Italian job

I’ve had so much guilt around this project for so long – it’s been sitting cut out and ready to go on my bookshelf for four years…

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IT’S FINALLY DONE! I LOVE IT!

I’m glad I waited too – four years have seen me get better at sewing, purchase an overlocker, and discard my original fabric choice for the yoke.

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This is a self-drafted blouse based on one of my favourite tops, from the eternally wonderful Lazzari, a little fashion house in the Veneto. Here the two blouses are together:

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The blue feathery fabric is Liberty tana lawn from Shaukat. The yoke is made of some cheap n cheerful broderie anglaise I picked up in Toronto.

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Here comes the sun

I am ridiculously pleased with this shawl. I started knitting it on the plane to Istanbul in February, and it’s finally done! I still need to block it, but that can wait. It’s a birthday present for my mum, and her birthday isn’t until September. So for the time being it’s living scrunched up in a bag in my room.

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The pattern is Girasole by Brooklyn Tweed. With apologies for getting technical, the only weird thing in the pattern was the way it told you to do ssk (slip slip knit) which left odd twists in the decrease. I did the normal ssk instead.

The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in ochre. It’s 100% merino wool, and really great yarn to knit with. I love the slight colour variation that come from kettle dyeing. I used 3 skeins. For some reason the fnal skein was broken and knotted in several (my which I mean, EIGHT) places, which was incredibly annoying. But it’s all done now, and I love the shawl. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when I’ve blocked it.

Knitting Girasole involved some pretty hair-raising moments. The worst was when I realised I had shifted the pattern half a repeat to the left for a couple of repeats on the round where the points of the outermost petals of the flower design were formed. Here’s a pic of the rescue mission:

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I’ve moved on to knitting my first ever baby cardigan, for a friend who’s having a baby. How scary is that?! Only 4 years ago we were at uni together. I feel so old… I’m making the brand new and brilliantly-timed Wowligan cardigan by Kate Davies. She released the pattern only last week, and it’s perfect. I’m knitting it in teal with thin white stripes. It’s a helluva lot less complicated than Girasole!

Down the rabbit hole

It’s been a long time… There was I thinking in my last post that I would all of a sudden have tonnes of time to spare for sewing and knitting. How wrong I was! New job, university exams, essay writing, a succession of houseguests occupying the sewing room, and my dad visiting for a fantastic holiday aboard a narrowboat in Wales all intervened to make sure I only did the tiniest bit of crafting; and what I did make I didn’t have time to blog.

Since my exams finished a fortnight ago I’ve been in intensive crafting mode – all of the million things I’ve been itching to sew for months are suddenly exploding into reality.

But I’ll start slowly on this feast of sewing.

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

I made this blouse in March out of my favourite Liberty tana lawn, “Elevenses”. I still have reams of the fabric left over, in two colourways, and I will definitely be making more with it!

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

The pattern for this blouse is Simplicity 1422. When I got it, my mum was like ‘that’s a fat person pattern’ but actually (as ever :-P) I’ve proved her wrong, and I’ve actually worn it quite a lot.  It’s been a godsend to have it during Me Made May (I think I’ve actually managed ‘me made’ every day this month – although sometimes simply because of my pyjamas!) because it’s easier to wear separates to the office some days that full blown Liberty-print 50s-style dresses. Anyway, you can check out my instagram for the full selfie nightmare (I just checked, and I never instagrammed the three occasions this month where I wore this top. Oopsie!).

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

My main regret is that I didn’t add some darts at the sides – it’s a bit gaping at the armholes. Live and learn.

Liberty Elevenses Simplicity 1422 blouse

But yes – it’s comfortable, it’s versatile and I really like it. The collar was really simple – the collar and the collar stand are one piece; which I think would have worked better without interfacing. It’s a bit pointy-foldy and the back of the neck with the interfacing. I’ve actually resolved never to use interfacing again after this project, and so far, I haven’t. I read on the brilliant series of Granville shirt tutorials on the Sewaholic blog that you can use lawn or muslin instead of crunchy interfacing; I’ve done this on subsequent collars and button plackets and it’s worked a treat.

Ahhh teapots đŸ™‚ What better for the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Woah – omigod – I just saw a fox cub in the garden while I was writing this. Super cute; but I’m suddenly worried that I haven’t seen my cat since yesterday morning…

p.s. Rune just walked in and I’m happy again!