January 22, 2015

In progress, a sneak peek and a new shop!

Friends, I discovered a new shop today quite by chance. I went to Phibsboro to buy rice at the Indian shop and whilst three, I went up to the post office to post a letter. Coming back, I spied through a window some wool nicely arranged. Then I saw cross stitch kits on the wall – obviously I had to go in! This is what greeted me:

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The shop is called Be Creative – Be Unique. The yarn you see pictured is a good mix of cheap’n’cheerful acrylics and some much nicer Bergere de France yarns. They have a good range of crochet cottons and weights from sock yarns up to pretty chunky. Basically, if you’re not looking for something extremely specific, you’ll find something to scratch your itch!

They have addi needles and hooks, as well as bag handles and those awesome little leather soles that you can knit socks on to.

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Hmm, what else? Oh yeah, they sell quilting fabrics and some cotton poplins, too!

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(There’s a lot more than pictured). And if course there are ribbons, trims, needles and whatnots.

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I’m just so happy that if I need lining, thread, interfacing, spare needles…that kind of thing, I don’t have to go all the way into town and support a shop that doesn’t care if I shop there or not (Hickey’s). As it turned out, I needed interfacing and thread but I couldn’t go home without a sample of new things…

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I have a deep desire for new socks and incredibly, have nothing in the stash. What perfect excuse to try out a new kind of sock yarn! I look forward to reporting.

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I couldn’t resist this fabulous vintage Japanese print! I got some cream flannel to back it with and I plan on making some kitchen cloths. Look at the eggs!

In other news, I just cast on a Seven Sisters Cowl in Malabrigo Rios.

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It’s to match a hat I just finished so I hope to show you the set soon. And speaking of sets, I started this shawl over Christmas to match a dress I’m making!

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The dress is a lighter version of the same shade and I’m excited to finish it. The shawl is made from the new Fyberspates ‘Cumulus’ alpaca mohair so it’s very snug and warm. I’ll write more about it when I post the outfit.

I hope you’re all staying snug these days, or at the very least, crafting your way towards that state!

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October 12, 2014

Progress

Filed under:Cardigans,Knitting,Sewing,Stash — Aileen @ 14:09

You guys, I am almost finished my Dark and Stormy cardigan! I am very excited about this prospect. I finally got around to winding a final ball and picking up the stitches for the shawl collar and button band.

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I was going to buy some wooden buttons to put on it but I’m going to see if the reindeer antler ones I got in Iceland that time will suit it 🙌

I have another two, smaller, things that I have been knitting but I’ll save them for another time. I also did a ‘big shop’ for winter sewing. I barely have a spare second to spend browsing in shops in town now, so I ordered a few things. I find the less I buy in person, the more focused my projects are. I literally spent two months considering all my options before ordering. Here’s the fabric:

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On the left is a stretch twill for a pair of high waisted skinny pants. Think 50s. The light blue is chambray for another popover shirt. The dark stuff on the right is a light navy wool. I got 1.5m so I’m a little torn regarding its destiny. It will probably be culottes though.

I have some lovely leftovers from last year, so I’m hoping to add a straight skirt and a little jacket to my wardrobe. I’m getting to the stage where, after a few years of almost constant wear, I need to retire a few things – about two of my original blouses have lost shape and colour, and my original navy Ginger skirt is a wreck. So I’m looking forward to replacing them.

I think I’ll share a separate post on patterns – I picked up a few new ones in various sales and I have some trusty ones you’ll have to pry from my cold dress hands before I give them up!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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October 7, 2013

Time passes quickly being back at school! All goes well. I have tidied up a few things so I have the same number of hours but less travelling, and an extra day in my main school. I have been working on a few things but I’m forgetful about taking photos! I have almost completed my October outfit so here are a few hints until I get it finished up.


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silk and cotton lawn that I couldn’t resist getting stuck into.


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A brown wool crepe skirt that has the texture of a loaf of bread (in a good way?).

