a thanksgiving camel

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A few months back, we decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from our Clever Camel yarn to support the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF), a non-profit that’s doing incredible work and which  we’re terribly excited to support!

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The “sole aim of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation is to protect the critically endangered wild camel (Camelus ferus) and its habitat in the fragile and unique desert ecosystems in the Gobi desert” (located along the western border region of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia).  There are an estimated 1,000 wild camels remaining, making them more endangered than the Giant Panda.

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For this year, your purchases of Clever Camel yarn enabled us to contribute to the protection and feeding costs of this cute little fellow born last year (below right).  With your help, we hope to continue and expand our support of Wild Camels in the years forward (maybe adding a cousin, sibling to the flock we support!)

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Some interesting facts about the Wild Camel (and why you should care about this incredible species):

  • The Wild Camel (camelus ferus) is a distinct species:  “In 2008, genetic testing carried out by the Veterinary University in Vienna on samples sent by WCPF from both China and Mongolia proved the wild camel is an entirely new and separate species that evolved over 700,000 years ago – and not, as was previously thought, a domesticated Bactrian camel turned feral.”
  • The Wild Camel is a remarkably resilient creature, having the ability to survive some of the least hospitable and extreme environments on earth: “The wild camel had adapted and managed to survive in Xinjiang Province in the Gashun Gobi Desert and the Desert of Lop. For 45 years these two deserts were the Chinese nuclear test site. In spite of this, the wild camel not only survived the effects of radiation but also bred naturally. In some areas in the absence of fresh water, it adapted to drinking salt water, which had a higher saline content than sea water. Domestic Bactrian camels cannot tolerate such a high level of salt. Research to date does not show conclusively how the wild camel is absorbing the salt water and secreting the salt.”  “Wild Camels can survive extremes of temperature varying from -40 Celsius to plus 55 Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit to 131 Fahrenheit).”   Today, they are threatened by man’s activities.
  • Unique gene pool for research: “The gene pool of the wild camels, because of their isolation and lack of interbreeding with domestic Bactrian camels, has much greater diversity and a wider range of adaptability and capacity for random mutations. This gene pool contains rich source materials for a number of scientific studies.
  • Saving wild camels means saving their fragile desert ecosystem:   “As part of its programme to protect the wild camel and its fragile habitat, WCPF has developed an environmental education programme” to raise public awareness in the local communities about endangered species and also to cover the threat of desertification both on the ecosystem and the many rare species of flora and fauna.

For more information, visit:

(all photos courtesy of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation)

And last but not least, a happy thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! We are truly grateful for your support,  words of encouragement, and kindness.

As Seen in . . . Knit.Wear Magazine!

covera while back, knit.wear magazine asked us to send them some joie de cashmere yarn for a mystery project.  to be honest, we had forgotten all about it until the most recent fall/winter 2016 issue fell into our mailbox . . . and lo and behold . . . on page 71, we found suesan roth’s  stunning kakasu shawl knit up in our yarn.

knit.wear was kind enough to send along some larger photos to share with y’all.  that said, what the photos don’t capture is the sparkly metallic effect of the yarn.  it’s a subtly sparkly and show stopping piece when seen in person!

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the pattern is available as part of knit.wear’s fall/winter 2016 issue or to be purchased individually at suesan’s ravelry page here.

lottie in nani iro brushed flannel

fronti got bit by the christine haynes lottie pattern bug earlier this summer. . . whipping up a blouse version in double gauze. it was such a comfortable fit that i decided to make a dress version for autumn winter, using nani iro’s fuwari fuwari print in brushed cotton (it’s like a flannel).

combined-2the lottie pattern is a simple design, very well suited for displaying asymmetrical, railroaded border prints like the one i chose.  to best show off the print, the cutting layout should be adjusted.  the best way to do so is to cut out the pattern pieces and lay them out (on the fabric itself if you have it) or just on the floor so you can measure how long of a piece you will need.  i made the lottie dress in a size 6 and used 2 1/4 yards with this modified layout.  not shown in the photos, but i made sure to align the bottom edge of each body piece to the bottom selvedge, so that the pattern would be somewhat aligned.

necklinei also finished the neckline using liberty bias binding.  brushed cotton is a bit thick and i found it much easier to use a lightweight lawn to finish off the neckline.

backcombined-fuwariand there she is from more angles, what do you think?

