Archive for the 'Sewing' Category


There hasn’t been a great deal of production lately, but there has been some, and the holidays provided some much needed crafting time.

A colleague recently had a baby girl, which occasioned some baby knitting:
Baby gift. Can't decide if I like the booties better with the embroidery or without.

The hat is the (very popular) devil’s cap.

The booties are the ingenious Hodge. I love, love these booties, which take less than a day each, but involve no seaming! Check out the sole construction:
Baby gift. Can't decide if I like the booties better with the embroidery or without.

The contrast yarn is some leftover burgundy yarn from one of my earliest projects, and the main colour is Rowan Felted Tweed DK. I had seven balls lying in my stash for several years, but I recently completed a sweater from it. It was a pattern I’ve had my eye on for years, the Turbulence Pullover from Norah Gaughan’s fabulous Knitting Nature:
Turbulence pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. Added two inches in length, which was necessary.

The only modification I made to this wonderful pattern was adding two inches of lengh to the body (but it is still significantly shorter than most pullovers I buy for myself). It is absolutely one of the most successful knits I’ve ever made for myself.

Turbulence pullover, from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. Added two inches in length, which was necessary.

As the pictures reveal, it has been a few months since the pullover was completed. A more recent FO, however, was the first piece I have sewn since last spring:

White cotton jersey pencil dress

It is white cotton jersey. The pattern is a version of my trusty scratch-off pattern. The modifications I made were the split neckline (tricky to sew, but good-looking) and a narrower skirt, copied from a pencil dress I wear a lot.

White cotton jersey pencil dress

I keep the split neckline opening closed with a narrow gold-plated chain. The fabric turned out a little floppier than I thought, so the chain keeps the neckline from flopping open.

And my Easter knitting this year – a Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmermann, knit from a handspun silk/BFL combo. It is rather small, but beautiful:
Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmerman. Hand spun silk/BFL

The inner circles are solid, and the outermost circle is knit in old shale:
Pi shawl per Elizabeth Zimmerman. Hand spun silk/BFL


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:



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.


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.


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.

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





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

Clingy tights and a new dress

I finished another dress based on almost exactly the same pattern as this one. This one is sleeveless and in a nice, not too flimsy cotton jersey.


Unfortunately, I happened to wear my clingiest tights today, so even with a slip underneath the dress, the dress clung to my tights like crazy.

I made a slight change to the pattern this time, and made the hip and waist a little more roomy. I think I’ll add a little more room if I ever use this pattern again. But my plans for the next few are for looser dresses for the hottest summer days.


Christmas notes

I know most teachers would prefer a gift card of some kind, but this year we went with the handmade gifts.
Teachers' gifts

I finished the Noro Scarf and decided it was a Christmas present for …me!

Noro scarf

It looks very cool with my black coat.

Noro scarf

I spotted this bookmark on Pinterest a couple of days before Christmas and decided to whip two of them up for some book gifts. I am honestly not sure how suitable they are for bookmarks, but they are kind of cute – especially with the contrasting embroidery floss.
Felt bookmarks

Jeans rescue

My favourite pair of jeans – high-waisted stretch flared jeans from FCUK – recently died, in that they developed a hole on one of the knees. It’s been lying in wait while I pondered my options. I thought of patching it with a fun applique, but I realised I wouldn’t ever wear it outside the house. So the other night I took a pair of scissors to it, and cut it right across the knees where the hole was.

The top half became a knee-length pair of shorts, which will come with me on vacation shortly:


The wide flared legs gave me an idea. I opened up the inside seam on both of them, sewed them together, added a wide band of ribbing (maternity-style. I am – as previously vouch-safed – not pregnant, but who can deny that maternity-style stretchy ribbing is the most comfortable of all waistband styles?) and made a skirt:


There are, of course, two other benefits to the ribbing. First – no zipper! what’s not to like. And secondly, I can wear it higher or lower, because the ribbing just hugs my curves no matter where the skirt sits.

I may embellish these a little later.