Thursday, 28 February 2013

Marching on

Can you believe it's the beginning of March tomorrow? This year is going way too fast, though I won't be sorry to see the back of February at all. Roll on spring time (and if we could get some warmer weather, that would be great).

My goals for February were pretty simple: get my shop restocked (done!); do a little work on woven tops and knit tops (done and done!); and cast on a new knitting project (only done last night, but done!).

March is going to be busy again, so I am still going to keep my goals on the simple side.

The purple DK I'm using
1. Knitting! My circular needles only arrived last weekend, which is why it's taken me so long to cast on my next project, although I did do the gauge switch at the beginning of the month. It's not that I couldn't cast on something else while I was waiting, I just didn't really find anything that grabbed me among the pattern/wool/needle combinations I had at hand. It's now underway though. As a reminder, I'm attempting a jumper, specifically the Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond, in purple DK-weight. I've really no set goal for how far I get on the jumper this month -- just that I'd like to make progress with it. It's actually a really easy pattern once you get past the increases and decreases and a lot of it is just mindless knit knit knit, so I'm sort of hoping that I get quite a lot done without really dedicating a million hours of my life to it.
Everything Wristlet

2. Bags! There are two bags on my private make-for-myself list -- an Amy Butler Everything Wristlet (really a clutch) from her Style Stitches book, and an Olivia bag for me like the one I made my sister-in-law. The Olivia is a huge project -- the one for my SIL took me upwards of 20 hours -- and I don't want to start it yet, but the Amy Butler wristlet should be doable and also, because it's for a specific thing, has marginally more urgency to it (by urgency, I only mean "I'd like to have it by a specific date" as opposed to it being, you know, actually urgent in any way). Also, this bullet point needs a place-holder to say I'll make any bags needed to keep my stock levels in my shop.

3. Clothes! Here things get a little more interesting. I've decided to steal adopt the idea of the 6PAC from the Stitcher's Guild boards. Basically, their 6PAC idea is 6 coordinated items of workhorse, everyday clothing that form a mini-wardrobe. On Stitcher's Guild, they do a sort of 3-month organized sew-along, where there is a thread with specific guidelines for the current 6PAC. At the moment, for example, people are working on spring 6PACs.

There's a lot about this that appeals to me: the co-ordination, the number of garments, the "everyday workhorse" aspect of it. However, I am... really not good at being told what to do by other people (see also: the entire rest of my life) so the organized group thing is not going to work for me. What I did do is try to re-arrange my previously chaotic sewing queue (actually, a page in my crafting Excel spreadsheet) and fabrics and ideas and wants into some kind of order, and I came up with a few different 6PAC ideas that I've sorted into a vague and flexible plan for the year. Now that I write that down it sounds ridiculous. I just like structure and planning, okay, leave me alone. /o\ I also like giving things pretentious names, apparently. My first 6PAC, which is intended to be sewed through March and April, is called Earth and Spring. Because it's spring, you see, and there's a lot of brown in it, and brown is the colour of dirt, but Dirt and Spring does not have the same ring to it. No, really, leave me alone, I can't help how ridiculous I am. /o\ (And the names get worse as the year continues.)

The Earth and Spring 6PAC has a purpose beyond the obvious "fill wardrobe holes": all the garments represent a chance to try out a pattern that is being trialled as a TNT. There are 2 bottoms (skirts), 3 tops (with an option for a fourth), and one jacket. Going from easy to hard, here is my list of what I plan to make:

By Hand London Tutorial
Bottom #1: A half-circle skirt (using the By Hand London online tutorial)

The fabric for this is a sort of mid-weight synthetic in dark brown, with a woven self-coloured crocodile print, plus seriously the most lush bronze coloured lining ever. Like the example in the By Hand London photo, it's going to be around knee length, although I am not putting a contrast band on it. I'm lining it and I'll be doing some french seams and extra bits and pieces, but fundamentally this is a pretty simple project.

Burda 04/2009

Bottom #2: A khaki skirt (pattern TBD)

My inspiration for this is the photo on the right from Burda 04/2009, plus a skirt I owned years ago and loved to death. The actual pattern in the magazine is for the white blouse, but I am in love with the skirt/belt combination. I happen to already have a 2m piece of khaki fabric, I just now need to work out the right pattern to put it with. The front runners right now are a couple of possibilities in Burda and a couple in Ottobre, or the Moss skirt by Grainline. Although I like the latter though, I think it might be easier to do a regular zip than a fly front on this occasion.

Tops #1 and #2: Woven Tees (pattern(s) TBD)

What I am looking for is a nice, drapy woven tee pattern that can go on under a cardigan throughout spring. I'm not sure I've found the right pattern quite yet -- I'm definitely auditioning the Scout Woven Tee, but I'm also considering a couple of other possibilities that have a little more structure to them -- a simple blouse from Burda, and a vintage New Look pattern with cut on sleeves -- because I don't know how much I like woven tops without some structural features.

Top(s) #3 (and possibly 4): Knit tops (Ottobre Rose Tee, Ottobre Lemon Juice)

Lemon Juice (in yellow on the left)
In the 02/2013 Ottobre there's a pattern called Lemon Juice. It's such a WEIRD pattern, with a side drape, cut in a single piece on the fold on the bias in a knit, and I don't know, I just really want to make it just to see how barking mad it is in real life. It's a real fabric hog for a t-shirt, calling for 1.8m, so it's going to be in a knit fabric I don't really care about, and only if I have time for it. More definitely, I am also going to make another Ottobre Rose Tee, with some pattern changes, in red. I just need to locate an appropriate woven for the neckband.

KS 3334
Jacket (Kwik Sew 3334)

This is supposed to be one of the easiest jackets possible. It's unlined, the collar is very simple, it's shoulder princess, and it's original-style Kwik Sew so the instructions are very good. It's still nerve-wracking to even contemplate. I do have the "make a jacket muslin" PR class available to me, though, and I am planning to spend a LOT of time on this over a period of weeks. The fashion fabric, if I end up cutting into it, is a beige linen with multi-coloured red and brown embroidery. I figure you can only get to the point of being able to make a jacket by trying to make jackets, so that's what I'm going to do.

As for how much of this I get done in March, well, that's anyone's guess really. This is what I will be working on though when I can snatch the time. The half-circle skirt and the Rose Tee are relatively easy projects and I should be able to get them done quite quickly, at least.


  1. WOW! I am tired just reading your plans for March! I hope you get your projects started at least - sometimes just starting feels like an accomplishment! Best of luck - look forward to reading about your progress.

    1. Oh, no, no, no. I'm not doing ALL of the 6PAC in March! I'd DIE, or else never get any sleep. :D