Tag Archive | jumper

Celebrate good times, come on!

Oh yeah, it’s a party! Never have I been so relieved to finish a project as I was with Granota’s Cuddle Muffin jumper.

A little background history on this thing:

I have a Tunisian crochet book with a really cute jumper pattern that I wanted to make for Granota. One day, I was at Joann’s, wandering through the yarn and found their store brand self-patterning baby yarn, called Cuddle Muffin. Cuddle Muffin is what I used to call Granota, so obviously, this was meant to be! I struggled through the Tunisian pattern for several months. At first it was because I was new to Tunisian, but once I got the hang of it, it was just slo-ow. My wrists were worn out and I was coming to terms with the fact that Granota would outgrow the jumper before I ever finished it. The final decision to rip it all out came one day when Konik and Granota had the great idea to “decorate” the living room by winding my working yarn balls around all the furniture. I was so disgusted that I just crammed it all into a bag for a couple of months until I was of a sufficient mental state to untangle all that yarn.

The next time I tackled this jumper, I decided to go with good ol’ traditional crochet. I had another jumper pattern in a different book that I followed loosely. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But then I lost the scrap of paper that I had made all the changes to the original pattern on. The next few months were spent wracking my brain to try and remember what stitches I had used where, how many, what I had done to decrease at the waist… Sometimes I’d be hit by a flash of inspiration and crochet up a bunch only to discover that it didn’t match what I had done the first time. Somehow, finally, it all came together. Good thing, too. My brain cells were all about ready to jump ship if it didn’t work out soon.

The payoff is good, though. I have a happy little girl in a cute little jumper.

Rana asked me to make her one like Granota’s. I laughed at her.

I can almost taste it

This close, guys, this close! I got quite a bit of sewing done yesterday on my newest dress until I had to be a grown-up and go make dinner for my family. It’s at the point where I could finish it today… if I were going to be home today, but I have French lesson which takes a gigantic munch right out of the middle of my day (I’m going to teach clothing vocab!). So tomorrow! I think I can finish it tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here’s what I’ve got so far.

80% of a shirtdress

It’s a shirtdress. I’ll find the pattern number when I post finished pics. I had never seen a collar construction quite like this. It’s supposed to be a lapel-type neckline. It also seemed unnecessarily complicated. On the points of the lapel, they had me clip down to a reinforcement line of stitching. I think that stitching line actually needs to be closer to the raw edge if I do this again. As it was, once I clipped, it all opened up too wide and made it very difficult to pin onto the dress. I’ve only done one side and miraculously, it turned out right on the first try. But it took a lot of fiddling around with pins, basting, checking, and finally stitching before that happened. I will never take a lapel for granted again.

Sure, it looks innocent now, but it was the devil to get together.

After dinner and putting the kids to bed, I sat down to crochet on Granota’s Cuddle Muffin dress. And look at this! Two matching halves!

Angels are singing right now. No, really, listen.

All that’s left is to sew it together and put the buttons on. What a walk in the park after all the hassle I’ve had with this thing! I’ve been working on it for so long and there wasn’t one part of it that I didn’t have to rip out and redo multiple times. Really, I’ve probably made this dress about seven times over if you combine all those stops and restarts. I save my crochet for the evening — it’s nice to wind down with before bedtime — so it is conceivable that I could get this all sewn up and completed tonight. Wouldn’t that be marvelous? The relief at being done with this project… ahhhh.

That’s where things stand right now. I’m feeling pretty good about it!

I’ma claw my eyes out!

Argh!!!!

Seriously, folks. I’ve been working on a crocheted jumper for Granota for a year and a half now. I can’t even count how many times I’ve made it, only to have to tear out rows upon rows of work. It began as a Tunisian crochet project. I was just learning, but it didn’t look terribly difficult. After several months’ worth of false starts, I finally came to the realization that 1) Tunisian crochet is slow and 2) my child would outgrow the jumper before I had even finished it. I think I’ll save Tunisian work for items where growth spurts are not an issue. Like pillows.

A very nice swatch of Tunisian crochet that no longer exists.

I couldn’t completely abandon the project, though, because Granota knew I was making it. Silly me, I had made a big deal about the yarn when I bought it because it was called “Cuddle Muffin,” which was her nickname as a baby. I tried to convince her that maybe a sweater would be nice to have instead of a jumper (pinafore, UK readers). No dice. She asks me everyday, “Are you done with my Cuddle Muffin dress yet?” And if she sees me crocheting anything else (which is merely for my own sanity’s sake), she demands to know, “Why aren’t you making my Cuddle Muffin dress?!” Tiny tyrant!

