Thursday, 25 October 2012

Crochet Kick

I've been busy hooking!
These are some projects I've made over the last few months!
I thought I'd lump them all together since they're just a little bit of cute fun :)  Nothing too serious here!

I made an amigurumi bear for my sister's birthday:
Design by Ana Paula Rimoli
And later I made that bear's twin for myself.  I've had a kit for this for ages!
I love his little scarf :)

Why not crochet a cute apple dishcloth?  (Free pattern on Ravelry.)  Let's just say it looks a little worse for wear after use in the kitchen...  I was however impressed with its cleaning power!

Another amigurumi:
Design by Ana Paula Rimoli
Then I got to work having a go at designing a few of my own amigurumi:

I stuck with a theme of bunnies and tried to make a few variations.

Quite the line-up, no?

I also made a fancy DIY light tent to photograph my small stuff in.  These photos look suspiciously well lit, right?

All thanks to this weird thingy!

See the tutorial I used here.

Thanks to my husband for fiddling with the camera and knowing things about photography.  I really don't have a clue when it comes to cameras so he helps me out! :)

Now I've got some crochet out of my system it's back to knitting and sewing!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Circle Skirt of Procrastination

It's finally finished!  I had reaaally hoped to finish this sooner.  Yikes, so many delays!  At least it's still cold enough to wear it!  (I SUPPOSE that's a good thing- I do hate the cold though).

It's a wool blend so it's quite warm, and there's loads of fabric to wrap me up :)

Hmm, look like I've got a headache here, lol!  Just adjusting my hair!
I made the skirt from Casey's circle skirt sew along.  I have to say, the instructions were a little hard to understand in places.  I almost drafted a waistband with zero ease since she didn't mention adding ease in her drafting post!  That would have been embarrassing!  I used 1.5" of ease in the waistband.
I was inspired by Casey and Lauren's very cute versions.  But I'm not sure I wear it so well.  It's a lot of fabric, that's for sure!

My husband had some feedback during construction:
Husband:  Your skirt is very... voluminous.
Me:  Yeah, it sure is.
Husband:  It gives you weird proportions.  It makes..
Me: butt look big?
Husband:  Yeah.
I can always trust that one for honest opinions, lol.  Luckily, he liked it once it had been hemmed.  Hemming makes a huge difference!
Speaking of which, hemming took me FOREVER.  There is a lot of hem in this thing- it took me days of work!

First of all, I let it hang for the bias to drop.  And it did, a lot!  It was very uneven.  I hemmed it by hanging it on my dress form and marking evenly around.  I didn't want my poor husband to have to do it for me!  Of course I had to sort out a stand for my dress form first and that is another story altogether...another reason this skirt took forever.

For the hem finish, I decided to try out a bias tape faced hem.  This way seemed easier than the narrow hem- less laborious in terms of measuring, pressing, and stitching.  I stitched the the top of the bias tape down by hand for invisibility.  Yes, it took ages!  But I'm pleased with the results :)  I really like the bias tape hem and would definitely do it again!

Here's me holding it up while wearing it.
I did a machine rolled hem like Casey's sewalong described for the lining.  Geez, what a nightmare.  It's not the best, so no close up pic!  Haha :)  It was rather dodgy.

To show off hem in action:  Mandatory twirling pic!
This skirt is quite dramatic but I think I can get with it.  Styling it is all about getting the proportions right.  Maybe it makes my butt look big, but it does work to make the waist look nice and small!
I think it looks better with the top over it, rather than tucked in. Somehow it's more balanced.  I think it would be nice tucked in if I had a cardigan over the top to break it up though.

Maybe a yoke waistband like New Look 6594 would balance a circle skirt better.  Hmm, worth an experiment sometime....?  Or perhaps go with a half circle skirt next time...?

I learned a few new things-  Since it has no side seams at all, the zipper had to be made with a slash insertion (part of the sew along here).
Guys, don't face wool with wool when it comes to this.  It looks bad.  Just bad. 

my thick and chunky "duck lips" zipper
I picked it out (which was really freaky with a seam allowance of 2mm), and faced it with the lining fabric this time.
A lot less fat!
Muuuch better.  In hindsight, I should have hand picked it for more invisibility!

Shot of the back because why not.

I notice a lot of people with crazy contrast linings on their makes, but not me!  Good ol' grey on grey.

And that's my skirt! :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Milena Work in Progress

My Milena has been coming along (with plenty of questions, mistakes, and obsessive note-taking along the way).  I took the hard route with this pattern-  it's rather light on details, but I guess that might help prepare me if I want to knit a vintage pattern someday!

I am worried about having enough yarn, lol, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
The other thing is that, as other people noted, it's a bit tight in the armholes.  For now I am trying out just adding extra rows in the shoulders.  Hopefully that won't mess up the look of the neckline too much by lowering it.  Of course, if I was desperate I could always use the daring technique of my friend at From the Purl Side (a new knitting blog I'm enjoying).  She cut her yarn- so brave, so brave!

But seriously, I don't get knitting from the bottom up.  Way too nerve-wracking, lol.  Fingers are crossed this thing turns out!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fitting Ruminations

Well, here in New Zealand, warmer weather is coming, so time to start on some lighter clothing, hooray! The Pendrell Blouse, I've been anticipating for a long time.  Here I am in my muslin- I've already taken a length adjustment.

Anyway, I had an epiphany of sorts while standing in front of the mirror, contemplating my fit issues.
Warning- I'm feeling my way in fitting so let me know if you have any thoughts on this!

First of all, I will have to make a sloping shoulder adjustment.  It's causing some gaping in the back armhole.  But forget that for now okay?  (I blathered on about it a little bit here if you're interested).

I realised along with vertical folds near the shoulders, there was gaping in the neckline.
As I contemplated how to get rid of the neckline sag, I realised these issues are connected.

Here, photos make it easy to see.
Basically, my shoulders roll forward due to poor posture (no doubt due to the years of illness and tendency to hunch over a computer screen).  See how it causes the neckline to crumple?

Here I've exaggerated my poor posture.
But what happens if I try improving my posture?
Neckline looks much better right?
My posture is somewhere in between these two.

I started thinking about what I'd have to do to get the pattern to fit my poor posture.  Then I thought, wait a minute, maybe I should be changing myself, not the pattern!
Perhaps this Pendrell could be an opportunity for self improvement- what if from now on I teach myself to hold my body better?  And if I don't my punishment will be a saggy neckline and *horror* wrinkles!  lol!

Isn't it interesting how fitting increases your knowledge of how your body differs from a "standard" figure?
So, what would you do- adjust pattern, or adjust yourself?  :)