From time to time, I find myself looking back over a particular year of making. Something will spark my memory or interest and I’ll reread the blog or scroll through my instagram grid and reminisce. I found myself deep in the long ago of 2018 Cortney’s making adventures the other day and came across my finished Make Nine from that year. There’s just something about a little grid of completed projects that is so satisfying.
The idea got to rolling around in my head and I pondered doing one this year. Of course it would all need to come from stash but I’m not really hurting on that front. In all of this mulling over I had the thought that nine items could be a bit of a mini-capsule wardrobe. I’ve got some patterns in my library that have been waiting for me to try them out as well, so… I went stash diving, as one does.
I started with a pretty big initial pull and edited from there (something I am learning in quilting). I pulled everything in my apparel fabric stash that went in this mauve, purple, olive, mustard palette and that felt right together. By that I mean, the fabrics themselves are all soft knits and sturdy but drapy wovens – no fluid challis here. The yarns came from sweater and shawl quantities that seemed to work with these fabrics.
I arranged and futzed and thought and looked at patterns and thought some more and then, after one terrifying moment where I considered doing two make nines, I made some decisions. The plan:
Stasia Dress / Tee by Sew Liberated – here’s we’re things get a little hinky – This pattern has a tee option and a dress option, I want to do both so I’ll likely start with the tee as a bit of a muslin/test case and then go on to the dress. I’ve got a handful of stretchy knits from all over the place so if I like the pattern, I might make multiples.
And there you have it! Nine projects to make one dreamy, cozy wardrobe of layered dreams. I’ve already started my first project! After my Pink Fizz, I was just itching to start another sweater so I did! This is my Zelda Crop – so pretty already!
Picture this: It’s early 2008: I am a young mom going to community college, living life with this cutie pie:
I decided to pick up a hobby and naturally looked to quilting. My mom had been a big sewist and quilter when I was a kid so I had a general grasp of the idea at least. I remembered a log cabin quilt we had and decided that would be the project for me. I had some crazy ideas back in those days, like machine sewn or quilted quilts look store bought and it’s got to be sewn by hand to be “authentic.” Let’s all take a moment and chuckle at that one. Anyway, mom tried to talk me down off this ledge but I was not to dissuaded. She helped me pick out some fabrics I went home and washed them and cut a whole bunch of 1.5″ strips. I don’t recall if I was following a pattern but I know mom gave me the skinny on making a log cabin block.
This was before I ever even knew about progress pictures or Instagram or anything like that, so bear with me. I took pictures this year and we can look at those. So I got started. I marked a quarter inch sewing line with pencil, sewed my seam, trimmed, and pressed. I used a simple running stitch.
Again, the strips are 1.5″ so the blocks finish (pretty consistently) at 6.5″.
I dug out this project and decided to assess the best path to victory. I am far less averse to the idea of hand-piecing today but the real detractor here is the color scheme. Tastes change over time and this project just doesn’t reflect my style anymore. With 8 blocks finished it seemed like a great candidate for a mini quilt. I had a couple of ideas for places that a small wall hanging in these colors might work so that seemed like the way to go. I played with a few layout options:
Before settling on a simple 3×3 mini that would finish at about 18.5″ square:
I just needed to finish that one last block and we’d be golden. Once I did that, I hand stitched the whole thing together and voila! a mini quilt top!
I had this baby basted and sitting around for quite a while but this last week of the year is a motivating time so I finished it up over a couple of days.
I love how it came out. I really don’t remember anything about these fabrics – I know there’s at least one Kaffe Fasset and one Amy Butler print, but that’s it. They were all pulled together from yardage at a quilt shop in Boone, NC that isn’t in business anymore.
I hand quilted it in a really simple on point grid with size 8 pearle cotton in a lovely gold that I seem to use for everything. I used a solid fat quarter from stash for the backing. Please excuse the cat hair, Cosi loves everything I make.
I don’t have anything in stash that really felt right for this so I just used a couple of strips that were for the quilt for binding. Since the strips were only 1.5″ I decided to try single fold binding for the first time – I am a fan! It came out so crisp and flat, great for minis or pieces that won’t get a lot of wear.
