A little glamour in the morning

I’d been wanting a new lightweight robe for a while. My current one was a friend’s big pajama shirt originally, with the sleeves shortened. While it had a lot going for it, it wasn’t very long and it was flannel, so it was fairly warm. I was looking for something equally light or lighter and with a bit more coverage.

bathrobe, hanging up

My first thought was to use up some of my excess stash by patchworking a bunch of fabric together confetti-style and using it to sew a robe. Such a robe would take a long time to make, though, and need to be double-sided or else have a million exposed raw edges. Before I ever got started on that project we went to the thrift store. After picking up a crayon-colored dinosaur bedsheet I found a beautiful fabric shower curtain.

shower curtain laid out

It had a little fade on the edge of the teal band but otherwise no damage or discoloration. And let’s get a closeup on those branches.

shower curtain detail

So lovely! I used it for the same pattern I would have used with the pieced robe idea, previously used for my beloved bird jacket. The back of that jacket is in two halves, perhaps because the kimono-style sleeves make it hard to fit the full thing on a standard fabric width, but I joined them into a single piece (making it slightly wider in the process – I box-pleated the extra in at the neck). One advantage to using a shower curtain is that you’d rarely find a standard fabric with a design this large.

bathrobe on, from the back

I was only able to extend the pattern pieces by about an inch and a half, but I added the teal strip onto the bottom and finished a good six inches longer than the pattern. Plenty long for me. The leftover fabric from the opposite side of the curtain made the front edge band, and leftover teal became belt loops and a hanging loop at the top back. I bought the belt cord new.

bathrobe on, from the front
Professional bedhead. Do not attempt.

Every once in a while you start a project with an idea of how good it could be, and the project exceeds your expectations. I’m thrilled with this robe!

Just a simple snow hat

One day last fall I decided to start a project I could just work on in the evenings. I thought a snow hat would be nice – something with a brim to keep my glasses dry. I was remembering some multicolored bulky yarn – white, silver, and blue – but when I went to look for it there was nothing. Instead I combined off-white, gray, and tweedy blue yarn for my own custom bulky yarn.

me in my crochet snow hat

Given the trueness of my purple shirt in that photo I have to imagine I really was that red-faced.

Simple Snow Hat Pattern

Worked with 3 strands of worsted-weight yarn held together and a K hook.

You may find my crochet pattern abbreviations and conventions useful.

1. Fsc 46.
2. Sc 14, sc BLO 18, sc 14.
3-4. Sc around (46).
5. 2sc, sc 4, 2sc, sc 35, 2sc, sc 4 (49).
6. Sc 7, 2sc, sc 11, 2sc, sc 11, 2sc, sc 11, 2sc, sc 5 (53).
7. Sc 2, 2sc, sc 7, 2sc, sc 36, 2sc, sc 5 (56).
8-10. Sc around (56).
11. Sc 17, dec, sc 17, dec, sc 16, dec (53).
12. Sc 5, dec, sc 12, dec, sc 11, dec, sc 11, dec, sc 6 (49).
13. *Sc 5, dec* around (42).
14. *Sc 2, dec, sc 2* around (35).
15. *Sc 3, dec* around (28).
16. *Sc, dec, sc* around (21).
17. *Sc, dec* around (14).
18. Dec around (7).

I might make this again with a change: make rounds 11-13 into four decrease rounds, two of 3 dec and two of 4 dec, and maybe also add another round to the “sc around” block that’s currently 8-10. It should make it a little deeper and less boxy.

I don’t think I recorded the brim, but it was to go across 3 times, starting in the unused front loops of hat round 2. I increased a few times in the middle so the brim would stick out and decreased on each end so it gets slightly narrower.

bottom view of crochet snow hat, showing brim

It’s not as warm as my beehive hat (the second one in that link), but with the mild winter we’ve had it’s seen a lot of use.

Shrugging it up

Over the summer I sewed a lot. Clothing items, from commercial patterns – each of those somewhat rare for me (aside from boxer shorts). Specifically, I made myself a collection of lightweight shrugs and jackets to keep in my desk drawer for when I’m just a little cool at work. Once the weather got cool enough that a heavier cardigan was part of my all-day outfit, I brought the jackets home for a wash and a fashion show. Then it rained every single weekend until winter, so here we are.

The first one I made may seem familiar – or not, since it was five and a half years ago that I blogged a photo of some lovely embroidered fabric, matching thread, and tiny matching buttons, with the announced intention of making myself a summer hat with them (and that was more than two years after I posted that photo on Facebook, before I ever had this blog!). I did give an update on the project, but that was still four and a half years ago. In June I came back to it, made another muslin, and realized the probability of getting something worth the very large amount of effort remaining was exceedingly low. I have a wide-brimmed straw hat, and while it’s a bit of a sail when the wind picks up, it’s probable that any other hat that shades me as much as I’d like would also have that problem. Anyway, without further ado:

yellow coverup-style jacket

The pattern was for a swimsuit cover-up (Simplicity 4192); I changed the front tie to a hidden hook and eye. It’s not terribly “me”, to be honest, and after the photo it went into a bag for donation, but no matter.

The second one, this and the first both sewn in July, has given me a good bit of use: a shrug out of very lightweight navy fabric I picked up at the Sew-op. There was a ton of that fabric and I had first made a shrug of the simplest type: essentially a tube with a lengthwise slit down the middle for your shoulders. That was pretty sloppy-looking on, though; I think that sort of shrug is better made of stretchy fabric so it can be smaller around. This second one was assembled from multiple pieces of fabric and has much more shape.

navy shrug-style jacket

Third – I was cooking! – was also made from Sew-op fabric. Unfortunately the fabric had many flaws, tiny pinholes to big tears, and I didn’t notice all of them before cutting out, but I adore it and its funny little birds. Believe it or not, this jacket was out of the same pattern as the navy shrug (Butterick 5529). I made it in August.

black and brown bird fabric jacket

I have yet a third Sew-op fabric to make into a jacket, from a third pattern, but the jacket’s structure and the limited amount of fabric will require me making a muslin to adjust the pattern ahead of time. That would merit a separate post even if I had already made it. Later!