Category Archives: FOs

FO: For the Danglies

This little slew of posts comes to you courtesy of two days in bed with a stinking cold. The new job is going really well so far, but as predicted it is kicking my backside in terms of the considerably reduced amount of free time that I have. Like Sadie, too, I’ve been trying to focus on actually doing the sewing/ knitting/ whatever instead of spending time and mental effort on blogging about it.

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That said, I did want to show you all one of my recent crafty endeavours:

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An earring stand is something that I’ve wanted for ages, but never quite got around to making. Yes, I could have bought one… but when it came to it, none of the stands for sale out there where quite what I wanted.

These are very simple, made using two basic photo frames that originally came from IKEA and a sheet of woven wire mesh purchased (for what I consider a very reasonable price) from the Crazy Wire Company. I cut the mesh to size using normal scissors and then slotted it under the little metal catches on the back of the frames. The earrings then just hook through.

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The one downside is that in order for there to be room for the earrings to hang, I had to lose the cardboard prop from the photo frame – the finished stands just lean against the assorted toiletries boxes on my chest of drawers. But I’m OK with that.

I have been finding that having my dangly earrings on constant display has reminded me to wear them more, which is a good thing. It’s also freed up room in my little giraffe tin so that I can see what studs I have better. Little things, eh?

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FO: Kirsten Kinomo Mk II

You would think that such a simple tee wouldn’t take that long to make, and I guess it didn’t really by my standards. However I did want to make sure that the added neck and armhole bands were applied evenly, with no twisting or puckering. My success was worth the short delay – I forsee myself wearing the heck out of this t-shirt!

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My first version of this pattern (which some of you may remember from my old blog) was made in a knit with considerably more give. This one fits fine, but either I need to stand up straight or I need to occasionally pull it down around the hips to prevent the horizontal wrinkle around my waist that I’ve only just realised is present in both of these photos. Jonathan only has so much patience for photo-taking.

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The main fabric is an inkjet printed remnant that I bought off eBay yonks ago. It has already featured in my wardrobe via the skirt barely mentioned here, so I had to piece the back in order to have enough for the tee. But actually I really like this as a design feature too, especially with the diagonal rough plaid print.

That’s all really. A great pattern, a result that I love, and a finished garment that will go some way to rectifying the current shortage of wearable t-shirts in my chest of drawers. Perfectamundo.

Tee

I was considering calling this post “FO: Refashioned Tee”, but then decided that “FO” and “refashioned” were both slightly grand terms for what I have just done, which is essentially taking in the side seams on a bought t-shirt.*

Anyhow. Here is the original t-shirt which I bought from a stall at Camden Lock in June:

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I loved the print too much not to buy one, but the shirts were ‘one size fits all’ with a couple of different cuts to choose from. This particular cut had more fabric to play with – the problem is that its profile was shaped like 1), whereas my figure is more shaped like 2):

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So what I did is that I placed my kimono tee pattern over the front and used that to mark out a new seamline on front and back. In order to give myself a bit more ease at the hips, I used this tutorial from BurdaStyle to create neat slits at the side seams, using scraps of interfacing as my ‘facing fabric’.

And the result? Well, I now have a t-shirt which I can wear! The fit at the back isn’t great but it’s eminently wearable and I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered to do anything about that – I couldn’t even be bothered to change my sewing machine thread from beige to ivory!

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Sorry for the lack of ‘good’ photos, by the way. That sort of thing just isn’t where it’s at at the minute either.

x

*We decided at a knitting evening last night that I am an ISTJ. Can you tell?!

Letting Go

The inlaws are visiting next weekend.

Actually, that opening sentence with a full paragraph of its own is more there for comedic effect than an indication of any actual trepidation. I like my inlaws a lot and am really looking forward to spending some time with them because we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we do my parents.

However the sleeping arrangements that their visit will necessitate do mean that Jonathan and I are spending this weekend having something of a blitz on the house, of the deep-clean and proper sort-out variety (rather than the “ah, that lot can go into a pile for now” variety that happens most of the rest of the time).

All of this is a rather convoluted way to say that I discovered my second knitting project ever, my Fae Folk Hat amongst the pile of textiles in our bedroom.

Now let me say first that I loved this pattern when I started it, and I still do. It’s a quirky hat, designed for all sizes from newborn to adult, and all of the finished projects that I’ve seen strike that wonderful balance between whimsicality and practicality. Below is Carina Spencer’s project photo for her adult version, and, well, how could you not fall in love?

Photo from Ravelry

The problem is that when I knitted it, it was my second ever knitted thing. I used Artesano Aran in two shades – Sunset and Maple – and calculated the lengths exactly so that I’d end up with a perfectly mathematical, visually random striping effect leading from a predominance of Maple at the bottom to Sunset at the top. I also decided that as cute as the pixie crown was, I was a grown woman and might possibly be better with a standard rounded top to my hat.

I hadn’t realised that yarn requirements are often overestimated, so the colours didn’t work out as intended. I was a bit of a twit newbie knitter and didn’t add evenly worked height into the hat where I’d taken out the decrease rows for the pixie crown. My ribbing sagged out (what can you say, it’s alpaca…) and I ended up with prominent gaps at the stitch markers.

