Saturday, 5 March 2016

Out With the Old - a (Long-Overdue) Photo Dump!

Hello again, it's been a while! Once again, I've disappeared completely from the blogosphere for a couple months. One of these days, I will figure out how to juggle writing a blog while I have midterms and labs and assignments and applications and dance and life... maybe.

In the meantime, I keep my Instagram a little more up-to-date with a mix of sewing, knitting, food, and pictures of Montreal when it's not slushy and gross like it has been the past few weeks.

I'm currently enjoying some well-deserved time off over my reading break after a really crazy midterm schedule. I've had a chance to catch up on life a little bit, including finally setting up a dedicated sewing space in my apartment. No more sewing on the kitchen table anymore!

I hadn't checked on my blog in close to a month, so I was a little surprised when I signed on the other day to see a lot of new traffic, since I've been voted one of the best sewing blogs of 2016 on Madalynne, in the 'Up and Coming' category! Thank you SO much to everyone who voted for me - I'm really flattered!

This post has been a long time coming. After my winter break, I realized that part of what's holding me back from blogging is my "blogging queue". With lots of old projects photographed and unblogged, whenever I feel like doing a blog post, I feel like it has to be about one of those old projects. But, when I go to write about them, it just seems like I made them too long ago to even bother! I can't remember the little details specific to each project, and some of them I unfortunately don't even wear anymore.

So, before I move onto posting about some newer, more exciting things (like my brand new sewing machines, my homemade Christmas gifts, and some recent pattern testing), I'm going to sum up all those projects that I haven't blogged about yet in one big photo dump.

This feels like some sort of confession - I'm getting all this off my chest before I can move on!

I'll start off with my favourite of the bunch - yet another Moneta dress! This is my third - I've already blogged about my first, second and fourth. I made this in the summer of 2014 (yikes!) and it's one of my favourite dresses to wear (along with all my other Monetas!).

I used an organic cotton and hemp blend jersey, and lined the bodice with cream bamboo jersey. I added the peter pan collar, which looks a little ripply in these photos because it stretched as I sewed it, but it flattened out with a couple washings. I included the pockets, and they worked really well in the more substantial jersey.

Keeping with the knit theme, I made a couple Bronte tops that summer as well.

I made the red one from some rayon jersey (you might recognize it from my Natalie dress that I made last summer!). I cut a size 6, but sized up at the waist because I don't like my T-shirts skin tight, and I found the fit to be pretty good, but the armholes were a little tight.

For the purple one, I just sized up to a size 8 everywhere, and I prefer the fit that way. I made it from a remnant of the most amazing bamboo jersey, and my favourite part is the buttons - they were from my grandma's stash and they have polka-dot bow ties on them! The buttons on the red one were also from my grandma's stash.

Next up is a skirt I made from handprinted cotton voile from Maiwa on Granville Island in Vancouver. I followed Tilly's guide to make a Picnic Blanket Skirt, which is simply a gathered button-down skirt, to which I added pockets and a lining.

It ended up looking really clean on the inside - in fact it's almost reversible and could have been with a little more planning. Too bad! I'll keep that in mind for a future project...

These buttons were also from my Grandma's stash - they were hand-carved ones she bought when travelling in Africa.

I love the print of this skirt, but it's almost a little too gathered to feel practical. I love it when I wear it, but I don't find myself reaching for it! I might shorten it and see if that helps - I've done that with a couple full skirts and I find it makes them more wearable.

This next skirt is the Chardon skirt by Deer and Doe, a pattern company that I've wanted to try for ages. My mom gave me this pattern for Christmas in 2014, and I made it when I was in Vancouver briefly before going to Canmore last summer.

I made a size 36, which was for a waist measurement a little bigger than mine, but it's snug! The pattern isn't kidding when it says it has very little ease. I put in a hand-picked lapped zipper, and I omitted the topstitching on the pleats, simply stitching in the ditch to secure them instead.

The fabric is some polyester crepe that was in my aunt's stash that she passed on to me. I normally don't like poly much, but it was the perfect weight to hold the pleats and yet still drape, but I found that I never wore the colour since it only matched with this one shirt. So, I dyed it! I haven't taken pictures since, but it's now a gorgeous purple-blue colour. Admittedly, it still doesn't match with very much, although I do like the colour a lot more now.

Since learning to sew with knits, I've also made a TON of underwear from jersey scraps. Here are my first four (experimental) pairs!

I used So, Zo's free pattern as a starting point, but modified it for a lot more coverage and more of a boy-short cut. It took quite a few tries to figure out the right length of elastic to use - you might notice the bottom left pair have waaay too much elastic. Now I can whip up a pair from leftover jersey in under an hour, and they turn out well every time!

And lastly, a knitting project!

I used a hand-dyed and hand-spun BFL yarn for this set, which is some of the softest wool I've ever worked with - it's gorgeous! The pattern for the hat was a free pattern I picked up from a local yarn store, but I think the wool wasn't quite bulky enough for it. I used the same cable pattern for the cowl, and skipped the ribbing at the bottom edge to make it roll.

I'm not really sure how I feel about these - they're nice, but neither are quite warm enough for the Montreal winter. The hat is a little small and the cowl is a little big, so they don't really keep my neck and ears that warm! It seems a shame to save these for the fall and spring, so I'm considering re-knitting them into a cozier scarf.

So, that's everything for my photo dump! I'll be back soon with my latest handknit sweater, my tester version of the brand-new Sarah Shirt from BHL, and some handknit Christmas gifts.... promise!

Now to find myself a photographer so I can actually keep that promise...


  1. Welcome back! Thanks for sharing all of your lovely makes. I'm going to try the undies pattern from So Zo.

    1. Thanks! The pattern is definitely a great starting point, and undies take so little time and fabric that they're easy to perfect. They're my favourite quick, satisfying project!

  2. Some lovely garments there. I love that moneta too - I have a lighter plum ponte and I'm thinking of making similar, or lady skater ;o)

    1. Thank you! The Moneta is such a great and versatile pattern. I've heard great things about the lady skater as well though! I haven't tried it yet because I figure I have enough knit dress patterns already...

  3. I love the buttons on your Bronte shirts! And I love the color and collar of your Moneta... very graceful.

  4. Love that you have a stash of your grandma's buttons, I have that too, comes in very handy!

    1. My Grandma had some beautiful buttons! Unfortunately her stash is at my parent's house so I don't have any of them anymore, but it was great to use them while I could!

  5. Love all this stuff, although when you find time to make it all is a mystery to me! I can't imagine living in a country where that cute hat and cowl isn't warm enough for winter!

    1. Thank you! Most of this is pretty old stuff - I haven't had a lot of time for sewing lately!

  6. hi hi, I love your dress style and especially the Bronte tops. It's nice how you use one pattern to make several projects too.

    1. Thank you! Once I find a pattern I like, I tend to use it a lot!