Two Fails equals One Success

Once upon a time, there were two pieces of clothing I’d made.
Or tried to make.
A top that just didn’t feel right, and a dress that failed miserably.
I liked the fabrics on both, and decided to salvage them.
I cut the yoke and straps off the dress, leaving a loud orange hem. I really like the colour, and I love the print, but alone it’s very, very orange. Combining it with a black top would hopefully tone it down a bit.
I cut the binding off the collar, and shortened the hem of the top.
I had to make the hem a bit narrower to avoid a bulky waist. After pinning it down, I got to thinking.
It’s always good to take a “let’s design this thing”-break mid-project…
The yoke of the dress was made with two layers of orange. There was just enough to make cuffs.
And the hem of the top was just wide enough to make a sewn in belt.
And I had a bit of underwear lace stashed.
So what if…
I folded the cuffs after sewing the long sides together. This way, they’d look nice and tidy after just one serged seam.
With right sides together, I sewed the cuffs on. The seam is completely hidden, and the folded edge needs no finishing.
I attached the sewn-in belt the same way: fold a strip of fabric, and pin it to the hem with right sides facing and raw edges together.
 Before serging, I pinned the hem on, too. One seam is plenty.
After turning the dress right side out, the belt sat nicely at the waist, hiding the seam, and adding a nice detail. This can also be done with elastic band, or even lace.
Speaking of lace, I pinned a piece of it to the neckline. Right sides together as usual.
After serging, I top-stitched the seam down. Looks pretty, and since the elastic lace is a little bit shorter than the collar, it keeps the fabric in place, and I don’t have to worry about accidentally showing too much skin.
 I did a basic rolled hem with my trusty serger, and that was all it took.
 The finished dress is comfortable, pretty, and very easy to pair with long-sleeved tops under it, or cardigans over it. I’m completely in love with it, and hope it gets a lot of wear this summer.
Until next Wednesday.

Dress-Mod with Shredded Detail

I happened upon a dress at the flea market. A simple, black dress made with polyester lycra. At the cost of 1€, I couldn’t leave it there.
At home, I tried it on, and found there was room for two!
I could have just re-shaped the dress, but that would have meant losing some of the length. So I dug out a discarded turtleneck, and asked if it wanted to play, too.
I cut off the straps on the dress, leaving a long tube. I also shortened the top, and cut off the collar.
The dress was really big at the waist, so I took it in at the side seams. As I am blessed with a wide ass child-bearing hips, I had to make the seam a bit dreastic in shape.
With elastic fabrics, this works. With non-elastics though, it’s better to not do this.
 I attached the bodice to the hem, and sewed a strip of fabric in to soften the seam.
The extra bit of fabric looks like a sewn-in belt, and reduces the eye-sore-effect excess seams tend to have.
 I bound the collar with a narrow strip of fabric, and top-stitched it down. The basic T-shirt collar is easy to sew, and works well in simple garments.
The dress covered me from neck to toe to elbow, and I felt like a nun in it.
So I decided to add a little something.
I tried the dress on, and marked four lines with safety pins.
 Then, I folded to bodice, carefully aligning shoulder and side seams. I pinned the four lines again, making sure they were even.
 And then I cut.
I made the cuts in a soft V-shape, and smoothed out any sharp corners after the initial cut was made.
 I gained a slashed front that gives the dress a bit of drama.
This fabric manipulation trick works with all kinds of jerseys. Before cutting your top up, make sure the knit will hold!
 The finished dress is narrow and tight, but the elastic fabric makes it super-comfortable.
While I was at it, I made another dress using the same method of combining two garments. I’ll show it to you next week!
Until next Wednesday.

BaktusMod, aka The Scarf That Almost Wasn’t

Once upon a time, I found two balls of Rose Mohair in lioness yellow from a flea market. Naturally, I shrieked, and bought the yarn. Rose Mohair is my favourite, and sadly, it has been discontinued. I’ve taken the habit of buying it every time I see it.
The yarn wanted to be a shawl. I said OK. It didn’t want to be lace, and it wanted to be used entirely. I said OK, that’s a taller order.
After an hour of contemplation. I decided to give Strikkelise’s Baktus a go.
Baktus is designed to be a narrow scarf. As I wanted a shawl, I modded the original pattern quite a bit. I did increases on every second row instead of every fourth, and knit the whole thing in seed stitch.
Everything was going fine, until…
I dug into my second ball of yarn, and realized the two were from different dye lots.
NOOOOOOOO, I cried, and sent the shawl to the “shame on you”-basket.
The next day, I decided to salvage it by adding black stripes.
 I frogged half of what I’d knit, and knit the shawl again with stripes. I had a ball of Rose stashed, and it worked well enough with its discontinued sister.
 After blocking, I crocheted around the shawl with both yarns. The border came out nice, and added a finished touch to the simple shawl.
 Seed stitch made this elastic, so I can wrap into it anyway I like. The stripes remind me of stinging insects, so I call this my Wasp Shawl.
 The finished product is a delight to wear: the yellow has the perfect tone, and the black stripes make it a little less… well, yellow.
 It’s big enough to be really warm, and light enough to work as a scarf.
 The stripes hide the colour difference in yellow perfectly, and I’m really happy about the way the shawl turned out.
 Luckily the summer has been really cold, so I can still wear this warm thing. And since the Baktus sorta crept under my skin, I started another one, true to the pattern this time.
Until next Wednesday.

Let’s Make… Granny Square to Cardigan

Once upon a time I found a black cotton sweater from a flea market. I made sure it wasn’t serged together, bought it, and asked it what it wanted to be.
It proudly claimed to want to be a granny square.
I hardly ever say no to fabrics and yarn, so I started a granny square.
 By the time I’d reached row six, the former sweater said it actually really wanted to be a cardigan.
Fine, I said, and added armholes on row nine.
The yarn was happy, and I crocheted along for seven evenings.
The process turned into a free pattern, and…
 … a humongous cardigan.
 This is pretty much a square with sleeves you can wrap around yourself any way you like.
 I added a shell edge to my black version a while back to give it a more decadent look.
 With a tall enough collar, the edge doubles as a hood. Which is really nice during the winter when it’s cold-cold-cold.
Naturally, I wanted another one. This time, I found a red sweater that wanted to be something else. The yarn was a bit thicker, and the finished cardigan is stiffer and less flowing than the black one. Also, it came out a bit small.
 It works well with the collar down, and it nice and warm.
But if I flip it upside down…
 … I get a shorter hem and a large hood!
These cardigans are versatile, comfortable, and warm. They’re like a portable safety blanket with a purpose.
 The pattern is available for free on Ravelry, Craftsy, and I hope you enjoy it!
Until next Wednesday.