Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Sewing Plans or #sewoveritsummer

The other day I as I sat pairing fabrics and patterns in my head I thought it might be better if I actually wrote them down on a list so they wouldn't get lost in my mental filing cabinet.

Of course I'm being unrealistic in my goals here, because goodness knows that a) I rarely sit down to my sewing machine anymore and b) I still have knitting goal lists floating about that I wrote out about ten years ago and never did a single project of because if nothing else I am fickle.  Today's MUST DO project is not necessarily going to still be next week's MUST DO project.

I noticed a few things about this list besides my delusions of productivity.  I have a heck of a lot fabric.  I should not be buying more.  And yet... well.  Don't judge. There are much worse vices I could have.  The next thing I noticed was that out of 18 projects, ten of them involve Sew Over It patterns (actually there's an 11th needs to be added to the list.  I realized just now that I have the perfect fabric for the newly released Eve dress... Eve wasn't out when I wrote the list and I had totally forgotten about the fabric that I have in mind for it.  I definitely need to get my hands on that pattern!)

In light of the patterns, I thought maybe I should just go ahead and declare 2017 a #sewoveritsummer  because my wardrobe is going to be overwhelmingly designed by Sew Over It.

Would you believe that I already have one of my makes done?  Last week I picked up some rayon voile at the fabric store and thought it would be perfect for Susie although the details of the collar do get a little lost in the print.  My two Susie blouses I made last year were so well loved, but the fit needed a bit of tweaking so I knew I had to tackle that before I did anything.  I was pretty sure that I needed to do a broad back adjustment because while my blouses from last year are fine when I'm wearing them and not moving my arms, the minute I move my arms it feels tight across the upper back, and getting out of them just about requires the jaws of life to extricate me.  In my search for information I came across a video that made the adjustment really easy to do.  I extended the back sleeve a bit too to match up with the side seam and it was exactly what I needed.  I did a half inch adjustment on either side, which was a touch on the generous side, but at least I know what I need to do now and my blouse is totally wearable and very comfortable.  I also gently curved the hemline for a shirt tail hem rather than more straight across feeling that is a more flattering look.  (although I realize that I neglected to get any photos of the bottom of the top so you'll just have to imagine it!)

The rayon voile is super comfortable to wear, but was a bit of a beast to cut out and sew.  It was so darn slippery and wanted to slide away at every turn, but I managed to get it on grain with a bit of patience and determination (and more than just a bit of flouncing and bad words).

I was really excited to have a new spring top just in time for some sunshine and warm weather yesterday!

I also finished a Betty dress yesterday, it's been mostly done since Easter weekend, but still needed hemming.  I got put off a bit when it got really cold last weekend and then decided to be full fledged winter, complete with snow again for a few days.  But the sunshine inspired me yesterday and my machine was already threaded with blue from my blouse so I did a quick machine hem on the Betty before turning the machine off for the day.  I'll try and get pictures soon of it!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Killing Two Birds with One Spinning Wheel

When the sewing mojo was failing me (or more aptly sewing success was alluding me), I gave the sewing machine a bit of a break and took out my basket of fibre and sat down at the spinning wheel instead.  After spinning some Doodles In String Merino that I'd bought from Ram Wools Co-op when I took my drop spindle class last spring over the Christmas holidays I hadn't done much of anything at all really with my wheel.

It felt great to get back to my spinning that I'd been ignoring for awhile.  It wasn't being ignored for anything beyond a lack of time and energy, but I was worried that so many weeks away and I'd be back to square one with my very beginner abilities.  In the beginning of January I had started working on a batt from Tog and Thel that I'd bought at the Manitoba Fibre Festival last fall so I figured it would be thick and thin spun anyways with it's four beautiful ounces of Jacob, Icelandic, Merino, Merino Tencel and Mohair blended together.  

It was such a pleasure to spin.  I enjoyed seeing the different fibres and colours as they twisted together.  And while it is thick and thin in spots I'm getting more consistent with how I spin, so it's not as noticeable.   A lot of the thick and thin came from big blobby bits of fluff that didn't get attenuated as much as other bits sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, but I am pleased with the end result.  It's fluffy and cozy and while I have no idea what I'll make with it, I am very pleased to have it in my yarn stash!

Another bonus to all the spinning was that I realized early into resuming work with my Tog and Thel batt that the motion of treaddling was exactly the same motion as the very boring, but very necessary exercises that my doctor prescribed for my foot injury.  Killing two birds with one spinning wheel. Doing something I love while getting something I loathe out of the way!  Talk about a win-win situation.  

So as soon as I finished plying up the Tog and Thel I took out another squishy gorgeous bit of fibre I'd bought at the fibre festival.  This one was from Manjusha Farms located in southeast Manitoba.  It's a deliciously soft merino/bamboo blend and I spun the four ounce braid up in record short time - it only took a week from start to finish.  Getting up and spinning before work.  Spinning while supper cooked.  Spinning before bed.

I'm beyond thrilled with how the merino/bamboo turned out.  It almost felt like cheating it was so very easy to spin.  Again, it's not perfect - there are some thick and thin bits, but it's the most consistent I've done yet, and the final result makes me so happy!

It still amazes me that I can take a bit of fluff and turn it into yarn that, when I finally decide what to use it for, I'll be able to actually make something with it.  I do have a slight obsession with spinning local fibres.  I find it even more exciting to know exactly where the fibre came from and as a result find myself counting down the months until the fibre festival again (I've got a few to go given it's not until the fall...) Not too mention dreaming of some day owning sheep or mohair goats of my own.  Or maybe an alpaca.  Of course I know absolutely NOTHING about raising sheep, goats or alpaca, but a spinner can dream, right?

In the meantime I think I'll be calling on my neighbour up the way at Prairie's Edge Wool Farm to see if I can go visit her and her sheep and the very adorable Max the Goat.  (If you're at all interested in the Manitoba Fibre Festival you'll no doubt know exactly who Max is.  If you're not up to speed he's the incredibly personable, incredibly sweet angora goat that won all our hearts last year and continues to enjoy fame as he grows up)  Her shetland, and shetland/alpaca blend fibres were some of the first I ever spun and it was glorious. I have a wee bit left from last fall in my spinning basket and I definitely want more!  I have daily exercising to be doing after all!