For some reason, once I switched over to regular crochet, I combined a couple of patterns and then made up a fair amount of stuff as I went along. It was ok, though, because I wrote myself little notes on a slip of paper so that I would be able to replicate it when I did the front of the jumper. I failed to take into account that I have three small children who are intensely fascinated by my crochet stuff. That combined with their compulsion to liberally distribute my books and other belongings all over the living room resulted in a lost slip of paper with helpful notes on it.

Of course, I couldn’t remember what stitches or hook sizes I used on the skirt. Multiple test runs followed before I finally figured it out. For the love. Then came the waist decrease where helpful notes would have been really, y’know, helpful. Stitch three rows. Rip them out. Stitch three rows with a variation. Tear those out, too. I lost count of how many times I attempted that. In the end, it doesn’t exactly match the back piece, but it’s pretty close. At that point, I was willing to accept “pretty close.” Since then, I’ve been agonizing over the bodice. I think we’re going on three weeks now of that same ol’ song of Crochet half of it, then tear it out again. Swing your partner round and round.

Name that stitch.

I just want to be done. I thought I was almost done Sunday night. Then Monday morning, I laid out the front piece against the back piece and saw that I was, in fact, about to start completely over. {whimper} My grandpa teases my grandma, saying that she doesn’t use up yarn, she just wears it out. I told her that I must have inherited that gene. I hate this project now. Really loathe it. But I can’t stop because I’m bound by a promise to a sweet little girl.

Easy as ABC

Hey, look, I’m back! Just to prove I wasn’t neglecting you all and lounging on a beach somewhere, here is photographic evidence of what I was up to last week.

Going back to school! Again!

Poor little Rana with the sun in her face. We snapped a few quick shots before she headed off to school post-strike, so there was no time for posing or detail shots of the clothes. The ABC jumper is soft fine-wale corduroy with two patch pockets on the skirt and narrow ties in the back. Rana chose this fabric herself when we went shopping in August and was ecstatic to find the jumper hanging, completed, in her closet last week. The little blue blouse also received its finishing touches last week and was met with almost as much enthusiasm.  When I picked Rana up from school that afternoon, she said everyone told her how cute she looked. And, as if to prove the point, mere seconds later, another mom passed us on the sidewalk and said, “Oh, so cute!” Rana flashed a quick grin up at me as if to say, “See?!” And, naturally, I have to agree. It really is refreshing to see a little girl dressed like an innocent little girl. Each day that I pick her up from school, my eyes are assaulted by searing hot pink and glitter on everything. Rana definitely stands out from the crowd. Right now the other kids like her clothes and she is proud to tell people that I made them. I don’t know how long all the goodwill will last, but I am soaking it up now. Maybe I can store up the warm fuzzy feelings to get me through the lean years when my kids deem it the epitome of dorkdom to wear something Maman made for them.

Sweatshop

In honor of Labor Day, I’ve locked myself in my sewing room for the past several days, busting out as many back-to-school clothes for Rana as I could. She started 1st grade on the 1st. You may wonder why I waited until the last minute and the reason is because we were waiting to see which school she would end up going to. One requires uniforms, the other does not. The uniformed school would not know whether there was a place for her until the week of the first day of school. So see —  this time my flurry of activity was not due to procrastination. And it really was a sweatshop up there: that room has no windows and if I turn on a fan it 1) will blow all my pattern pieces everywhere and 2) blow the electrical circuit. Even having the iron on at the same time as the AC is dicey. So I just swelter and come out for air every now and then.

Here is a catalog of what I accomplished between Thursday and Saturday:

These are a fine wale corduroy with elastic waist and patch pockets on the rear end. They gave me a little bit of trouble in the rise. When Rana first tried them on, she said, “Hey, these are Jasmine pants!” I was thinking more along the lines of Hammer pants, but it was the same basic silhouette. We got the crotch raised and the bagginess taken out of the legs so now she won’t look like a miniature Persian rapper.

This is a wrap-around jumper made from embroidered twill. It’s a nice weight for autumn/winter and looks nice and crisp for school. I used my machine’s lone decorative stitch for the hem and was pretty happy with how it turned out.

This little blouse came from a 90s pattern with funky patchwork and an exuberant collar. I scaled the collar width down by half so now it looks like a sweet scalloped flower instead of a clown suit. I also added elastic to the sleeves and topstitched the button placket and collar to give it a little more visual interest. It also helps it look less homemade.

These pants are in a black brushed twill. The outside is really soft! The pattern called for the appliques and cuffs, but I had to change the cuff design to accommodate my one-way print of tiny hearts. I designed the pockets myself.

I’m about halfway through making another little blouse, this time in blue and with a regular Peter Pan collar, but I’ve set that aside temporarily to churn out a few items to build up my inventory for my near-future etsy store! I’m excited about getting it all together and I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s up and running. The plan is to take photos of everything this week and then hopefully have it live next week.

My time is up down here. The sweatshop is calling. And, if you really do have a job, be grateful.