Last summer I took a maker spaces class where I dyed yarn with kool aid, and I bought so much powder kool aid I felt like I was single handedly keeping them in business. Anyway, I wrote up the instructions and everything and I’ve been sitting with this super bright yarn that I wouldn’t otherwise use. (That’s not entirely true, a couple of the colors I had plans for, but the two brightest ones scared me.) After graduating, I’ve got all this time on my hands and finally decided I’d make some socks with the yarn. And I managed to make two pairs of socks in like two weeks? I was pretty impressed with myself.
I used the Rye sock pattern from Tin Can Knits, which is a really solid basic sock pattern, but the garter knit stripe adds a good amount of interest. And since it’s worsted weight, it knitted up really quickly. Overall I can’t wait to have these super bright and super warm socks for the impending winter. (Between being a knitter and living in Minnesota, all I think about is winter.) I have dubbed them the Rainbow Rye and Cotton Candy Rye.
Gauze swaddling blankets
Another late wrap up thanks to finishing grad school and attending graduations. I’ve made a whole bunch of blankets. The first set are the little swaddling blankets that I made for my internship supervisors as a thank you/new baby present (she had the baby). Got the idea from Dana Made It (which I guess is now Made Everyday with Dana?). I’ve always thought that these blankets are SO cute, but I haven’t had the sewing skills to make them, and then when I gained those skills I didn’t have a baby to make them for. After making them, I think these are totally doable for a beginning sewer. This kind of fabric is pretty forgiving, and you’re basically just hemming the edges. I was SO nervous about the color choices. I didn’t know the gender of the baby when I made them, and I didn’t want to go too stereotypical baby colors. And she ended up loving the colors! Win!
Tree of Life Blanket
The second blanket was the one I’ve been knitting for my sister since Januaryish? I told my sister that I’d combine her birthday and graduation gifts into one big thing, and I gave her some options of patterns and yarn so she got to pick everything out. She ended up going with the Tree of Life Afghan from Knitting from the Center Out with Knit Picks Mighty Stitch in Alfalfa. This blanket ended up being a little smaller than I anticipated (it was hard to tell because it was so bunched up on my circulars), but I think it’s the perfect size to have over your lap at your desk while studying. And it’s super super soft, and washable, perfect for a college kid. The pattern was easy to memorize, so I could just chill in the evenings and get some work done on it. Here’s the link to my Ravelry page about it.
This is a pretty late wrap up, but I finished my dress and wore it to graduation! And it was so super cute! It fit really well for the most part, the only issue I had was with the very top around the shoulders felt a little big, but I think that’s me being nitpicky more than anything else. Also it’s fully lined, which you can’t see here. Most people freak out a little and are really impressed when I say that I’m lining something, but it really wasn’t too bad. It took some extra effort, and it definitely would have taken less time if I hadn’t lined it, but overall I think it’s time well spent. I feel like with this project I can officially bring myself up to an advanced beginner sewer. Woop woop!
Bodice of the dress
Skirt attached to the bodice
The finished muslin!
After a few months of being busy with school, I’m back to blogging (and sewing)! Woo hoo! It’s not that I haven’t been making things, I just got busy and didn’t document anything. Boo. Anyway, I have a pretty big project I’m undertaking right now that I can’t wait to share here! After looking for a dress for my upcoming graduation and not really finding anything I liked, I decided to make my own dress.
The Pastille Dress
I’m making the Pastille Dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook. I’ve got some incredible fabric, and I’ve finished my muslin. I was really insistent on making a muslin and not just winging it because A) I still am pretty new to sewing and B) I got some really nice/expensive fabric that I don’t to ruin. (However, after finishing this muslin, I’ve realized that I’m not as bad a sewer as I think I am. I’m no expert still, but I’m willing to upgrade myself from beginner to advanced beginner.) One big change I’ve already made is that I’m doing a lining instead of just dealing with the facings. I have trouble getting facings to lie flat and I was having issues with them with the muslin, so I cut a lining for my muslin bodice and it went much better! Plus I have the sneaking suspicion that my fabric will be a little see through, so I think I’ll be more comfortable wearing the final dress with a lining.
My beautiful, beautiful fabric
There are some things I have to watch out for (like maybe don’t make the lining bigger than the dress). I also added some inseam pockets, which I have to change where they’re placed. I placed them pretty low on the skirt, and I want them a little closer to my hips. BUT I also absolutely need to have pockets for this dress, so I gotta have those pockets. I also really have to watch the pleating and mark those well for the final dress. I anticipated needing to make changes to the fit, but it actually fit great as it was. I thought about making the bodice shorter, so that the seam between the skirt and bodice would sit right at my waist, but I feel like maybe I’m being a little knitpicky. Plus it makes me look not quite so shortwaisted where it is. Overall I’m super psyched for this dress and can’t wait to get started on the final product.
