Archive for September 2013

Wearable muslin

Get your hands out of your pockets, Emma.jpg

Pattern: Crepe by Colette Patterns, version 1
Fabric: chambray from Spotlight
Started: about a year ago
Finished: when it was too cold and dreary to take photos of it outside, 2013

Late last year and early this year, Matt and I attended a spate of weddings. I have no idea what the collective noun for weddings is – a celebration of weddings perhaps? Whatever it actually is, we just call that period of our lives Weddingpalooza.

This dress was part of an optimistic idea to make a dress to wear to some of the weddings. Specifically, it was the proof of concept before cutting into the actual fabric I wanted to use to make the Weddingpalooza dress.

I have an admittedly irrational fear of sewing, mostly because you can’t frog a mistake like you can in knitting. So, every step was taken very carefully and deliberately; multiple muslins of the bodice were made, adjustments drafted, measuring multiple times before cutting, unpicking when things were even a little bit off. In the end, I only made three adjustments to the pattern. The first one was to narrow the neckline so it sat on my shoulders better. Then I adjusted the back pieces to account for the changes to the front. Lastly, I took a little bit out of the shoulders because I wasn’t rocking the linebacker look as well as I thought I would.


The result isn’t without its flaws – the bodice is probably a wee bit short, the placement of the darts is a bit off and there’s probably a little too much fabric in the bodice. I also have ongoing problems with the armhole facings, where I have to tuck them in when I put them on, even after tacking them down at the top and bottom. Despite these issues, I’m still really chuffed with the result. I think the dress looks great in chambray and cannot wait to wear it now that the weather’s warmer.

Back of the dress.JPG

Despite my general trepidation about sewing, this really wasn’t a difficult pattern to put together. The pattern instructions were very clear, and on the odd occasions when I was confused, Gertie’s Crepe Sew-along posts were really helpful.

As for the actual weddingpalooza dress, it never happened. Although I thought I’d left enough time to make the trial and actual dresses, life became a bit too busy and something had to give. In hindsight it was probably for the best as the fabric I chose, a pretty poplin, was a bit too stiff for the pattern.


Not all is lost for this fabric, for one day it’s destined to become a Macaron. All it’ll take is for me to build some confidence and learn the gentle art of zipper installation.

The tie

It’s Spring and it’s windy so it’s the perfect time to get Matt outside to model the tie I made him earlier this year.

fly away tie.jpg

Seed Stitch Tie, a hybrid of a Lion Brand pattern, a tie pattern from Knit Two Together and a TECHknitting tutorial
Around 30g Habu Textiles A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk, dark blue (held double)
2.00 and 2.25mm needles
Started: Some time in 2012
Finished: April 2013
Ravelryed: here

The last mention of this project was aaaaaalllll the way back in November, where all that was left to do was the seaming. At first I tried using mattress stitch (my default seaming method) with the stocking stitch ‘tram tracks’ on the inside. It may be an exaggeration, but I hated every minute of it. The seaming made the tie snake this way and that, and keeping the tram tracks on the inside was making it puff out into a tube. It was doing pretty much the exact opposite to what I wanted the tie to do. In desperation, I unpicked the seam, flipped the tie inside out (so the tram tracks were outside) and used back stitch. It seemed to do the trick!

wearably wonky.JPG

It still snakes a little from side to side and now you can see the tram tracks on the outside edge of the tie, but let me assure you it’s a lot better than what it was. It’s gone from ‘please don’t wear this in public ever’ to wearably wonky.

Tsumugi Silk has a great tweedy-ness to it which lent itself well to this tie. The only drawback to it is its lack of memory. Since coming off the needles, it’s dropped a little bit, and I can see that it’s going to need periodic shortening. If I knit another tie using this pattern(s), I’ll be using something with a bit of memory. Hopefully that’ll stop it from stretching out so much.

hot dimple action.jpg

Since Matt’s been reading the menswear blog Put This On, the mark of a good tie seems to be based largely on the tie knot and dimple. This tie appears to make a good knot and hold quite a sizeable dimple, so for all my griping, it’s mission accomplished.