Festive Jumpers

I saw a post from Fahion Revolution on Instagram this week stating that “A jumper is for life, not just for Christmas”. With Christmas Jumper Day looming – they were encouraging people to shop at charity shops instead of buying new. Christmas Jumper Day is aimed at raising money for charity so this is a brilliant way to give twice and reduce waste!

The post was then re-shared by Karie Westerman – encouraging us to knit a “festive” jumper rather than a novelty one. A jumper that can be worn for the whole festive period and will last for years to come. This would definitely make sense with my capsule wardrobe.

I’ve picked my three favourite festive jumpers and hopefully by this time next year I will be wearing one of these!

Having mentioned Karie above – I will start with the wonderful woman herself. Karie recently launched Vinterskov which is a beautifully subtle Christmas jumper. I really wish I could wear mustard! I adore the hair/jumper colour combination – Karie looks fabulous.

I love the snowflake neckline of Etherow by Sarah Hatton. It’s quite an old pattern and the Alpaca Merino DK is now discontinued… but this would be lovely in Felted Tweed!

And finaly we have Stasis from Brooklyn Tweed. I’m trying to add more red, orange and coral into my wardrobe and I love this colour combination. In fact I love everything about this jumper!

Send me your festive jumper pattern suggestions please!

Make Nine 2019

Back in 2017, I shared my #makenine2017 image on Instagram – showing the nine garments I was planning to knit and sew throughout the year. I just looked back at it and realised that I can only tick off three of the nine! And to be honest… two of those weren’t completed until 2018!

I’ve made lots of other things that weren’t included in the above nine so it’s a bit disappointing to only be able to tick off three! For 2019 I want to set realistic and more focused handmade wardrobe goals.

I’ve been living with a capsule wardrobe for over a year now and it works really well for me. I’m finding that I’m getting less distracted by shiny new things that I want to buy or make and I’m thinking more before jumping in.

If I add something new to my wardrobe then I have to remove something else. This means I’m making sure that anything new I’m adding will replace something that I’m not 100% happy with or something that has worn out.

A few things in my 2019 plan are the same as they were in 2017… I obviously really want to make them!

I’ve also included a few things which are already work in progress but are unlikely to be finished before 2019. Is that cheating?

I’m determined to finish my wedding cardigan next summer, I have some new mitts on the needles using Gamer Crafting yarn and I accidentally cast on the Esme cardigan by Kim Hargreaves recently (I needed some comfort knitting!).

Knitting-wise I also want to make a new coral cardigan. I have a shop bought orange/coral cardigan which I pretty much live in throughout the summer but it’s seen better days and this coral Summerlite 4ply and Kim Hargreaves Tally cardigan will make the perfect replacement.

There are lots things I want to sew as well! The Betty and Peony dresses have both been on my list for a very long time! I WILL make these in 2019. You’re allowed to tell me off if I don’t…

Now that I know the Scout Tee fits me well and is an easy pattern – I’m planning to make a patterned version. Maybe in a lovely Liberty floral?

I’m still lusting after a button front skirt so that’s staying on the list. And I definitely need some new strappy summer dresses! Possibly using the Acton dress pattern.

Did you set yourself any making goals for 2018? Have you achieved them?

What are you making in 2019?!

 

 

Scout Tee with Petal Sleeves

In October I had the pleasure of attending two lovely weddings. My plan was to make a top and skirt that would look like a dress when worn together, but could also be worn separately.

It didn’t quite work out as planned… but I do now have a new top and a new skirt!

I finished making the top in time for the wedding of Eleanor (of Knit Nottingham) and Dr Chris. I didn’t get the skirt made in time but the top looked okay with my echinacea circle skirt… so that was lucky!

Eleanor and Chris had encouraged people to wear handmade garments so I was really glad to finish the top in time!

There was a fabulous array of handmade outfits and the bride looked amazing in her dress made from Kaffe Fassett brassica fabric. Eleanor also made Chris a tie to match the sash on her dress, knitted her cardigan, crocheted a bag and I think she made her jewellery too!

