21 July, 2014

Monday Motivation - Dreaming of Summer

Instead of moping about the cold, I have taken to looking through old Instagram photos from Summers on the coast, and dreaming of how warm my toes will be in just a few more months.
Before Winter ends, however, I'm determined to venture out into the frost with my camera. By Christmas I might need something cool to stare at, after all.

How do you stay motivated when your sewing space becomes an ice-box? Maybe I just really need to move house :P

Happy Monday!

19 July, 2014

A Blue Knit Shrug

I'm so excited to finally share this project!

In between shop orders and uni work, I have been slowly working away on this knitted shrug, using the free Rectangle Knit Shrug pattern by Lion Brand.

The pattern comes together surprisingly quickly if you're a reasonably fast knitter. I had only just started to go insane by the time I finished the second piece. Plus, all that stockinette makes this the perfect movie-watching project.

I never really understood the appeal of owning a "shrug" (they're weird and awkward and what if your front gets cold?!). That is, until I saw this glittery navy version. Maybe it's the styling, but something about it is just cool. I still wish mine was glittery.


My shrug was made using a 5ply (sport weight) merino yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills. It's super warm and I love the muted blue colour, which is a little darker in person.

I only made a few changes when following the pattern: My sleeve cuffs are a little shorter, and I used a different method to join the pieces at the back seam.
The method I used (tutorial here) leaves you with a nice neat seam that is practically invisible on the outside (should have taken a photo...). The seam is also flat enough to incorporate embroidery like I did!

I included the button-holes but ended up leaving off the buttons. As awesome as wooden buttons would have looked, I honestly have no idea why they are recommended. Unless you go up a size (I knit a small) or happen to have a miniature ribcage, it looks pretty terrible pulled closed!

The embroidery was kind of a last minute, late-night decision. I wanted to add something special to compliment all those hours worth of stockinette. It's a very very simple design: just a few lines of running stitch using a fine orange yarn from my stash, with some silver and white threaded through. I love it though, and it seems to make all the difference when deciding whether or not I should wear it.

Am I a converted shrug-wearer now? We'll see, but I think just this one might be enough. I'd love to hear how you all feel about the truly fascinating topic that is the shrug :P

Hope everyone has had a lovely week!

14 July, 2014

Monday Motivation - Chunky Knitted Sweaters

Last week I spent some time whining about the cold planning out my ideal Winter uniform. Since then, I have been on a hunt for the ultimate slouchy, cabled sweater pattern.

After way too many hours spent scrolling through Ravelry (ermahgerd, so much 80's!), I have come up with three options that just might satisfy my current need for epic levels of cosiness:

1. Honeymaker by Leah B. Thibault. I absolutely adore this sweater (and the gorgeous styling!). The honeycomb texture is so unusual - it even comes with instructions to knit a tiny bee into one of the cells! As soon as I find the perfect shade of red, it's happening.
Pattern is $6 from Quince & Co.

2. Stonecutter by Michelle Wang. Probably the most difficult of the three options, but still completely amazing.
Pattern is $7 from the Brooklyn Tweed store.

3. Lempster by Norah Gaughan. Such a pretty cabled design. I can see it being especially beautiful in a forest green.
Free pattern via Knitty.com.

So, who wants to help a girl out? Which sweater gets your vote?
I'm totally in need of a cable-related challenge after the mindless fingering-weight stockinette that made up my last project (soon to be blogged!).

Happy Monday!

11 July, 2014

Beautiful Finds - Etsy Eyecandy

Contemporary statement necklace, emerald and red bib necklace, wooden bead, boho, free shipping.

I just love this statement beaded necklace by Leaf & Feather - Sydney, NSW. All the colourful necklaces in this store feature a mixture of dyed wood and handmade polymer beads!

Hand Painted Blue & Copper Multi Faceted Polymer Clay Stud Earrings

Hand sculpted and painted polymer clay stud earrings by Bouzy Moose Designs - Melbourne, Vic. The combination of copper and bright blue is gorgeous!

DREAMY 4 x 6 Art Print of Original Black and White Pen and Ink Drawing

I'm loving these card-sized prints by The Ink Draw - Melbourne, Vic. Check out more of Sarah's drawings on her blog!