If there were one thing about quilting that I’d tell past Cortney it would be that finished is better than perfect. Visions and plans don’t always work out and that’s ok. Sometimes you frog the project and sometimes you decide to just call at nine blocks and be done. I am really pleased that I kept this WIP and got this little mini out of it. It’s nice to have a little piece of the first quilt project I ever started to hang on the wall.
The blog and I have a complicated relationship. I love her, she’s a great listener when I feel like rambling and she’s the best at reminiscing. We just don’t hang out as much as we used to. Back when we first got together, we wrote together often and it felt great. Over the years I feel like I’ve lost my direction and wind up just dumping a bunch of FO photos on her every few months. This is something I’d like to focus on in 2023 – reflecting and documenting the process and not just the finished projects. It honestly sounds a bit silly but I really enjoy going back and reading through old posts. This is about as close to journaling as I’ve ever gotten and I want a bit more of it.
As we’re winding down (careening toward, more like) the end of the year, I’ve got a few posts planned to get you, me, and the blog all caught up and wrapped up. If you’ve been here before, dear reader, then you know as well I do that there’s a photo dump or two on the way. Let’s get to it.
First up in sock news, these were born out of frustration over the large number of OG socks that I need to darn. I’ll be doing some mending this winter but in the meantime, these squishy worsted weight socks are a bright and warm treat for my feet. I used Summer Lee’s Thicksgiving Socks pattern and the yarn is Knit Picks Felici Worsted in the Aquarium colorway.
While we were on Thanksgiving holiday, I cast on cuffs for advent socks. I used Stressknits yarn in the My Jam colorway, leftover from socks I knit a while ago, for mine. Mom’s cuffs are leftovers from my Zweig Sweater (scroll down for that one) – it’s the Endless Ocean colorway from Woolberry Fiber Co.
Since then, I started strong but got a bit behind. Mom’s are caught up to yesterday but I’m planning to finish mine over our Christmas holiday trip. I’m really digging the contrast colors with the fun stripes. This is the The Cozy Knitter 2022 24-Stripe Advent Skein. It comes in two 50g skeins and I split those in half to have 4 little balls of ~25g and 24 stripes each so that I can use up every milligram of this yarn.
Ta-da! You guys. This outfit is my dream. I’m so glad I went for it this fall. I saw a post on instagram with this general vibe – floral skirt, colorwork yoked sweater, tights, handknit socks, boots and was just in love. I had the yarn and fabric in stash and I was off to the races.
Sweater: Zweig by Caitlyn Hunter in (main) Endless Ocean colorway by Woolberry Fiber Co. and (contrast) Glacier colorway by Farmhaus Fibers. I wanted a more fitted garment than the oversize look in the original pattern, shocker, I know. My bust measures at 40.5″I knit the size 3 (40″). I also omitted the X pattern, knit the body 2″ shorter than called for, and added sleeve decreases in. Full modification details are over on my project page.
Skirt: Estuary Skirt by Sew Liberated. The fabric is a printed cotton poplin, purchased from Blackbird Fabrics. I cut straight size 16 but cut the back waistband elastic to the size 18 length. I just wanted a softer, easier wear than my first one. I think I prefer the longer elastic but may split the difference in my next one – and there will definitely be a next one. This skirt is amazing.
Other outfit pieces: – Tights – Snag Tights which I highly recommend. Proportionally, most of me is in my legs and butt, and finding good hose and tights has always been a problem. Not only do these fit but they are actually opaque! Miracles – Socks – knit earlier this year, Stressknits yarn in the Sunflower colorway – Boots – I finally took the plunge and went for some real boots. These are the Captain from Thursday Boot Company in Walnut – I’ve had them for about 6 weeks now and just love them.
I finished before we left for Thanksgiving and this was my outfit for the big turkey day – even though it was a little warmer than expected down in North Carolina. This outfit was one of those times, rare for me, where I truly felt like myself. Expect more skirts and sweaters in this space.
It warmed my heart to get to spend some time with our families. 2022 has been a tough year and little things like a walk with my SILs just filled my cup. Plus, check out all that knitwear!
Once I finished those advent sock cuffs, I dove into my Pink Fizz sweater. I cast this one on right after Christmas in 2020 and it’s been mostly languishing since. I got a lot done on our Thanksgiving trip and right and got it to this point – split for the yoke and a few inches up the front panel. I had a lot of quilts to finish this month, plus the advent socks, plus some major personal stuff to focus on. This is on deck once the advent socks and quilts are done.
