Elevation…

…literally, in that I’ve traded the muggy swampland of D.C. for a house high in the mountains of Tennessee.  It’s (understatement) amazing up here, especially in the wake of two very difficult years, and I look forward to reclaiming some semblance of peace and happiness.



Suffice to say, most crafty doings have been sidelined in favor of BUYING A HOUSE! SELLING A HOUSE! PACKING A HOUSE! HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS! ENDURING A TEN-HOUR DRIVE WITH TWO ANGRY CATS! RETURNING TO WORK AFTER A MULTI-WEEK ABSENCE!, and other crazy-stressful things warranting Caps-Lock.  I did manage to produce two sweaters that I am completely and totally over-the-moon about, both of which are courtesy of the lovely folks at Pom Pom Quarterly:

(Ravelry Links- Roquaine and Carlu)

Now that I’m settled into my new home-office-slash-craft-room, my fingers are jonesing to start making stuff – like, all of the stuff.  First up are two obligatory pussyhats for my sister and her friend, both of whom are participating in the Women’s March on Washington next week.  From there?  A little Make Nine synopsis, largely contingent on me becoming a better seamstress:

  • Willow (Tank):  The first one is in heavy rotation; I clearly need more.
  • A Better Fen:  Between the v-neck and the poor choice of fabric (i.e., quilting cotton), my first attempt at Fen resembles hospital scrubs.  I want a do-over.
  • One-Hour Top:  I’ve never sewn with knits before and this appears to be a good starting point.  Bonus: I’ve purchased Fancy Tiger’s video tutorial through Creative Bug, which should serve as a solid safety net.
  • Tee (Wanderlust or Lark):  Progressing from knits to set-in sleeves.  The beginner-friendly Wanderlust may be my best option, but I already own the printed Lark pattern, sooo…
  • Vitamin D Cardigan:  I need more lightweight and basic cardigans in my wardrobe, and this one has been in the queue for years.  Time to make it happen.
  • Loro Vest:   Hey, warm Tennessee climate.  Hey, layering pieces.  Hey.
  • Windlass:  See above re: warmer climate and love of all things Pom Pom.
  • Beatnik:  Cast on over a year ago and neglected.  I need to finish this before next Winter; it’s too lovely for the WIP pile.
  • Little Cabin:  I was stalking this pattern long before its release.  Bobbled perfection.

A thing! A thing! A wearable thing!

Forgive the off-brand “blue steel” gaze – MODELLING, Y’ALL – which doesn’t do justice to the joy abounding in my budding little seamstress-heart.

Because hey – I sewed a top!


For comparison, here is the top (my first) (obviously) I made from a McCall’s pattern earlier this year:


Like Goofus and Gallant, these two.

But yes:  It fits!  It has darts!  And proper bias facings!  This little darling was whipped up over the span of two classes at my local sewing studio, and I’m incredibly pleased with it.  So pleased, in fact, that I celebrated my accomplishment with a new sewing machine, several yards of fabric and some proper sewing tools, because when I fall into a new hobby, I fall HARD.  (Also, my other sewing machine is about twenty years old and likes to eat fabric for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  An upgrade was long overdue.)


The pattern is Willow by Grainline, the fabric is Black Arbol by Cloud9’s Leah Duncan Yucca collection.  The end result is love, love, love.

 

May, In A Nutshell

1. I upheld my tradition of being a crap blogger.

2. I sewed a fail-tank that outed itself as a fail-tank fairly early in the process; however, as it was my first sewn top, I powered through its curves and biases in the name of a learning experience. Two sizes too large (how, Rachel, how?) and in the Wrongest of Wrong Fabrics, but I remain proud.


3. In happier news, I sewed a Rae skirt that is legitimately WEARABLE.   (Ed. Note – My first sewn garment, a pair of boxers stitched together in Feb, also qualify as “legitimately wearable”, in that I wore them atop my leggings en route to the bar, post-sewing class, but that was a cold-weather-inspired decision and unlikely to repeat itself – in public, anyway.)  But yes, skirt: It’s the bottom half of my contribution to the 2016 Outfit-Along, the upper half being Chuck, as there is no better time to knit a woolen cabled sweater than late June.


4. Summer knitting! Specifically: A simple short-sleeved TCPT in gray; a nubby cotton-linen Aphelion; a linen Strathcona; and linen Waterlily, the latter of which found its way to a blocking mat nearly a year after casting on.

5. Currently: The aforementioned Chuck; a Windlass from the latest PPQ; and a Morning Mist, for I am 24-hours away from vacation and mindless stockinette is perfect for airports and picnics and people-watching.

6. More to come…question mark?

Consistent In My Inconsistency

I thought May would be an ideal time to dust off the ol’ blog(/millionth incarnation of), because the Me Made May frenzy is in full swing and ooh, how I wanted to join in the fun.  Bonus: My best girls and I took a sewing class in February, which prompted a number of pattern- and fabric-purchases and overconfident declarations re: making my handmade wardrobe a reality, because I WAS A SEAMSTRESS WHO COULD SEW ANYTHING Y’ALL.

That was three months ago.  We made a pair of boxer shorts in class and, as of May 1st, my hand-sewn stock consisted of said boxer shorts and a single skirt.  As for my knitted wardrobe:  Equal parts woolen Winter sweaters and tank tops, with nary a tee in between – not quite weather-appropriate for May.  Accessories aplenty, sure – but slapping a shawl over my largely manufactured outfits seemed like cheating.

So…not this year.  Which has resulted in a MMM pledge of its own, kinda:  Dedicate the month (and beyond) to preparing for MMM 2017.

Anyway, so I made this skirt.

Specifically, I made Sewaholic’s Rae Skirt in a Sarah Watts print that appeals to both my love of polka dots and cats.  It took me two days from start to finish, which is a statement on my weebabyseamstress skills and nothing more.  Fantastic pattern – very clear and beginner-friendly.  As a knitter, I routinely/lazily throw caution to the wind and forgo gauge swatches.  As a sewer, I am uncharacteristically By The Book – pre-wash the fabric!  Measure obsessively!  Press those seams!  Press them again!  Et cetera!


The awkward selfie is a placeholder, as I am knitting away on a short-sleeved Summer sweater destined to be the skirt’s mate, and one day I will wear them together and be all BOOM, I MADE THIS, ALL OF THIS and astound the masses.  Until then:  A fragment of a skirt, two legs, a cat, a hardwood floor, a tee-shirt from my favorite distillery.  Welcome to my blog, like, again.