Thoughts on scraps

Also, thoughts on sustainable making and consumption – I guess these thoughts go together! It isn’t the first time I have shared thoughts on this topic – some years ago I wrote about tiny dresses and sustainability and even longer ago about using the fabric scraps. It turns out I still have thougths! It’s a length post, this one.

I have not bought new fabrics in a couple of years (and with my current very low output my stash will last me decades), and save a raincoat I invested in last year after much research, I have not bought new clothes for even longer. There is very little joy for me in browsing and shopping new clothes, knowing how destructive this consumption is. I can’t remember a particular moment I realized how much of an issue the textile and fashion industry and our consumption presents, but I’ve only become more sure through reading up. Some documentaries have helped, such as The true cost of fashion, Stacey Dooley Investigates – Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, Norwegian public broadcasting’s
, and another Norwegian mini-documentary series called Sweatshop. Listening to the podcast Check your thread by powerhouse Zoe Edwards has only further inspired me that this is both important and doable, and the Soul Craft festival advocates a connection to making and materials that I think goes hand in hand with mindful consumption.

So, it does not feel good to participate light-heartedly in an industry that is so destructive. What do I do, then?

I buy new rarely, and after much research. I spent a couple of years thinking of getting a raincoat from a local company, then months asking friends for their opinions on their own raincoats, trying on different models, and choosing one for myself. It was pricey. I bought a pair of winter boots this year, after several winters of cold feet (I hate feeling cold!). They are made of leather and lined with sheepskin, and produced in Europe. They were pricey.

I have been looking into brands in line with my beliefs, and I have found some (though not bought from most of these yet). There seems to be more of them arriving at the scene, which makes me very happy! Pure waste based in Finland produce their textile from waste fiber, Rifolab based in Italy does the same. I have bought a sweater from Norwegian brand Hekne that was knit with respun yarns in France. Other brand that have come across my radar is Rockay Running (Danish), Cariuma footwear, Tripulse sportswear, Sorbas Berlin and Emroce swimwear.

I use my garments and shoes for a long time. I have a Uniqlo merino wool cardigan in regular rotation, and it is thinning in places, but still doing ok some 10 or 12 years on. I have a dumb amount of shoes, because I keep them until they are really quite worn out!

I try to take care of the things I own. I mend holes, I oil wooden kitchen utensils regularly, I am best friends with my little electric fabric shaver. I get a lot of joy from patching utilitarian things up! Visible mending is not really my thing, so I usually try to make it quite invisible.

I do buy second hand clothes, and I particularly like finding things while I travel. Best souvenirs! My headache comes when I am ready to pass on garments, because there is no very clear best solution. Donating to a thrift store is easy, but the fact that so many garments bypass the second hand stores and goes on to litter third world countries in quantities they cannot process, and probably don’t even want? I am horrified. If possible I give the garment to someone I know who is interested in it. As a next option I might try to sell or give away the garment online, ensuring it goes to someone who actually wants it. Though, make no mistake, I do also bring clothes to Salvation Army – but I aim for other options first.

My newest second hand purchases.

I know some places take fabric scraps for recycling. The Norwegian branch of Salvation Army did for several years up till recently. Turns out, with the massive amounts of garments and textiles coming though, and a fraction of it making it into their thrift stores, they were self-sustained and then some with scraps for making shoddy. I have not found another alternative that I trust and that can show where the textiles end up.

After listening to podcasts that in part covers using scraps and unwanted garments, such as Check your thread, I would love to produce as little waste as possible, going out of my household. That means it needs be put to use somewhere within my household! A favorite activity at times has been to search the internets for suggestions for scraps (I have collected some ideas in a pinterest board here, and another one specifically for piecing fabric and combining smaller yarn quantities). A lot of them are things I am not interested in, and I don’t want to end up making more stuff for the sake of making. The finished product must be useful and aesthetically pleasing to me. As such, there is no scrunchie-production or random strip quilting going on in my sewing room. Some project suggestions I come across are dangerously close to “making trash out of trash” in my eyes.

At times this has frustrated me – what do I do with all the leftover bits of fabric and worn out garments? I have found some things that are both doable and interesting to me.

