Well since my major sewing fail I’ve been sucked into looking at more and more knitting patterns and have planned even more knitting for the upcoming months.  I’ve still got my plans I mentioned in this post (and will post pictures of the adorable dog sweater soon), but I’ve added mercilessly to the list, starting with this beauty…isn’t it gorgeous?  It is a knickers and vest combo or a long dress/nightgown/slip depending on which version you work up, knit on tiny needles with (I’m guessing because I haven’t seen the pattern yet) 2-ply yarn.  This small guage will be good though because I want this to be soft and smooth against the skin.

I’ve also added onto the list Kate Davies neep heid in the beet heid colorway.  Full confession time–I’ve never thought fair isle was anything to get involved with as it usually entailed geeky Christmas scenes that reminded me too much of the 80s, but this hat is great and nothing like any of the fair isle you remember from your embarrassing childhood.  It will be my first real foray into fair isle so that will be exciting.

Also on the list from Kate Davies is the o w l sweater.  I don’t usually like the way chunky knit sweaters look on me in the finished product but I have high hopes for this one as it looks nicely tailored around the waikaren1st at the back.

There are more photos here of peoples’ owl creations: http://needled.wordpress.com/parliament/


So I have this dear little pattern from Folkwear (#219) 219illand I’ve been trying to make up the camisole and tap pants.  Well, unfortunately I started with what I thought would be easiest–the tap pants–and boy was I wrong.   I don’t know if it is me or the pattern, but I cannot for the life of me sew the crotch correctly.  I’m following the pattern instructions and somehow it comes out wrong every time (I’ve ripped this thing 3 times now!).  I’m thinking of just ripping it one last time and sewing it the way my intuition is telling me and not the way the instructions indicate.219views

To explain, the instructions seem to tell me to sew the front to back at the crotch seam, then sew the U-shaped seam, then the straight side seams, but when you do that, it seems the crotch is backward and you can’t sew it nice and flat.  Anyone have tips or can commiserate with me?

It really is a cute pattern and the camisole will be adorable with the notions I bought from PollyDanger.  The camisole calls for a bias strip to house the ribbon drawstring and I chose this adorable one with some fabric covered buttons to match.

Adorable, right?  Too bad this very simple pattern is driving me batty!  I even had my sister look at the pattern because she is more experienced in clothes-making and she said I was doing it as per the pattern instructions.

I’ve been swamped with sewing ideas and projects lately but I have been squeezing in some knitting here and there.


I am almost finished with this shawl from knitty.  Initially I thought I would keep it for myself, but as I keep looking at the inner lace portion, I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be more suited to someone a bit older than myself.  I had in mind my grandmother who loves to knit but can’t anymore because of the arthritis in her hands.  I didn’t add the beads into the fishnet portion and I am going to dye mine a greenish gray.  This is not a fast knit, fair warning, but the fishnet is absolutely lovely and I think I may try and make a stocking pattern from the fishnet stitch.

I’m also in the midst of making a baby blanket, but have no photos of it yet…I’m doing the edging in Bernat Bamboo yarn and the middle in Paton’s Silk Bamboo (green and blue).  It will be lovely when I am finally done and weave in the ends, but wow is the Bernat Bamboo hard to weave in-I find the ends sticking out and fraying all over so I don’t think I’d use it for a baby blanket again since baby items get loads of washing.

On the docket to start are a dog sweater, like this one I made, edog sweaterxcept I’m going to do it in a finer weight yarn this time so there are no snags if the dog likes running under bushes like mine does.  This is for an etsy buyer on my site and I hope her pup will love it as much as mine does. This is my main priority now that I have the yarn in hand and the necessary measurements.

Next up after that is complete is this capelet.  I saw Gertie inquiring about capes and capeletes and wrote in her comments that I had a nurse’s cape and had been longing after a hooded capelet.  Well this is the hooded capelet I’d love to make:

mimi1This is a pattern/kit from Hanne Falkenberg and it is shown here in raspberry but comes in a variety of colors, but I rather like the poppy red color.  I know it is totally impractical but I really think it looks adorable and if I hate it, I can always frog it out and make something else.

After that I have on my plate other fall knits but I’ll save those for another post!

As I stated earlier, I’m searching for a pattern for bloomers similar to the ones Queen Victoria wore (a sort of split pant type bloomer).  I have a found a few patterns I could modify, so it is time for a pattern roundup!

The first, which is adorable, is also not really bloomers, but could function as a slip that would stop the inner thigh chafing (TMI?):


Adorable, right?

The second is a similar pattern that is just a JPEG I found on the internet of a step-in type pattern:


Kind of nerve-wracking to construct a pattern from a tiny image but I think it could be done.

The third pattern is probably closest to what I was looking for (a type of vintage Spanx without so much unbreathable material sticking to my skin):

superior bloomerIt even looks like it might be split in the middle for easy toilet use, but I can’t really tell from the small image of the instructions.

The fourth is a type of pantaloons/longer tap pants pattern from http://www.candleonthehill.net a site I’ve never heard of before, but I guess is simlar to Folkwear or Sensibility.

BloomersSo…any opinions from you, dear reader?  Who knew I would be looking for a pattern that is most often found on modesty-specializing websites, but I can’t be the only one with inner thigh chafe, can I?


