Neon Stripe Blanket and Erniebertzel PuddinPie

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This cat! I can’t even.

He models my work-in-progress neon stripe blanket well, doesn’t he? He must be tuckered out after tearing holes in the sewing pattern sheets I left out on the table. This is Ernie-of-a-thousand-names, one of which is featured in the title. He’d be embarrassed if he weren’t a cat and therefore expert at not giving a shit what he’s called. Other names — much to my own surprise at choosing to admit this in public — include: Toop Toop, Tiny Chicken, T-Chook, Bagel Bum, Chicken Pot Pie, Banana Bear, Belly Goat, Smeagol Beagle, BertieBert, Stink Bug, Potato Bun, and Snoopy Loop.

Oh, and Asshat. Just because I love the word Asshat.

The blanket! I’m afraid I blatantly and shamelessly ripped the design off after seeing Julie Harrison’s post on her blog Little Woollie. My eyes DOINGGGG-ed out of my head and I channeled a desperate Captain Kirk as I whispered to myself, “Must…have….this…….blanket!”

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Julie’s version is crocheted; I’m making up a knit version. I’m knitting 12 rows with Nashua Isabella yarn in Labradorite, a tweedy grey worsted weight, then doing 2 rows with one of 4 neon Madelinetosh Vintage yarns (Blue Nile, Neon Peach, Edison Bulb, and Fluoro Rose). When I’m finished I will do an i-cord edge using one of the neons. I am LOVING the mindless garter stitch knitting.

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Not to be outdone by her arch-nemesis Ernie, Miss Pie photobombs the neon yarn shoot.

In case you read my earlier post about almost losing my knitting mojo before being saved by the prospect of knitting a Winter Wheat cardigan, that project is indeed in progress but on temporary hold while I get my neon stripe fix.

I’ve Always Liked You

I’ve often wondered why my blog didn’t have “like” buttons in the comments section, and assumed it was because of the theme template I’d chosen. I’ve just discovered I’M AN IDIOT and THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN LIKE BUTTONS and all I needed to do was TURN THEM ON.

Gah!

So now they’re on, and I’m liking away at your comments. But you should know that I have ALWAYS liked you and your comments. Only now I can say so definitively with a click of my shiny new Like Button.

Yay!

I like you cuz you're frivolous like me.

A Little Birdie Told Me to Sew this Top

Back for more Burda! With Birdies!

BurdaStyle Magazine 08/2015 #115A Blouse with ribbed cuffs

But first, does this happen to you?—

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Yeah, no, don’t try looking at me all cute and innocent-like. You both know you were just WRESTLING each other moments before I caught you on camera. ON TOP OF MY DELICATE FABRIC AND PATTERN PIECES. With CLAWS FULLY EXTENDED.

Bad kitties!

Ok, back to the blouse. The bird fabric is a chiffon I bought at Designer Fabrics. (I know the birds-on-all-the-clothes trend has been around an awfully long time but I still catch my breath when I see bird-patterned fabric. Or real birds, for that matter; I’m a bit of a twitcher. Although not the kind who’s willing to get out of bed before 8am. So that probably disqualifies me from being an actual twitcher…phew.) The blue fabric pictured above is a light polyester crepe I used to line the top. I didn’t do a ‘proper’ lining…I just layered the outer fabric and the the lining fabric on top of each other and sewed them up like they were one piece.

BurdaStyle Magazine 08/2015 #115A Blouse with ribbed cuffs

The pattern is from BurdaStyle magazine, August 2015 issue, model #115A:

BurdaStyle Round Neck Blouse 08/2015 #115

BurdaStyle Round Neck Blouse 08/2015 #115

BurdaStyle Round Neck Blouse 08/2015 #115

BurdaStyle Round Neck Blouse 08/2015 #115

I was a little worried about the very wide-looking neckline on Burda’s model, so I extended the front, back, and sleeve pieces an extra couple of inches at the top, then after I sewed them together I just trimmed away a neckline that suited me.

BurdaStyle Magazine 08/2015 #115A Blouse with ribbed cuffs

I’m also wearing the first-ever silver clay pendant I made, featuring a bird silhouette. Seems appropriate, even if the quality of the pendant is not quite up to par now that I’ve honed my metal clay skills a little more since I made it about 18 months ago.

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I totally LOVE this top! It’s super comfortable, like a sweatshirt, but of course it looks far more elegant than one, and I love the soft drape of these fabrics.

BurdaStyle Magazine 08/2015 #115A Blouse with ribbed cuffs

Yippeee! I be WEARING this shirt I MADE. Yes.

And while we’re talking about birds, this little cutie visited me back in July in my backyard. At first glance I thought she was just another sparrow, but she caught my attention by flying right towards me and I noticed she’s not the usual sparrow we see around Toronto. I gave her something to eat and she let me get close up and move all around taking her picture. Perhaps she’s an escaped pet? Maybe you know what kind of bird this is?

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And I’ll leave you with one of my favourite-ever photos of me and my wild bird friends.

