Confidence.

I’ve been thinking about my style, wardrobe, and making for quite a while now. I think back to the Wardrobe Architect project I did a few years ago.  It is hard to believe that was a few years ago but like with so many things, here we are. I’d like to revisit that project, evaluate and update to where I am now. At the core of all of this, has been a drive to move toward a new style.

I have been working, this year in particular, towards the beginnings of a new wardrobe. I have a few makes under my belt and I’m starting to feel more comfortable with knitting fitted sweaters and making skirts and dresses. My biggest hurdle now is wearing them.

You wouldn’t think that it would be so difficult, but I make excuses to myself and fall back to my old standard uniform nearly every day. Some of that is understandable, I don’t have enough me-made clothes to support wearing them all the time, but really it’s a comfort blanket. I’m used to seeing myself a certain way and while I have goals for how I want to look – that doesn’t mean I’m used to it by a long stretch.

Enter Me Made May. This is a personal challenge started by Zoe of the sewing blog “So Zo, What do you know?” – that is about encouraging sewists to wear their makes. Bam! That’s exactly what I need. I thought and thought and thought and came up with my pledge for Me Made May 2019:

I, Cortney, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each week during May 2019. Sweaters don’t count!

My hope is that by wearing a garment I’ve sewn at least once a week, it will help to normalize this new style to me. At the very least I hope it starts the process. Don’t get me wrong – I love my makes and really feel pretty incredible in them. It’s having the confidence to show that new and different side of me to the rest of the world. We’re starting out with baby steps. Once a week.

Last week, we traveled down to Tennessee for a wedding – more on that later – and after we arrived went out to dinner with Kevin’s parents and two best friends. I opted for my chambray Hollyburn and one of my Ritas:

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Sorry as these will likely all be awkward selfies. I actually loved this outfit. It was my first time wearing the Rita without a sweater over it and I was a little nervous as it’s quite fitted, but I really liked this look. Today, it was a bit nippier than the last few days here in Maryland so I took advantage of the oppprotunity to rock my Populuxe Cardigan again, paired with my navy Hollyburn:

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Oh and since it’s freezing in my office, I topped everything off with my Color Field Shawl. I do love this outfit. The navy skirt is proving pretty darn versatile, which is just perfect! Once I got home I took a proper outfit photo, which is nice since I never took real FO pictures of my Populuxe on my person.

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After hiding for years in business casual black slacks and cardigans, it feels like such a departure to wear such a figure hugging sweater. But I feel good in it, so the confidence may be starting to grow.


Happy making!

Work in progress.

I have posted mostly about finished objects recently. Looking back, I believe all of my posts this year have included some finish of some sort. Well, not today! With all of those finishes, it stands to reason that I had to start a few things.

After I finished the knitting on my Crumb, I got to swatching my next sweater. I’m knitting up another Populuxe in a dreamy soft pink. The yarn is Lavendar Lune Yarn Co. MCN DK in the Grannies Panties colorway.

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I am almost down to the ribbing now and I think the fit will be spot on! I can’t wait to add this to my cropped sweater collection.

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I’ve been pretty monogamous with the sweater, so not much else to report on the knitting front. I have done a little bit of sewing lately. I’ve sewed up two projects but neither have been finished. The first is my very first circle skirt. It’s been complete save for the hem for almost two weeks. This is first up on my sewing queue. It’s too stinking pretty not to finish.

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I used the Full Circle Skirt Pattern from Sew Over It with some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. rayon challis. Very easy to put together, actually. Hemming is just intimidating on that long full circle circumference.

The next item on my sewing to-do list is fix and finish my Swirl Dress. The pattern is from Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses, Gertie’s latest book. I found this cotton shirting at Joann’s a few weeks ago.

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The problem is that the bodice just doesn’t fit me. I didn’t make a muslin and I finished all the insides before trying it on, both epic rookie mistakes. Take a look at the back!

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I tried pinning darts into the back bodice to do an afterthought swayback adjustment but it just isn’t enough. I’m kind of thinking that I should have gone down a whole size in the bodice and graded out the waist. Don’t worry, I’ll be making a muslin to check this time!