Speaking of quilt binding, at the beginning of December I had six quilts to bind. I’m now down to only two left! Cosi really bemoans the loss of this fluffy stack on the cutting table.
This beauty will get her own full post but I had to share a sneak peek. Granny’s Garden is done!
Three of the quilts I finished are gifts, so they’ll need to wait for their time in the sun. I’m currently working on finishing my Split Nine Patch quilt from yore.
Finally, and this is what I’m talking about when I’m a little discombobulated, my Exploration Station is done. I finished this shawl on August 28 and I just wove in the ends and blocked it a few weeks ago. Mom and I both cast these on back in June on our vacation. I used Red Stag Fibres Highland Fingering in Great Hall (dark pink) and Castle Suri in Gilded (gold), Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Light in Quartz Crystal (light pink), and Hedgehog Fibers Kidsilk Lace in Teacup (white/cream). This pattern was honestly one of the most enjoyable knits I can recall. I might just knit another one.
I purchased the Red Stag Fibres and the Blue Sky Fibers yarn at A Likely Yarn in Abingdon, VA. If you are ever that way, they’ve got some fun local finds and the people are just so sweet. If southwest Virginia isn’t in your plans, they have just started an online store. That Hedgehog mohair was some deep stash that I dug out at home.
Happy Wednesday from my corner of the world to yours, friends.
Well friends, it finally happened. I got COVID. I’m staying tucked away in the house, nice and isolated, which isn’t the worst thing since we’re smack dab in the middle of this east coast heat wave. 99 degrees F outside? No thank you. Thankfully, I’m vaxed and boosted so even though I feel poorly, it’s like a bad cold.
As I sit here on the couch all day, I’ve realized that I’ve hardly posted to the blog at all! You know what that means – less text, more pictures! Cue up your 80s music, it’s montage time!
First off, I finished up my travel socks – these are in Stress Knits Yarn in the Sunflower colorway.
I finished my other travel socks – these are in A Homespun House in the Sugared Sweeties colorway
Last sock finish – Mom’s Mother’s Day socks. I knit these out of some Norah George Yarns in Apple Blossom – pretty deep stash from at least 4 years ago.
Kevin and I went up to Boston for a concert and I cast on another pair of travel socks. This is their current state, but it’s been a bit since I’ve worked on them. The yarn is A Homespun House again – main color is Pastel Paint Princess and the contrast is Marigold.
In early June, I took a little trip with my Mom. I had planned to make us both dresses, but only hers were successful. And really only one of hers was successful. This is the Popover Dress from the book Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses. I just didn’t love the finished product on me and I made one of mom’s dresses a bit too small. Anyway, the green and purple one turned out great and mom loved it! She’s such a cutie patootie!
We really had a blast. We took walks, had port in the library every evening, and generally enjoyed just having lots of time together. Oh, and we went yarn shopping.
That’s about how far we got on the trip. Once we got home, I became obsessed. I have loved knitting this shawl. I made one yarn substitution, switching out the beige. All my current colorways are listed on my Ravelry project page.
This is the current state of the shawl, about halfway through the third section – so enjoyable.
I tried to balance shawl knitting with hand quilting my Norah Quilt, but it really didn’t last.
Continuing in the world of log cabins, I put together another month’s worth of blocks for my Avonlea quilt.
Next, I took a quick interlude to bind these two beauties, which you can read about here and here.
Looking for another quick finish on the #yearofwips, I finished hand piecing one final block for this ancient (oldest WIP I own) log cabin project. I hand pieced the blocks together and voila!
It’s a mini quit top! It’s currently sitting all basted and ready to go for some hand-quilting, which I just haven’t gotten to. Quick finish, right.
Not feeling like hand quilting, I picked up some this WIP. Needle turn applique is still pretty slow for me and I haven’t gotten any momentum going on this project, either.
Last but not least in this little train of get out the project and promptly put it down – we have Fairytale Forest. I finally decided to trim and assemble all the blocks I had done – a whopping 6 of 25.
They are pretty, though aren’t they? I am looking forward to getting back into this one.
You may be wondering what on earth I’ve been really been doing with all this a little bit here and a little bit there. Well, I have been working on these socks – they’re a secret gift so I can’t spill who they’re for – in some mega deep stash (dare I say 6 or 7 years old?) from lolodidit in the colorway Don’t Stop Believing.
