In progress: Vogue 1044

8 May, 2010

Here is the pattern front for the “Dress 2” from my storyboard.

I’m a sucker for pintucks, but such a pain.

I’m making version B, in a sort of violet-grey, flowered cotton/silk mix that is seriously terrifying to work with. It’s delicate, slippery, cost a small bundle, and I had to order it because my local fabric store had run out (I needed 5 meters), and they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to find it anywhere in the country. But I got it and so far haven’t had any terrible mishaps, like cutting a hole in it while grading seams or some other tragically common occurrence. If I had this much respect for every fabric I worked with I think all my sewing projects would look better – even seam allowances, actual basting instead of eyeballing it, etc.

My only aggravation so far is that I followed the cutting directions and cut the bodice left and right pieces right side up on the wrong side of the fabric as illustrated, and this turned out to be backwards. So apparently my placket is going to button on the wrong side. 😦 Fortunately, I don’t consider this as having completely ruined the dress.

Wardrobe storyboard

8 May, 2010

So I spent the evening riffling through patterns and magazines and brainstorming, and made not one but two storyboards(!) with a sort of rough-draft plan.

The first is a sort of here and now spring/summer plan:

It was fun to see what I actually chose when I had to narrow down my choices to “feasible”. The dresses I kept coming back to as critical choices. The black linen sheath dress I settled on because of funereal dread as well as its immense practicality; it’s something I can wear to the grocery store AND to, well, a funeral. (Nobody I know is actually at death’s door at the moment.) The other dress is one I’m actually in the process of making right now, to wear to a wedding. It’s definitely not grocery store material, and I will finally have a fancy dress that fits! The style is not particularly formal, but I think I will get more wear out of something that isn’t “evening”, and the fabric is terrifyingly luxurious. Plus the grey color means I can wear it most of the year.

It was hard to cut down on the bottoms, but I do have some jeans so I’ve decided to push back the long pants until the end of summer. I’ve been wanting to make the Beignet skirt for a long time, and I’ve made the cropped linen pants from that pattern before.

The Butterick blouse pattern I’ve actually already made in the yellow voile – I love pale yellow in the summer but I need a little colour on me first. I’m just not sure I would wear it with black, so I might chuck that out of the collection. We’ll see.

The two fabric choices under the Parfait are from the stash, I’m not sure that there’s enough of the grey linen, but that would be my first choice. I don’t know if the lemon-coloured fabric will be versatile enough – on the other hand, I’ve got 5 meters of it and I need to use it for something.

Here’s the other storyboard – there are still some holes in it, and I threw a coat in there but reserve the right to make changes to that:

This is more autumn into winter. The linen trousers might need to be not in linen, because linen isn’t that great here after the first couple of weeks of September. I seriously want that dress!

So here’s the plan – we’ll see how it goes and if I can stick to it without getting distracted!

Wardrobing

7 May, 2010

My Reader has approximately 40% religious blogs, 40% sewing/craft blogs and maybe 10% blogs from friends or family plus 10% random. So when multiple sewing bloggers all start spontaneously (unless it’s a conspiracy?!) posting about the idea of a cohesive wardrobe, I sort of notice. Susannah at cargo cult craft did an eye-opening wardrobe inventory, Mena at The Sew Weekly is planning her vacation wardrobe, and Sarai at Colette Patterns put up the coolest post on “Costumes for your life” with vintage clothing etiquette. I always get giddy when any of these three blogs update.

Too this is something I’ve been thinking about, since even as I’ve gotten way better at sewing for myself and my wonky bod, I still have weird results that are not always usable. I think this is (at least partly) because:

  1. Above all, magpie-ism, aka “ooh, shiny!”: I see stuff that strikes me as cute/cool/interesting and I add it to my stash of fabrics or patterns without considering whether this is something I can or will wear. This is why I have a stash bulging with quilting fabrics that are undeniably pretty, but which are totally unsuited to clothing for an adult woman both in terms of colours, prints, and ability to be coordinated. Not to mention that quilting weight cotton gets old pretty fast in terms of texture. Or a pattern collection that has far, far too many period reproduction pieces requiring period foundations.
  2. Lack of experience dressing myself as an adult: Most of my wardrobe is tshirts and jeans. To some extent this is ok, as it’s extremely practical, especially because I wear a uniform at work and it’s hardly worth the cognition at 5:30 in the morning to figure out what I’m going to wear if I’m going to take it off anyway. This is also because I’m a hard fit – I’m tall and have been more or less overweight forever, and tailored off-the-rack clothes don’t fit me properly because of genuine fit issues.
  3. Lack of a personal style (if tshirts and jeans don’t count…). This is partly related to number 2. I have vague ideas of what I like, but nothing that is cohesive. Vague ideas about what suits me physically and in terms of how I wear my clothes (practicality, comfort, laundering, etc.).

