Enfin Lupin!

I made this jacket almost a year ago and it took me that long to write about it, which might be a new record on this blog! There are three even older creations I haven’t shown here yet, two Ondée tops I don’t intend on blogging about in detail (but which should still appear in future blog posts) and Monsieur’s jacket, which I definitely want to write an article about; I “just” need to take pictures of him wearing it!

The scarf I’m wearing in the first picture is a simple garter stitch scarf I finished knitting in May. It’s such a simple project it doesn’t deserve a post of its own, but I like keeping track of everything I make, so I did want it to at least appear on the blog. The yarn I used is a cotton and silk blend called Florine, by Veritas. It was my first time trying one of their new yarns, and I loved it! It was nice to work with and the finished scarf is delightfully soft. It was too warm to wear when I finished it, but it’s just the right warmth for the weather we’ve been having in September. I guess that’s all I have to say about this incredibly basic project. Except that it was incredibly boring to knit, too: eighty stitches x more than two metres of garter stitch, yaaaaawn!

Now for the juicy part, my Lupin jacket! I finished it at the start of last autumn and it’s proven to be the perfect autumn/spring jacket, the one I reach for whenever it’s not cold enough for my rain jacket. Although I did hope it could read as a 1940s jacket, I was not completely sure it would and was especially wary of how it would look with full skirts, especially since I had sized up to get enough room for my shoulders. I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised! It also looks really nice with skinny jeans, with my Cardamome dress, with my Zéphyr skirt… Actually, I don’t remember not liking it with an outfit I was wearing; I just wouldn’t wear it with a long cardigan, that’s all.

I did choose its colour with versatility in mind: I thought grey would look nice with virtually any other colour. It’s the shape I was not so sure about.

The fabric is a thick cotton satin (but fairly matte) I remember buying on sale at Maison Dorée when I was making this skirt in 2013! I had bought it to make a Pavot jacket but went for this other Deer&Doe pattern instead. It was a bit stressful to work with because it unravelled more than I would have liked, which made sewing the welt pockets a touch tricky, but far from insurmountable. I forgot to take a close-up picture of the pockets, but you can see them in the next picture (and I did share a close-up on my Instagram while I was making the jacket):

All in all, sewing the Lupin jacket was much more straightforward than I would have thought. I followed the instructions and, sewing it step by step over a little bit more than a week, got a nice looking finished jacket if I do say so myself.

My favourite part might be the lining. It’s a cotton lawn I got at our first ever fabric swap, once again in 2013! I had already used a small piece to line the waistband and pockets of a skirt. It’s really soft and I love the small floral pattern. I also love the buttons I put on the epaulettes, antique Belgian military buttons I bought at the same time as the ones I put on my Quart coat (I bought a whole box of various antique Belgian military buttons at the time):

There are two small things I would change if I ever were to sew another Lupin jacket. The first one would be to lengthen the sleeves by one or two centimetres. Their length seems right when I stand with the arms along the body, but when I raise my arms (to hold the handlebar of my bike for example), they start to feel a bit short. It’s something I’ve been noticing with all of my jackets (bar one, the Minoru jacket, whose sleeves are unusually long), so it’s not that the Lupin sleeves are too short; it’s just either personal preference or I have monkey arms (or both), in any case something I should keep in mind for any future jacket/coat I make!

The second and last thing I would change is also pretty simple: I would add a hanging loop. It’s something I feel is missing every time I hang the jacket, and it would be such an easy addition, I’m sort of kicking myself for not thinking of adding one beforehand! Like lengthening the sleeves, it’s something I should always keep in mind when sewing outerwear.

Except these two small imperfections, I don’t have anything bad to say about this jacket. Other than not being sure the shape would look right with full skirts, another thing I was wary about was the fact that there is no closures. And, well, the fact that I didn’t even think about it anymore until I started to write this blog post most means that no, this jacket definitely doesn’t need any closures!

I always procrastinate on sewing outerwear (I mean, even more than usual), but I really shouldn’t: it does require more work than sewing “normal” clothing, but the satisfaction is proportional since you get to wear each piece of outerwear so much more than the rest of your clothes!

