Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Self Stitched September starts tomorrow! I have my first outfit picked out and ready to go. To really get things rolling along I'll end up needing two outfits tomorrow, as there's a birthday to be celebrated!

This past week I've been doing a bit of a stocktake on my self stitched wardrobe. Looking at what I have, what I need and what goes with what. I have discovered that I may need (want) a couple more options by the time the month is half over! The current wardrobe consists of:
  • 4 skirts

  • 1 dress

  • 4 shirts (plus one currently under construction)

  • 3 knit tops

  • 2 pairs of trousers

  • 1 pair of shorts

  • 1 waistcoat

  • 2 pairs of bloomers

  • 3 hand knit cardigans (plus one currently under construction)

  • 2 hand knit vests

  • A pile of scarves, shawls, hats and gloves

Not bad! There are a couple of items there that I don't think will get worn. If that happens they will get donated to the op shop. If it doesn't get worn in Self Stitched September, chances are it's not going to be worn ever! It's still fairly cold in my neck of the woods, maximum temps no higher than 12C predicted for the rest of the week. It would be nice to have a self stitched coat, but the problem is I don't actually need another coat, so it would be a waste of time and fabric to make one just for this month. I'm sure I'll survive!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Because if there is one thing my Self Stitched September needs, it's blue booty shorts!

After changing my mind several times about including some work out wear of the self stitched variety I discovered that I actually needed a new pair of track pants. I pulled out my mountain of fleecy interlock and had a sweats sewing day! I made pants, because I need them for house work days, and walking the dog, and generally being comfortable. I also made running shorts, because they're cute, and silly, and I think my trainer will get a giggle out of them.

I do love a bit of instant gratification! Both are from this Simplicity pattern, again borrowed from my mum. I love multi size patterns, so much easier to draft up a couple of sizes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Common Sense Prevails

I set out to make myself a pair of 1940s style, high waisted, wide legged trousers. I want a pair desperately. I was about to begin cutting out a pattern for these trousers when a little part of my brain, usually quiet, shouted "STOP!"

That little part of my brain was my oft forgotten common sense. It implored that I should remember my reaction to every single high waisted article of clothing that I have ever tried on, that severe 'yeuch' reaction to the way they make my tummy stick out and my rear look gigantic and square. It suggested that for my first foray into trouser construction that I stick to a style I'm comfortable with at first and avoid making something disappointing that ends up hiding in the back of my wardrobe feeling sorry for itself.

I am happy to report that common sense prevailed!

They are a navy heavy weight wool, (another bargain from the op shop!) and the pattern is 105 from Burda mag2/2008. This was my first try at making a zippered fly, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, once I had wrapped my head around the concept! I made the cuffs bigger and made them the right length to wear with flat shoes so they can be my hard wearing knock about pants.

I really think I am going to need at least another pair of trousers for Self Stitched Sept, and a couple more casual tops. I think this week I'll pull out all the handmade, take inventory and see what I actually have!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Procrastination in Black Gingham

I am a master of the fine art of procrastination. I use sewing and knitting as procrastination tools, usually to ignore the washing, or the vacuuming, or that slightly funky smell coming from the refrigerator, or the mounting pile of clothes requiring repairs. Lately I have noticed that I am also using projects to procrastinate about other projects. For example: I want to make myself some trousers. I have the fabric, the zip, the pattern, all ready to go. However this pattern is more adventurous than my previous forays into sewing trousers, ie not tracky dacks or pyjama pants. I had planned to start them last week, gathered all the things together, was ready to begin... and made a skirt instead.

It's a very versatile skirt, goes with loads of things in my wardrobe, has already been worn on the weekend. But it is not the trousers I set out to make! The pattern is 107 from Burda mag 2/2009.

And below is what I like to wear under skirts. I made these bloomers a little while ago, they're super comfortable, make my skirts sit nicely and were the perfect use for bright yellow tropical fish fabric!

I am now working on the trousers I was putting off. They are coming along quite nicely, not nearly as scary as anticipated!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Costume Drama

Apparently August is Party Month. We've got parties on every weekend for the whole month! Three of them are children's parties! The month is only half done and I'm exhausted. The party that Coen attended today was my cousin Maddie's 5th Birthday and a Where The Wild Things Are party. Off course this required a costume and Coen would never choose to just be a generic wild thing or monster, he wanted to go as the bird monster. Because I am a super awesome mum I had a crack at what I am sure will be the first of many costumes for this kid.

One old white towel, some of my never ending stash of grey fleece fabric, some yellow felt and there you have it, bird monster. He liked it. So much so that he wore the hood to the supermarket yesterday!

The poor boy has waited a long time for some wings, I promised him ages ago that I would make him some. I hadn't thought about incorporating them into a garment until this week though. I made the top based on one of his larger jumpers so it should fit him for a while. The trick now is going to be getting him out of it for bed tonight!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fresh Off The Needles

Here's something fresh off the needles. Actually it's fresh off the blocking mat, it looked more like a giant green jellyfish fresh off the needles! It's my Hemlock Ring Blanket in Cleckheaton Country 8 ply. I started this in June and in the beginning I couldn't put it down. I very quickly got peeved with endless feather and fan and allowed myself to get distracted. In a flash of motivation I picked it back up and finished it off. See that loopy edge, that pretty loopy edge? Three hours. It took me three hours to bind that sucker off! I'm very glad it is done, and very happy with the end result.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Waistcoat of Awesome!

I have a black waistcoat. I wear it more than any single article of clothing should be worn. I decided I needed an alternate waistcoat, maybe in a different colour/style/fabric so I could still have the joy of a waistcoat (why yes, I do find joy in the small things in life) without it turning into a uniform.

My new waistcoat is soft grey wool. I got the fabric at my local op shop, 150cm by 75cm, $1.50. The lining used to be a pair of beautiful Peter Alexander pyjamas that I somehow managed to rip. The pattern was borrowed from my mum's big box o' patterns. The buttons are from London Mart here in my home town, which has a really good range of buttons for a small town haberdasher! This was a very thrifty project. It cost next to nothing in materials and only took an evening to sew.

The pattern is from 1978. Once again a smaller bust size than mine, once again I only had to add a couple of centimetres to the sides as I apparently prefer a closer fit than was the fashion in the late 70s!