No wonder I end up with questionable non-coordinating pieces that can only be worn with a pair of jeans.

I’m not sure that the solution is an overnight one, but I know things are getting better… It helps that I’ve recently lost some weight and feel more comfortable with myself. It helps realising that I have an hourglass figure and need to emphasize my waist, or else I’ll look even bigger than I am. Too, just because I like the way something looks doesn’t mean it will look good on me. (cough, cough: empire waists)

I’ll readily admit that there are things I need to be way better at in order to feel that my clothes are stylish – how to use vintage or vintage inspired pieces without being too costumed, how to look at fashion magazines and use them as inspiration for actual practical clothing, how to accessorize. Also, I tend to read blogs and magazines in English (both American and British) and the style on the street here is subtly different, more fussy and Bohemian. It would be nice if I could nod to both worlds and still suit myself – especially because the flowing/layered/eclectic/tunics-up-the-yazoo look is too baggy on me and I need something more tailored.

So, as the above bloggers imply, what is needed is a plan. But this is easier said than done, because planning requires you to know what you need, and if you don’t know what you need, you can’t make a plan. I noticed that someone mentioned SWAP, which turns out to be Sewing With A Plan. I googled this and found this: instructions for making your very own galling, early-nineties office-wear wardrobe. I also found this forum where they have updated the basics “required” into a series of groups more suitable for anno 2010, thank heavens, and made it into a competition.

Basically, you choose the garment group that best suits your daily life, make yourself a storyboard, and then get sewing. Perfect!

So, some consideration is in order:

  • what I have, that fits, that I ACTUALLY WEAR: 2 pairs of jeans, a few long-sleeved tshirts, a few elbow-length tshirts, and some short-sleeved tshirts, lots of undershirts/camisoles (I always wear camis). I have one black with white sprigs Parfait that I’m going to disregard as it’s spring here and I can’t wear it without solid black tights under, because it’s so short on me.
  • colours: the original article recommends two basic colours plus one complementary colour. They recommend navy and beige, which for some reason makes me think of Jessica Fletcher. Although actually Jessica Fletcher is usually a pretty stylish dame, but not really my age/style. They recommend navy and burgundy as an alternative, which just makes me ill. I do not look good in brown, so that is out. My summer jacket is black, my dress shoes are black, and I have three pairs of ballerinas: two pairs black, and one blue with violet. Actually I also have a red pair, but I’ve never worn them, so leave them out. I have 1 pair grey Converse All-Stars which I bought while I was in London and find vintage-y, sneakerishly fantastic. (I also have some nerdy technical Keens, but have come to realize that, while they are practical for hiking, which I rarely have the opportunity for here, they are unsuitable for city wear.) I have one pair of leather Romanish sandals which admittedly are brown. Of cardigans I have one completely worn out black one, one grey one that I’ve been wearing constantly recently, and one chunky cream-coloured with cables, and one short cream-coloured wrap one. Conclusion: colours should either be or coordinate with black (grey) + cream/white and/or navy/denim.
  • Clothes should be tailored, with a fitted waist, not too boxy or blousy around the belly. In my opinion, low-cut tops on large-busted women look vulgar, while a jewel neckline can look frumpy. I like my collar not lower than one handswidth under my collarbone and I love a boatneck. I have skinny ankles and the lower part of my legs look ok, but I don’t like either skirts or shirts to be shorter than just above the knee. I will buy, not sew, my jeans (been there, done that, not doing it again) and the majority of my tshirts.
  • It frets me that I don’t have nice dresses, so that I’m always running around in a panic when we get invited to something, and I live in fear of a funeral. Plus I like to wear skirts to Mass. But as much as I idealize a wardrobe full of dresses and skirts, it’s not practical for me in the long run because I use a bicycle for transportation daily and it’s often windy and rainy here, even in the summer.

So, from all this, I’m going to pick the basics group that consists of 2 dresses, 6 tops, 2 bottoms and 1 your choice. Now I need to storyboard and see where this leads me.

