Friday, 31 July 2015

Handmade Wardrobe Project 5 - Sailor Top v2

I wasn't joking when I said I wanted a whole row of sailor tops in different fabrics and lengths, so this week I made another, with a few variations on the original pattern

This incarnation was made from two different fabrics. There was a 1m remnant of floral fabric  in my drawer (intended for doll's clothes) which I loved, but don't suit pale fabrics right next to my skin. To address this, I paired it with dark brown scraps (my mum was throwing those away so this project didn't even cost anything). I love how it turned out. Please excuse the wonky-hanger shot, I had to take it off to get a picture! 
Based on my first attempt, which needed additional panels to comfortably accommodate my tummy, I added 2.5 cm to each of the side seams. I left the armhole the same size, as the yoke and sleeve are a perfect fit already.  It was also lengthened by adding 5cm to the front and back (there is a marker on the pattern pieces to do this).

One of the aims of the Handmade Wardrobe Project is to fill the gaps in my wardrobe. I already have an orange cardigan (not handmade) and a peach and brown crochet Transposition shawl-ette (read more about it here) which I can wear with it when the weather changes. All in all I absolutely love it. D has named it my 'Tiger Who Came to Tea' top because of the 'retro' vibes. 
- I ran out of brown thread part way through the project. It wasn't a total disaster, but it was a good lesson.
- The hem needs to be redone as I'd threaded the bobbin the wrong way when I changed to white thread (it needed my Mum to figure out why the machine stopped working properly as I just don't know enough about sewing yet), but as I couldn't wait to wear it, it'll do for the moment. 
- There is a gather at the centre-front yoke which is very flattering as it breaks up my 'boob shelf'. I'd like to take credit for this, but it was luck not judgement. Next time I'll do it on purpose. 
After seeing how well this worked in mixed fabrics, there are probably enough scraps in my 'stash' (ie a box of leftovers Mum gave me to practice sewing) to make at least a couple more. This style is just so comfy and flattering I'm going to do just that... although two new dress patterns just arrived and I'm not sure which to prioritise. If you want to follow my progress throughout the week, I'm using the Instagram hashtag #cftchandmadewardrobe.
Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tutorial: How to knit 'Jogless' stripes in the round

Inspired by one of my stitch markers, I had the urge to cast on something stripy using Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn leftover from a design project. As it is being knit in the round, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share my favourite method of changing the yarn for stripes on circular projects. This technique gives a neat finish and is very easy to do.
A stitch marker and three simple steps are all it takes.  
Step 1: Knit the first round of the new colour, then when you get back to the first stitch use the right needle to lift the stitch from the previous round onto the left needle. In the illustration, you'll see this was a green stitch. 

Step 2: Knit the two stitches (on the left needle) together, so that you have one stitch in the new colour. 
Step 3: You now have an elongated stitch. To prevent an obvious line of elongated stitches, simply replace the marker after the stitch you just worked. At the same time carry the yarn up the back of the join. 

Repeat these three steps on every round. After a few rounds you will see there is no obvious join - the start of the row has shifted to the left by one stitch on each round and by the time it has been washed and worn it may only be visible to the expert eye (i.e. another knitter). In the final image, the marker was originally at the point shown by the arrow and if you know where to look you'll see the joins, but you probably wouldn't notice it otherwise. 

As this project will be a gift, I won't be able to show you the rest for a little while, but I can tell you that it feels scrumptiously cuddly and I am putting lots of love in every stitch. 
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