I made my top using the Scout Tee pattern – having made it before and knowing that it was simple to make and a good fit for me. Grainline Studios have added a sleeve extension pack to the pattern including a long sleeve, a cuffed sleeve and these petal sleeves…

The petal sleeves make it feel a bit fancier. I also used a drapey fabric which I picked up from Just Sew in Penrith while we were on honeymoon.

I don’t often go out-out, but this style is perfect for the kind of socialising I do – so I know that I will wear it a lot. It was great having the deadline of Eleanor’s wedding to get it finished!

I then managed to get the planned skirt finished in time for the following weekend when we travelled down to a beautiful wedding in Cornwall of our good friends Jen & Andrew.

In a way I’m glad that I didn’t push myself to finish it before Eleanor & Chris’s wedding because I decided that the skirt and top together didn’t look great!

The skirt did however look nice with another top I have – so from two metres of fabric I made two new half outfits!

The skirt is quite fine and floaty so I think I will get more wear out of it in the summer. In the meantime I’m planning to make a long sleeved Scout Tee and think about tackling a dress pattern!

By the way – I know that I said I was going to make some non-teal things… but I’ve got a stash of teal fabric and yarn to work through first, so it might be a while!

Huge congratulations to Eleanor & Chris and Jen & Andrew! X

 

New Denim Circle Skirt

Just over a year ago I made myself a denim circle skirt. I’ve worn it loads, it goes with everything and I love it!

I wore it a lot during Me Made May and mentioned that there were a few issues with it and that I wanted to make a replacement.

The waistband is too loose so I added belt loops – but even with a belt it drifts down and I feel uncomfortable in it. It only has one pocket because I put the zip in the side seam at the other side. And the zip is a bit wonky!

Here’s my second attempt!

I decided to go for a paler denim because I fancied something different and I know I’ll wear it a lot in Spring/Summer. I’m also planning to make a longer dark denim skirt to wear with boots in the winter… maybe with a gathered waist rather than a full circle.

It still isn’t perfect, but it’s a much better fit around the waist and has two pockets! I promised that I would do a quick guide to making a circle skirt once I had made a new one… so here it is:

  • Start by measuring your waist circumference and required skirt length.
  • Divide your waist circumference by pi (3.14 will do!) to find your diameter and then half that to find your radius. Make a note of these measurements!

I made the above skirt using a half circle for the front and two quarter circles at the back with a centre seam and invisible zip (which I’m not showing you… it’s very neat but definitely not invisible!). It also has a pocket in each side seam. If that’s what you want to make then continue as follows:

Start by making a paper pattern (I used brown parcel paper).

Front

  • start by drawing two lines at a right angle then draw a quarter circle using your radius measurement (please use a ruler and set square… the below is just a rough sketch!)

  • Measure your required length down from each edge and draw in the bottom curve.

  • Don’t forget to add seam allowance (I did 1.5cm) on all edges apart from the centre front which will be cut on the fold to make a half circle for the front.

Back

The back is pretty much exactly the same pattern as the front but will be cut as two separate pieces so you also need to add seam allowance to that edge.

Waistband

  • I made mine 2.5cm deep – you might want deeper or narrower – just decide on the depth and cut a strip of fabric to your required depth x2 plus seam allowance and the length of your waist circumference plus seam allowance on both ends.
  • Then cut a piece of interfacing the same length but half the depth and iron this to one half of the reverse of the waistband.

Pockets

  • I don’t have much in the way of tips here… I just drew around my hand in a roughly pocket shape and cut out two sets!
  • Sew the pockets to the side seams – this video is quite a good guide.

Putting it all together!

  • Join the side seams and finish the edges however you prefer.
  • Pin the skirt to the waistband evenly and stitch.
  • Insert zip (!) and stitch back seam. The technique for inserting your zip will vary depending on what type of zip you use. You should be able to find a guide to suit you on Pinterest or Youtube. If you’re new to zips I would recommend practising on scrap fabric first.
  • Clip into skirt top if necessary to ensure the waistband sits flat.
  • Fold half of the waistband over to the back, tuck under the raw edge and hand-stitch in place along all edges.
  • Sew up the hem and you’re done!