This lovely photo is copyrighted to Tara Bradford, who you can find here: http://parisparfait.typepad.com/

I’ve been debating getting a dress form for about a year or so and wondering if it is worth the money spent and the space it would take up.  I know there are great ways to make your own, but I’m just not into that at the moment.  So, I am soliciting your opinions (and I even have a handy poll) and want to know what you think!  Are you one of those who can’t live without their dress form or have you shunned one and still make fabulously tailored clothing?

Also, I’ve always been intrigued by the look of these:dress form cageBut I’m not sure it is overly practical for actual sewing, you know?

And that someone was me.

And that someone was me.

I have a whole backlog of posts to get out, but need photos to post them and of course, with work, and being in a play, and in the middle of a yard sale and house move, there is no time for photos.

The projects entail–quilting for the first time in my life (advice anyone?), refashioning a dress into a skirt and a shirt, refashioning a skirt into a shorter skirt and….something else (not sure what yet), finishing some undergarments, and searching for patterns for split knickers (like the ones Queen Vic wore).

In terms of refashioning, I have so many projects to get through and postWR096mths that it is embarrassing.  I have planned: turning dog bandanas into a dog bed, the afore mentioned skirt into skirt + something fabulous (it’s all in Liberty print as well!), turning a wrap dress into a skirt and a shirt, refashioned a tired and ill-fitting RTW cardi into something delightful and well-fitting, turning sheets, curtains, and pillowcases into a king-size quilt (I’ve never quilted before, so lots of advice would be lovely from you expert commenters), and refitting/refashioning all of my empire waisted shirts that I stupidly bought a few years ago even though they make me look 6 months gone.

Phew…so I promise I will be back soon with pictures (and hopefully a fancy new sewing room with a cutting table space!) toute de suite!

And just for randomness…when I was searching around for vintage patterns and images, I came across this book cover?  Not sure what it was intended to be, but thought we could all puzzle over it together.vantage tips

Well, I can hardly believe it has been a year since I started sewing clothing, but it has been so much fun.  I learned how to sew in Home-Ec (now you know I’m an ancient one) but we only made some pillows and curtains and I learned more about how to sew by hand than I did with a machine (to the point where it was known in my family that if you needed something hand-sewn, I was your girl, but my sister was the machine-sewing-goddess).

I started out making a superbly easy dress, the Simplicity 3835 Built by Wendy pattern where you can make a shirt or three styles of the same basic dress.  I first made the shirt, but I can’t show you a photo because the back seam ripped open on my first wear (made with a very vintage lightweight sheer wool, which in hindsight, pulled through the seam).  I haven’t repaired it yet, I’m not sure why, but it does remind me of how far I have come.

Out of the same lightweight vintage wool, I most recently made this dress:

nana dress blogAnd this is a landmark dress because I made it without a pattern.  I based it partially off a vintage dress I already owned and partially after seeing the Anda dress from Burda.  I think it makes me look a bit thicker in the waist than I actually am, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I placed the waist a bit higher than I should have and used the wrong type of elastic/binding so it is a bit more bulky than I would like.  Which might make it seem like I am unhappy with it, but really, in real life, it moves very well and I am happy with it and incredibly pleased with the success I had in making a dress from an image in my head instead of from a pre-printed pattern.  I have some goals for myself (Colette Chantilly in a green silk is one of them) and hope that I get more adventurous in my sewing than I have been previously.

So, what have your sewing accomplishments been in the last year?  Do you have any goals for your future crafting or are you happy just to go along with the flow and see where it takes you?

I recently read this article about Queen Victoria’s underclothing being unearthed and put on display.  Show here are her chemise and split drawers, which got me thinking.  I have made up plenty of tap pants which range from serviceable to adorable to sexy depending on materials and embellishments.  But here is the rub (pun intention to come)–my thighs rub together when I walk.  I know, this is not an uncommon problem among women, but in lieu of wearing Spanx or some other girdle arrangement, what could I wear under dresses during the day so that I could walk without chafing, then, like a sign from above, I saw these royal underwear.

Queen Victoria's undergarments on display.

Queen Victoria's undergarments on display.

Those split drawers (open underneath to allow for use of the toilet) would be perfect for keeping my thighs intact and allowing the area to ‘breathe’ so to speak (those Spanx can be quite tight and non-breathable).  My only problem is, how do I make them?  They seem to be just two tubes of material sewn up and attached at the top and crotch, but can I swing this without a pattern or even a real-life model to go by?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!


CK Dexter Haven! Aren't these kind of awesome/cool/weird earrings?

Hello!  Well, the main reason I am here is because I have joined Wardrobe Refashion for 6 months and want to fully document my progress in the clothes-making process.  My other reasons are that I read a fair number of crafting blogs and hope that some of you out there on the interwebs can help me with some of my refashioning ideas–that’s right, I’m looking for advice and critiques, and if you see anything you like, pop on over to my Etsy page and have me Alchemy one up for you!

And for those of you wondering about my teeny tiny arms I keep mentioning, here is a good explanation of all things T. rex.

Making your New Wardrobe, Right Here!

Back in the Cretaceous Period