Monday, December 10, 2018

Make Nine 2019

I know I've been away for an extraordinarily long time again. For awhile I needed a social media break--I think we've all been there at some point--and I was out of town and/or dealing with some injuries for awhile. And when you don't keep up with posting projects they can get away from you. The thought of having to catch up on all the stuff I haven't blogged about yet just got exhausting so I've decided not to try.

Instead, I'm posting about some plans for 2019 that I will inevitably be terrible at actually doing. I've never posted a Make Nine before because I knew I'd be bad at it, but this year I'm giving it a try. I bought a bunch of patterns and fabric during Black Friday sales in the hopes that I would stock up on supplies for makes now and then have a buying freeze for a good portion of 2019. So the Make Nine concept kind of goes along with what I've been preparing for anyway.

By the way before I get into the details, all of my plans are sewing projects because I have so many knitted garments and accessories I really don't need to make anything. I pretty much always knit so I've decided to just work on whatever I feel like next year without putting any pressure on myself to produce any particular thing. I only have 2 yarn-related goals: 1) I am putting a buying freeze on yarn and fiber for 2019 as well and I'd love to make a significant dent in the stash and 2) I'd really like to knit one project a month from a pattern I've purchased in the past but not used. I have bought so many PDFs, books, and magazines over the years and at some point I really did want to make those things. It would be nice to actually use some stash patterns rather than getting distracted by the newest shiniest thing.

Onto my Make Nine: I would really like to have an all handmade capsule wardrobe for one month. I've been trying for awhile to put one together for the winter season. My original goal was January but now I'm thinking that I might not be ready until February because I am engaging more in slow sewing to try to improve the quality of my makes. Most of my Make Nine is for that winter capsule but I added a few others that I'd like to complete throughout the year as well.



From top to bottom, left to right:

    Row 1

  1. Butterick 6388, View A in grey Wubby Fleece: I picked up this pattern on impulse on my last trip to Joann's. I really like this wardrobe pattern and I'd like to make all of the garments eventually but for now I've put 2 of them on my list. I bought this double-sided faux sherpa from Joann's around Thanksgiving. I bought the remainder of the bolt for a coatigan but I don't quite have enough fabric for the pattern I chose. I decided this vest would be a great layering piece for winter. I bought the same fabric in pink on that trip and made a cropped sweatshirt from it that I absolutely adore. It's so warm and cozy and I'm sure the vest will be the same.
  2. New Look 6561 in red/black buffalo plaid cotton flannel: I heart me some buffalo plaid. Until recently I had a red buffalo plaid shirt but I got rid of it because it was too big for me. I have had 3 yards of this fabric in my stash for at least 10 years so it's about time I finally used it. I am going to make View A with the shirttail hem and tie sleeves but I will shorten it to be a regular shirt length instead of tunic length. I will also leave out the pockets. This drop shoulder shirt is exactly the relaxed fit I'm looking for. Here's hoping that I pick the right size so that I won't be swimming in it and that my plaid matching is up to par.
  3. Burda 6367 in white bamboo jersey: Sorry, the pattern photo is horrendous for this one. It's just a crew neck drop shoulder long sleeve tee. Despite owning approximately 80 t-shirt patterns I could not find one that is still fairly fitted with just a slight drop shoulder. I've been wanting more layering tees for winter that are a closer fit to the body without being too clingy. This pattern looks just right. I bought a length of bamboo jersey from D&H fabrics during their Black Friday sale. It's very soft and will be perfect for a layering tee. Somehow I do not own a plain long-sleeve white tee right now so this one is high on my list.
  4. Row 2

