Wednesday, 22 June 2016

HOOKED, WORKED, SEWN: THE CRAFTING OF A GIFT

This was truly a labour of love.


A crafty undertaking of the gift variety.


A sneaky way to share a new addiction with a friend.


To pass on my very recent addiction to crocheting, which was patiently passed onto me by Leah of the blog Miss Pippilotta.


Because who wouldn't want to give a maker friend yet another craft to become absorbed by?


I present to you The Crochet Roll!


This is a project I found and then adapted to my own specs from Creative Makers: Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia. I did forget to take a snap  of the book before returning it to my local library. Whoops!

I actually really rate this book. I made a potholder of Becky Home-eccy epicness and I'm in the process of going apple cozy crazy. I reckon any book where you actually make more than one of the patterns is a good investment. Or simply borrow it from your local library like I did.

I loved this crochet roll from the get-go. I was attracted to the mix of crochet, linen and leather. It spoke to my raveling/leatherworking/sewing proclivities.


But like every crochet project I've undertaken to date I didn't imagine crafting it for myself, but for my dear friend Anna. Anna has one of the kindest, most open hearts I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I wanted to thank her for her friendship and generosity in a personal way. This crochet roll is not just a gift of tools but a promise to teach her the craft (in my newbie, make it up as I go along way) the next time we meet.


What you see here above my friends is the outer of the crochet roll. It's a little Tunisian/Afghan crochet. Take a goooooood long look because you ain't gonna see anymore Tunisian crochet on this blog anytime this century. Oh my dear lord, the pain! The jaw clenching completion of each row (which is actually across and back) with my hands screaming. I aimed to complete only five rows at each sitting - that's all I had in me. Maybe I'm just not tough enough, but I can do any other type of "traditional" crochet or knitting for hours on end with no ill effect.


Speaking of generosity, this stunning linen/cotton inner fabric was gifted to me by the lovely Anna herself, soon after I started the outer. When it arrived I knew immediately it was a perfect tonal match for the yarn so it was absolutely meant to be.

That dodgy, crocheted, granny square type thingy on the inside? Well that was a very early attempt at working with 4ply cotton yarn before I actually had the right sized hook. So it's super loose and kinda amateurish, but it's the thought that counts right??

I adjusted the dimensions of the roll to fit my finished piece of Tunisian crochet and fastened the lot with a buttery strap of luscious leather I just happened to have lying around.


And then I lovingly wrapped it and posted it on its way with a promise for crochet lessons next time we meet. From one maker to another, and more importantly, from one dear friend to another.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

SEWN: THE TILT TOP

Did you feel it too?


A slight change in the atmosphere, a tilting of the earth's axis?


No? Just me?

Keepin' it real with my grey roots
Quite the turn up this top is. Those who know me, know my dislike of sewing knit fabrics and my bewilderment towards the hype around ponte in particular.


I've had trouble getting the resurgence in the popularity of sewing with ponte. Ponte is just so... old lady. Yep, I said it. It reminds me of old lady pants (crimplene anyone?) and could not feel more... synthetic-y. Shudder.

And reports seem to suggest it can pill like a crazy thing. Why is this fabric so appealing?

Ok, so it behaves nicely for a knit. Whilst my machine made an awful loud punching sound every single stitch (what is with that?), it fed smoothly with no distortion and no skipped stitches (once I worked out ponte hates ballpoint needles and loves a universal).


So, why my change of heart? I saw this gorgeous fabric on the clearance table at Spotlight. I think it cost me all of about $5 for a 1.3m piece, all that was left on the bolt. I knew it was ponte, but I was drawn to its yummy dark eggplant hue and its spongey thickness. I think this is quite a heavy ponte, by ponte standards. It reminds me a little of scuba knit (which I used here).

And I thought what the heck, if I hate what I make with it, it won't make me cry. And what do you know? I LOOOOOOOOOVE this top!!!


This is Square Top, No. 11 from She Wears the Plants by Yuko Takada.


I've coveted this weird top for some time. But... knit fabrics.

