World Wide Knit In Public Day 18

On June 9 was the annual event of World Wide Knit In Public Day. Now I can’t tell you the origins of how it started, who even thought of the idea or how long it has been going on for but for the last few years I have celebrated it in one form or another. This year I took part in an event with my NSW Knitters Guild Group held at Blacktown library.

We had a lovely turn out of people. Between our group and some other people who regularly knit at the library we had about 30 people in total who were knitting and crocheting and one guy even making metal jewelry. For about 3 hours we all chatted, ate food (you can eat in a library!) drank coffee and got a little bit of work done on our projects. Some people were making gifts, some making charity items, I was working on shawl/poncho that I haven’t blogged about yet. I ran into an old acquaintance and for the first time ever sat and knitted with her. It was really fun day. Even if you didn’t know all the people there you could easily walk up and chat to anyone as we are yarn people you have that bond in common.

Over the last few months many of us contributed to a display of flags that was hung around a pole just beside where we were sitting. Even my dodgy little Welsh flag was up there proudly. The display looked great, everyone did such an amazing job. To be honest I am not a fan of yarn bombing but this looked really good.

Now if you are like me public knitting is not just something that happens one day a year. If I know I have to wait anywhere I will always take some sort of yarn project with me, even if I go to the pub for a few hours for lunch I take my knitting. Confession in the past I have organised my knitting project before calling an ambulance for Mr StitchNSew (it wasn’t a life threatening emergency) If I know I have to sit I want to keep myself occupied. Recently whilst we were away we went to go and take photos of the sunrise so I took my knitting as I knew I had about 30 minutes to kill. I sat by the Opera House knitting and watching the sunrise. It was a beautiful way to spend the morning.

When I see people knitting and crocheting in public I have to resist the urge to run up to them and ask them what they are making. I have to control my craft craziness as that might just be a bit too weird for them. I personally don’t have a problem when people come up and approach me to talk yarn, I will happily chat to anyone who is interested.

Cassiy

Advertisements

No More Bubble Bum

Early last year I purchased a heap of cottons from Bendigo Woollen mills when they released a limited edition range of colours called cotton crush. I brought 2 of every colour and every more of the blue. I was going to make an awesome blanket which I started in July and knitted it for a couple of weeks maybe a month or so and put it down to work on other projects and I never got back to it.

Roll forward maybe 8-9 months later when I picked it up one day to work on it and realized I didn’t like it at all. I don’t know what changed. I think it was partly due to Bendigo earlier this year releasing a different range of limited colours in the cotton crush range and I liked them better. When I went to work on my blanket it again I just didn’t like it. The blanket had become like this dark shadow sitting in a project bag in the corner of the loungeroom. I’d see it when I moved things and would feel a sense of guilt as I wasn’t knitting it. My thought was ok just keep working on it until it reaches a certain size and be done with it but I just couldn’t bring myself to knit it. In the end I decided that was enough I am not working on something I am not enjoying. Before I started another knitting project I decided to rid myself of the dark shadow and bind it off, I was even about 1/3 way through a colour block and I pulled it back to the previous colour as I just couldn’t knit it anymore. Knitting is meant to be fun not something that is causing you stress every time you see it.

All my ends are knotted and my original thought was I will weave in the ends to finish it off. I haven’t even done that and I am not going to. I have knotted the ends a couple of times and every so often I sit there and do another knot in them. They are a very lame version of a fringe. Surprisingly I am actually using the blanket so it is not a total waste. It sits on the back of my chair and I can put it over my shoulders if I need to. I don’t love this blanket but I don’t necessarily hate it either, it is just a functional item in the loungeroom. If I wash it and it falls apart I am not going to be worried at all.

I still have about 1½ balls of each colour left. I will use them in different projects maybe team up a couple together and use them that way. I will have to start looking at DK shawls in Ravelry. At worse I have years and years of dishcloth yarn. This is good yarn that there is nothing wrong with it is just as a collection together I have fallen out of love with.

It is good to be rid of the dark knitting shadow. I started my new knitting project and am nearly halfway through it and it is actually a large project but I am really enjoying it.

