Cropped crumb sweater

miette sweater

I’ve decided to try to be the kind of girl who doesn’t just sew skirts, but actually wears them.

Black cropped back detail

I’ve since discovered that skirts look much better with sweaters that aren’t too long. So, I knitted up a simple, black, cropped cardigan: the very popular and free Miette.

miette sweater

I think it’ll be a practical addition to my closet. The only drawback is the constant need for quarantine from furry and shedding kitty cats. Hmph.

miette sweater

  • Pattern: Miette
  • Size: 34
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, worsted, colour: coal
  • Needles: 5mm
  • Notes: I added one repeat before the ribbing at the hem for a little added length. I was fairly pleased with the heathered Wool of the Andes I had used for a previous sweater. It was cheap, not too coarse and a very pretty colour. This batch of black yarn however, seemed to shed a great deal. A fine dusting of tiny black fibres everywhere. I think I’ll stick to Cascade 220 for future projects: it’s more expensive (but still affordable), more durable and feels slightly softer to me.

miette sweater back detail

Also pictured:

A-line pleated skirt

  • Pattern: Burdastyle Pleated A Line Skirt
  • Size: 38
  • Fabric: Linen blend, lined with tan polka dot poly chiffon
  • Notes: I needed to add a lining because the linen has a bit of prickliness to it. No idea if I sewed the pleats and front “pocket” of the skirt the way Burdastyle intended, but it’s so hard to know what they intend with their convoluted instructions. The skirt feels fabulously swishy on sticky summer days.

Linen aline skirt lining detail

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Poor choices and kismet

Raspberry linen top with cherries

This was not the right fabric for this blouse. Not even close. I knew it at the time, but I pressed on. I’m far too easily hypnotized by the siren song of a bolt of linen.

Much too thick. Not enough drape. But boy oh boy did it sew and press like a dream. Easy peasy construction. The kind your sewing dreams are made of.

Raspberry linen top detail

I should mention that, contrary to photographic evidence herewith, when I first cut into this fabric it was a calm and classy off-white colour. The kind of colour an heiress might wear to a casual luncheon at the yacht club. You know, that effortless white that’s all “oh this? picked this up in Casablanca last fall… at that small bazaar where I found that fabulous kilim… daahhling.”

Well, as it turns out, off-whites (especially those with pinky brown undertones) make me look like death. And a deathly off-white fashioned into an oddly constructed slightly too stiff blouse? Oof. Hospital custodian chic to my translucent complexion.

So, my crafty little brain got to thinking “what doesn’t a little embroidery fix?”. Slap a few colours ’round the neckline and  it’ll go from morgue orderly to Ukrainian folk beauty.

I dutifully picked out three lovely embroidery flosses. A warm and bold raspberry-rouge as a main colour and a paler blush + off-white as accents. I bought new needles, I planned, I organized, and then I left in all in a drawer for many many months. As I so often do.

Raspberry linen top back

When finally I realized it was do or die with this top (read: fix it or get rid of it), I came up with a novel solution. I couldn’t change the weight of the fabric, but I could change the colour. So, I picked up a pack of Dylon dye in “Bordeaux”: my first real try at a synthetic dye. Fingers crossed for a pleasing result – dyeing can be so hit or miss.

Do or dye! (Sorry, I must.)

And wouldn’t you know it? The final colour was EXACTLY the same as the original embroidery floss I bought. Same. Damn. Colour. Maybe I’m meant to keep this top?

Raspberry linen top detail flower front

  • Pattern: Rachel Comey, Vogue 1247
  • Size: 12
  • Fabric: Linen, stovetop dyed
  • Notes: This pattern is obviously meant to be sewn in a drapey silk or the like. It goes together quite nicely: all french seamed so that the guts are as nice as the outside.

Raspberry top insides detail

Also pictured:

Electric pencil skirt

  • Pattern: McCall’s 3830
  • Size: Cut a 12 or 14 but lobbed off a bunch on the sides when it was too loose
  • Fabric: Linen blend, what else?

Montreal Cherries, c/o Paul’s tree

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Deep Red Flower

Deep Red Flowers

The garden is in full pubescent growth this week.

Basil in ground

Plants are stretching their limbs, uncurling their roots, standing up straight.

Tomato Plant and Cage

Yellow tomato flower

Cucumber Seedling

Purple Iris

Purple Iris and Red Coleus

But as I’ve learned, with all imported plants come imported pests. I now fight a war on three fronts:

  • The red lily beetles continue their advance, regrouping and multiplying on two smaller lilies that were hidden under the peony. The adult population has been greatly reduced by continued squish raids, but a small regiment of gluttonous larvae have been building up strength.
  • What seemed from a distance to be a lovely dill flower growing amongst the coleus, turned out to be a rabid infestation of arrogant little yellow spider mites. Twice daily sprayings of soapy water and/or cayenne water have discouraged them temporarily. I remain vigilant.
  • A solitary pair of (what I believe are) yellow and black striped cucumber beetles have been spotted on the zucchini. One was eliminated; the other remains at large.

Red Coleus

Edible count, planted on May 23rd, for records’ sake:

6 cherry tomatoes of varying kinds; 1 regular sized yellow tomato; 2×2 lebanese cucumbers; 2×2 pickling cucumbers; tray of snap peas; 2 zucchinis; parsley; dill; cilantro; basil

Extra pea, basil, cilantro and dill seeds were planted a few days later.

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