Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Raspberry wool sweater - I knit!


Recently, while provided post-op care to an out-of-town relative, I turned my hand to a craft I've overlooked for many years.
I learnt to knit as a child but always favoured sewing, and was admittedly rusty. However, YouTube provides a wealth of tutorials, and I quickly found my footing, as well as pick up many new tricks and tips.
The pattern and pure NZ wool yarn are both from KnitWorld. Of course, I couldn't just follow the pattern, could I?! Straight away, I changed from single to double rib for all the cuffs and bands, then, when the back was finished, I decided to mix it up a little and add a cable twist at centre front. (5/5 stitch instead of usual 3/3 stitch, hence the 10 rows mentioned in a moment...)
Unfortunately, I made the rookie mistake of not buying enough yarn (especially as I was altering the pattern), which I realised while knitting the sleeves. So I unravelled 10 rows from the front and back - I'd much rather the sleeves be a good length with a slightly too short body than the other way around.
(Looking a little rumpled, photos taken before a good press and steam!)
Even though I made many, many mistakes, I'm pleased I persevered because I love the result, which has already been worn several times. I've already started on the next project - a sweater for SunnyJim. Should be finished in time for next winter (hee, hee).

Monday, May 20, 2019

Vintage 60's Butterick 3012 and the blue wool jacket


While spring cleaning my computer, I found a file of old garment photos which hadn't been posted about for one reason or other.
I planned to do a re-shoot of this blue wool blend jacket because the original images weren't particularly flattering. However, a year down the track, said jacket has been thoroughly worn, so I'm posting just the best image.
Made in wool blend fabric unused from another project, it's really a trial of vintage 1960's pattern Butterick 3012, which was gifted to me. In hindsight, I should have graded it down a couple of sizes as I knew it was too big. I didn't, and as a result I've lost the funnel-neck collar because it needed taking in so much. It's now a regular collarless jacket with funky raglan seams.
Oh well, that's why you trial.

I wear it anyway, it's a great colour, warm and the Pucci-inspired lining always brightens my day (left-over from a pre-blog coat).

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Silk chiffon tunic for summer - New Look 6803

Not usually a fan of chiffon, $6 for 2+ metres of green and black silk seemed like a bargain at Fabric-a-Brac. Belatedly, I discovered why - there was a white mis-print stripe right down in the middle, more than 20cm long. Had to be crafty cutting around it.


After stiffening the silk with gelatin, making it much easier to handle, I cut New Look 6803 view D, plus some button-back tabs to hold the sleeves when rolled up (although now the gelatin has washed out, they don't stay rolled for long).


Definitely another success, however, if I use this pattern again I'll shorten the centre front opening by about 12cm - not because it was indecent, but because the big open edges flap about in my peripheral vision like a moth! Adding a dickie (or modesty panel) closed the gap this time, putting an end to swatting at 'moths' under my chin.
Graphania plena (Green Carpet Owlet) image from here - http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/moths.html

Monday, April 15, 2019

Blue Linen Pintucked Dress - Simplicity 8165

Hands-down my favourite make so far this year has to be this blue linen pintucked dress.

Inspired by a dress I tried on last spring (a weird fit, gapping armholes, and too short for my liking), from then on I had a hankering for a pintucked dress. Boy, I hunted high and low for the perfect pattern, all the fabric shops and opshops, but nothing was quite right. Finally, on the soon-to-be-extinct patterns table at Morelands Fabrics, I found Simplicity 8165.
Because I intended to use linen already in 'the stash', a few adjustments to the pattern were necessary to accommodate the fabric meterage. The hem and sleeve lengths were both shortened, and I eliminated the centre front seam (and binding), instead cutting a facing.
This pattern sizing runs LARGE. After the first fitting, I cut 10cm (4 inches) off each side seam, which was a shame, because I also felt I need to add a 8cm false hem. Had I known I could have cut 2 sizes smaller, which would have allowed the patterns pieces to overlap in the lay a little more, giving me the extra length.
Never mind, I still love the results, and have worn it often this past summer.

At present I'm considering making a long-sleeved winter version, and will 'shop the stash' this coming Easter break to hopefully find suitable fabric.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Green wool shirt - Butterick 9899


One blouse I do love is this one. Made from a left-over piece of lightweight wool from the stash (last used for this) dyed solid green.
Butterick 9899 was a gift from a friend who - like me - loves opshopping, and knows my passion for 'rescuing' old patterns. (Heard a story of them being used instead of newspaper to wrap breakables - the horror!) Using just the body and sleeve A pattern pieces, I lenghtened the front and back 20cm, curving up to the side seams, and extended the sleeve by 12cm plus cut a cuff 3cm finished width.