Miniature Cob House - Hand Sculpted Clay House - Rustic - Ready To Ship

I keep coming across these miniature cob houses by My Minds Attic - Pennsylvania, US. I'm not quite sure what I'd do with one, but aren't they the cutest?

See more of this week's finds over here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

10 July, 2014

Olive Green Darling Ranges

This is my second version of the Darling Ranges dress (first version here). It's also my first project as part of Sally's Summer Stashbust challenge! I found this olive green rayon for $5 at Lifeline at least 6 months ago. It's so hard to find nice prints in rayon, so I couldn't resist this unusual floral design.

Pattern details:
Similar to last time; I raised the neckline a few centimeters, and took a little length out of the shoulders. The shoulders are still a little too long for me, making the neckline a bit gapey and the bust darts a little low. The drag lines are even more noticeable in this soft fabric. Next time I'll revert back to the original neckline and take even more from the shoulders.

For comfort, and to stop the sleeves from twisting around, I replaced the elastic cuffs with shirt-style cuffs. The insides are all French seamed - it's so much nicer in rayon. I also shortened the hem quite a lot. This length works much better on my short legs!

Outfit details:
Necklace: Fawn & Rose
Leather belt: vintage
Boots: All 4 Me

You'll have to excuse my tired face. This is literally the third attempt this week at photographing this dress. It still clashes pretty badly with the brick wall, but it was the only place where I was sheltered from horrible icy winds. So thankful for pockets!

In the spirit of being more organised, I recently ordered 100 little wooden shirt buttons from SkullButtonry (currently on vacation). I get so tired of never having quite enough of the same button, and I never realised how much more affordable buttons are in bulk (duh!).

All the profits from the SkullButtonry supplies store go towards Foundation 18's orphanage "Yayasan Dharma Sadana", as well as education outreach programs and humanitarian work in Indonesia.

Definitely no regrets here!

Happy Friday! Hope everyone has had a great week!

08 July, 2014

A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

This is my third Armidale Winter, yet it's the first that I have felt the cold quite so deeply. 

To any readers living in snowy climates (or even local Armidaleans), I sure sound like a lightweight. Where I grew up on the coast, Winter is just a chance to rest and recuperate before another intense Summer. When it comes to temperature in the negatives, a lightweight is exactly what I am! 

Living in an old, drafty, ground-level house has forced me to realise that my "Winter Wardrobe" is non-existent. When I need to function like a normal person, an overflowing drawer of pajama pants just doesn't cut it. So, in an attempt to make cold mornings a little less grueling, I have been working away on a capsule wardrobe for the season.

Above is a moodboard that I created (because who doesn't love a moodboard) to focus on my favourite Winter silhouettes. All image sources can be found via my Pinterest board.

My Winter style revolves around 2 fairly similar silhouettes:
1. Loose shirt/sweater + skinny pants + boots.
2. Loose shirt/sweater + short skirt with tights + flats. 

If you're interested in this exercise, you can read about silhouettes and proportions here and here.

I used Polyvore to create a basic capsule wardrobe of 24 items. Pretty much all elements of my two silhouettes are interchangeable, as well as being perfect for layering.

Most of these items are based on things I already own and wear a lot (boots, pants, shirts, etc.). I am in no position, financial or ethical, to go on a shopping spree for new clothes. With the exception of a quality, fleece-lined parka and some grey flats, I plan to make the rest.


My fabric stash currently contains the supplies for an olive-green suede bomber jacket, a grey boiled-wool coat, plus whatever I can cobble together to make a few skirts. Totally set for Sally's Summer Stashbust challenge!

By the time this whole process is complete, I'll likely have to pack away my new creations and start again for warmer weather. This time next year, I'll be toasty. For now, I'll continue to fall asleep dreaming of over-sized wool sweaters.

Have you been working through the Wardrobe Architect series? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

PS: While writing this post, I was overcome by a strange need to justify spending this much time talking about my "wardrobe" (does blogging ever make you feel like a total narcissist?). Keep an eye out for an eventual fashion-related opinion piece...