Friday, February 27, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe

Several completed objects did not make it into this collage -- a pair of mitts, a pair of mittens, three more hats, more blue jeans, and some underthings. And one sock. Oh, and a pair of leggings that looked hilarious on my dress form. I'll try to share them randomly in the next week.

My acheivements: I hand knit and wrote patterns, machine knit, sewed with my Bernina, serged with my Husqvarna, serged and chain stitched on my Siruba, acid dyed, fiber reactive dyed, spun, felted, trimmed, thrifted, refashioned, embroidered, pattern-drafted, crocheted, pompommed, appliqued, patchworked, mended and embellished.

I fell short in a few goals, but hope the next year sees me screen printing, weaving, painting, and designing my own fabric at Spoonflower,

I have donated some lesser used clothing to the Salvation Army to give my new things breathing space in my closet. And I hung everything on wooden hangers to look uniform and tidy. It is a happy place.

Monday I will be in my Brother-in-Law's barn helping with shearing. It feels like the custom that marks a new year for me.

Thanks a million for visiting here and cheering me on, it has been a fun year! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: A Strawberry Outfit

My dress form has been wearing the same skirt for three days in a row. Do you ever do that? I can sympathize, I have some favorite bottoms that go into heavy rotation, so to speak. And I guess that was the point of this project, to create a wardrobe of basics that mix and match.
This sleeveless tee is cut from some thrifted strawberry fabric. The armholes are cut for a gal of a certain age looking for a little more coverage than she used to require. These are the times when I am grateful to have the persistence to gain the skills to make what I need.

The knitted collar was worked on my knitting machine, a marled sock yarn from Knit Picks. The pin is from my Grandmother Fay's things. My Grandmother was a gal on top of her fashion game until the day she died. She was raised by her Dad from the time she was seven years old -- I am curious how that played a role in her fashion sense.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Sixth Smock Outfit

Sixth smock in a series -- say that three times fast. This one looks fun with navy cabled tights, too. 

All that pattern hides some of the construction details.

I found a rhinestone pin at the Concord Antique Gallery (pins are dirt cheap and sparkly happy-makers).

 My skirt is the same as yesterday's, drafted with the help of Cal Patch. I'm taking a class from Cal in May -- eep! My hat is another from Bev Galeskas' Felted Knits. I can knit a hat in a day, and felt it the next day. This one is made from Fancy Tiger Heirloom, color Blue Maize.
The pin is teeny tiny, from my Grandfather's days at Ma Bell.

I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: A Winnie Outfit

My Winnie Cardigan is named for Lake Winnipesaukee, a place I adore. These are the colors of the water, sky and shoreline. 

The yoke and trim are worked in multi-color variegated yarn, often challenging to work with. 

I will write a pattern using this stitch technique some day, but not exactly this cut or placement.

The skirt is a simple self drafted side zip denim number, pattern help from Cal Patch's book Design-it-Yourself Clothes

This shirt is freshly minted, a hybrid of my favorite raglan pattern and a smock. I removed my raglan's bust darts and transferred the fullness to the gathered seam.

It has a yoke that could feature a favorite fat quarter or vintage fabric, or some embroidery, sashiko, trim, silkscreened print ...

There are darts at the shoulder for a proper fit.

And the back is very plain, with shaped sides for a curved silhouette.

The hem dips in the back for proper coverage.

And the fullness at the front hem is less than my other smocks. I am so pleased with this cut, and I will certainly be taking advantage of that little yoke soon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Starry Night Outfit

I made this dress in 2013 for my Dress + Cardigan Project. It used to be grey with bright green and dark grey flowers. The garment dye helped bring it together and mellow it out. 

This cowl was knit yesterday at A Gathering of Stitches on one of their knitting machines. The yarn is an inexpensive blend I picked up for learning. Maybe I'll trim the edges with some crochet, or pom-poms. There is a long learning curve in using a knitting machine, but jeepers do the stitches fly once the learning is under your belt. 

If you haven't been to AGOS yet, you should check it out. There are a wealth of classes in a bright inviting work place, and the people are naturally happy to be there. 

Pin from my Grandmother
I believe this will be my last week of posting for this project. This project has ignited a little fire under me for lots more share-able things. Lots.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: A Harmony Outfit

Did you know green symbolizes balance and harmony?  Today's sweater is a saddle shoulder pullover worked from the bottom up. It is knit in 2-ply from MacAuslands, spun from my Brother-in-Law's cheviot wool. It comes to me in an oatmeal color, and I dye it with acid dyes.  My jeans are thrifted and overdyed and mended.