  5. Hey June Handmade Brunswick Pullover in olive eco sweatshirt fleece: I love wearing pullover hoodies but I've somehow never made one. I want to do the hoodie view but with the kangaroo pocket from the cowl-neck view instead of the button placket and zippered sleeve pocket. This is pretty much the perfect loungewear piece and olive will go with everything.
  6. McCall's 7381 in black floral rayon challis: I saw a version of this dress made up on YouTube and it's so sweet. I want to do View B with the longer sleeves but possibly with the tie front from Views C/D. For years now I have wanted a nostalgic 90s babydoll-type dress in a small-scale black floral print and I will make my dress above the knee to mimic that silhouette. I think this style will be really versatile and can be worn in 3 seasons. If I get it done in time for winter I'm picturing wearing it with tights, layering on a cardigan over top and wearing knee-high or ankle boots.
  7. Butterick 6388, View D in cream french terry: I'm planning to make the sweater dress view out of some lightweight french terry I bought from Denver Fabrics. I only have 1.5 yards so I might have to do the shorter sleeve version but if that's the case I can layer a tee underneath for more warmth. I have also been wanting a cozy sweater dress for a very long time that will be as comfy as wearing PJs but still acceptable in public. I saw a version of this on a podcast and I love the little details like the wraparound collar and rounded back yoke.
  8. Row 3

  9. Alina Design Co. Fulton Sweater Blazer in boiled wool/viscose in winter white: I have a JCrew sweater blazer almost exactly like this and I love wearing it so I had to buy the pattern as soon as it came out. I picked up the fabric from Blackbird Fabrics and went ahead and prewashed and dried it in the dryer. Tumble drying really brought out the texture and it's almost like a boucle now. I'm hoping to do the longer length for a more dramatic look but it depends on how much my fabric has shrunk.
  10. Thread Theory Jutland Pants in tan bull denim: Thread Theory had a 50% off Black Friday sale so it was fated for me to pick this pattern up. My husband has been asking for work pants with reinforced knees and strong pockets so this should be perfect. I bought a ton of bull denim from awhile back specifically for his pants so now I have no excuses not to sew them. I admit I put these on the list to try to guilt myself into actually making them. What can I say, I'm a selfish sewist.
  11. Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans, View B in white cone mills stretch denim: I am just now realizing that a lot of my Make Nine is white or cream. call it a consequence of having tons of black/navy/grey in my closet and very few light neutrals. anyway. These are more likely to be sewn for spring/summer as I find it hard to wear white pants around here during winter because of the snow and salt. I own a pair of white skinny jeans but the fit is terrible. They were the first pair of jeans on my list to be replaced with a handmade version. I have enough stretch denim in the stash right now to make approximately 10 pairs of jeans but you have to start somewhere. I actually chose the white denim as my first Ginger Jeans because the fabric is not a true white like I thought but more of a natural undyed color so I won't be too sad if they end up an unwearable failure. I kind of want to do an exposed button fly on these but we'll see. I have the pattern prepped and ready to go though I have never made Ginger Jeans. I will definitely do the high-rise version with skinny legs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Indie Gift-a-long 2018 and 25% off sale

Just popping in quickly to say that I'm a participating designer in the Indie Gift-a-long again this year. 20 of my most popular patterns are included in the sale and you can get 25% off with the code giftalong2018.

Hurry though, the sale ends tomorrow at midnight EST!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Always Learning: Lollipop Brioche Hat

I am on my way to Rhinebeck right now and knitting has been on the brain, so I have another knit FO to show you today.

I have knit single-color brioche and 2-color brioche with one strand in each hand, but I've never done 2-color brioche with one strand at a time. I've been thinking a lot about my winter color palette and I found some Wren House Yarns that I bought earlier this year at Indie Knit and Spin that were perfect for a new winter hat. I chose the Lollipop Brioche Hat pattern by Raina K.

Lollipop Hat

I ripped and re-knit this hat so many times. Firstly, it took me awhile to get the hang of doing 2-color brioche. Then, I studied the finished projects and decided that I needed to cast-on fewer stitches and knit with size #3 needles because most people said the hat came out too large. I started with 80 stitches, knit all the way up to the decreases, and realized the hat was too small. I ripped again and started over with 96 stitches on #3s, switching to #4s when I started the pattern. The I had to partially rip back a few more times because I thought I had the pattern memorized but was wrong. But I stuck with it and I'm happy I did because the finished hat is amazing.

Lollipop Hat

There are quite a few typos in the pattern and there are no charts. I think I would have had fewer issues if there had been charts, as I am a very visual person and I tend to gloss over written instructions. I did a 2-color cable cast-on instead of the German twisted cast-on, and I actually don't care for it. Next time I'd go with the 2-color Italian tubular cast-on. I didn't increase stitches after the brim and I worked sections ABA then started the decreases instead of doing sections ABAB because I wanted a beanie not a slouchy hat. I think I knit the decreases as written but I did have to shift stitches to get them to line up correctly on the pattern--perhaps because I ended a half-repeat early.

I am in love with 2-color brioche and I want to knit all the brioche projects now. I know I am late to the party on this one but I finally get it. I may go with a shawl next, or perhaps another hat for my husband.

Cost Breakdown

  • Time Spent: ~20 hours (knitting and reknitting and reknitting)
  • Yarn: $13.86
  • Pattern: $0 (obtained during a limited free offer, PDF is $4.31 USD)

Approximate total: $13.86

Thursday, October 18, 2018


I love this sweater so much.


Tincanknits released the Strange Brew e-book a few weeks back. I was having a particularly bad day and was in need of a cheerful pick-me-up. I bought the book and cast-on for Cartography right away without even knitting a swatch. (Disclaimer: Do as I say not as I do, always knit and block a swatch for sweaters, blah blah blah) I made the size Adult M.


Originally I had bought several colors of Knit Picks worsted weight wool to recreate this topshop pullover. I loved the combination of colors but ultimately I decided that knitting a plain stockinette sweater was too boring to attempt so I was happy to repurpose the yarn for Cartography instead. I started with 5 colors but I actually ripped back when I didn't like how contrast-y the 2 blues looked together in the large motifs. I replaced the darker blue with some grey Ella Rae Classic. I ended up using just under 1000 yards.


One mod I did not make but wish I had was to add short-rows to the back neck. I was simply too excited to start knitting and didn't even think about it until it was too late. I made several other changes to the pattern as follows:

  1. All edges are tubular cast-ons and bind-offs
  2. Used lifted increases
  3. Used 6 colors instead of 2 or 4
  4. Changed colors on a whim and knit the motifs in whatever order I felt like
  5. Made a cropped length
  6. Decreased 12 stitches at the waist to draw it in
  7. Made a split hem about 2" deep on the front and 4" deep on the back with #5 needles
  8. Converted sleeve stitch count to be a whole repeat
  9. Knit sleeves straight to elbow, then increased 12 stitches
  10. Knit wider sleeve for a few inches then did a rapid decrease round for bishop style sleeve
  11. Knit deep 6" cuffs, decreasing slightly to narrow at the wrist

My favorite part is a detail that most people would never notice. I love the look of a tubular cast-on/bind-off. The finished edges are so neat and tidy even though they can be kind of a pain to work.

I wore this sweater to work today and I think it will get a lot of wear this winter. I debated whether I should do a cropped sweater or a long sweater dress, but I think I made the right choice. It's a perfect pullover to pair with high-waisted skirts and pants. I just love it so much and I'm already itching to cast-on another project from the book.

Cost Breakdown

  • Rough Estimate of Time Spent: ~30 hours (knitting and finishing)
  • Yarn: $25.94
  • Pattern: $22

Approximate total: $47.94

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#1garment3ways: Blackwood Cardigan #1

Here's my Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan for work, weekend, and date night. Construction details can be found on yesterday's post.


#1garment3ways: Blackwood Cardigan #1

Outfit Details:
Willamette Shirt by Hey June Handmade
Everlane jeans | Similar Patterns: Megan Nielsen Ash Jeans, Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans
Baggu tote
Caslon ankle boots


#1garment3ways: Blackwood Cardigan #1

Outfit Details:
Old Navy tee | Similar Patterns: Fancy Tiger Crafts Wanderlust Tee
Topshop Jeans | Similar Patterns: Simplicity 8516
Nike Sneakers

Date Night

#1garment3ways: Blackwood Cardigan #1

Outfit Details:
Ogden Cami by True Bias
Joe's Jeans crop flares (shortened) | Similar Patterns: Megan Nielsen Ash Jeans
Madewell belt bag sans strap
Steven lace up flats

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan #1

Fair warning, we've thick in the midst of my sewing when I was without my sewing machine (just got it back last night, yay!) so the next several garments are pretty boring and repetitive since I could only sew knits on my serger/coverstitch.

