Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Weekend Rambler Skirt

Even though I am home right now on an extended maternity leave with my children I do sometimes think about when I return to work.  One of the things I have been thinking about is developing a better work wardrobe.  I'm a teacher and when I return I will be teaching kindergarten to 4 and 5 year olds.  The past couple of years when I've been working I've gotten really casual with my wardrobe and have been known to wear jeans to work!  I would do that if I could all the time but we have a new principal at my school who is wonderful . . . .but I don't think I can come in wearing jeans and get away with it now so I am on a mission to develop a professional, yet comfortable, wardrobe that I can wear while teaching kindergarten.

The Weekend Rambler Skirt by Snapdragon Studios was the one of the first garments to catch my eye that I thought would really work for me to wear to work because it has POCKETS!  I have now seen lots of other skirts and dresses that have pockets and I am now never again making a skirt or dress without pockets.  I purchased the pattern from the Indie Sew website.
I love the details of this skirt.  I think it gives it some nice definition without being too dressy. 

For the skirt I used a mid-weight cotton fabric that I bought on my shopping expedition in Toronto this summer.

I also made another Julia Cardigan in a white sweater knit with a jersey band.  It's a great layering piece with this Skirt  . . . or jeans! 
Nice and warm for fall and winter. I wore this outfit all day while playing with my kids.  Functional yet professional for wearing to work! 

Now after finishing the  skirt I was really disappointed with the front pockets.  They are a really funny shape, long on one side and short on the other.  I couldn't fit my phone into the pockets so I ended up adding back patch pockets to put my phone in.  The front pockets sit really nicely and otherwise I love this skirt pattern so for the next version I'm going to lengthen the pocket lining to make it symmetrical and large enough to be functional.
Front Pocket -Closeup
Need a pocket for my phone (what the skirt looks like after being with my kids all day)
Front of Skirt

Back of Skirt with patch pockets added and belt loops.
Overall I do love this pattern.  I have the fabric cut for another one already, a brown corduroy and I'd like a grey one as well.

Over the next while I will be talking about building a capsule wardrobe for myself.  It's something I have been thinking about myself but I've been motivated by Zoe of the Tadpegs blog.  She's started a Capsule Wardrobe Community, which I've joined. So I will be posting about how my sewing/knitting plans work into building my Winter CapsuleWardrobe. 

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Natalie Tunic Top - Pattern by Liola Designs

Natalie Tunic by Liola Patterns
Fabric: Cotton voile purchased at my local Fabricland

I love this pattern.  For my muslin version I made a straight medium.  For this version I graded into a small at the bust and then extended the length to a tunic length. I followed this tutorial for making a tunic length.  It is the perfect layering top.  I love the sleeve tabs that hold the sleeves at 3/4 length (which I didn't take a picture of).  In the warmer temperatures of fall it was great just on it's on and now that the weather is colder I can layer this top under a cardigan and also wear it with a scarf.  I've already made another one that I need to get pictures of.

If you want to make one yourself go to the Indie Sew website for your own version of the Natalie Top.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Costumes 2014: Pattern Hacks

The Pattern Revolution blog had a series at the beginning of October called the Halloween Extravaganza showcasing various Halloween costumes made from everyday patterns.  I loved this idea because it meant I could make a costume with something I already had.  My daughter decided she wanted to be a cat.  First she told me "a black and grey cat".  So I dug some black and grey fabric out of my stash.  For some reason before I started cutting I showed her the fabric.  I got told "No, Mommmy, not THOSE colours!  I want orange and white!"  So I pointed to a pumpkin and said "Orange like this pumpkin?'  "Yes"   "and white like the sleeves on your shirt?"  "No, Mommy!  White like that" (pointing back to the original black fabric).  So toddler translation on colours = orange and black cat. 

I decided to use the Urban Unisex Hoodie from Heidi and Finn .  I haven't made one of these yet for my daughter but I made one for my 7 year  old nephew for his birthday.  I like the pattern because with a quick modification it is fully reversible.  I used orange and black fabric on the outside and added furry little pockets and ears on the hoodie.  I made a size 4 so my daughter can layer underneath it (Halloween in Canada can sometimes mean winter jackets are needed!)

The mitts are self-drafted.  I just took a pair of mittens I had that fit and made a tube.  I stitched the paw pieces on before I stitched the side seam, leaving an opening for the hole.  The paws are made of minky so I didn't bother finishing the edges at all.

A Tutu skirt tail! I just tied pieces of tulle to an elastic.   The tail I made by braiding together some novelty yarn I had in my knitting stash.

 The leggings are a  pattern from Ruby and Jack: Simple Seaside Shorties and Capris.  I made a size 4 and extended the leg length so they would be full length. I made the version with pockets and a ruffle bottom. My daughter will be able to wear these with anything once Halloween is finished.

