Thursday 24 September 2015

Finished object file: Miss L's wardrobe

Miss L in her new handmade wardrobe items: Quaintly top and Gathered Skirt.
This week I've been relishing in the joy that comes with accomplishing my first sewn garment. I am such a sewing newbie so even though the project was the simplest of patterns I am over the moon with joy at the completed object.

I made the Gathered skirt for all ages from the Purl Bee blog. I was instantly drawn to this skirt because of the large pockets featured on the sides and I also love the simple style of the skirt that makes it an everyday kind of item. Another bonus is that the blog provides instructions for sizes 2 year old to an adult 46" hip size. I remember when I originally came across the pattern months ago I shared it with the comment, "I can see myself making this skirt in every size for Miss L." and now after making my first one for her it is very possible that she really will always have one in her wardrobe throughout her life.

As with my knitting, if I am going to make something with love I am going to make it with materials that I love. For this skirt I went on a lovely fabric adventure to The Fabric Store in Fitzroy and selected some chambray for the main fabric and a very cute printed cotton as a contrast for the pockets.

I just love the simple beauty of chambray for everyday wear.
As a newbie I made some mistakes, like not sewing the waistband straight so there is a point where the band is too narrow for the elastic to sit flat so it is folded over. I also had to do the basting stitches twice because I didn't pay attention to the instructions and did them incorrectly the first time. And I wouldn't look too closely at the hem because I'm pretty sure that's not straight either, but despite all these imperfections I am so happy with it. The fabrics are just so beautiful and the pockets are fab.

When I showed Miss L she exclaimed, "So cute!". She very happily put it on and she twirled so excitedly throughout the day.

These little lacy cap sleeves are so beautiful and easy to knit too.
It has been a good week for Miss L's wardrobe because I also finished knitting a Quaintly top in fingering weight (4ply) hand dyed Miss Click Clack yarn. This yarn is such a beautiful colour and it was her own choice. We went to The Handmade Show market in Glen Huntly a few months ago and Miss L picked up this skein of yarn from Kelly's bargain bucket that was sitting on the ground. She did the cutest thing when she grabbed the yarn, she hugged it to herself because it was clear that she loved the squishy softness and the colour. I bought it always intending to make something for her with it and the Quaintly was perfect. It is such a lovely spring top with little lacy cap sleeves and a stockinette stitch body which I knit with extra length to make it a bit tunic like. My project notes can be found here.

Kelly Brooker of Peka Peka Design Studio designed the Quaintly pattern. The pattern is available individually but if you get the ebook you get a set of patterns for the fingering (4ply), DK (8ply) and worsted (10ply) weight and sizes all the way from newborn through to 10 years old. If you're like me and you like to keep you options open in terms of yarn choice then having the pattern written up in the three different yarn weights is great. I have already knit this pattern before in the DK weight in the 18-24 month size and it was a super quick knit. The fingering weight knit went pretty quickly too and I made the 2 year old size with the one skein of Miss Click Clack Merri Creek sock yarn.

The pattern instructions are simple enough to follow and even the fiddly bit of changing between two different needle sizes to finish the sleeves is explained very clearly and not difficult at all. I ended up just slipping the sleeve stitches onto a DPN in the smaller size (2.75mm) and kept everything else on the circular needle. When I came to the sleeve stitches I just held the circular needle aside and knit the sleeves with another DPN of the same size. 

To top of this gorgeous knit Miss L picked out some adorable little sheep buttons from Sunspun during their Spring sale last week. These very cute buttons come from a company called Incomparable Buttons. They are not plastic, so I'm guessing they are ceramic and they are handmade in South Africa through a programme that gives employment to women. These little buttons are so precious and make the perfect finishing touch to a lovely top.

The cutest little ceramic sheep buttons ever.

Miss L is a lucky little girl with her growing handmade wardrobe and her enjoyment of the clothes bring extra joy to both of us. Now, it's time to for us to twirl together.

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