I’ve also been obsessed with this quilt I’m making for mom. She knows I’m making it and has even picked out some of the fabrics, but that’s it so this is about all I can show you. Cosi really likes how the quilt is turning out and he’s helped a lot.
And there you have it folks – months of making in a flurry of pictures. I hope you are having a great weekend and until next time!
Hi friends, it’s been a while. February felt like a bit of a blur – I always feel like I’m going to hunker down and get a lot done in February, but it doesn’t always pan out. This year, I’ve been making slow and steady progress on lots of things (most of them WIPs). Once I finished the Granny’s Garden quilt – it felt like a whole new world had opened up! First off, I didn’t have much to go so I just powered through the socks I had on the needles.
They turned out pretty cute! These socks are plain old vanilla, my regular go to. The yarn is Opal in the Juniper Height (9851) colorway. They’re cute and comfy. I cast these on back in October so it’s nice to have them finished. They are WIP 5/20 for my year of wips.
I finished those right before I took a quick flight down to NC to go to a concert with my brother and sister-in-law. I was only there for about 22 hours, but I knew the flights would need a sock. I wasn’t really ready to take a blanket or cross stitch, so I just hadto pick out yarn for a new sock cast on.
I picked Stress Knits yarn in the Sunflower colorway because the yarn was wound up (can’t remember why) and I thought socks in this color will just be amazing. I spent that day with the sibs in Charlotte where we wound up checking out the NASCAR museum first…
and then hit the concert at the end of the day…
I had such a good time just escaping for a day to hang out with these two. I was up the next morning at 5 to catch the plane home, so I didn’t knit quite so much as usual. This sock is tucked back away waiting for next weekend – my first work trip in two years!
After all of this, I was tooling around my sewing room, putting away some scraps when I suddenly came across a plastic baggie labled, you guesed it, “projects.” Luckily there was just one in there, but still…
This isn’t too bad, just a wee clamshell panel. I fancy I’ll do a bit better on it now that I’ve got so much more applique experience under my belt, but needle turn is still a bit of magic to me. I started this project back in 2019 and this makes 21 total projects on the list. I really really think that’s it.
With this project added, I saw I have 10 hand projects (hand-sewing, knitting, and crochet) on the list and 10 months left. Not too bad, just need to finish one a month and I’ll be golden. I decided to pull out a cross stitch project for March.
And this is my progress to date. I’ve added the sheep, barn, and grass so far. It’s slower going than I expected, but that’s the way it goes. This is a pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I started this back in 2017 – I spent a solid 6 or 7 months enamoured with cross stitch and then never picked it up again. I’m not in love with the process, but I’m finding my rhythm.
At the sewing machine, I’ve been working on catching up with my Avonlea quilt. I’ve completed January and am working on February now. These four blocks are the very center of the quilt. I just love how log cabin blocks come together.
And then… I saw some quilters on instagram talking about pulling out their Betsy stashes and so I just had to pull mine…
It’s so pretty. Y’all know I have a love affair with the Betsy pattern by Liberty. Last year, I made a Betsy mini quilt last year and so when Bec of Sew.Be put out the idea of a Betsy nine patch quilt, I just haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Going through my stash, I pulled out a few solid pink fabrics that I thought might work for the background.
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I went with the middle color here. The sewalong aims to make four blocks a week. I’m starting with two blocks from each fabric and the results are pretty snazzy.
Well that’s it for now. How long do you think it will be before I discover another latent WIP? Start another project? Inspiration seems to be everywhere, year in and year out, so I’m not mad.
In typical style, I’ve been brainstorming lately about what my new year should be. My 2021 year of minis got a bit derailed by moving and all and I still have those big projects I wanted to finish. I was chatting with my SILs about it the other day and we went down to take a tour of the craft room and some of my WIPs. I wound up having a bit of a moon over all the bits and pieces laying around so yesterday afternoon, I made a list.
That, friends, is the current list of all my works in progress, plus my upcoming block of the month or club projects. Take a deep breath with me. Some things are very close to finished – quilt binding or a hat, for example. Some, not so much – I’m looking at you, applique. Let’s take a look at the list in another way…
Wowzers. Thats a big pile. That is a total of 18 current projects: 6 quilts, 1 crochet blanket, 7 knitting projects, and 4 cross stitches. Oh that’s right, I said cross stitch. My oldest unfinished project dates back to pre-blog times in 2015.
