My cycling dress and a wool jacket.

This is the second dress I made. In the end of the second (last) year we had to make a dress and a coat/jacket. Most made a more complex dress and a really easy cover but I tried the opposite. The dress was fairly simple and I managed to finish it real quick so I had more time for my jacket.

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I call it my cycling dress as it’s short enough not to get in the way but long enough not to reveal too much. Also, obviously, it has bicycles printed all over it.

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It’s made of two top pieces and basically two rectangles for the bottom part. The last one is just gathered together and fitted to the top – really simple. I also added bright green binding that had some cool crochet-looking lace picots on it.

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I’m quite pleased how it worked out. I like the simplicity of it. I will definitely enjoy cycling with it whenever there is good enough weather for it.

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Photos: Karlo Salu.

As I said, the jacket was more complicated. The wool fabric I used was really easy to unravel and gave me some pain. I also had a hard time finding the right thing for marking the pattern on the fabric – nothing would stay on or show. Ordinary bar soap was good enough although it too faded when I had to put it in the bag, for example.

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Also the instructions for it weren’t always so clear plus my teacher tried to explain it in totally different way than it was in the pattern.

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What you can’t see from the pictures is, there is also a lining in the sleeves and back of it. It’s cotton with autumny oak leaves all over it. I like it since now I don’t have to feel the little bit prickly wool against my skin.

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I hand stitched the hems on front pieces. This way you can’t even see the stitching itself. After that I crocheted over the edging with some plant-dyed wool yarn.

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The colouring on the yarn is farely subtle but I found it nice on the fabric itself. I also quite like how the fabric has two completely different patterns on different sides and you can actually see them both while wearing it.

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Photo:  Karlo Salu.

The cut of the jacket was a bit complicated and unusual but I’m proud I made it. I also altered it a bit as in original it had 3/4 sleeves and I wanted long. I also didn’t do the pockets but as I was in a hurry finishing it but I’m thinking of adding them sometime now.

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Photo: Karlo Salu.

I have been able to wear it a few times already and I like the feel of it – lightweight but warm, also loose enough to let some air in when needed.

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Photos: Karlo Salu.

My First Dress, Belt and Traditional Leather Shoes.

Here is another combo of some of the things I did in school while I was studying textile work. This grey linen dress is the first one I made. I might have done something in middle-school too but that was more like a night gown probably. There is also a woollen belt included and some leather shoes.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

It was our first “real” sewing job on the first year, a real garment. For this one our initial task was to make a simple shirt dress, everyone using the same cut, but as most objected to that, we got to choose our own. The only rule was now, it had to be linen.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

I choose a nice loose cut for myself so it would feel good to wear in summer. Might be a bit dark as far as that goes but I liked the colour. The textile itself is a bit to the rough or more rustic side but I feel it will soften by time and washing a bit.

I think the hardest part for me in that point was the yellow edging. It’s not as pristine as I would prefer but practice makes perfect, right?! Over all I’m cool with it.

In another class we had to make an at least 2 m long belt by card weaving (that you can see here on my dress). I dreaded it and left it for the last minute. After making the construction out of a wooden broom stick, some screw-in hooks and some fishing swivels and measuring out the yarns it was so easy that I accidentally made it longer.

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I used 11 cards and three different colours of yarn. As the matter of fact it’s my second colour combo here as I completely messed up measuring the first one which had more green instead of blue. This is the option I had left with the yarns I had in hand.

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Although I’m not a big fan of blue, I really like it here and I also really ended up enjoying the whole process. Next time I would like to get the yarns measured out the first time. What an awful waste, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for them too.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

Last but not least here might or might not have also noticed that I’m wearing some strange leather shoes here. These are my first ones that I made in a one-day training about four years ago now.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

Leather work was also one of the reasons that I choose that school, so far away from my home but in the end I didn’t get it for some really strange and obscure reasons. Another time, I guess.

N is for Narwhal

Back once AGAIN. I’m being really inconsistent with my blog but this is how life is and I’m just trying to figure things out for myself at the moment. Currently I’m again not working so I’m at least trying to keep things more regular here. First – continuing the alphabet project.

Narwhals are like real-life unicorns of the sea, aren’t they! This makes it a fairly obvious reason of making one for my alphabet. I actually made it before  the break in blogging but I think I remember most of the details in the making.

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I used cotton yarn and 1.5 mm hook for making it. It’s really tiny and tight so I couldn’t even use safety eyes so I embroidered a couple of seed beads instead. (Does anyone know if there is an alternative for tinier amigurumi?) I think he looks adorable.  I took the picture today so it looks a bit sad and gloomy as is the weather here, wanted to leave it as is, sorry about that.