 

 

a liberty jinbei

jinbei-combinedwhen the Kid was first born, he received a beautiful jinbei and a pair of traditional japanese zori sandals (pictured above).  the jinbei, he eventually grew out of, but the zori sandals still fit (sort of).  i’ve been meaning to replace his now too small jinbei for a while now, and when i stumbled upon dans la lune’s jinbei pattern,  i decided it was a must do summer project!

necklinea jinbei can be thought of as traditional japanese loungewear.  it’s worn by both adults and children alike, and usually in the warmer summer months.  for children, a jinbei makes for great playwear or lightweight pajamas.  for adults and older children, the jinbei consists of two pieces.  a pair of loose fitting short pants and top.  the top, also loose-fitting, is tied on the inside and the outside.

tiethe Kid quite likes his jinbei! no doubt in part because the fabric I chose (Liberty’s Queue for the Zoo) contains flamingos, his favorite bird.  he liked it so much, that after our little photo shoot, he decided to wear the outfit to dinner . . . and then he slept in it later at night as well.  he also wanted his “friends” to hang-out in it, hence the photo below of pluto stuck in the jinbei‘s front pocket.

pluto-in-pocetthe pattern itself is quite a lot of fun to sew and a good way to learn about all sorts of seams: modified french seams, flat felled seams, clean finish edge, and serged.  i found yasuko’s pattern well-written and easy to follow.  the only modification i made was to change the serged seam on the sleeve to a french seam, so that all seams on the jinbei would be encased.

i would also note that the pattern is really designed for fabrics that are non-directional, i.e. all over prints or solids.  i used a directional print, and if you look very closely at the photos, you’ll notice that the animals are in a different direction on the left sleeve vs the right, and that the animals are running downwards on the back of the jinbei.  to use yasuko’s pattern with a directional print, you would have to make a modification to the body piece of the pattern and position the sleeves to be cut as vertical mirror images of each other.

the kid is wearing a size 5 in these photos.  he weighs about 40 lbs and is 42.5″ tall.

insta-shirtin’: dans la lune’s cotton shirt

frontThe Kid was in the studio the other day and since I had my sewing machines out, he decided that mom absolutely had to make something for him (it must be nice to have a personal wardrobe maker on command?!).  After a quick 15 minute websearch, we stumbled upon Dans La Lune’s Cotton Shirt pattern (she also has an etsy shop).   The pattern is designed specially for woven materials, and seemed easy enough to whip up.  Sewing with the Kid generally means straightforward, easy designs that don’t require too much fussing around.

close-up-frontDans La Lune patterns make things simple.  Unlike a lot of U.S. patterns, Dans La Lune patterns are sold by the size (she also offers special pricing for buying 3 sizes of the same pattern) and her patterns show both the sew line as well as the cut line (includes seam allowance) — a practice that is very much appreciated by yours truly, as seeing 16 different sizes all at once on one pattern has somewhat of a miasmic effect on me.

backBeing unfamiliar, with Yasuko’s patterns, I selected a 6, which is one size larger than what the Kid would typically wear.   It’s also the reason why you don’t see the Kid modeling said shirt.  It’s just a bit too big on  him.  Maybe next year.  Based on this, I’d say that Dans La Lune patterns are quite true to size — I can tell you more definitively, once I get around to sewing the size 5.

ventIn general, the pattern is very straightforward to sew, and her instructions are written clearly.  As a point of interest, her sleeves feature a European cut, where the back and front of the sleeves have a different slope.  More about these type sleeves here.

fabricOn the fabric front, the Kid is rather fond of double gauze.  We selected Kokka’s Boston Terrier design paired with Tiny Gingham (for the trim) in Nite.  I also found this water soluble glue pen quite handy — it held the two layers of double gauze fabric together in some tricky parts  better than pins.   With some supervision from the Kid, I was able to sew the pattern together in under an hour (after all the pieces had been cut).

Next on the docket, I’ve got her Jinbei pattern all cut and ready to sew . . .

Soleil: prototype #1

blueprintfrontyou could say that i’ve been sewing quite a lot of tops of late (most of them can be seen on the instagram feed, and yes, uploading more detailed photos on the blog is very much a to do).  and while all of them are well designed, a joy to sew and lovely . . . none of them were exactly my style, which my husband has worked out to be “flowy top and jeans.”

somewhere in the middle of all this top making, i got around to scribbling out a pattern for a summer top in line with my tastes.  i’m calling it “soleil” and here’s the first prototype (made out of liberty tana lawn bamboo garden b ):

bodicea gathered bodice for volume and “flowiness”

Buttons-on-Backbutton closure in the back

Pockettwo pockets in the front!

and now to test drive it tonight . . . as it is a friday night after all!