Cassiy

The Change From Store Brought To Me Made

I have a small problem now that I have really caught the clothing sewing bug one half of my brain is saying “I want to sew heaps and heaps of patterns for myself” but the other half of my brain is saying “you already have a heap of clothing do you need anymore?” I’m a long term clothing person by that I mean if I truly like something I will wear it for years until it falls apart. I still have a store brought top that I wear to work regularly from like 2000. My favourite go to summer skirt I brought in 2001. Instead of making drastic changes and tossing out all my clothing I think from now on I would like to start replacing store brought items with Me Made as they wear out.
I love wearing my Me Made skirts and think it might be time to pass on all my store brought ones. To be honest these days I probably only wear one store brought skirt the rest are my own. There is nothing wrong with the skirts I just don’t wear them anymore. Is there such thing as too many skirts? I want to set myself the challenge of sewing all the 8 basic skirts from A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts, so far I have made one.
I mentioned my store brought top from 2000 which is a stylish knit t-shirt, I have the same style in various colours which I brought between 2000 – 2008. I wear one every day to work matching it to my skirt or pants. Now that they don’t make this style anymore I am going to need to make my own. I can either trace a pattern from the top or find a pattern similar. To be honest the kimono tops I have made so far I don’t like wearing to work as I can’t wear them comfortably under a jacket or jumper. I really want to make the Concord shirt as I think the sleeves on that I should be able to wear under things. Top making has always seemed scary to me as I didn’t know how to deal with my larger front area. After doing the retreats with Cashmerette tops don’t seem so scary anymore.
Last year I needed to buy new jeans after my favourite pair became indecent (I could see the bathroom floor through them) I found it really difficult to find pants that fitted. I managed to find 2 black pairs for work which are elastic waisted which served the purpose but I would like to make my own pants. I want some casual looking pants, I don’t mind if they are drawstring or elastic wasited I just don’t want them looking like pj’s. I have heaps of patterns and fabric in my stash it is just a matter of getting off my butt and making them for my butt.
At this point jacket making still seems daunting but I would like to try a simple one. I have a few cardigan patterns maybe I’ll start with those to sink my teeth into it. I want a longer cardigan as I want the lower back coverage. I have the Claire Cardigan among many other patterns so I might start with that one.

I wrote all of the above back in February as a draft blog post. Since then a couple of things have changed. I have now made 2 skirts from a Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts, instead of making the Claire Cardigan I became obsessed with the Kinder Cardigan and I have made a pair of pants (still yet to be blogged) The way I feeling back then is still how I am feeling now particularly after doing Me Made May.

I think I want to be more mindful with my sewing and clothing making. Part of my brain is trying to justify the clothing I want to make. Some of my RTW items are falling apart so I can easily justify making those. From doing the challenge in May I found a gap in my wardrobe so again I know need those but it is the new patterns that I am seeing and starting to take an interest in that my mind is questioning. The York Pinafore is a newly released pattern that I have taking a liking too but my brain struggled to justify buying the pattern. It is a style I don’t normally wear but I can see it in my wardrobe in both summer and winter (and the pockets look useful) From my stash I should have enough fabrics already to make it. Originally I thought I could try a FBA (full bust adjustment) for the first time as it is designed for a B cup so it may be a simple pattern to practice doing one on for the first time but reading the pattern in look like you only need to adjust the shoulder straps length to accommodate the larger bust which sounds very simple to do. Does it sound like I am still trying to convince myself for justifying the pattern purchase? I generally wear the same items of clothing over and over again. I am a classic 80/20 rule, 80% of the time I only wear 20% of my wardrobe. I have never really had a lot of clothes and I am ok with that. I am not a girly girl who gets dressed up every day in a different outfit with hair, make up and accessories, I put on whatever clothing is still clean and appropriate for the weather conditions that day and go to work. The only accessories is a scarf or beret if it is cold. I do want to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone with styles but my brain is thinking well seriously how often are you going to actually wear them.

I still want to sew my way through both the Beginner’s Guide to Skirts and Knitted fabrics. All those items will be to replace garments in my wardrobe. As mentioned in one of my Me Made May posts I am going to cull a lot of RTW items from my wardrobe if I have me made ones to replace them now. My clothes are in good condition if I waited for them to wear out it may be another 5-10 years before I get rid of things. I think by doing the cull it will also help me see what I actually have in my wardrobe and if I am wearing it or not so I know whether or not I need to bother making a me made to replace things I don’t wear. I am also putting myself on a bit of a fabric hiatus, I’m not calling it a ban or diet. From now on I only want to add to my stash if it is for something I know I need to make and I don’t have suitable fabric in my current stash. As much as I would love to making all the wonderful items of clothing I see and fabric I like if it is just sitting in my cupboard doing nothing it is a waste.

