Archive | April, 2012

Handmade Travel Outfit 2

14 Apr

The kimono jacket and trousers were both documented, in their making, right here in this blog. Now, they hit the road together as an outfit, as part of my “suitcase challenge” in which  I pack only clothing I have made, myself.

Handmade Travel outfit 1

13 Apr

The “easiest skirt in the world” from a couple of weeks ago turns out to be a comfortable thing to wear on a plane (over leggings, for leaving the house in cold weather, which are easily removed to convert the outfit for warmer weather once I arrive.)


Paired with the  black cowl-neck short-sleeved top I made before one of my other trips, it makes a versatile outfit for the flight, as well as for wandering around, and even venturing into some arts and culture.

On the road again!

10 Apr

I’m packing my “handmade suitcase” again–my ongoing handmade challenge, when I leave my home, can I dress myself only in things I’ve made myself?


This time it’s five days, and south–heading to warmer weather, while I’ve been sewing for winter and early spring, and I’ll have to dig down and see what I’ve got, on hand, that will fit this climate change.  I’ll let you know how it goes, with photos!

Knitting a skirt

9 Apr

I’ve never knitted a skirt, before. I’ve heard knitted skirts are kind of stretchy and saggy and difficult to wear. But I was checking out a pattern (The “Which do you Choose” dress by Jill Stover), thinking I might make a sweater from it, and I found that the swatch I was playing with (with some Knitpicks “Simply Cotton” yarn I had on hand) that it knitted up pretty fast and might make a cool skirt.  It was pretty fast, and only took 2 1/2 skeins of the yarn.  And I found a really nice bright yellow fabric to make a little underskirt type slip to wear under it.

Unfortunately, when I walk, the underskirt rides up, and I have to do a lot of wardrobe-adjusting, so overall it’s kind of stretchy and saggy and difficult to wear.

But at least I’ve tried it out, and learned something. And the pattern is really nice…I’d probably like it better for a sweater.

Right back where I started.

8 Apr

I need a new handbag.

The weather is warm, and the corduroy one I sewed at the beginning of this project now feels too wintery, like a thick sweater on a sunny spring day.

So I’m working out ideas. I’m thinking of a kind of fold-over bag that can convert from handbag to tote bag–and in my imagination, it is complete with matching hardware, including those little purse feet.

So I did some supply shopping, and sketched out various details, and I’ll see where I go from here. It’s funny, though, how of all the things I make, I never really need any of them. But a bag in which to carry my wallet, phone, keys, and subway card, that’s an ongoing requirement, no matter what else I’m wearing.

Tee Shirt Upgrade

2 Apr

This isn’t really so much a “makeover” as an “upgrade.” It started out a humble tee-shirt, and it ends up…

…a humble tee-shirt, with frills.

I got this idea while browsing a clothing mail-order catalogue over breakfast. I saw a crocheted-edged tee in the catalogue, and realized that somewhere in my stash I probably had some yarn that matched some tee-shirt in my collection, and indeed, there was.)

1) Cut off whatever parts of the tee you want. (I cut out the neckline, cut off the sleeves, and cut off the bottom 6″ of the hem.

2) At each cut edge, fold under 1/4″ of fabric and, with a fat, sharp metal sewing needle, hand-stitch the edge through both layers in blanket stitch. This gives you a neat line of loops along the edge of the fabric, in which to crochet. (at left, below)

3) With a crochet hook to match the weight of your yarn, at a side seam, attach a new end of yarn to your blanket stitching with a slip-stitch. Single crochet one row of stitches all the way around. (at right, above)

Now, what you do after this, exactly, depends on how much you cut off, and how much you need to build back up again. You could build a whole bodice in crochet to go on a tee shirt base. I was thinking for my next one I’ll do a more elaborate lace collar, and then cut away a tee shirt to match it. But for this one, I stayed simple since it’s my first. For the frothy sleeves on mine I used a lace pattern from a book of vintage patterns in my collection.

But around the neck and hem, I made up a simple scallop stitch. It goes something like this:

Row 1: Single crochet all the way around (same as step 3, above).

Row 2: *Ch 6, skip the next 3 sc stitches, sc in following (4th) sc stitch.  Repeat from * until the end, fudging the count a little bit at the end if you don’t have a perfect multiple of 4 stitches in your row.

Row 3: (sc, 6 dc, sc) in each Ch 6.  Anchor your last stitch with a slip stitch, cut yarn, weave in end.

That’s it!

(My original inspiration is online, here. It shows how conceivably, one could cut off quite a bit and crochet it right back on again.)