Kirsty and Kate have made gorgeous versions and I knew as soon as I brought this fabric home that it had found its pattern mate.


It's actually designed to be worn two ways and those buttons are meant to be functional. I, however, have no intention of wearing a weird shrug thingy with even weirder empty sleeves just hanging there so I sewed through the overlap to permanently affix my buttons. 


I don't work with plain dyed fabrics very often, preferring bright and generally loud prints. I was feeling a bit hmmmmmm about the top until I figured out the button situation. I actually bought a set of teal green buttons to use along the shoulders at the same time as a dodgy little packet of buttons I planned to use for another project. Guess which ones won? No two buttons are alike, but are the same colours - all jade buttons are the same jade and all orange ones are the same shade of orange, but the actual designs are different. Just the perfect amount of quirk to send a ho-hum make into woooooooohooooooooo territory.

Me checking if the world's axis really had tilted
It's the simple things, right?

And this is why I love sewing. I get to have clothes I just couldn't find in a shop. Clothes that are utterly me. Clothes that if they were in a shop would be in those frighteningly trendy cool kid stores I'd never enter. Or so expensive as to be prohibitive. Hello sub-$10 top.


And I get to wear them with my quirky shoes. A match made in heaven...


I knew you wanted to see them, because all sewists are shoe lovers too, right? Mimco, several seasons old. My pixie shoes.


Are we sure the earth's axis didn't tilt??

Friday, 20 May 2016

SEWN: THE NON-CLASSIC SHIRT

Nothing like a snappy project title, hey? I got nothing, sorry.


This is about as close to a classic shirt as I get. I did have intentions of making a button down shirt, with cuffs, and tower plackets, and a collar stand... and then I slapped myself. Who am I kidding? I just knew I wouldn't wear it.


I love them on others, but feel ridiculous in them myself. I don't know why, but perhaps I'm just not "classic".


But it does have a collar! If only a camp collar with no collar stand.


I love the colours in this mid-heavy weight cotton canvas. Tones of blue, grey, teal and even taupe.


It might be an upholstery fabric... just sayin'. It was in the clearance section of the furnishing fabrics, but it felt lovely and soft on the bolt. Disappointingly it went kind of stiff after pre-washing. Weird...


But it does give the shirt some body which you all know I'm very fond of.

This is my version of Pattern J from this book...


So sorry people, it's not translated and my translator app clearly isn't feeling friendly because what is gave me when trying to translate the text on the front cover was nonsense. If anyone can help with the translation that'd be ace! I've taken to calling it "The book with 3 girls on the front". Very inventive, I know. In fact, this shirt is that one, there on the left of the cover shot.

There are some lovely style lines to this, with an absence of side seams created by the 4 panel construction - front, back and two side panels. The vertical seams are topstitched and I like how it helps to create structure. My fabric is very busy so it hard to see...


And that kooky pocket is right up my alley. Interestingly shaped and with an opening on the side, not top. So it's um..... pretty useless. But pretty!

The facing edges are all turned under and topstitched down making the insides quite lovely and with no annoying facings flapping around. My pet hate.


I made a straight size 7-9 and it fits me beautifully. I did end up sewing a 1cm single fold hem instead of the drafted double fold as it was going to be a little short for my taste. I'm happy with where it ended up, especially as I've been rather into longer tunics over jeans and this offers a slightly different look. I do find the neck slit to be very low cut. I always intended on wearing it over a tank, but I really have no choice. Next time I might bring it up a little.


Seriously, I am very lucky that, on the whole, Japanese patterns seem to be drafted just for me. I'm addicted and find I now reach only for my extensive Japanese pattern book collection anytime I want to make something.


Let's address the elephant in the room shall we? I was sick of the sight of myself, so brought out the GHD. I forgot what I looked like with straight hair and how long it really is. I'm going to enjoy it for the 5 minutes it lasts before the vaguest humidity sends it into a frizzy horrid mess. Yeeha!

And finally, that last shot shows why I never smile fully in blog shots. I look like a complete doofus...