The Muslin Malformation

Chloé dress from Sew What you Like

This is the Chloe Dress from Tanya Whelan’s cute book Sew What You Love. Actually, it is the muslin for the Chloe Dress. Since the bodice is fitted, I thought a muslin was in order. And I’m glad I made it.

My bust and hip measurement corresponded to a size 10 (my waist was too large, but I figured the muslin would help show me if I needed to adjust for it). Because I made this as a muslin, I completed the bodice on its own, including the shirring in the back. When I tried the bodice on, it was – even with the shirring – ridiculously big. I had to cut more than six centimeters (!) – over two inches – from the sides of the bodice for it not to just slide right off me.

Chloé dress from Sew What you Like

Since I managed to get the bodice to fit eventually, I finished the dress, albeit without a lot of finesse (the neckline facing is actually elastic lace hem tape – my new go-to sewing aid). I don’t think the strapless style really suits me all that well, and I am pretty sure I won’t make any of the other clothing patterns from this book.

And while we’re on the subject of unflattering dresses, I might as well show you the Pinterest-inspired dress I made a few weeks ago:

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After I got these pictures I added D-rings to the belt so I wouldn’t have to tie it in the back. It isn’t too flattering with the dark top and lighter bottom (with horizontal stripes, no less!), but it’s very light and airy.

(Can you tell from the title of this blog post that I am just a little obsessed with the Big Bang Theory?)

Clearly, I am not done with my red period

Yet another iteration of my Zara top scratch-off pattern. This time I made it in a very fine (perhaps slightly too thin) wool jersey. The colour is exactly the same as the first two versions of this dress.

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I love this pattern. Bateau neck FTW! I have come to realise that the only sleeve lengths I am completely comfortable with are sleeveless and 3/4.

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The thin fabric reveals more bumps and lumps than my other dresses, so with this one I need to pay close attention to my choice of undergarments.

Healthy goodness

Lately I’ve been trying to eat less white flour. This crisp bread is very healthy and also very, very yummy. My version is a tweaked version of this Hot Chocolate Media recipe.

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150 ml spelt flour

100 ml dark rye flour

100 ml barley flour

350 ml oat bran

150 ml sesame seeds

200 ml sunflower seeds

100 ml flax seed (I like the toasted ones from Trader Joe’s, they add a delicious nutty flavour)

100 ml wheat bran

1 tea spoon salt

700 ml lukewarm water – add a tea spoon of honey if you like.

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Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread very (VERY) thinly with a spatula on parchment paper-covered cookie sheets.

Set your oven to convection baking at 330 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for ten minutes. Use a pizza cutter to cut into crisp bread pieces and bake on for 30 minutes more. If they’re still a little soft, they can go back in the cooling oven with an oven mitt in the door for a while.

Because I *needed* a new hobby

So I’ve taken up weaving. I actually bought my rigid heddle loom – a 15 inch Schacht Cricket – this summer, but a failed warping had me relegating it to the corner of my bedroom. After I confessed this sad state of affairs to my spinning group, one of the members promised to help me warp it, so I brought it to our monthly meeting on Thursday.

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I warped it with the Brown Sheep yarn that came with the loom – not necessarily the colours I would have chosen together, but certainly an easy first project.

It’s pretty short, 5′ 5″, not particularly pretty, but a good learning project. The hem stitching had to be pulled out a couple of times, but even that came out ok in the end.

Woven scarf

I then moved on to the project I had seen in my mind’s eye when buying my loom – a scarf using my own handspun.

Woven scarf

This yarn is a two-ply superwash BFL, dyed by Allspunup (bought on Etsy). The colours are mostly blue and dark purple.

It isn’t by any means perfect – the edges pull in a little, as a result of my lack of experience with warping and maintaining equal tension. But I love it.

Woven scarf

 

I think I might come to like this weaving thing.

Drunk Monkey

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I love these new socks!

Thanksgiving weekend, we took a road trip to New York. We had a lovely time and visited several yarn shops. My favourite was Brooklyn General Store:

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It’s a very cool store, chock full of lovely yarns, nice fabrics and lots of nifty notions. I spent almost an hour there, happily browsing and finishing some socks on their couch.

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I didn’t do a lot of damage to my bank account, but the one thing I REALLY wanted was some nice sock yarn. I got this:

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(a yard of cotton fabric, merchant&mills eyeless safety pins and …drumroll, please… Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in color “In Vino Veritas”). As soon as I got home to my swift and nostepinne I cast on for a pair of Monkey Socks.

And now they’re done.

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I made a few changes. I used the eye of partridge heel stitch instead of a plain heel flap, and knit the heel flap for a few more rows than called for in the pattern (inspired by my newly finished Hedera socks, where I really liked the tall heel flap). The Monkey pattern is knit over 64 stitches, which is probably realistically a little wide for me. By the end of a day, the socks are a little looser than other socks I’ve knit. They are lovely, though.

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After shots

So they had to wait a little, but here are my dyed Hedera socks:
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They are just dyed with three different colors of Kool-Aid (black cherry, orange and a little grape), but although the dye job isn’t completely even, it is color-fast. I like them a lot better now than in their pre-dyed state.
In other news, since I don’t think I’ve said so, the Hedera pattern is really lovely. I especially like the heel pattern and the high heel flap. In the pattern, it is about 50 rows high. In the Monkeys I’m knitting now I’m going down to 40-44 (still taller than what’s in the original Monkeys pattern), and even that leaves comfortable room for my high arches.

The Monkeys should be done in a day or two. Can’t wait to show them off properly.

Teacher presents: We hope you’ll stay warm this holiday season

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The fabric is leftover black wool bouclé felt from my dress. The embroidery yarn is cotton.


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