Friday, April 30, 2010

Sage Remedy Top

When I found out I was pregnant I had all these grand plans about knitting myself some maternity wear. Then I realised it would take me ages to knit any of the patterns I liked, and by then it would probably be summer already and therefore too warm to wear any knits anyway. So I decided to concentrate my efforts on sewing, and choose just one knitting pattern which would be suitable for wearing in the spring. So when I saw this top I thought it would be perfect, since it looked like a relatively simple and fast knit.

The yarn I chose came from here, it's 100% wool and Portuguese (and very resonably priced), which is not something I come across very often. I'm very happy with it, and the knit fabric turned out just how I like it (a bit elastic and with enough drape).

I started knitting the second size, in order to accomodate the growing bump, but then made more side decreases until reaching the number of stitches listed for the smallest size when reaching the armholes.

I recommend a very good blocking after finishing this. It definitely gave my top a couple more inches in length and opened up the lacy portions.

Pattern: Sage Remedy Top, by Sarah Shepherd
Yarn: Lopo Xavier Elis, 2 skeins (from Retrosaria)
Needles: 4 mm
Size: M

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

blue + brown winter dress, and a new skirt ...

These were obviously not taken now, but actually in early January, when I was barely showing yet. This is the dress I was talking about, it's #16 from the book mentioned below.

The fabric was from stash, and one of my favorites. I remember buying several meters of this at the fabric store, which I used in multiple bags and accessories over the past couple of years, and saved the remainder for a piece of clothing for myself.

The pattern is quite simple and straightforward, and I actually didn't have to make any adjustments this time. I'll probably make this dress again, maybe a lighter version like the one shown on the book.

As for the skirt, it's another version of this one, although I decided to add some pockets this time and a velvet trim on the hem. I really like this pattern, and I'm definitely not done with it yet (I was thinking maybe some skirts for next winter ?)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

on maternity clothing

Right, I'm sure you saw this post coming ...
Well, I won't be complaining too much about how difficult it is to buy nice maternity clothes, or at least around where I live, it seems. After a bit of effort I managed to get some decent pairs of pants for a reasonable price which are getting a lot of wear, so I'm basically done with maternity clothes' shopping. Tops and dresses have not been such a problem, but I think it's foolish to spend too much money on something I'll only wear for a short time, and since I do own a sewing machine and have a pile high of stash fabrics, this got my sewing energy back on.

First, let me tell you that this tutorial on adapting regular pants to maternity pants is absolutely brilliant, and very easy to accomplish. I did this with a pair of corduroy pants and a winter skirt I no longer used much (I needed warmer clothes for the Switzerland trip) and the result was perfect.

And then, it seems that all those patterns I love so much on my japanese sewing magazines, but which in real life don't always turn out so good (not without some adjustments, and I hope it's not only to me that this happens, or else I've been doing something wrong all these years), seem now to be (almost) perfect for maternity.

My first attempt was the top above, #18 from this book. It was one of the first japanese sewing books I bought, and it's been a favorite ever since. I've made two tops and two dresses out of it (which reminds me I never showed you that second dress, which I made at the end of last year), and this top just looked perfect to accomodate a bigger belly.

Well, too perfect it turns out, since I made it according to pattern first, and it made me look more pregnant than I was. As a result, I made some changes:
- added some small darts at the front top
- bottom front was pleated instead of gathered (this was just a personal preference)
- added a fabric sash between the top and bottom pieces (front and back) to add length and make it look less 'puffy'
- totally remade the bottom part of the back so it wouldn't have any gathering at all and made it just as a simple piece with a couple of darts.

It turned out so much better, don't you think ?

Monday, April 26, 2010


Thank you everyone for your congratulation messages and well wishes :)
Naturally we are very excited about this, and although I can't promise I won't be posting a lot about baby projects and such, I hope I can continue to blog my usual about crafts, travels, books and so on.

Speaking of which, we are spending a few days in Berlin this next week, so if you have any good recommendations for us they're very welcome. It's my first time there, so no doubt I'll be doing the touristy thing and hopefully some yarn shopping. I know I haven't even posted about the most recent trip to Switzerland yet (or from the Pyrenées last fall), but I'll get there soon.

In the meantime I do have a lot of new sewing and knitting projects to share, which I only had the chance to photograph recently.

I've been particularly anxious to show you this one, since it's probably one of the most lovely pieces I've ever knitted. It's Vivian, of course, and I've been wanting to knit it since I first saw the pattern. I started it last December and finished it in about three months of more or less intensive knitting, but then it took me a while to find the right zipper and sew it in.

Of course, by the time I finished it I already had a belly bump, and even more so when I took these photos, but amazingly it still fits well even though I made the smallest size. The yarn and cable structure make it quite an elastic knit, I guess, which seems to accomodate for a larger size.

I haven't blocked it yet, since I quite like the way the cables stand out at the moment, so I'm hoping it stays the same after a good washing. The knitting is probably a bit more difficult than the ones I usually do (a lot of cabling and an ingenious seamlesss construction), but after the first rows I found it easy to keep up with the pattern.

I didn't make a lot of changes, but for the record here they go: shortened the length on the body and sleeves at the beginning (which I'm so glad I did or it would've looked ridiculously long on me), and added a few more waist decreases. The hood was done exactly as the pattern described, although I briefly considered doing some changes to it since I'd read it could come out too small, but happily it didn't.

Pattern: Vivian, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alaska (color 11), 15 skeins
Needles: 5 mm
Size: 32

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

22 weeks

(now you know why I haven't been posting much recently :)