Making the making happen.

After all of this thought and consideration, I came to the realization that this is a ginormous project. It will certainly take me a long time to make an entire wardrobe, even though I’m not going to make things like jeans and shoes and purses. This will be multi-year at a minimum, but really since it’s also my hobby, I think it will be ongoing.

As a new sewist, I’m looking at sewing patterns that are on the easier end of the sewing spectrum. Things like simple dresses, skirts, and tops. I have a starter list of sewing patterns that fit the bill:

I’ve made the Moneta in a lovely dark grey, and purchased fabric for everything–except the Blackwood–in a neutral or nearly neutral from my palette:

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I’m hoping this will be a good start towards some basics in my wardrobe. I plan to make these 6 patterns several times, both for practice and to build up the wardrobe staples.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on Ravelry thinking about what sort of knitted staples I envision. A lacy cowl, a couple of really cozy, big shawls, a cabled hat, an easy wearing triangle shawl. That’s just a start, of course. Knitting is my first love and I could pick out a million patterns. The top of my knitting queue is currently

Ugh, I want to knit all of them right now. I did make a few yarn purchases… Now, if you know me and my stash, you’ll know that solids are really not my M.O. We’re talking wardrobe staples though, so solids and tonals it is. I got in my very first yarn from Quince and Co. this week. This is for the Slipstream Cowl and the Windswept Shawl:

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I was so excited when this package arrived, Kevin came in to see what the yarn looked like. “It’s solid…” was his reaction. It’s definitely a big departure for me! I couldn’t wait to get started so I’ve already cast on a new thing!

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With all of that, I feel like I have a fairly rounded out slate of sewing and knitting. I think it will be a nice little start to the wardrobe once all of this is finished. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s little mini-series about my wardrobe architect project. This has been a fun way to start this journey of thoughtfully planning my making.


Happy making!

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What about the yarn?

I have a yarn stash, it’s true. I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty serious stash. I love it and dig through it often. Sometimes looking for yarn for a particular project, sometimes sock yarn, sometimes just looking and petting. I also purchase yarn from time to time…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this little series, I’ve been a sucker for the shiny when it comes to yarn. I love a lot of dyers, I love color, and new and fun combinations always seduce me.  Once I narrowed down my color palette though, I wondered what that meant for the yarn.

I thought and thought.  I decided to pull out all of the yarn that fits the new color palate. It’s not that much, when compared to the whole.

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Once I separated all of that out, I had three categories for what was left:

  1. Yarn that just isn’t me anymore, for various reasons
  2. Sock yarn. This could be anything and everything, but all of it will wind up socks. Eventually.
  3. Yarn I like but doesn’t fit the color palette – there isn’t much of this

I put all of the yarn that just isn’t me for whatever reason up on Ravelry as de-stash. That was easy. The sock yarn was easy, too–it stays–I love to knit socks and will continue to wear any crazy pair.

The yarn I like but that doesn’t fit is more difficult. After a lot of thought, it’s going on Ravelry de-stash too. If someone else really wants it, they should have it. I may still knit with some of it if the mood strikes, that option will still be there.

One big realization for me in all of this is that I don’t intend to stop knitting fun and crazy color combinations. I enjoy those things and I think they can always squeeze into my wardrobe with the jeans and t-shirts, if nothing else. Knits like my Marled Magic or Love Ewe Baby, those are creative, process knits and I love them for reasons other than putting them into my curated wardrobe.

This has really helped with my yarn buying habits. As I mentioned, I feel a strong pull toward the “shiny!” This is evidenced in the overwhelming quantity of single skeins of sock yarn that I own. It’s really helped me think about what I want to purchase and why. I have tons of fun yarn to play with and knit with. But I don’t have very much that checks the boxes for my planned wardrobe.

One of the things I thought about when I was working on my core style, was where being a knitter and maker fits in. Part of that is pretty easy, I would prefer to sew the majority of my clothes. But as far as knitting, how does that fit in? I’ve thought a lot about that. I want to knit some feminine, cozy, simple, and/or classic items in my new found color palate. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how I’m working on making all of that making happen.


Happy making!

Color story.

I love color. I don’t think that’s any secret. From my love of rainbow to my fascination with neon, I love it all.

This last year, though, I’ve noticed that my color choices have been slowly shifting.

Colorful, but much softer. I’ve really felt a strong draw to softer, subtle color.

