Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yay or Nay for Me-Made-May

I've done an inventory of my surviving me-made apparel and the result is rather slim: five tops, one dress, three sweaters, and three skirts.  Plus two necklaces if I include jewelry, and three knit hats!  Oh yes, and one scarf and one pair of pyjamas.  So if I only wear only one item every day (out of the house) that's enough to get me through basically half of the month. If the weather is appropriate for all of the said apparel, which is doubtful. 

As you can see, I'm trying to find a way to make the challenge work for me because I would like to participate this year.  Last year I tried to focus on making more during the month of May; I'm not sure I was successful.

So what can I do this year?  I have thought about trying to quickly do another project before it gets too late, but my rush jobs definitely look like rush jobs!  And the point of the challenge is to try to better utilize what I already have in my closet.

I took a pause after writing the above and happened upon this post from Tumbleweeds in the Wind. 
I like her pledge; she is focused more on analyzing why she does or doesn't wear her creations.  So I have finally decided to do something similar.  But I am going to wear something every day, even if it is just a necklace.

So here's my pledge: I, Donna, of Nid de Tissus will endeavor...

* to wear something me-made everything day, even if it's simply a piece of jewelry
* to think about the whys or why nots for my wardrobe choices
* to dedicate a little time every day for the duration of the month to MAKING something



I will try to track my progress with images (i.e. take pictures) when and if I can.  Not gonna pressure myself over the documentation part of it.

OK, so let's see what happens!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Jewelry Making + a Sneak Peek

I've been refreshing my jewelry-making skills.  Here's my most recent creation (last night, ha!) all curled up resting while the glue is drying.  Speaking of, the close-up helps me see a glob there to scrape off!


I was inspired by a tutorial I spotted on Pinterest.  I didn't quite have the materials on hand to follow the tutorial to the letter, so I adapted it to make use of what I have, but I'm pretty happy with the result.  It's a double-wrap bracelet.  I was going for a necklace, but it turned out a wee too small for that.  Measure twice, cut once, whoops!

I plan to actually follow the tutorial to the letter one day though, and when I do I'll link to it.


So basically the bracelet is made from braids of embroidery floss, plus some beaded yarn, and a length of chain.  I had thought about adding some dangling beads, but I think this bracelet has enough going on already.  Oh yeah, plus I threaded some hardware along the floss to punk it up a little.

And here's a sneak peek of a sewing project I finally finished today.  It had sat nearly finished for several weeks.  I just didn't have the time to get to it before that!  And who knows when I'll get photos with a model...so for now, feast your eyes on another close-up:


And I hope you're all ready for the week ahead!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Color Work

I fell off the bandwagon a bit with the Colette Wardrobe Architect project, but I'm back now!

I recently made these color palettes for the fall season, using the Colour Lovers website :




And several years ago I made this bright palette, which I think still represent my colors for spring and summer...


You can see a repetition of colors in various tonalities, like the greens.  And I don't seem to have any purples, but I quite like purple.  It's true that I don't have much in my wardrobe though.

Anyhow, I've been to the bead shop that's a stone's throw away from my apartment to get some supplies for my WIPs.

Goodies:




And, of course, what would I do without my precious cat help?


And now to completely change subjects, I would just like to acknowledge the enormous tensions in France nowadays.  Today there are more student protests against a proposed labor law and law enforcement has decided to use tear gas in Rennes...

I say tensions in France, but I should say in the world.  Every day there is a new tragedy.  I find myself at a loss for words.  I am grieved, shocked, outraged; I think I feel rather powerless in the face of it all.  I drove past the Bataclan in Paris the other day...and I couldn't help but think that life goes on in spite of it all.  New babies are born; new discoveries are made; some people make peace and others war.

In fact, the ongoing project that I've been working on was born as a direct result of the massacre at the Bataclan.  Not to say that the theme is related, but just that I reacted to it with a newfound passion for life, and a lessening of inner criticisms.  And it's helped me reconnect with my meditation practice and walk the walk, do the work, so to speak.

So here's a big hug to all my readers and the universe in general.  Bisous tout le monde, I'm wishing you well!!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

More or Less Finished Objects

This combination of short-pants and waistcoat are basically completed.  It's for a costume, so I plan to add some bling bing, but these are the basic pieces.






Made from Simplicity 2556, a Project Runaway pattern.  I think this pattern may be out of print.  I had some trouble finding it available to purchase in any case.

I used stash materials for absolutely everything, so go me on that one! Oh yeah, except the pattern, which I did have in my stash, but not in the good size range for my friend.

