crafts · Sewing

On my sewing table: basics

I have seen a lot of bloggers lately reflecting on the idea of sewing basics vs sewing special pieces.  It’s probably obvious from reading my blog that I don’t sew many basics.  I don’t sew shorts, t-shirts or undergarments, and I don’t knit plain black sweaters.  I can buy all these things easily, and I want to use my sewing time making this I can’t buy for myself.  I sew a lot of dresses, which are their own outfits, so I probably don’t really need that many basics anyway!

But lately?  I’ve noticed one thing I lack in my wardrobe: skirts!   Sure, I can thrift skirts easily, but they are never the ones I want.  I like a skirt to sit on or above my waist, as I don’t think a low-rise suits my shape.  I own a full, thrifted (and refashioned) chambray skirt which I love, but other than that I have no skirts in solid colors to match the tops in my wardrobe.  As a result, those tops never get worn, which is a shame!  So I am declaring July to be the month of the skirt!  (I know I stole this idea from another blogger – can anyone tell me who so I can give them credit?)

I’m starting out simple:

I know I said I was making a chambray Beignet, but I thought again… all the pencil skirts I wear have one thing in common, they are all made of stretch wovens.  So I’m making a plain black beignet in a lovely black RPL woven.  I am leaving out the lining, pockets, and belt in order to simplify things.  Right now I’m looking for buttons – when I find the perfect set I can get the side seams fitted and finished!  My other beignet is not comfortable, and it never really was… I’m hoping my stretch fabric idea works out!

Other candidates for the month of the skirt:

My goal is to make up three skirts, including the beignet.  I’m definitely wanting to make the chambray skirt, so the other is tbd (possibly the other full skirt, as it is after all still summer!)

We will see if my boredom interferes with my plans – as much as I love wearing skirts, I get terribly bored making them sometimes!


crafts · knitting

Figurehead Shawl

Pattern: Figurehead shawl by Alexis Winslow, Knitscene summer 2011

Yarn: Spud & Chloe sweater (55% wool, 45% organic cotton) in barn (red) and splash (blue)

Needle: US 6


I’ve broken my camera (it, along with my tripod, met a sad death when the cat ran straight into it!)  I’m planning to buy a DSLR next month (I want a Canon,) but in the meantime I’m stuck with my old camera, which has a non-working viewscreen, and lacks a self-timer.   It’s just easier to do dressform photos in this case.

I’ve been working on this shawl for a little while.  I needed something portable and mindless to take to the hospital, so I took my WIP along with me and finished it up.  Here is my review:

Pattern:  Excellent, with very clear instructions.  I have to confess that I wasn’t sure how the border was going to work out until the end, and I wasn’t even sure I was doing the bind off right while I was doing it, but it seems to have turned out well!  If you make this shawl, do keep in mind that you really have to search for the float you pick up on the last row – I probably got the wrong one a few times, but it turned out just fine.

I was inspired by Dr. Seuss for the color combo – it isn’t my usual sort of thing, but I like how cheerful it is.

I would rate this pattern easy: If you know how to increase by knitting into the back loop then you can manage this.  The border seems tricky, but if you follow the directions it will turn out.

Yarn:  I’m going to be honest… I really did not enjoy this yarn at all.  It gets great ratings on Ravelry, and I was excited to try it – the colors are saturated and pretty, and it seems sturdy.  It comes across more like a cotton than a wool, and I don’t use worsted weight cotton because it hurts my hands so badly.  It doesn’t have any real stretch to it, and knits up thicker than I thought it would.  It does wash beautifully – I threw mind in the washing machine on handwash (I have a front loader, and use it for pretty much everything that isn’t super delicate,) and it came out without any signs of wear.  I stretched it to try for some extra length, but I didn’t really get any.  It is a bit scratchy to me, but that sort of thing doesn’t bother me much.

Mods: No button/button loop.  Mine came out a tiny bit small, and I felt it would choke me.  I plan to wear this under jackets in the fall – it will make a nice warm layer, but I wouldn’t wear this in the summer due to the weight of the yarn.  Overall this is a highly recommended pattern if you like the style!