Monthly Archives: March 2018

The My Audition for Hair is Tomorrow Shirt

Some projects are long in the making. They require time and space and long hours of contemplation. They live in the imagination like phantoms, lying in wait for the right fabric, the right moment in time, the right feeling. 

This is not one of those projects.

This is more of a project that is like that song by the Shirelles. You know the one I mean….

If you don’t know or at least enjoy that song on first listening then you are dead inside. Please stop reading this blog, I don’t want no zombies here. Thanks! Bye.

Seriously, Walking Dead, get out of here. You are by FAR the least interesting thing AMC has ever produced to my mind. Yes, I know about Turn. Yes, that sounds cooler to me. Come on, now, you know you are into that period! What else has Lin-Manuel Miranda given us, if not that?

Side note, how are zombies cool now? They are legit the least sexy mythical creature. They are rotting, all the time. They are the sexual equivalent of a compost bin. COME on, people!

ANYway. The point is, this was a project that I was like, oh, yeah, I want that. I want to make that. And within three days, I sure had!

It also involves a pattern company I had never heard of before! Have you guys heard of Peppermint Magazine? It is straight up delightful, with a free pattern monthly and a lot of excellent sustainable things! But also, FREE PATTERN MONTHLY! I mean, how do you walk away from that?

This month’s pattern is a blouse with ruffled sleeves, totally on trend, totally adorable.

I saw it on a Thursday, I made in on a Saturday. I took photos of it on a Sunday. I cut out two more on a Monday.

Not convinced? Enjoy the photos!

Fun fact, it was literally 105 degrees fahrenheit when we shot these photos. BUT. This blouse looked better with jeans than with the shorts I’ve made in the past. It’s so billowy that it needs a slim leg below, right? So I wore jeans. For you guys, FOR THE READERS. I know, I know, send in my candidacy for sainthood. No matter that I’m Jewish. CALL THE VATICAN!

So first of all, I was trying to be conservative with my size by cutting a size G, but this is too big. Which is fine! I still like it. I cut a size G because it said the finished bust size was a 44, and my size D chest is 42 inches at the fullest point, so two inches of ease, sounds like a plan, right? Wrong. This is WAY more than 44 inches in width! I like the loose look, don’t get me wrong, but I’m going down a size for my next try. 

But also, look, I totally like this shirt. Obviously! I cut more!

But also, again, it does sort of remind me of something….

Yes. Hair. The musical Hair.

Good lord, why do we glorify hippies? These are hippies:

Disgusting. Weird, cult-oriented, weirdness. But mostly, disgusting. You can hate the Man with showers! Right?

This is one of my favorite things among a thousand things about Mad Men, the fact that they depict hippie cults clearly:

Just horrific. Margaret!

I don’t care how happy and free she is. SHE LOOKED BETTER REPRESSED:

 

Oh, god. I have betrayed everything my mother fought for. I am horrific. BUT I’M CLEAN, RIGHT?

Yep. Hair combed, body cleansed, blouse a little 70’s  but still fairly modern!

Side view!

 

And the back! This is a stupid easy make, and I LOVE the way that Peppermint Magazine has included a ton of detailed instructions to make the finishing of seams as clear and wonderful as possible. Well done! They have so many great patterns, I’m excited to make the others!

 

 

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Filed under Sewing, Vintage

The Oh Noble Sheep Outfit

 

In the photos you are about to see, I am wearing two self-knitted garments. One of them took me a week. One of them took me 5 months.

Guys. Knitting. It’s a whole damn thing.

I do actually really like knitting. But since we moved to Mumbai, my knitting game has taken a strong hit. This is 100% because it is so damn hot and humid here, and the idea of handling a ton of wool is just painful. I am not a fast knitter, one-week skirt aside, so I end up spending a long time with a knitting project, most of the time. The idea of covering my lap with wool is so so appealing in a crisp fall, cold winter, or damp spring. Not so much in this tedious land of constant summer.

But I do spend time in the States, in Philadelphia and New York, and they are cold in the winter! Which, I know that that is a bummer but honestly, I just can’t even with this monotonous weather, I had a total temper tantrum the other day with What’s-his-face about the sameness of the weather, I’m a mess. So I was really excited to finish this sweater, FINALLY, and wear it in America. And then I thought, let me get this party really started! On a two week trip to the States, I ordered wool and bought a pattern and decided to challenge myself to knit a wool skirt in 7 days. And I did!

Chunky knits, man. They just HAPPEN.

In other news, I’m going to attempt my first fingering weight sweater while on an upcoming writer’s residency in Italy. I might be knitting that for a year. Wish me well.

But first, a word from our sponsors:

 

 

To the outfit!

I do feel that all these knits make ME look a little chunky, but ah well. They also keep me warm! And it was cold, as I wanted it to be. And I was happy!

The sweater is the Purl Soho Folded Squares Cardigan.  I made one for my mother in Manos del Uruguay, so then I had to do the same for myself….

The shape is lovely, and drapes well, and the Manos yarn in Clasica is SO warm and cozy. I made one change to the pattern, lengthening the sleeves. This was the same alteration I made for my mom, and we both are big fans!

A bit windy up there….

The sweater is an easy knit, but  time consuming. I started it in July, and I finished it in February, just to give you a sense of how slow I am. Row after row after row, it’s a little monotonous, but it’s fun the way it all fits together!

The skirt, on the other hand, is super easy and and very fast. It’s the Bryn Mawr skirt, which, given my own origins in Philadelphia, is very appropriate! (Bryn Mawr is a suburb of Philadelphia, and a great college! Midge went there!)

