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Small Victories

February 9, 2014

I admit I may not be the smartest, kindest, or best looking woman out there. I  snap at my husband for no good reason. I kill all my houseplants, and I buy the sliced mushrooms in the grocery store because I am too lazy to cut my own. My kids  eat too much takeout and too few vegetables. I have way too many yoga pants for someone who doesn’t actually do yoga. I never filled in my kids’ baby books. I find playing cars on the floor with my son almost unbearably boring. I buy more yarn and fabric than I will ever use. I didn’t lose the baby weight. I am not “spiritual.” I take too long to write thank-you notes. I get worked up about internet comments. I get too much of my news from The Daily Show. I have’t read a book since my daughter was born. My boobs don’t pass the pencil test. I spend too much time on Pinterest and too little time cleaning, playing outside with my children, or exercising.

But I’ll say this for myself: I can match stripes LIKE A BAWSE. And that, my friends, is not nothing.

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Pay no attention to the uneven elastic casing. Or the string hanging off the left cuff. Or the dirty window. The stripes, are what you should be looking at. Oooooooooooooooh matching stripes.

I got this French terry knit fabric from Girl Charlee intending to make a pair of pajama pants for my three year old. But after three trips through the washer and dryer I lost almost a quarter of a yard of it to unraveling. I thought knits weren’t supposed to unravel? But there you go. I decided to put it to use as leggings for my daughter instead.

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Sad little pants-less toddler in the background. Maybe next time, kiddo.

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Nuuni knit pants

These are the Nuuni Pants from Ottobre Design‘s Spring 2009 edition. The pattern has two pieces, a leg and a crotch panel that goes from the front to the back.

All in all they make for a roomy legging, although I don’t know that my daughter needs the extra room in the front. The Spring 2012 issue of Ottobre has a pair of knit pants with an extra panel only in the back; I think these are going to be the ones to try next.

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Little Houses knit pants, from Ottobre Designs Spring 2012

Still I didn’t let the extra roominess stop me from cutting out three of these. Three pairs of leggings being the number of leggings my daughter usually goes through in a day.

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Stripey pair of pants has solid friends

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Pattern: Nuuni Pants, from Ottobre Design, Spring 2009. Size 74

Fabric: Heather Black Cream Stripe Cotton Baby French Terry Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee. Maybe half a yard..

Modifications: I couldn’t get the ankle to hem in a way that I liked, so I put a cuff on them instead.

Modifications for next time: They’re a little long; I might take off another inch and a half.

Changing the scale

October 3, 2011

My husband was clean-shaven when I married him, but soon after our wedding he grew a mustache. I love his mustache to distraction. Maybe because I am a knitter–I like things woolier.

This was taken at the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival in Northern China.

So imagine my excitement when I was browsing Spoonflower (which I try not to do for more than eight hours a day) and found this.

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This awesome print was designed by Michelle Avelis for Spoonflower, but really it looks as though it was made just for my husband. The only issue was that I feared the scale was a little too large, so I emailed her and she very kindly changed the scale for me so that the mustaches are about two inches across.

I bought this Jalie pattern (#2918) to make a tee for my husband. After I opened the pattern, I realized 1: Jalie patterns are printed on regular paper, not tissue paper–awesome! and 2: the tee was much more fitted than the ones my husband likes to wear, and tapered at the bottom. Neither my husband nor I are tapered at the bottom these days. So, less awesome. I modified the pattern to a boxy shape and also cut out a size that matched the measurements of his favorite tee, rather than one that matched his body measurements.

Is it creepy and weird to say I had lustful thoughts about the model on the pattern envelope? Yeah, that's probably creepy and weird.

This should have been extremely easy to do, but I found it only moderately easy–since I’m so used to tiny little clothes these days, I had a hard time negotiating with all those yards of slippery interlock.

My husband is one who does not believe in making a normal face in a photograph, ever.

Unremarkable except for the fabric, which is pretty remarkable. I think I’ll do one of these again–maybe a long-sleeved version in wool jersey for skiing–but I think I’ll widen the neck binding a bit. And maybe it doesn’t need to be *quite* so big. He says he wants the next one to be a solid fabric, but he hasn’t yet seen this:

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In the beginning, there was the list

September 29, 2011

And the list was good

So I have this (ambitious? crazy? self indulgent?) plan to make all of Shea’s clothes for this fall/winter. Armed with a pile of fabric, a library of patterns, and my list, there is nothing that can stop me.

Naturally, one begins at the top. My goal is to make seven winter-worthy tops, and I was able to knock out four of them in a week.

Alex calls this his Star Trek top. Get it?

I absolutely adore this olive green jersey from Near Sea Naturals. The color is so sophisticated and un-baby; seeing his elfish little face behind it just makes me smile. Some day I’m going to make myself an entire wardrobe in it.

I have toys. But I prefer tissues.

I love that little star applique with my whole heart.

All four of these are from an Ottobre Design pattern. I made six of them (with short sleeves) over the summer and I think I could make the pattern in my sleep now. Lately I’ve been cutting the neck binding slightly wider than the 4 cm called for in the pattern–I prefer about 2.75 inches (and the Imperial system), and instead of using my double needle to stitch the hems and topstitching around the binding, I’m using a zigzag stitch. I find I’m very torn about this because the zigzag stitch screams “hello I am home sewn;” but the double needle stitch never looks quite straight to me.

Which brings me here:

Onward!

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