Friday, 21 December 2012

My Top Five of 2012

At first when I saw this idea Gillian had of putting together a top five, I thought I'd give it a miss.
But when I saw my fellow bloggers' lists, I got inspired and decided to make my own.

I ended up enjoying it- it's like a pat on the back, and it's great to focus on the positive!  I DID make some things I'm proud of this year!  I CAN do it!  Even though I'm a newbie I will continue to improve.  Bring on 2013! :)

So here are my top five- all firsts in some way.

The Taffy blouse- my first experience with a bias cut top, and chiffon.  I'm so happy it worked out!
I would quite like to make this top again...

New Look 6808- Oh boy did I learn a lot here.  My first experience trying to fit a top and much blood sweat and tears as I went it alone.  Okay, I did have the internet, but that's not an ideal way to learn, I've decided, lol.  Again, another top I would like to make again!  (Gotta make all that hard work fitting it worth it!)

My Miette!  Of course!!  I knitted my first garment, of which I am very proud.  I'm now an addicted knitter, thanks to this experience.  And of course I am forever grateful to Gail who hosted the Miette Knitalong with me!  She is my wise teacher :)

The Renfrew top.  My first time sewing with knit fabric and my first Sewaholic pattern.  I know this pattern has a lot of fans in the blogosphere (lol, that word), and rightly so!  Alright I'll say it again- yet another pattern I want to make more of :)

And last but not least- the Wool Circle Skirt- my first self drafted pattern.  

So there we have it, my top five.  I'm not a high volume sewer so at first I wasn't even sure I'd have enough finished projects, but whaddayaknow, I did!  And you know what?  I even like them.  There, I like some things I've made.  Success! 

Oh and of course, Merry Christmas to everyone- see you in the New Year.
To get a bit sappy, I really love hearing from all of you and getting inspired by all the neat stuff you do!  Thanks everyone :)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

And the Pattern Pyramid Winner is...

Ooh, I've never given anything away before!
Drumroll please...
The winner of the Pattern Pyramid Prize is...
Katho of Karen's Projects!

Now, I hope I got your blog right, Katho, heh heh!  As I changed to Disqus it took all the links out of everyone's names for any comments before Disqus was installed.  Very sneaky indeed!

So get in contact and we'll keep the Pattern Pyramid going!  I'm looking forward to seeing you bring one of the patterns to life :)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Yaaaaay, Knitting Complete!

Well, well, well.  Guess who finally completed Milena?
This thing took me forever!  By my count, it took me three months!  Gee, no wonder I feel like I haven't been putting out many projects lately.  This thing has been sucking up all my time!
But I'm so glad... it turned out cute!

Thank you to my friend Yuko for taking lovely photos!
And thanks to the Wellington wind for keeping my hair a mess...
See my copious Ravelry notes here if you like.  I am looking forward to a less complex project next time.  As this pattern was so light on details I had to think a lot.  And FROG a lot (ick).  Hopefully that means I learned a lot?
Let's see, I did my first short rows.  And placed my own buttonholes, as well as deciding what type to do!

Since I learned to pick up stitches twisted for buttonband ribbing, I did it for the sleeves too.  I think it screwed up my purl side short rows a bit.  Or maybe I was making some other mistake, lol!  They looked a bit holey.

Such a small detail...

Well they WERE holey.  I just sewed them up on the wrong side of the work.  Hee hee.  No-one will know, other than you guys!
Next time I won't pick up my wraps for the sleeves, just like the Craftsy course said.  I thought "Oh I'll be an A+ student and practice picking them up anyway!".  I guess that backfired a little.  No biggy!

Here, have a pic of the back.  I love the sleeves... so romantic and sweet.
In my previous progress post, you can see my neckline is quite high and wavy.  I think I picked up too many stitches.  I did rip back and do less rows which improved the look.  But next time I'll pick up less on the slopes (I picked up something like one for one- too many I think).
When I steam blocked it I kinda smooshed the little bit of remaining waviness together and it seemed to work, hooray!

Detail shot cos why not?
Oh, and I think I'll be adding a snap to the top of the buttonband since there's no buttonhole in the ribbing.  It can tend to gape open.

Note the slight gape!  :O
Okay, enough about my mistakes learning opportunities.
I think this cardigan is totally cute and I think I'll enjoy wearing it!  It's made from 90% cotton, 10% cashmere yarn.  It's very soft and I love the colour.
I'm rather proud of my second cardigan especially after all the work I put into it.
Oh and did you notice?  I'm wearing it with a skirt I made!

Hey, does anyone else get a voice in their head saying "Well, after all that work, you better not wear it!  It might get ruined!!"  lol! 
Of course the flip side of that is "You'd better wear it every chance you get to make the effort worth it!"
I think I'll try to just... wear it and enjoy it.  :)

I liked this photo since it looks so triumphant!  I did it!!!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Spam Be Gone

I absolutely love getting comments from you all!  I think the blogging community is so exciting and wonderful.

So, I recently mentioned how I was taking off recaptchas as I hate them with a passion... who wants to have to squint at their computer screen and type out gibberish just to prove they're a real person?