I’ll talk about the patterns when I show the outfit. The fabrics are part of a package I ordered from Truro Fabrics in England. I picked them because they have a great selection, pretty good prices, reasonable delivery if I use my Parcel Motel, and they had everything I was looking for. I ordered a number of things, including a black poplin which I have made up into a shirt for Alb. I hit a few roadblocks – I was hoping to finish it before September was out – so maybe you’ll see it next weekend.

Speaking of fabric, I ‘inherited’ this rather fabulous suiting. There is a whole story to this so when I get started on it, I will share then. The red stripe isn’t nearly so conspicuous in person.


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I tend to gather a lot of vague ideas (see my Pinterest here), returning to them when I see something that triggers my memory. This is where these come in.


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The birds print is a cotton lawn from Murphy Sheehy’s that I saw quite a few months ago, noticed but ultimately passed over. Later in the summer, I was in Tommy Hilfiger on Grafton St (not because I ever shop there – I think I was waiting for something) and spotted this bird print shirt. I really rather liked it but there were maybe too many birds on it and it was €100+. Fast forward to last Friday when I was browsing in Murphy Sheehy’s and at €12.50/m, enough for a shirt came home with me.

As for the plaid, what can I say? I did not realise how picky I was about plaid, or even pickier about plaid flannel. Prompted by all sides, I started to consider various things like a flannel dress, or a tunic with shirt tails, or just a cotton plaid shirtdress. But the problem with flannel is that it can be very flannelly and I don’t want something that I will be constantly peeling off my tights or leggings. Add to this mix the popularity of really bright plaid at the moment – which is great, don’t get me wrong, just not for this imaginary dress. So, quite by chance I happened upon this soft cotton plaid in The Cloth Shop. It’s soft enough to be not a straight-forward cotton but not so fluffy to be an outright flannel. Win!

(I find it amusing that everyone I’ve ever met who says that they’re not a picky person inevitably finds a way to show me something they’re irrationally picky about. I am very unpicky about most things but it appears that I have found my one thing!)

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September 2, 2013

Autumn/Winter planning

Filed under:AW Wardrobe '13,Plans-Ideas- Designs,Stash — Aileen @ 08:00

I think I did quite well with my summer sewing and planning (you can see all of the relevant posts under this tag). I used up some really old fabrics and I postponed others as they were more autumn appropriate.

I have some needs to fill. Firstly, I need a few more smart-casual pieces. I think a blouse made from the cream print habotai (seen here) and an olive green cord skirt will be my next makes. I have a navy chambray primed and ready to make this shirt dress. I have wanted to make this shirt dress for at least two years and think it will be perfect for back-to-school weather. (I don’t start back until the 16th!) These are my immediate makes.

Other autumn plans include a cropped wool jacket with coral polka dot lining!

I don’t know what I was looking for but I came across this vintage pattern on Etsy. I just liked the whole ensemble and it’s in the half size 15 that fits me perfectly. Imagine my joy when I discovered that I have just enough grey wool to make the jacket. I have been sitting on this substantial remnant since making my grey Ginger skirt. I adore the skirt and still wear it constantly. I remember being a bit cranky about the price but I am glad I sucked it up because it has shown no signs of wear whatsoever. The lining is actually a fine polyester I bought to make a summer top but the more I considered it, the more I realised that I would get very little wear out of it and it would be much more useful for this project.

Another vintage pattern I have been looking forward to making is this little blouse.

I have some white cotton poplin left over from something else and again, the pattern is in that magical size 15. It comes with the pencil skirt pattern also, but I think it might be a bit stuffy for teaching kids (not to mention impossible to cycle in).

Murphy Sheehy’s are always best for winter, with their ever-changing stock of wools. The really useful colours tend to go fast so when I was passing the other day, I picked up some that I know I will get great wear out of.

The top left is a fuschia wool blend jersey. The top right is a raspberry wool herringbone. Originally I had thought this would be a good skirt but got the remainder of the bolt for a great discount and now I have enough for an Anise jacket. Two jackets might seem overkill but I have a serious coat deficit at the moment. I have been wearing my Lisette jacket all summer and realise that a good jacket goes a long way.

