Sunday, 19 November 2017

My pink Raiun

My love of wollmeise continues to grow, with my recently completed Raiun in some fuchsia WM pure, give to my as a farewell gift by my lovely friend Renee (of East London Knit), when I moved out of London earlier this year. 

After some careful deliberation and research of open front cardigans, including some helpful input from one half of the podcast team ‘Imagined Landscapes’, Katie.  I chose Raiun by Kirsten Johntone, a Melbourne based architect/knitwear designer.

I’m just so pleased with it – the neckband is beautiful, provisionally cast on at the middle of the back neck and worked out in each direction, before picking up stitches for the body. I particularly like the shaping across the back, as the ribbing pulls the back in just a smidge.

Mods wise, I shortened the overall length – maybe 4m shorter than called for – and the final 2.5cm is ribbed the whole way across the body to avoid curling stockinette in the middle of the back. Finally, I completely ignored the instructions for the sleeves and just did my usual thing for fingering weight sleeves. I knit both the body and the sleeves on 3.5mm needles, so the fabric on the sleeves is slightly tighter (as I knew it would be).  I think that was the right decision as the body is a little drapier and the sleeves don’t bag out in the elbows.

I’m so tempted to knit another one…

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A (mostly) black day dress

In the next part of my #makenine sewing project (which may be turning into a make eight) I’ve recently completed a more formal version of the Avid Seamstress Day Dress.  Although, I don’t know if I would describe the dress as coming from their pattern once you consider all modifications that I made. 

To begin with, the bodice is entirely different and comes from the bodice pattern drafting class I did at Ray Stitch, in London, in May this year.  I’m still not entirely happy with it – in particular, I’m not sure if the arm hole is deep enough.  I think I need to try on some ready to wear clothes and probably deepen the arm hole by about 1cm. 

I did the pleated skirt variation, using the tutorial on the Avid Seamstress blog.  Do not use the tutorial – it is incredibly verbose and unclear and the numbers did not work for me.  Further, I think the skirt pattern needs to be cut wider to enable deeper pleats. 

Ultimately, this dress is a great option for occasions, rather than a work dress because it’s quite restrictive through the sleeves (which is why I think the arm hole isn’t deep enough!) 

I absolutely adore the fabric – the Nani Iro sateen is lovely, and the print is fantastic.  The metallic areas do feel a little thicker or firmer, but looks wonderful, so definitely worth it.  I’ve bought another print from the fabric line for another dress.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Macro fail

The latest module on A Year With My Camera has been about macro photography.

And it's here that I've found the limitations of my camera (which, as a reminder, is a Canon G7 X). 

I simply can't either physically get my camera close enough, nor can I zoom in sufficiently close, to get a really closely framed shot. 

I experimented with changing the ISO/f-stop/shutter speed to let more light in - and the reverse - but I really wasn't able to get close enough to capture the detail in the inspiration shots from AYWMC. 

Ultimately, I ended up with a series of images, mostly of uninteresting camelias - too close to get any interesting effect with depth of field, and too far away to get the lovely detail of the flowers.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Groove on

Last summer in London, over a year ago now, I followed in the footsteps of my lovely friend Juju Vail and created a knock off of a Cos t-shirt swing dress. I wasn’t thrilled with the result because I thought it needed to be tighter over my bust to avoid the impression of being pregnant! Nevertheless, I still really liked the idea so was excited when a couple of indie sewing pattern designers released patterns – the Groove dress by Made It Pattern (based in the UK) and the even more voluminous Ebony dress by Closet Case Files. The key feature of both patterns was negative ease over the bust and then FLARE. I chose the Made It option, supporting a fellow UK person and the swing was more to my taste than the super mega flare on the Ebony skirt.

As I mentioned in my Make Nine planning post, I intended to create a toile using some grey marle viscose jersey fabric, but I didn’t have enough, so I went straight to the good stuff.  I cut out the straight hem version to a length that I knew would be too long but I wanted options.I loved the neckline treatment in the pattern, I think it’s very neat in appearance and though it’s a little fiddly it was worth it. 

Back in Australia, I’ve since sewn up a wintry version using a seater knit fabric with ¾ sleeves.  I call this one my secret pyjama dress.  The fabric is amazingly soft with good recovery but the fabric/pattern combo doesn’t look like pyjamas – so I can wear it to work on casual Fridays.  And I managed it out of 2m of 1.5m wide fabric. I also sewed a tee shirt version in some black merino jersey. Really comfy with a pair of jeans, or shorts as the weather continue to improve I hope. 

I’ve got plans for one more at this stage – a high-low hem tee shirt version with some black/floral jersey.  Watch this space!