I think I’ll pull out the old project pictures and their history as I get to each project, but I couldn’t help myself from sharing this throw back. That’s my sweet old Twiggy, she was such a good kitty.
Perhaps you’ve guessed by now, but my 2022 goal is to turn that big ole pile of WIPs into a pile of FOs. Let’s take a quick look at what that would look like: Quilts: The finished tops I want to turn into quilts, bound and finished. The quilt tops that are still in progress, I just want to finish the top and have it ready to go out for long-arm quilting. Knitting/Crochet: Finished, ends woven in, blocked as needed and done. Cross Stitch: Completed and ready for framing.
A wee stretch goal would be to finish the year with only projects that need outside help for finishing (quilting or framing), which means keeping up with the two club / block-of-the-months projects I have planned. Since this is a tall, tall order I’m trying to not start anything new for quite a while (except socks, of course). I’m really excited.
Well here we go friends, my Year of WIPs starts today. I’ve got a lasagna in the oven and some cozy knitting just waiting. The supervisor even told me that he’s ready to get to work in the sewing room.
Ok, I’m just going to come out and say it – we found a house! We closed this week and move in early August.
I finished these socks right after we found out our offer was accepted and I’ve been holding on to them for good luck ever since. I’m so pleased with that contrast toe color, that’s a bit of leftover Sunflower by Stress Knits that I had from my Waiting for Henry Socks. The main yarn is Mermaid of the Black Lagoon from A Homespun House.
With all that’s been going on with house hunting, I’ve still managed to spend quite a bit of time crafting over the last couple of months. Back when I was finishing up a bunch of quilt tops in a row, I decided to pull out an old WIP and do something about it.
I started this project way back in the summer of 2019 with the plan to make a rainbow bargello quilt. I lost interest pretty quickly and just never felt like picking up the project again. Well, I was ready for this to be off the WIP cart one way or another so I just decided to finish sewing the strips up and sew them together. I used 2 Kona Cotton jelly rolls in the Bright Rainbow colorway. It turned out pretty huge so I’m excited to get it quilted up!
My next finish was an Ogden Cami in the midst of frustration over my Hinterland Dress project. Once I took a few deep breaths, I went back to the dress dand finished it up.
Real life here – I just realized there’s a cicada on my dress in this picture! Can you spot it? Anyway, this is the Hinterland Dress from Sew Liberated in the same fussy and finicky cotton/rayon blend from Joann’s that I made the Ogden Cami up in. I cut a straight 14 and after a bodice muslin I lowered the darts by about an inch. I’m not overly thrilled with fit in the shoulder and sleeves, a bit tight with full motion of my arms. Nothing terrible, just something to look at next time. It is super comfy otherwise, light and cute. I’m pretty pleased with it.
With the Hinterland done, I went straight for another Sew Liberated pattern – the Estuary Skirt.
Ok, now I love this one. So very much. This is a different fabric but is still a cotton/rayon chambray. I cut a straight size 16 and did a real placket – you can do a faux placket and just pull the skirt on, but the pattern advises you to go for the real deal if you have a significant difference in your waist and hip measurement. Hello! Real button placket for me. Anyway, you guys. The swish in this skirt is for real and those pockets? They’re about the size of a small project bag. Heaven and perfection in every way, I can’t wait to make more of these.
I don’t think these socks ever even saw the light of the blog – but here they are! So pretty. This is the Spring Honey pattern by This Handmade Life. Honestly, I just adore Olivia’s aesthetic – go check out her instagram and see if you aren’t inspired. Anyway, my only change to the pattern was to use a slip stitch heel flap in place of the plain one suggested. I think I’ll always use the standard slip stitch heel flap and gusset, it just fits the best. The yarns are some real deep stash and a recent-ish purchase. The deep stash is the speckle, Hush from Peepaloo Fields. It’s the same color as the main yarn from my Sunset Highway sweater from way back in 2018. The pink contrast is My Jam by Stress Knits. This pink is just perfect!
Of course, while I was knitting the Spring Honey socks I needed a vanilla pair on the go. These were an impuse cast on for a couple of virtual concerts that Kevin and I were going to, so I’m calling these my Nightwish Socks. The yarn is Fat Bottom Girls by A Homespun House – this was a sock set from a year or two ago.