I read a lot of Ravelry reviews of this pattern and all of them said it knitted up big, so I opted for a size 28 waist, figuring that would be comfortable, but it’s enormous! It was slipping off during these photos and literally slide off of my body about thirty minutes after we took these, which was about an hour after I wore the skirt for the first time. So I’m going to insert elastic, because otherwise I can’t wear this, and it’s so cosy and cute, I want to!

It’s SO warm. This yarn is from a company called Valley Yarns, and it’s the Berkshire Bulky, and it’s a dream.

Okay, so that’s about it. Busty photos of me in chunky knits on a rooftop. But let me tell you, I was WARM!

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The Peoples of the Ancient World Dress

First of all, just so everyone knows, you are WELCOME to enter my pattern giveaway regardless of joining the #makingmaisel sewalong! Check it out, here!

When I was a child of about 12, I was already a big fan of history. Especially ancient history. I know. Knock you over with a feather. Nothing I have ever said before on this blog has ever even shaded towards that for you. But I was a kid who used to sit around reading books on young Martha Washington and Greek battle secrets and learning how to mummify stuff. As you can imagine, this made me really popular, which is good, because that was 100% my goal.

But the question is of course, why did I become this sort of human? Well, it’s probably because of a variety of factors, if I’m being perfectly honest. If I had to give you a recipe for a historically minded nerd child, because you might like to bred one yourself, it might be as follows:

10 cups historic fiction reading materials (anything from the Horrible History series to Japanese myths will do. Bonus points if you give them access to questionable appropriate series like Steven Saylor’s Gordanius the Finder books which no ten year old should read and this ten year old 100% did)

2 cups historically minded parents

1 cup access to travel and historic spaces (an expensive ingredient, to be sure. Can be substituted with appreciation for said historic spaces, if access is not possible immediately/ever)

3 tablespoon obsession with Indiana Jones

2 teaspoons costume obsession

1 teaspoon love of old-timey fonts

1 pinch of vivid fantasy life

Stir to combine, serve. Warning, becomes more potent with age.

In addition to all this, I lived downtown in Philadelphia, while I attended a school in the suburbs, which meant that school vacations were a little, say, isolated. My parents would hand me a stack of museum memberships (an optional ingredient for the recipe above), and send me on my way, to fill the long days with something other than watching television and bothering them at work. And one of my favorite places to spend a long vacation day was The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. A lot of people don’t know about this museum, but it is splendid, and well worth a visit if you are in the area. I would take my mother’s high school textbook from the 1950’s, The Peoples of the Ancient World, hugely out of date and more than a little offensive by modern standards, and sit in the galleries supplementing the exhibition texts with choice self-taught Assyrian lessons.

I think you are probably seeing why I was….alone for these trips, unaccompanied by “friends”, or whatever.

Well, on a recent trip to the States, from which I am still jetlagged, having returned to Mumbai on Thursday, I got a chance to not only visit the museum, but do so with my friend Becca, AND get a tour of the conservation lab! It was beyond my wildest imaginings and I mostly clasped my hands to my chest so I wouldn’t knock anything over.

And at the end of the visit, I got Becca to take my photo! I named this dress after the textbook, which I love and treasure and still have.

This dress is actually SUPER simple, like, STUPID simple, but I wanted to show it off because the fabric is just a star. And I bought it with my friend Ana!

It’s this lovely scuba knit I got at Thakur in Mumbai, and I just adore the print. I had never sewn with this fabric before, so that was new! And pretty easy, honestly…

Scuba knit is HOT, though, guys. It really does not BREATH. Note to self: make the next scuba knit thing I made sleeveless, because….sweat.

But look at that! I love the ferns….

To make this dress I adapted my bodice block into a princess seam, and used the sleeves from the Deer and Doe Plantain shirt, combined with a half-circle skirt.

I wouldn’t say the fit is PERFECT but it is fine. There is some extra fabric around the armholes, which…I don’t know how to fix for next time. Any ideas? The bodice in general is a little roomy, but that’s not a bad thing, I guess. I suppose it makes it easier to wear because I didn’t want to put in a zipper.

It was, of course, quite easy to make. I didn’t hem the skirt or the sleeves to eliminate bulk. I am okay with this.

This is one part of the museum from the outside. Pretty, right?

Right?

RIGHT??????

A little side view for you!

And the other side! Becca had fun with the angles…

And the back! The skirt only has one seam, so I matched it to the back seam and called it a day.

And now, some of my favorite objects (from THIS trip, I have new ones each time….) and reasons you should check out the museum yourself! And Philadelphia, in general!

Right? Doesn’t it just make you want to throw some khaki on your body and jump into a tomb?

Just me? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Well, at least we can agree that the dress is fun!

What were you into when you were 12/still into now? What is your favorite historic period and region? Mine changes daily, but right now, I’m really into Tang China, Mughal India, and Gilded Age New York, probably because of The Alienist, if I’m being real….)

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#MakingMaisel Pattern Giveaway!

UPDATE! Ignore the date listed below, because this giveaway now closed on April 1st! Comment to win, and remember, even if you aren’t participating in the sew-along, you are welcome to enter!

 

Remember when I said I was giving stuff away? I 100% am! Make a comment below to in any single one of these patterns, two modern, five vintage, which I am happy to ship anywhere in the world! Please state your pattern of choice! The giveaway closes on March 20th, so get your comment in!

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