It doesn’t even fit onto my head properly, so wouldn’t keep me very warm without constant tugging down over the ears. In the long term, I am very loathe to call this hat a success.

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I am placing these shots here for posterity, and I am going to be brave. I am going to place my second ever knitted FO into the rag bag for the charity shop*.

All of that said? I’d really like to knit the pattern again at some point, ‘cos it is friggin’ cute.

x

*Charity shops in the UK can get £5 per bag of textile waste that goes to recycling.

FO: Colette Lily with Half-Circle Skirt

Me not posting in a little while normally has one of three causes. Either I’m very low, or I’m away, or I’m working frantically on something so I don’t have time to blog. This most recent absence is a bit of reason 1 and a bit more of reason 3. I finished my dress in time for the wedding – on the outside at least – but it was a close run thing.

Jonathan took some photos for me in my parents’ back garden. Unfortunately he crouched down on the ground to do so, so I look like a giantess! They do show off the dress reasonably well, however, so I am still posting them here.

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This is what the fabric looks like when the light catches it (which just about makes up for how shifty the grain was while cutting!):

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And because I am really proud of the fit I achieved:

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I made two really good decisions. Interfacing the bodice and strap pieces gave them a wonderful supportive structure, resulting in a close and comfortable fit without risking major wrinkling. Using a microtex needle meant that the machine flew through each seam smoothly and without issue, even with up to five or six layers of fabric and interfacing at points, and again reduced wrinkling.

So there you have it. Totally can’t tell what the inside looks like in places 😉 I do intend to go back and fix at least some of that, though, and some of the insides are really well finished and look really nice.

Thoughts on the pattern? Well, I used Colette Lily for the bodice and then added a half circle skirt of my own drafting (as far as one can claim to ‘draft’ a circle skirt).

It’s clear that the Colette bodice block does not fit me straight out of the envelope, which I’m a bit disappointed at, and as I’ve already mentioned, I didn’t think that the construction order in the instructions was that sensible. It’d’ve been nice for them to include instructions for an optional lining – I know what I’m doing with that by this stage, but beginners wouldn’t have done.

That said, the drafting is superb. Everything lined up and fit together just perfectly. They’ve produced a gorgeous princess line, and I just love the flap at the top of the bodice. I can totally see myself making this one up again, perhaps as a cottony top.

All in all? I’m pretty pleased with this dress. It garnered a lot of compliments, and will be a great thing to have in the wardrobe for summer events.

FO: Vogue Tee (At Last)

Now I know this blog is entitled ‘Sewing Slowly’, but my last project has taken that to new extremes for such a simple garment. I cut out the knit tee from Vogue 1141 at my in-laws’ house over Easter, hoping to have finished it by the end of the holiday, and, well. I’ve just finished it this afternoon*.

Having finally got the damn thing done with, I decided that I’d better take photographs there and then. Jonathan was asleep and our garden had moved into shadow, so please excuse the poor quality.

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I love the pattern and the shape of the tee as much as I did when I first saw it. It’s got pleats at the shoulders and a few small gathers at each side of the bust.

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I shortened Vogue’s binding pieces to about 70% of the relative opening lengths – the knit I was working with doesn’t have fantastic recovery so I wanted to pull things in a bit, as it were, and I personally reckon that you don’t want a knit-binding ratio to be anything over 80% anyway. I topstitched the bindings because I couldn’t be bothered to stitch in the ditch – particularly after having discovered that I’d ended up with a few drag lines so this was only ever going to be a casual top anyway.

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The fabric is more purple-y in real life than the photos suggest. Unfortunately it also leaked a lot of dye on prewashing and wasn’t particularly stable to sew up. I should know by now not to buy crap fabric because of its colour/print, but somehow I always get drawn in….

Totally two thumbs up for the pattern though. I can definitely see myself making it again, and am very glad I bought it when I did because it’s now OOP.

x

*In fairness, my back did relapse in the middle of that time period, meaning that for about a fortnight even sitting was painful, never mind sewing. And I’ve been busy. So crazily, surprisingly busy!

FO: M5661, Finally

I finished the damn thing! Have some pictures:

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(The lighting’s rubbish, but I was impatient.)

I feel that this top has been going on for so long that I’m all blogged out about it, mentally if not in reality! But a short record of my feelings:

  • Love, love, love the colour. Still. I’m wearing it with jeans here, but it’ll go even better with my black work skirt/trousers.
  • I think that the fit’s pretty good. There seem to be a lot of wrinkles in the photos, but bearing in mind that it’s a fitted top in a completely non-drapy woven, that’s not unreasonable.
  • I could have probably flared out for the hips a bit less. I’ll bear that in mind next time.
  • I love the buttons! Bit of a PITA in that I need to ask for assistance in getting dressed/ undressed, but this would be more of a problem if I were single.
  • I removed a couple of inches of ease from the sleeve head, and I’m really glad that I did. I’m with Kathleen Fasanella on this one. I’m still pretty proud of how smoothly I got the insertion, given that set-in sleeves are my nemesis even when you don’t have a neat-looking-but-somewhat-complicated facing method which involves sandwiching the sleeve head between the front and front facing and then stitching the whole seam in one go.

Have I found my TNT fitted woven? I’d say so 🙂