In the middle here, we decided to start doing a little packing to get ahead of the curve. So we packed up the spare bedroom, which is where the yarn stash is stored, and then I started working on the craft room. I’m sure you can guess that I was not planning to pack up everything but saved myself out a few projects to work on until my next craft room is set up. A few.
There you have it – everything I can possibly work on over about seven or eight weeks (IF we’re being really generous about getting the new craft room set up quickly). There are about 6 WIPs plus 4 quilt tops and backs that just need to be prepped for the long arm quilter. I’m planning to pack them up and mail them out a few weeks before they move so they have a good chance of getting back around the time I’m done with the craft room. Anyway… now I’ve been plugging away at those WIPs. I also left out some knit fabric in case I got the bug to make another garment or two (or 5). And then there’s the sock yarn.
I pulled out some sock yarn out of the stash in a nice little variety and then I had some leftovers and frogged projects at my desk that got missed in the initial stash packing. So here you go, my potential socks over the next month or so. Now, if you’ve been keeping score you’ll be thinking there’s no way I’ll knit or even cast on that many socks in a month, much less while moving. And you’re right, but you just never know what could happen. Better safe than sorry, I say. We’ll see how all these projects are shaping up by the time I’m unpacking the stash again.
I definitely kept out my new block of the month quilt – Fairy Tale Forest. I was 100% behind when I took the pictures above, but now I’m completely caught up and ready for month three to get here next week. This is a fully foundation paper pieced quilt in Liberty tana lawn and it’s turning out to be really fun. I was super intimidated to start, but once you get going, the units just fly by. Here are the first two months in a series of terrible, late night pictures.
So there you go. Now, I’ve not been sewing the units up into the actual blocks so that they are easier to pack and move when the time comes. I really love this project – it’s so easy to get into a rhythm with the process.
I recently pulled out my Dust of Snow wrap and have really been enjoying working on it again. It’s been in hibernation since before Christmas but I definitely want to finish it up this year.
In Year of Minis news – we’re on hiatus at the moment. When we found out we’d be moving I decided to put it on hold because of not knowing if I’d have a craft room, what wall space we’d have, etc… Now I’m just going to pick the project back up in September or so. Who knows if I’ll get the full twelve in, but I’ll be back on the mini train before long. It was fun taking down all my minis from all over the house and stacking them up – what a cute pile!
Well, I think that’s everything for today. That was a long one! Lot’s of progress going on which feels good amidst the chaos. We’re slowly amassing a box kingdom over here, which is definitely making Cosi quite pleased.
Since I’ve had the extreme good fortune to be able to work from home since March of last year, my wardrobe needs have drastically changed. I went from dressing business casual 80% of the time to dressing zoom casual at every moment. For me, this means jeans, wool socks, and some sort of video call worthy top all day every day. It also means I haven’t made or purchased any clothes for myself in quite a long time. For mother’s day this year, I did both.
I took myself to the mall for a pair of jeans and some basic tops and after that I kind of, sort of found myself at Joann’s. I found a wee bit of fabric that wanted to come home with me, so I got set to figuring out what to make.
On top is a really soft french terry that will become a Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet – long and snuggly. The other two are some rayon/cotton blend chambray-esque fabric that seemed like a reasonable way to dip my toes back into garment making. I did a bit of searching and came upon the Hinterland Dress, a pattern by Sew Liberated. It seems like nearly everyone one in the sewing community has made one or five of these. One thing that really drew me to the pattern is how versatile the styling seems. Some folks made an oversized, boxy version while others made a more close fitting bodice for a different look. I’m aiming for the more fitted side, so I made up a muslin.
For reference, my current measurements are 39.5″ – 34.5″ – 47″ – here I’ve cut a straight size 14 bodice. I wound up lowering the bust darts by an inch and going with that. After some debate, I decided to start with the lavender fabric. I like the blue better, so I’m saving it for the second try. Now, this pattern has you use a bias binding facing for the neckline. I, in fit of genious, decided to purchase bias tape to make my life a little easier. Can you see where this going?
Yeah… so… a couple of things. One – the bias tape you purchase at a big box store is definitely a fairly sturdy quilting-weight cotton so it’s not as stretchy as this cotton/rayon blend. By a lot. Two – double fold and single fold binding are not the same and they won’t work the same way.
