Thursday, January 30, 2014

Menswear Outfit Four: December

I'm so glad I managed to get Darron's December outfit finished and photographed before the end of January.  Only just made it!  The outfit itself has been done for a week but between Darron's work roster, organising Coen for the new school year, and doing my own school enrolment this week, today was the first opportunity to get a couple of pictures! 

Once again I used Threa Theory's Strathcona pattern for the tee.  This one is a stretchy orange jersey with no buttons on the placket.

We may decide to put buttons on it down the track.  He's wearing it now to see if he's happy with how it sits open.

The shorts are modified Thread Theory Jeds.  Darron requested that this pair be a little less tapered in the leg, and plain hemmed instead of cuffed.  The pattern was easy to adjust for a little extra width in the legs.

It's starting to look like I've taken this project on to capture as many photographs of my husband's butt as possible!  Really though, the pattern fits him so well in the rear, and the back pockets are so neat it would be a shame to not show you!

Darron wanted printed shorts for this outfit.  Luckily Spotlight had no shortage of printed drills to choose from.  I was thrilled when he chose this postage stamp print!  It's so fun!

I must say, I'm getting my moneys worth from these Thread Theory patterns.  I still have the Newcastle cardigan for when the weather cools down and they have just released the fantastic Goldstream Peacoat that I'm itching to make for winter as well.  So far, these outfits have been getting plenty of wear too, which is very satisfying!

Friday, January 17, 2014

14 in 14

I'm melting!  It is way too hot to do anything more than sit in front of the air con, or in a body of water and wait for the week to end.  So what better time than during a relentless heatwave to dream of cool weather and plan the years knits!  After 13 in 13 was was so successful, this year I'm going to aim for 14 in 14.  No other conditions, just 14 knits in 2014.

There are a few things I want to accomplish this year knitwise.  First I plan to make colour work my bitch.  This has been a knit goal for a while now, I've dabbled in basic stranded colour work, but I really want to get comfortable with it so I've already cast on a Favourite Things infinity scarf.  I've gathered a bunch of free charts on Ravelry, it's going to be crazy colourful and warm, I'd like to have it done in time for winter.

I've actually cast on another knit as well.  I'm usually a monogamous knitter so this is a bit odd for me.  But as the favourite things is an ongoing project and this next knit is a mystery knit along it's working for me.  Along with 2000 other knitters all over the world I cast on Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow mystery knit along on Monday.  Five clues, each with two options, it's a choose your own adventure in knitting!  As the first clue is the beginning, the shawl is little at the moment, perfect for knitting in front of the fan in the middle of the night when it's still too hot to sleep.  Seriously, 30C at midnight is just offensive.  

I'm knitting the two colour stripe version and for clue one I've gone with option A because of its interesting construction.  

I've got a couple of knits for Darron in the works, a Pump Jocky Cardigan, and a cabled Struan hat, these will be part of his winter outfits.  

Then poor Coen has been missing out on the hand made lately, so I'm going to make a Billa for him, he loves the concept behind this great Australian design.  He will be getting a hat the same as Darron's too.

Joss will be getting a Nova and a Paulette, these should both last her a while. 

Back to me!  Still on the colour work train, I have some beautiful sparkly teal Rockstar yarn from Mayhem and Chaos that I would love to feature in this Drops cardigan, just need to choose a complimentary colour.

I NEED a Boundless, and a Clair de Lune, so that covers my cable and lace needs.

On the accessories front there's Xuxa and Mrs Jeckyll and Little Hyde.

The last will come from the my ever expanding Ravelry queue.  There have been some gorgeous patterns released in the last year.  So many options! And I have a jumper lot of Mad Tosh Vintage desperate to be knitted.  Now this list will probably change, hopefully like last year I can go beyond my goal, because there are a couple of baby knits it would be nice to make fro friends too!

I'm optimistic that I'll have time to knit this year.  I do hope that my train commute provides me with a little downtime for knitting, or I may struggle to knit at all! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Dress for Dayle

This is Dayle.  I met Dayle when I first started going out with her uncle.  She was five years old, a tiny, precocious, hilarious girl.  We hit it off right away.  She was the cutest junior bridesmaid when I married her uncle a couple of years later.  That little girl turns 17 this month.  

The cheeky little kid I used to play with has turned into this gorgeous creature.  A clever world traveller, she is the idol of all her little cousins.  There is the same age difference between Dayle and Joss as between me and Dayle.  I have a feeling they will have a very similar relationship.

Last year I asked Dayle if she would like me to make her a dress for a combined Christmas and birthday gift.  She gathered pictures of the styles she liked and we picked out some patterns from my collection.  Then she found some vintage style circus print cotton in my stash and we were set!  The contrasting fabric is plain cotton that picks out the teal in the main fabric print.

The bodice is from BurdaStyle 04/2013 #116.  The collar is based on an eighties Butterick pattern, 4969, and the skirt is from the Retro Butterick B5708.  I made two muslins for this dress.  The first to figure out the best way to attach the collar and then another to do a proper fitting.  

When I cut my finger I didn't think I'd get the dress finished in time for this visit, but when Dayle and her mum, along with my In Laws came up to visit just after Christmas it was nearly done.  She supervised the final stages and then let me take a bunch of pictures!

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of this dress, from Dayle's ideas to finished project, it was a wonderful collaboration.  There's nothing better than a happy customer!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Top 5 Goals for 2014

The last couple of New Years I made plans and set goals for the coming year.  Then I carried out those plans and achieved those goals.  This focus is relatively new to me.  Historically I have always been a dreamer not a doer.  This coming year has some exciting plans.  It's going to be a year of big changes and adventure.

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

1.  Learn!  I'm going back to school in 2014.  I received an early offer for the course I applied and interviewed for last year.  So for the next two years I will be a full time student of Applied Fashion Design and Technology!   I am incredibly excited about expanding my skills and learning new things.  My goal is to accept the challenges, do my best work and take advantage of the knowledge and skills of my teachers.

2.  Complete Darron's 12 outfits.  His outfits have gotten off to a great start so I want to keep up the momentum and continue to dress my wonderful husband in handmade.

3.  New fabrics!  There are many fabrics I want to work with this year that I haven't played with before.  To start with there's chiffon.  I've got three chiffon dresses to make this year and I want to get familiar with the fabric before I start because they're important frocks.  I also want to work with leather, heavy wool coating, more lace and silk.  

4.  New shapes.  I tend to always go for similar cuts and silhouettes for the garments I make for myself.  My goal this year is to try some new shapes.  There are loads out there that I love, it's time to step outside my comfort zone and find some new favourites. 

5.  The first specific sewing goal of the year is swimwear.  I want to sew at least two suits this month. The first is the final part of my summer wardrobe, and the second is the main piece of the final of my 12 outfits. I've never sewn swimmers before so it will be an adventure!  One will be a one-piece and the other a high waisted bikini.  Both will have a vintage feel.  There may be another seventies style swimsuit in the mix as well.  It's becoming difficult to make a final decision so I may end up with all three, and then there are the bikini top options!  Perhaps my first goal is to actually make a decision!

Honorable mention:  My final goal for this year is to keep bloggong!  Now that I've found my groove, I want to keep sharing.  It may be challenging, I'll have so much on my plate, but so much to talk about too!

Here's to a new year filled with new experiences!