This is just a quick guide and I’m not an expert – so if you have a play and add any improvements please do let me know in the comments.

I’m planning to fill my wardrobe with lots of swooshy circle skirts!

Capsule Wardrobe – Take 3

I started working towards a capsule wardrobe back in October last year with my Project 340 where I wore just 40 items for three months. It’s meant to be 33 items (Project 333)…but it was a practice run!

I tweaked things and restricted it down to 33 items for January and February (Project 233)…and now I feel ready to start building a slightly larger, ongoing capsule wardrobe.

Restricting what I wear has been great. I suppose it’s similar to having overindulged on cake for years, then cutting down on it or cutting it out completely for a while makes you really appreciate it… and maybe realise that you don’t need as much!

I’m looking forward to finishing the wardrobe diet and getting to the point where I can just maintain what I’ve achieved… but I’m not there just yet.

As I’m always making things it means I’m having to tweak things regularly. This is making me more mindful of what I’m making. I want my wardrobe to have a higher proportion of handmade items – so if I knit a new jumper then it has to do the job of another jumper and be a replacement rather than an addition to my wardrobe. So I started a plan for handmade replacements…

This is based on rules I created for an ongoing capsule wardrobe that I think will work for me – with the main wardrobe consisting of 30 Winter items and 30 Summer items which can be mixed and matched for the in-between seasons.

after living with such a restricted wardrobe for five months… having this many options is a bit overwhelming! So I might streamline it further – but it’s a good starting point that means less stuff stored under the bed and more choice in my wardrobe.


The rules:

  • Shoes x 10 pairs (not including walking boots, wellies & gardening shoes).
  • Bags & belts x10
  • Necklaces x 10
  • Earrings x10
  • Bracelets x10
  • Rings x5 (not including engagement ring).
  • Sunglasses x1
  • Gardening, DIY & sportswear must fit in one drawer.
  • Underwear must fit in one drawer.
  • Nightwear must fit in box.
  • Summer items x 30
  • Winter items x 30

I’ve also put all the hangers in my wardrobe backwards – when I wear something I will hang it back the right way so that I can see what I’m actually wearing the next time I re-asses.

I still have some clothes in ‘storage’ under the bed, but this is decreasing every time I create a new capsule. I think once I achieve my final capsule wardrobe and am just maintaining it (ie – one in, one out) then I’ll be okay with having a few things stored under the bed… but if I’ve not included them in my wardrobe for a year than they definitely need to go!

I’m really looking forward to going back to a 33 piece wardrobe in May for a Me-Made-May/ Project 333 mash-up!

Rowan Magazine 62 – My Favourites!

I’m loving the new Rowan Autumn/Winter magazine and I’m knitting up my Softyak cardie as quickly as I can so that I can cast on something new!

The first patterns that jumped out at me and made me long for crisp winter days were Sweeting and Gloaming – both designed by Lisa Richardson.

I love long cardies with pockets and the hood on Sweeting is gorgeous! Sweeting is knitted in Rowan Kid Classic which is one of my favourite yarns and Gloaming is one strand each of Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace which I adored when I made Captivate by Kim Hargreaves. But I’ve already knitted a couple of long cardies so these will be going on the wish list.

The same goes for Wilshaw by Georgia Farrell in Rowan Big Wool. It’s gorgeous and going on the list!

I adore the cabled Kid Classic cosiness of Sykes by Martin Storey…but I’ve also fallen a little bit in love with another cable jumper by Martin Storey – Buttrick, which is knitted in Hemp Tweed. I haven’t knitted a garment in Hemp Tweed yet, but loved using it for my Dice Cowl and really want this jumper!

Fumbar by Marie Wallin is the perfect little yoked sweater in Felted Tweed…and I think I have just about enough to knit this, so that will be a great addition to the capsule winter knits wardrobe.

But before I do anything else – I want a nice simple jumper that will go with everything in preparation for my capsule wardrobe/me made may challenge. So I think the next thing on the needles will be Lund by Sarah Hatton.

Lund, Rowan Mag 62

Although it is a possibility that I might accidentally cast on this and Buttrick and Meriden from Rowan Loves 5 at the same time…!