Author: Christina B

Eliza Hamilton Costume

Eliza Hamilton Costume

 Pattern: purchased shirt with embellishments and skirt

Fabric: shirt and skirt are cotton, trim is unlabeled

Started: October 26, 2018

Completed: October 27, 2018

Y’all, this is the worst thing I have ever sewed. When my daughter decided she wanted to be Eliza Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton’s wife) for Halloween I knew it was time to sew my first costume and was psyched to pore over pictures and plan. But when it came time to sew I had so little energy and time and just had to dig deep and make it happen at the last minute. I want to show you all the issues with this dress. The skirt is backwards and also needs more volume. The neckline is a mess. The hem flips up. The buttons don’t line up. But the second I presented it to my daughter she swooned: “it’s so beautiful!” As soon as she put it on she carried herself tall, clearly feeling so beautiful and proud.

My daughter’s love for the dress makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t look like what I imagined and it feels like a flop. I was embarrassed to say yes when adults asked if I made it. But my daughter loves it and feels like a founding mother and can’t wait to keep playing Hamilton around the house. She feels special that she has a mom that can make her things. So do I want to focus on the ways I feel like I failed or on the joy I brought my favorite 7 year old? Am I going to tell her that no, this dress isn’t amazing, it’s full of flaws?  

She felt great and had a blast Trick or Treating, so I can’t call this anything but a success. 

Rhinebeck Recap 2018

Rhinebeck, the knitter’s shorthand for the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival, is one of my favorite weekends of the year. This was my 5th year going and it is nice to be a veteran – I felt no urgency to see everything, and knew that however I spent my time I would see beautiful things. First up I will share the classic Rhinebeck blog post content – my haul.

I brought home (the big stuff):

  • Here, the new book of designs from Jill Draper (all in her new yarn, Kingston)

  • Amy Herzog’s Ultimate Sweater Book because I love her and I love this kind of book

  • The Secret Lives of Color – I was sold when I saw that the edge of each page is the color it is discussing!

  • Mending Matters – A must for any slow fashion enthusiast’s library

  • When Your Lion Needs A Bath – the author wrote the nicest inscription for my daughter ❤

  • 4 skeins of Jill Draper’s Kingston yarn

  • 1 skein of a new Lornas Laces yarn

  • a tub of Long Island Livestock Co Body Butter – I’m having some chemo side effects in my fingers and lanolin-rich moisturizers are supposed to help

  • a much better faux pom pom than the one I brought with me

Seriously, check out this pom pom glow up!

And here’s a close-up of the little stuff:

  • a pen topped with a llama with googly eyes, a present for my daughter

  • a tiny pair of scissors that I plan to keep in my purse

  • a pain of earrings from Jennie the Potter

  • a tube of 9 different embroidery needles

  • 3 enamel pins from Shelli Can – the outer 2 were from her Rhinebeck set and the middle one is for Pom Pom (and happens to be holographic!)

While I clearly enjoy the shopping, that’s not my favorite part of Rhinebeck. The weekend is so special to me because it is a chance to connect with the fiber arts community. The Ravelry meet up on Saturday is the biggest one I can remember for a long time, and it was one where different groups mingled on the hill. It felt like we all were ready for some connection.

The other thing I really enjoyed this weekend was the chance to speak with some of the business owners there – farmers and dyers and shop owners and designers and editors – and celebrate their niches in the industry and their successes. It delights me to see their ideas come to life and supporting them.

As always, I’m already looking forward to next year’s Rhinebeck.

FO Friday: Ninilchik Swoncho

FO Friday: Ninilchik Swoncho

Pattern: Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter

Yarn: The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Craggy Tweed in Pukuni, Elk Antler, Paul Newman and Napi

Needles: US6 (4.0mm) & US 4 (3.5mm)

Size: 1

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: January 4, 2018

Completed: September 5, 2018

When I first saw the Ninilchik Swoncho (sweater/poncho) pattern last year I remember thinking that kind of colorwork design is so not my style – I wore simpler designs. But I found myself continuing to visit the page. To look at different color combinations. Then the designer of the pattern and the dyer of the suggested yarn came to my LYS for a weekend. I tried on the sample and it was all over, I immediately began picking out colors from the trunk show. I went late in the weekend and my options were limited, but I could not be happier with the color combination I ended up with. I do wish I had switched the white and the tan in the colorwork but it doesn’t detract from my heart-eyes feelings about this FO.

I adore the shape and fit of this sweater. It feels good to move around in, the low sleeves are not in any way restricting. I expect that this will become my new woolen to throw on when I head out for school pick up, keeping me warm during after school play. I also love how this fits in perfectly with the style I have been cultivating for myself recently. I can lift my arms and get a more cropped shape. And the ease makes me feel good about the space that I take up. It feels like the warning displays and coloration of the animal kingdom – I am big and brightly colored, do you want to mess with this poisonous giant?

I want to hear about the clothes that make you feel badass like this – handmade or not. Share in the comments below!

