My husband’s grandma is a crocheter. When we visited them recently I showed her a picture I found on Instagram of a bracelet made of broomstick lace. We realized that we could totally make that, and before I knew it we were in her yarn closet (She has a yarn closet! I knew I married into the right family!!) picking yarn and finding a dowel to make broomstick lace with. She rooted out her crochet notebook from when she taught Home Ec. in the 80s and found the directions for Broomstick Lace:
She guided me as I awkwardly made a chain and single crocheted a few rows before starting.
The bracelet was a rousing success! So fast! So easy! The hardest thing was picking out buttons. I decided to go with blue, since my wardrobe has been skewing toward blue recently.
It would be super easy to make up a whole set of bracelets in different colours – something for every occasion!
If you want to make a bracelet just like mine, here is what I did:
- Yarn: 10 yds fingering weight yarn
- Hook: 3mm
- 4 buttons, sized 1/2″-3/4″
- Dowel: 1″ wide and at least 6″ long – it helps to have a very smooth dowel with a rounded end, so take the time to sand your dowel down if it’s not already smooth
- Ch 21, turn work
- Skip 1 ch, sc 19, turn work
- Ch 1, sc 19, turn work
- Ch 1, sc 19, do not turn work
- With crochet hook pull up last loop and place on dowel held in left hand. Insert crochet hook in each st of ch, pull yarn through and place on dowel (20 sts).
- Insert hook in center of first 5 loops, holding these loops together as one, yarn over and pull off needle, ch 1, and work 5 sc in first set of loops. Work 5 sc in each set of 5 loops until no sts remain.
- Repeat rows 4 and 5 six more times, or until the bracelet is just long enough to go around your wrist. Cut yarn and hide the end.
- Sew 4 buttons to the foundation rows.
- Wear your new bracelet with pride!
Have you ever crocheted Broomstick Lace? What do you think of it?
Earlier this year I made a long sleeve t-shirt.
There were some things I liked about the shirt (the construction and finishing details) and some things I didn’t (the colour and fit, since I didn’t measure before choosing a pattern size). Since then either the fit has relaxed or I have lost weight (or both) and I’m much happier with the look. Still, I’m not a huge fan of navy blue. I blame it on the uniforms I had to wear in high school. So I went to the store, bought black dye, and dyed my shirt.
So the lesson is: if you don’t like the colour of your clothes, dye them. Dyes these days are easy to find and easy to use, practically foolproof (as long as you get the right kind of dye for the fiber content of your fabric). You will be so much happier with the clothes you have and more likely to wear them.
About 2 months ago I bought the Watson Bra and Undies pattern. I made up a shopping list, cut out my fabric, and sewed the undies pretty quickly (more about that here). And then I stopped. I was terrified of making the bra. What if I didn’t cut it just right? What if after hours and hours of sewing it just fell apart? What if it didn’t fit?
The only way to know what would happen was to actually make the bra. So I did it. It fits! It didn’t fall apart. And now I have a matching set.
My main fabric is a cotton/polyester blend, and I fully lined it with nude power mesh. I really like the fit of this bra. It gives me good coverage without squishing me or making me a shape I’m not. The instructions are pretty easy to follow as well. In the future I think I would go down a band size, but on the whole I have no complaints.
So there you have it. I made a bra by hand, there are no machine stitches on it. So if you are holding back from something like this because you’re scared, just do it. You might surprise yourself. And if it fails somehow or doesn’t fit? It’s just fabric. There is always more.
This month I participated in Me Made May. I’ve seen this in the past and wanted to participate, but didn’t really know how. I looked it up this year, and basically Me Made May is a challenge to wear the things you have made every day in the month of May. I wasn’t sure if I had enough handmade clothing items to do this, but I decided to try. It ended up being a great way to find things I had made that I had forgotten about and to try different clothing combinations. I will definitely do this again.
One dress, three ways: I love my Alabama Chanin inspired grey dress. I feel very cute wearing it, and it is so easy to style!
Tank Tops: May is warm where I live, so I wore my tank tops a lot. One is self drafted and two are Wiksten tanks (one of which I upcycled from a shirt my husband had torn).
Socks: I wore my Fraternal Slytherin socks a lot. As in every time they were clean. Also, I finished my Pink Floyd socks this month and they have been a bright addition to my handmade wardrobe.
Accessories: The Chevron Lace Headband is my first published pattern (and it’s free). I’m about to publish a pattern for this cowl as well – it will be called Raindrops and Wildflowers and I’m planning to publish it in July. I also wore my Wedding Shawl and a ribbon rose hair clip I had forgotten about.
Other: I don’t wear skirts as much as I used to, so I had forgotten how much I loved my Joseph skirt. I wore my Lace-Back vest, and my long sleeve Alamaba Chanin t-shirt for the odd cold day.
Part of listing my making plans is deciding what pieces I really want to add to my wardrobe. Karen Templer from Fringe Association wrote a few months ago about intentionally planning her wardrobe, and planning her making around the holes she wanted to fill. So I’m taking a page from her book, and thinking about what I have, what I want, and what I need.
I’m relatively new to the whole “hand sew your own clothes” thing, so I am intentionally not tackling pants of any kind. Which means I have a lot of shirts planned, mostly in knit fabrics because I like wearing them. Here I have a long sleeve cream shirt, an aqua shirt with lace, a red shirt (in woven fabric) that is already partway done (and now that I have a dress form I can drape it like a boss), and a fluttery summer shirt.
Knitting is something I’m much more comfortable with. I plan to make the Maia Tee in linen, Song of the Sea, a Hitchhiker with my handspun, and I’ve already started Favorki with alpaca handspun.
Last up, I have 2 full outfits. A sewn jersey top in rose (I’m unsure about sleeve length – thoughts?) worn with a beaded black square skirt (this seems very elegant, but I’m not sure how often I would wear it. I’m much more of a pants type of girl). Also, a long sweater in a white-green ombre worn with jeans and boots. This sweater may not happen for a while, but it’s lovely to dream of.
What are you planning to make?
Finished: Long Sleeve T-Shirt (pattern from Alabama Sewing + Design)
And here’s a funny face. Because what photo shoot is complete without outtakes?
Yesterday morning I found myself in a surprising and terrifying place: a place without knitting. I scrounged around for needles and yarn and a pattern, but my hopeful plans were dashed several times. My relief was palpable once I started pulling string through loops. These tiny baby booties for an expectant coworker took just long enough for my husband to bring me the project I forgot at home.
What do you do when you don’t have access to knitting?