Friday, May 8, 2015

What have I been doing?

It's been a long, cool spring here in Kentucky, but based on our 86 degrees today, I'm guessing we're straight into summer now. These poppies have lived here longer than we have and seem to be spreading their happy color around to more planting beds. I've always yearned for those lovely pink poppies, but have been unsuccessful at getting them established here.

(recently sewn tops - still hanging in the studio)
I know lots of folks who are participating in MeMadeMay. Though I am not one of them, I could be, because I've been on a sewing binge that has lasted for a while. The new Bernina has encouraged me to attempt making myself some new, simple garments. My most troublesome issue with sewing is choosing the correct pattern size. Somehow, my measurements don't fall into one specific size range, but more likely will involve three different sizes! As a result, I've discovered the wisdom of making a "muslin" before cutting into the expensive Liberty fabric. My muslin is not usually an actual piece of muslin fabric, but rather an inexpensive piece of fabric that I can possibly wear, if by some miracle my first attempt actually fits me well enough that I can wear it for barn chores or garden work.
(Scout -original version - not my color, but will work for barn chores)
I've been inspired of late to analyze my (so called) wardrobe of clothing by Karen Templer (Fringe Association) and Ellen Mason (Odacier), among others, and from my reading and embracing some of the wisdom from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I recently went through my clothing and purged all that did not fit, was too shabby for even barn work or for whatever reason, I just never seemed to wear. Needless to say, there is not much left. I'm actually okay with having not much left. It kinda feels good to only have things I really like to choose from when I'm getting dressed. The whole exercise helped me to focus on what I need and which styles I prefer. My daily outfit is usually jeans and a tee-shirt because it suits my life here on the farm. When it's hot, I wear shorter pants and sleeveless tops. When it's cold, I add wool socks and sweaters to the uniform. Lately, I've been inclined to wear cotton or linen blouses or tops, rather than tees and so the things I've been sewing are mostly tops, with a few tunics added. (I do love the idea of wearing tunics over jeans or leggings in the winter.) At this point, I've made three different Wiksten Tovas, three Grainline Scouts and three from Butterick B5356.  The Scout woven tee is a super simple pattern that fits great. The original version has very short sleeves. I made two more versions; one in a print with a longer short sleeve and a natural linen one with 3/4 sleeves that I love for a little dressier look. I can highly recommend it.
(Wiksten Tova)
I've been seeing Wiksten Tovas all over the place for years and finally decided to give it a try. It takes a little finessing to get that inset sewn in just right and I was marginally successful on two and finally got it just right on the one above. I think I've got the confidence to make one in my Liberty Tana Lawn now!

The Butterick pattern was surprisingly my favorite. I've made it in tunic and top lengths and really like the ease of it. I tapered the sleeves some, but otherwise the medium fits me perfectly. The sleeves and the yoke are of one piece, so construction is really simple.

(Butterick B5356)
Next up, I have a few pieces of fabric that want to be sewn into Wiksten Tanks.  I unsuccessfully attempted making a real muslin of the tank last summer, but with my new-found confidence, I'm going to give it another go. Wish me luck!

What else have I been up to? Knitting, of course. I knitted two hats for the Fringe Hatalong No. 2 (which I'll try to get photos of for next time), finished up my Kate Daviess Peerie Flooers. Then I fell down the rabbit hole that Maya pushed me into! If you've been shopping for cotton clothesline lately, I expect you know what I mean.  Those baskets are so easy and addictive.  You just can't stop making them!