The pin was thrifted on an outing with my friend Amy -- she picked this one out.

My hat is worked in Nash Island Light -- warm, soft next to the skin, and long enough to pull over my eyes if I don't like what's coming.

Pom-poms can be made with a couple of cardboard donuts. But since I had a half-off coupon, I bought a Clover pom-pom maker. It looks like an eggslicer and a Canadian street sign. This nifty little tool beats the cardboard donuts by a mile. It's fast and tidy and clever.

My shirt is made from a self-drafted pattern, one that I tweaked and tweaked until it fit right. See the little dart on the back shoulder?

The fabric is from the Salvation Army Annual Fabric Sale.  I always work in inexpensive fabric for my first and second go at a pattern, even if it's a commercial pattern.  I like to get the fit just right, and then I give myself the freedom to cut into more expensive or precious fabric.

I'm off to A Gathering of Stitches for a weekend intensive on machine knitting. I am eager to get rolling and thrilled I got in! Have a great weekend, more on Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Giraffe Outfit

Theme outfits, that's where it's at. Scroll down and you'll see why this is my giraffe outfit.

My scarf is made from Nash Island Fog and trimmed with Graceland Farm Alpaca. The smock is my dolman sleeve regular (Butterick 5356, modified) -- I'm surprised at how much I enjoy dolman sleeves. The skirt is the same one from Monday.

Giraffe hexagon from the first smock I sewed, c. 1974

Giraffe pin!
I found a few pins in my Grandmother's costume jewelry that I would not have purchased on my own, but since they belonged to someone whose style I adored, I'm seeing them through new eyes. It is refreshing to see through someone else's eyes on occasion.

This may be the gateway to a massive collection -- you know, the kind where every room in the house has a theme -- frogs, pigs, ducks -- shelves upon shelves of thousands of figurines and stuffed animals.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: A Bank Robbery Outfit

This is a wool skirt I thrifted last spring. It used to be floor length (on me anyway), with fringe at the hem. It looked hilarious on me. I hemmed it to knee length for a smarter look.

If I worked at a bank, I think I would dress like this.  If I needed a loan from the bank for say, a new chipper-shredder or a series of in-ground trampolines in my yard, I would dress like this. If I planned on robbing the bank, I would dress like this. They would never see me coming. And at my arraignment I would dress like this. I think it is useful to have one chameleon outfit.

My scarf is made of slub cotton worked on my knitting machine, suited to all seasons. The pin is a Thrifty Thea find. And my smock is one of six, a staple garment for me, sewn from fabric purchased at the Salvation Army Annual fabric sale.

Tomorrow's outfit will be more lively.  Hey ...  Are you still awake?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Breezy Outfit

In September at Fiber College some friends and I dyed yards of silk in Mason jars. The scarf here has not been hemmed yet; I plan to cut it and rearrange the pieces into a long scarf, and maybe treat the edges to a big bold running stitch. I think. In the meantime I enjoy it as is -- it holds fond memories for me.

My sleeveless shirt has armholes that cover me well, both in the front and the back. 

The pin is from my Grandmother Fay -- I unearthed a few pieces of her costume jewelry in cleaning the family barn. 
Jeepers, I love pins.

Here's dreaming of summertime boat rides on the lake, toes in the sand, a drink with a straw, good company and a warm midday breeze. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: My Uniform

A favorite smock and another moebius cowl, this time in Jill Draper's Rockwell yarn. Jill's yarn has the body of New England/Atlantic style rustic yarn, but it can be worn next to the skin. She has carefully chosen which sheep make the grade.

The creamy white trim is Nash Island Light, another full bodied yarn that can be worn next to the skin. Truth be told, I made a mistake about 875 stitches ago. Lately I have taken to leaving little mistakes in my work. I find them endearing (when I can find them).  But I believe I will rip this back to fix the mistake because it has thrown off the location of the points. Maybe I will make a smaller mistake and leave it in as a memento.

My pin belonged to my Grandmother Fay.

I made the pattern for my skirt by copying a favorite denim skirt that fit well. It occurs to me (now) that a traditional fly on a skirt is kind of a waste -- I only use it when pulling the skirt on in the morning and taking it off in the evening. It was time consuming to sew this skirt, and while I love it and wear it often, I will be just as happy with flyless skirts from here on.

 I usually wear this with a belt, and the pockets are deep and roomy. That's where I keep my Washingtons and my Lincolns. Happy President's Day!