My last work in progress for today is a bit on the longer term investment side. I got up early Saturday morning this past weekend and got my garden planted!

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I planted nine sweet basil plants all in a row on the railing:

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We’ve got a bunch more tomato plants this year. I’m trying out planting some early lettuces in the same planters, so we’ll see how that shakes out.

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Last but not least, my herb garden. With the expanded tomato garden this year, I pared down the herbs. Clockwise from top left: Parsley, rosemary, oregano, and thyme.

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It was so nice to get outside and work on my garden. The plants just feel like they hold so much promise in the spring. The thought of fresh green herbs and juicy tomatoes is such a happy one. Kevin has even been grilling quite a bit on our happy little porch.

Sometimes I get bogged down in wanting to have finish every project quickly. It’s nice to to take a minute to reflect on what is in progress.


Happy making!

Button, button, who’s got the button?

You know, I really hate sewing on buttons. Or at least, I think I do. I put it off  for a month on my Populuxe and last week I found myself doing the same thing on my latest cardigan. I finally realized this isn’t going to work, I love cardigans and have plans for a bunch more so me and buttons are going to need to come to terms.

Sunday morning before we went to the airport to pick up Kevin and Astra, I had a few hours and thought that I should just bite the bullet and get those buttons put on. And you know what? It took me about 20 minutes. The first step really is the hardest I guess. But now they are on and my cardigan is finished and I kind of really love it.

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This Crumb by Andi Satterlund. I knit it in Quince and Co. Lark in the Peacock colorway. I knit a shawl last spring in this color and I have absolutely worn it more than any other shawl I own. The color really goes with everything in my wardrobe. I did particularly knit this sweater at this time to go with the dress I recently made. I’m pretty smitten over this combo.

 

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Let’s talk fit for a minute. I was nervous that this would be too small, but I’m pretty pleased. The pattern worked out well to the measurements. For reference, I knit a size small–that’s a 33.5″ bust according to the pattern. I’m a 36″ so that’s 2.5 inches of positive ease. I think it gives a nice fitted look without looking tight.

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I am considering shortening the next sweater by a bit, but I’m not sure. You can see from the back that it definitely extends down past my waist. I’ll have to see how I feel about that after a bit of wear.

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Overall, I am really happy with it. The color, the fit, the sweet scallop lace detail. Lovely.

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In a bit of adjacent news, I finally got some good pictures of my new dress! I can’t wait to wear it now that spring has seemd to fianlly decided to make Maryland home. Well, that having a smashing new cardi to wear to the chilly office. Totally allthat time I spent sewing on those stinking buttons.

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Happy making!

Sweets and my sweetheart.

I have to tell you, I am having the most lovely spring break with my son. Our trip to Denver was a work weekend for me–and a pretty stressful one, at that–but having Joshua along was the perfect spot of sunshine.

We flew out on Friday morning. This was Joshua’s first flight and he reports that while takeoff was really exciting, the other 3.5 hours was less so. He played Smash Bros. and I finished the first sweater sleeve before we landed.

Once we got on the ground, it was a bit of go, go, go. Joshua was a huge help, carrying and moving and lifting. Having a strong teenager around can be pretty nice. We had supper with my coworkers that evening and went to bed pretty early. As per usual, I was up early for some pre-conference coffee and knitting.

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After a morning of work, I took my lunch break to take Joshua to eat. It was such a treat all weekend to get to take my breaks with him.

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That evening, we took a walk and got some supper and found this little shop called Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. No surprise, Joshua wanted to check it out. It smelled amazing! We picked up a few Saturday evening treats and headed back to the hotel.

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Sunday was my big day, but I did manage to catch up with Joshua a few times. I had an evening event so a few of my coworkers took Joshua out for dinner and laser tag. From all accounts, they had a blast. I met up with them at the hotel restaurant afterward.

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The next morning Joshua and I got up early to pack and hit up VooDoo doughnuts for breakfast. I had gone to the original VooDoo a few years ago and Joshua is ever interested in sweets so it was a must. IMG_20190415_073423

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The doughnuts were pretty amazing. With that, we went down to the conference and helped out a bit and then got a ride out to the airport.

