Baby Steps

I have been totally stalling since I've been back from Ashland.  I finished a couple of knitting projects, I want to get the wool off my needles so I can get some linen going for when it finally decides to be summer.  I did some alterations.  I even resorted to mending some jeans for my Mom and ironing my husband's pants!  Yikes!

I finished this Sally Melville pattern called L'enveloppe.  It's kind of a cape, kind of a cowl, kind of a shawl....one side has a 'sleeve' the other side is more cape-like...it kind of defies description.  It was really quick to make and great for 'TV work.' (except for the black yarn part!)  Not sure how much more I will wear it until fall, but so far I keep pulling out warm stuff, so we'll see if summer ever arrives.

 This is a sweater that I started eons ago!!  I wanted to try a 'top down' sweater.  This is a pattern developed by my friends at Fabrications here in Michigan.  It's knit in the softest cotton I have ever used.  It's like puppy skin soft! (awwwww😍 )  It turned out just fine, but the raglan sleeves are not quite right for my broad shoulders, and I'm not clever enough with knitting patterns to figure out where to make an adjustment. (most of my knitting is more 'rectangular' without a pattern per se.) I may see what I can do with a heavy dose of steam!  I like the raglan detail even if I'm not crazy about the fit.

This was the 'alteration' project.  I knit this top a few years ago and I love the drapy rayon and linen yarn, but I never seemed to wear it.  When I made it, both the front and the back had 'stair-step' hems.  I decided that the issue was the length of the front of the top.  I removed a few steps on the front and, voila!  I like the proportions much better.  We'll see if it comes out of the closet more this summer.

Part of my stalling has to do with figuring out not just what I want to make...I have been making things for a while...BUT what I want to wear.  I want to start making things that I actually want to wear...outside of my sewing room!

A friend told me about something that her daughter does called "love it or lose it!"  She unloads her closet and does a ruthless sort, chucking out anything that isn't in the 'love it' category.  I decided I would try it...if I thought I didn't have anything to wear before...now I am seriously naked!  

Once I had the closet cleared out, I took a serious look at the 'ideas' that I clip out of catalogs or pin up on my Pinterest boards.  I realized that I have garments and silhouettes that I love, but they don't seem to be the same things that I sew.  When I saw them all together they are definitely how I want to dress, but seem to have nothing to do with what I make!  Curious, no?

I collected and sorted and created a 'mood board'.  A while ago I had a color analysis done that has really helped me focus on a color palette that I love and don't seem to tire of.  I am hoping that keeping these images around will help me resist the urge to make 'too-cute-for-their-own-good' dresses!!

(you're right...still stalling!!!)

OK, I decided to use the boxy shape top as inspiration for a linen 'camp shirt.'  Baby steps.

I added a collar and actually cut out a version that buttoned all the way, but didn't have enough buttons, so went to more of a Henley style front.  (which I actually like much better!)

I used an idea that I saw on one of Diane's garments for the button holes.  I stitched a band to the center front, leaving spaces unstitched for the buttons to go through.  It makes a really nice clean looking button band.  

In Italy I was really inspired by the elegance of many of the garments that I saw.  They were made with gorgeous fabrics that were fashioned into very simple styles, but always had that one exquisite detail that took them from ordinary to WOW!

For my camp shirt I did a hand running stitch for the hems and to highlight a few details.  I'm not sure I am all the way to WOW, but I like the feeling of this shirt with it's subtle details.

I also  enjoyed really feeling the work as I hand stitched.  There is a comforting rhythm to hand work that I can easily get lost in.  I think that may be the part of knitting that appeals to me, too.

Like I said, baby steps.



  1. L'Enveloppe is wonderfully chic and simple. Cozy too, I'll bet. If only I could bring myself to knit again I'd make one. Love the colour you've chosen.
    I have a terrible time with buttonholes and am too lazy to make worked buttonholes by hand. I love the solution you've used on your new camp shirt. I'm going to try that on my next shirt. Brilliant. Elegant.

    1. When you put the band on the center front and fold it out the front edges are raw. On my shirt I slip stitched them together, but I have also seen it done with a binding to finish the edge (aka no hand stitching!)

    2. Somehow I am having a hard time visualizing this process. Any chance of a tutorial?
      Also it would be lovely to see you wearing L"Enveloppe.

    3. Thanks so much. You're wonderful. The tutorial helps a lot.

  2. Love all three of your new garments simple with an interesting shape or little detail. Hope your experience at DOL and the baby steps result in clothes you love and portray that outward manifestation of you.

  3. I'm working on it! Thank you.