This has me in a bit of a bind – ha! – since alongside this fit of genious I had a lot of extra fabric leftover. I decided to be very fast, economical, efficient, smart, brilliant and cut out an Ogden Cami (by True Bias) while I was cutting out the dress. While this does certainly mean I don’t have a large enough piece of fabric left to cut the new bias binding from – at least I got a cami out of it.
Based on my measurements, I cut a straight size 14 and didn’t fiddle with any adjustments. Overall, the fit is pretty good though based on the back view below, I think I could take out a bit from the straps in my next version.
That’s a rough picture, but you get the idea. I think just a smidge higher would be great. I didn’t take a picture but it fits fairly low under the arm as well, so yeah, shortening the straps for the next one for sure. And yes, there will defitiely be a next one.
I did french seams, which seemed like a nice idea, but in practice added a fair amount of bulk at that underarm seam and the hems. Last but not least, I added a little tag in the lining.
All in all, I’m pleased with this make. It was a very nice diversion after the bias tape incident, but now I’ve got to figure that out. I’m debating cutting it out of the blue fabric since they are very similar weights and blends. Or doing one of those hacks where you make a long strip of binding from a small square of fabric somehow. For now, I’m just going to bask in the glow of my first garment make (pj pants don’t really count in my book) in years.
Sometimes I struggle with writing a blog post. A crafty blog is an interesting thing – sometimes I have a finished object to talk about, sometimes I have a theme or idea that has been popping up in my making, and then, sometimes not. Sometimes I’m just putiting time into projects and there’s no take home message, no nugget of wisdom, just some stitches of this variety or that with pretty (or not) pictures. This is one of those times.
It took me a single night’s sleep after finishing my crochet blanket to want to cast on another one. I swatched a few different patterns and even cast on a different one before settling with this one. I’m still a crochet newbie and really just wanted another fairly rhythmic, easy pattern. This is the Hydrangea Stripe Blanket, a free pattern by Attic24. It hasn’t seen a ton of love yet, but it will get there.
I’m almost done hand quilting my latest mini quilt. I can’t say that I’ve really enjoyed the process. I used some white fabric that I had lying around for the background and the backing, since this will just be hanging on the wall. It turns out that something about the weave, or thread count, or whatever, makes it really difficult to hand quilt. Of course, I’ve chose to only quilt in the background, so you can imagine how fun that’s been.
I was so frustrated that I actually wound up going back to youtube looking for any tips or tricks to make it easier. I happened on a video that suggested using a silicon grippy on your pointer finger to help pull the needle – that made a world of differenc! I still can’t work on it for long periods, but I can’t recommend this enough. They’re very inexpensive, I’m using one on both hands to help with hand fatigue.
In other news – I finished a pair of socks! It’s been quite a hot minute since I last had a pair to share. These were my de-stress Christmas socks, cast on at the end of October, finished on Sunday. The yarn is from A Homespun House in the Holly Jolly Christmas colorway. My skein is quite different from other dye lots, it would seem. I’m not overly in love with the finished pair – I like the lighter sections much more than the dark. But that’s ok, I’ll wear them next holiday season with joy. At least they’re off the needles.
I was primarily motivated to finish the Holly Jolly socks becasue my oldest requested a pair of socks. Now, the teenager has been quite against handknits for some time, so I jumped at the chance to clad my child in wool once again. The kid has good taste too, this is a long hoarded skein of Hedgehog Fibres in Teacup. Even that little bit of cuff is just so sweet and pretty.
The last, barely started, project going now is this little basket. The Thimble Basket, from Rainy Day Sewing by Amy Sinibaldi, is a precious, teeny little basket that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back has been this hand quilting project. It’s such a mess to move all my accroutement from desk to chair to couch… you get the idea. Plus it’s so cute! I’ve spent little bits of time all week pulling various teeny scraps and hopefully will get to putting it together soon.
Well that’s it for the current state of affairs, thank you for hanging out with me for today’s ramble!
As I’ve started thinking about my end of year review and next year’s plans, I realized that there a few projects that never made it to the blog. Some are finished objects and some WIPs and a few gifts that have now been gifted. Back in the dim and misty receses of the past, one of my goals with this blog was to keep up with all my makes, so what proceeds is a bit of a catch-all to start wrapping up the year.
