Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 3: Leggings & Crocheted Cardigan

February always kicks me in the butt.

I gain all my winter weight in February. Why? Because I lose the will to live! Sometimes the only things that can get you through the snowpocalypse that is Iowa is a cookie. Or whole bunch of cookies. And a box or two of wine. Lay off me, I'm starving!

I'm going to lay it out; I'm doing poorly with this experiment so far in terms of wearing only what I make every day. But, in terms of learning... So learn. Very learn. Wow. 

What has happened for the last month while I've been off the radar? I'm glad you asked!

Well, first, let me give you my excuses as to why it's been hard and I haven't been keeping my goal very well.

1. I'm lazy.
2. I get barfed on, peed on, smeared with bananas, wiped with mud, and used as a human Kleenex by my son on a regular basis. I go through my tiny collection of handmade clothes as fast as you can say "sassafras!". It's a dirty job, being a mother. I am going take a page out of our ancestors' book and start wearing aprons!
3. I'm lazy. 
4. Le hubs is crazy busy at work right now. If we get to lie on the couch next to each other, talking for five minutes without having to shout over our yodeling toddler, it's a good day. When one parent is busy, by proxy that means no free time for anyone. I don't know how single parents function. They have nothing but my admiration. 
5. Last but not least, we are moving to Florida at the end of May. It was not final until last week, but I've been suspecting something since early February. So, my motivation to sew a bunch of winter clothes that would languish in storage has been non-existent. I am also trying not to panic about selling two houses, packing everything up, and moving across the country.

I am so excited, guys! No moar winter!!
But sad, too, because I'm going to really miss my family and friends. Can you all please do me a favor and move to Florida with us? Okay, thanks.

This is what I worked on during the month of February; the perfect leggings pattern!

Leggings are deceptively simple. I mean, how hard can they be to sew?  And yet, after having sewn pair after pair of saggy, whale-tail baring, shamefully camel-toed, pooch accentuating tights, I realized those $5 pairs I had been buying were divined by means of sorcery.

First, I tried a tutorial I found on my best internet friend, Pinterest. I don't have good things to say about the tutorial, so I'm not going to link it. The tutorial didn't take into account that my butt is bigger than my belly (for now, bwahaha husband!), and I, being a newbie pattern drafting derp, didn't know any better.

I sucked it up and sewed a pair from a commercial pattern. No experiments, no guesswork, just pure pattern obedience. They fit better, but still not great. MEH!

So, I took the pattern I made and laid it under the commercial leggings pattern. Once I combined the two, I was able to devise the perfect pattern! Soon I'll tell you how to do this, as well. For now it's a secret. Why?

Yep, I'm lazy.

Viola! Leggings. They don't look like much, but they're the best pair I've ever owned.

I also finished crocheting a cardigan. It's...odd. Because I made it, I see all the flaws. I also didn't use a pattern, just kinda fussed around with it until it started to look like clothing.

And here we come to February's lesson.

Use a pattern.

I'm terrible about this because I love to experiment, but this doesn't always result in wearable items. It can also waste a lot of time. And when time is precious, working on one sweater for a month or ending up with a bunch of handmade but humiliatingly ugly clothes can become an exercise in futility.

What is March going to hold? Will I actually start to develop enough of a wardrobe to wear? I hope so. I'm getting desperately tired of the Yoga Pants Mom I've become. Otherwise, I'm going to start wearing this shirt by Feather Hearts every day:

I just love this shop. Seriously, I want all the shirts. 


  1. This is such great reading! Iowa winters, camel toes, Chris Farley and in memory of when I gave a damn! Thanks--I love it so much!
    And your leggings and sweater are lovely.
    So, those boots...

    1. Those boots are working out for me! You're the best mom.

  2. Awesome cardigan. The whole ensemble is awesome actually!

    1. Thank you, Holly! I've decided that if I can make outfits entirely black, I rarely have to worry about stains throughout the day. Gross, yes.

  3. Yay! Florida! I just cleaned out my closet. I hugged my favorite boots closely, then put them on the highest shelf. The downside of no winter.