This is not a Hey-Look-What-I-Made! kind of post... This is my masterplan to a handmade wardrobe.
Quick backstory (no violins required): I used to sew a lot of clothes for myself (when I think about it, I had a mainly handmade wardrobe back then...sigh...) and then we moved house, had two babies and no dedicated sewing space. 6 years on, we now have a shared Atelier/Craft Room, the boys are growing up nicely and I've reclaimed my body. Time to get back into it!
Just a few problems:
1. What suits me vs what fits me. This is an area I've always struggled with. But before I had the luxury of time (and energy!) so it didn't seem that bad. Not anymore. Don't get me wrong, I am at home most days so I HAVE time, but I can't spend several days working on something to realise that it doesn't really work for my body. When you make your clothes, you can't try it on in five seconds and decide to send it back to the shop! So good fit isn't good enough, I need to find out what suits me. (I'm not going to mention the fact that I feel too old for the experimental "finding my style" thing :p)
Plan: Flattering shapes and colours
2. a different lifestyle. You don't really need ball gowns and suit jackets to take the kids to school (ok, I never really needed ball gowns but I do have several super dressy patterns and fabrics and I've got no idea why!). I need to edit the "what suits me" findings into garments that fit in with my life.
Plan: A wardrobe that works
3. a gigantic fabric (and patterns... and yarn) stash that looks like it was put together by someone else. I don't know how many times I said "Really???" "What was I thinking???". Fingers crossed there will be a few things I can actually turn into something wearable.
Plan: Organise that stash
4. Time constraints. Just like I need to make things that suit me, it would be a good idea if I actually made what I need first! (I know it's not fun...) I need to check what I already have / what I need and plan accordingly for the different seasons. It isn't a capsule plan or make that many garments in 3 months: I want to enjoy it! It's more trying to look ahead and have an overall view of my wardrobe.
Plan: Seasonal Schedule
So here we go. I spent some time last year reading blogs, watching videos etc and it was much more enjoyable than I first thought. Also, I didn't expect it to be that empowering! (wow, am I really writing this? Haha!) Seriously though, there's no need to go with the "capsule wardrobe minimalist trend in all shades of greige" if it's not for you, but I'm convinced that knowing what's flattering will save a lot of time, money and make me more comfortable in my own skin. The "problem" is no longer our body: it's the clothes we wear.
What next? I'm going to be very honest: I'm not going to try to reinvent the wheel. The information is out there for free. In each section I will simply share the resources I have found useful and hopefully my handmade wardrobe will take shape as I go (at least in theory!).
Thank you for reading and I hope that you find this series helpful! (or that my attempt makes you smile... whichever :p )
I will add the links here as they are published:
1. Flattering shapes and colours
2. A wardrobe that works
3. Organise that stash
4. Seasonal Schedule
Pattern: Chili from Drops, free on Ravelry
Yarn: Drops Nepal
DPN 4.5mm for size small
Note: if you'd like to knit this pattern and you are size 5UK (38) or more, knit the ribbing for the ankle with size 4mm DPN instead of 4.5mm to compensate for the extra stitches in the pattern.
Mod: I didn't knit the last row from M.2 (row 14). Instead I finished grafting the remaining 10 stitches (5top and 5bottom). There are great videos on Youtube that shows you how to do it.
4,5mm needles, 4mm for the collar and the cuffs
I lengthened it considerably and changed the back to have several smaller cables instead of a large central panel.
It's a great pattern and I will probably knit the original (hip length) version at some point.
Pattern: Rannoch by Corinne Edinger, free on Ravelry here
Yarn: Drops Lima - off white.
I much prefer them with the thinner yarn, although they look identical!
If you're interested, v1 is here
Same mods as last time (thank you Copy-Paste!)
shorter on the wrists, longer on the fingers
added a 1x1rib thumb gusset, instructions bellow (I hope they make sense...)
To add a thumb gusset:
Knit up your mitts following the pattern until you're happy with the length on the wrists (if you look on the pictures above, it gives you an idea of where the gusset starts)
There are 20st for the top of the hand (staghorn cable) and 22st for the palm (garter rib)
- End on a row where the palm is all k
- On the next row:For the LEFT hand, you will be working on the last 6 stitches of the palm: K2, place marker (pm), P1 m1 P1, pm, K2 (43st, 3st between markers) (pictured below)
For the RIGHT hand, you will be working on the first 6 stitches of the palm: K2, place marker (pm), P1 m1 P1, pm, K2 (43st, 3st between markers)
From now on, instructions for the gusset will be the same for left and right hands.
- The next row, the palm is all k, apart from the gusset in 1x1 rib: marker, P1 K1 P1, marker (3 st between markers)
- The following row, the palm is K2, P2, apart from the gusset: marker, M1, P1 K1 P1, M1, marker (5st between markers)
- The following row, the palm is all k, apart from the gusset in 1x1 rib: marker, K1 P1 K1 P1 K1, marker (5st between markers)
Repeat the last two rows, icreasing after marker 1 and before marker 2, until you have 15st between markers (55st in total)
-Place the 15 stitches between markers on scrap yarn (you can try the mitt on and it doesn't distort your work like a stitch holder), and cast on 2st to replace the original st between the markers. (42 st)
Picture below is the RIGHT hand: K2, co2 (on right needle),15st on scrap yarn, ready to join to the rest of the palm on the left needle.
Finish the mitt, with the palm all in garter rib.
To knit the thumb, transfer the 15st on hold onto DPNs.
Work in 1x1 rib (following the gusset stitches) and pick up 3st at the top (total of 18st)
Continue working in 1x1 rib until you reach the desired length (I did 7 rows). Bind off, weave in the ends and enjoy your mitts!
Another beautiful pattern from Lucy (Attic24).
Cosy Stripe Blanket, Free Pattern, here
Yarn: Stylecraft DK
Crochet hook 4.5mm
Chain 105 to start.
I added rows of red bobbles for a pop of colour and extra texture. When I got to the border, the picots from the last round plus the bobbles seemed too much... So I tweaked it by not doing the chain 2 between the 2dc, giving me a flat edge.
One for E next? He did like this one very much...
I have made a few hats for the boys but it's the first one for me! I decided against the ear flaps though :p
Pattern: Cable Staghorn Whalebone Hat Beanie Toque by Margaret McInnis, free on Ravelry here,
Yarn: 2 balls of Cashmerino Aran by Debbie Bliss
I did a provisional cast on to start with the cables then knitted the ribbing to fit. A compulsory pompom and I'm ready to brave the cold. Ok, that's not true... I'm never ready to brave the cold!