Cassiy

 

K3881 Undies – First Attempt

I don’t know why but I seem to have an obsession with collecting patterns for undies. I use the term undies as I can’t stand the word panties it just makes me cringe. I have patterns I’ve purchased, some I have downloaded for free, I have read how to make them using a pair of your own to make a pattern but until this pair I hadn’t actually dived into the world of making some even though they seem to be popular to make.

I am very particular about they style of undies I like. I have been wearing the same style but not the same brand for like the last 20 something years. It is like a bikini style with a high cut leg opening. I can still buy the style I like and that is why I haven’t ventured into making some but I am getting to the point where soon I need to replace some pairs so I thought maybe it is time to try making some as everyone who makes their own loves them. Even though as mentioned I already had heaps of patterns in my stash I went and purchased the Kwik Sew K3881 pattern. The reason I purchased this pattern was I found a youtube clip showing how to make them using this exact same pattern. I have watched other youtube clips but they were all using other patterns.

I measured my waist 44″ and my hips 46″ so according to the pattern I should be a L or XL as I was tracing out the pattern pieces I though the XL looks massive. I held placed a pair of RTW wear and I knew they would be too big. In the end I traced out every size.

Strangely the XS seemed to be the best match to my RTW pair and that is the size I went with.

I was very excited to learn how to the gusset. All your gusset seams are enclosed as you do the burrito method to make them. I found Melly Sew’s youtube clip showing the burrito method very clear to understand. She also has a free pattern which I might try sometime.

These were made on the sewing machine. I set my machine to a stretch stitch of a length of 2.5. This was the first time I have played around with the length of this stitch.

I used some knit fabric from my stash. I made what the pattern calls the bikini version but to me are not what I know as bikini. The sides are wider than what I am used to therefore the leg openings aren’t as high. I have scars on my hips and avoid anything with a narrower leg opening. I have worn these to sleep in and they are comfortable but I would prefer the higher leg opening.

I like the back of these, there was no creeping of fabric into areas you didn’t want. They are a little bit snug so maybe I need to grade between the XS and the S but they may stretch after a few washes. They aren’t uncomfortable snug.

For the elastic on the legs and top I used fold over elastic. I have played around with FOE before but I can’t remember on what. Anne has a great clip showing how to sew with it. I need to work on my finishing technique with it as it just looks messy on these. I also has sections when I fold the elastic over and stitched down I missed so had to go back and redo these.

My overall first attempt wasn’t a complete disaster. It hasn’t given me the undie making bug but at the same time it hasn’t put me off making them again. This is a good basic pattern and the instructions were good but the sizing was off. I know different fabrics can make a difference but surely not by that much. As for the style even though it wasn’t what I would call my normal style they were comfortable. I don’t know if I would use FOE again, I think it will irritate my scars particular in hotter times. I may make this pattern again but using regular elastic, I might even try the size S to see if there is much difference in the finished size.

Even if I never make another pair I can tick undie making off my virtual to sew list.

Cassiy

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Go Of My ScanNCut

I made the tough decision to pass on my ScanNCut machine.


Firstly I have to say I am sure ScanNCuts are great machines. From what I have seen others do with them they are really useful and handy machines. I got mine back in 2014 when they first came out. I think it is one of those machines you need to play with to figure it out and I just don’t have the patience required. I have a short attention span, if it doesn’t work the first or second time I loose interest in it. I had ambitions of making a quilt that was made of embroidery panels that I was going to trace out on the ScanNCut then embroider over. I nearly got through about 1 of I think 12 blocks but haven’t touched it in years. The machine has lived on my bookcase for a number of years.

Scan N Cut Mats Hanging Up

For some time I have been thinking of giving the machine away (I find it hard to sell things particularly to friends and family) When my sister asked to borrow my Sizzix machine as she making items for my nieces party I thought perfect time to offer her this craft machine if she wants it to keep. I think she will get more use out of it than I would particularly for paper crafts. I now have a big space on my bookcase that I can put craft books and things plus the space in my wardrobe where I was hanging the mats. I am trying to do a big declutter of craft items that I won’t use and passing this on is a big step in the process.

