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I’ve been up to so much, but how could you know… I haven’t posted. Tuesday night I took a Zippers class where I learned to put in an on-seam zipper, lapped zipper, invisible zipper and a fly zipper. Wow, was I doing it wrong. As soon as class was over I thought back to all of my garments with zippers and felt mortified by how badly I had inserted them. Oh well.

Before zippers class (B.Z.), I made a lovely Georgia Dress from By Hand London. I tried very hard to make the weird straps version, but it just wasn’t going to happen, so I did the more normal-looking straps. I used some silk from the PA Fabric Outlet (it was $2/yard!!!). per usual, I’ll try to get some nicer pics of this dress, but here are some for the meantime.

not my favorite pic but here it is
look at those finishing skillz!
the pattern up-close
 I also recently got some silk from Loom that is to die for, but I don’t know what I’ll make with it yet… something very special I think.
are you thinking a mod dress? cause i am!

Im flying this week so hopefully I can get some knit time in. I am starting to get so excited for FRANCE in less than two months! I’m hoping to find some fabric / yarn stores to get some goodies.

Currently reading: The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

a sweater record!

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finished my sweater! its a record: start to finish in less than two months. i also made some socks for Jacob.

im on to the next sweater: The Stonecutter’s Cardigan, although I’m having second thoughts since spring is on the horizon and i will soon be itching to sew spring clothes (and I’ve got some major plans for sewing this year!)

currently listening: None but Shining Hours, The Books

The Scoop.

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Here’s what I’ve been up to, now that I have a moment to reflect (and all projects/gifts for the holidays have been distributed).

hat for my friend Hannah:

A shawl for Jacob’s mom:
Fingerless glovies for my sister:
Ear warmers (to pull over a bike helmet) for Jacob:
And a hat for Chrissy (the LUCKY recipient of a work White Elephant):

 Phew! Those are the gifts. now for the other stuff…

I wanted to make a fancy skirt for our annual Christmas party, so I went into my ever-growing fabric stash and used some (i think) silk from the Center for Creative Reuse. I used Gertie’s skirt tutorial, but made the waistband much wider, put the zipper in the center back of the skirt, lined it, added pockets, and added volume with a layer of tulle. Also, the blind hem is so lovely. Please excuse the awk selfies. The last pic is from my friend John (the one I’m kissing on the cheek!)

When I was at my parents this past weekend, I went to the PA Fabric Outlet. WOW. I will be going there again for sure. Leather hides, $2/yard table, buttons, zippers, tassles, ribbon… it just was a rando fabric heaven. I got a beautiful piece of buttery mauve leather, a bunch of zippers, some silk and some cotton knits. Here’s a pic:

and here’s some of what i bought:
So that’s about it! To put it simply, things have been really crafty around here!

folded!!

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I finished my folded sweater.

During the last moment of packing for a quick trip for a Florida wedding, I grabbed the project bag from the pile and threw it in my suitcase. I proceeded to work tirelessly since all I had left was ¼ of an arm, and then the yoke. I can’t imagine what people thought of me on the plane– I was furiously knitting and attaching dangly sleeves to body and then working in the “folds” with 3 DPNs along with the long bendy circulars. BUT TRIUMPH I HAVE. This sweater is DONE.

I tried it on right when i cast off, and was rather nonplussed by the fit. I blocked it and sneaked a try on before it was 100% dry and oh my. its perfect. Ill get some pictures this weekend.

Happy.

always keeping busy

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I made the “placket dress” I hinted at previously. the buttons are little wooden guys from joanns. It was a good learning experience, but I did a sloppy job. At worst, its a suitable house dress. At best, I can wear it to work with a cardigan. I based it loosely on the Colette Patterns Sorbetto, but I removed the pleat in the pattern piece, and lengthened about 14". The major issue was the bias tape facing did not get along very well with the placket. The fabric is some poly silky material, and I used leftover cotton bias tape.. not the best mix. Here is a bad pic:

I also made a dress from the Japanese Stylish Dress Book. I LOVE it. Its shapeless with a ridiculous amount of ease in the back, but its my favorite thing I’ve made so far this year. I made the smallest size, even though the “size chart” advised me to make it two sizes bigger. If you want to buy this book, beware: you pretty much have to trace the pattern pieces (vs just cutting them out) because the 27 patterns are all on top of each other on 3 double sided giant pages. I suppose that is the “right way” to use patterns, but I usually take the lazy route and just cut out the pattern pieces straight from the pattern. I found it very time consuming to trace the pattern pieces with tracing paper, and then add seam allowances. Maybe thats how they do it in Japan. (Also, after I took this picture, i added a strip of the dark fabric at the bottom to lengthen the dress a bit– it was very short before).

