Idea Log: Not quite harem pants

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.

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PREVIOUSLY in Idea Log: The pre-Spring sweater

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Make Your Own Basics: The coat

Make Your Own Basics: The coat

I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to top off (har har) the Make Your Own Basics series with an entry about coats, but for anyone with a goal of eventually having an all or mostly handmade wardrobe, eventually you do arrive at the coat question.  And when my friend Jen at Grainline put out the coat pattern she’s been teasing the world with for so long, it pushed me over the edge — and might even be the one to get me to tackle a coat one day—

TOP: Yates Coat by Grainline Studio is a modern classic with notched lapel collar, hidden welt pockets and boxy shape

NEXT: Cascade Duffle Coat by Grainline Studio is a spot-on version of one of the most enduring and iconic of coat types

THIRD ROW LEFT: Oslo Coat by Tessuti is a lovely shawl-collared wrap coat

THIRD ROW RIGHT: Lisette/Butterick B6385 is a longer coat with waist shaping, vertical welt pockets and three collar variations that each give it a very different look

BOTTOM: Ellsworth Coat by Christine Haynes is an always-chic little double-breasted shape designed for jacket-weight fabrics such as canvas or denim, plus a lining

For a knitted option, I’m partial to the Polar Coat by Regina Moessmer, but be cautious about your yarn choice to keep it light enough to be wearable!

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PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: Mittens and mitts

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Elsewhere

Elsewhere: Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Happy Friday, friends and knitters. This week, Kay beat me to a Garments of the Logalong roundup (thanks, Kay!), although I believe there have been a few more shared in the meantime, including this ooh la lovely. That’s among all the other innovation and splendor you’ll find on the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed.

And beyond that, Elsewhere:

Jaw-dropping sweater-photography series (thx, Kathleen)

– I could listen to Dianna talking about Norwegian wool all day long

Small-batch Donegal tweeds, Irish linens and Scottish cashmeres making me drool

– I’m loving the slow-fashion series on the State blog: part 1, part 2

– And this beautiful sentence: “Having dressed in a way that gives fast fashion the cold shoulder, feelings of resilience, creativity, and kindness are amplified.”

This vending machine stocks embroidery and felting kits. (Still wondering why there aren’t more yarn stores in airports …)

– Beautiful Pygora goats (photo above, by Kathy Cadigan)

Everything about this photo

DG’s latest blanket has me wanting to do Purl Soho’s Color Study Blanket log cabin style

– Just ordered a copy of Loved Clothes Last (thx, Katrina)

and …

Do YOU prewash your skeins?

IN SHOP NEWS: We’ve been gradually restocking from the holidays and have gotten in too many assorted things this week for me to detail! If you’ve been looking for something in particular, take another peek. (How’s that for least helpful shopkeeper ever? But if you have a question about something specific, please ask!)

Happy weekending, everyone—

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Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

In my ongoing effort to better document how my carefully chosen and lovingly made garments are adding up to a wardrobe, I’ve been trying to take more outfit-of-the-day selfies, so I’m including a half-dozen recent ones here … even though a couple were taken before we really reached Deep Winter status. (I know — my ankles are showing!) In that last photo, I’m wearing all ready-to-wear clothes — a rarity for me these days. The boiled wool sweatshirt is from J.Crew several years ago, when I still bought the occasional unknown-origins item; the vest is the sleeveless Clyde Jacket I mentioned Tuesday having gotten at Elizabeth Suzann’s most recent sample sale; and the jeans are my two-year-old J.Crew made-in-LA ones. The denim vest in the fourth photo is also J.Crew, from years ago. In the first photo, the tunic is handmade but not by me. The rest of these clothes are all knitted or sewn by me. In three out of the six photos, I made everything I’m wearing. That is still astonishing to me every time it happens, even though it’s taken me several years of progressive wardrobe building to be able to say that.

