Irish Yarns!

The spoils of my yarn shopping adventure at Dublin’s This Is Knit!

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I nabbed a skein of Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn in the colourway Concrete, and two skeins of Coolree merino silk fingering in the colourway Gale Force Grey. The sock yarn is destined to become, well, socks, and as soon as I find the right pattern the merino silk will be a lacy scarf for fall. Yay!

Beloved Bespoke Split Back Tank

One of my favourite parts of making my own clothes is the ability to¬†alter them at will, and incorporate inspiration from other people. So when I stumbled upon Natasha’s split back Tiny Pocket Tank, I knew it belonged in my closet. Add 1.5m of Cotton + Steel double gauze, and it was fabric destiny!

split back tank

I mean, right? There’s some wrinkly, double-gauzey action going on, but¬†really!

This is Natasha‘s genius hack of the super duper versatile Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank Pattern. First off, I love this pattern. I made a version in Charley Harper penguins that has yet to meet the blogosphere, and I was hooked. The close fit + bust dart makes this a super flattering tank with minimal sewing effort. I was pleased to find that the fit carries over to the split back version of the tank.

split back tank front

I lowered the bust dart by 1.25″ using this method. It worked, but I’m not totally thrilled with the result. As I’m sure you can see, there is some fabric pulling in the armscye section. It’s not enough to redo the shirt, but it’s definitely something I will endeavour to avoid next time around.

split back tank back

For the back, I would maybe wear a different bra next time haha. I used super-long 1.25″ strips of the double gauze for bias binding allllllll the way around the edges and it worked great!¬†Not gonna lie, my walking foot was a HUGE¬†asset in this project.¬†I also frenched all the seams, just in case.

I sewed the top 6″ of the back closed and left the rest open. It catches in a heavy wind but otherwise stays in place. And that 6″ of stitching makes it so nothing personal gets revealed anyway, heh. There’s a bit of pulling right at the edge of the stitching, so I may need to reinforce it somehow. The top looks awesome with jeans or shorts though, and the double gauze is perfect hot weather fabric (absolutely necessary for Ontario summers).

Overall, I’m very happy with how this top turned out! I anticipate wearing it a lot to summer concerts and the beach.

yayyyy! double gauze rocks!

yayyyy! double gauze rocks!

Pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio

Size: 0

Fabric: Cotton + Steel Bespoke Double Gauze Spark Natural

Modifications: lowered bust dart by 1.25″, split back mod

Morel Grove Sewing Pouch

The BIG BOY!

The BIG BOY! 14″ x 11″

As soon as the Hello, Bear line arrived in the store, I knew I had to make something out of the Morel Grove fabrics. And I was having trouble keeping track of my sewing supplies so I made a pouch to hold my thread and notions! Lifelong sewers are probably chuckling right now and I totally get it — my knitting notions need a cabinet, and I have seen the walls of thread other sewers use — but I’m a novice so for now, a pouch does the trick¬†XD

See? Everything fits!

See? Everything fits!

I based the sizing on Noodlehead’s largest Open Wide pouch, but the zipper is actually enclosed like this. I was worried the smaller bits and bobbins might fall out, and I have a serious fear that Scout might get ahold of and ingest sewing thread.

Pockets!

Pockets!

I skipped the topstitching around the pouch top, partly because a good pressing did the trick, and partly because lazy. I also added patch pockets to either side of the lining, and divided one of the pockets into three smaller pockets. A place for everything!

Seriously big

Seriously big

I used every millimetre of two fat quarters, plus half a metre of interfacing, and managed to eke out the largest pouch possible and both pockets. The photo above shows my rotary cutter and 8″ shears for scale — big pouch!

This was my first time sewing with Art Gallery quilting cotton, and it did not disappoint. I used Microtex needles and was super pleased with the finer result they gave. The microbiology nerd in me can’t help but pick at the name of these fabrics, though — those are NOT morels printed on there! They’re mushrooms, yo! Seriously pretty, had-to-have-’em mushrooms.

