Monday, 25 March 2013

Briar: hacked and blocked

I'm not a wearer of crop tops. I don't have the stomach for it, and never have done.

However, I am a wearer of dresses.

And a knit, two-tone dress with that cropped curve AND a high-low hem at the knees?

Yes, I'll wear that. Especially when it's this comfy and it sparkles.

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  • Pattern: Megan Nielsen's Briar, size L with full bust & narrow back adjustments (2cm each).
  • Top extended to dress length like this.
  • Colour blocked using the right/wrong sides of the fabric - the top half is the cropped length of the pattern.
  • Fabric: silvery sweater knit from the Maison Dorée. One of my more expensive purchases ever, at 10 euros/metre (1.5m was enough, even for dress length). I nearly didn't buy it but couldn't resist the little coloured bits: do you see them? Look closely up top there!
  • Bangle (or do we call them cuffs these days?): H&M, 4 euros. No, I haven't entirely sworn off fast fashion yet. I was going to but then I saw this.

I wore this dress the first time to a birthday party. It might not have the glamorous shape of a fitted dress à la NL6000, but it's got glitz enough and plenty room for dinner and dancing. And we're all old enough now to appreciate that.

:: :: :: 

PS. Wouldn't this make a great maternity dress/top? With a bit more length in the front, I guess - but that cropped curved shape would fall wonderfully over a bump.

PPS. What should I do with my hair?? I like it mid-length and tie-up-able, but it's getting both straggly and boring. Hairdresser given free reign will make it short. Is she right? 


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Present-packed pouches

Ooh the excitement! Yes, I made more of noodlehead's open wide pouches. One in each size, packed with little gifts and nested together.


All wrapped up in one parcel, I wanted the opening of it to feel like the gift that keeps on going. Hopefully it worked :-)

No doubt you recognise the fabric - it's from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising line, which I found conveniently cut into fat quarters at Be Creative by Schleiper (venture in there with a firm grip on your wallet, it has everything and more to tempt all kinds of crafters). The lining is random scraps, one of the benefits of having been sewing and pointlessly stashing for a while now (they cost nothing! In this project, anyway).

I have also been sewing clothes, and in particular have a dress I'm itching to show you. However, I really don't feel like taking photos of myself at the moment - I think it's because spring came for a week and then cruelly deserted us again. The snow totally took the wind out of my sails and now I'm just hunkered down in my craft room getting on with it. Fingers crossed the hibernation can end soon though, not least because I'm so bored of blogging pictures taken in the same spot on my floor. Time to take it outside, ok spring? Are you listening?

And you, dear readers - what are you making at the moment? What's the weather doing while you're making it? Someone please tell me about sun - it must be out there somewhere...

:: :: ::

PS did you see that Kids Clothes Week is gearing up again? And there'll be MORE this year. Yay!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Introducing... This Month's Ideas

Patterns, patterns. Both sewing and life are all about patterns, aren't they? I came to a realisation this week that there's a pattern to my sewing habits, and it goes like this:
  1. get lots of ideas
  2. sew like a maniac for a couple of weeks
  3. brood on new ideas while sewing
  4. get tired of sewing and overwhelmed by new ideas
  5. rest and plot for a bit
  6. repeat.
These ups and downs had been bothering me. During stages four and five I would wonder where my sewing mojo went, and even contemplate giving up in despair on all those works and ideas in progress. But I've seen the light! And the light is: if I'm not going to get any sewing done, I can at least get a regular blog post out of the whole thing :-)
Yes, I'm introducing... the This Month's Ideas Series!
It's like the hormones, right ladies? (Sorry, blokes). You just gotta roll with it, because it's a fight you ain't gonna win. I'll be sparing you lovely readers my 3-weekly gripes about not wanting to sew, and sharing the ideas that are currently exciting me instead. I'm kind of intrigued to see how it turns out; it'll be interesting to look back at what actually gets made. Is it what I'd predict? Are there some ideas that deep down I know are never going to get acted on? Am I crazy enough to pick up an off-plan project every now and again? That kind of thing.
I hope this sounds more or less interesting to you guys too. I'm never 100% sure what I think about inspiration posts, but I love a good nosy at other people's plans. If you're interactively-inclined, I'm open to crowd-sourced decisions on what to sew next - so shout if you see an idea that grabs you :-)  And if this really isn't your kind of thing, I've got a few more ideas brewing too...
So, with no further ado, here are This Month's Ideas for March 2013!
:: :: ::

Another-but-different New Look 6000
A 'So, Zo...'-inspired skirt
A Darling Ranges dress - but which fabric first??
Some stretch things - but my stash may well only have inappropriate fabrics. Boo!

Bias for baby bibs - Burda pants with a 70% off sticker! -
and what the hell shall I make with this 1.5m insanely cheap remnant
with a slightly insane glitzy floral print??

Ordered from most to least likely to happen. Though those last sneaky randoms could attack at any time!

Your thoughts?? And what's in your head for the coming month of crafting?

:: :: ::

I'll be back soon with a couple of finished projects, and hopefully some DIYs at some point too. I hope you're having a good week: half way to the weekend now! In my time zone, anyway :-)


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Simple pleasures hat

 :: :: ::

Inspired by Jen. Pattern by the Purl Bee. Knit a row or two at a time, here and there and on the go. Hastily finished at the farm and worn immediately, threads hanging loose and all.

The next day the temperature rose, and it'll inevitably get packed away soon until next winter. No complaints about the arrival of spring, though, and I'm taking great and newfound pleasure in the longevity of handmades. A small step away from consumerism, but a world of difference; no, it's not disposable, I made it myself. Slowly but surely dawning on me that this process is completely irreversible. How could I ever go back?


Monday, 4 March 2013

A plain and cosy Briar

I tried to take a more interesting photo, but there wasn't a great deal to be done with this one: it' s a plain brown Briar!

The fabric is something synthetic; it was 5 euros a metre on sale and is incredibly drapey, toasty and warm. And WOOHOO IT FITS! I don't know why I got my knickers so much in a twist about this; perhaps I'm just very unused to the way knits behave, and how one kind of fabric will sew up and hang totally different from another. What I ended up with is a Medium with a no-dart FBA (2 cm added) and a narrow back adjustment (2 cm removed). This was in fact one of my first goes at adjusting it to fit, but in my misguided frustration I had chucked the modified pattern pieces in the bin. Two sets of changes later, I followed the instincts I should have listened to the first time, and dug them out and ironed them.

Tell me you've never done it.

I'm just glad I didn't decide I was beat by this pattern after all - because it's lovely :-)