Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My finished Granville Shirt

I have finished sewing what I rank as one of the trickiest things I've ever made. 
The collar is a bit crooked, I don't think all of my buttonholes are evenly spaced, and I gave up before the sleeves (summer's coming, anyway!).

It's certainly not perfect, but I am really proud of this shirt. I've got some improvements to make for my next one, like being much more careful when assembling the collar, but I'm planning to wear this all summer. I've definitely learned a lot during the process of making this. This is the first time I've used the buttonhole foot on my sewing machine, and although I was quite nervous at first, it turned out to be one of the simplest techniques I've done - so rewarding! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slow Fashion October weeks two and three

Week 2 = Small

Week two of Slow Fashion October is all about hand made, quality, small batch makers and sustainability. One item of my wardrobe constantly springs to mind when I think of these things - my bike riding coat, beautifully hand made by Sarah at Sew Love Tea Do. 

This coat is my go-to for weekends, evenings with campfires and zipping around on my bike. It's completely one of a kind, sustainably made from an old wool blanket and finished with hand stitching. The ceramic button was made locally too. It's also one of the warmest things I own, and given Auckland's notoriously changeable climate, the hood is very handy. 

As I start to sew more of my own clothing, I'm beginning to appreciate more and more the work that goes into making such lovely things. To make something well takes lots of time, patience and practice. To me this coat demonstrates all of those things and as it was made by a very talented friend, it is extra special!

Week 3 = Loved

It took me a good while to decide what would best represent my most loved items that I've made myself. My first thought was my Funchal Moebius, my first ever stranded knitting project and something I am very proud of finishing. Then there was the shrug I made for our wedding, very special too.

The last year has been spent learning to sew, and I'm pretty excited by the things I've been able to make  and the variety I've added to my handmade wardrobe. But I keep coming back to my knitting. It's not just about loving the item, but loving the process to make it - sewing is great but I love my knitting more. So at the end of the day, I've decided my most loved item is my Beaubourg Sweater. It's not super fancy with crazy stitch patterns or cables. It's just trusty reverse stocking stitch and dolman sleeves, nice and loose-fitting so it's perfect for layering. I wear this almost every day. It's like a portable security blanket. It's there when I'm cold, feeling a bit blue, it's been worn to bed and the supermarket and I don't really know what I'd do without it. Everyone needs a sweater like this.

It also pairs very nicely with my current favourite hat, Autumn Branches.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Finally, a finished object. Introducing Onda.

It's not often that I take on such a big project in finger weight yarn. Usually all the finger weight knitting I do is strictly reserved for socks and baby hats, maybe some mittens here and there. But with the sun shining and Spring finally feeling like it's arrived, a finger weight cardigan just makes sense. It's taken a couple of months but I am so pleased with how my Onda cardigan has turned out - I feel like I'll be getting lots of wear out of it over the coming months.

Things I love about this project = the sewn hem finishing (except where I didn't read the instructions properly and sewed the bottom and sleeve hems to the outside of the garment instead of the inside - am I the only one who gets RS and WS mixed up?). The sewn hem just gives such a great clean line and was a technique I'd never done before, so it was great to try something new.

Also loving stranded knitting scallops. And Spinning A Yarn NZ's silk merino is just divine to knit with. Although this project came out on gauge before I washed it, I'm pleased that it's grown and softened up just a little bit more - the silk is definitely helping with keeping the hems nice and flat, rather than curling up. Highly recommend this lovely yarn!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Slow Fashion October Week One

Karen Templer's Fringe Association blog is one of my all time favourite knitting blogs. Everything about it just resonates so well with me and I'm a dedicated fan. Between this and The Craft Sessions blog, both have inspired me to take a good look at my making habits and to try and be more considerate with my choices of projects and the materials I'm using. 

This month Karen has launched Slow Fashion October, a whole month to consider and celebrate the things we make and the things we wear on our bodies every day. She's divided October up into five weeks, each with a different theme. I'm a couple of days behind for the first week, but no harm I figure, I'll just do two updates this week!

The first week's theme is YOU, and so, here is a bit about me and what I want to get out of this month.

I'm Jo, and I've been blogging about my journey as a knitter and crafter for quite a few years. This blog has never really been a place of lots of giveaways or patterns or projects, but a space for me to take stock in my journey and keep a record of the things I've made and the things I've learnt. I have some amazing and wonderful visitors to this little space who continue to inspire me in my making!

Knitting and making have completely changed my approach to clothing. Instead of looking like everyone else, I now have ways to express the real me through outfits that are unique, fit me in the right places and make me feel great.

For Slow Fashion October I want to finish a couple of projects - my Onda cardigan and my Granville shirt, the hardest thing I have ever made! 

I also want to spend some time having a think about the upcoming summer season and how my current wardrobe is serving me, and what changes I can make to stay cool this summer. I know that I only have two pairs of shorts, and making a pair looks tough, so it might be a good time for me to look for some local makers. With summer, this means the wedding season is approaching, and rather than buying a new dress I'd like to take a slow approach and make something special or breathe new life into garments already in my wardrobe. 

You can get involved with #slowfashionoctober too - visit Fringe Association to find out how!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The shirt that kind of looks like a shirt

It's only taken about six months since buying the pattern for this project that it has begun to resemble something of a shirt. The sides need sewing, and I'm not going to lie - the collar isn't perfectly centred, and I'm really considering making this sleeveless because 1) summer's coming and 2) cuffs look tricky. 

I've definitely learned a lot so far with making something so complicated. Everything has to be triple checked. I unpicked the collar stand about four times to get it looking as good as I could. It's not perfect and it won't be centred if I do up the top button, so this will be a shirt that gets worn a bit more casually.  I can definitely see what I need to do to improve and make a shirt number two - as a first go though, I'm pretty happy with this one!