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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Easy Collar Refashion

Although I neglected my sewing machine a bit the last few months, I did knit a lot. Hats, scarves, slippers, for myself and for other people. And the most fun part: I spread the virus, so in the end almost all the girls and even some guys were knitting. At parties and during classes, there was always someone knitting. I have a small project to share: a refashioned knit sweater. A friend had a gorgeous Icelandic sweater, but he didn't like the turtleneck. I figured since it was all hand knit, I could just unravel the collar and knit him a new one.

And it worked! I used similar sized round needles, and knitted a small collar in the same way the original collar was knit. It stands upright a little bit, but in the days after it lay flat a bit more. I thought that refashions were limited to fabric, but in Norway I discovered that even knitwear can be altered to look exactly the way you want it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Back & Forth & Onwards

The first day of a new year! Evaluating last year and stating resolutions is common, but I'm doing it because I really want to make some changes. I'll keep the recap short, I already did one half a year ago. I made 15 garments from scratch, and refashioned 8 items. Nothing compared to the Snugbug, who produced a stunning 79 garments. (HOW?? A reward for anyone who knows her secret!) I was doing allright on productivity untill august, but then we moved to Norway and although I brought my sewing machine, I just did not have the time to keep it up.
Although I learned a ton last year, I still don't have the handmade wardrobe I imagined. It's still mostly a wardrobe of separates that don't go together very well. The lesson I've learned is that sewing does not mean making anything you like. It could be, if you don't care about matching things or fashion trends. But if you want it to be a succes, you have to follow certain rules. Sewing you own clothes means freedom as much as restraining yourself. It means don't grab the first fabric that catches your eye, but think about the fabric as an addition to what you already have back home. Colette Patterns hit the nail on the head with their planning questions!

So, here are some new rules for 2012:

1. Don't think, sew
I tend to overthink what I want to make. I've experienced an inspiration overload, which resulted in not sewing anything becuase there were too much options. I don't need to use five different techniques in one garment, I just need to choose one and MAKE IT. Watching designers on Project Runway create three piece looks in two days certainly has raised the bar! And I'm sure my new friend the serger will help with that.

2. Sew complete outfits
Instead of making one piece, I want to make two that create an outfit together. Or, if I make one, the inspiration has to be something I already own. I'm planning on going through my existing wardrobe and selecting outfits. If something can't be combined, it has to go. Or, if I really want to keep it, I have to make someting to go with it. I also want to work more with categories that stand for different occasions. I have already altered some garments I labelled 'unwearable' half a year ago, and I'll share them later this week.

3. Follow courses
I'd like to improve my skills by following courses. I'd like to do a pattern making course, or a drawing course. I can't draw at all but I do very much like to design things myself. I'd like to be able to translate my design ideas to paper.

 4. Do(n't) buy clothes
I still haven't bought anything from a regular store, except for a singlet in Sogndal. I have bought clothes in second hand stores that did not need altering. I'm not sure whether I will continue not buying 'new' clothes. If I have a look that requires a simple longsleeve in a certain colour I can't find in a thrift store, I guess I'll buy it. But we'll see! This is not the most important rule for me anymore anyway.

I'm really excited to start this new year! May our learning curves be steep, our inspiration plenty, and our creativity flowing!

Happy New Year!