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I had, of course, not done very much knitting over the weekend. I wasn’t really thinking that I would be able to finish the sleeve before we landed, but somehow, I knit and knit and knit, and voila! I did it. I took a picture as we landed, but it’s pretty blurry so I will spare you. Once we got settled in, I wove in the ends and set to blocking her.

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I can’t wait for this sweater to dry. I really feel like it will fit into my wardrobe so nicely!

All in all, we had a great time. I got to spend a lot of time with Joshua, which doesn’t always happen these days. He starts high school this fall–gulp!–and time is really starting to feel short. I am so happy that I was able to bring him along with me. It was a pretty sweet trip, and I’m not just talking about the doughnuts.


Happy making!

Two out of three ain’t bad.

At the beginning of the week, I set out to try to finish three projects. Well, I’m here to tell you that it didn’t happen. On the bright side though, I finished two, I swatched for a new sweater, and I can knit sleeves on the plane.

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My first finish of the week was the Audra Wrap. She’s not had her ends woven in or been blocked, and only partly because I’ve got to figure out exactly where to block a shawl that’s biggger than me. I got Astra to take a picture of it as soon as I finished it – she had to stand quite a ways away.

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My second finish (on the same night, no less) is my first but definitely not last Rita Blouse. Rita is a pattern by Gertie of Charm Patterns. I made it from the scraps of a top I made a few years ago. Looking at that post, I definitely feel like my sewing skills have improved!

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This adorable pattern was extraordinarily well written. I was really intimidated but Gertie’s instructions really guide you through the process. The top is gathered and the lower bodice quite fitted. I cut a straight 6c and I think that was mostly the right call. When I first tried it on, I felt that the arms and shoulders were quite tight. I wound up adding abut 3 inches of elastic to the neckline and 1.5 inches to the armholes. That made a big difference.

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I still think it might pull a little bit under the side bust and up to the armpit, but I’m not really sure what to do about that. This was my very first invisible zipper and I think it was mostly successful. Like I said, Gertie’s instructions are very helpful.

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The back is a tad puffy in the gathered part, so I may shorten it a bit in the next version. And if you’re wondering, there will definitely be a next version. I am in love with this little top! Overall it took me a bit over one evening to make. That was with several mistakes and looking up youtube tutorials on invisible zippers, so not bad at all.

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The unfinished sweater I was working on has definitely seen progress. It now has both button bands and a neck band, and a sleeve well on it’s way.

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For the button holes, I was inspired by Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast to try out one row button holes. I think they look so neat and tidy! I folled Amy Beth’s tutorial and it worked perfectly. I’m only taking this sweater on the plane today, so I’m hoping this baby will be finished by the time Joshua and I are back home.

The other night, after finishing the wrap and the top, my hands were pretty tired but my mind was a buzzing with motivation. I decided to pull down some of my fabric and some yarn and gauge how I’m doing on the whole wardrobe potential thing. I kind of had this sinking feeling that I had a bunch of fabric that wouldn’t pair with any of the sweaters I want to knit. I was pleasantly surprised.

This is what I came up with. Some of these will be mix and match but these were the standout pairings in my mind. This also helped me figure out which are going to be cardigans and which are going to be pullovers. I’ll talk about the yarns and fabrics as I plan to use them, but first up is this set:

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The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway and the fabric is a rayon challis Rifle Paper Co. from Cotton + Steel. The fabric is destined to become a circle skirt and the yarn will be a Beauty School from Poison Grrls. It is just the cutest little retro fitted top and I can’t wait to knit it up. I swatched this week in the hopes that I’ll be coming home with a finished sweater ready to cast on this one.

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I think that’s it for now. Joshua and I are about to hop on the plane to Denver – he’s travelling with me for a work trip to kick off his spring break. It’s just a weekend trip, but I’m excited to have him along. He’s fantastic company even if he will cost me a fortune in food. Now, to get to this sweater sleeve!


Happy making!

Time flies.