  • Quilts. Yes, I just said no random scrap quilts. For years I have seen scrap quilts that probably make a huge dent in a scrap pile, but that were not to my taste at all. They looked very random, no color scheme with a balance between saturated and unsaturated colors, no thoughtful variation of size and placement of different colors, just pieces of brightly colored fabric that beat each other up. The past year or so though, I have been seeing beautiful quilts and compositions using scraps, but also being *designed*. Publiclibraryquilts and Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions and Soul Craft both make (scrap) quilts that are compositions, in the way that artworks are compositions. I can get on board with this. I have also made a quilt where I wanted to use scraps, but also wanted it to look beautiful and in line with the rest of my home.
My own almost finished quarantine scrap quilt, finished in 2020. I had an orange tablecloth that I cut up, and pieces of different blue-grey fabrics.
  • Mindful pattern cutting. Many times I have adjusted pattern pieces based on the fabric I have available. Hems have been reduced in width, a skirt was made less full, if doable I have cut some pieces on the cross-grain. All this to best use up the piece I have.
  • Use fabric scraps for pockets, facings, etc. This is an oldie, for sure. Recently, I have been thinking how I can piece together scraps for linings. I am picturing a wool coat where I could piece silk scraps going from bold and saturated colors at the bottom, to pale colors further up. A pieced color-gradient lining!
I am picturing something along the lines of Petra’s coat, where the colors transition from top to bottom.
  • Piece fabric in garment making. I have done this before as well, but with pieced clothing being more common, at least what I am seeing in the IG home sewing community, the threshold is getting lower for me to consider piecing fabric to thoughtfully use the amount of fabric that I have available. I have some chiffon weight fabric I am thinking of piecing together in a symmetrical and geometric pattern, in a button down shirt.
Very visible and graphic piecing would be cool. Via Pinterest.
  • Baby clothes and kids clothes need so little fabric, so if I have remnants that work in weight and color and material, tiny clothing is very satisfying.
Baby clothes don’t require much yardage.
  • I have yet to make any zero-waste garments, but I would very much like to. I am not sure if I feel this is a superior solution over traditional garment patterns in home sewing, as I think some traditional patterns overall uses less fabric – though with some waste in forms of off-cuts. Have I wasted less resources if I make a zero-waste dress needing 4 metres of fabric, than if I make a traditionally patterned dress using 2,5, but with offcuts? I guess it comes down to what happens to the scraps. I am really enjoying seeing the designs coming out of this movement, and especially happy seeing it implemented into factory production – think letterman and denim jackets! I follow Zero Waste Design Online for this specifically, and they also have started a Zero Waste pattern library. Also, zero-waste backpacks and bumbags? Yeeesss! Hinerangi is a kindred spirit who has tried a lot of zero waste patterns, and her IG-account is worth checking out. Zero Waste Wardrobe has a number of really nice looking patterns (and also, for free!), and I am thinking one of her patterns will be my first ZW-attempt.
This is a zero-waste bra pattern, and I’d love to try it out.
  • Use scraps in weaving. I am not sure I am much of a decorative weaver, but I would love to make a traditional “fillerye”, a woven scrap rug. It runs in the family I guess, with both a mom and a grandmother being weavers. I even have a loom waiting for me when I am ready (and have the room for it!). This could take care of quite a lot of larger pieces of disused fabric, such as pillowcases and sheets, maybe some larger pieces of clothing. Rag-rugging is also a great scrap-busting craft, but I prefer the look of the woven rugs. Below are two rugs inherited from my mom, which I would guess my grandmother made. I think I even remember her loom being set up in the guest bedroom, where we slept.
  • Making baskets! I recently did an online course learning the basics of making baskets, and what drew me to it was the potential for reuse. Strips of fabric, twine, yarn… I have not actually finished a basket yet, but I already have a fair collection of textiles to use: kitchen towels and sheet with holes, old tshirts and jeans, some pieces of unused fabric. The course recommends baling twine as the core, which I wanted to find an alternative to as the point for me is avoiding buying new materials when the earth is literally overflowing. I think a possible option could be strips of jeans, rolled up. I am thinking it might be sturdy enough to work nicely!
  • Rags. Kitchen towels with lots of stains and holes, socks blown out at the heel, tshirts worn threadbare? Perfect rags for shining shoes, woodworking, etc. I think there is a limit to how many rags one household needs though.
  • Finally, I have joined the many many crafters making a pouf to hold their tiniest scraps and unusable bits, with the one from Closet Core being a popular pattern choice. I’ve realized a full pouf is probably many years in the making, so in the meanwhile I have made a lower inner bag (out of a faded unwanted pillowcase, of course), and have started putting my scraps in there. I have small offcuts, threads from the sewing process, yarn ends, the fuzz from shaving pills off fabrics, cut up worn out socks and underwear. I teach art and crafts at my school, and I have been collecting scraps of thread, fabric and poly batting during their making, so that will go into my stuffed pouf as well. Another option is to make stuffed toys. A recent episode of Check your Thread featured zero-waste designer Liz Haywood, whose patterns also include dolls with clothing. The dolls can be stuffed with scraps, of course!