Found: Late Edwardian Shirtwaist

16 March, 2010

Another Etsy find while browsing vintage: a gorgeous navy silk blouse/shirtwaist from the late teens or early 20s, with beaded details. So pretty.

I like the necklace, too. 🙂

I could see myself trying to figure out a way to make a copy of this blouse, although I’ve never tried beading fabric before.

Found: Flapper Dress

16 March, 2010

I stumbled across this dress on Etsy and it is adorable:

1920s flapper dress

According to the listing it is sturdy cotton or rayon or a blend in peach, brown and cream stripes. In keeping with my avaricious nature, I want to own this dress just to look at it. I love the way the dress is pieced together making the striped fabric a design element, with the horizontal stripes on the front part of the bodice and the pleated section of the skirt. Totally cute!

Simplicity 1692

13 March, 2010

I have only a few vintage patterns, from which I hadn’t made anything yet. Most notably because they are not in my size. In fact they are about so far from my size that they might as well be children’s clothing. But this past week I had two days off in the middle of the week (= no familial commitments) so I was free to cast myself into a larger sewing project. I selected this cute blouse, Simplicity 1692.

The pattern is a 14 – and this is probably what would be a medium today, as it’s a 34 bust. Look at the waists on these babes. I’m sure they’re wearing all sorts of New Look support architecture under there, but still. This leads me to the point of what I’m doing messing around with patterns that are about 95 sizes too small for me.

The internet can make you feel really bad about yourself, but it can make you feel okay, too. Apparently I have a vintage figure. I hope this is not the new version of “I have a big bone structure”, but apparently this is to differentiate those of us who have hips from those of us who do not. According to the internet authority, you have a vintage figure if your hip measurement is 10″ or more bigger than your waist measurement. So these vintages patterns, while all over too small, have the right sorts of proportions for someone like me.

But I digress. First things first. Resizing a pattern involves chopping it to pieces, not something I was going to do with paper older than myself by many years. So some tracing was in order.

Tracing the back pattern - with my trusty tape dispenser to hold things in place.

Sleeve pattern (original)

The traced blouse front pattern - with symbols (important!)

The collar and sleeve bands I left for later. The important parts were the front, back and sleeves – basically the parts that make up the body of the blouse.

To tackle the practical side of scaling a pattern up, I turned to other internet authorities. Jennie Chancey sells patterns she’s drafted herself at http://www.sensibility.com, some of which I own. Even better are the tons of sewing and adjustment tutorials she has either on her own site or at eHow, including one on how to resize a pattern. She points out that there are 2″ of difference between each size on standard patterns.

I’m not sure how visible the fine print is to the average human eye, but the body measurements for size 14 are 34-26-36. I’ve got 10″ on whomever made this up back in the day, or I’m exactly 5 standard pattern sizes bigger than she was, making me a vintage size… let’s not go there. Except actually my standard bust measurement is 46″ – but I’m going to ignore that for now and come back to it later.

According to Mrs Chancey, to resize a bodice pattern you slash it vertically in three places – through the underarm, through the shoulder, and through the neckline/bust front. See the link above for illustrations. To avoid getting linebacker shoulders in the larger sizes, add 25% of the width to be added to the shoulder, 25% to the underarm, and 50% to the bust (as most ladies in larger sizes really need it added to the bust area). I did 25% to the shoulder, and divided the remainder between the underarm and the bust.

To add the width (10″ total) evenly, I should add 5″ to the back and 5″ to the front. Because the pattern pieces are halves designed to be cut out on two layers of fabric (see the pattern back pic above for cute little pattern piece drawings), each half should have 2,5″ of width. Here’s where the math gets hairy, because my sewing gauge is in centimeters, so I have to do some measurement conversions. To the underarm slash I’m going to add 2,38 cm of width, to the shoulders 1,58 cm and to the neckline 2,38 cm, and when all added up and divided by 2,54 this = 2,49″. Perfect. (Trust me on this.) Always add things and convert back when you’re messing around with conversions just to check your math or you will regret it. (Trust me on that, too.)

The first slash on the front bodice piece, through the underarm. The other two slash points are marked by vertical black lines.

I am very fond of my gridded tracing paper, which I get at the fabric store. There are some good things about living in Europe and this is one of them. Among all the other fabulous things about it (it comes in a roll), it makes marking the grain perfect, as you just align the grid on the grain arrow of the pattern and go at it.