As far as how I’m putting things together this winter, I’m in uniform mode: pick a pullover or cardigan, a top to go under it, and a pair of wide-legs or jeans. Always with the same pair of black boots. (There are some of the November pre-winter outfits that still apply, if you just swap out the flats for boots.) So, for my first hand of Closet Rummy this round, I assembled some combos for these two pullovers:

Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

Then, just to see what happened, I kept the exact same set of tops/pants and just dropped two different pullovers down the line on top of them. Totally works:

Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

Here are the two remaining storebought pullovers in the lineup. The big grey turtleneck is a no-brainer: Just add pants.

Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

With these cardigan outfits, you can allllmost take any combo and just swap out the cardigan for any of the other cardigans and it still works. So these 10 outfits are really closer to 40:

Deep Winter wardrobe: Outfits!

And now I know what I’m wearing for the next 60+ days! Thanks for always indulging me in this little parlor game.

For details on all of the garments pictured here, see my Winter closet inventory.

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PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: Deep Winter closet inventory

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Deep Winter wardrobe: Closet inventory

Deep Winter wardrobe: Closet inventory

Somehow, winter set in without my having had a chance to properly “plan” for it. And whereas normally in January I’m well into a spring-forward frame of mind, we’re having a hard-core winter this year and I have to expect it to hang around awhile. So there’s no mood board, or make list, or any of my usual strategizing to be had. There’s just looking at what garments I have to work with (below) and figuring out how to put them together (coming up) for optimal warmth and comfort.

I actually have a whopping five (technically six) new seasonally-appropriate things in my closet since the last of the Wardrobe Planning posts

– I started and finished my grey Cline pullover and my ivory cardigan
– I finished my natural wool pants
– At Elizabeth Suzann’s December sample sale, I scored a pair of clay canvas Wide Clydes, as I like to call them (they are decidedly not Culottes!), and a navy canvas Clyde Jacket that for some reason was abandoned before receiving sleeves. ($38!!) I adore it.
– And oh yeah, number six was that grey wool sleeveless tee that I haven’t managed to wear yet. Itchy.

And there are two things outstanding: the blue Bellows currently on my needles, which I hope to complete by month’s end, and the purple lopi pullover-to-cardigan conversion, which I’m more motivated to actually act on!

So apart from those two standing in the wings, here’s the full cast of Winter characters—

STARS OF THE ENSEMBLE

Deep Winter wardrobe: Closet inventory

ROW 1fisherman sweater, grey pullover, boiled wool pullover (J.Crew 2014), striped raglan pulloveryoke sweater

ROW 2) vanilla Improv cardigancamel cardiganpurple cardiganblack Improv cardiganblack Sloper turtleneck

ROW 3white linen shellstriped muscle tee, chambray tunic (made for me, unblogged), grey wool tee (questionable, see above), black gauze shell (and tee equiv)

ROW 4) chambray button-up, plaid tee (me-made, unblogged), silk smock (Elizabeth Suzann, 2017), denim vest (J.Crew, ancient), navy canvas vest  (Elizabeth Suzann sample, 2017)]]

ROW 5) natural wide-legs, canvas wide-legs (Elizabeth Suzann sample, 2017), camo wide-legs, dark cropped jeans (J.Crew Point Sur, made in US, 2016), denim wide-legs

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS AND CAMEOS

Deep Winter wardrobe: Closet inventory

My Cowichan-ish vest and Anna vest, my State Smocks, my lone ratty old turtleneck sweater (H&M men’s, 2012), and a ragtag bunch of t-shirts, flannels and other jeans.

I’m in good shape! Outfits coming up …

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PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: November sweater weather

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New Year’s Resolutions: Stash-busting and skill-building

New Year's Resolutions: Stash-busting and skill-building

I’m a devout goal setter in life, but rarely make resolutions. Is that weird? To me, goals are very specific and measurable and resolutions are nebulous, but maybe they’re really the same and I’ve just been doing it wrong! Regardless, after a few years of my broad “resolution” being to choose projects wisely and make better things for myself (successfully!), this year I’m making some more specific resolutions about my knitting and sewing—