Cassiy

Me Made May 18 – Week 5

Today marked the last day of Me Made May for 2018. The month has gone really quickly (hasn’t this whole year!) This is what I have worn this week

 

Monday – I wore a new pair of pants that I have recently made but finished the hem on last Sunday. They are made from a quilting cotton and despite my look in this photo I actually do like them. I also wore my crocheted headband.

Tuesday – It was only a single item worn that day of my Granville Wrap skirt. As this is lined and a little bit thicker and heavier due to a linen fabric used on the outer layer it is actually nice for winter. I still am in shock that I like a white skirt. Me and white never go together.

Wednesday – My feather skirt got another repeat wear for the last time this month. I made an amazing discovery that I have a pen in the same colour as the feathers on the skirt! My skirt fetish and pen fetish collided. I do like the length of this skirt and think I may need to make a few more longer skirts.

Thursday – Finally for the last day my Lego skirt had one last outing as did my vest and beret. The day never really warmed up so I worn the beret most of my work day. I did move it up to just at the top of my hairline so my forehead didn’t get hot and itchy but the top of my head remained warm.

So my pledge was to wear at least one Me Made item each day to work for May. Challenge complete I was able to do it. On the weekends I did have a few me made items on too but I wasn’t counting those, they were items like my pj tops or my beret and cowls when I went away for the weekend. I was focusing on my daily work wear. I did wear a few new items this month that I didn’t intentionally make to wear for the challenge. In the last 6 or so weeks my sewjo returned and I just wanted to making myself clothes. While I wanted to sew I wasn’t to stop the urge. I didn’t panic make just for the challenge. I must admit the day before the challenge started I was a little anxious which is just silly because it is only wearing my own clothes. The challenge did make me stop and actually plan my outfit. For years I have been in the routine of putting out my clothing the night before but I have always just grabbed whatever skirt or pants that were still clean and then grabbed a top to match in with it. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to wear the same skirt every 2nd day of the week if it was still clean and warm enough to wear it so I might only have worn 2 pants/skirts and 5 tops for the week. Doing this challenge has certainly made me not repeat items (with the one exception) For me I am not sure if that works as I just seem to have more clothes out waiting to be worn another once or twice before wash time. I have a clothing rack which I place my worn clothes on and it just seems to have more on it this month. Looking back I do seem to be repeating the same items over and over again. I have clothing I haven’t worn this month that I guess I could have to change things up a bit but I already have so many other clothes out.

This challenge has given me the chance to look at my wardrobe and see what pieces are missing. Tops are probably my biggest item but I kind of already knew that from the start. I now have the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt pattern which I want to make with my end goal of possibly replacing all my RTW tops. The tops I have made just aren’t practical to go under my work jumper which I wear for around 90% of the year as I work inside an office with air conditioning and I sit below a vent. Without doubt I know I need a new winter coat as my current jacket is on its last winter. I’m investigating patterns for one and hoping possibly to use the zip off my current one which means I can’t start the new one until after winter. Another gap I have is pants. I now have a pair that are me made the other couple in my wardrobe are store brought but I only really wear only one pair. I want to try pants and leggings.

Another thing this challenge has done is made me focus on attributes I like and don’t like of clothing. I have decided I don’t like cuffs and my new winter jacket won’t be having cuffs on it. I don’t like ¾ sleeve length but prefer a long sleeve without a cuff that I can pull up to ¾ if I need too. Pockets are amazing and all things should come with pockets but only good size pockets no small ones. A big thank you to Zoe for creating this challenge. I have had fun with it.

Will I do Me Made May again next year? I think I will. I have no idea what I will set my challenge as. Maybe it will be to do the entire 31 days I’m not sure I have until mid April next year to think about it.

Cassiy

Lego Skirt

I am part of a few Facebook sewing and craft groups. I find them a great place to find inspiration but my bank balance may disagree as it tends to lead to online shopping at times. Recently in 2 separate groups I saw an idea for a skirt style which I instantly wanted to make at some point and in another group I saw a piece of fabric that I knew I had to have so I immediately went and purchased some. The two have come together to form my Lego skirt.