Enregistrer

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The Five-Month Skirt

JupeGrise1Long time no see, huh? I haven’t stopped sewing and knitting of course, but I needed to put blogging on the back burner for a moment. I hadn’t imagined I wouldn’t come back here for over two months, though… It was really weird (and not in a good way) taking pictures of myself again… By the way, my hair looked smashing in the mirror, but in the pictures it looks like a hot mess, whatever.

JupeGrise2This skirt took two months in the making and still had to wait for close to three more months to get its blog post. I like that this allows me to speak about it more knowingly than if I had blogged it right away. When I had just finished it, I felt like it was going to be easy to wear and to match with the rest of my wardrobe, now I know I was right! I also know that one should never try on a high-waisted skirt so close to the end of the year festivities and their obligatory overeating: a skirt that fits perfectly at that moment might not fit so well the rest of the year! My skirt is now a little too big at the waist; I might add a second row of snaps to make it tighter in the near future.

What I don’t like in writing about a garment so long after its completion is that I have to make much more of an effort to remember the technical details. But here goes…

JupeGrise3It’s a Burda pattern from a few years ago; this was my second time making it. The first time I used a shiny pink fabric, so even though I still really like that first skirt and find it very flattering, it’s not that easy to wear. I wear it a lot in my free time, but it doesn’t feel right for work. So when I found this corduroy remnant at Tissus Passion, one of my favourite fabric shops here in Brussels (it doesn’t look like much, but there are gems to be discovered there!), I immediately thought of that pattern.

JupeGrise4Like the first time I made a size 36, which corresponds to the size of my waist but not of my hips (my hips are between a size 40 and 42), and, despite having to wiggle my way into the skirt to slip it on, once I have it on there’s enough ease at the hips for it to be comfortable.

I underlined the skirt pieces with some grey Bemberg rayon lining I had in my stash to prevent them from clinging to tights without having to bother with a lining (come to think of it, I don’t think a lining would have been that much more trouble) and it is very effective: to the exception of the waist that bags a little like I mentioned, I never have to readjust the skirt when wearing it.

JupeGrise6I used a thinner fabric for the hidden parts of the waistband, front fly and pockets: a cotton poplin (I think) with tiny grey flowers printed on it, also from my stash (I got it at a fabric swap). This was both because I didn’t have enough corduroy and I feared the corduroy was too thick to work in those places. Also, it looks pretty.

I took advantage of the underlining to hand sew an invisible hem, catching only the underlining with the thread. And I replaced the hidden buttons of the pattern with snaps, and the faux welt pockets with functional patch pockets.

JupeGrise5

See? Functional!

One of the reasons it took me so long to finish this skirt (aside from the fact that I am a very slow sewer) is how scared I was of messing up the fly front zipper. The first time I made that pattern, I didn’t know fly front zippers were supposed to be that difficult and I didn’t have a problem following the instructions of the pattern, but ironically this time I had read in so many places how scary they were that I started to fear that step. I read a few online tutorials that confused me even more, so I went back to Burda instructions… and everything went, if not perfectly (you can see there’s a small bubble of fabric at the top of the zipper), pretty well! So now I am kind of mad at people who make things seem so insurmountable when they aren’t. No, fly front zippers are not that difficult, you just need to go step by step. And while we’re at it, sewing knits is no more difficult than sewing wovens!

I still have a cardigan, a dress and a blouse to show you, let’s hope it takes me less than two months to come back again!

Enregistrer

Out of Season

GrisRoseHey, I finished my Summer sweater! In November, how timely!

I actually finished it two weeks ago, but I really didn’t feel like taking any pictures, what with the lack of time and daylight. I finally took the time to take some pictures yesterday, only to realise afterwards that I had completely forgotten to iron the peplum. Ah well, there’s no way I’m taking the pictures all over again, so you’ll have to forgive me for the wrinkled peplum and its curling up hem.

GrisRose2The pattern is from Phildar magazine #86 (sweater #29). I mostly followed the instructions, the only tiny changes I made were to knit a longer peplum (13 cm instead of 12, how daring of me!) and to pick up stitches for the collar instead of knitting it apart and then sewing it stitch by stitch as per Phildar instructions.