1a. Knit from stash
I’m not a big stasher. Sometime over the past few years, I developed a policy of not acquiring yarn unless I had a specific plan for it and intent to cast on — or unless it was truly very special and would not survive a waiting period. (E.g. the Junegrass Batch One I’ve just been knitting with: I knew I wanted a sweater in it, just not precisely which sweater or when. But had I waited, the limited batch would have been long gone. These purchases are rare.) It hasn’t been hard — I don’t knit that many things in a year, mostly all sweaters, so I get the yarn when I’m ready to cast on, plain and simple. The only other yarn that finds its way in are the odd special balls here and there, which mostly get cataloged in Yarns in Waiting. Nevertheless, I have four plastic bins, a narrow shelf and a large basket, all full of yarn waiting to be used. Holdovers from when I used to buy yarn without a purpose. It is nice yarn, good yarn, yarn I love. And I want to knit with it. So I’ll be focusing more attention this year on small projects and other stashbusters — like log cabin! — that make use of lesser yardage. I’m not in a hurry to plow through my stash, mind you, but I do want to bring it out into the daylight and into service, one or two balls at a time.

1b. Sew from stash
My fabric stash is sort of the opposite — good fabric is hard to come by, so when I have a chance, I cave. Especially when that chance takes the form of an Elizabeth Suzann garage sale and I can buy good quality fabric for $2/pound (as it was at the most recent one, last summer, my haul from which is pictured above). I have much more fabric than I have shelf space for at this point, and essentially no excuse to buy any more. I have linen, wool, jersey, you name it. So whereas I’m not committing to knitting only from stash — just saying I want to dip into it more — I am kinda sorta vowing to only sew from stash. At least, trying really hard to do that.

2. Try new things
This is my overarching MO — always be learning, stretching, failing, improving — but there are specific knitting skills or techniques I talk about often and still have yet to try. So this year I will knit something mosaic and I will steek.

All totally doable! How about you — any resolutions for 2018?

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PREVIOUSLY: 2017 Knitting year in review and Sewing year in review

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Queue Check — December 2017

Queue Check — December 2017

I had this notion that I was going to do a big forward-looking queue planning sort of post for today, but after so many hectic weeks I find I only want to think about what’s right in front of me at the moment.

I mentioned the other day that I expect to be wearing my grey Cline sweater by New Year’s, and I’m still on track for that, now most of the way through the second sleeve. (This photo is from Sunday.) What’s left is to seam it all together — a considerable amount of seaming in this case — pick up and knit the neckband, then finish the cuffs downwards, once I can see how it fits. I have a road trip coming up which should afford me the time to do all of that, except I’m still somehow hoping to have most of it done before I go.

– Once that’s done, I’m moving forward with the idea of replacing my Bellows (which I gave to my mom) with a new blue one, using my Harrisville Rhinebeck yarn. I took a sitting away from the grey the other night to knit this sleeve swatch and it’s interesting how differently the color reads from how it looked in the skein — not better or worse, but more of the purple tone comes through. I feel like it might be worn at home every night with my pajamas more than out and about, but either way I know this will be a fast, warm and well-worn sweater, and I hope to get it fairly well on its way during my trip.

– And then there’s the little matter of my Log Cabin Make-along project which I’ll be revealing and starting in earnest on Jan 1!

Both of those projects — textured/cabled cardigan and log cabin knitting — are so appealing right now, on the heels of the grey stockinette, and more than enough to satisfy my fingers for the time being. But out of curiosity, I took a look back at last year’s year-end Queue Check to see what I had said about what I wanted to make this year. Of the knits, two were since completed (striped raglan and camel Channel), one is on the needles (grey Junegrass pullover, above) and the other two are still next on the list in some form: big cozy shawl-collar (above) and big cozy turtleneck (i.e., my Charles fixation). From the sewing list, three of the four were completed (blue shirt, striped sleeveless tee, white linen shell) and the remainder is already/still at the top of my sewing list for January: a simple sweatshirt or two. Ok, technically I did make myself a sort-of sweatshirt, so I guess I completed that list, but I still want a good long-sleeved fleece and/or melton one.

So I guess I know what to do!

Have a magical weekend, everyone —

Cline pattern by Julie Hoover in Junegrass Batch One from Fancy Tiger Crafts (no longer available, see Batch Two) | all Cline posts
Bellows pattern by Michele Wang in limited-edition yarn from Harrisville Designsall Bellows posts

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: November 2017

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