Monday, July 16, 2012

Knitters, Go Nuts!

I'm the first to admit that I am not the worlds most accomplished knitter. I've knitted more scarves than I can use, an adorable beret that turned out the size of a yamaka, and in a blaze of glory, I knitted a heraldic lion pattern into a square that is currently sitting, lonely, in the bottom of my knitting bag.

I want  to knit. I picture it, with a rosy hue - Me, knitting by fire, tea next to me. First of all, I don't have a fire, and secondly, I don't have the patience. That's why I love sewing - Its faster. But knitting is undeniably therapeutic (hence the amount of scarves).

I admire those that persevere (By Gum By GollyJorth, and Did You Make that?, I'm looking at you!) and I'm constantly inspired to try again.

I'm not posting to just tell you my thoughts about knitting (why, are you not fascinated by them?) but to tell you of a knitting pattern goldmine that has currently come into my temporary possession.

Last week a lovely colleague of mine handed me a bag of treats. No, not the edible kind. "Our" kind of treats. Yes, that's right. It was a brown paper bag full of vintage knitting magazines and books from the 30's - 70's.

So immense was this goldmine that I have decided to break it up into two posts. This post will be dedicated to a book called  "The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Knitting" and the second post will include all the patterns from the 60's & 70's. So, there's something for everyone!

 "The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Knitting" by Catherine Franks was published in 1939 and is quite simply a gem! Its informative, straight forward and as the title indicates, provides the added assistance of pictures. This book tells you everything, from how to cast on, stitch types, decorations, provides patterns, tips, right through to casting off.  However the book is 320 pages long, and while I love you all enough to share the best bits, I'm not about to scan the entire book! I did have a wee peek around the Internet though, and you can buy vintage copies here, here and here (if your quick).

So lets get to the good stuff shall we?

 These are so adorable - How about attaching one to a beret to wear in your hair?

How cute - perfect for a baby shower gift!

 This is my favourite of the sweaters, it would look so chic and nautical in red, white & blue.

 For the Advanced Knitter

I'm not certain of the practicality of a knitted bathing suit, but I couldn't resist sharing it with you!

Feel free to click on any of the scanned Images, save, print, and share!

There is one condition though! GASP! If you do create something from one of these patterns, be a dear and shoot me an email - I'd love to see how it turns out!

No need to wait on ceremony ladies, get knitting! and I'll be back real soon with more patterns for a good yarn (Get it?)


Friday, July 13, 2012


I've recently started working on my fashion portfolio, and while I have a lot of ideas, I'm finding it particularly challenging to bring them all together in a cohesive way.

I'm of the understanding that a fashion portfolio is not so much about finished garments, as it is about the process of how you got there - mood boards, sketches etc.

Which is pretty much the opposite of how I run my blog! I NEVER put my idea's down on paper. I dream them up, then I sew them up. Occasionally I might do a quick sketch if I'm trying to explain something to someone, but that's as far as it goes.
And I certainly haven't made a mood board for every dress I've ever sewn!

How about you?

After musing over this predicament for some time, I decided to tackle it with photoshop. Not only then would I be practicing my mood board skills, but I would be practicing my photoshop Skills.

Its pretty obvious by now that I love the Red, White & Blue, So I based my mood board around that.

And this is what I came up with -

(Click on the image if you want to see a larger version)

I don't think its a conventional mood board, but will it suffice? is it too juvenile?

 Have you made a portfolio?? A mood board? ? What are your sketches like?? Whats your layout like??

EEeeep! I need Portfolio Help! Someone come to my rescue!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Allure of Couture...

Before I even got around to knocking off at least one of Ulyana Sergeenko's creations from her Spring Summer '12 collection, she has gone and designed a whole new line for Fall Couture '12.

Here are a few of my favourites -

Simply divine! I love theatricality of it all. While I don't think I will be attempting to recreate too many of them, I am certainly drawing a tonne of inspiration from them.

Not surprisingly, that's not all that caught my eye. There's been talk, hype, hysteria (apparently) over Raf Simons debut collection for Christian Dior and I'm jumping on the band wagon without a seconds thought. The collection was pristine, clean and structured. The perfect harmony between mid century nostalgia and modern architecture. Vintage lovers will revel in the tightly nipped waist and padded hips that echo the much loved and infamous "New Look".

Here is just a taste, to wet your appetite. But if you, like me, need to see the whole collection - click here

I don't know about you, but that's enough inspiration to keep me locked away in my sewing room this weekend.

Happy Sewing Folks!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blue Chambray Skies

I made this dress a couple of weekends ago when I realized that I don't really have any "kickin around in" clothes. I love my clothes to death but I'm not going to pretend that some mornings when I get up I don't hate the idea of putting something structured and restrictive on.

Casual clothes aren’t really my forte and jersey has often eluded me, much like Karen, who recently posted about it at Did you Make that? Yet here we are! And I’m most surprised!

It all came about when I was clearing out my fabric corner. I was going through some off cuts that I had picked up from work and I came across a small piece of white double knit Ponte. It was thick, luxurious, soft and stretchy. I knew it would fill that hole in my wardrobe that simply demanded something warm and comfy (considering its quite cold outside!). Sadly the piece was not quite 1 meter, so I teamed it with some light denim chambray that a friend gave me.

Because the fabrics I used were so simple, I needed to add some interest with the pattern. I went with Simplicty 4168 as I really loved the soft delicate cowl and the French darts.

As you may already know, I go weak at the knees for elbow darts - and this dress has them!

Working with the Ponte was a dream. Why was I so afraid of it before now? And best yet, there is no fraying! I didn’t even hem my sleeves! How wondrous!

The skirt was merely a rectangle that I pleated onto the bodice. I used the selvedge edge as a hem. I was going to hem it initially, but I decided upon further inspection that I actually like the slightly frayed (yet controlled) rustic look it gave and left it. Plus, it matched the un-hemmed sleeves!

I have just about lived in this dress since its creation. It’s been through the wash and tumble dryer a couple times and not changed a bit. What a pleasure it is to have a dress that doesn’t need to be hand washed and dried flat!

I think perhaps I am now a jersey convert (for the thicker, non clingy stuff). But I’m sure there is loads I need to learn before delving in.

Do you often sew with Knits? Can you offer me some advice??

M x
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