A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: FO

I finished sewing my Macaron dress!

Sewing projects always trick me into thinking there’s hardly any work left. When I wrote my previous post about this dress, I basically thought I was done as I had constructed the bodice, skirt and sleeves. I hadn’t factored easing in the sleeves, lots of seam finishing (a step I was initially planning to skip), joining the pieces, inserting the zip and finishing the hem.

In between the two phases of making the dress, I had my sewing lesson to help me fit the bodice. Turned out that it was a fairly straightforward fix of reducing length in the back. We took a curved line out of the upper bodice so as not to disturb the style line of the pink fabric. Apparently, this is an alteration that is commonly needed if you have a larger bust and an upright posture. In fact, I have had issues with the back bodice in other dresses, so this is definitely a hot tip for future makes.

Things I’ve learnt for my next Macaron:

  • Be careful to transfer all markings from pattern to fabric
  • Be precise when sewing bodice seams so the pieces match at the sides

I don’t know what it is about this pattern, but it really emphasises the waist, which I absolutely love. I’m confident that I will be able to wear my dress to parties without foundation garments, eat and dance all I like, and it’ll still be flattering.

I’m really looking forward to starting work on my second iteration of this pattern. After being inspired by a dress on Pinterest, I’m on the look-out for some lace to complement the Liberty fabric. I do love a challenge!

Pattern: Macaron by Colette Patterns

Fabric: Under 2m pink rayon from Indonesia. Contrast fabric from Goldhawk Road, used less than 1m

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I finally finished sewing the Sew Over It pencil skirt that I started over two years ago. I feel that my tastes have evolved even in the past couple of years, so I’m not sure how much wear this garment will get. I suppose this is why most people don’t leave things on the WiP pile for several years! Maybe it will just have a token appearance during Me Made May.

I was highly apprehensive about making the size 12 as the measurement chart indicated I should cut a 14. However, I have found the sizing and charts off for pretty much every SOI garment I have made, so I went with my gut instinct and I think the 12 is the correct size for me.


It’s good to know how this pattern looks in the flesh, so to speak. I think it’s a good standard pencil skirt. I would only make this pattern again using quite a structured fabric, as I think anything drapey would cause the skirt to hug my lumps and bumps.

I’m already considering my second pencil skirt, for which I’m eyeing the lovely piece of thick, textured fabric I snapped up in the Sew Over It remnant sale. Aside from being irritated with myself for apparently losing the front and back skirt pieces that I so painstakingly taped together, I am aware that I already own a pencil skirt that is perfect.

It’s this beautifully tailored navy skirt that I picked up in a charity shop a few years ago.

Sew Over It ultimate shirt vintage wrangler denim

It’s a bit difficult to see the skirt as I was actually photographing the shirt, but there’s definitely a reason that I’ve worn this skirt almost to death. It hugs my waist without being tight or constricting in any way. It skims over my hips in exactly the way that I like. It’s fantastically comfortable in pretty much all seasons. When I got it, it had already been loved by the previous owner and now the fabric is getting shiny, there is a flaw in the zip, and the kick pleat flaps around sadly.

I wonder if I have the skill to adapt the ultimate pencil skirt to become my ultimate pencil skirt? Have any readers had any experience of making significant adaptations to patterns as a relatively novice sewist?

Pattern: Ultimate pencil skirt by Sew Over It

Fabric: I think it was called Joseph Rainbow Boucle, from SOI. Pretty sure I used around a metre.


When I was in Indonesia last year, I was drawn to an embroidered dress in a vintage shop, despite the fact that I knew the shape of the dress wasn’t for me. A year later, I have finally finished converting the dress into a skirt.

This is the dress as I bought it. The bust and top back are made from a jersey material, which complicated the alteration.

This is what the skirt looked like partway through. I’m not going to share a vast amount of information about the alteration because I just did it how I felt, and I’m fairly sure there would have been a much better way to go about it.