Pattern I  made up as I went on. It begins as my basic amigurumi head-body but then I cut it off and crocheted another circle of white in the same circumference and sewed  it to the bottom. Fins and tail are sewn on the same round. Stuffed it with wool.

Having gotten this far with the alphabet I’m thinking it would be a cool picture including all of the characters and things I have crocheted for it. I hope I still have them all as I tend to give my amigurumis away every once in a while. (:

Waldorf Doll and Another Fabric Doll.

This time I have again decided to put couple of items in one post. These are again one (or two) of my schoolworks. The first one is a rather simple fabric doll. It’s sewn made of a cotton/linen blend fabric and by using a sewing machine. This one I made in first year of school.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

The toughest parts were stuffing and stitching the hair as it needed to be done strand by strand and I opted for this chunky yarn for a dreadlocks look. I had to pull the yarn gently so it wouldn’t break but tight enough to make it stay in place. The face is hand stitched on and this time I went for an anime kind of a look.

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The sweater is hand-sewn of an old woolen cardigan that shrunk in the wash. The trousers are from a linen fabric, I made up the pattern and went for a harem-look. The belt is an actual leather belt that I cut shorter. Slippers are crocheted on a felt bottom (thought about making similar ones to myself as well, what do you think?).

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The second doll is made in second year of school and I finished it just in time before the end. It’s a proper Waldorf doll made following some very specific instructions. It’s all hand-sewn from a knit cotton that I believe is meant for dollmaking (we got it from our teacher).

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I had thought that the first doll was tricky enough but this one took much more time and commitment. It had to be stuffed even tighter (both dolls are stuffed with pure wool) and everything had to be just right. Here are a few pictures to show some steps. In addition to what you see there is, for example a double layer in the head – the first one shapes it and the second one for cover.

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It was a long process but I am really happy that I did it. The hair took even longer to stitch as it the yarn was so much finer. The clothes could be made by using a sewing machine again but the tiny details again took their time. I used the same wool for the jacket as for the first doll and hand-sew it. I also made a white cotton undershirt and trousers with suspenders (made of the same leather belt as well). I also made a little waistcoat with buttons (that closes with press buttons to avoid making tiny button holes).

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My doll was the only male one in our class and it doesn’t have shoes for a reason. I wanted him to look a little like Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. I know the trousers are the wrong colour but I didn’t have a solid mustard/beige/light brown and didn’t feel like going to shop either, perhaps another time. What do you think, does it look a little like him?

M is for Macarons.

In this case (as for llama too) I had no difficulties picking out what to make. In no time I choose macarons as one of my favourite sweets. It was a really fun and fast making that takes very little yarn so you can use almost all the yarn ends.

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I used really different yarns for this one. Some of them really were the last bits of the yarn. I used pima cotton, organic cotton and mercerized cotton, also a cotton-acrylic blend. I really love how soft pima cotton is and that organic cotton is almost as soft. The mercerized cotton is really different with a smoother look and a shinier finish and is a tad stiffer to touch. The acrylic blend yarn was one of the last bits of it as I’m looking for more natural fibres lately. Again I used my 2.25 mm hook and stuffed them with wool. The pattern is from Yarnspirations. I like making my own but I also love use others if they fit my vision – no need to invent another bicycle as they say!

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Although you can’t see them from the pictures, I also attached ribbons to the macarons so one could use them as accessories on a bag or as a key chain or why not as a Christmas decoration. The ribbon can also be replaced with a chain.

As they really came up so fast I just couldn’t stop with one, they needed to be in different colours (flavours). Also pictures-wise one macaron wouldn’t have looked half as nice as this pastel rainbow here. This is also the project, that some may or may not have figured, that used the yarn selection and was on a sneak-peek picture on Instagram.

Would you like a macaron? Or a few? Which flavour would you choose? Would you use it as a key chain or some other decoration/accessory?

 

Pair of Wool & Dog Hair Socks.

Today I would like to share my knit socks that I did for school. Only rule was they had to have some sort of multi-coloured pattern in them. I had bought this gray yarn a little before and thought it’d be great gauge and feel for a pair of socks. By that time I had forgotten it had dog hair in it. Halfway through with the knitting I begun to think it was something odd as it had some dark and straight strands in it.

I didn’t want to make my socks too high as I am a slow knitter and I wanted to have time for other schoolwork as well. Partly as for the same reason but also because I like minimalistic and simple things I didn’t want to use many colours or patterns in general too.

In addition to grey, the blue yarn is a regular wool that I also had bought before and now found useful. I also had a yellow wool but it turned out to be too fine. It was much harder than I thought to find a suitable yellow for my project but I ended up with one merino that was similar enough.

