Saturday, September 13, 2014

Holy holes in donughts Batman, what a break!

Its been two months, oops.

I've been drop spinning yarn recently, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I finished my Fireside Cardigan, and started one for a friend. I modded the original pattern, details here.



Also I cut my hair.

I've got all sorts of fall knits on the needles, right now, and I'm excited to share them once they're done. I think my knitting really picks up in fall and winter, because they are the perfect seasons to knit & wear cozy stuff. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Handstitching

I've been wanting to make a maxi skirt for a while. They seem so casual and comfy, and they're pretty straightforward. I wanted to make a Gabriola skirt, because it seems so glam, and it is a big hit among the sewist blogs I follow. It uses a lot of fabric though, (over 5 yards!) and I'd have to grade it up at least a size, and that's a lot of effort I'm a) not interested in, and b) I don't have the skills for anyway. I got 4 yards of this dark grey knit fabric from Yerdle (so, free!) and I wanted to make sure I had enough for whatever skirt pattern. I went with this one. I made the very flared version, and I'm glad I did, because any smaller and I'd feel like I was just wearing a tube of fabric. (It depends, I have a very wide stride, so I need lots of space.)

I learned a lot about needle types and sizes trying to sew this, but I only got through one side seam before the machine really started eating the fabric with a vengeance. I ended up hand stitching the other side seam and the elastic casing at the top. I read about different stitches, stitching techniques, and stitching knits. It actually ended up being really interesting and I think I'm going to look in to hand stitching garments more. I got Couture Sewing Techniques and have been browsing through it. Hand sewing would take longer, but I like the tiny, meticulous work (hello, knitting), and it might make sewing more portable. I never liked that sewing always seems to require all these little bits and notions and a machine, it always seemed to take forever to just set up.

I think my machine may be on its way out. I love it, but its a $60 machine I got 8 years ago. It's been through endless moves, and I honestly haven't taken very good care of it. I can really justify buying a new one, though. 


I don't know what's up with my bangs, ignore them.  I also set my camera at a new angle and apparently it makes me look 2 feet tall, so I'll be adjusting that in the future. I would have taken a new picture, but Olivia was determined to pull the tripod down on herself, so I had to cut the photos short.

I want to sew a button down shirt next, to go with the vest I'm knitting. I think this maxi will look great with them. Sweaters and button downs are a style I've always loved, and they seem perfectly autumn, so I figure if I start now I'll be done by fall. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Summer outfits

When its not in the 80s this past week, its been pouring rain. Sometimes both. Not that I'm complaining, I'll take hot over cold any day. So this has been my uniform the past week:




I finished my Brush Creek Shawl and drafted a pair of broadcloth shorts. It's the first time I've drafted pants of any kind, and they aren't stretchy, so I had to redo the muslin twice. I based them on a pair of jean shorts I own that I love. I lined them with white muslin, and the band at the top I reinforced with really stiff interfacing. I didn't put any elastic in them, so I'm thinking of adding belt loops so they'll be a tad more fitted. I did add a zipper on the side. Next time I think I'll add the zipper to the front though, because the broadcloth is very wrinkly and I think it looks a little weird. 



With my shirt tucked in. Not the most flattering, but you can see the waistband better. 



And the zipper. 


The Brush Creek Shawl I'm not as sure about it. I like it as a summer scarf, but its a little thicker than I think I like. Its bulkier around my neck then I like.  Next time I will stick to DK or even fingering weight cotton yarn. The pattern is great though, and I just adore this color scheme. 






Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Everyday Loafers

I found this awesome shoe pattern over at Shoeology. I've been looking around for some shoes that are fair-trade, but they're not easy to find. I mean, there are fair-trade shoes all over the place. But I wear roughly a 12 wide -13 in womens, and it's hard to find those sizes in shoes in general. I can wear mens shoes, but I don't always want to wear mens shoes, sometimes womens shoes are nice. Plus I love wearing heels. But since I wasn't finding anything in the fair-trade section I wanted, I decided to to go the hand-made route. I stumbled upon shoeology, which is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
This pattern only goes up to 11 in womens, but they do have patterns that go up to 15 in women and 13 in men. I figured this pattern would be pretty easy to manipulate to fit my feet. I started by printing out the size 11 pattern and then wrapping it around my feet to estimate how much larger I would have to make the pattern and got this:


My big feet.



I cut out inner lining in white muslin, and then did a second layer of muslin in the middle to substitute for interfacing since I didn't have any on me. 

First try - Sole is *way* too narrow. Ripping seams and adjusting.

Second try - Sole is still to narrow. Trying again.

Third try - OK, now the sole is too wide, but a minor adjustment and its perfect. Although the top is a little bit too long. Took about a 1/2 inch of length off at the heel, and its great.

Where there is white thread there will eventually be elastic.

I really like how this turned out. When I do actual shoes, I'm going to get some really thick canvas and thick interfacing so that they aren't so floppy. This is duck cloth I had on hand from a different project. Shoeology also has some American made soling material on their site which I want to order as well. Once I get this pattern down I can definitely see making a bunch of these shoes in different colors.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Stuff I Found

The benefit of being on the internet all the time is you run across some neat stuff along the way.






This illustrator draws in the space between buildings. 


This video is amazing. I wish we had commercials in America like this. 


Buy from the Feed Foundation and help children eat


Love From Ginger's Wise Words Wallpapers are perfect!

Yerdle looks like fun! You get credits to 'buy' items by donating other items. The best part is you can't just buy credits, you have to donate something.


This ring looks perfect for summer.

These 11 companies are changing the world for the better!

4 ways parents teach kids consent doesn't matter. As a new parent I am going to have to pay attention to this!

Madison Kimrey wrote a letter to Phyllis Schafly and it is perfect!


The Neighborhood looks like a great community I'm interested in learning more about.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fashion Revolution

Do you know where your clothes are made? The reason clothes don't cost much is because people are paid so little to make them. Look for local, fair-trade, and handmade clothing. I started sewing and knitting for fun, but the opportunity to make something so as not to buy into fast, cheap fashion is great, too. Take a look at the tag on your clothing and just be aware of what goes on.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sewist - Mediocre adventures in sewing.

I learned yesterday that someone who sews is called a sewist. Not a sewwer, like I thought. People who knit are knitters, it should be sewwers. Maybe they didn't want to be called sewers? Anyway, I did some sewist-ing of my own yesterday. My sister gave me a cute little phone case that looks like a Gameboy, because the case I had been using was falling apart. It lasted over a year, which is a good deal for a $10 phone case. But now that I had switched, I needed something to store my cards. I bought a yard of fabric on clearance at Meijer for about $3, a bright orange duck cloth. I thought it would brighten up my purse. I went with this fairly simple card holder pattern.




Those are my business cards for my photography, at www.olivenadirish.com. I swear my photography skills are better than my sewing ones!

Well, that turned out OK. I wanted the white stitching to pop, but instead it just looks like I didn't have matching thread (which is also true). Such is life. I was thinking about lining the edges with white bias tape, but I'm pretty sure it won't help. I am going to keep trying my hand at sewing, though. I want to do more 'everyday' sewing. As much as I like that dress, I don't really wear dresses on a daily basis. I have a nice little queue going - this pocket tank is definitely something I could wear everyday, I never have luck making skirts, but this simple skirt seems too easy for even me to mess up, and this shirt blouse is definitely on my list. I want one in every color.