Print I made in high school
So I’m taking a design thinking class this semester, and every week we have a new creative practice to try, like meditation or getting enough sleep. This week we had to engage in something creative that we used to do, but haven’t done in awhile. I immediately thought of printmaking for myself. I fell in love with block printing in middle school and high school, and for my senior show in undergrad I made some intaglio prints. It’s a process that I love, but has definitely fallen by the wayside since I left undergrad.
One of my senior show prints.
So I made three prints, two of them just one color and the other has 4 layers of colors. I think my favorite is the Save the Bees print, just because it’s so graphic and bold. It really highlights everything I love about printmaking. It was really great to be making art again and being reminded that there is a reason I loved it so much. Plus to be able to go through the entire process of coming up with an idea, planning it out, executing, and having a definitive product at the end. It was also good to know that this is something that I am capable of doing without having access to a formal studio. Watch out, because there’s probably more to come!
Winter is coming
Save the bees!
So I missed last week partially because I was busy and partially because I don’t really have anything to say on the subject. Going small is something I struggle with. I don’t have a crazy number of clothes, but I always feel like I have too much. So I’m not there yet, but one of my long term goals is to switch to a mostly handmade, capsule like wardrobe. So small is aspirational for me, rather than a reality.
Now for week three we’re talking about loved items. And I’ve picked out a couple of things to talk about. It’s hard to choose because I love everything that I make! (Even the stuff that didn’t turn out so great.) Because I’ve invested the time into something, I get hard core emotionally attached. But I do have certain items that get more use than my other handmade items.
One is my backpack. Colette Patterns released the Cooper bag around the time I had been accepted to grad school. And it was perfect. I didn’t want to haul my stuff in my bright blue LL Bean backpack, and I wanted something I could eventually transition into my professional life. So, despite the fact that I had zero experience making bags and only a little experience sewing, I trucked ahead with making the Cooper bag. This was tough! While there’s no measurements to take, there’s still the fact that I have a basic sewing machine and was trying to sew through layers of waxed canvas (my sewing machine was not happy about that). And then after using it, I decided to make changes. It originally was a messenger bag with a cotton webbing strap, and the lining was ripstop nylon with pockets on the front and the back. I switched to the backpack layout, made new straps with waxed canvas, and replaced the lining with a basic cotton and eliminated the back pockets. I’m SO glad I made those changes because it’s much more functional now.
Another piece that I made that is well loved is the Avery scarf I made a few years ago. My mom had gone on a trip to Scotland, and I asked her to please please please bring me some yarn back and she brought back two skeins! It’s definitely the crunchiest wool item that I have and it totally smells like wet sheep if it gets damp. But that scarf has helped me survive some really cold Minnesota winters. When it’s -30 out, I don’t mess around. I pull out all my 100% wool items because it really does keep you warmer than anything else. I wasn’t sure what to think of the neutral tones at first, but now I love them tremendously. It goes with everything and is so cozy and is definitely a winter staple for me.
The last piece I will talk about is my Chrysanthemum mittens. (I don’t have a picture of them because I can’t find them right now! 😦 Oh no!) I started these one winter, and then starting putting them of because I figured winter was almost over and I wouldn’t be able to wear them anyway. Well the joke was on me because that year we got snow in May. IN MAY! Two years after that I finally finished the thumb that I had never gotten around to knitting (yeah for 2 years all I had left was ONE THUMB), and blocked them and they were wonderful! I love them so much and the bring a little bit of happy and pretty to the otherwise seemingly never ending winter. I also knit them from 100% wool, and as I’ve mentioned, that’s pretty crucial in places where it gets brutally cold. Plus it’s nice to impress people when they compliment your mittens and you say you made them.
Woo hoo! It’s Slow Fashion October! (And I’m kind of late on the first week post.) So to introduce myself: I’m Sierra and I’m a grad student working on my Master’s of Library and Information Science, and I also consider myself a maker. I’ve been knitting for about six years now, crocheting for maybe 3, and sewing occasionally for 3 years. I’ve also been mending for a long time. I remember having to learn how to sew on a button my uniform skirt when I was younger, and learning how to whipstitch the hem back up. I’ve done little bits of mending like that for a long time, but learning to sew on a machine has upped my game.
As for really getting into the slow fashion movement, I would still consider myself a newbie. I took a Maker Spaces class over the summer, and that really turned me onto the entire slow fashion movement. I like knowing where things come from, whether it’s my food or my clothes. And if I can feel like I can make a difference, I’d like to do what I can. I just can’t wait to see what the community is like and learn from other people’s perspectives. I also feel like making things that I wear has gotten me more interested in fashion as a whole. I’ve never considered myself as being very fashionable, but it helps to develop a sense of style when you make things. You don’t want to make something and not want to wear it because it doesn’t mesh with what you wear on a regular basis. (I say this from personal experience because I have done this.)
As for projects this month, I have a couple of mending projects that I’ve been putting off for a while, so this would be a good time to get those done. I’ve also been working on the Beatnik sweater, and I think I could actually get it done this month! I have a couple of skirts that need to be finished, so that would be cool if I could get those done. And of course I’ve got Christmas knitting to get done! I always have a million projects I wanna get done, but with being in school and stuff, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.