I am not making perfect choices all the time, and my lifestyle certainly produces waste. These, however, are things I have found over the last five years that make sense in terms of my values and capacity. I’ll end with words of encouragement from zero-waste chef Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”


nénuphar jacket in wool

It’s that time of year again! When you try to take pictures at dusk because you are in fact wearing the jacket you want to blog about, and it is a clear day after all, so the chances of getting workable pictures are higher than usual, so you take pictures, and they are ok. Also, you discover that linen/cotton dresses and tights makes for bunching up, and you prefer to pair this jacket with skinny jeans anyways.

Pattern: Nénuphar jacket by Deer and Doe, in size 36.
Fabric: Wool, possibly with some polyester in it, based on the smell while ironing it. I can’t remember where this is from, I think perhaps left over after a costume project for a theatre production? It was an oddly shaped remnant of 1,3 meters perhaps? I remember measuring, but clearly didn’t write it down anywhere.
How much fabric is left: Perhaps enough to cut out a couple of patch pockets.
How will I use the leftovers: I was thinking I could make a kids jacket with contrasting sleeves in this wool fabric, but then I had to recut the facing bands, so pockets of some kind is most likely.

I apparently cut this out in the beginning of September, and by early October it was done, I think. I feel like I spent a long time on this jacket, which is probably due to all the decision-making during the making. You see, I was wildly inspired by the grey-blue structured version of the jacket that Camille wears in the pattern pictures, and I thought of this piece of wool from my stash, which I think worked out quite well!

The fabric choice feels representative of how I often go off script from following patterns, and all the domino-effects of those choices. Once I had picked the wool fabric, I realized I should have a lining. Since I had access to a lot of great fabric stores in Chicago, I have ended up with quite a few lining silks in my stash (apparently I liked to buy 3 yards of lining silk, since it was silk, and cheap-ish, and I didn’t know yet what I might use it for. Set for life with linings! Haha!). This one is actually one I dyed and used for my final collection, and I like the bright pop of color inside.

With the lining cut out I had to decide how to attach the two. This was complicated by the fact that lining ended up too short (mainly due to china silk being shifty af), and also since I was being very particular about the finished length of the jacket – wanting it slightly longer than patterned. I thought about folding up the hem over the lining, like in the Sewaholic Minoru jacket, but the lining was too short. The jacket hung on my dressform for several days until I thought “What would Julie (my college sewing teacher extraordinaire) do?”, and the solution presented itself: hem facing. Wonderful! I could get the extra length that I wanted, and also choose the width of the hem facing to work with bagging out the lining. I ended up catchstitching the raw top edge of the hemfacing to the back bodice piece so it would stay up and properly support the hem, and then used a ladder stitch to attach the lining, folded under like in a suit jacket.

Next thing to contemplate… How am I attaching the lining to the jacket? And how does that affect the construction of the lapels being topstitched in place? I should really record my thought while I am in the process – or maybe it’s just as well, because that would turn this post even wordier. I decided on hong kong binding of the facing edge, which I stitched in the ditch by hand, which covers the lining. All topstitching of the lapel was done beforehand.

My jacket most definitely has a different vibe than the many wonderful floral viscose versions, and that is fine – I think it is pretty cool to see how differently one pattern can be used. In this stiff fabric I think it reads more as outerwear, and I can imagine using it as such during summer evenings for example. Wool is not out of place when the sun sets on a Norwegian summers day!

Patternwise I cut a size 36, but sewed the construction seams (perhaps excluding the facing seams I think?) at 1 cm seam allowance instead of 5/8″. I can’t quite remember if I did that because I like 1 cm seam allowance, or for sizing since I sized slightly down  – measuring upper bust I am about 85-70-93, which corresponds to size 38 for the last two measurements and full bust. With the unconstructed style and stiffer fabric I was afraid of the volume being too much, and I am happy with the size. I could have sewed the intended seam allowance and have been perfectly fine.

