And a Cosy New Year!

MoutonAlpagaNo New Year’s resolutions this time; I have finally learnt my lesson: I hardly ever keep them and then I feel like a looser all year long…

Out of last year’s four resolutions, I only kept one, which was to make a drawing of each of my sewing projects. I filled my whole sketchbook (that’s 15 pages, glad I didn’t buy a thicker one!) and this was really fun to do, but I was still relieved when I reached the last page because this meant that at last I could focus on other drawings, and other drawing media!

I said I only kept one resolution, but one could say I kept one resolution and a half: remember my Stash Diet? I held on for six months, so there’s that! 😀 But after six months it started not being fun anymore and I started to feel like it impeded my creativity instead of boosting it, so I decided to let go! Still, if there’s one thing this resolution brought me, it’s the fact that I took the time to count how much fabric I own and especially to make a record of each piece in a very useful swatch album! Now at least I know exactly what I own and I don’t run the risk of buying something I already have (unless it’s totally intentional like those striped jersey knits I keep amassing – you never have enough striped jersey!). It’s also really easy to match a pattern with a fabric now that I only need to open my album to check the meterage!

The last two resolutions I didn’t keep were making the skirt I had promised to sew for a friend (shame on me!) and… increasing my sewing/knitting production! Why did I even want such a thing anyway?! I have no idea what possessed me at the time, because I don’t see how 26 sewn/knitted items in 2013 (that’s one every two weeks!) were not enough! 😀

Anyway, I almost reached the same number this year! Here’s a compilation of my 25 creations of 2014:

2014

That’s:

– 15 sewing projects ( 8 dresses, 3 tops, 2 skirts, 1 hoodie, 1 elephant!);

– 7 knitting projects (4 sweaters, 3 cardigans);

– 2 hats (I only included those I made just for myself, not the ones I made for my collection);

– 1 pair of shoes (almost two, my second pair just needs a tiny finishing touch which I have been postponing for months! – and by finishing touch, I mean fixing a mistake :-/ ).

Antoine2The creation I have been wearing most often is without question my pair of shoes! They really go with everything, to the point that I’m starting to question the relevance of my extensive collection of shoes, and that’s saying something!

MostWornI’ve also been wearing my Renfrew dresses, Winter Heather sweater, Sureau shirtdress, Polka Dot skirt, Watercolour skirt, self-drafted summer sweater and Adelfa cardigan a lot. Oh, and my poor boyfriend’s hoodie, too: it turned out the sleeve bands were in fact too tight for him to roll up his sleeves past his elbows, so he kindly gave it to me and I’ve been wearing it non stop at home!

HollyburnHat5Those are the pieces I’ve been wearing most, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been wearing the rest: the only one I haven’t worn at all is my Hollyburn hat, which I kind of foresaw when I made it but you know, I had to make my vision come to life! 😉

SmockCoronisDirndlAnd the things I made after the summer haven’t been included in the “most worn” category just because I have had less time to wear them than things I’ve made before, but both my Japanese plaid dress and the last sweater I knit have been worn quite a bit since I made them! And I’m pretty sure the dirndl blouse will get a lot more wear come spring!

Aubépine5The only garment I’m not happy about, even though I’ve worn it, is my Aubépine dress. I still love the pattern, but it’s now official: I HATE the fabric! I hate its shiny quality (it doesn’t show in the pictures, but trust me!), I hate the fact that the front bodice piece got distorted and now has all those creases and I hate the sweat marks (sorry!) that appear within five minutes of wearing because it’s a synthetic blend!!! I’m almost certain I won’t wear the dress anymore, but I’m still hesitating between two options: salvaging the silk lining for another project and throwing the main fabric away, or donating the whole dress…

I guess only one fail in a whole year is not too bad… I also have three UFOs though: these two and what’s more of a WIP than a UFO, a burda skirt I put aside because I wanted to sew myself an outfit for Christmas Eve (the dress and cropped sweater you can see at the bottom right of the picture compilation) but which shouldn’t wait too long for me to finish it.