 And onto Pumpkin Boy!!  He isn't in his full costume but he found this silk play scarf and was wrapping it around himself so I tied it on like a cape and he loved it.  The hat I made for my daughter when she was 6 months old.  The next year I added a couple of rows of crochet around the bottom to make it longer so it would still fit.  And this year my son gets to wear it.  For Halloween he will have on a green fleece outfit that was given to him.

Hat Pattern: Free link through Ravelry: Newborn Pumpkin Beanie   Now that I look at it again I obviously modified it as I made it the first time since my daughter was 6 months old.  I don't remember how I did it at all.
 Ready to Trick or Treat!!
Thanks to everyone else who has been posting their handmade Halloween costumes.  I love seeing all the variety of ideas.    Are you making a costume for your little ones?  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I Heart Cardigan Finished

Pattern:  I Heart Cardigan  by Tanis Lavallee
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yarn - Green Aran Weight - Colour: Plum
Modifications: sleeve length 19" otherwise knit according to the pattern.

I finished this just before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I wore it all weekend.  I wore it on the beach, for a hike, to supper.  It is just so comfortable to wear.

My photographer on our beach walk

Back cable detail

Looks a bit short here but I'm wearing a tunic length blouse.

Great Blue Heron on the beach in front of my parent's house.

I absolutely love this sweater!  The pattern is written perfectly for me.  The yarn from TFA is so nice to knit with.  The colour is incredible.  I can see myself making this pattern again . . .maybe with a different cable pattern on it!  

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


I had a hat sewing week at the beginning of September.  I made reversible newsboy hats for myself and my kids.

Pattern: Reversible Unisex Newsboy Hat   by Butterfly Tree

I purchased both the adult version and child version. The PDF has 1 pattern page to print out.  The sizing is generous.  I made a small for my son and a medium for my daughter.  I made a medium for myelf.  I had to add extra elastic into all the hats to make them tight enough but I think that's great because the kids will get more than one season of use out of them and for my the hat fits nicely with my hair down or in a ponytail. Now I need to start making more for my family who've asked for one.  What's your favourite hat pattern to make?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Helen Joyce Cardigan

My first DK weight sweater I've ever knit!  I tend to stick with worsted to bulky weight yarns for how fast they knit up. I found this yarn at my LYS and couldn't help picking up a skein . . . then going back and getting 2 more because I loved the colour so much.

Neckline too low and wide
When I finished it according to the pattern instructions I could barely keep it on my shoulders and it was really low around the back neckline. I tried adding a little panel at the front to pull it across.  I'd see something like this on a shrug and thought it looked neat. NOPE . . . not working. 

Attempt to pull sweater together at front
Pattern: Helen Joyce Cardigan by Taiga Hilliard Designs
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarn DK: Coral Rose

 So I pulled out my cast-off and starting increasing the border.  I did several short rows to increase the neckline and the back and add in enough width to have it sit nicely on my shoulders.

I loved the lace pattern at the bottom of the sweater.  I read other people's modifications and lowered the seed stitch band to be below my bust line.  I don't like cropped sweaters so I added length so it sits at my hips.  

Now: perfect, I love it.  It is the perfect weight cardigan, makes a pair of jeans look dressy and goes well with dresses or skirts.  After I knit all the heavy-weight yarn in my stash I need to get some more light-weight yarn. Onto my next sweater: I Heart Cardigan by Tanis Lavallee

Monday, 15 September 2014

OWOP 14 - My Sort Of Week

The pattern I chose for the One Week One Pattern Challenge was  the Julia Cardigan by Welcome to the Mouse House.  I wasn't really great at taking pictures everyday and I thought the challenge started on Monday but instead it started on Saturday. I didn't get my warmer versions of the Julia Cardigan made so I had to abandon them near the end of the week because it was a high of 14 C here.  So here is my sort of participation. 

Day 3 - Burgundy Julia Cardigan w/ 3/4 length sleeve.  This version has a single layer collar.  I do prefer the double fold collar.  It just sits nicer but this one is still very wearable. 

 Day 4 - Yellow Longsleeve - very thin jersey fabric, double fold collar.  I made this to match a dress a wore to my cousin's wedding.

 I can see myself wearing this dress to work with my cardigan and flat shoes.  This is what it looks like.  But right now I'm on maternity leave with my kids so shorts and a tshirt is really how I wear things right now.

Day 5: Grey Long sleeve - double fold collar

I wore this with various layers all day.  We did a day trip into Toronto.  My daughter loves the train so we took the GO train in.  I wore a tank top, my Julia Cardigan, a self-made infinity scarf, and a light down vest.  We went to Ripley's Aquarium.  The kids were so fascinated by all the sea life!  It's quite an impressive place. So the only photos I have are action shots of our day!

Day 6 and 7 - It got really cold here.  I wanted to wear my handknit sweaters instead. 

Thank you to Handmade Jane is hosting a One Week One Pattern Challenge - OWAP14 .
It was fun to think about how to wear my cardigans each week.  I loved seeing some of the other garments other people chose to wear.