handmade wardrobe 2012

I'm gonna do it!

I joined Jen from Grainline's Handmade Wardrobe on Flickr and I am going to attempt a mini spring wardrobe...  I'm not going to be drafting my own patterns just yet though.  Here are the first of my goals, minus fabric choices:

Of course, a Grainline pattern.
Scout tee via grainline studios

 The tulip skirt I'd been searching for forever.

tulip skirt by wiksten via interweave

I have to knit something, of course, despite the fact that I just moved somewhere that will probably not allow me to wear a cardigan far into the spring, BUT, I think I want to knit this up with Rowan Creative Linen.

snowbird by Heidi Kirrmaier

And maybe a handmade swimsuit?!

sew mama sew bathing suit tutorial

You can use the Handmade Wardrobe 2012 button on the right to see the flickr group.

Uh, by the way, I don't have any fabric or yarn for these projects yet.  Shopping trip this weekend?  I'd so much rather shop for materials than shop for clothes!  Hopefully my next post will be some fabric purchases.


camera recommendations

Tax refund time - I want to finally buy a dslr but I don't have the first friggin' clue what I'm looking at.  What kind of camera do you use?  What brands do you recommend?  What should I pay the most attention to, especially since right now I don't know what most of the descriptions even MEAN?!  I fully realize that a nice camera means nothing if you don't know how to take a picture, so I'd like to pair this purchase with a photography class since I'm so clueless - which unfortunately means I have to stay on the low end of cameras price-wise.

I posted this picture because it makes me laugh - I would have liked this picture if it wasn't for the fact that you can see the lens cap (cover?) in the corner because it won't always open all the way because is sticky with the remnants of peach juice.  That's not funny actually - this owner needs to take better care of things, particularly a future camera.

I also posted it because summer sounds nice right now.


tova top, shortsleeves

When life gives you the wrong sewing pattern...

...make a short-sleeved Tova top.


So, yes, one moody day I meant to make Kristina's version of a sleeved Wiksten tank, and I grabbed the pattern for the Tova top and cut away.  After taking a week-long break and acknowledging that I did not have the fabric supply to make a brand new top, I made a Tova top.  BUT, I made it short-sleeved. 

I chopped the sleeve to about 3 inches below the armhole decrease (is that what you call it in sewing?) and hemmed it to the same dimensions as the shirt hem.

Funny story.

So, as if cutting the wrong pattern wasn't enough, I managed to cut the back piece about FIVE INCHES shorter than the front, due to a fold in the pattern that I didn't pay enough attention to.  Ugh again.  Like the hack job I am, I just sewed a panel on the bottom back, see?

It's there, but the fabric is busy enough that I don't think it's too noticeable.

And another thing.  We went to Philly yesterday (loved) and look what I found:

And all the fabric stores are closed on Sunday.  Smunch Luck.


it worked, enough

I had a whiny post last week about how "nothing was working," and had myself a crafty little tantrum.  Here is the file cabinet with a shoddy spray paint job that I strategically painted and placed in such a way that you have no idea that the parts you can't see are still black or half-painted with drip marks!  This color was not my first choice - for some reason I picture lavender (?) but that is not a common spray paint color, come to find out.  Today I saw at Michael's though - who knew?

 Here's the other half of this room so far - more room for sewing.  Now I just have to sew correctly.

And look, a Valentine's rose, a pretty card, and a book about Sam Cooke.  Despite my best efforts not to, we celebrate Valentine's Day.  I'll have to try a little harder next year.


vintage shopping in baltimore

One of the first things I loved about Baltimore was Hampden, a neighborhood full of vintage shops (hence the love).  I have trolled it many times with little money to actually make a purchase, but last weekend I finally went into Avenue Antiques with a few bucks, and learned that there is a DOWNSTAIRS full of clothes and some home goods.

I found this little button-down with tiny whales all over it for $10.

And this little pitcher - I just love the shape and the cork stopper.

Which reminded me that I never posted this blanket that I LOVE that was also a Hampden score - at Charlotte Elliott, back in November, when I had no business spending a dime without a job.

I am hoping the posting of vintage items I have purchased is going to surge soon...


little lamp

Remember this great little piece of fabric from my last What Cheer? trip in Providence?
Now it's a lamp shade!

I used this tutorial from Pinterest on how to cover a lampshade, and well, this worked out much better than some other things have recently...

I couldn't decide on a color, so this blue I spray-painted on the base could change in the future.  I guess it matches the nautical theme, but I don't like things too matchy.

That table and those curtains are hopefully up for remakes in the future as well.  And maybe one day some trim on the lamp?

I made a board on Pinterest called "pinned it and did it" with all of the Pinterest inspirations I've made into reality.  Not sure why but I guess I like to take inventory of things.  And wouldn't you know, that board's already got 30 pins.


something's not quite right

Lately, I've been trying things that don't seem to work.

I've been itching to sew some clothes, so I set out on saturday to sew a Wiksten Tank with sleeves (inspired by Kristina's top).

So I promptly cut the pattern for the Tova Top.  The Tova Top is not the Wiksten Tank.  I realized after cutting the front and back.  Then I walked away.

Then I bought one can of spray paint that lasted me only so long (this turned out ok; more later).

And then Meredith.  Oh my goodness, Meredith.  This sweater has given me more grief than all knitting and sewing mistakes of mine combined.

I started this sweater in fall of 2008.  An 11-color fair isle is not recommended for a first sweater.  I tend to be a little "sink or swim."  I'm sinking.  There have been either 3 or 4 iterations of this sweater over the years as I have pulled it out completely multiple times due to incorrect gauge/poor fit (I do think the shape of the pattern is strange and made adjustments anyways).  After a 2+ year time out, I pulled it out for 2012, and thought I had it figured out.  Well, here it is compared to my nicely-fitting humanoid knockoff

My gauge is off by two stitches per four inches (28 instead of 30).  But I also knit down to adjust the waist-shaping, knitting an XS after the initial waist decreases. 

Against my better judgement, I am determined.  But I think I need to do something drastic.  Either I am pulling it out for the final time and adjusting the stitch count drastically according to my own calculations and keeping the gauge that I can't seem to adjust or... do I do something crazy like steeking?!  As scary as steeking sounds, not knitting this a 4th (or 5th) time sounds nice.  So do I just chop off those sides?  I don't know... I know nothing about steeking.

I also have a hat in the works that also is not working how I planned but I might just finish it up anyways.  And one small house project up next that did work for the most part.  I'm one for five so far?...


new shelves

repurposed planters for $1 each at a yard sale in providence...

our new shelves.

i wanted to take pictures with some flowers in that vase, but let's be real.  this blog post would be another month coming if we waited for that.

these are obviously not the decoration renovation that required spray paint.  funding is low and therefore spray paint will have to wait.  hopefully not as long as that empty vase will.