I think this is actually my first Deer and Doe pattern, even though I have been a fan from the beginning. Can that be right? I had to check, and I own three of their patterns, but this actually is the first I have sewn up. I thought the drafting was excellent, down to the grainline on the sleeve being what looks slightly off, but actually being exactly as needed to make the sleeve drape nicely on our arms hanging slightly forward. The packaging is beautiful, and the instructions were good – no confusing moments. I have the Mélilot shirt and Belladone dress both in my sewing queue, and I am excited to sew them both.

Finally, this was a nice step in being happy with my slow pace of sewing. I deliberate a lot (*a lot!*) when I sew clothes, makeing changes and needing to problemsolve. Having to do that quickly in a work situation is fine, but when it comes to sewing as a hobby, it seems like a slower tempo is more comfortable for me. I think this also shows in how I have not made much progress on my #makenine plans (almost two of the bunch are finished), but that is certainly not because I don’t want to sew them – I just have a slow output!


With the world not quite making up its mind if it is winter still or summer already, I have both wool and linen stuff to show you today. And lots of words!

The final alpacca shawl

Starting with winter and alpacca wool, this is a scarf with well over a decade worth of history. I could probably write a whole separate blog post on this scarf alone, but here is the short version:
– Bought different colored alpacca yarn in 2004 while at “folk high school“, where everyone knits all the time. I made several long and skinny scarves.
– Started a pair of colorwork mittens, which I didn’t finish until many years later.
– Moved to Bergen in 2005 to study at the University, and freehanded a crochet wrap cardigan with this brown color, which was my neutral at the time. I am still impressed that I just decided to crochet a cardigan with no pattern and little experience. Raglan, and seamed, no less!
– Never wore the cardigan, since the crochet fabric was very open. Frogged it the same year and made a crochet triangular scarf instead that I wore near daily for the next decade.
– Still in 2005, found the exact color brown on clearance since it was being discontinued, and bought the rest.
– Fast forward to 2013. Had lots of yarn left, decided to knit myself a sweater. Thought I would run out of yarn, but I had plenty left.
– Frogged the crochet scarf during Christmas two or three years ago since the yarn was breaking in places. Idea of giant scarf to end All the Brown Alpacca Wool was born.

– Frogged the silly faux colorwork mittens that never fit, and were never used.
– Early 2016 I started a (real!) pair of colorwork mittens with the rest of my Barcelona souvenir yarn. I ended up knitting three mittens as I somehow lost the first somewhere in my apartment. Yeah, no idea how I managed that feat.
– Early 2017 I started the Final Alpacca Scarf (pattern is Close to you). I couldn’t finish the scarf though, as long as the colorwork mittens were underways, and they were taking kind of forever.
– March 2018: Finished the mittens, and subsequently knit the final three rows of the scarf with the very last of the alpacca yarn. Phew! 14 years and three iterations later, I do believe I will keep this one!

Irish Vine Colorwork mittens
Ok, that was not so short after all, but let me make it up by saying the following about the mittens. They are pretty, they took a long time to knit, and I am happy with them. The end. Ravelry notes and more pictures here.

Linen crop top and shorts
Moving deftly into summer, as our weather did – for a day at least. Sustainable sewing is a hot topic right now, and the Love to Sew episodes on this and intentional making were particularly inspiring to me, especially the round-up of ways to use scraps. I was delighted to realize I do a lot of those things already! Refashioning has also been a focus for a number of years, through projects like The Refashioners run by Portia Lawrie. I am mentioning these things as I had a stroke of inspiration one day, eyeing a full length linen sleeveless dress hanging in my wardrobe. It was given to me by a friend who though the color was typical me. Here is a terrible phone camera picture that I snapped at night before starting to unpick everything.

I did love the dusty olive green linen, but the fitted and lined dress was not a style I felt comfortable in. Suddenly I had the idea of using the bottom of the skirt as a crop top, placing the existing vent on the back for a breezy, boxy summer top. Using my trusty self-drafted kimono sleeve top as a template, I traced the shoulder slope and neckline, and added rectangles for sleeves. The neckline facings are pieced from the armhole pieces of the dress, which happened to have the perfect curves.