 

wip: julie hoover’s daphne!

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i’ve been a terrible knitter of late — mostly due to having developed a bad case of bursitis (ouch!) a few months back.  after laying off the needles for almost a good nine months, my wrists have finally healed. . . which means i can finally take-on julie hoover’s daphne.  here we go!

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i decided to knit dafne using lustrous linen in capri with two strands held together.  it’s steamy hot in nyc and i’m looking forward to the crispness of linen to keep me cool.  using US 9 needles, it’s been a fair fast knit so far.  after knitting for a bit last night, i’m on row 55 of the back piece (about 11-12 inches eyeballing it).

should-shaping-frontalmost done with armholes (julie’s armhole shaping is beautifully written/constructed!)

shouldersand we have shoulders! now onto the back piece . . .

updates will post on this blog and on instagram #myjhdaphne

flamingo boy

Flamingo-boyevery so often the Kid makes it known what fabrics he thinks we should be stocking . . . and he happens to be a huge fan of flamingos!  so when he came across this lovely hokkoh heavy weight gauze featuring a flamingo print, he demanded that we carry it!

Flamingo-boy2oddly enough, flamingo themed apparel for preschool sized boys is near impossible to find.  i’ve searched with very little success.  it seems that preschool girls have the monopoly on the motif.

Flamingo-boy3when meredith very generously offered to work her magic and transform that flamingo fabric into a sketchbook shirt, we were thrilled!  this is, as the Kid says, “my very most favorite shirt in the world!” i’m pretty certain he’d wear it every day if he could with a smile from ear to ear.

Flamingo-boy4THANK YOU MEREDITH FOR SHARING YOUR TALENT WITH US!!!  we are so grateful!!

l’indispensable in sevenberry

sevenberry1after a short hiatus, we’re back to bloggin’!  [if you must know what happened . . . first, we discovered instagram, then it became time to get our books over to our accountants, and then . . .  well you get the turn of events . . . onto more interesting endeavours!]

sevenberry2sometime back in december, we came across delphine et morissette’s charming patterns.  delphine has a simple but whimsical style — filled with these delightful little details that make stitching her patterns so much fun!

sevenberry3this particular pattern, l’indispensable,  is only available in french. the format isn’t as fancy as some of the more established pattern companies out there, i.e. there’s no cutting layout or fabric requirements chart (you’ll have to figure that out once you’ve cut your pieces out — but it’s not hard).  that said, if you’ve put together a few blouses before, you’ll be able to piece together the pattern even if you don’t read french.

and there are other snazzy perks too!  delphine’s patterns feature an asymmetrical european sloped sleeve, where  sleeve cap is unevenly divided with the back measurement longer than the front — resulting in a better fit and slimmer look.  mary of cloning couture has a great discussion of this on her blog.

this was my quick and dirt trial version of l’indispensable. (yes, i went a bit wonky on the hem) i made it in a size 38 — and found that it was quite an easy fit.  i used 1.75 yards of sevenberry lawn and 1.5 yards of a silver star bias binding tape.

love it! and can’t wait to make another version in liberty!

nani iro, charlie tunic + twins!

duoi had been extolling the virtues of double gauze to my friend A for a while now.  she doesn’t sew, but she’s my partner in crime in digging out cute clothes for kids and hunting down the latest and greatest exquisite pastry shop to open in nyc.  she’s also the proud mother of two adorable fraternal twins!

tuniconce after i put together the charlie tunic for the kid, i decided to make two more versions for A’s twins out of nani iro’s 2015 mountain view double gauze in two different colors.  suzumi (mostly blue) for the boy and  happy free (pinks, reds and light green) for the girl.

tunic-facingi did make some modifications on the tunic in this version. i wanted to incorporate fabric from the sister’s garment as a reminder of their twin togetherness.  to maintain a cleaner look (the fabric has got a lot going on already!), i tucked the bib facing on the interior of the garment.

dress-detailsfor the girl, i incorporated her brother’s blue fabric as a sleeve facing.  i did let the facing show on the exterior because i thought it made the dress look more rainbow-hued.

both the tunic and the dress are a 3T. i hope the twins like their first foray into double gauze attire!

Made by Rae’s Charlie Tunic + Dress pattern can be found here.