I used the recommended yarn, Phil Coton 3, in Mercure and Rosée.

GrisRose3It was a really easy knit, but it made me fully realise that, while I usually love the result, I actually hate knitting colourwork. I find it so tedious with the bobbins and the tension, argh! I’m not saying this is my last colourwork project, because there are some cute patterns out there, but for my next projects I’d better concentrate on something else (ah, lace… ah, cables…).

GrisRose4It was really hard sticking to that project once fall had arrived and made me long for cosier knits, but I’m glad I have that no UFO rule because it forced me to complete it instead of putting it away and most probably never being motivated enough to get back to it and finish it. And, even though it’s clearly not the most useful garment for November, I have to say I find it pretty cute. But how could a knit featuring both a peter pan collar and a peplum not be cute? I like the colours, too, and the trompe-l’œil strapless bodice of course. I’m pretty sure I won’t be having any trouble wearing it come the warmer weather.

GrisRose5PS: I have of course already started another knitting project, a wintery one this time.

Grey and Pink

GreyPinkGrey and powder pink is one of my favourite colour combinations. To me it evokes the 1920s, I don’t really know why. It’s no surprise anyway that, when I had to pick two colours for this hat, I chose these two in about a second. Oh, and I have literally just realized that those are also the colours I chose for the layout of my blog!

GreyPinkBackYou can’t really see that in the pictures, but the hat is made of two superposed layers of sinamay. The outside layer is grey, and the inside one is pink, so with the transparency of the material, the two colours kind of blend together from certain angles.

The bow and other decorations were made with bias strips from the pink sinamay that was used inside the hat, then invisibly sewn to the hat.GreyPinkSideThe form of the brim is kind of strange: it’s asymmetric (the left side is deeper than the right side), but not so much that you notice it right away. It’s obvious when you see the block I used, but not so much when you look at the hat itself.

The hat was made in two pieces (one for the brim and one for the crown) which were then sewn together. I added a pink sinamay bias strip to cover the junction and another one to cover the raw edge of the brim, and a bow because it seems I can’t make a hat without adding a bow of some sort. Inside the hat I sewed a grey petersham ribbon.

Ok, so now I have a grey and pink hat, a grey and pink blog… It’s about time I begin to think about sewing/knitting myself a few grey and pink clothes!

Boiled Bunnies

Bunnies1

Boo hoo, these aren’t for me! 😦

I made them for one of my closest friends’ birthday. She loves bunnies (who doesn’t?) and she has the tiniest feet, so I was able to knit the smallest size. The pattern is hopslalots by Tiny Owl Knits. It was really easy to knit since it’s knit flat, only using moss and stockinette stitch with a few decreases and increases. I think the knitting part took me about four hours total.Bunnies2

The joining part is also as easy as it gets with a few whipstitches that you can sew “like a 5-year-old might” (according to the instructions!) since everything will disappear with the felting.

I think it was embroidering the faces that gave me the hardest time, especially to stop the stitches without creating any uncomfortable bulk inside the slippers, though come to think of it, this would have been much easier if I had simply taken the time to embroider one or two threads at a time instead of taking about sixteen threads at the same time!

Bunnies3But look how cute! I will most certainly knit myself a pair in the near future. I used Wash+Filz-it! yarn by Schachenmayr with 9mm needles (I’m a tight knitter) and the size was spot on. I machine felted the slippers, throwing them in the washing machine with my towels at 60°C, and boy was I anxious to see the result! When they came out of the wash, I was really afraid they would be too small (they looked so tiny!), but they were actually just the right size for my friend, phew!

Bunnies4I didn’t want the slippers to cause any danger, so I added those cute Regia anti-slide stoppers to the soles. They were really easy to stick to the soles (with an iron), and they also look so cute!

Knitting those adorable slippers was really the break I needed from my current knitting project. I am usually very strict about working one project at a time, but my last project has been dragging on forever (I don’t know why, it’s not that difficult or anything), so I broke my self-imposed rules, and I think it was for the best. I’m very happy with the result (as is my friend) and I can’t wait to knit my own pair! And completing a successful knitting project is just the motivation I needed to get back to the project I’ve been working at on and off for so long.