Wishes Granted

I have wanted a tailors’ dress form for quite a while. So when a friend mentioned that she was trying to get rid of one that was just sitting in her garage, I told her I would love to take it off her hands. The dress form was in decent shape, but the fabric cover was starting to come off and the waist marker was all but gone. So I valiantly rolled up my (figurative) sleeves, pulled off the fabric, and washed off the yucky brown crumblies that were the remains of the original glue. Look what a beautiful modern dress form I have now! I thought about making her a new fabric cover, but I kind of like her modern/industrial look.

She will be a great asset to my sewing and knitting, especially as I am planning some bigger/wear every day garments that I would like to have fit.

My husband named her McGee. Tits McGee. (This name must be said in a sultry voice. Like James Bond. She is a fantastic secret agent because she can so easily change her body type.)

Restless

I have a bad case of startitis. But I’m trying to be good and not cast on ALL the things. Just some of them. My husband and I watched a documentary on minilamism recently, and it made me think about all the things I have that I don’t use. So I pulled this skirt out of my closet to rework as a tunic. I love the skirt, but I rarely wear it, and a tunic is much more realistic for my lifestyle. (Pattern adapted from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design)

skirt

I needed some thread and binding to start/finish this project, so I went to my local fabric and craft store and fell down the rabbit hole. I have plans to make a project bag from these.

fabric

Making doesn’t just have to be crafting. My husband and I made the most delicious chocolate mousse (recipe courtesy of the Joy of Cooking, of course).

dessert

And here we are in all our mustachioed glory.

mustache

2016 Review

This has been a happening year!

Personally:

I moved into my own apartment in February

I got engaged in March

I planned my wedding and got married in SeptembershawlI moved (again) into my husband’s apartment

 

Crafting:

I knit socks for my husband

A baby set for a coworker

A very big blanket (This was my engagement present from my husband. He’s a keeper)

A sweater for me

A finger puppet just for fun

My wedding shawl

A honey cowl (made from my own handspun, no less)

A commissioned sweater that nearly killed me

A pair of worsted weight socks for my mom

And various other small projects, like hats and washcloths

I learned to spin and I bought a spinning wheel!

I also did some sewing – I finished a bathrobe and a vest and made a dress

20161107_194844-collage

Whew! That was a lot! I didn’t realize at the time how much I’ve done this year. No wonder I am tired!

Sewing

If you follow me on Instagram (@dramaticlyric) you will have seen that I’ve been doing some sewing recently. It all started a few weeks ago when I was wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble and a sewing book caught my eye. Now this was not just any sewing book, this was Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin. Most sewing books are about sewing woven fabrics with a machine. This book is about handsewing knitted jersey. My sewing machine is on the blink, and I actually prefer handsewing anyway, so the book caught my interest (also, I had read about Alabama Chanin on Mason Dixon Knitting). I read through it a few times, then pulled out some fabric and thread. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

A very basic but fitted dress out of grey…stuff (the fabric was given to me, so I’ve no idea what the fiber content is). I had just enough to make the dress – I even had to piece it in a few places. This dress is great on its own or as a layering piece, meaning I can wear it year-round. Perfect!

stitch

This next project is something I started in high school, but had not yet finished. A sleeveless vest with tatted lace in the back. All I needed to do was finish the arm holes.

vest

My friend has a horse, so here are some gratuitous horse pictures (also showing my recently finished Perry cardigan).

My (almost) Perfect Bathrobe

I am a lizard. Not literally, obviously, but I grew up in a very warm climate. So when it gets cold out I get very very cold. Last winter I decided I wanted the warmest, fuzziest bathrobe ever, so I started shopping around. They were all so expensive! So, frugal woman that I am, I decided to make one. How hard could it be? Knitting would take too long, so I decided to sew it. Out I went to my nearest fabric store and bought the fuzziest pretty fabric I could find. I didn’t have a pattern. But I am a smart, independent woman who doesn’t need no pattern! I measured myself. And then did some math. Measured again. Measured fabric. Did more math. Confused myself. Then repeated the whole process until I was satisfied that I was probably right.

Now came the big step: cutting! This went really well…until my cats decided that my scissors needed to be attacked! (Please, don’t worry about the kitties. They were not harmed. They were just annoying.) With my pieces cut out, I threaded my sewing machine and did most of the sewing. At which point I stopped and shoved it all in a bag to be completed later. Maybe it got warm then?

kitty

The other morning I was cold – which makes sense, since it’s fall. I remembered my partially finished bathrobe and decided the time had come to finish it. I pulled it out of the sewing box, cut out some additional pieces, and set out to finish the beast by hand (my sewing machine makes a great paper weight, but isn’t good at much else right now). So let me tell you, Chenille fabric is a lot nicer to work with than chenille yarn. The edges don’t curl or fray, so you have the option to not finish them. It makes for a pretty straightforward sewing project. Which was great, until I got to the cream fur fabric I bought for the trim. Remind me to never sew with furry fabric again. Especially by hand.

fuzzy

In the end I came up with a pretty great bathrobe. It’s very fitted, almost like a dressing gown, which I absolutely love (In fact, I’m going to call it a dressing gown. It sounds so much more classy). But the armholes are a little tight. And it doesn’t close with quite as much overlap as I had envisioned. I still have a little more finishing work to do, but all in all I am happy with my project, and I look forward to many years of warmth and comfort.

“You should sell that”

Ever heard this before? If your experience is anything like mine you hear it a lot. From friends, family, even strangers. People find out you make things and their first suggestion is, “You could make money doing that.” This bothers a lot of crafters. It bothers me, too, depending on who it comes from. If a close friend or a family member suggests selling my work I am likely to explain to them that I don’t want to and that if I did want to sell things I wouldn’t make even minimum wage. People aren’t willing to pay you for your time.

But if a stranger comments, I usually let it go with a simple “Thank you.” I think what they are trying to say is, “If you sold that I would buy it.” And I do appreciate that sentiment.