I bought this cotton yarn over a year ago, when I was first exploring fabulous yarns. I bought it online just to see what it was like. Well I loved it. But Inspiration had not struck so I didn’t buy more and I stayed in my stash all this time, until now!
A few weeks ago it was a friend’s birthday, and all of a sudden I knew what had to be done. I looked in my stash for an appropriate colour, but all I had was black! And good thing too, because I don’t think this could have turned out any better.
After some hunting, I found this Japanese crochet pattern on Ravelry and got to work! Once I started on the fringing, I worried there wouldn’t be enough yarn to complete it, and it turned out I was right. I decided instead to do one row of single crochet all around and I think it actually turned out much nicer. And you know what else? No pair of scissors ever touched this yarn. All I had was 3 inches left to weave in and that was it! My modified version was the perfect fit for this ball of yarn!
Clearly it was all meant to be. My friend loved it!
Sparkly sparkles! This dress is cheating. It’s sooooo comfy – it’s actually another version of my House Dress, but in sparkly knit fabric.
I’m still terrible as sewing knits, but I made this dress for a night out at a friend’s party and it was lovely and dark so my sewing sins went un-noticed. Until I pointed them out to my fellow-sewing friend. Haha!! I really need to get the hang of knits!
Learning to sew has quickly become one of my most favourite things to do. I love the creativity, the satisfaction, the challenges, and the fact you can do it alone or with friends, whatever you feel like. I especially love how I can now look at a piece of clothing and work out what I’d need to do to recreate it. This is one of those pieces, and possibly my all-time favourite of things I’ve made so far:
A double breasted woolen cape-let. YES, I am that awesome.
The original cape-let was a lovely blue goat-wool with wooden buttons belonging to a woman I work with. When she walked past me in the office I practically pounced on her and said how cute it was, and immediately started petting the caplet (note this is much easier to do when everyone knows you are sanely eccentric.). Knowing that I am teaching myself to sew, she told me I could borrow it and take a pattern from it. My little eyes widened and I tried in vain to conceal a squeal.
A few days later she dropped the blue cape-let on my desk. Something this special can’t be kept away for long, so I took the pattern that night. Then, because it was Wednesday, I had to wait two whole days before I could cut into the awesome woolly-like fabric I got from an opshop a few months ago.
Because the opshop wool was a bit scratchy, I thought it better to add lining. I found this awesome sheer purple satin on a trip to Sydney and thought it would be just the ticket.
I am still pondering about the buttons. These are the same metal buttons as what I used on A New Year’s Dress, except in creamy white. They came from my Great Grandmother’s button stash so they could be very old indeed! For this reason I may replace them later to use on something else, or at the very least version two of this wonderful cape-let.
There are few wrinkles to work out. Because I didn’t have instructions, I had to make up my own construction method – and I think I did an okay job at that. Adding lining was a little difficult as the original didn’t have any at all – so I had to make that up completely. And lastly, something went seriously funny when it came to attached the neckband to the body of the cloak… I had to take the back seam in two whole inches to make it fit!! I strongly suspect this was due to adding too much seam allowance and then sewing too close to the cut line… The only way to know for sure is to make version two!
I have visions of cashmere ’40s length pencil dresses with matching cape-lets… in black and moss green so far…
$70 – generalpants.com.au
$158 – coggles.com
€80 – welikefashion.com
$432 – ssense.com
$1,405 – mytheresa.com
$22 – 1928.com
$17 – oldglory.com
£19 – houseoffraser.co.uk
I love learning. It’s great. It keeps you going. Learning is also why you won’t see me modelling my latest creation:
Isn’t it lovely! What fun! Silly Morgan, just hem it up and you’re done! It’s wonderful!
No. It isn’t. It’s not. I’m not. It isn’t.
I’m lucky in that I can pull it over my hips. But I can’t do the zip up and even if I could, I’m am certain the moment I did that extra bendy-bend to sit in a car my not-that-generous behind would bust some puckering seams. Fortunately I found this out before I spent any more time sewing the lining together.
That’s not all. Something weird is going on with my pattern alterations. I had noticed when I sewed the BatFace is Back Dress cut from my same updated pieces, but by that stage I’d already got excited and cut this one. Lesson learned.
But wait, keep reading for the next 47 seconds and be amazed by our next disaster:
‘No!’ I hear you say, ‘That’s no mishap, that’s an expensive designer dress design feature!’ On another day I would agree with you, but today the twist wasn’t meant to happen and the rest of the dress doesn’t fit, so unfortunately it is not a design feature. However, considered it noted for future dresses – If only I could figure out how I managed to do it…
Finally, my invisible zipper installation was out by ONE WHOLE INCH on one side. That sucked. So I cut off the extra bit and sewed on. So my back neckline is now uneven. So what? 😀 Right now I’m enjoying all this learning with cheap fabric.
