I will be on holiday for a while, so there will be no updates until mid-August.
See, I told you that wouldn't take long. Since I decided to make a cushion cover with all the same granny squares, namely the African Flower square, the work has been progressing a lot faster. Making the same granny square several times is so much faster than making a different square each time. Anyway, there's not much to say except: this one's finished!
Now I still have the other cushion cover, the one with the mixed granny squares, and then I will have made covers for all the bare cushions that were scattered throughout the flat.
I will be on holiday for a while, so there will be no updates until mid-August.
I have a confession to make.
I lost a project.
For ages now, I’ve wanted to make a chair seat cover for my desk chair to match the cover on the back. In fact, I had originally intended to make both at the same time, but something went wrong with the elastic in the seat cover so it just… migrated to the couch and never got finished, despite it basically being a square piece of fabric that just needed the elastic casing to be sewn.
Then I tidied up and now it’s gone.
I’ve looked absolutely everywhere. I’ve opened every drawer, looked in every closet, every plastic bag, every moving box. I can’t for the life of me find this piece of fabric. For months I looked at it every day, buried beneath a pile of papers, and didn’t do anything about it. And now that I wanted to finish it, thinking it would be a ‘quick fix’, something to quickly get off the WIP-list... it’s gone.
It’s possible I threw it out by accident. This happens occasionally – some time in the last few weeks, I accidentally discarded a potato peeler, for instance. It’s possible it’s still hiding somewhere and I simply overlooked it or missed a spot – I did once ‘lose’ the remote control while holding it, and my mother never lets me forget the time she found my calculator in the bathroom cabinet.
… I now feel a strong desire to go check if it’s in the freezer.
Anyway, for now, I am taking it off the WIP-list. If I find it again, it will of course go back on there, but in the meantime it seems unfair to keep a spot ‘occupied’ by a project I can’t finish. Hopefully it will turn up eventually.
Like the split skirt I finished last month, this top is a project that has been lying around since last summer because I didn’t finish it in time for my holiday then. It disappeared into a suitcase with some of my other projects and, well, if it’s in a suitcase and I can’t see it… out of sight, out of mind, right?
I remember the exact point at which I put this top away: when I had to iron on the fusible interfacing. I just didn’t feel like getting out the ironing board. That’s how weak my excuses for not finishing things have been. Especially because I iron twice a week, meaning I’ve had the ironing board out about a hundred times since originally putting this project to the side. Any of those times I could have taken an extra few minutes to iron on the interfacing.
This pattern, from the April 2009 edition of Burda magazine, was fun to make. I like the sculptural details of the bust. Unfortunately, this fabric wasn't the greatest. It is darn near impossible to press, which you can see in some of the seams and the rolled hem. The drape also isn't quite the way it should be for this pattern, with the fold in the top sticking out too much. I never make muslins for stuff like this (things that require little fabric and are for casual wear), so the fit also isn't perfect. In particular, it gapes along the bust line (which you can also see in the pictures). However, combined with the angular front this can totally pass for a design element. I also ended up shortening the top considerably compared to the original pattern.
Of course, the minute I finished this, the weather took a turn for the worse here. I'm not sure when I'll be able to first wear it, but I hope it won't be stuck in my closet for another year!
Because of some last-minute events this weekend, my plan of finishing my summer top failed miserably. However, I have been thinking about some of my projects, most notably one of my more long-term projects, a ‘floral granny square blanket’.
It started when I bought a load of (very cheap) Garnstudio Drops Loves You III to make another project still on my WIP-list, the vintage pattern A Swagger Coat from Susan Crawford’s book A Stitch In Time: Vintage Knitting Patterns, 1930-1959, Volume 2. It is a very soft yarn and very nice to work with, and while in the end the varying thickness of the yarn wasn’t perfect for that coat pattern, I did really love the look and feel for it. Since this was in the phase where I still had a fear of missing out on limited edition items, sales, etc, if I didn’t buy them RIGHT NOW – I bought a shedload of that yarn. I didn’t even really know what I was going to do with it, I just wanted to have it.
It’s kind of funny looking back now how stupid my financial decisions were in that period. In my mind, I had unlimited space (because I still considered my parents’ house to be a valid place to store MY stuff) and unlimited funds (I never went really overboard with money, no 500 euro handbags etc, and in my mind that translated to being good with money). Now, even though I have considerable savings and a spacious flat, my outlook has completely changed and I regret those hamstering impulses I indulged in just a few years ago.
So, there I was with this lovely yarn in five colours: white, light blue, light pink, dark blue, and bordeaux that was left over from the coat. I don’t remember the thought process leading me to decide that this was perfect for making a granny square blanket, but that’s what happened. I decided to collect as many granny square patterns with flowers or a floral motif as I could find for free or in my existing stash of patterns. I would make one or two of each until my yarn ran out and then combine them all into one big blanket. I considered this a project I could do ‘on the side’: I’d do a granny square here and there when I was bored with other projects and in a few years, I’d have my blanket.
Yeah, it sounds like a really bad idea now.
For one thing: What on Earth am I going to do with a blanket? I just finished a crochet blanket which I gave to my mother. I am working on a quilt which will go on my bed. I never have a blanket on the couch or in a chair.
Another thing: While this years-long project was taking place, I would be stuck with skeins of yarn boxed away somewhere. Having yarn just lying about is exactly the opposite of what I want to achieve.
And third: In theory, a mixed-floral granny square blanket perhaps sounds good. But after only a few squares, it became clear that in practice, it would be an ugly chaos.
So I decided to change the course of this project entirely. I really like the African Flower square. No, it’s not the most original thing to like (EVERYONE loves the African Flower square), but that doesn’t matter to me. I had already made two squares with that pattern for the blanket. I decided to separate those two from the rest and turn my granny squares into two cushion covers: one, indeed, with mixed floral squares, and the other with African Flower squares.