Way back in September, I pulled out a skein of yarn and thougth that it looked perfect for Kevin’s mom. I knit up a pair of socks for her and mailed them to her for Christmas. Jackie reports they are nice and toasty. The yarn is Plies & Hellhounds in the Isaac base, a 100% Polwarth yarn. The colorway is “I’ve Been Looking For You” – I think it was one of her 2019 advent colorways. The name is a line from A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I just can’t with it.
If we’re going chronologically, I also knit this hat for Kevin over the fall. It was a Christmas gift so the cat’s out of the bag and I can share it here. The pattern is the Tillage Hat by Jared Flood, knit out of Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 02 in the Curlycup colorway. Ranch 02 is one of their single batch releases and is 100% American Rambouillet, let me tell you – it’s a joy to knit with.
Moving right along with another gift for Kevin, this one was part of his advent calendar. Kevin is our D&D group’s amazing dungeon master, so I wanted to gift him something fun. I had some fits and starts with this one and couldn’t find a good pattern for a D20 like I wanted. I wound up self drafting this first as a paper pieced pattern which failed miserably. I went back to the drawing board and wound up machine appliqueing it and I think it turned out quite nicely.
Now for the big guns, I finished my Quilter’s Cottage quilt! This one had been kicking around waiting for me to finish the binding for a while. I am immensely proud of this quilt. The pattern is by Lori Holt and I used the quilt kit to make mine. This was my first finished Lori Holt quilt, and boy am I ever obsessed! Her techniques and instructions really make it so easy to make a beautiful quilt.
Of course, my hat is off to Nicole of Kwilt It! for another example of her beatuiful work. The quilting really makes it come to life. I used some of the fun “cheater cloth” fabric from this fabric line for the backing and it is just perfect!
You may recall from an earlier post that I was knitting on a few advent projects. These socks were my first advent finish, I knit up the toes on Christmas Eve. This was The Cozy Knitter‘s 2020 Advent Stripe, and I knit 1 stripe each day of advent. The only time I “worked ahead” was to add in the heels a few days before the 24th. It was a nice and quiet process to knit these one stripe at a time, but a bit odd. I’m used to just zooming through stripey socks in the “just one more stripe” fashion!
Speaking of advent, I was also knitting a lovely Dust of Snow wrap with my minis from the Stress Knits advent calendar. I started out using some scrap mohair and promptly ordered a couple more skeins to finish the project with. Much to my chagrin, I ran out of mohair yarn about 8 days before the rest of it arrived. After a couple of days of letting the minis pile up, I decided to channel The Crazy Sock Lady and start another pair of advent socks. I striped the minis myself, knitting 5 rows per mini. Once I got through all 24, I just finished the pair out with the Christmas day skein and Voila! Another pair of advent socks were complete.
I mentioned in my Year of Christmas wrap up that I had made the whole family some pj pants, well here we all are! I received a tripod and remote for Christmas, so we had a bit of fun goofing off and taking family pics on Christmas morning. This pattern is the Walk the Plank PJ Pants, free from Patterns for Pirates. Astra and Joshua are both wearing smalls in (very) different lengths – I think Astra’s are 26″ and Joshua’s are 35″. I’m wearing a medium and Kevin is wearing a large, both in 30″. They are super comfy and warm in toasty fleece and cozy flannel.
Finally, Astra got to open the Minecraft quilt! She was sooooo surprised, it was hilarious. You can see the whole making process, including a peek at the ender dragon on the back in a super secret post from the summer. Once again, this was quilted by Nicole of Kwilt It! and she did a great job as usual. I love how this came out. It’s a really fun project and it’s even better that this kid liked it so much.
Last but not least, I cast on a new sweater. Don’t ask why, but I felt like it after Christmas, so I did. This is the barest beginnings of the hem, but I’m already enamoured. I’m knitting Pink Fizz by Andrea Mowry in Stress Knits Yarn, Favorite and Halo bases held together. The colorway is Glow and it was the day 1 advent colorway. I knew from the first minute that I’d need a sweater in that gorgeous coppery pink, so here we are.
Well, I think that does it. I’ll be back later in the week with some goals for the coming year. It’s a busy time on the blog this week, so be sure to stay tuned!