I was looking forward to this dress – I haven’t felt my Gothic colours shine for a while and was thinking this would be a marvellous way to trickle them back for the winter. And considering this cheap muslin was from a really rough skirt and cheap lining remnant, I’m still looking forward to this dress.
No point continuing with this dress now, I’m keen to get the pattern updated and cut out my next one. I have some catching up to do!
Sounds gross doesn’t it. Why would one need to rescue knickers? If you remember that this is a blog about sewing, we then may remember these.
Beverly from redbamsews made the marvellous suggestion to remove the side seams and add some more fabric to the sides. So I did! After that went extremely well, this happened:
Genius I am. Luckily the iron-burn happened at the top end, so these promptly became Hipster French Knickers. But the fun didn’t stop there. Other disasters for this rescue include:
- Over-calculating the amount of fabric I’d need.
- Over-estimating the length the waist elastic needed to be.
- Over-experimenting blindly with the amount of flare.
- Running out of matching bobbin thread.
- Running out of ribbon trim.
As you can no doubt see, I have learned something from this French Knicker experiment. What I’m not quite sure yet. Lo, here are the knickers!
Hooray! This picture actually makes them look good. What you don’t see is they actually make me look like a potato and Sweetheart starts giggling whenever he sees me in them.
That aside however, I’m getting more impressed with my stitches and patience when sewing satin! Which is great, as satin is one of my favourite fabrics and I hope to sew a lot more with/in it. Just have a look (and also appreciate the awesome moth-lace ribbon I found a few years ago!):
Somehow I don’t think they’ll be worn much, not by me anyway. Unfortunately they’re just to weird a fit on me.
There will be more French Knickers.
This little bit of time back at my machine over the holidays, it dawned on me why I’ve been focused on crochet so long. Sewing in my space isn’t as comfortable or efficient as it could be, and my poor machine gets covered with dust. So I need to get my sewing space on order!
I had recently found a measure of cheap black PVC in an op shop for $3!! Bargain! The first thing that sprang to mind was a fitted top and pencil skirt, but things didn’t work out that way for the PVC…
I hereby present PVC Sewing Machine Cover and PVC/Stretch Velvet Table Cover!
With the machine cover, I had my first experience sewing a square corner! I was quite unusual, especially with no instructions. But I did work it out! Then there’s the table cover, which by all laws of physics probably shouldn’t exist. I’m sure anyone with a shred of sewing experience would not even consider sewing stretch velvet and PVC together, but I did. And now I won’t ever again.
And here’s my delightful Pins of Patience in their new home. I had been using a velvet cushion I had made when I was a youngun, but as it has no base the pins kept going right through it. This one is much more sturdy and I can use it as a paper/fabric weight as well 🙂
These few items give me a promotion in my Gothy Sewing Space – literally, instead of working on a coffee table and mediation cushion, I actually have a proper table that doesn’t bounce when I sew at full speed. I have lost the seat though, and keep borrowing one from the kitchen… small steps…
Ooh the excitement keeps coming… bring on 2012!!
More Beading Binge Bliss!
↑ I remember the creative process on this one, I was feeling Goth-y, and I liked the big bead. So I made the top bar. Then I just kept putting matching things together until I had something I liked! I had a lot of fun with this piece but I do recall it taking a longer time that most of my others 🙂
↑ Another favorite!! The charm was actually from an older pair of favourite earrings, you can see the black coating has started to come off in parts. The earring hooks were in a much worse state, and while I could have just replaced them, it was more fun to create something new. I still have the other earring, it’s waiting in my bead box for the right moment!
See my other Beading Binge posts:
- Crafty Archive: Results from my Beading Binge #1
- Crafty Archive: Results from my Beading Binge #2
- Crafty Archive: Results from my Beading Binge #3
- Crafty Archive: Results from my Beading Binge #4
- Crafty Archive: Results from my Beading Binge #5
Happy creating! 🙂
I have fallen behind on the Self-Stitched September ’11 challenge, but not one for excuses, here’s Day 5!
I promise you I did also wear a head that day.
This skirt I made from fabric I’ve had in my stash since 2004. I’ve been wanting to make it into a pencil skirt since then and this year I finally did! This is the fabric that made me want to learn to sew, and I’ve been holding off using it till I felt confident enough to cut it. It’s now one of my favourites and an office staple. It also features in the SSS’11 themed photo shoot I was able to squeeze in that week!
Stay tuned 🙂