This shift made me very excited for the next step in my Wardrobe Architect journey… color. After all, color was really what got me started thinking about all of this. I’ve been wondering what my shifting tastes in color mean, if anything. Well, I likely spent the most time of the whole process thinking about color.

The exercises direct you to look through your closet, your stash, and the internet for inspiration. Always keeping in mind my core words–feminine, cozy, simple, classic–I started looking around.

The first place I went is my stash. There are only about a trillion colors there. Most notably a lot of rainbow, minty blues, and pinks from hot to sweet. I looked in my wardrobe, but that’s where some of this whole issue started–nothing cohesive there. So, like I’ve done all along, I went to the internet:

This all just feels feminine and cozy to me. I love the feeling these colors evoke.

My next step would be to put together three palettes. Neutrals, nearly neutrals, and statement colors. For neutrals, I’m kind of across the board. Part of that is because I’ll probably stick to classic brown and black for accessories like shoes and bags. The greys and creams will go into my wardrobe for clothes and accessories.

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The idea of “nearly neutrals” is possibly the most interesting to me. These are colors that you plan to wear as neutrals. I’ve chosen 4 colors that I think I could make work in every season, which is fairly important to me. I plan to make a good number of items in these colors.

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As for my statement colors, I chose these for a few different reasons. I think these colors in different combinations with the nearly neutrals can really evoke different seasons. These are colors I like a lot and I think will give some nice variety and versatility to the neutrals above. I love hot pink and I’ve fallen hard for mint. I don’t wear much true red, but it can be effective in small doses. And on your nails.

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This was so much fun. I love my color palette and the story it creates for me. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what all of this has means for the yarn stash. This gives a whole new meaning to the question, what’s your favorite color?


Happy making!


P.S. mine’s grey

The shape of things.

The next steps in the Wardrobe Architecture series (read my intro to this series here) had me exploring a topic that I know quite well, but rarely follow through on. That topic is silhouette.

I know my silhouette.  No matter my weight, no matter my age, it’s one thing that really hasn’t changed in a good 20 years. I am definitely on the pear side of hourglass.

This causes a fair bit of trouble when shopping, since pants and skirts large enough to accommodate my hips will invariably be too large on my waist. Likewise, dresses can be difficult to find, I’m generally a different size on top and bottom. Add to that my general dislike of skinny jeans and I haven’t been clothes shopping in several years.

During the wardrobe architect process, I thought a lot about the shapes and silhouettes in clothes that make me feel best. I feel a bit of kinship with the a common silhouette from the 1950s. Those fitted tops and wide skirts are just everything.

For dresses, I love that shape. I have always liked wearing wrap dresses and dresses with a fitted bodice and wider skirt. I also like fitted pants and jeans with a trouser leg that helps de-emphasize my hips. With all of that in mind, I created a collage of silhouettes:

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Armed with these outfit shapes, I started combing the internet for patterns that fit these ideas. I mean, the whole idea is become a more informed and intentional maker, after all. I put together a list of patterns that would give me the following shapes:

  • Full or fullish skirt with tailored top
  • Knit, shirt, or wrap dresses – fitted on top with wider skirt
  • Casual t-shirt and jeans
  • Tailored top and slacks
  • Cardigans, both fitted and cozy/casual

I’ve created a Pinterest board of all of the sewing patterns I found. They are for various levels of expertise, so some will definitely come before others. Of course, I also plan to knit a cardigan or two, somewhere down the line.

I went ahead and sewed up the Moneta by Colette Patterns. I still haven’t gotten a picture of myself in it, but boy do I feel like a million bucks in the thing. It’s fitted on top and wider in the skirt and I just adore it. It makes me feel curvy in the best way possible.

And that’s a shape I can live with.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about my favorite subject in making.


Happy making!

At the very core.

I’ve been doing some thinking.

I feel as if I am a “SQUIRREL!” maker. I generally purchase yarn that fits my mood at the moment. I generally make patterns that are new and shiny or just fit a skein of yarn I want to use. I feel myself going that direction with sewing garments, as well.

Recently, I’ve been very inspired by several makers. Maria at Stitched in Sweden has a cohesive style, and the things she makes always seem to fit that vision. Jennie, tinypaperfoxes on Instagram, is working on a project to have a handmade wardrobe in 4 years and she’s another person whose makes just seem to shout that she made them. Now that I’m moving into some garment making, I’ve been thinking a lot about that sense of a cohesive style, especially as it relates to my making. I certainly don’t think I have a style beyond the fact that I wear black pants to work everyday, so I took to the internet.

