Sydney is in the midst of a spate of really hot Spring weather, and something’s triggered a terrible allergy attack. I spent most of the long weekend lying on the couch moaning. Amazingly, I did manage to get some sewing done in spite of my streaming eyes and nose, mostly because I’d wisely booked in some friends to come over for a “crafternoon.” Behold the Lark Tee. Yes, it’s a v-neck t-shirt. I put in a lot more time, effort, and money than I would have to simply buy a similar shirt from Target. But dammit, I made it! And it’s not too bad. The fabric is some beautiful teal jersey I bought at The Fabric Store a while back, and I spent a long time hand-basting a line down a single rib so I could make sure I wasn’t cutting off-grain. (That’s why cheaply made shirts tend to twist on you.) The cutting took a lot longer than the actual sewing, to be honest. I stitched most of it together on my overlocker, only using my normal machine for the neckline and hems. Many thanks to Donna for her advice and moral support on the day–though it didn’t help that she was wearing her own (much nicer) version!
Tag: sewing (page 2 of 8)
This past Thursday and Friday, Canva held its first ever Hackathon. At first I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do for it. (I work with some really brilliant engineers, and my coding skills aren’t great.) But the sign-up sheet came out and it was clear that non-coding projects were encouraged. Then the organiser Chris Doble (jokingly?) suggested that “someone” could create cushions with commas on them. A-HA!
So I knew immediately what I would do: I’d sew up a cushion with the Canva logo and three commas, and then I’d use my LilyPad Arduino to make the commas light up. The end result turned out pretty spectacular. Read on if you want to hear how I did it.
I wanted to make a special present for my niece Cali, so I thought that I’d whip up a “Little My” softie. Little My is from the Moomin books, and she’s Cali’s favourite character. (I know because I sent her this Uniqlo t-shirt and she LOVED it.) So I started by downloading a line drawing and printing it out. I decided that I was only going to make a simple “two-dimensional” toy rather than try to translate her into full 3-D. I traced the drawing onto some felt and cut out the pieces. The trickiest bit was embroidering her face.
I used some acrylic yarn for the embroidery. Her features were done in black with a split stitch, and I used orange yarn to backstitch her hair (leaving long strands at the top to form her top-knot). Rather than bother with turning things inside-out, I just used a tight zig-zag stitch around the pieces (with wrong sides together) to sew the her head and body pieces together. For her hair, I actually tucked the long ends back down into her head before sewing her scalp so it couldn’t be pulled undone. It worked really well! I stuffed the head and body parts through the neck opening and then joined the two halves there. Then I zig-zagged across the neck to join and covered the resulting mess up with a cut-out pink bow-tie (tacked on by hand). I also zig-zagged around the arm openings (where her hands are on her hips) and then snipped out the inside bits. I had planned to use black felt for her hands and boots, but honestly I couldn’t be bothered at that point.
The first thing my niece Indie said was, “Her head’s going to fall off I think!” Which may well happen. The whole thing was a bit of a bodge and I doubt it’ll hold up very wellâ€“the felt was starting to pill within a dayâ€“but I’ve decided to just treat it as a prototype. Cali absolutely loved it, and that’s all that matters! I’m thinking of redoing it in fleece and trying to make her a bit more three-dimensional next time…
Boring yet satisfying sewing project: modified this shirt to have short sleeves! It had long sleeves when I bought it nearly two years ago from Sportscraft, and it was ridiculously expensive. Then one day I was putting it on before work and the damn sleeve just ripped straight across at the cuff. ARGH. I threw it over the bed post and literally left it there for a year. I thought about removing the sleeves entirely but wisely decided to start by shortening. The Snook said it looked good, so I just folded and hemmed them. Shirt rescued!
I made myself a new dress! Still getting the hang of knits.
This is another Moneta made with a light jersey print I got at Fabric-a-brac earlier in the year. It was only a small off-cut and the print is directional, so I had to keep it simple. I didn’t put any collar on it, and I used some simple white cotton knit for the bodice lining and pockets. I still find the whole “shirring with clear elastic” thing really annoyingly difficult, so it’s a bit of a bodge. (Maybe the elastic I got at Spotlight isn’t the right stuff?) When I first attached the skirt and tried it on, the waist wasn’t hitting me in the right place. So I undid it and moved it up about 2 inches. The whole project took less than two days. It ended up being a nice little sundress!
Actual finished craft objects! I should probably blog these before I completely forget.
Is this going to be my ONLY knitting finished this year? Only time will tell. At any rate, earlier this year I decided to splurge and buy myself the Tsumugi Who kit from Dairing that I admired at Camp last year. (Note: They have since changed the name to Seta Soie. I don’t know why. Supplier change? My kit did come with grey instead of the beige.) I cast on in the winter – probably at the Abernethy knitters retreat? – and I remember questioning the pattern. (Teresa Dair’s “patterns” are only patterns in the strictest sense of the word.) I decided to go with garter stitch so it wouldn’t curl. And I was off. I went through the entire pattern once and found myself with significant silk left over. So I kept going. Once it got to about 14 feet long, I figured Tom Baker would be happy so I cast off. Then it took me a few more months to finish weaving in the ends. And now it’s done. I even managed to wear it a few times before it got too warm. The colours are gorgeous and strangers have complimented me on it, even guessed the reference. That was nice.
I haven’t sewn much this year either. But at one point I ordered the Colette Guide to Sewing Knits along with the Moneta dress pattern. That was step one. The history of making this dress is one of diving in before my brain had a chance to object. Step two involved making an excursion to Tessuti’s during a sale with some of my (then) co-workers where I picked up a couple different knits to experiment with. This was a black merino double-knit. Step three was me cutting it out many, many weeks ago… and then packing it away in my office. Finally, this past weekend, it occurred to me that if I actually finished the damn thing, that would be one more unique dress for Frocktober. So on Sunday I pulled it out and finished it during a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix. I think my seam allowance was inadvertently too wide and my waistband elastic was HELLA WONKY, but to my delight I found that the knit fabric completely hides every flaw. It looks great. I’m very, very happy with this project.
Hipster alert! This is the second shirt I’ve made for the Snook using Colette Patterns’ Negroni. I actually modded the pattern a little bit based on some of his purchased Hawaiian shirts. I only put on one pocket, and I didn’t bother with the pocket flap. I also straightened the side seams and bottom hem for a boxier, more casual cut. I bought the fabric last year in Honolulu at Hawaii Fabric Mart (who I highly recommend!). The coconut buttons are from All Buttons Great and Small. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!
Some close-ups of details:
Out-of-this-World Washi Dress
Edited to add: The Snook’s company Christmas party is tonight and the theme is “GLOW”, so I had the idea a couple weeks ago to make a glow-in-the-dark dress. I found this cool fabric and realised it would make a great Washi Dress. (I’d used that pattern once before.) It came together really well! I especially like the little cap sleeves, which give it a very spacey, “Judy Jetson” feel to me. I was so excited to wear it to work today, and a random lady on the bus this morning evening complimented me on it! I’m very happy with this one.