Unicorn Stripes!

For my birthday earlier this year, I was lucky to receive quite a few Madelintosh mini skeins of yarn called Unicorn Tails. Well, I actually bought them for myself, because that’s the way we roll in this house with gifts. No surprise little blue boxes. No gift vouchers. No sewing machines. No nothing! I know many people are really good at giving gifts in their family or relationships, but we’re almost 20 years into this one and we’ve just never gotten there.

For me, birthdays are about getting something for myself that I would not normally buy. Something a little over the top. Something a little more than I would normally spend. For this year’s birthday, it was these little skeins of wonderfully coloured, soft, squishy Madelintosh.

My inspiration for this scarf came from the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog. As soon as I saw their Unicorn Stripes cowl, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. The only way to justify this expense on yarn was through my birthday gift.

I think it was also the expense that drove me to complete this project – which for the record took just 8 weeks!! Unlike the many versions of this scarf on Ravelry, I only purchased 19 Unicorn Tails skeins. I just didn’t see the need to have a scarf as long as the 30 skeins produced.

As it turned out this scarf is perfect! As you can see, I loop it around to make a double cowl which sits just perfectly around my neck. Not too high, not too low.

This scarf is so soft and squishy and not at all scratchy, which I normally find with wool garments.

Now because it’s pictured in these photos, I’ll point out that I also made this basic top over the weekend.

I purchased this navy ponte from The Remnant Warehouse on Saturday with plans to make another basic New Look 6145. In these photos it looks quite blue, but in real life it’s so deep that it appears dark purple.

I’ve made this pattern many times over the past couple of years, but my most worn variations are my ponte tops which you can see here and here. I wear these tops each at least once a week – at school and at play. As a side note: I’ve been on the hunt for basic black ponte and have found nothing really nice in Sydney. My black top version of New Look 6145 is starting to look a little shabby and now I’ve looked it up and know that it’s over 2 years old, so it’s no wonder why! Handmade = better quality for sure. Please also let me know where I can get some lovely thick black ponte. thanks 🙂

Each time I make this pattern, I play around with the hemline a little, depending on the styles that I see online just prior to completing the top. This just makes me feel like they are all different and on trend. 
I adore this top and I love this pattern. I already have another ponte version made, ready to photograph and I might even share the modifications I have made to this pattern to make it so successful in a knit.
Happy sewing – only three more sleeps till holidays!!

McCalls 7083

Over our recent Queen’s birthday long weekend (Happy Birthday Queenie! Thanks for the day off!), I became somewhat obsessed with McCalls 7083 and made not one, but three versions! All of which are much needed additions to my wardrobe, though no entirely seasonally appropriate, they are still being worn under layers.

I don’t have too much to say about the pattern, except that it is really cute. The cut is flattering and it fits well. Shame my photography doesn’t really show these tops very well.

First, with pockets in black rayon.

This is just a Spotlight rayon that I’ve had maturing in my stash for a while. This fabric is well suited to this top with just the right amount of drape.

I don’t think you can ever have enough black tops. They are easy to wear during the day and just as easy to dress up at night with the right accessories.

Next with no pockets in a Nani Iro rayon/cotton lawn called Shirube.

This is clearly a mega photo fail, but a nice top. The lawn appears painted. It has an off white base with blush, cream and glittery mountain designs. The printed sections of the fabric are quite stiff, but I think they will soften over time. The contrast in the panels of the garment are really nice in real life, but completely invisible in the photos.

You’ll have to take my word for it, this is a nice top and I am not radioactive. I tried to dull the photos, but I’ve just ended up looking a little grey. You can see the fabric here at Miss Matatabi or on the Nani Iro site.

Lastly, I couldn’t pack the pattern away without trying this in a knit. This also has no pockets.

As this knit has a lot of stretch and good recovery, I did a dirty modification to the sleeve pattern, overlapping the shoulder dart to omit it and crossing my fingers for a successful fit. I also sewed a generous side seam to accommodate the knit as you don’t need anywhere near as much ease in a knit garment vs a woven.

Thankfully my alterations worked. As you can see though, my photos are less successful. I didn’t manage to capture the top of my head in any of the photos.

I hope you have a great week! Happy Monday!

Pin Pegs Mini Skirt

Well hello there. It appears after my blog-a-thon that I dropped off the planet. Unfortunately, I got a little caught up in the end of semester crunch, life, stress and exhaustion.

I have managed to keep sewing. However my pace has been more ‘slow and steady’ than my usual frantic-manic style. I have a few items to blog though and should have a steady flow of items until the school  holiday, which are only three weeks away – yipee!! I’m already planning a bunch of items to make during the holidays and I’m super excited about them, so hopefully they will work. I also have Frocktails coming up, though I’m not sure if I will manage to get a new frock made for that. I might have to make do with an existing dress. We’ll see though, I’ve been  known to make frantic decisions in the week leading up to an event.

Back to finished items though – this is one of my more recent makes, the Pin Pegs Mini Skirt from Sew This Pattern. Annie put a call out recently for pattern testers and she kindly picked me to test her pattern. Unfortunately, life got incredibly hectic and I didn’t make the testing deadline – whoops! Turns out I’m not always a reliable deadline person.. Sorry Annie!

Her pattern is pretty cool and very much on trend right now. When I sew the pattern illustration, I immediately thought of a denim version.

I’m pretty stoked with the end result. I made a straight size 10 with no alterations, not even my standard waist shaping changes and it fits perfectly. It is meant to be a trim fit and it sits really nicely on my hips and waist.

As the skirt is short, it uses very little fabric. I managed to use of a denim remnant from my stash and used a slightly different denim remnant for the facings. My zipper is from The Remnant Warehouse and I shortened it to fit. I think it’s important in a non-stretch skirt which is well fitted, to use a very strong zipper and this metal one is just that.

I really had no problems pulling this together. I did have trouble conceptualising how the underflap worked, but once I double checked the instructions it all made sense.

It was surprisingly warm in Sydney today, so I headed outside to photograph a bunch of items. Unfortunately it was also very bright, so you can expect a bunch of very bright, glowing photos on my blog over the next week or so. I wish I were better at photography, but I’d rather spend my time sewing than learning how to photograph better. 🙂 Priorities right?

Have a great week!