I’ll try to get some better pics of all the stuff ive made recently soon… I feel a little silly having mini “photo shoots,” especially with my crappy iphone camera. On the other hand, I want to document everything because sometimes I forget all the stuff I’ve made.

Today some friends and I are having a go at dyeing fibers. We are using onion skins. I’ve been scouring every grocery store to find dyestuffs, which got me some weird looks from cashiers and other shoppers. To dye, I have some knit cotton/modal and some stripey-eyelety cotton, as well as two skeins of worsted lamb’s pride, which is mostly wool with a little mohair. I hope the yarn turns out, if it does it might turn into a Lonely Tree Shawl! We’ll see how it goes!!!!

round up + what’s next.

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i’ve made 3 tank tops from 3 different patterns so far:

1:  (top left) Wiksten tank. Pattern cost = $8.50. I made this first, and it is the most simple. No darts (probably won’t make again because of it). I like the pocket.

2: (top right) Deer and Doe Datura blouse. Pattern cost = ~$20. The construction of this top is very professional and its fun to make. It includes variations for two types of collars. Will make again.

3: (bottom) Collette Patterns Sorbetto tank. Pattern cost = pattern is FREE. Has darts and a front pleat. Took me about 3 hours to make. I did an inverse box pleat and hid the bias tape. Will make again.

(I think its about time to move on to a new type of garment, and i think i am banning myself from any more florals…)

Next I am planning a sleeveless Hawthorn with some beautiful greenish bluish linen, and also I NEED TO FINISH my Folded sweater.

In other news, I’ve got some sticky bun dough rising in the kitchen…. mmmmmmm!

currently listening: sound of silver, lcd soundsystem (what else on the longest day of the year??)

a Cladonia.

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i finished my cladonia! I started it right before Christmas so I would have some “home for christmas knitting.” i finished almost all of the striped portion when i was home, and finished the lace through mid january. since i used heavier yarn than the pattern specified, i adjusted the edging to be just garter stitch and i used the suspended bind off (not tight, but not terribly stretchy. its truly perfect!). i love it and its very warm and big.

pre blocking (with napping Boyfriend):

blocking:
wearing!

on a slightly different note, i got some organizers for christmas, the roll-up, zippered kind. i took this as a sign that i needed to organize all my sewing supplies that had been all shoved haphazardly in a big box. it was really bad. as i was going through all my sewing stuff, i came upon my WIPs from years past. i decided to finish a dress that i had cut out but not sewn. i spent the rest of the weekend working on it, but i was pretty disappointed with the finished product. it doesn’t fit right, which is very annoying.

next up: i am finishing my shadow sweater (only have the two arms left!! they are ¾ sleeves! come on!)

pre-december buzz.

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i meant to make curtains for our entryway to the living room last year, but i didn’t get around to it in time, so this year i made it a priority to keep out the drafts before winter arrived. the entrance to our living room is right by our front door, so it gets really drafty when its cold out. i’ve had a bolt of “vintagey” marines fabric from the thrift store sitting around for years. i got the whole thing for $10, i couldn’t pass it up. a few weeks ago it occurred to me that they would make really neat curtains. i got some red backing fabric and corner weights at joanns. i totally recommend getting weights, i LOVE the results, they hang so nicely. we finally installed the hold-backs this weekend, so its picture time!

my fiddlehead mittens are almost half-done. i got some orange yarn to line them, so they will be extra warm! i love love love the blue sky alpacas yarns, they are so soft and nice to knit with. im getting pretty speedy with two-stranded knitting– i started the second mitten last night. i want to do the colorwork first, then block them, and then knit in the liner.

i planted the paperwhite bulbs i bought in california. i cant believe how easy they are to “plant” and how wonderful the payoff is of watching them grow and bloom! all you do is stick the bulb in a container with rocks and fill the water to cover half the bulb, and watch the magic. 

also, christmas is getting into full swing here, i started christmas cookies. jacob’s special request were buckeyes, he’s already put a big dent in them, so i think ill have to make more before our christmas party.

here’s our tree! we haven’t decorated yet, so heres the raw thing: