Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011

Well, to begin with, I finally got several spinning fiber options posted to the shop! Many things, from Merino to llama, to flax, to Churro...

And, I have 5 alpaca fleeces coming this weekend! I'm really excited about this, they are gorgeous colors, very very soft, and very clean fleeces, which means I should be able to wash them quickly and get them available to you! Pictured are locks from all 5 fleeces, I'll have photos of the animals themselves soon.

Now, on to the Tour de Fleece! If you don't know what that is, the best place to go is the Tour de Fleece group on ravelry. Basically, its a fun challenge to spin along with the bikers "spinning" in the Tour de France! This year it runs July 2-24.

I have a shop promo to go along with the Tour- use shop code TDF11 during checkout for 15% off anything you buy, now until the end of the Tour. Happy Spinning!

Last year, I hopelessly over committed myself during the tour, and as a result I pretty much gave up after the first few days. So this year, I'm trying to keep it somewhat more reasonable- I want to finish the 3 spinning projects I have going right now, and IF I do, then I want to work on spinning and Navajo plying something hand painted. I have several somethings hand-painted, I'm not going to pick which to spin until I get that far.

What I have in progress- Bison down and Cashmere, both to be spun as finely as I can on drop spindles, haven't decided how to ply yet. The 3rd project is some Peruvian wool on a Peruvian drop spindle, from which I'm theoretically learning Andean drafting. Trust me, its much harder than it sounds. I'll post periodic updates here, as I (hopefully) make progress with all this spinning!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The infamous infinity dress

Yep, you heard it first here folks, I've joined the ranks of homemade infinity dress wearers! (Otherwise known as "convertible dress" or "many ways dress" "4 in 1 dress" etc) It all came about because I saw some super cute bridesmaid dresses that could be worn many different ways. Well, they claimed to be bridesmaid dresses, but really they could be any cocktail dress. So I thought oooh me likey! But, as we all know, anything intended for a wedding must double its price... so, no dress for me. $300 is a little steep for 4 yards of jersey fabric! After much perusing of the internet, I found several tutorials for making this style of dress. I primarily used this blog, but I found this other blog had some helpful tips, and I used the instructions for the straps from this blog.

Rather than commit to making a whole new dress, I decided first to try to fix this cocktail dress I made a year or so ago. I love love love the funky print, but... well... Let's start with the bust. I did an absolutely atrocious job on that bust. I won't even go into detail on all the reasons that bust isn't fit to be seen in public. The other major problem was the size. I made the skirt the smallest size that would fit over me without a zipper... but that isn't quite tight enough to fit properly at the bust and waist. And I loath zippers, but alas, there was nothing else for it but to suck it up and put in a zipper.

First, I made my straps. I used the tube method from the 3rd blog above because I didn't want to mess about with hemming all the way along the straps. As it turns out, the fabric I chose would probably be fine without a hem, but if you choose not to hem your straps, cut them very very carefully as any wonky spots will be very obvious. The upside to the tube is that the straps look clean and polished and cover everything better than a single layer of fabric. The downside is that its twice as thick, and after you've wrapped the straps 4 or 5 times, you have 8-10 layers of fabric over you! Which may not be the most flattering amount of bulk. It also means that you have to be careful when wrapping to keep the seam hidden. Next time, I probably won't double up my straps.

But, I love the improvements to my polka dot cocktail dress! I can't wait to have an occasion to actually wear it! I do still want to make a full dress from the patterns above, but I don't think the fabric actually needs to be stretch fabric, other than to avoid the sewing in of zippers. When I went for my strap fabric, I saw some gorgeous printed silks that just flowed like water... I might do that. Or I might try another in inexpensive jersey that's a more casual dress first, to get my skills down before shelling out for silk. I might volunteer to make them for my bridesmaids... who knows, I might even decide to make one for my wedding dress! Stay tuned, to watch my closet explode in an infinite number of infinity dresses!

Monday, June 6, 2011

So many vintage patterns!

16 of over 60 new vintage patterns in my etsy shop in the last week! There are lots of sweaters for men, women, and children, and also some toys, blankets, hats, coats, ponchos, and even a 3 piece suit! Pictured are just 16 of them, the rest are all in my etsy shop. All of the patterns are from Mary Maxim, a Canadian company, and most don't have a date printed on them but appear to be 1950s-1970s. I also have several pattern books in the shop right now, from the 1940s-1980s, with lots of vintage styles that are coming back into fashion right now. Oh, and my first for-sale batches of hand painted yarn are in the shop as well!

There are also a lot of vintage accessories and linens on sale 20-40% off in the sale section of the shop- but most of those listings expire June 8-the end of the month... so get them before they're gone!

As always, shop at Thanks :-)