Here I am with my sewing gauge measuring the slash width. This is the underarm slash, as you can see it goes through the bust dart. Note that next to the vertical line I've written the amount of width I'm adding here. This is so I a) don't mix them up and b) can see right away how much I've added when I look back later.

Here's a close-up of the slashed and spread blouse front. Note the small horizontal hashes on the slash lines. I do this so that I don't get mixed up with the grid lines and tape one part lower than the other .

Here’s an important part: what ye do unto the bodice, shall also be done unto the facings.

The facing folded back on the foldline marked on the pattern.

The facing folded back, viewed from the other side. The neckline slash is involved here and a tiny little corner of the shoulder slash. The latter I ignore. The former, however, is the amount the facing also needs to be resized by.

You can see the resized facing in a later picture.

Now the back:

The back is slashed and spread with the same amounts in the same places as the front.

The sleeves will also have to be resized, but first I’m going to make the necessary fit adjustments (not just resizing) to the front and back so that I can do the sleeves all at once. This is because, even though the pattern is the right size and proportions for me, I have some wonky fit issues due to Nature’s Gifts. I know what these issues are, or tend to be (depending on the pattern), because of a) experience and b) having slogged through a muslin fitting shell thingy, which I suppose also is a form of experience.

Firstly: a large, low bust. These usually hang (ha!) together in my experience. If the pattern is fitted without darts there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth but it can be done. Luckily this blouse has a bust dart, which needs to be lowered. I call this the it’s a gravity planet adjustment. I don’t have a picture of this because I only have so many arms, but what I did was fold the dart on the pattern tissue and hold it up to my body, noting how much the dart needed to be moved. Then I just hacked it out and moved it on the pattern:

Now to address the size issues: if you have a large bust, your bust measurement will not accurately reflect your upper bust measurement and/or shoulders. This is why if you cut the pattern for your bust measurement you get either linebacker shoulders or a baggy upper bust or both. Especially if you tend to have sloping shoulders because the gravity issue, you probably have an even more slender upper bust. This is why I chose to disregard the fact that my bust measurement is actually 12″ bigger than the pattern calls for, not 10″. My upper bust measurement is 43″, and the bustline is 46″. The ten inches in resizing added makes it 44″, and I will adjust the pattern to a 44″ with a D/E cup. Because I can, and that is why sewing is cooler than H&M clothes made by ten-year-old girls in Bangladesh.

To do this, I started by shortening the bust dart, as you can see in the picture above. I moved the central part of the dart back across the added width of the slash. The circle towards the right of the picture is where the dart would have ended. Any other adjustments I will have to make after I’ve cut out the bodice in voile. (I’m going to make the whole thing in voile, as I’ve got a bunch of it leftover from another project, which counts as free. Plus there’s enough that I can afford to cut out a few bodices.)

Secondly: height. I’m guessing I’m taller than the dainty creature who first used this pattern. So by holding my pattern up to my front, I can see that the waistline marked on the pattern is sailing several centimeters above my own waistline.

The adjusted waist length. The horizontal black line with dart circles is the waistline marked on the pattern.

Third issue: weird hippy stuff. I have high hips in the back and sort of a pooch in the front so I need to add a little extra to the hip area in my experience – and the hip part needs to start higher up than on most patterns. You can see a little of this in the picture above.

The blouse front, adjusted!

Here I’ve redrawn the outlines of the blouse and moved dart marks and things that have been messed up by me chopping through them. To the right you can see a fourth slash-and-spread area, this is the facing that has been spread the same amount as the corresponding place on the front of the blouse.

Issue no. 4: a rounded upper back, or as my Vogue Sewing book so elegantly terms it: the Dowager’s Hump. (Loooovely.)

I’ve noticed that lots of girls who have the whole large bust adjustment on the front side will need to do this adjustment on the back to some extent. It all hangs together.

I sort of winged how much I needed to add here.

Now, Biblical sounding injunction part two: length ye add to the front, shall also be added to the back. Sorry, no picture of this. My waistline is higher in the back than in the front (I’m special like that), so I added the waist length I added in the front, to the part under the waist in the back. I just want the side seams to be the same length. The hippy extra stuff I just freehand. It’s all good.

Now, the sleeves!

I previously alluded to this book:

It has just about everything you need to know, more or less, and more or less clearly, too. Sometimes I have to read things a few times before I really understand them (like the alarmingly abstract concept of ease, holy cow). Mostly I use it for making exactly the sorts of pattern alterations I’m doing here. One really good thing is that it shows you how to adjust the sleeves after you’ve adjusted the bodice.