Basically I cut off the jersey part of the dress, and used the under-bust part as the waistband. The dress was already partially elasticated- you may be able to tell where the elastic is in the picture below. I added a thicker strip of elastic, partly to disguise where I cut the jersey. I recycled the strips of embroidered woven fabric to cover the elastic at the back. It buttons to the elastic, and to itself, to keep the two halves together and flat. I may remove this part in future and just leave the elastic visible- I’ll see how the skirt wears before making a decision.

Here’s a side view.

Overall, I am fairly happy with the finished product. I just love the embroidery, which is why I purchased the dress in the first place. The fabric isn’t drapey at all (maybe it’s a light cotton?), so for me it’s not ideal for a skirt of this style, but I think it’s fine overall.


After a very long pause, I have finally finished knitting this jumper. As you may be able to see, this made me happy.

Here she is looking less inspiring on the blocking board. I tried to stretch the jumper out a bit but decided against using pins.

My friend (and fellow crafty crusader) Jane very kindly helped me to take some pictures of this sweater on a recent short trip to Belfast. We managed to find a beautiful mural that I felt echoed the colours in my jumper. Unfortunately there were some issues with sun.

img_1097

Here I am raising my arm for some reason. I am so crap at posing.

Managed to squint a bit less in one of the pics.

Overall I am very happy with how this sweater turned out, despite the fact that the yarn was a different colour than I had seen in the shop. The fit is pretty good, especially in the shoulders, and the yarn is lovely and warm, and not itchy at all.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page

 


I have finally finished knitting my League sweater. Here she is blocking (for the second time).

I blocked pretty close to the schematic measurements. At first I was worried there was way too much positive ease, but I’m actually pretty happy with the fit now. Next time I wash this sweater, I won’t open up the rib in the bottom so much. Due to an unfortunate row gauge issue, the body of the jumper is too long, but allowing the ribbing to cinch in still gives me a look I like.

I took this jumper all the way to Edinburgh, planning to get loads of atmospheric pics in front of various beautiful monuments. In the end I only managed to get a few shots in front of the Edinburgh sign at the airport. The best laid plans and all that.

Yes, I am wearing a medal in all of the photos.

And the back.


Pattern: League by Veronik Avery

Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Titus

Ravelry project page 


I feel like just posting a load of emojis and exclamation marks. I’ve heard somewhere that a picture is worth a thousand words. Feast your eyes on this.

Here’s more of a close-up.

Honestly I can hardly believe I made this.

Here are a couple of pics demonstrating the difference that blocking makes.


This sweater represents about two months of significant work. I estimate that the yoke alone took 24 solid hours.

Hence the three WiP Wednesday posts (links 1, 2, 3). Several people have asked me whether I’m also going to do a Christmas jumper. The answer is a resounding HELL NO. Even if I was ready for another project this intense, I definitely wouldn’t be able to finish it before at least February.

The finishing was also a challenge. I ‘unzipped’ a crochet provisional cast on for the first time and it was s a nightmare! Definitely dropped a few stitches.

Picking up the stitches on the hem took about two hours, then the tubular cast off took at least another two hours. However, it really makes the garment look more polished so I think it’s worth it.

Happy Friday peeps!


This week I finished my mini socks that used up every last scrap of the beautiful bright purple yarn from my Bradway shawl. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out, especially with the adorable pom poms!

Shake your pom pom.

These socks are just about the right length for the trainers I had in mind. I have a real problem with ankle socks slipping down inside these shoes- even the fancy Nike trainer socks that swore to the heavens that nothing on earth could cause them to bunch down. I don’t see these pom poms creeping down my feet any time soon.


Although I’m pretty happy, making these socks just underlined that I am a cuff-down, not a toe-up, sock knitter. Wasn’t ‘toe up’ 90s slang for ugly? Anyway, although I think Judy’s Magic Cast On is very neat and clever, I hate doing it. It’s super fiddly and I almost never manage to cast on without at least one error. For the stretchy cast-off, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which I also wasn’t a huge fan of. I found the original tutorial on Knitty totally incomprehensible, but Google came up with the goods and I got there, though not without first questioning whether I know how to do a yarn over. I’m worried it’s a little too stretchy and will lose it’s shape. You just can’t beat a nice long-tail cast-on on my estimation.

Pattern: Socks on a Plane (free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Flashdance by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page