Throwback to 2004, when I lived in Sydney, Australia, and the rainbow lorikeets used to visit my apartment balcony regularly.

Throwback to 2004, when I lived in Sydney, Australia, and the rainbow lorikeets used to visit my apartment balcony regularly. They’ve both got beaks full of the apple I was sharing with them.

Dear Diary: The Diagonal Lines Dress is Decidedly Difficult

This may be one of the most epic blog posts I’ve ever written. It’s been one year since I completed this dress so I’m celebrating the anniversary by re-sharing the post. Happy to report the dress is still in one piece and getting not only worn but also lots of compliments.

Frivolous at Last

Here it is, the completed Diagonal Lines Dress. And below is an epic tale of how she came into this world.

Burda Diagonal Lines DressFebruary 28th, 2014: Come across Diagonal Lines Dress on BurdaStyle website. Lose my shit over this awesome dress. Asian-inspired! Asymmetrical! Colour-blocking! Exposed zipper! Pay for & download pattern immediately. Dance around room. Consider buying matching yellow bicycle.

Burda Diagonal Lines DressSaturday, March 1st, 12pm: Find black ponte knit in my stash. Head to my favourite fabric shop and pick up yellow, taupe, and grey ponte.

2pm: Arrive home and start cutting out yellow pieces.

2:10pm: Shout “fuck.” Realize I forgot to prewash the fabric.

2:11pm: Shout “fuck it,” and carry on cutting.

2:30pm: Realize that the pattern’s list of pieces to cut out for View B is missing a lot of information. Think, “hmmm, this dress has a lot of pieces, and some pieces need to be in different colours than…

View original post 1,487 more words

Boxy Tee: Free Pattern But Worth a Purse of Roman Coins

I do not know quite how summer came and went so fast! Earlier, as summer appeared to stretch out endlessly before me, I had plans to tackle so much work ahead of time. Two brand new courses to teach this year? No problem — they will be done in their entirety by early August! Adding new technologies to existing courses? I’ll learn everything I need to know about all. the. technologies. by end of July! Hiring and training a team of people for a load of brand new positions? All bureaucratic paperwork and hiring will be complete and everyone will know what they’re doing before September! Ha. Do you know what *actually* happened? Me neither, but I suspect it had something to do with the mythical slowing-down-of-time-in-summer-to-allow-for-all-kinds-of-work-to-get-done not actually taking place as expected. And now I’m doing All The Work While Crying. I couldn’t trace this meme back to its original creator so with apologies to him or her, you’ll find me somewhere in the green & black area at the end of the status bar right now.

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At least now I’m learning to incorporate the Fuck Off phase into my long-term strategic planning. 🙂

Anyway, I figured it was time to blog about this summer tee before all hope for wearing it is over.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

This is Purl Soho’s Boxy Tee pattern. I purchased the fabric, a very lightweight woven rayon border print with flowers and roman coins, at Designer Fabrics on Queen Street West in Toronto. (Lately they’ve had a lot of ancient-Rome-themed fabric that I found hard to resist, as evidenced by this other blouse I made recently with a Roman theme.) For this Boxy Tee, I only used 2/3rds of a yard of the fabric, particularly because I used pre-made bias tape for the neck facing instead of making bias tape out of the fabric itself.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

I highly recommend the pattern. It’s simple, quick, uses minimal fabric, and you don’t have to print out and tape together any pattern pieces (just one page that gives you a template for cutting out the neck). If you can measure out a rectangle or two, you’re good to go. There’s also a version that includes directions to add two ties at the waist that you could tie at the back for a bit of shaping. I think I might be regretting not including those on my version.

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

My modifications:

  • I did not add sleeves. I just started by cutting the front and back pieces to have extra ‘flaps’ sticking out at the top sides where the armholes would be…that gives the look of a cap sleeve but built into the body.
  • The pattern calls for two pieces sewn together for each of the front and the back, creating a horizontal seam. Instead I cut out one continuous piece for each in order to show off this amazing border-print fabric.

Purl Soho’s Boxy Tee  — with added sleeves and seam across the front. I love the neon colour blocking they’ve done here!

My version of the Boxy Tee, with built-in ‘sleeve flaps’ and no front or back seams. And crappier lighting.

I’m thinking I should pick up this Roman Coins Bracelet I saw recently at the Pompeii exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum to wear with it. What do you think — too much flashing of cash in one outfit?

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

In this pic you can see just where the top is just a bit too snug around the top of my hips. This is why I’d recommend modifying the pattern just a bit by grading out the front and back rectangles towards the bottom if you’re worried about it hugging your hips too closely.

I also have a little skirt in progress using the same fabric, but I’m kinda stuck on figuring out how to line it, so it may languish in my Work-In-Progress pile for while. (Never fear, I won’t be wearing them both together if I do ever finish the skirt.)

Roman Coin Boxy Tee

As summer comes to an end, I want to wish you Happy Real New Year, ’cause no matter how long you’ve been out of school, September always feels like the real deal when it comes to a new year.

Thanks for reading!