Looking into it, I found a few options.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The No-Tell Pendrell

 Okay, I'll tell the secret of this Pendrell Blouse.  It's made of a bedsheet.
I've seen many bloggers make wonderful garments out of bedsheets.  Sue at Sewing Steady did a great post about it recently- look at the amazing results some people can get!
However, today, I am not one of these people.

Very unimpressed.
I thought I'd make this Pendrell Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns as a "wearable toile".  I'd already made one to test the fit, so with some tweaks I thought I might get something decent.

To be honest I don't think I'm sold on the idea of a wearable toile/muslin, as I don't want garments I only kinda like.  If I'm going to put my effort into finishing it properly I want a result I love!
However, I don't think this top was ever destined to be great- the bedsheet doesn't really drape well enough for this style.
Looking at the garments others have made with bedsheets, they seem to suit a more structured garment.  A good learning experience I suppose?

Okay, I'll give wearable toiles one thing- they do actually give you some practice at the finer points of construction that you wouldn't get with a no-frills toile.

I found for instance that I will change the construction slightly.  The instructions say to attach the bias tape around the armholes and then sew the side seams, tacking them down at the top.  I think maybe Tasia chose this way to make it easier to sew.

Following the pattern instruction

I feel it looks much nicer with the binding covering the side seams like so:
I think I'll do it this way instead.

A major thing that bothers me about this garment is the puckered neckline.  My leading theory right now is that when I staystitched the neckline, it eased in the fabric a bit.  Any other thoughts?  But see?  Another lesson from a wearable toile..  Hmm, maybe they're not so bad.
If I liked this garment more, I might try fixing it.  But I don't, lol.
Puckers, wrinkles, it's got it all.
Also, any thoughts on the back?  I got a severe case of meh-ningitis about it in this case, but I'd like to improve it when I make it in Proper-For-Real-Fabric.

Some interesting wrinkles here..
Unfortunately, I can't really see myself enjoying wearing this.  It just doesn't look so hot, in my opinion.  I think my seams look kinda crummy too- puckery.  I'm not sure how to avoid this problem.. for now I'll try to blame it on the bedsheet.  lol.

Well, the road to success is paved with failure I suppose.  My next one will hopefully turn out much better! 

Oh and thank you guys SO much for all your kind words on my previous blog post about my first birthday of being well :)  It was very touching!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Happy Birthday to Me (kinda)

Today is my Birthday!  Except not really.  Maybe I'll call it a...spiritual birthday?  Nahh, that sounds way too fancy.
What I mean is, a year ago today is when my life began again!

You may have noticed my blog is called "Making it Well", and I mention in my profile how I'd been sick, but now I'm well?  I thought I'd go into a little more detail since some people have expressed an interest.

Before a year ago, I'd been ill for over 10 years with M.E aka C.F.S (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).  Sometimes people think "oh, so you were a bit tired?  Yeah, I have a bit of CFS too actually."  Umm, no.  What people don't understand is the devastating levels of fatigue you can experience.  There are other symptoms too, but for me the main one was tiredness.  Fatigue that means you can't even get dressed.  Or that having a shower is about the only thing you can do in a day.
Most people just don't get it- it's hard to imagine.
I had it in varying degrees of severity over those 10 years, but basically.. hmm, I don't want to be a downer, but it was hell and really ruined my life.  I pretty much couldn't leave the house for a lot of that time.

But enough of that depressingness, I have to focus on the good bits, like how I'm finally better!  One year ago today I found the answer I'd been searching for all that time- a way out of that nightmare!
So since then, I've been trying to build up my life- trying to find out how to be a 'normal' person.

While I was sick, I still dreamed of the things I wanted to do when I was better.  I got inspired by finding blogs- people online were making stuff, really cool stuff!  I managed to make a few things, but it was painfully slow and hard.  When I got better, I could finally pursue my dreams of creativity.  And that's what the blog is about!

I still feel like I have a long way to go, in terms of the crafts I do, as well as life in general.  I've started my first job ever.  I need to learn to drive!  And I still don't know what I want to do with my life.  I'll get there... there's a future ahead of me now!

So, I guess this is a little bit of a self-indulgent waffle... but it's pretty important to me!

Oh, and if anyone is interested in how I got well- I did something called the Lightning Process, which is another story in itself.  I'd be happy to chat to anyone who wanted to know more.  I know it has helped a lot of people, including some who I know.

Yay for being alive, you guys!  I'm so glad I can live now!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Wellingtonian Pyramid Scheme

So after our blog meet up, we decided to each grab some of the pattern swap patterns and give them away.  But to follow in Karen's footsteps and do it pyramid style!
Here's how that works:
  • Anyone, anywhere can enter by leaving a comment on this post anytime until Friday the 7th of December (NZ time!) edit: competition extended until the 14th but you must have an active blog
  • I will randomly select one winner, and post them the collection of 6 patterns to them!
  • The winner will then pick one pattern to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to  Person A. 
  • Person A will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway and post the remaining patterns to the winner, Person B. Person B will do the same and so on until there is a last pattern winner… 
 Down to the cool bit- the fabulous fabulous prizes!  :D

I was tempted to keep the one on the left!

And these have potential...

Skirts and ooh!  A man's shirt!

See anything you like?  Are you excited?  I am! 
Maybe I should have kept the mystery alive and not revealed all the patterns...?   Too late!  Heh heh :)

Looking forward to giving these away :)