Yes, this will not be worn by me.  When the entire outfit is complete (I'm still working on the blouse), I'll ask my friend to model for me.


The bottom was made with Simplicity 2656, but modified to have a more piratey effect at the knees.  I made the piratey part way more complicated than it had to be.  I made my own pattern pieces and wasn't precise enough in taking note, so I was scratching my head a bit when it came time to do the second leg.  The insides on that part are absolute shit.  But they look nice elsewhere.  It's a costume; it'll be fine.

And, I have to say, it was no cozy boatride for the waistcoat either.  I found the directions rather sparse for the lining insertion; and it didn't help that I had inadvertently skipped a step earlier.  I was forced to go my steadfast resource Sewing Basics by Patricia Moyes.  Her directions were slightly more helpful, but her photos even more so.  I was able to figure it out after that.

I have several other waistcoats to make, so hopefully I'll get the process down!


Here's  an in-progress shot for the blouse:


It's comin' along!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Colette Wardrobe Architect Experimentation: Silhouettes with Pants/Leggings (aka Fun with Polyvore)

Continuing with my Colette Wardrobe Architect experimentation, here are my other Polyvore creations, this time, with pants.  Or leggings, because I do sometimes wear those with a tunic or long shirt.  All of these silhouettes are for the fall or winter season, which is 9 months out of the year where I live, so represents the bulk of my wardrobe needs.


I don't have a red blazer, but I do have a white button-down, black pants and black wedge boots like that.  And I have several blazers to choose from, but all more muted colors, like grey...and grey houndstooth.  Okay, I have several shades of grey.  Not 50 though, ha!

So I feel like this is a real, workable silhouette, and the addition of a red blazer is a good idea to brighten up my wardrobe.  I have to work on ironing my shirt more often too.  Knits are so nice for that reason...

OK, and another pants variation:


This time with a loose top paired with a cardigan.  I'm diggin' the waterfall style cardigans in various prints.  Again, I don't have one.  I have several loose cardigans like that, but plain-colored, but not with a print design.  I think I tend to reserve my prints for my shirts, so I keep the other pieces more neutral.  But I'd like to change that up a little.

And finally, with straight-legged or wide-legged pants à la Hepburn:

This is another attainable silhouette.  I have very similar shoes and jackets.  I could make one more pair of pants, more fall/winter appropriate than my current wide-legs.  And I could sew (and then iron) another button-down.  This is a very classic, safe silhouette for when I need to dress more conservatively, but it still represents my tastes.  I can always funk it up with the accessories.

This exercise just may help me organize my sewing after all...wanna place bets?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Elemental Boatneck Knitted Top

I finally finished weaving in all the ends and today is sunny, so I took some pictures of my handknitted top, which I made using the Elemental Boatneck pattern by Hannah Fettig.  It's from Interweave Knits magazine Summer 2009.  The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima and was agreeable to work with.  See?  I'm smiling!


It turned out waaay more fitted than the magazine model.  Perhaps I should've gone up a size! But I'm happy with the result.  It's a different silhouette than I was going for, but I can deal with it. 


As you can see, I match my room decor.  Plus, photography with cats!  There's another knitted work in progress just to the right of her.


I had to knit and reknit the sleeves many times, at first because I goofed up the pattern, and then because I ran out of yarn.  I calculated how long I could make them and still be able to finish up the body and seaming.  Turns out I calculated wrong, so I had to unravel them and go even shorter! 

I'd prefer the sleeves to be a bit longer, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. 

A couple of mirror views:



I'm hoping to finish up another nearly-done knitting project soon...just need to unbury the instructions!  Now where did I put them??

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Works

I have lots of WIPs, it's great!  These pants are nearly finished, I just need to do the bottom part.  Made from Simplicity 2656.


This was the second time I've made this pattern, but I completely forgot everything about the construction.  So I had to do several steps twice and there were a lot of furrowed brows.  Frankly, the instructions leave something to be desired.

The trousers were made for a friend and she stopped by today to try them on.  I won't post photos of her modelling them until they're completely done, but I think the fit was good.  Close enough for gov't work in any case!

Using the laundry drying rack as a model, so classy.
Plus an enormous skirt...





I recently discovered the plastic Burda tracing sheets.  They're not bad.  I wasn't convinced at first, but I especially like them for storage.

And a top to go with the enormous skirt...



The top and the pants use fabric from stash, but the skirt was a big purchase: seven meters!  On sale; oh yeah, you know I waited for that!


Sewing with cats, always a pleasure!