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.
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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.

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?

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.

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?

Striped Cotton Rug.

Today I’m going to show you my very first loom weaving project. Before this I had only made a couple small samplers. Now our task was to create a full size striped yarn. It could be a rag rug and mine is but one could also use store bought material.

First question in my head was, where shall I do this? I don’t own a loom and I live in a really small flat so getting one wouldn’t be an option either. Also I live about 254 km from school so as it was a homework task this didn’t seem an option either. Including the fact that most of my classmates already cued up for them.

A couple of school sessions later I had thought about contacting a local cultural centre that I read had a loom but I hadn’t done that either. And in school it turned out there was no cue either any more. So all I had to do before next school week was to get the rags and cut them. I had a colour scheme in my head but it changed a little as to what colours I was getting from my parents place and from thrift stores. It turns out greens are rather rare.

The cutting took very long time. I even had to sharpen my scissors a few times meanwhile. We had a rough number how many kilos of material we should have but I’m bad with numbers and don’t remember it. I do remember I had spare (which is way better than the opposite) and could share them with my classmates. We also had measures that we had to keep so here is my sketch with some samples (pardon the horrible quality).

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The weaving itself was a joy. I enjoyed every bit of it and it went much faster than I had anticipated. Some said they had sore backs/shoulders/bottoms the next day but I didn’t get any of that. If I ever should have a larger space of my own I shall definitely buy myself a loom too.

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At first I put the finished rug in the bedroom where it fit perfectly between the wall and the bed and it stayed there for quite a while. Until a couple of months ago I needed to take photos of it for my portfolio so I brought it to our living room and now it stays there. I quite enjoy looking at it. The edges are somewhat wobbly but I think it’s due to different materials, some were a lot more stretchier than others. I don’t mind.

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Both ends got a fringe too for the last finishing touch. I really did enjoy weaving and the thought that I could reuse something purposely. Although many rug materials that you can buy are also scraps from fabric industry so it would have been not bad either.

So what does everyone think? I’m happy for my first rug. No idea when I’ll be able to make another one but we’ll see, there will be the time.

Lined bag(s)

This next post is about stuff I made in school. I try and post them chronologically so whatever I made first comes first (or as similar as I can remember). I realise I have already shared some about my studies but mostly only exercises and no real projects. So this is about sewing.

At first we made a small bag in school similar to the one that we later had to do at home in full size.

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It was a small lined pouch that I later used for pens and pencils and other stuff I needed in school. I lined it with a vintage polka-dot fabric. I choose them from what I had brought with me. In some schools you get the supplies from there but then you also have to leave the products. I’m glad we got to keep everything.

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In the instructions the larger bag was very similar to this one, also including a flap and a long handle. It kind of looked like a laptop bag and some really did make themselves one. I decided to flip it portrait instead of landscape and didn’t use the flap or the long handle either. I made a backpack instead. Here is a rough draft of this one where you can also see the lining print which is not visible anywhere else including other details.

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The main fabric is a thicker sort of cotton and the lining (again vintage) much thinner. I also added floral welts to the seams inside, some cotton lace and cotton straps. Metal buckles I got from an old bag. They fit perfectly for both the straps and the bag, I was surprised really.

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I love neutral and gray colours and I also like the pop of colour. Yellow and gray go together really nice and altough I have now had the bag for more than a year I still love it. It’s the perfect size for everyday use and cycling around but also just fits A4 sized papers if necessary.

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Not the best picture but gives some sense of the size. It has no pockets but I don’t really miss them either. It’s this kind of perfect size bag that nothing gets lost in it because you can’t fit too much in there, just the necessities.

I’m planning on making more of them. I want to try pockets whether on the outside, the sides or inside. Also I want to see if I still remember how to make one. But this one is not bad for the first try, eh? Let me know in the comments what you think!

Next post will be crochet related again to continue the amigurumi alphabet.

More About School.

So as you can see I didn’t post anything else about my school as I planned earlier. It was much busier and the long days (although flew by) exhausted me quite  a bit.