Dressing like me

I’ve been thinking about Kate Davies’ blog post a question of proportion ever since she published it in July. She talks about how her disability and her feelings about it have effected what she wears. And this week’s topic for Slow Fashion October is What’s Your Look. So I want to respond to all of that and talk about dressing like me. 

Last December I began wearing a medical device on my stomach that I prefer to conceal. Additionally, I’ve gained weight over the past year. The combination led to a body that I didn’t know how to dress. 

I started with the most vital – clothing that accommodated my new medical device. It needed to have a rise up to my belly button so the whole thing was covered. Patterns and tighter fits provided the best camouflage.

A wide variety of influences led to my selection of tops. In Shrill Lindy West talks about looking at larger bodies helping her to find them beautiful. And as a chronic cancer patient, the rules about what certain bodies and ages should wear don’t seem deserving my attention. I dove into a new wave of inspiration and experimentation, nothing was off-limits.

 

And this is the silhouette I love – slim fit high-waisted pants with a cropped top. My belly is bigger and home to some of the most intimate parts of my illness, yet I feel like I have found my style in baring it. I feel cool and sexy and comfortable in my skin.

FO Friday: Kalle Shirtdress

FO Friday: Kalle Shirtdress

Pattern: Kalle Shirtdress by Closet Case Patterns

Fabric: Cotton + Steel Mochi Speckled in Navy

Size: 10

Started: May 2017

Completed: June 2017

Y’all, I am so good and consistent at blogging. Here is a dress I finished last summer and photographed almost exactly a year ago. But I still love and wear this dress a ton, so I want to put it up! I had made several button up shirts before, but the Kalle was my first shirtdress. I adore them, and this pattern looked so accessible as a first one – the ease meant no fitting changes were necessary, and also make for a gorgeous silhouette.

Def wish I had ironed this before taking pictures 🙃I made a straight 10 and am happy with the fit. I’m about 15lbs heavier than when I made it and it still fits well enough that I get complimented on it regularly. The back definitely billows out – I’m not sure if that’s the box pleat or the cotton lawn.

I really love how the yoke flows into that sleeve.

When I look at my sewing queue it’s clear that this is just the start of a shirtdress obsession. I have, uh, 5 that I have fabric picked out for. Would y’all be interested in a post about my shirtdress dreams? Do you have a kind of garment you keep coming back to?

FO Friday: Riley Tee

FO Friday: Riley Tee

Pattern: Riley by Amy Christoffers

Yarn: Berroco Corsica in Cork and Conch

Needles: US5 (3.75mm) & US 3 (3.25mm)

Size: 3

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: June 16, 2018

Completed: August 10, 2018

I lost my mind over the Summer 2018 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, it is all striped patterns and there are so many gorgeous summer knits in there. I knew I would make more than one project from the issue and chose Riley to start with. I love the log cabin construction – how it makes a really beautiful sleeve shape and has the visual interest of stripes going in different directions.

I made some modifications to the pattern – I shortened it by 6.25” and raised the neckline 1.5”. I shortened it because I wanted a cropped silhouette. I wish I had knit it an inch or two longer, so it fell over the button of my pants rather than above it. It’s knit in cotton so I might try drying it hanging the next time I wash it to see if it stretches and lengthens a bit, but I have a feeling the log cabin construction is going to keep it pretty stable. I like where the neckline ended up.

Overall I really love how it turned out, though; I feel so cool in this silhouette. I talked earlier this year about how my style has changed and this piece makes me feel like I am really finding a new look that works for me and that I love.

FO Friday: Golidlocks 2.0

FO Friday: Golidlocks 2.0

Pattern: Goldilocks by Justyna Lorkowska

Yarn: Anzula Cloud in Taffy

Needles: US 3 (3.25mm) & US 2 (3mm)

Size: 5

Ravelry Link: here!

Started: March 20, 2018

Completed: May 29, 2018

Four years ago I knit my daughter a dress. I had some yarn leftover, so I whipped up a matching version for her lovey. Thus began a long career of making matching versions of all of Marlowe’s dresses for her best stuffed friend, Monkey. This pink dress was particularly beloved and was still an integral part of Monkey’s wardrobe after Marlowe outgrew hers. Soon my daughter began asking for a new pink dress, tears welling in her eyes as she told me how sad it made her that she couldn’t match anymore. So of course I agreed to knit her an even larger light fingering weight dress and called my LYS to order two skeins of the same colorway.

This version of Goldilocks came out longer than I meant, but it means she will be able to wear it for a very long time. While it was a labor of love to knit this second dress, I love this pattern and wasn’t sad to make it again. It has the perfect amount of detail and then the stockinette lets the pretty details stand out.

In this picture you can see the one issue I had with the pattern – I think I picked up too many stitches around the sleeve when adding that last bit of garter stitch and it flares a bit.

Marlowe loves her new dress and her ability to match Monkey again and I feel like a pretty awesome Mom for providing her with that joy. Have you ever made something because you were, ahem, pressured into it? Did it go as well as this project? Let me know below!