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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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!

Speaking of catching up.

It seems like ages since I wrote a regular ol’ blog post. You know the kind, where I just chatter along about the things I’ve been working on? Well buckle up and grab a cup of something hot and tasty, this is going to be a long one.

Let’s start with the dresses. I made two dresses out of that dark grey cotton jersey, one for Astra and one for me. They actually came together pretty quickly and are adorable, if you ask me. Astra and I agree, they’re awfully comfy, too. Astra’s dress was the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop and mine is the Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns.

 

I think I’ll have to make myself another dozen Monetas. It’s incredibly comfortable and figure-flattering. I’m a fan.

In the sock world, I’ve got a bit going on. Still working on Kevin’s socks, but I’ve got one nearly done. I tried a few things for a toe-up heel and then finally decided to stick with what I like, which is a cut-in afterthought heel. So, I have one sock tube done. I cast on the second toe so that I would be ready for football this weekend:

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On the road trip to the anniversary party, I was determined to finally finish my Hedgehog socks. They had been on the needles since August! I finished them in the car on the way down, but had left the mate at home.

Now that we’re home the pair is finally together. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in the Down By the River colorway. I’ll say it again, I love this base! I can’t wait to knit up some more socks in this squishy BFL.

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Thankfully, I brought another skein of yarn on the trip. Back in August I subscribed to the Hedgehog Fibres sock club. I’ve been dreaming of subscribing for nearly forever and I finally just went ahead and signed up. I received my first shipment a few weeks ago:

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I’m absolutely dying over the lighter skein, Iceberg. That pale blue and speckles slays me. The darker skein, Flytrap, is waaaay out of my comfort zone. Something struck me about it though, it seems perfect for Halloween socks. So I skeined it up and took it with me, thinking it would be a great October cast on. I managed to knit the entire cuff of the sock during Kevin’s turn at driving:

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Since then, I’ve turned the heel and finished the gusset on the first sock. I think they are perfectly spooky and fun!

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In other news, I finished the big seed stitch section and started section 7 on my Marled Magic shawl. It’s gigantic and amazing.

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I’ve had some pretty itchy fingers lately, I want to cast on everything! I cast on the Fleesensee hat:

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I was really enjoying this one, and the yarn is heart-breakingly pretty. It’s Suburban Stitcher DK in the Underwater Princess colorway. However, it was too small by quite a bit, so I’ve ripped it out. The yarn is now going to go to an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, if my needles ever get here.

Since that certainly wasn’t enough, I also cast on the Love Ewe Baby shawl. This is my first foray into two-color brioche and I am completely besotted. It is so squishy and soft and pretty!

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Right side.

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Wrong side, even though nothing about this is wrong!

I’m using Swift Yarns in the Swift Simple base, a 100% Merino singles base.  My colorways are Princess Bride (soft pink) and Tropical Vintage (speckle). I’ll add in some Marilyn (hot pink) when the time comes.

I think that’s everything I’ve been working on. I have the knitting bug something awful. There have even been a few days crisp enough to break out some wool!

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I’ve also been on a major planning bender. I’ve got a fun, big project in the works. I’m considering doing a bit of a series on it for the blog but we’ll see if I can tear myself away from the knitting long enough to write it up. I’ve done a bit of organizing lately, but more about that another day. For now, I’ll just leave you with a picture of a cat who loves yarn.

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YoM day 272-285: Quilting; sewing; sock, hat, and shawl knitting – a bit of everything!


Happy making!

Busy weekend.

I’ve been working on a lot of things. Quilts, socks, shawls, dresses. I feel a little scattered again, but I’m really enjoying making progress on all of these projects.

Friday night, I started prepping my Moneta Dress. The fabric came in, so I washed that, and I printed out the pattern and put it together. That’s a lot of work, but it’s nice to have it done. I figured out that I have more fabric than I need, so I also purchased a pattern to make Astra a dress. I’ll be making her the Delaney Dress by Peek-A-Boo pattern shop. I took a picture of the fabric, and while very soft and the perfect dark grey, it’s incredibly uninteresting to photograph:

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When I posted last week, I had finished a quick quilt top in anticipation of my long arm reservation for Saturday. I woke up really early on Saturday morning to get ready for a full day of quilting. I was attempting to document the day:

Breakfast plus my super cute apron. Once I was all fueled up, I headed down to the iron for a major pressing session. It took me about an hour to press all three tops plus all the backs! I loaded all of the quilts up and headed to my LQS. I had up to 7 hours available for quilting. I honestly didn’t think I would get to the third quilt, but I managed to get all three done.

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I went pretty simple, I may try one day to do a whole cloth quilt just to practice different designs. It’s a little daunting to try new things on a top you’ve pieced. I do love the quilting and the backs. I can’t wait to get them bound and all finished!

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I also wanted to try to finish up my Rising Dawn shawl. It feels like it’s been on my needles forever. On Saturday night, I had about 7 rows left. That may not sound like too much, but the rows were over 700 stitches each. They were taking me about 40 minutes each to knit!

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I stayed up too late on Saturday and got up on Sunday and made it to the bind off. Of course, it’s a picot bind off. I love the look of a picot bind off, but it takes about three times as much time and yarn to do. I gamely got started right after lunch:

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So pretty! Well worth it, but it took me most of the day on Sunday. I didn’t knit non-stop, but I worked on it a lot. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night, this happened:

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I ran out of yarn. I knew it was going to happen, I had gotten nervous and started weighing my yarn a couple rows before the bind off. So, run out of yarn is exactly what I did. I frantically searched my stash and my scraps and came up with some grey Knitpicks yarn that matched quite well. I finished up the shawl that night. It’s blocking now but here it is in all of it’s unblocked glory:

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I really love it. I hated it a little bit on Sunday, but once I finished it and felt the squish and saw the gorgeous colors, I loved it.

Now I’m dying to cast on something else, but I have no idea what. I’m hoping to get the dresses cut out this week, maybe even start sewing Astra’s up. I’m really excited about learning to sew with the knit fabric.

All in all, it was a great weekend. It’s so fun to look back and feel like I got so much done.


YoM day 266: Shawl knitting

YoM day 267: Quilting and shawl knitting

YoM day 268: Shawl knitting – finished Rising Dawn Shawl!

YoM day 269: Sock knitting


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!