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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Swaddle me in linen

Green linen pants front detail

Is there anything better than linen? I mean, really.

Alright, maybe wool, but linen is a very close second.

Green linen pants back detail

A warm sun + light breeze + drapey linen pants. Hot damn.

Green linen pants full

I had some momentary reservations about the “topography” of the back view on these babies and I searched the internet for crotch length adjustments and wedgies. This got me thinking about unibutts vs. distinct buttocks. Funny that I feel oppositely about unibrows and uniboobs.

The final verdict though: a full work day in these pants kept me cool and comfy and swishy and all full up of linen-y happiness.

Green linen pants back full

  • Pattern: Burda 6906
  • Fabric: Linen and viscose blend
  • Size: 12 (38)
  • Notes: Lengthened by at least a couple inches: got a nice 4 inch hem.
  • Also pictured: self-drafted white racer-back tank. Eternal question: how does anyone keep bright white looking bright white anyhow?

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If it doesn’t fit, you mustn’t (uh…)quit

Jacket and Jeans full


Jeans Full

If I stand just so, hands in pockets, one knee slightly bent, t-shirt tucked oh so casually, almost thoughtlessly, you’d swear I’d made myself a pair of honest to goodness jeans.

And if I can just manage to keep myself at this very angle, gazing out wistfully at the mighty St. Lawrence, you won’t see my wonkily topstitched fly or puckered and oversized waistband.

“Jeans!” you’ll exclaim.

“Yes, behold: Jeans,” I will sagely reply.

Jeans pocket detail

These come not a moment too soon, considering the state of my jeans collection. I’m down to one pair that still allow me to bend over without risk of indecent exposure.  But even the good pair have the ever growing threadbare inner-thigh patches of impending doom. (Yes, it’s a mouthful. And a literal pain in the ass.)

  • Pattern: Burda 7863  An easy one to skip over – silly looking models/styling on the envelope.  It was handmadebycarolyn‘s many attractive versions that sold me.
  • Fabric: Stretchy Denim (2 or 3% stretch?)
  • Size: 12 – my hips would put me in a 14, but the pattern is drafted with zero ease and I wanted negative ease.

These jeans will have to serve as a wearable muslin for future better versions. It’s a great pattern and fits pretty well straight out of the envelope. There’s a lot I’ll change in my next pair though:

  • shorten length of fly
  • keep waistband uninterfaced, as pattern suggested; adjust length
  • use smaller belt loops
  • change profile under knee for a more attractive flare
  • confirm whether my knock knees are, in fact, the reason for the constant weird bunching I get around the knees in all pants
  • cut only a half pocket from denim (the visible part), use a lightweight material for the rest… avoid pocket shadow
  • experiment with topstitching in traditional “jeans” colours – I thought I wanted a more subtle look, but I’ve worked up a hankering for a more canonical pair

Jacket pocket detail

But what jeans related woe can’t be remedied by throwing on an olive coloured, belted, military style jacket? This is one of the very few self-stitched items that I have virtually no complaints about: my favourite colour; goes with everything.

Jacket back

Gimme some epaulettes, eyelets and four patch pockets – I’m good to go.

  • Pattern: Belted Military Jacket
  • Fabric: Light weight wool blend twill
  • Size: If I remember correctly, 40? But my impression was that the sizing was off with this pattern. I expected a 40 to be slightly roomier, enough for a bulkier sweater underneath.

Jacket cuff detail


Jacket open detail


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