As I’m knitting this heather-grey sleeveless sweater vest thingy, and temps are hovering blissfully in the 50s and 60s, I have a conversation with myself every single day about whether I should put sleeves on it. It’s beyond well-established that a cotton-blend, grey, everyday pullover is a garment my closet would benefit from tremendously. But I really want the sleeveless thing! So the conversation ends each day with me reminding other me about this other pullover I mean to knit, sketched up top.
It’s been in my head since the day I got my hands on Anna Maltz’s brilliant Marlisle book, and it’s sort of a cross between the adorable hat pictured above (Hozkwoz) and a beloved 10-yr-old J.Crew cardigan I auctioned off last October, pictured last above. That cardigan was an all-time favorite of mine — a tiny fair isle pattern used float-side-out, with a 3- or 4-stitch wide stripe at the seams, forming strong style lines. So what I’m planning here is a simple raglan marl pullover using non-marl stripes at the raglans, side seams and running down the sleeves, similar in many ways to Anna’s Humboldt sweater, now that I think about it. And perhaps the fabric will be akin to my grey marl, but this time predominantly ivory with light grey for the marl?
This is almost certainly one of my Summer of Basics garments this time around.
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Not quite harem pants
I have a longstanding longing for a pair of utterly perfect drop-crotch pants. Something slouchy and cool. Understated — not overly harem-ish. Definitely not Hammer pants. The other day I ran across the image above (middle left) on Pinterest, linked to a page where someone had dumped a ton of images with no credits, so I have no idea who designed them or was photographed wearing them or anything, but they are pretty damn dreamy. The mutton-leg shape is just the right proportion between the upper volume and the lower leg width, and omg those pockets. But even if I could locate and order them up, they’re still a little bit more voluminous than I probably really want to wear. They’re just such a polished example, something to strive for! My friend Kate alerted me to the Straight-Cut Sarouel Pants pattern pictured above (middle right), from Happy Homemade Sew Chic, and they look pretty promising. Especially this slightly modified pair. But basically I’m looking at these, my toddler pants pattern (modified Robbie) and Folkwear’s Japanese Field Pants pattern, and imagining what sort of hybrid I might be able to cook up. I have a few lucky yards of this lightweight fabric made from recycled denim that’s begging to become … these.
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater
Of all my Yarns in Waiting, the one grunting at me most impolitely from the shelf is that skein of bright green Andorra from late last year, and as it happens, I’m also in the mood for some color — especially all of the greens — as we head toward Spring. I was originally thinking this one might become an old-school, oversized, V-neck sweater vest with wide ribbing at the neck and armholes. I still really like that idea, but somewhere along the line — probably due to the mohair content of the yarn — a slightly retro little pullover wandered into my thinking. I have in mind that my next pair of toddler pants will be made with the more tailored fit of my camo pair combined with a slightly straighter, narrower, longer leg. And I like the idea of these two shapes together, especially with flat boots for transitional weather. The shape of the sweater is not entirely unlike my lopi version, but more fitted and much lighter fabric, which I would be hoping is enough to offset the warmth of the mohair.
It popped back into my mind again last week after I posted that insane Sacai sweater/dress mashup. I was studying the sweater part of it thinking I wannnnt that … and wondering if maybe my little green mohair sweater needs some cables. And then along came Francis in the comments, saying it reminded her of Julie Hoover’s Hatcher pattern, which I’d somehow completely forgotten about, even though I’ve tried it on! So now I’m picturing something in between all of these things …
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Cocoon cardigan
In addition to everything I talked about yesterday, there’s one more idea rolling around in my head that won’t let go. I have this wool coat I got at Elizabeth Suzann’s sample sale a couple years ago (no longer available; you can see it on me here), and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever owned. It just slides right on over everything, with its cocoon shape and dolman sleeves. So cozy and easy, and makes you look fabulous no matter what you throw it over. I actually wore it all summer at Fringe HQ (before we got control of our climate, finally!) and I find myself wanting a sweater version to snuggle up in through the winter. I even already have a swatch! What I’m envisioning is sort of in between the ES coat and something like Cirilia Rose’s Gezell Coat — less long and maybe slightly less voluminous than my coat, but with the stand-up collar and dolman sleeves. And pockets. But of course I still also want the sweater that swatch was originally envisioned as. Actually, I want about four sweaters with that yarn, but I think this idea might ultimately be the winner.
I haven’t searched for patterns, but it wouldn’t be hard to make up. If you happen to know of a similar pattern, though, let me know!