Shell buttons from Pete's Emporium.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Watercolour Blouse - New Look 6754



Also known as the "Dollar Top" as the fabric was $1 from the SPCA OpShop in Lower Hutt - approximately 2 metres length, cut down to about 70-80cm in width.
Originally, I made it up using another pattern, but after the first fitting re-cut it as it just wasn't me. New Look 6754 is a simple, tried-and trusted blouse pattern I've used many times before.
However, re-cutting caused issues with the length, so I added a 5cm band at the hem, curved it up at the side seams to make it interesting and less like an afterthought.


The blouse is a like, rather than a love, but it often catches my eye on indecisive days. It's so versatile - great with jeans or this or these or ...

Monday, January 28, 2019

Paisley cotton velveteen jacket - vintage Weigel's 2546


Every since I made my grey wool houndstooth jacket I've been on the lookout for fabric to make another simple, boxy jacket, this time for the in-between seasons.
In Spotlight late last year, I spied several bolts of cotton velveteen with varies designs for $15 per metre. As it's quite narrow (about 110cm wide), I bought 2 metres of a paisley design.
During the Xmas/New Year break, I pulled several jacket patterns from the stash, settling on Weigel's 2546 from the 1960's, because it was lined. Like the houndstooth jacket, I planned on a dome snap closures, so added 2.5cm (1 inch) as overlap to the centre fronts. I also drafted a small ribbed collar (letterman/varsity jacket style), and of course added pockets in the side seams. Lining and cotton rib were from the stash, large dome snaps from Pete's Emporium.
Super simple, it took a little over a day to make, and I'm extremely happy with the result.
Will be snug when cooler weather rolls around, but I have to say I'm loving this heatwave!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Snow on the Remutaka Range

Carter Fountain, Oriental Bay, Wellington, to snow-tipped Remutaka Range.
See the snow on the Remutaka Range in the background? That's why it's been so fricken cold!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Why not remake a favourite - Butterick 6101

If you love something, why not have two? Or three?
Since making the green hoodie, I've hardly taken it off. It's so cosy and comfortable to wear. In fact, it's embarassing how often I find myself in it, so it seemed a good idea to make another. Then SunnyJim started dropping broad hints about his only hoodie having holes in it...


The red merino was a lucky find in a Salvation Army store earlier this year - more than 2 metres for $3. However, I spied a few moth holes, so immediately washed it when home*, followed by line-drying in full sun. Once dry, it was placed in a ziplock bag in the freezer for a few days, just in case there were still any nasties about to hatch, then washed again.
SunnyJims maroon flecked merino has been languishing in the stash since being purchased through TradeMe several years ago.
I used the same pattern - Butterick 6101 (ca. 1980), with all the same adjustments. This time I self-lined the hood, plus the body (x2), as the left-overs were enough to cut another front and back, but not enough to make another garment, so these ones may as well be toasty!


Zips were easier to come by this time, as the red zip had been in the stash so long time I've no idea what it was originally purchased for, and the maroon zip I stubbled across rumaging through a $1 bin at Pete's Emporium, which put the hoodie idea in my head.
Once again, I created self-fabric cord for the hoods.
Happily, both hoodies are now in regular use.
 using the wool setting on my machine (delicate cycle, warm water wash and rinse).
Apologies if you have been receiving the same post several times. I'm experiencing issues with blog posts. Bear with me, trying to sort it!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cargill's Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand



As a child, I spent many happy hours with my Grandmother, listening to stories of her extended family, who settled in Dunedin after arriving from Denmark. Many of the stories revolved around time spent with cousins at 'The Cliffs' or as it's known locally, 'Cargill's Castle'. Her uncle - Harry Lyders - built the 'castle' for Edward Cargill, subsequently purchasing the property early in the 20th century for his own family.


One story in particular has stuck to this day - how as children, she and her cousins were allowed to use the ballroom as an indoor rollerskating rink! The ballroom was added some years after the castle's original construction, which Uncle Harry considered a "folly", and consequently had no desire to preserve. A holt was put on indoor cricket matches however, after windows were smashed and needed replacing to keep the weather out.


Earlier this year, the combination of cheap flights and Wellington anniversary weekend provided the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Dunedin and visit the castle. (Interestingly, I drove unaided directly to the property, even though never having been to Dunedin before). Now surrounded by a new subdivision, it's inaccessible to the public, but by telling my story to a neighbour watering his garden, he allowed me to pass through his property to reach it.


The passage of time has not been kind, with the castle now so structually unsafe it's ringed by a barbwire topped fence. Well past the point of restoration, I believe there are plans to sure it up enough to allow it to open as a ruin? (Please correct me if I'm wrong).


It was quite a strange experience walking in my forebearers footsteps. As the future of the castle hangs in the balance, I'm glad I made the effort to visit this once.