_MG_8356.jpgOh well, there´s a first for everything. This is a first knit tee I have ever made. I have had a serger for years but I have not used it much. Finally I thought that I would use it or sell it. And after this t-shirt I will definitely keep it. Another thing I did with this tee was double-stitching the hemline, neckline and sleeves. What a difference in finished look. And functional too, because the double-stitch is stretchy.
_MG_8333.jpg The t-shirt pattern I used was Burda 3197. It had a wide separate neckline facing that I ended up almost cutting away. I think I might try to do the next one without this piece at all.
_MG_8396.jpgThis fabric is perfect: marled middle gray with polka dots. And it was dirt-cheap and doesn´t wrinkle. One thing though with this tee: it could be smaller by one size or so. And as with sleeves usually in my case, they´re a little too wide. But still, it has already seen a lot of wear.
_MG_8338.jpgView from my room´s window. I have many projects on the side (for instance those rags in the corner) while sewing is taking the lead. But what I should really get over with is my master´s thesis. I have set a deadline but it´s still a little too far away to do other than procrastinate.
_MG_5935.jpg By the way those curtains on the picture above I sewed last summer. That was good enough excuse to post one picture of Tati while he was(n´t) helping me with the curtains and posing for the camera. Handsome devil.
_MG_8339.jpg And what I wouldn´t do to escape the writing work but also develop 7 rolls of film that had been lying on my desk for months…

And last but not least… watched this video on manufacturing cotton fabric. Almost broke to tears (not even kidding) by the time the fabric was printed because of the labor that goes on to making beautiful things.

_MG_8090.jpgAfter finishing the plaid cozy version of Alder, I decided to make another one. I had some cheap herringbone wool blend that I had bought without any plans. So I laid the pattern pieces and guess who understood that it was all laid for him?
_MG_8081.jpgAfter plaids, this was easy. But I wish I had a table to work on.
_MG_8082.jpgFrom the beginning I suspected that this fabric had quite a lot of polyester (or similar) in it because it has a sheen to it. I still haven´t decided that if it´s too much…
_MG_8088.jpg With two meters the pattern requires, I was left with this much fabric. I think I could do this dress with a half meter less. I hope I remember that next time.
_MG_8096.jpg All cut and stacked. The half a meter will continue to be cut for a rag for my rugs.
_MG_8347.jpgI think the sewing went pretty smooth and here´s the finished piece.
_MG_8352.jpgAnd the close-up of the fabric. Pretty graphic.
_MG_8370.jpg And me wearing the newest addition to my wardrobe. Next on my learning to sew -list: knitted t-shirts!

_MG_8172.jpgBefore the year changed I finished my Alder shirtdress and started another one. I like this pattern a lot and shirtdresses in general. And the instructions it comes with teach so much about sewing. I made this dress out of very odd piece of fabric, it´s plaid cotton double-gauze. Tricky to sew when trying to match plaids because the fabric has four loosely moving layers when attached together. But I guess for the same reason the fabric feels very comfortable to wear. But with these colours and patterns I am afraid it will not leave home… All in all, it fits and works on day-to-day basis so I kind of regard it as a success. And it restored my confidence to sew more clothes.

_MG_7457-(1).jpgOne day last year I sampled dyes for a good primary red and blue. Well, actually my target was more stormy blue and tomato red because it´s very hard to set your mind on an idea of colour rather than actual color. In the past I have had my crushes on primary colors but always settled on more earthy shades. This time my crush was probably triggered by flags with red and blue and white and my last January´s trip to the Netherlands where I found these pure colours everywhere. Also with blue in particular, it think it has always been discriminated in my palette. Also the interest in blue has something to do with Ilse Acke´s beautiful blues. I think she made me accept blue and deal with it.
_MG_7445.jpgOh, and Tati wants to wish you all happy new year! He turned one 22nd of December and I can hardly call him a puppy anymore. He´s a handsome dog and learns very easily. Until December also very well-behaving but learned new tricks just before turning one… Nothing big, just a little mischievous when left alone. Others say it´s normal but for him it´s new to pick up yarns and put them somewhere else or dig soil from the pot of a plant. Nevertheless my dearest friend.
_MG_7447.jpgI got this feather duster as gift to R. I think he likes more to look at it than actually use it…
_MG_7455-(1).jpgAnd here´s the final choice for tomato red. The yarn is wet but I like the color a lot. I had to dye it twice because first it came out too orange and washed-out looking. No idea for what I was targeting these colours. I just had to make them to get them out of my thoughts.
_MG_7287.jpgBought a new bag for small things. I am not a purse person. It´s always a small shoulder bag plus backpack if I have to carry something. Or a tote/ canvas bag for groceries etc. This bag is very clever and rugged, I am glad I decided to buy it after a lot of thought. Towards the end of the year I became increasingly anti-shopping. Of course it had something to do with having less money on my leave of study but also because I have (finally) started to realize the value of my time. Also, buying something ready-made takes away the opportunity to make it yourself. And I dream making almost everything myself. Increasingly so.
_MG_7464-(1).jpgDon´t you just love looking at him sleeping? I do.
_MG_7518.jpg And here´s two dyed skeins. The gray one is for socks. Red, I don´t know.

_MG_6689.jpg My room is one of my favourite places. It is what it is. Sometimes I wonder how it looks because it’s different -simpler- than I have always imagined.
_MG_8042.jpgEucharis is blooming again in winter. I don´t get why it does that. I have heard it should bloom in spring.
_MG_6702.jpgMiddle gray mittens in progress.
_MG_6707.jpgI got a batch of plant-dyed yarns as a gift. They date back to eighties and had names of the plants they were dyed with. As I wound these into balls I decided to try dyeing with plants and mushrooms next summer. It sounds sort of perfect pastime for me… When I was young my mother who is a gardener/florist and taught me the plants that grow in our forest. Next summer me and Tati will go and explore the woods.
_MG_8045.jpg Begonia corallina (also known as “Angel wing”) joined in bloom because I changed it´s soil. I got this root from my mum because customers always bring these to florists because it´s traditional and I think they´re quite hard to come by in this corner of the world. Never knew how easy this plant is to take care. Unfortunately I have not inherited the green thumb.
_MG_6919.jpgMore mittens in progress and occasional breakfast.
_MG_7280.jpgKnitting mittens while R plays solitaire.
_MG_6915.jpgFelting mittens.
_MG_7283.jpgI made a wreath of fern.
_MG_7301.jpgFinished mittens.

_MG_8053.jpgNew weaving project on the big loom. This was a beginning of a second rug that I wove but I unravelled the beginning because it was too dull without colour.
_MG_8057.jpgThen I added colour but warp thread broke. I cannot see how that happened but of course that´s not a big deal.
_MG_8059.jpgAfter the sticky beginning I got on track. With blacks, dark grays and middle grays, I added random muted or pastel colours. This is the toned down version of the previous rug I will show you later. But I have to admit that toning down does not necessarily yield great results. I think I like the other better…
_MG_8077.jpgSomehow the palette of the rug was transferred to my sewing project. Here´s my first Alder shirtdess by Grainline Studio in the making. I like that pattern a lot but the fabric is terrible. It´s loosely woven double-gauze and with seams I am basically sewing striped 4-layered stack. You can imagine that it´s not easy to align the stripes. The garment is already finished but it was a struggle because of the choice of fabric. Well, learned another lesson there.
_MG_8078.jpg One reason I chose the pattern was because I decided to face my biggest fears when it comes to sewing: the collars, buttonholes and gathered hems. With buttonholes especially I have completely avoided making them after failing to match them in size a long time ago. But this time I refused to give up and decided that I can do them (and do them well) instead of letting buttons to decide the patterns I make. And I think they came out very good. After preliminary research I realized I had used the wrong threading in my machine and wrong presser foot earlier and after that I knew I could make it work this time around.

Oh well, a lot has happened to blog about but I think this will be the last post before Christmas. I hope all of you readers merry Christmas but not yet happy new year!