Enter the Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette Blog. It’s a series of blog posts with activities designed to help you define, guess what? Your own core style! I’ve gone through the whole process, and boy! was it ever eye opening. I found it fun and inspirational.

After a fair bit of thought and reflection on things like your history, body image, and style icons, you’re asked to list words that you associate with your answers to the questions and reflections. I really like word association type activities, I think it helps crystallize your thoughts. After you create that big list, you are asked to condense it down into 3-5 words to describe yourself and your core style. Mine are:

Feminine, cozy, simple, classic

Armed with those words, the next step is to create a visual inspiration board to represent those words.

It makes me happy just to look at these images, and my entire inspiration board on Pinterest. These first steps in learning and crafting my own core style gave me a great deal of inspiration for the next steps. Tomorrow, we’ll explore a little about silhouettes.


Happy making!

Jelly Roll Slice Quilt Top

I finally bit the bullet and did it. I reserved a day on the long arm at my LQS.

I have two quilts ready to go, just laying on top of the yarn stash judging me. They are the Layer Cake Pop and Jelly Roll Twist from back in the spring. I’m really excited to get them finally turned into quilts I can snuggle under this fall!

I got to thinking that there is a chance that I will finish both of them that day with time to spare. Now, I certainly may not, I am not exactly a practiced and speedy long-arm-quilter. But… I don’t want to finish early in the day when I could enjoy more quilting. It’s one of my favorite parts, after all.

And so, I started thinking about patterns that I could make in a jiffy.  Of course, I turned to FQS’s shortcut quilt collection–I don’t have much piecing patience, really. I selected the Jelly Roll Slice quilt and chose a sushi roll from Lecien in the La Conner collection. The blocks were a snap to make.

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I finished sewing the rows together last night. It’s a little out of my usual comfort zone, but it’s still really pretty. This is a really easy pattern. I think my piecing is getting better, I’m trying my best to practice and just keep at it.

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I’m on the long-arm on Saturday. I may not get this one quilted that day, but at least quilt tops don’t go bad.


YoM day 258-264: Quilting and shawl knitting


Happy making!

It’s tough to know what you don’t know.

I’ve been thinking about learning to sew garments for a while now. I am really enjoying sewing and learning, so this seems like a natural next step. There are also a lot of inspiring knitter/sewists out there, and I’d like to join their ranks!

After a fair bit of research, I settled on the Sorbetto top by Colette Patterns. It’s a free pattern and advertised to be very beginner friendly. It is beginner friendly in that it is very simple, you only cut out two pieces and the instructions are written very well.

With all that said, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about garment sewing. I had to google and youtube nearly every step. How do you arrange the pattern? How do you cut it out? (hint, I still did that sort of wrong) Why is my fabric bunching up so badly? How do you handle darts? How do you finish seams? Much less, how do you do them separately? Here are my lackluster, yet finished seams:

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It was at this point that I discovered that, years ago, Colette Patterns hosted a sewalong for this very pattern. My game really stepped up after that. They had even more detail and instruction in the sewalong than the pattern. I still had to google a few things, but I was at least moving a long better.

It finally came time to attach the bias binding that I made to the neckband and armholes. I could not get it to look right! So I started back to googling. Evidently there is a handy foot that helps with edgestitching, but not a good one for my machine. While I was practicing and googling and looking at the sewing machine manual, I realized something.

It would appear that I have been threading my machine incorrectly for over a year. I’m always cursing the tension and the stitches look uneven and it’s a huge pain. Well, I had been not using the last thread guide the entire time. It is now well employed, and my stitches look so much better. I’m trying not to kick myself too much for that one. With that, I set to work finishing the neckband and armholes.

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I thought I would really like that part. I love binding quilts. Turns out it’s not the same. I am not a fan. But with that and a hem, it’s all done.

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It’s a real top! It even goes on my body! The fit could use a bit of work and there is lots of room for improvement, but my first garment is finally complete. Some of the details:

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I really like it. I like the style, the fabric, and most of all that I made it! I did learn about a million things in the process of making this top. I am really excited to make my next garment and utilizing those skills plus learning new ones. Making is such a process!


YoM day 250-251: Sock and shawl knitting

YoM day 252: Sock knitting, quilting, sewing

YoM day 253: Sewing

YoM day 254-257: Shawl knitting


Happy making!