This was a case of squeezing as much as possible out of the available fabric. For the shorts I used the OOP 3850 Simplicity Built By Wendy Slim-fit pants. I have made shorts (still unblogged, save for a mention of the plans) from this pattern, and they fit alright. I extended the lines as much as I could to get a high waist, and was able to eek out a waistband that is faced with a different fabric on the inside. The front pieces were cut with the dress side seam running down the middle, and the back was pieced. I used the original invisible zipper, just shortened. For comfort and allowing for fluctuations in weight the waist isn’t fitted, but rather has a 1″ elastic, held ever so slightly taut, that keeps the waist in place but doesn’t pinch.

I wanted to make the shorts as high waisted as possible, so I could wear them with the crop top with just the right amount of skin flashing. As you can see, I have to raise my hand quite a bit to show midriff! The vent means the back is more on display, especially when I move, but it is all in balance I think.

I had so much fun turning this unworn dress into something I look forward to using! Having the tiniest of fragments of fabric left afterwards was also fun – I so enjoy the creative problemsolving in projects like these.

Ogden Cami

This post is getting so long – I think I can sum this sewing project up quite quickly. Fast sew, good patterndrafting, I need an FBA (judging by the straps splaying and the wedge popping out near my armpit), viscose wrinkles, I’d like to shorten the straps 1/2-1″, and the strap placement doesn’t cover the top my my bra. I prefer to be able to wear a bra (with straps), so I am not sure that this top will become a staple in my wardrobe. Solid pattern!


Alessa of Farbenfreude is moving house soon (congrats!), and was doing a destash on her instagram. This fits right into sustainable sewing, so I am excited to get some new pieces of fabric and exercise creativity in deciding how I can best use these pieces. This gorgeous tweedy wool with multicolored flecks feels maybe like a Belladone dress, I think. And look how sweetly packaged – thank you Alessa!

Christmas brioche scarf
Yes, very late… I am knitting a brioche scarf that was a Christmas gift. In all fairness, I did request color input on a knitting giftcard, so I didn’t start until February. It is grey, will be very long, squishy and warm.

Fåvang kofte
Finally I found yarn to suit the frogged Bayview sweater! The pattern is looking beautiful, and I have made it to the point of dividing for sleeves and bodice. This is one of my #2018makenine items.

Also a #2018makenine item, a set of running tights and top. The sizing has thrown me off, since many reviews mentions going down a size or even two. In addition, I won’t be using 5/8″ seam allowance (1/4″ is more like it, using an overlocker!). I have cut out the top going down three sizes, hoping for a wearable muslin. I want to order wooly nylon ( is a source for us Scandinavians!), but I need to…  actually order the stuff.

A selfless Sydney jacket
I am making a Sydney jacket in a dark grey felted wool. I have made two for myself, this is the first, and the only one that has been blogged about. The jacket has been waiting for months, all cut up, and shouldn’t be hard or lengthy to sew, which leads me to the next item on my list.

I have been thinking of how to participate in MMM in a way that makes sense to me. Using me-made garments each day is something I can easily do, but what is not happening at the moment is sewing time. Almost every project feels too overwhelming and time consuming in this hectic season I am having. I’ve decided in May to spend 15 minutes each day on this sewing hobby of mine. That can mean taping and cutting patterns, gathering supplies, basting a seam, or actual sewing (!). I am hoping this will lower the threshold to just do *something*, even if I can’t set aside longer chunks of time. So – that is how I am participating this year!


Phew, we’re finally at the end of this long, long month. I haven’t felt like writing up separate posts about things I have made lately, so here is a round-up of sorts. While taking these pictures I actually kept finding garments I forgot I had made but not shared, so things are looking good for a similar February-post! :D So, from the last couple of months:


Fern-print maxi dress

Yes, my tendency to make seasonally inappropriate garments is still at large. Last spring I bought this slubby cotton-linen jersey, thinking I might make a jump suit (I have not forgotten the sewing dare I got from Gillian, several years ago!). After a bodice/shorts muslin (free-handed frankenpatterning) I deemed the idea and fabric as not a good fit. A maxi dress, however! Shows off the print nicely with few distractions, and a type of garment I’ve been reaching for more and more. The top is from Tilly and the buttons Bettine dress, with a raised neckline in addition to my earlier alterations. The skirt is a simple slightly flared A-line, as flared as I could make it with the roughly 2m of fabric I had. The back bodice and skirt are both pieced with a seam down the center. Excellent utilization of the fabric, as I had absolutely nothing left! In fact, the neckline binding and waist elastic casing are both from other thin jerseys from my stash.

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress + freehanded a-line skirt
Fabric: 2 m of cotton/linen jersey blend from Stoff & Stil, looks to be sold out now.
How much fabric is left: None.
How will I use the leftovers: The tiny scraps went into my plastic bag of fabric scraps, destined for H&M’s textile recycling program.

Oversized art teacher sweater

One thing I noticed looking through my pattern stash the other day is that my collection is mostly made up of pretty “safe” garments and silhouettes. None of the exaggerated sleeve shapes, or dramatic coats, or flared pants that have been making the rounds lately. I haven’t decided if I feel like that is boring, or an accurate representation of my style.

Regardless, I had this RTW sweater that felt a little dramatic, in how wide the bodice was. Lots of fabric to fan around in and playing (or being) an art teacher! At the same time, the clean lines and slim sleeves (and for me, typically paired with slim jeans) balanced out the volume and made it a pleasant amount of quirky. I gave the sweater to a dear, dear friend because she loved it, and now I have made a copy. The sleeves are like super-deep cuffs – just folded double. It gives them stability and heft that works really well. I was so pleased with this I wore it to school before even hemming it!

Pattern: Copied from a beloved gifted RTW sweater
Fabric: 1,5 m of  polyester/viscose knit, from Stoff & Stil.
How much fabric is left: From the 2 meters I bought I have an odd L-shape, with 50 cm full width, plus maybe 60×70 cm on one side.
How will I use the leftovers: I’m not sure! There could be enough for a short sleeve top-like thing in my size, but this feels like sweater fabric. So… maybe a sweater for a kid.

Kimono sleeve/print top

This is the third time I use this particular self-drafted pattern. The first was in a grey printed viscose, matching my Named patterns Alexandria pants, and combined to a faux jumpsuit. I’ve also made it up in a knit fabric, but that wasn’t as successful. The casual shape + casual fabric = sloppy looking, in my mind. Much better in this viscose with drape, but still a tiny bit of structure! I love the large-scale and dramatic print of the fabric, well suited to a garment with few seam lines. Still, there is some interest in the cuffs, and a slightly curved hem (front to back). I had just enough for this and an Ogden cami (with some creative cutting, of course), but the cami was very wrinkled so I didn’t photograph it this time. Come back in February!

Pattern: Self-drafted, but the add-on sleeve angle is similar to the Bettine dress
Fabric: I had about 1,5 m of this beautiful woven viscose from Stoff & Stil, and could probably squeeze one of these out of 0,7 m (for a size S-ish). I’m wondering if it is the same kind of fabric as the rayon challis I keep seeing mentioned everywhere?
How much fabric is left: Nothing!
How will I use the leftovers: Well, I’m won’t. Happy camper. :)

Carlilse mittens
I’ve already shown these on instagram, but here they are one month in, felting and pilling like crazy. That’s ok – I think a trim will have them looking nice again, and maybe it is just an initial round before they settle in. The yarn is about the loveliest I have ever knit with. Soft, sort of smooth, lofty, and luscious. The stitches melt into each other to form a fabric in a really nice way too. I am not crazy about the thumb sticking out on the side since it twists the rest of the mitten. All future mittens will have gusset thumbs (is that what they are called?).
Pattern: Brooklyn tweed Carlisle mittens (my ravelry notes)
Yarn: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Fine in Pewter and Granite
How much yarn is left: About 25 grams in each color.
How will I use the leftovers: Probably another pair of mittens!

Colorwork mittens (ravelry) – long time in the making, and slow progress from the fingering weight yarn. Also, when you loose one of the almost-finished mittens (sans thumb) inside your house, it sets you back a bit.

Alpacca scarf (ravelry) – at least 90% finished, and just waiting for whatever is leftover of the brown alpacca yarn from the colorwork mittens. It is the ultimate stashbusting scarf that can just grow until there is no yarn left. I’m so excited! This yarn and I have an over decade long history, and I am thrilled to have it almost all knit up.