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Although at first I wanted to use a bit darker yellow I really like how it turned out and am quite happy with the shade. After washing the socks turned out extra fuzzy and soft as for the dog hair. Dog hair is also supposed to keep warm well so some extra bonus for that.

I tried out a new technique for the heel that turned out to be much easier than the one I was used to use but it also doesn’t create as much of an angle. Overall I don’t feel it influences the comfort of them. The increasing was also kind of new fro me and I can’t say I love the visible twirls but at least I got to try it and know better next time. That’s what school is for, right.

The yarn was 8/3 gauge (or similar) and I used 2 mm double pointed needles.

PS! The pictures only have one on them because I only had one finished by the time I was putting together the folder/album for the end of first school year. I finished the second one in school so I still managed to do it on time.

L is for Llama.

Here I go again to continue with my amigurumi alphabet. I am determined to finish however long it takes. This time I’m not so sure how clear it is, when you look at the animal, who I created this time but I still think it turned out adorable.

Once again I used my almost traditional base and crocheted a llama. I really like llamas! I even considered a different version and even did a little sketch but making characters all in one shape has become a challenge on its own.

It has the classic base with white head and brown body with white hands and brown legs. I also added a white muzzle and brown tail and two ears with one of each colour. Last but definitely not least is the fluffy mane. I had really fun making and arranging it later on. Endless possibilities with the haircut here! Of course it also includes 6 mm safety eyes and nose. Yarn is 100% organic cotton and it’s stuffed with pure wool. I used a 2.25 mm crochet hook.

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In this case, as of many others, there is actually so many possibilities and variations for the colours. I googled a bit and found one fellow with white front and brown behind with a mixed-coloured head. I think it looks fun although I’m not completely settled with it. I’m thinking if it needs any changes but not sure if or what. What do you think? Does it look like a llama enough?

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In the past I’ve had problems with my characters sitting properly. Sometimes they tend to fall sideways. Lately I’ve been trying to pay more attention on legs and tail placement to improve it but as you can see this one is still not really leaning on it’s tail, although it sits nicely anyways.

Next up in the amigurumi alpahbet is M. What could it stand for?

Crochet Kihnu Lace.

This one is again one of my schoolworks. In our crochet lessons we learnt about traditional Estonian lace, that is white and and coloured. One task was to use coloured lace in an item. You could make it or use an existing one and give it a refashion.

Most of traditional coloured laces are fine wool (Seto lace) but I wanted to use cotton so I got to choose from Muhu or Kihnu lace. I choose the latter as it seemed the least used and the small wheels or flowers looked like would work the best for my plan.

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I decided to refashion one of my favourite summer dresses a bit. I liked it as it was, simple and light but I needed to do something and I do like to take challenges. The dress was in blueish-whitish-pinkish shades and one part of our task was to use original colours from the lace. Seto lace would have been much harder to put into something as for its material but also for the colour scheme. For Muhu lace it was more the super bright colours were the thing to throw me off. Kihnu lace seemed like a nice mid-ground between them.

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Photo by Karlo Salu.

As I took it to school to show my teacher, I had no idea how she would react. Again I was utterly surprised and pleased to find out she loved it. She said it takes a good eye to match coloured lace and printed fabric so well. I never even thought about it that way! I just thought it looked nice and went with it.

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I used Iris cotton yarns and 0.9 mm crochet hook. I made all the wheels and then connected them with red trims from both sides. Top trim had an extra row to straighten it up for sewing and bottom trim had some small picots on it.

How do you like it?

K is for Koala.

Time for the next letter in alphabet – K. For this one I attempted on making another animal based on the same form as my thesis. The body and limbs were simple and standard as I make them for anyone. Interestingly enough I found out that Koalas have no visible tail, not even a small one. The main part of the ears (grey) was also pretty basic but adding the white was much trickier than it seemed. It tended to be too much or too little and in the end they are not completely identical but in such cases I figure this is nature, it doesn’t always have to be the same.

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This fellow was also one that I took into a shop for sale among some other older ones that you have already seen (i.e. donut, two monkeys etc). We’ll see and hear in some while how it went and if anyone had interest in them. I really like the grey, black and white combo here and the fact that the grey is also somewhat speckled, gives it a more natural feel.

Black yarn I used for the nose is organic cotton, grey is recycled cotton and the white fluff is made of organic cotton and silk blend. The last one I also brushed a little to give some extra fluffiness. Crochet hook I used was 2.25 mm, safety eyes 6mm and safety nose 7 mm. It’s stuffed with pure wool.

How do you like him? I’m looking forward to making other animals and creatures on my amigurumi base, I love experimenting like that. What kind of characters would you like to see? What else would you like me to make in addition to amigurumi? Let me know in the comments! (: