Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Learning to crochet at Sew Make Create

I have a HUGE granny square blanket at home that my mother crocheted and I've always wanted to make one of my own. "Back in the day" I'm sure I knew how to make a granny square but those skills are long it was time to take a class and remember how.

I took a beginners class at Sew Make Create in Chippendale. I've done so many classes here but until now they have all been sewing related.

We started off learning how to make a slip knot, to crochet chains and then practiced a variety of stitches -- none of which I can remember now (but all of which can be found on YouTube for refresher purposes).

Next it was on to the granny square and I'm pleased to report it wasn't too hard to pick up. I think the hardest part was actually coming to grips with how to hold the hook and the wool in the other hand. The class was 2.5 hours so enough to learn the basics and go home and keep crocheting. We didn't get to learn how to join multiple squares but I am making one ENORMOUS square so I'm good for now.

Of course, the best part of a class at Sew Make Create is getting to hang out with Pepper the adorable shop dog!

I'm well into my big blanket - I think I have about 30 more rounds to go and then I'm done. In the meantime I'm keen to learn some other types of crochet so I can have some "portable" projects to take with me when I travel and when I'm commuting to work. Watch this space as I've enrolled in a two day Amigurumi (Ah-mee-goo-roo-me) class. That translates to cute knitted toys!

Me Made May 2017

I've decided to take plunge and join Me Made May again this year. I think this will be my third year, or is it my fourth?

I, Melanie from and @whatpiggydeos, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear a me-made item each day that I leave the house (no me-made lounge-wear I'm afraid) - be it clothing, bag, clutch, jewelry or scarf. May will also be the mouth I sew my Berlin Jacket -- just in time for the Aussie winter.


Midi Mabel Skirt

I think I've made about 30 Mabel Skirts since the pattern was released (no exaggeration). Some successful. Some destined for the bin.

About a week ago I started obsessing about NEEDING a black calf length pencil skirt. No idea where the desire came from but I thought I'd better make it happen!

The fabric is a ribbed jersey from The Remnant Warehouse...bought online when I was searching for ribbed knits.  I'd originally set out to make a Simplicity 1366 dress from it but the neckline stretched out and the whole thing looks frumpy. I couldn't rescue the fabric despite trying so ordered more specifically for this skirt.

I'd already lengthened View A of the pattern to make it knee length on me, plus 10cm added to accommodate for the wide elastic waistband I use. I then lengthened all of this by 20cm and added a 2" hem to get a length that hits just below my calf. I pegged the skirt in a bit at the bottom and think it would be better a bit more fitted still - but then I might not be able to walk, which could be an issue?

I'm wearing this skirt at work today...very comfy. I think I made the waistband a bit too loose though (despite unpicking the whole thing and bringing it in by an inch). Good thing is if it does feel way too big I can take the waistband in even more...

The weather is cooling down in Sydney now (thank goodness) and I am keen to find some ribbed wool-knit to make a snuggly winter-version of this skirt. Any ideas where one could find such a fabric in Oz?

Pattern: "Mabel Skirt" by Colette Patterns
Modifications: 5cm elastic waistband (added 10cm to the pattern to accommodate for this), 35cm added to length, pegged in the bottom by. 1cm added to the CF and CB to accommodate for middle-aged spread.
Fabric:  Superior Rib Jersey- Black from The Remnant Warehouse (Cotton / Polyester / Elastane)
Size: XL, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance

Sunday, 9 April 2017

...just another stripey Mandy Boat Tee

My stripey Spotlight fabric makes a second appearance - this time as a Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee, a pattern I've now made about 30 times!

As with my Marianne Dress the fabric was very nice to sew with, and is nice and comfy to wear given the amount of stretch it has.

I've decided that I'm not keen on the drafted neckline treatment of the Mandy Boat Tee as I can never get the shoulder darts quite right and it looks a bit messy (though it is super easy to sew)! I'm not sure who I am anymore as I voluntarily sewed a neckband on to my top!


PatternMandy Boat Tee by Tessuti
Size: One size fits...most
Modifications: lengthened by 9cm (but hemmed at about 2"), the sleeves/arms made bigger for me a sewing class I did at Tessuti.
Fabric: Viscose knit from Spotlight
Changes for next time: might lop off a few cms at the hem, but probably not.

Monday, 3 April 2017

More holiday sewing....

Sewing SIX Gabby Dresses for my holiday and only coming out with two wearable ones means I needed to change tact and pick a new pattern to ensure I have enough clothes for Vietnam in April.

Enter the Marianne Dress, a pattern I've sewn before and like wearing (and that has my shoulders covered which is what I'm going for in my Vietnam wardrobe).

This FANTASTIC fabric is from Spotlight - honestly, they are killing my wallet at the moment. It's a cotton blended with something stretchy (the label didn't say what) and it feels very soft to wear.

The fabric is not overly stretchy so I added a bit to the back fold but probably could've done with a bit more width over the derrière but it will do for the trip. It was pretty easy to sew with -- though a bit curly at times!

I've also whipped up two more Marianne Dresses - no modelled photos as I've not worn them since making them and didn't feel like dressing up for blog photos. Hashtag lazy!

More fabric from Spotlight. This was the end of the role so I think I bought about 2.5m and also got a Mandy Boat Tee from the same fabric. The blue ran a bit into the pink on the first wash, but a second wash seems to have fixed that problem. Things went pear-shaped with my stripe matching which is a mystery as I thought I'd cut everything out perfectly. Oh well! Very comfy to wear and very easy to sew.

And last but not least!  This fabric is from Tessuti and is on sale for $11/pm. It's a lovely quality and was very lovely to sew with -- though the black bands on the neckline/sleeves did get a bit curly. I fought through it though and the result is two thumbs up! The fabric is nice and stretchy and will be comfortable for travelling around in.

So there we have Vietnam holiday wardrobe is complete! I have three Gabby Dresses that I am going to pack and five Marianne Dresses. Other stuff will be coming along with me but this will make up the bulk of what I'll be wearing.

PatternMarianne Dress by Christine Haynes
Size: 18
Modifications: as per other makes I added 2" to the neckband length, added 1" to the length, lowered the neckline all the way around by about 1cm
Fabric: as above
Changes for next time: none for the short sleeved version; but when I made the long sleeved version I need to added some width to the lower sleeve piece.