Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've been meaning to blog for a while, but I keep playing Plants vs. Zombies instead. It's a problem.

Well, I finally finished Dad's jumper. It's come out a treat. I knew I was on the right track when one of my aunts picked up a partly-done sleeve and spontaneously remarked "It's a bit Time Team, isn't it?".

Here's the jumper in action:

Having completed this mammoth (for me) project, I indulged in a little instant gratification and stash-busting:

Dragonfly, by Kate Jeffery, is a free download on Ravelry. It's a little fiddly just because there are so few stitches, but it's otherwise pretty straightforward. Good stuff.

The cat and the cupcake are from 'Amiguruni World' by Ana Paula Rimoli, or based on the patterns in there (screwed the cupcake up a little, but it's still cakey 'n cute). It's a pretty good book. I got it out of the library, but I might buy it sometime when I have cash for these sorts of things...

Also, some sewing has been happening. I used a little more of Dear Younger Sibling's jeans scraps to make a choker and matching wrist cuff:

And I made myself some summer trousers. The pattern I started with was McCalls 8576, but I mucked around with it big time. I've had the pattern for about ten years though, and when I first cut it out I was a bit skinnier. Also, the pattern expects me to go in A LOT further in the waist than I do (it's designed for frickin' Betty Boop or something...) so I had to extemporise a larger size as I cut out the pattern. This has led to the trousers not fitting quite the same way as the ones on the pattern envelope, but they do fit ME comfortably, which is the main thing. I whacked some belt loops on, because I like to wear my awesome belt at all times and I also like to have my wallet in my back pocket without my trousers falling down. So I added pockets, too. And I stuck the zip in the front instead of the back, because if you're wearing a belt, you want your fly in the front. Then I added a little tab over the top of the fly to make it look tidier. I lengthened the legs, because I felt like having extra-long, crinkly trousers. And to make things really weird, I randomly decided to cut some of the patterns on the bias, for extra crazy tartan insanity. Yeah, so... I guess they're not really McCalls 8576 at all by now.

So, I'm gonna try and not make anything for the rest of this week, since I am trying to finish reading Godel Escher Bach before I jet away at the end of the week. It's probably the best book ever, but goddamn it's huge and heavy and I'd prefer to not have to lug it back to Japan with me...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Waist, Not Want Not

Haha, so as you can see, Crafty April is over and I've slowed down a little, as other things have been demanding my attention. However, I have not ground to a halt...

A couple of weeks ago, Dear Younger Sibling had a big wardrobe clear out. It was like having my very own private op-shop! The prize find was several pairs of jeans from his highschool puppyfat phase. They'd almost fit two of him in now, so they were not worth keeping, but to me they represent miles and miles of usable denim. Wahoo! Here's the fate of most of the first pair:

Not my usual sort of thing, but it's nice to have something different. And I am rather proud of it, because I knocked it together without a pattern. I slashed and sewed the legs into a length of denim, pinned it inside-out into a tube around me, and then just grabbed handfuls of extraneous denim and pinned ad hoc darts about the place. Then I sewed them in place, and repeated the last step until it fit right. Then I whacked some button holes in to lace it up with. At the moment, it's just laced up with some random bias binding I had to hand. I reckon I'll get something more interesting, eventually. I kinda want to decorate the corset, because it's a bit plain, but I'm not sure how yet. I guess I'll just wait until inspiration comes...

DYS also ditched a couple of black t-shirts, which was handy since I'm gonna need running shorts when I get back to Japan:

Speaking of getting back to Japan, I've also made a kick-arse work shirt. Check this shit out:

This is the pattern close up:

I used to have a good shirt pattern, but I couldn't find it, so I had to buy a new one. This shirt was made using Kwik Sew 2849, and I reckon it's a pretty good pattern. It's nicely fitted, with princess seams instead of darts - I think that's a plus, because personally I find darts fiddlier than extra seaming, and I think there's a lot of potential to make cool shirts with contrasting side panels. So, I think this is the beginning of a long and beautiful freindship because I was so damn sick of wearing uninteresting shirts to work!

When I looked at the fabric, I could see in my head exactly how the shirt should look. Shoulder tabs were involved in this mystical vision, so I added some in. I think they get a little lost in the busy pattern, but not to worry. Here's a detail view:

I also really like the buttons - they are all different, odd ones that we had in the stash at home. I had a sudden epiphany about buttons, and realised that there's no real reason why they all have to match. Visual cohesion does not have to mean 'everything is exactly the same'. Yeah! Subvert that dominant paradigm! W00t!

In other news, I have recently acquired a new toy, per kind favour of Uncles Kev and Wayne. So, I crocheted it a cosy, to keep it safe in my bag. I just sat and kind of free-formed - it worked out ok.

(Yes, yes. I am that obsessive. Guess who's the iPod wallpaper...)

And, on top of all of that, I have been churning through Dad's Time Team jumper. I have finished the front and the first sleeve. I reckon I'll probably get the last sleeve done while I'm sitting in front of the Eurovision.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why, Yes. I Do Have Too Much Time On My Hands.

So, Samurai Champloo, yeah? Hell, yes. You know what I'm saying. Talk about a series composed entirely of win and awesome. There are many, many things I appreciate about this anime, but in particular it taps into my chronic weakness for pale, dark-eyed boys who wear glasses.

So, don't question it. Just marvel at my awesome, snuggly, Jin-tastic new pyjamas:
(Once again, photo credits go to Dear Younger Sibling, who also insisted that I pose with his old shinai.)

I am particularly proud of the top because, yes, it is actually a kimono. I made it according to the directions in 'Making Kimono and Japanese Clothes' by Jenni Dobson. It's a pretty good book, though the instructions are kinda wordy and a bit hard to follow. Once I figured out what they meant, though, the actual process was easy-peasy. Just a lot of very long seams. I'm keen to make more, out of things that are not flanelette. (But, oh! I do love flanny jammies. Snugleeeee...)

The diamonds were a bit of a pain, all that fiddly cutting-out and folding over and stitching corners in place... Until Dad said "What about if you use the iron-on bonding stuff?" "What iron-on bonding stuff?" Said I. "THIS iron-on bonding stuff," said Dad, after rummaging around somewhere in the depths. This house is truly a Mary Poppins bag of craft supplies. And iron-on bonding is my new favourite thing. Good work, Dad!

Oh, glee. I love it when a crazy idea comes to fruition.