(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Big pleated top
With that back-to-school feeling in the air, I’m full of ideas about what I want to make for fall! As I said the other day, I really am trying not to get ahead of myself, but there’s a shirt in my head that I want to record so maybe it’ll leave me alone for a quick minute — but which I think will be the workhorse of the season for me. It’s weirdly and tangentially inspired by a lot of things: Studio Nicholson‘s way with volume, the fall Zara men’s lookbook, the ghosts of garments past. It’s sleeveless, mandarin-collared, a bit oversized on top and voluminous on bottom, perfect on its own or layered under all sorts of things. And while if it works out, there will be more than one, the first will be in that navy-ivory menswear striped remnant bundle I’ve been mulling for two years now.
My plan is to simply modify Grainline’s Alder shirtdress pattern — shortening it and straightening the hemline, leaving off the collar, using Acher’s big pockets, and trading in the gathers for wide pleats. All the more motivation to finish up my Archer.
p.s. I’m pretty sure those are also my army-green pants for SoB 3
(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Side pocket pants
I’m fixating on an idea that might not even be a good idea, I don’t know, but I can’t stop running scenarios in my brain. The final pick for my third Summer of Basics Make-along piece remains undecided. I still want it to be some kind of simple pants, but can’t quite decide what exactly. And of course I’m complicating matters by dreaming and scheming something that would require pattern work on my part, rather than just picking a pattern from the thousands out there. But the idea I’m locked onto at the moment is a pants version of Purl Soho’s Gathered Skirt for All Ages. (Which I’ve made twice unsuccessfully, in different ways — here and here— through no real fault of the pattern.) As we head into fall, my top sartorial priority is figuring out the cool-weather version of my black linen pants I’ve been wearing nonstop since April, so that’s what I want: easy, wide-legged, elastic-waist pants, but in a nice flannel or melton. (I have a lot of charcoal melton at my disposal.) And I love the pockets on that skirt. So I’m trying to work out how to pattern that. This is all slightly complicated by the fact that I’ve never sewn pants so don’t have any reservoir of knowledge or experience to draw on as far as pattern modification. But here’s what I’m thinking:
Couldn’t I take a really simple elastic-waist pants pattern — such as Sonya Philip’s Pants No. 1 — join the front and back pieces into one big flat wraparound piece, and from there work out how to carve out the center strip for the side panel/pocket? Or maybe those pants are square enough, straight-sided enough, that it would be even more straightforward than that to figure it out.
The real question is whether I have enough time for this little project to be part of my SoB 3 … I still have a lot to do on my fisherman and my Archer.
UPDATE: Savvy commenter @jddietrich has pointed to the Tofino Pants from Sewaholic that look like they could be the perfect starting point for this.
(Fashionary sketch templates from Fringe Supply Co.)
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Indigo kimono jacket
Two years ago, at the late-lamented Stitches South, I bought a piece of African indigo cloth from Veronika of YOTH. I posted a pic of it on Instagram, and got an incredible range of suggestions for what to do with it (including making a window shade, which would be amazing), but I’ve always pictured it as a kimono. A few weeks earlier, I had seen this photo of Ariele Alasko in an indigo kimono, followed shortly by a reference to this older tutorial for a quickie kimono, and the universe seemed to be trying to tell me something. I studied the dimensions in the tutorial and my fabric, did some diagramming and adjusting, and came within inches of cutting it … but my scissors literally hung in the air above the fabric, my brain unable to convince my hand to clamp the blades down on it. That “pattern” is the sort of thing where you just sew two pieces of fabric together halfway up the back, and the slit becomes the back of neck. It would be a fun and defensible thing to do with a less precious piece of fabric, but I knew I’d regret doing it with this. I wanted a proper garment. And was pondering pockets, of course. Always with the pockets. So I decided to wait, and think on it, and see if the desire would fade.
Meanwhile, it’s mostly been draped over the daybed in my living room, where Darla has enjoyed shedding on it liberally. Thankfully, it washes up beautifully!
The whole plan sprung back into my head in the past few days due to encountering two images on the web, again in close proximity: One being Liesl Gibson’s new Butterick B6464 kimono pattern; the second being this quilted linen kimono jacket by 7115 that is really just too good for words. (I mean: Quilted. Linen. With those pockets? Must have.) So now I’m fantasizing about tinkering with Liesl’s pattern a tiny bit, drafting some big pockets, and finally turning this bit of cloth into the kimono I’ve been dreaming of. Just need to figure out if there’s enough of it … and if I remember how to sew.
PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: Cowichan-style cardigan, take two