The upsides to this are twofold. First, I only need 9 squares per cushion cover, making an envelope back with fabric. At the time of writing, I have two African Flower squares, six completed assorted florals, and two assorted floral WIPs. This means I only need to finish those two and make nine more squares plus assembly to finish both projects. At a rough estimate, I think that’s only a quarter of the work that would have been needed to finish the blanket, possibly less. The other upside is that I can now use most of that really pretty yarn I like so much to make things that I will enjoy more. In particular, I will be able to make a shirt or sweater with the two blues and the white, and an accessory with the pink and bordeaux. This will really increase the amount of joy I get from having bought this yarn.
The only downside to the whole plan is that my current WIP-list now has an extra project: two cushion covers instead of one blanket. But I’m sure that if I put my shoulders to the wheel, I’ll have that fixed in no time.
* Online patterns used beside the African Flower square are:
(I apologize in advance for the quality of the photographs in this entry: due to the construction, the dress would not fit on my dressform)
It's been a productive week here! First I finished a pair of fingerless gloves, and now this dress. I started out wanting to use some lovely Japanese fabric I had (which I bought at the same time as the yellow fabric I used to make this split skirt) to make Vogue dress pattern V1102.
Unfortunately, once I started, I found out that the fabric wasn't quite wide enough - or actually, not at all wide enough - for that skirt. So I started hunting around for a different skirt pattern. Unfortunately, while I succeeded in finding a pleated skirt with pockets belonging to a Burda dress pattern, I do not remember which pattern it was... Hence the title 'Hybrid dress' for this post.
The one downside of this skirt was that it did not have a center back seam, which in the original is where there is a zipper. I considered making a zipper in the side seam, but from the muslin I made of the new skirt pattern (to see if it would fit the bodice) I found out I can put on this dress over my head. So, I omitted the zipper all together. I also made the ties slightly longer, but other than that made no adjustments - although, as you'll see in a bit, I should have. But first, here are a front and back view of the dress lying down:
Where I should have made adjustments are the waist and the bust. As me being able to pull the dress on over my head should have told me, there is room to make this dress tighter in the waist. However, in practice I am not really bothered by the way it is now. Because it is quite a high waistline, the silhouette is not too baggy. And as I have a small bust, it would have been a good idea to alter the darts on the bodice so that the boat neckline would fall better. See the pictures below (courtesy of a helpful colleague) for visual evidence that I should always make a small bust adjustment:
I'm very happy with this dress, despite the fit issues. I love wearing it, and I love that I managed to succesfully transplant a really cool skirt onto a really cool bodice. It has also inspired me to pay more attention to fit in future garments (those currently on the WIP-list excluded, since they are mostly so far along I can't do a lot about fit anymore). This makes me feel like I'm moving forward and improving as a seamstress: first it seemed a daunting enough task to make a dress in the first place, now I'm thinking about how to make a dress that actually fits me better than ready-to-wear would!
The next project to be finished is a knitting project: a pair of fingerless gloves according to the Herbaceous mitts pattern by Simply Notable.
The gloves are knitted in Manos del Uruguay Fino, a wonderful 4-ply silk-wool blend that knits like a dream and has the most beautiful colours. Manos del Uruguay makes some of my most favourite yarns - it's a petty about the high price tag, but as far as I'm concerned, they're worth every penny! I altered the pattern to omit one pattern repeat after the thumb, and wish I would have included it before the thumb to make them a bit longer. I also changed the ribbing around both fingers and thumb to match the ribbing at the start.
I had been planning to make these for a long time, to match a shirt I knitted which you see on the right (the Broken Rib Tank pattern by Kristen TenDyke). The shirt appears to have more pink, but that is actually a pooling effect. Because of the silk-wool blend, the shirt can be both warm and cool. In warm weather, I wear it on its own; in cooler weather, I wear it over a long-sleeved shirt as a spencer. In both, I can see myself wearing these fingerless gloves to make the outfit just a little bit more interesting.
The most important reason it took so long for these to get made, was that there were always other projects getting in the way. And then, when I finally did get around to starting these... my knitting needles got confiscated at the airport for the first time in 5 years of international flights. As a result, I finally made these with the magic loop method even though I prefer sock needles, because the one store near me that sells knitting needles does not carry sock needles in the right size.
I've also made very good progress with two sewing projects, the Vogue dress and the summer top, and tomorrow I will be spending an evening crocheting granny squares at a get-together for my granny square blanket!
I only started this project right before starting the blog: an entry for the monthly challenge over at Sprite Stitch, a community for people who like video games, crafting, and combining the two. June's theme was 'Video game animals and animal companions' (see all the entries here!).
While another project I had planned for this challenge is still in the WIP list and thus didn't make it for the deadline of the challenge, the Halla painting was finished just in time:
The painting was made with acrylic paint on canvas, 50x40 cm. It's cropped here so it appears ca. 4 cm less wide - the proportions look better that way, but unfortunately I didn't have any pre-stretched canvas in those proportions. Also, with the whole decluttering thing, I didn't want to buy a new frame or unstretched canvas.
I hadn't painted in a long time before this. Compared to some of my earlier work, this is not great: the right-side horn is significantly darker than the left; the muzzle is crooked/oddly shaped; the lighting isn't fantastic. However, it was great to get back to painting after all this time. It has really wet my appetite for more. I gave up painting for a while because I didn't know what to do with all the paintings I finished. This taught me that it's not necessarily about that: it's about the joy I experience making it.
Hi, I'm Mina and I have a stash problem. This is my way of trying to fix it.
Last yarn purchase:
Last fabric purchase: 02/03/2017