The bottom navy is a wool herringbone and I plan for… culottes! With pockets!

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August 5, 2013

Finally!

Switzerland came and went – this was my third time now so it was much, much easier. I know the airports, train stations, town plans, where to eat, where to shop, all the things that take up time and mental energy. As always, we all had a great time. I met lots of new people and made new friends. It was the first occasion I had prepared work pretty much all by myself without much external input so it was rather gratifying to see that work out as I intended. I have some video of my concerto performance but I am still trying to figure out how to extract it from the clutches of my phone! When I do, I will try to find a way to share here.

Since my return, I have been split in three ways: practice in preparation for some small things I agreed to in September and October, knitting and sewing, and attending to the summer list of chores. You know those chores. The ones where, during the year, you open the door, throw something in and quickly shut it again. I’m doing pretty well on all fronts. Since I’m quite sure you don’t want to hear about how OCD-fulfilling I find practising with my eyes shut or how I spent an entire day covered in dust building shelves, here is some crafting news…

I spent a decent amount of time swatching, mocking up patterns and cutting out. Most of this resulted in the answer, no, this won’t work. I was hoping to get a wearable muslin out of my first Archer shirt but it’s too small across the front. Perfect everywhere else, though, so I cut out a revised version from some light blue chambray I’ve had for a while. I fell foul of two summer sales; one at Fabric HQ where I bought this lovely tiny floral print, currently cut up into a short sleeved blouse….

…and this marvellous white-on-white cotton, which is slowly making its way into the world as a pleated skirt.

I would normally have finished this in two sittings but a few things held me up. Firstly, I wanted to have a side zip but also pockets. Although manageable, this takes time. Then, when I was pressing in the pleats, I noticed that the fabric is extremely see-through. I dithered over what kind of lining to use. I could use an acetate, which works well if I wear tights but is horrible against the skin. I could use a cotton voile or gauze, which is nice against the skin but sticks to tights. The optimal is silk something but silk satin is very expensive, so what to do? While I dithered, I started working on a green silk Pendrell to go with the skirt. I’m recycling this, which was a bust and I never wore. Anyway, I was in Hickey’s for the second sale I mentioned, when I overheard a funny conversation. A woman wanted to cover lampshades in silk but didn’t want it to be expensive (?!). After refusing many types of silk, the saleswoman dug out some silk habotai lining. At €9.95/m, this was acceptable to the woman. I was standing at the counter with my red georgette, looking at this lining and knew that I, too, had my solution. It’s pretty sheer but it does the job. I hope to show both soon! All they need are hems and hooks and eyes.

So, that red georgette. I went into Hickey’s to see what was in the sale. I cannot explain why I always want to make a summer dress in August but here I am again. After much mulling, I decided to go with Hazel because I love the way the shaping in the bodice can be illustrated with stripes. I was after a cotton or linen something with stripes; I found a cotton ticking for about €9/m in the sale. While I was there, I spotted the red georgette. It’s polyester and is like a crepe, with a matt dimpled texture and a really good, grippy drape. I got 1.25m and I am 99% decided on a pattern.

The knitting has been disappointing. I spent a lot of June working on a black cardigan only to run out of yarn a whole sleeve to go. I got more but naturally, it’s a different dye lot. I was really hoping it wouldn’t show but it does! It totally does! I have two options. I could try and hunt down more of the original lot on Ravelry… or I could rip it out and knit a different pattern with less cabling. I think I will rip it out because even though I am only one sleeve from being finished, I’m not really in love with it. Facing this reality means that I am not that upset about the prospect of ripping it out. In the meantime, I’ve cast on for a pattern that I’ve loved for years – Helene from Quince & Co. I gave it a go when it first came out but poor yarn choice meant that I never completed it. This time, I’ve gone with the original linen recommendation. I’m using this, Katia Lino in ‘Biscuit’. I think this is the first time I have ever washed a swatch… but it was very revealing. A typically scratchy, stiff swatch…

…was transformed into a drapey dream.

Looking forward to sharing the skirt and top soon!

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