I won’t make any promises though, because you know how it works! 😉

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Sketchbook: The End!

RainbowIt’s been so long since I last posted one of them, but I didn’t stop drawing sketches of my sewing projects. Some of them were missing their colours, others their little fabric sample, and the last two I still needed to draw altogether, but I finally got to drawing and finishing all of them, and the sketchbook is actually full now: there’s no blank page left!

EucalyptCentauréeI won’t be starting a new sketchbook for my next sewing projects, I think one is enough, but I’m pretty stoked that I stuck to at least one of my resolutions for 2014! I hope this won’t stop me from going on drawing regularly in the next year, we’ll see…

Carreaux DirndlI don’t have a lot more to say about these drawings or sewing projects (I’ll probably write a round up at the end of the year, to tell about which garments I’ve been wearing or not and why, like I did last year), so I guess that’s it! You can click on each drawing to see the original blog post about the finished garment in question.

AubépineI hope to be back soon with a new finished sewing project, it’s been such a long time since I last completed one! I’m working on two at the moment: a grey corduroy version of this skirt and a sweater dress that’s proving to be so unflattering on me I’m almost sure it’s going to end up as a cropped sweater instead!

Marinière With a Twist

Coronis1I don’t know whether it’s the gloomy weather or what, but I so haven’t been in the mood to take pictures of this project. It’s been finished since November 18 and I only (begrudgingly) took the pictures yesterday. I usually prefer taking pictures of my creations before I wear them for the first time because I’m afraid I’m going to ruin them and not get a chance to capture them for eternity or something, but this one has already gotten its fair share of wear before getting photographed.

Coronis4This means I can reflect more objectively on its qualities and flaws: I realised by wearing it that the sleeves, which I wanted to be long, have a tendency to creep up a little bit after a moment and not cover my wrists anymore. As you can see in some of the pictures, I mostly wear my sleeves rolled up, but still, I like having the option of real long sleeves, for when I’m riding my bike in the cold for example. Same with the body: I wanted it to hit exactly at my waist, which it does, but once again when I move it rides up a little bit and I have to readjust it. It’s not so much a problem when I wear it with a dress like I do in the pictures, but with a skirt I risk exposing what I’m wearing under the sweater. I still have enough yarn left, so I’m thinking of unravelling the ribbed parts, add one or two stripe repeats then reknit the ribs. Easy. We’ll see how long it takes me to get to it! 😉

Coronis3

See how the sleeves creep up?

The pattern is Coronis by Emily Ringelman, from Pom Pom Quarterly #10 (best magazine name ever by the way) and it was really easy to follow yet pretty interesting to knit. You can take a look at my Ravelry notes for more technical details.

From afar it looks like yet another navy/white striped sweater, but there’s a twist! Look at this detail picture:Coronis7These stripes may look complicated, but they aren’t at all. You only work one colour per row, and the pattern is really easy both to understand and to memorise. The wool is Drops Alpaca, which I loved working with and love wearing. I already have another project in my queue using this same yarn.

Coronis5I completely messed up the gauge on this sweater: I suddenly decided my gauge (which I had checked beforehand) was too loose, so I unravelled what I had already knit and started over with smaller needles. I still don’t know what possessed me: when have I ever knit loosely? The answer is NEVER! I’m a tight knitter, have always been and will always be! It’s a good thing I had decided to knit this sweater with positive ease for once and ended up with a sweater with negative ease, instead of a too tight sweater as I would have if I had decided on a sweater with negative ease, which is usually my preference for that kind of cropped sweaters.

Coronis6Because of that impromptu change of needles, I had to knit way more rows to get the length I wanted, so I ended up with more stripes than on the original. And I’ll have even more rows and even more stripes when I add some length to the sleeves and body.

But I guess having too many stripes is not the worst flaw a sweater can have, so once I get to lengthening it I won’t have anything negative to say about it anymore! I really like the style and the fit and I think it will look very cute with quite a few of my dresses and skirts!

Coronis2