_MG_8061.jpgFor years I have been thinking of improving my sewing skills but never had the time to do that. Sewing feels difficult because it involves giving three-dimensional form. Not my strong suit. Therefore I tend to avoid sewing even though I want to make something with it. This fall I finally have more time (and courage) to try new things. I am taking my leave of study as comprehensive as possible and sewing was scheduled too ;-)

What got me motivated in the end was a few a patterns that I came across on Pinterest: the Alder shirtdress and the Scout tee by Grainline studio. I love Jen´s patterns and I quess they´re well made because I could match everything easily. I made these muslin versions of both of the patterns and followed instructions step-by-step. And during that overcame my fears concerning sewing and fitting. And learned how to alter the patterns to improve the fit. Never before had I realized the actual problem with pattern AND knew how to fix it.

I have made clothes before for parties etc. and they´ve been fine to wear. But I concider making everyday clothes more difficult and those are the ones I can´t seem to find ready-made anymore (withing my budget and requirements). I am so happy to find this growing set of patterns and Jen´s blog for her professional instructions. Without her work my sewing machine would be left untouched and my intentions only daydreams.

_MG_8006.jpgThe weather keeps changing between freezing and warm. I hope it stays warm as long as possible so that I can keep breathing the mist of forest.
_MG_7959.jpgBut this week it snowed on couple of occasions too. Tati went crazy because of the snow. I guess he doesn´t remember much.
_MG_7999.jpgI have been cutting rags during the weekend for a rug. I already finished the first one but jumped right in to newest photos so it´ll have to wait. I am using all kinds of old fabrics and some of them date back to decades ago. For this set off two rugs I have gathered scraps of materials and I don´t havean actual plan or use for the rugs. And again it´s so liberating. Especially when turning nothing into something as is the case with most of these fabrics.
_MG_8038.jpgIn Finland women used to cut rags during summer, outside in fresh air. I can see why they did so. Because it´s very dusty. I hope my rag rug weaving settles for the winter. Next summer I will do my chores and get to weave when it´s cold and dark. With much less dust. I should make this into a new year´s resolution. Never to cut rags inside. And especially not velvet.
_MG_8039.jpgSomeone was about to make pants out of this fabric. And now I am cutting the parts to smaller shreds.
_MG_7976.jpgDuring the weekend I did a lot of cutting (now that I think of it). Tati got a new haircut too. Don´t get me wrong, I think this is his best look but he´s also starting have the notorious tangle phase apparently almost every poodle goes through. Here´s he washed and groomed but there underneath are the tangles even though I tried to go them through every day. So I had to basically shear him before the coat would be all tangled up.
_MG_8017.jpgAnd here´s the chopped version of him, after rain. This was my first time cutting his hair with shears. And I think it´s pretty ok. I know where I went wrong but all in all it was pretty easy because he behaves so well.
_MG_8019.jpgAnd we went for a very long walk to the forest too. Perfect. It was so quiet and peaceful.

How was your weekend?

_MG_6296.jpgDaily snapshots from late summer. It´s so cold already that I had to go through pictures that makes me remember that we just had a long warm summer and another will follow…
_MG_6258.jpgMade a blueberry pie from frozen blueberries.
_MG_5949.jpgWent to zoo with my friend and her two boys. These guys must be happy under the warming lamp…
_MG_6113.jpgPlaying with his sticks. Favourite toys: sticks, balls and toys that make noise.
_MG_5947.jpgOld beetles always make me happy.
_MG_6673.jpgR´s daily read, mostly on Surrealism. Doilies that I received to pass along to my mother.
_MG_6173.jpgAt my mother´s place. It´s amazing to step outside the front door and find yourself in the middle of the fields. With our apartment you have to walk quite some time to find an open place.
_MG_6256.jpgBaked two breads. So easy. How come I had not tried that before?
_MG_6303.jpgFrom the kitchen window. Love the neigbourhood we live in.
_MG_6297.jpgMint tea break.
_MG_6356.jpgOur house turned 100 years. Actually it happened last year but we never got around to celebrate. Our neighbour makes the best cakes, more cakes here.