Category

Handmade

Category

I’m the first to admit that I cycle through hobbies and interest fairly quickly.Β  A couple years ago, four months of my life was completely devoted to embroidery. I thought of embroidery non-stop, and I organized my nights and weekends at homeΒ for optimal embroidery time. Then — suddenly — I didn’t want to do it anymore. I now I have two bags of half-finished embroidery projects I haven’t looked at in over a year.

Since then, I’ve been trying to ease into my hobbies a little slower. I still flitter between interests, but I try to find a balance between each, and I don’t let myself do all the work I usually want to do in a day. I’m hoping this will keep the momentum going and prevent burn out!

What’s my latest hobby? Making my own clothes. And I think this one is going to stick. Because not only does it include the the crafts I already love to do (embroidery, knitting, weaving), it let’s me use these skills in a more practical and efficient way.

A few weeks ago, I complained on Instagram about how hard it’s become to find clothes in my preferred style and fabrics. Am I totally out of style? It seems the stores I used to count on for interesting, well-made clothes can’t be depended on anymore. Basically all I want to wear are fit and flare dresses in opaque natural fibers. No sheer viscose that hangs off my body with no shape – that’s what I keep seeing in stores! A friend suggested I try my hand at sewing, and although I initially responded with a “No, I’m really not good at sewing!” I kept thinking about it. And then I started doing it!

My mom taught me to knit and purl when I was 14. Throughout high school I made many scarves (most were red and gold – the color of the Gryffindor house) and a few iPod cases (back when iPods were so big). All with cheap yarn, those two stitches, and my own imagination. My knitting skills grew tremendously when my family got high-speed internet. Suddenly I could watch videos demonstrating different stitches! I could download patterns! I could connect with other knitters and easily share photos of our projects!

Sidenote: The amount of information freely available on the online knitting worlds is phenomenal. I can’t think of any other artistic communities that so readily shares resources. Ravelry is my go-to for exploring patterns and yarns.

Although today I do a lot of other fiber crafts (crochet, weaving, and embroidery), knitting will also be my first love. It feels so comfortable to me. In my 15 years knitting, I never made the leap towards making something outside of an accessory. I was scared of trying out garments. Until two weeks ago. Two weeks ago I started knitting a vest!

It’s amazing to think that a ball of cheap wool could turn into an outfit!

I volunteered to make my friend Genevieve a baby blanket for the little girl she’s expecting (nicknamed gandersbaby), and she happened upon the perfect pattern! I’ve been searching for a pattern like this for ages, so it was fate! It’s a fun crochet, but Severus complicates things.

Severus is 10 months old and sometimes pretends to be an adult cat, but he’s not. Especially when he catches a glimpse of of the bag he knows I’ve been storing yarn in.

Guys, I did it. Finally. I made an actual article of clothing! I kind of made a skirt once before, but it ended up being completely unwearable. I was so intimidated by that pattern it took me six months to finish it, and then it ended up a disaster.

Needless to say, that didn’t help with my fear of sewing.

I can begin a knitting, crocheting, or embroidery project without a moment’s hesitation, but sewing? Sewing just terrifies me. I love clothes and am really particular about design, quality, and fit. Becoming a proficient sewing seems like the perfect way to build the wardrobe I want, but sewing projects can fail in such catastrophic ways.

I embroidered this for my sister-in-law and now-brother-in-law’s wedding last month. I hadn’t worked on an embroidery in a while–it was so nice to pick up the needle again!

This beautiful pattern is a design by Polka & Bloom. I’ve admired her intricate work for a while and am so glad I finally had reason to buy one of her patterns. This was a lot of fun to embroider, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.