We had a lot of homework which is normal I guess if you only go to school every once in a while (our next session is 6 weeks from the first one).

I’ll now take pictures of some of the homework I have already managed to finish. First some embroidery examples.
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Next are sewing samples. These are actually made in school with big and scary industrial sewing machines.
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I think my embroideries are quite okay but this sewing thing takes some practice. Also apparently I picked a bit too fine fabric as it made my work even more difficult.

I’ll now try to picture my knitting samples. They are different types of casting on. I’m also mentioning that our maximum size for needles is set for 1.5mm. I have no idea how that would be good for practice. I’m a slow knitter an this size limit is no help!

Anyways, here they are, extremely shy and curling up so you probably can’t even tell what’s going on. They were actually all supposed to be white and red but I ran out of both. We’ll see if I’ll pass with my oh-so-wrong colours.
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I have also made drawings and more theoretical stuff but that’s not so nice or interesting to share (not that my sewings or knittings are).

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Mõned koolitööd siin. See pole kindlasti kõik, kuna osa veel tegemata ja osa liiga igav, et jagada.

Nagu näha pole õmblemine mu tugevamaid külgi. Väidetavalt oli mu kangas ka natuke liiga õhuke ja õrn sellise katsetöö jaoks.

Kudumid on ka imetillukesed ja rulli keerduvad. Need siis looduste näidised. Vahenditeks 8/2 lõng ja max 1.5 mm vardad. Kõik peaks veel olema ka valge ja punasega, a mul said mõlemad otsa. Eks näis, kas mu totaalselt nii valed värvid läbi ka lähevad.

First Day of School.

I’m having a break in my alphabet project but instead I will post about my school.

As we arrived on Sunday evening it was dark already. I met a familiar face in Tartu and we walked together to the dorm. Today we got to use the last rays of sunshine walk a bit in the town to go to the grocery store. What we realized was that we have no time to scout this beautiful small town.

Today we had only theoretical lessons. So far I have heard about material studies, a bit about Estonian national culture (mostly 18-20 century), communications and work safety. The day was very long starting from 8 am and almost until 20 pm and this is how it’s going to be every day this week except for Friday, then we get off around 3 pm. We got off a bit earlier though. 😉 Luckily everything has been rather interesting so it went faster than I thought and wasn’t as hard as I had imagined.

I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be even more fun! We will sew, do some embroidery and some composition studies. I’m a bit afraid of the sewing part as I haven’t really done that since secondary school. Also I saw those big industrial sewing machines – they look scary!

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Tähestikuprojekti tuleb väike paus nüüd. Räägin vahepeal natuke oma koolist. 

Pühapäeval tulin bussiga Tartu, nägin seal juba vestluselt tuttavat nägu. Sõitsime ühe bussiga Räpinasse ja leidsime pimedas koos tee ühikani. Täna õhtul õnnestus siiski ka veidi viimaseid päikesekiiri nautida, kui veidi linnas jalutasime, et poes käia. 

Täna olid meil ainult teoreetilised tunnid, õppisime Eesti rahvakultuuri (peamiselt 18.-20. sajand), suhtlemise aluseid, materjali õpetust ja töökeskkonna ohutust. Päev oli väga pikk alates kella 8st hommikul kuni pea kella 8ni õhtul. Põhimõtteliselt on see siin meil nii nüüd iga päev, ainult reede lõppeb veidi enne kella 3 päeval. Seekord õnneks saime veidi varem õhtule, küll. Õnneks läks kõik üldse oodatust palju kiiremini, polnud üldse nii raske kui esialgu ette kujutasin.

Olen üsna kindel, et homme tuleb veel põnevam. Me hakkame õmblema, tikkima ja kompositsiooni õppima. Ma veidike kardan seda õmblemise osa, kuna ma pole seda tõsiselt keskkoolist saati teinud. Ja ma nägin juba neid suuri tööstuslikke masinaid seal – hirmus!