The two illustrations in the middle are large bust adjustments to a bodice with a raglan sleeve (the sleeve on the left, the bodice on the right).

Since I’m resizing the whole pattern, I need to add a little more than is shown in the illustration, but it shows me where I need to do it. This is good because Mrs Chancey’s resizing instructions only cover set-in sleeves. She says you only need to add the same width to the sleeve’s underarm as you did to the blouse, as that’s the only part of the sleeve affected (on one side the amount to the front and the other side the amount to the back, which are probably the same). Which is true for set-in sleeves, but because the raglan sleeve goes all the way to the neckline, that will be affected by my shoulder area resizing – making the sleeve longer.

Here the tops of the sleeve have been lengthened to accomodate the resized shoulder, and the underarm areas have each been slashed and spread 2,38 cm.

I used the notches on the sleeves and bodice to estimate how much I needed to lengthen the sleeve, but this was definitely the part that required the most guessing from me, so I was really unsure as to whether I would have to start over. (Ugh.)

Now, after all this work, I’m ready to start cutting out the fabric. I started with the front and back darts, and tried the front on to see how much adjusting it would require in the bust area.

Checking the placement of the bust dart and the sizing across the bust, by putting one front half "on" over my tshirt.

It was my inexpert opinion that the bust actually fit just fine thanks to shortening the dart slightly, so I didn’t have to do any of the more complex and dreaded large bust adjustments. Now I put the blouse together so I could check the overall fit.

The sleeve pinned to the blouse back. The length is a match!

Trying the blouse on (over pyjamas). The awkward position is because I'm in the bathroom, where the mirror is, and trying to block the view of the toilet paper roll with my hip. Classy.

I could probably take a little tiny bit of extra fabric out of the upper bust area just under the collar-bone, but as far as I’m concerned, this fits. At this point I was really impressed with myself, because I wasn’t going to have to rip anything apart or (the horror!) cut things anew and re-sew entirely. Also, I was really glad I’d decided to finish my seams (and extra relieved I wasn’t going to have to cut them apart again), because it meant I could actually use this as a blouse.

My sleeve bands with lace. I thought the dainty lace suited the sheerness of the blouse.

To put the lace on so the raw edge would be on the inside of the band, I folded the pattern piece in half and added an extra seam allowance above the fold, so I cut four halves instead of two wholes. Then I sewed two halves together along the bottom edge, with the lace sandwiched between, and went from there.

I chose the collar from view 3 (all the way back at the top – the green stripey blouse), which is a tie collar. I added length to the collar close to the fold line (from the slash-and-spread resizing) and my notches almost matched. I also added a little extra length just so I could tie a nice bow. My buttons come from my grandmother’s stash that I ran off with – clear “glass” (plastic!).

Here it is - a demure vintage librarian blouse. The black skirt is something I made from a dress I shrank out of - it seriously needs shortening.

I'm not entirely sure I like being on this side of the camera.

And now I have a pattern that I can use again and again, with two collars and two sleeve lengths. Handy.

Selleri vest

2 March, 2010

On Sunday last we went to a navngivning or some sort of atheist christening celebration (an oxymoron, I know). The young gentleman in question also needed something handmade, which I stupidly waited until the day before to make – although I did plan ahead in terms of purchasing and laundering my fabric!

For this occasion I had settled upon the “Selleri” velour vest, from the same Ottobre 1/2010 issue as the previous post’s Linus overalls. This is in spite of the fact that I am not friends with knit fabrics, although I was lured by the promise of not having to finish my seams, because the vest is fully lined. (Maria, A.’s mother, likes hoodies, so that was why.) I made the vest from grey stretch velour with grey ribbing at the pocket edges, armholes and hood edges, and lined with white cotton interlock with grey stars, and a light blue zipper. The interlock was actually some leftovers from a pair of pyjama pants I made for myself – just one more reason why sewing for kids is fun (you can use your leftovers!).

Like the Linus overalls, I had issues. Firstly the pattern pieces for the rib bindings weren’t long enough, which the pattern instructions mentioned was a possibility due to the differing stretch/recovery of rib. The fact that I didn’t actually meausre this out before I hit the machine meant that I had to cut new pockets, pocket linings, and rib and do it again. Fair’s fair – I was warned. But most frustrating was my total inability to stitch the lining to the shell at the armholes as instructed:

Pin and stitch armholes of shell and lining on one side together, right sides facing and with armhole binding in between.

So far so good – as long as you understand the principle of sandwiching you can do this.

Push lining to inside through armhole.

OK.

Stitch armholes of shell and lining together on the other side in the same way.

Um, no. Try as I might, I could NOT find any way whatsoever to sandwich the other armhole once the first one had been sewn. I tried pinning it a multitude of ways and every time, there was no way I could turn the vest right side out again, or didn’t have the armholes sewn together one two separate sides. Maybe if there had been pictures, but Ottobre has only text instructions (which doesn’t usually bug me). I had to pick out my seams, which since I had used a stretch stitch = nightmare. I ended up cutting the lining off and tossing it. Then I had to cut out a new lining. I sewed that onto the shell at the top and sides as later instructed, then went back and attached it to the armholes by pressing the seam allowance under, topstitching at the outside, and then handstitching the loose edge to the ribbing on the inside. It doesn’t look as nice as the sandwiched seam would have done, but it works. Argh! And all of this at nine in the evening the day before, of course.

Here’s the finished product, in a slightly blurry edition:

Gifts for Baby T

2 March, 2010

My friend had a baby boy in January, so of course he needed some handmade clothes. It’s more of a challenge for me to make clothes for boys than for girls, both in terms of finding a pattern, and in terms of finding appropriate fabrics. (Finding a pattern for a cute dress and some girly fabric is about as easy as walking into a fabric store.)

I’m subscribed to Ottobre magazine so I get all the issues – both women’s and kids’. That helps, since I get baby and children’s patterns shoved through my door 4 times a year, but lots of their infant patterns are designed for knits, and I hate working with knits. Luckily, the Spring issue this year (1/2010) had a cute pair of linen overalls (“Linus” is the pattern name) in sizes 62-92.

I made them in size 68, working from my theory that everyone gives newborns small sized clothes so they outgrow them right away and then have no clothes. I made them in dark blue linen and lined them with Alexander Henry 2D Zoo.

I cut out one of the animals (a zebra) and sort of makeshiftedly appliqued it onto the back of the romper using a partial buttonhole setting on my sewing machine.

I have previously made things from the Ottobre magazine patterns and it’s always gone okay before (although tracing the patterns from the insanely overcrowded pattern sheet is always a chore). I’m not sure what it’s been about this particular issue, though, because I’ve made two things and I’ve gnashed my teeth over both of them.

On this one I had a terrible time with the pintucks on the front of the romper, but I think that was because I marked the fabric onto the back with a pinwheel, and had a rough time pinning the tucks properly. Also, the fabric was dark. But the worst part was trying to turn the straps right side out. The pattern calls for stitching them right sides together and then turning them right side out, you know, like usual, but a combination of things made this a Sisyphean assignment: the linen fabric (which the pattern called for) didn’t glide against itself as easily as, say, a quilting cotton, the straps aren’t that wide, AND they were interfaced, so the fabric was little stiff. I tried my trusty long-handled wooden spoon which I always use to turn things right side out (as well as to cook with my giant cast-iron pot). No joy. I tried a safety pin. Nope. A smaller safety pin. No. In the end I got one strap turned inside out with a crochet hook but ended up poking a hole in the fabric near the bottom. 😦 The other strap I finished in about a fifth of the time by pressing the seam allowances under and sewing it with wrong sides together – which, since it was supposed to be topstitched anyway, worked perfectly.

This was also the first time I had worked with metal snaps. I was a little nervous about this, but I’d previously put eyelets in another project so this was the same method. I’m sure the downstairs neighbor loved me hammering away, even if it was in the middle of the day. And I dropped one snap-half on the floor, spike side op, and proceeded to step on it with my bare heel. Fun!

The rompers turned out pretty cute, though. And C. was really glad when she saw them.

I also knit this:

It’s the Hooded Cardigan from Shescrafty Handknits, and it is so cute. I’d previously knit the tasseled pixie cap, and I could recognize the hood on the cardigan; if they aren’t the same pattern, they are quite similar. I made it from superwash merino and it was wonderfully soft and flexible. It was the first time I had ever knit anything that had to be pieced together afterwards – I was glad I have experience sewing. I sewed it together using the same knitting yarn; later I found out that I should have used embroidery floss or something like that, the seams were pretty bulky. It was also the first time I tried to block anything. Anyway in spite of the thick seams and the not-evenly-spaced buttons I was totally proud of it, and C. liked it (or pretended convincingly she did!). I’ll definitely make one again if the opportunity arises.