As I believe I've stated before I like to try new patterns with fabric that is less precious to me. I bought some amazing leopard print sweater knit from Emma One Sock that I wanted to sew into a Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet. To iron out any issues I had with the pattern I started with the leftover luxury sweatshirt fleece that I used for my toaster sweatshirt. I believe I bought 2 yards originally and was just able to eek out the shorter version of the Blackwood with my leftovers.

Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan

I made the size S. I left off the pockets because I had no way of sewing them on without a regular sewing machine. I shortened the sleeves and left off the sleeve cuffs. This was kind of accidental, as I shortened the sleeves first to fit my arm length while forgetting that you also add a cuff which would have made the sleeves too long. I was too lazy to trace and shorten the sleeves again so I just omitted the cuffs and did a coverstitch sleeve hem. I also did not coverstitch the neckband out of laziness. Or maybe I did, I can't remember.

Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan

The sweatshirt fleece is very soft and warm and makes a cozy cardigan. The only fit issue I had was that the upper back feels tight when I wear a long sleeve shirt underneath. For my second iteration of the pattern I made some additional changes to that area but I will talk about that next time. I mostly see myself wearing this at home, but it's a nice basic to have in my wardrobe.

Cost Breakdown

  • Time Spent: ~3 hours (prepping PDF/cutting/sewing)
  • Fabric: $14.07
  • Pattern: $7 (used twice, purchased PDF at $14)
  • Notions: ~$.50

Approximate total: $21.57

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sew U Home Stretch Raglan Sweatshirt Hack

I've had this sweatshirt pinned as inspiration forever. I really liked the crossover front and the funnel neck, and cared less for the zipped shoulder seam and the thumb holes. I decided to use the Sew U Home Stretch raglan as a base pattern to recreate a similar top.

The fabric I chose was this lovely french terry from Emma One Sock. It has a really nice drape and is very warm. The finished sweatshirt is quite heavy but not overwhelming. I think that the weight and drape work well with the style.

Raglan sweatshirt

It's been quite awhile since I've sewn this one but from what I can remember, I started with a size S and converted the seam allowances to 3/8". I lowered the neckline so that the funnel neck wouldn't be super tight, maybe 1.25", and I drafted a new neckband that is 3" tall folded over. I redrafted the front to have a curve at the bottom extending to the side seam and cut two pieces, sewing them at the neck and shoulders as one. The back hem is also curved a bit lower than the front. For construction, I hemmed the fronts and backs on my coverstitch first and then sewed the rest as a normal tee/sweatshirt. I shortened the sleeve length and kept the cuffs from the original. Obviously there's no hem band.

Sew U Home Stretch Raglan Hack

I really like the height and width of the funnel neck. It doesn't feel too tight and the fabric has enough stiffness to stand out and hold its shape like the inspiration garment. I don't think I was super successful on the curved hem. I'm thinking now that the two fronts actually need to be slightly different shapes rather than mirror images because I'm not happy with how the under layer looks when worn. I don't know that I need another sweatshirt like this but if I were to sew it a second time I'd probably play around with that detail.

I'm not going to do a separate styling post but at least you can see here how the garment looks when worn. I mostly envision myself wearing this as a weekend lounge-around-the-house sweatshirt with jeans or leggings and I think it's perfect for that. It'll definitely be a go-to when it's chilly in the house and I need an extra layer.

Sew U Home Stretch Raglan Hack

Cost Breakdown

  • Time Spent: ~3.5 hours (tracing/modifying pattern/cutting/sewing)
  • Fabric: $31.20
  • Pattern: ? (Book purchased years ago, used many times so no way to calculate price per use)
  • Notions: ~$.50

Approximate total: $31.70

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