Dienstag, 28. August 2018

A stack of handmade clothes......

A stack of handmade clothes.....knitted, crocheted, sewn.....handmade by me with one exception: the brown knitted Norwegian cardigan at the base of the stack. My Mom made two of them (one for her and one for my Dad) back in the early 1970's, when wool wasn't readily available through online shops and couldn't be shipped all over the world. Her aunt ordered it for her, as she had contacts in the knitting and embroidery scene. My Mom gave me that cardigan some years ago, as she knew I''m attached to it and the memories woven into it. A heirloom piece! (And scratchy as hell! *LOL*)

Why I do tell this story? Because this was the cardigan that started my journey of handmade clothes and I'd love to encourage others to try and make their own garments, too. So prepare for some reading. ;)

Around the same time I got the cardi I took a sewing class and tailored myself a pair of linen pants (third from top) which has the perfect fit for me (a seamstress was teaching the class and she did a great job!). At home I sewed myself a blouse (fourth from top). And then I came across Crochetverse's Garden Party Jacket CAL (fifth from top), so why not crocheting a piece of garment? The pattern was great, while the fit, due to my curvy outine, wasn't that great. But what? I was so proud of that first crocheted piece, that I immediately started another one: KT & the Squid's Kram Cardi (second from top). And boy do I love that cardigan! Warm, cosy, perfect loose fit, great yarn and so easy to make due to a great pattern. And those buttons! Perfect find!

A bit later I came across the Drops Garnstudio page........don't ask, but I saved dozens of patterns on the first days. *LOL* Then I decided to give the Christel Vest (top of the stack) a try. What I absolutely love about the Drops patterns is, that they are available up to sizes XXL or even XXXL, so curvy ladies don't have to do their own math and can start right away. The Christel Vest was made during a camper holiday in beautiful October last year and again I found the perfect buttons for the vest. And then my love for Norwegian/Scandinavian sweaters hit in......you know the heirloom cardi Mom gave me........

The Arctic Circle Sweater was born, made from another Drops pattern and the lovely original yarn Drops Nepal, and I never ever had a sweater fitting so perfectly. I love, that's all I can say. Of course I had to practice the Fair Isle knitting on another piece, which led to the Winter Berry Cushion, but otherwise I never knitted anything else than socks.

Next in line became Linda Skuja's Convergence Top (5th from bottom). I saw it and had to have it. Skinny model with almost no curves.......ok.......I think I can do that. With some help and tips from Canadutch and her version of the top, some online research about how to shape crochet garment and trial and error I made it. I noted my changes on the Ravelry project page linked above, so others can use them, too. I do this with all my projects, as it's a great tool to use. Next one in line was the Drops Country Dream Tunic, which I made more a casual sweater than a tunic. Loved the effect the variegated yarn adds to this piece.

Then another I HAVE TO MAKE THIS moment came with Fran Morgan's Granny Stripe Top (2nd from bottom). I did like the overall idea and the look of this top, but I knew I had to add some shaping to it to make it wearable for me. So I did it (notes again on the Ravelry project page) and it turned out perfect. I didn't wear it yet, but fall and winter will be here soon, so I'm looking forward to wearing it for the first time.

Did you read all through it? Looks like a straight journey, right? But no, it wasn't. There were struggles with the fit, with gauge swatches, with finding a substitute yarn and there were failures like the beautiful Lilla Bjorn Sweater. I loved this sweater, the look, the idea, all........and then, almost finished, I had to frog it, as I couldn't make it fit to my body, not for the life of me. But in the end I have 10 finished pieces on my list (and two WIPs) and they are all wearable.

So if you always thought about trying and making your own piece of garment, just get started, with a first simple piece, sewn, knitted, crocheted, whatever you like. They won't be perfect in the beginning, but with every piece you will learn and you will get better. So do it! :)

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