now only a year between posts!

I really was honestly surprised when I saw the date I last posted. I'm obsessed with sewing at the moment and I was thinking about using some sort of sewing planner. "Why not use one of the many journals I've created over the years?" thought I, and this one drew the short straw. Okay, "teacosy" is probably better for yarncrafts, but I'm still doing plenty of those, and I always intended this to be my crafting/creative journal.

Anyhoo, back to the sewing obsession. Rhiannon, a friend of mine who used to make really cute childrenswear has recently branched out into making ladies' dresses and skirts out of recycled sheets and duvets (you can see her lovely wares at: and she's also opening her new studio in Whakatane this weekend). When we got back from the US last Oct I had a bit of money left over and she was having a sale and one thing led to another and I purchased this beauty which is one of my favourite dresses:

Since then, I've been collecting interesting sheets and materials as I'm going around the op shops, intending to sit down and sew them up into dresses some day. To force myself into it, I signed up for a handmade dress swap at the end of March, and I now have the pattern and fabric to start on that next weekend - it's a bit of a challenge because it's making something for another sewist, and also sewing quite lightweight knit fabric, but we'll see how it goes. In the meantime I was planning to make myself a pinafore top for work out of some light merino knit last weekend but I was missing some of the pattern pieces from the printed pdf, so I decided to start on a sheet dress instead. Rhiannon has previously mentioned that she based her dresses on the By Hand London pattern Anna for the bodice, and added a plain gathered dirndl skirt. I got stuck in on Sunday and by Tues night (leaving aside the time after I ran out of cotton on Sun evening and bought more on Mon lunchtime!) I had a very similar style of dress that fits me well! It's not as well finished as a Toast dress - if I had the money I'd spend it all on those because they're so well made and Rhiannon has such a great eye for interesting fabrics! - and it doesn't have any pockets (pockets were a little bit beyond me) but it'll do me for the moment, plus it cost me less than $10 to make. I'll take a pic when I wear it tomorrow and also post some of the things I learned from making it.

I've also been reading up about material waste around the world, and I know that when I go to the op shops there are always piles of old t-shirts and cotton knit tops that never get sold. I know some of them get recycled into rags, but that seems like a bit of a waste as there's usually still plenty of use in them. So I want to make some skirts and dresses out of patchworked cotton knits in various colours, but that's a way off yet. In the meantime, some of my favourite undies are almost see-through with wear and I've never found anything that's comfortable enough to replace them. I have quite boyish hips but a larger butt, plus a big belly, so womens underwear tend to either ride up my butt, or end up being huge granny bloomers to cover everything. In the past I've often worn mens underwear instead because it fits my shape better. My current undies cost me about $2 each, because they were on clearance 10 for $20 - I think they were initially either an over-run by American Eagle Outfitters, or a Chinese knock-off that had been picked up by a local distributor. They have wide elastic waistbands, wide legbands and are cut in a hipster style, but with more coverage. I really like them but as I said, they're almost transparent with wear, and the only things I've found that come close are Thunderpants hipsters ( but I can't really afford nearly $30 a pop for buttcovers! So I thought, why not combine the two? I purchased a similar-looking pattern online and used an old longsleeved tshirt that was falling apart under the arms for the fabric, and I'm pretty pleased with the result. There are changes I'd make to the next pair I make, but I'll definitely be making another pair! See the next post for more information and a photo.

I'm still crocheting and knitting - I've been making afghans to sell at the market, along with some fun knitted beanie hats, but I really need to sit down and do some decent photos so I can put them online as well. Currently I'm knitting my first cardigan (Andi Satterlund's Miette - in some blue-green plyed wool I bought at the op shop - it's coming along pretty well!


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