skirt prior to my first Miette! My next two versions are also going to be fabrics I’ve never worked with before but no more linen!

Speaking of which, what can you do with linen remnants? I have a bit of blue left from my first Miette, a bit of red from my second and now some black left from this Kelly. They vary in size but the blue one is close to a metre I’d say. Any suggestions?

Hollywood Sew Along- Part 1.

3 Mar

You guys, I’m participating in my first sew-along! (and you should too! See at the end for details.)

The lovely Freya from The Dressmaking Diaries emailed me a while back to see if I was interested in a vintage dress challenge. Well, yeah, obvs!

The inspiration was going to come from a film…The Notebook.

Ah, here was a blow. I’d never seen The Notebook, nor was I particularly interested in doing so. I’m not one for lovey-dovey films really, but having looked at some stills from the film where Rachel McAdams wears some beautiful clothes I decided to give up 2 hours of my time to it.

Anyway, I screen-shotted a load of stuff throughout the film (and then found much better quality photos online so what a waste of time) and created a Pinterest board!

So the challenge is to create something inspired by the film, no other rules. This has made it really hard for me to decide what to do so initially my Pinterest board looked like this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.09.40

So that’s pretty much everything.

I’ve finally managed to pin some relevant stuff and narrowed down my choices a little.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 10.23.03

Of course Lauren’s wrap dress made it on there. I’m not ashamed to admit I have a bit of a girl crush on her and love everything she makes, this being one of my favourites. The top right dress I’ve been in love with for some time too and I’ve always admired a coat dress. This, it seems, was the obvious choice for me.

I’m still not sure exactly what I’m going for yet, but it’ll be centred around that purple dress that she wears for all of 2 minutes of the film.

Speaking of which- the iconic blue dress- she wears that thing on the first day in the pouring rain, then wears it for a subsequent 2 days. On that third day when she returns to him it’s a wonder he took her back, even if she is his true love, what a skank!

So that’s where I’m at at the minute. Go check out the other bloggers who are participating! I’m sure they’ve come up with something awesome.

Freya at The Dressmaking Diaries

Amy at SewsnBows

Charlie at This Blog is Not for You

Hannah at Made With Hugs and Kisses

Now we’re getting this party started but we’d love it if you guys would participate too! This one’s super easy- there’s no specific pattern to follow and the deadline is ages away which is awesome. It’s totally open to interpretation! The first post is today, there will be a second on April 7th containing fabric ideas, patterns etc and then the big date you all need to know about is May 5th.

Do let us know if you plan on joining in and please, please, please! leave links to relevant blog posts/pictures in the comments section, I’d love to see what everyone’s made! Here’s a button if you’d like to grab it for your blog:

Notebook Button 150

 

Look forward to seeing what you all do very soon :D

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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