The last few weeks seem to have gone by in a flash. It feels like forever since I’ve been on the blog! We’ve had a great time, I’ve done a lot of knitting and a fair bit of secret making. How about a montage? Just imagine funky 80s music playing as you scroll through the pictures.

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We adopted a kitty! This is Joseph, he’s the sweetest boy.

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Nobody worry – Cosi is still the biggest baby of the family!

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As promised, I put some work into my Audra Wrap  – though I’ve stalled on it again.

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October rainbow socks: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered – Knitterly Things October 2017 Rainbow Club – pair 18 in my box of socks for the year

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Kevin wanted a new hat, so I cast one on for him. I love hat knitting, this chunky weight yarn knit up so fast!

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And a couple of days later, I cast the hat off. This is Lancet, by Jared Flood, a great pattern. I used Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in Lapis. I am happy to report, Kevin loves it.

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Halloween came and went. I had an ear infection, so trick or treating wasn’t my favorite. The zombie goat and the akatsake had a blast though.

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Now that November is here, it’s straight on to the next rainbow.

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I haven’t shown my Dotted Rays too much, mostly because it always just like a blob of grey garter. But it’s finished now, and it’s the prettiest grey garter I’ve seen!

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While Dotted Rays was soaking the other night, I may have snuck in a wee sweater cast on…

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This guy went with me to vote. I even convinced him to wear the sticker (only for this picture).

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Dotted Rays by Stephen West knit out of Primrose Yarn  Co. Sophia in the Dark Cavern colorway. 

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Seriously, this was a fun knit. I loved the construction of the shawl, and this yarn is the softest and makes for the squishiest garter. This is also the last of my Make Nine projects! 

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My little sweater is starting to grow. I’m knitting Empire by Gudren Johnston, in Quince & Co. Chickadee in the Iceberg colorway. I’m a little concerned about my yarn usage, but we shall see.

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I think that’s it. I can’t believe there are three finished objects in this post! I suppose it has been a hot minute. Now I’m all cozy with my dotted rays around my neck–can we talk about the cashmere in this yarn? I am in heaven.

Happy {cozy} making!

 

Sunset Highway.

Finishing a sweater is always a satisfying feeling. For that matter, finishing anything at all is satisfying to me. But when it’s a sweater that I loved from the moment it came out, but thought I couldn’t knit,  tried and failed to knit, and then finally finished it? Satisfying doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.

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My Sunset Highway is finished. I love it so much! It is so soft and cozy and comfy. I love the colors, the fit, and the overall look.

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As for the details, let’s get to it. This is Sunset Highway, by Caitlin Hunter. I used all Peepaloo Fields yarn, in the Twist Sock base:

  • Main Color (speckled yellowy cream) – Hush
  • Contrast Color 1 (deep teal) – Tide
  • Contrast Color 2 (speckled light blue) – Bluebird
  • Contrast Color 3 (speckled pink) – Delicate

One note, I absolutely adore this yarn. This isn’t my first all Peepaloo big project and won’t be my last. Her colors and speckles are just phenomenal. I used a fair bit less yarn than expected–because of fit adjustments detailed below–and am really excited to have plenty of leftovers.

I knit the sweater with considerably less positive ease than called for. The suggested positive ease is 5-9″ and I knit the small for somewhere around 3″ positive ease. All gauge and knitting details are on my project page. I also shortened it by quite a bit, around 5″. My torso is pretty short and I think this length suits me well–especially considering the sweater is more fitted than the pattern intends.

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I really like how it fits, it’s so cozy and comfy. Not overly boxy for me and not too fitted either. Like baby bear’s porridge, this is just right.

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Overall, I’m rather chuffed with myself. I started this baby twice in a row and then gave it up. I honestly thought I wouldn’t ever knit it, and yet here we are! I’m glad I persevered and didn’t completely give up on it.

This is number eight in my Make 9 for this year, by the way. Moving right along with my 2018 goals. At the beginning of the year, I had wanted to knit a garment and knit a colorwork motif and now–bam!–here they are together in one lovely sweater!

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Happy {sweater} knitting!