Pattern: Open Wide Pouch by Noodlehead

Size: Largest

Fabric: Hello, Bear Morel Grove Pond and Powder, one fat quarter of each

Modification: Enclosed zipper as in Scrappy Makeup Pouch

Bonus Scout Photobomb

Bonus Scout Photobomb

Teaching Tuesday: Emelie Cardigan

Currently teaching: Emelie

Emelie No. 1

Emelie No. 1

Today is the last of a 4-session workshop I’m teaching at the store. This has been the funnest workshop to date, partly because my students are awesome people, and partly because the Emelie cardigan is an awesome project! All of the workshop signups came from me wearing my version (above) around the store. My manager actually joked that I was going for the hard sell since I wear the cardigan so often, but the truth is that it goes with everything! I knit it in grey to fill a hole in my wardrobe, but the shape and lace panel make it super versatile. Dresses, pants, jeans, t-shirts, blouses… I have yet to find a combination it doesn’t compliment.

Emelie No. 2

Emelie No. 2

It’s so versatile, in fact, that I was happy to make a second one! Tonight it gets a collar and button bands, and then it just needs blocking and buttons. Can’t wait!

Pattern: Emelie Cardigan by Elin Berglund

Size knit: 34″

Yarn for Emelie No.1: The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering, Barely Birch, 3 skeins

Yarn for Emelie No. 2: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Glazed Pecan, 3 skeins

Modifications: Lengthened¬†body to 19″, lengthened sleeves to 21″

Emelie No.1 Ravelled here

Dia de los Washi!

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So guys, this was my very first sewn dress project. I saw the folklorico¬†fabric by Alexander Henry in our store and I had to have it! Yes, I’m suggestable

dia de los 1

ANYWAY I used the amazing Washi Dress pattern with almost no modifications.¬†Knitter Jillian can’t complete a project without modifications and this was no exception.

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I was a good girl and after making a muslin it was apparent that the bust dart was waaaaaay too high for my body. This is an issue I have encountered with bras and basically every commercially made top or dress I own, so unsurprisingly this pattern was no exception. For reference, I am 5’8″ (1.70m), I modified the pattern by adding 0.5″ length to the bodice shoulders which helped, but that wasn’t quite enough to offset the dress dart/my boobs discrepancy. I think the dress looks well, but I do find myself tugging it into place rather frequently ūüėź It’s not enough of an issue to recut and replace the bodice front, though.

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Overall: For this seasoned knitter/beginner sewer, the Washi was a fun and rewarding project. I wear the dress as frequently as laundry allows, and I modified the bust dart issues very easily in its next iteration. Stay tuned!

Pattern: Washi Dress by Rae Hoekstra

Size: XS

Fabric: Alexander Henry Folklorico Gotas de Amor, 2.5m, found on fabric.com

Modifications: Lengthened shoulders by 0,5″; cut size xl for length

Next time: lower bust dart by 1″; make in every fabric, evarrrrr

Inaugural Post

This is probably the hardest post. I need to set the tone, and introduce myself, and impress the nonexistent readers. Pressure!

sleepyfaces

… Not like it’s affecting. I have followed craft blogs for 7 years; they kind of saved my sanity. No joke. I felt trapped in a meaningless graduate degree, and was told more than once that I basically had no options but to finish. Not surprisingly, I exhibited a lot of avoidance behaviour, including stalking yarn and knitting patterns on Rav like my life depended on it. I often told people that I wanted to ‘run away and join a yarn store’. No joke. Most nights I worked 6pm – 4am in the lab and knit furiously between PCR and ELISA cycles.

Fast forward a couple years. I’m broke but finished the damn PhD. My favourite LYS needs a yarn manager/knitting instructor and I actually get the job. Suddenly, I’m knitting for a living — sharing the love by teaching others and recommending awesome yarns for distribution! Dream come true??? I think so!

So here we are!

8 months in, I love knitting more than ever. Not only is it my salvation and livelihood, it is an awesome way to get to know more lovely people. Also, it’s sort of impossible to work in a fabric shop without becoming addicted to sewing. My coworkers are a treasure trove of knowledge (and the employee discount doesn’t hurt either, heh)! I’m on my feet, supporting myself with my passion, and loving life.

Thanks for stopping by!

xo, Jillian