The fabric is from Rubyjam Fabric who I discovered after I made the purchase is a Sydney based company. The fabric print is officially called Building Brick Blocks and I got the boy colourway which is just a basic mix of colours, the fabric does come in a girl version which has more pinks and purple colours. As soon as I saw the fabric I thought I need Lego fabric!!!! Immediately I knew it would be a skirt, I am trying to get out of the habit of thinking every fabric will be a skirt but this fabric had to be a skirt. I ordered 1m… I think but when it arrived it looked larger than that so maybe I ordered more than 1m anyway it just gave me more to play with.

The pattern I used is a variation of the Cashmerette Turner dress. In the Cashmerette group someone had posted a photo of a skirt they made using the pattern. A lot of people do “pattern hacks” of the Cashmerette patterns turning the dress patterns into tops or the tops into dresses the Upton dress and Concord top are patterns that you see frequently done but I hadn’t seen anyone do a “Turner Skirt” before this and I thought it was brilliant idea. I asked the person further questions because I knew I wanted to make this skirt and I already had the pattern in my stash.

My original plans for my Lego skirt was to make like a basic tube skirt like the M664 pattern but my mind went into overdrive when I discovered my fabric was long enough to make this skirt.  For the skirt portion of the Turner the back and front of the skirt is the same pattern. Normally in cases like this I would just trace and cut the pattern once onto trace and toile. When I traced out the pattern and held it against the fabric that was folded to see if I would have enough fabric to make the skirt I realised it was going to be very close to not fitting so it was better to trace out 2 patterns and pin them at once. Instead of pulling out my paper pattern piece again I placed the piece I had cut out on my craft table and traced over that. I did it in a different pen colour so I could easily see that I had traced it all.

In the end it was very close with less than 2″ of fabric left over. I really pinned the two pieces as close as I could to fit and had I only used one pattern piece to cut out the 2 sides I know I would have been short for the second piece.

As a result of my lack of remaining fabric I had to be creative with my waistband. As the pattern is designed to be made as dress I had to make my own waistband pieces. In previous waistband pieces I have made I have cut my rectangle pieces across the grainline but in this case there wasn’t enough so I cut my rectangles from scraps running down the length of the grainline. To work out how long to cut the rectangles I measured around the top of the skirt pattern which was 12″ on fold so 24″ in total. As I was having to cut 2 pieces for the waistband and join them my initial thought was then to add in seam allowance forgetting that the pattern piece I had measured had already included the seam allowance. From previous experiences elastic waistband pieces have always been a little smaller than the item you were attaching them too so instead I cut my 2 rectangles 23″ x 3.5″ so I could use 1″ elastic inside it. I placed my waistband so the joins would be in the centre front and back. I was just easier for me to do this and no one gets that close to my waist anyway to see. For the gap I left to thread the elastic through I used a method I read on the Fringe Association blog.  It worked out really well, I just hand tacked the sides flat on both my join pieces and then removed the thread once my elastic was in. On the portion that was inside my skirt I did use some of the selvage fabric on the waistband. It was on the inside, it didn’t matter and most of it got cut off on the overlocker.

I’m happy with the finished waistband. I assembled the skirt on the overlocker. The fabric was a little heavy so to reinforce it even though I used a 4 thread overlocker I went and did a row of stitch on my sewing machine over ever seam using a stretch stitch. All my seams were pulling a little bit, I read afterwards elsewhere someone else had the same problem and it was suggested they tighten the left needle in their overlocker.

 

Looking at my pattern I believe I cut out the size 24 but I think I could have gotten away with the size 22 or at least graded in however I am super happy with this skirt. It is a little bit longer than most of my skirts but I really like that. The fabric is a cotton knit which you could wear in either summer or winter.

You can twirl in it however I think I might be too old to twirl without the aid of some alcoholic refreshments because when I tried I became really dizzy luckily I had the wall to hang on too. Next time maybe I need a bigger space as there isn’t much room in my bedroom.

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This skirt ticks all things on my list of things to consider when making clothes. With the elastic waist and cotton knit it is comfortable and I won’t get hot in it. The style is like classic circle skirt and it certainly is quirky. I work in a paediatric environment and I have had so many comments about my skirt at work. It is bright and cheery and fun. This is my most fun item I have ever made in terms of clothing.

I love the idea of “Turner skirts” and I will be making more. I am going to do a plain black one which I have actually brought fabric for since making this. It is a really nice style skirt. I will make a proper Turner dress at some point but I can see another skirt arriving first.

I am a big kid I love my skirt.

Cassiy