Chambray sleeveless shirt – I bought a remnant at my local fabric store that I think should comfortable be enough for a sleeveless M7084, but as a shirt instead of a shirt dress. This is also one of the projects I have listed for my #2018makenine. Since I bought this pattern thinking it can easily turn into a repeat offender, I want to put in the effort of tweaking the fit and make a muslin. I also want to skip making a muslin, but the desire for a good fit wins out. Sensible sewing.

A wool mini-skirt – and another absolute perfect fit, in terms of using *all* the fabric! Only tiny triangles left from cutting out the main fabric. It does mean using a different fabric for waist and hem facings, but my stash has proved up to the task. As a detail on this self-drafted skirt I am thinking a pair of slanted single-welt pockets on the front, in addition to the exposed back metal zipper. I am currently auditioning a number of lining fabric candidates from my stash (this is a moment where I am happy to have quite a selection! I keep realizing just how many things I can make using only what is already on my shelves. It is quite exiting!).

How has January been for you guys? Slow going, or sewing up a storm? Feeling inspired by the #makenine? So far it is keeping my sewing plans a little bit more focused, and a little less… overwhelmed by inspiration!

icelandic cabin sweater

I am really in to colorwork knitting at the moment, as well as stashbusting (always!) – which has resulted in this beautiful sweater! For once I have actually completed something seasonally appropriate as well – I do have a tendency to finish summer dresses in the winter and mittens in the summer.

Telja sweater (8)

Longtime readers might think the yarn or color looks familiar, and they’d be right. This is actually the Modum knit jacket from my final collection at design school. I loved designing and knitting this jacket, and the final result – but I did  not love using it (it totally dwarfed me, and not in a cool Berlin-based artist way that I could pull off). Not that you have to use everything you ever make, but this was such gorgeous yarn in one of my absolute favorite colors, that it seemed such a shame to let it stay unused as a jacket. So I frogged it!

Pattern: Telja from Knit.Love.Wool (my ravelry notes here)
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in color Hayloft, and assorted small quantities of yarn I had laying around.
How much yarn is left: Of the Shelter yarn, almost 50 grams. Of the other yarns I just borrowed a bit from full skeins, so there is plenty left of most of it.
How will I use the leftovers: Shelter yarn will be part of a Baby Sophisticate jacket for a new little dude I get to hang out with every so often, and the wild sheep yarn is going to become a traditional Norwegian “kofte” – I am looking at maybe the Fåvang from a book I own.

Telja sweater (9)

Telja sweater (3)

What more do I want to say about this? I changed some things from the original pattern. I skipped the colorwork sections on the sleeves and hem, and I did a rib neckline instead of the i-cord finish. I thought the neckline looked a little open, so I wanted to close it in a little bit, and to my eyes this finish looks more traditional. I knit the colorwork section twice actually – after I dutifully made a swatch, calculated from that, realized the yoke was too big, and ripped back to knit it again pretty much exactly as patterned. Oh well!

Since deciding to knit an Icelandic style sweater from my past project I have pictured this on a cabin trip in the mountains somewhere, hiking, maybe skiing, playing board games and sitting around a fire. Now I’ve been invited to a cabin weekend in November, and I can’t wait to put this sweater to use in what I picture being its proper element! In the meanwhile, it works *just fine* around the house too. My 120-year old apartment building isn’t exactly draft free.

Telja sweater (4)

Telja sweater (10)

Telja sweater (1)

I really enjoyed the colorwork section, and seeing how the yoke was shaped through clever decreases. And, I like the stranded inside almost as much as the outside! It feels similar to a neatly sewn garment.

So, the yarn! Some thoughts on Shelter. I love, love, love the color and the depth and intensity of it. It was really cool to learn about how they blend the colors, by adding different percentages of base colored roving, then spinning them together. Almost a bit of pointillism, in yarn form! It is quite sticky, which made it actually not the most pleasant (or at least, smooth) yarn to work with, and still on this second pass I was picking out little bits of twigs. On the upside it spit-splices like nobody’s business, and it has a really nice pine-like smell that I remember from last time I knit with this. I was amazed that the smell was still there after 6 years of storage and washes and things!

Telja sweater (5)

It’s a gorgeous sweater, in my opinion, and I really liked knitting it. My favorite part of this project though has to be getting use out of something that was just lying around. I feel a season of stashbusting and mindful making coming on!

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