stripy scarf

As predicted, it’s been quiet around my sewing machine lately. My travels to Chicago went just fine, and now I’m spending my days going to school and settling in. I’m moving into a new apartment in a couple of weeks, so I still have some time before the dust can really settle around me! Meanwhile, my sewing machine is lacking some electrical add-ons before it can function fully with this foreign electrical system, so sadly (I’m experiencing withdrawal syndrome!), sewing is still off for another little while.

In the meantime, I’ll post a knitting project I completed this summer. It’s starting to become somewhat of a tradition; for celebrations that usually come with gifts, I knit something for the boy. I made another scarf for him, since the other last one I made is adorned with pink skulls, and might seem a little morbid sometimes.

So, second in the collection of knit-for-the-boy-scarves (a collection that in the future will count at least five), here is a bold and stripy one:

I used left-over yarn for several previous projects, and I like that looking at this makes me think of other knitted projects I’ve done: the brown is from the striped socks I made the boy, the turquoise is from my sock/hat/mittens set, and the mustard is, of course, from the mustard socks. The white yarn isn’t from a specific project, but it was picked up at a yard sale. Having used remnants and thrifted materials makes me feel extra good about the finished scarf!

I blocked this scarf, and it’s the first time I’ve done that with a finished knit project. Here the sharp lines of the back side are visible. At least, this is the back side to me!

To make the stripes go lengthwise, I ended up using circular needles, to fit all of the 350 stitches on there. There were a lot of stitches to keep track of! On the circular needle it was also hard to tell exactly how long the scarf was, since it was all bunched together while I was working on it. It was exiting to cast off and see how it looked un-bunched! The scarf wasn’t knitted in the round; I knitted back and forth. I tried with just straight knitting stitches first, but I didn’t really like how the texture came out, so I went with one row regular knit, next row purl.

I really like this scarf, and the texture of the purl stitches. I might snatch it from the boy and wear it myself.

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i make underwear

Yes, underwear! I made these. They used to be t-shirts, and now they are fully functional, very comfortable underwear. And happily quick to make.

(click the picture to get the back view)

The first thing to do, is find some suitable t-shirts to cut up. I’ve used gifted and thrifted t-shirts, but my closet is under close scrutiny at the moment. I prefer my cotton straight up, no synthetics, and the softer (and thinner), the better.

As I’m no genius at pattern-drafting, I thought sticking with my favorite pair of undies as a model was the best bet. It was quite finicky to make this not-so-big 3D garment translate in to a 2D pattern, but it’s perfectly doable, especially with a little patience and persistence. In cutting the pattern pieces out of the t-shirts, I’ve generally just squished them all in there to get as much out of my t-shirt as possible, but in the future I am going to put down the pattern pieces horizontal on the t-shirt, to get more stretch in the underwear. And this I know from experience now: some t-shirts are naturally quite stiff and has very little give, and that means there is a greater chance of seams tearing, so stretchy t-shirts are good (I guess better luck next time in making underwear for the boy).

(It’s a moose. Too bad Guttkes Fritidsstugor printed his moose on such a stiff t-shirt.)

I’ve even managed to use the neckband of the old t-shirts as waistbands for a couple of the new undies. That makes me quite happy. Also, I’m quite happy with the stitch-in-the-ditch sewing and nice seam finishing on some of these, most visible on the brown underwear in the picture below:

For those who suddenly got an urge to get up and make themselves some underwear, there are some patterns and tutorials out there, like this one at Supernaturale, and this one over at BurdaStyle.

The color scheme of my underwear collection was in no way planned, but brown is a very good color. I’ll end with a picture of the very first undies I made. It looks like the t-shirt would have read ”Alabama” at some point, but it really didn’t. The word was ”Alaba”. Huh.

(eta: thanks to the boy for the pictures)

purple dress

My dear friend Stine stopped by on her way to a dance gig in Istanbul, and willingly modeled a dress I made her a year ago. She was told to bring fancy clothes for a party after the gig, and she brought my dress – I’m flattered (and proud)! This is the second dress I’ve made for her, and she likes to say she has a designer making her clothes. Who am I to argue with that – she’s my # 1 client!

purplefront2

She was living in New York at the time I was making this dress, and I was not, so she didn’t get to try it on before it was all done. I really enjoyed the process of designing this dress. I was quick to decide on the deep, but bold, purple, which I thought would go well with Stines fair skin. I was picturing this as an evening dress, so I decided she could pull off the rich color. Also – she’s a dancer, so I went with a cut that shows quite a lot of skin and toned-ness, especially her arms and her back. (I apologize for the dark picture – I’m learning where not to hold photo shoots!)

purpleback3

I was aiming for more classy than sleazy, and with all that skin revealed, the only thing that made sense was to keep the dress itself quite loose and flowing, and not skin-tight.

I’m starting to realize that pictures of outfits are easier to match in color to the real thing if they are taken in daylight (oops!), but to give you a better idea of the color of the fabric, here is a detail-shot:

purpledetail1

Both the back and the front have deep pleats. The fabric is a gorgeous, crinkly silk chiffon I bought in Paris. I figured the dress would require less ironing, since the texture of the fabric itself would hide some crinkles.

And, as a curiosity; on the left a picture from the process of pinning the fabric and making the pleats, and on the right a dress by 3.1 Philip Lim. I swear, I didn’t see this dress until after I had fully planned Stines dress, so it was funny to see that I was unknowingly following some current trend! (unfortunately an extremely tiny picture)