About a year ago I decided to try being a little less random with my personal makes. Less impulse buying of yarn, more looking at what would go with what is already in my wardrobe, planning a season ahead, that sort of thing. It hasn't come easy to me; I've still ended up with some very last-minute makes (I'm looking at you, 10-day birthday jumper) and many more unfinished ones. My wild optimism about the correlation between the outfits in my head and the ones my hands can actually produce has not been cured or even dampened, I would say.
Still, by the middle of last summer I did have one outfit that ticked all the boxes, that followed all the rules. Well, almost. I had impulse bought the fabric without the faintest notion of what I was going to do with it. But, once I'd spotted both Ruby and Maeve and thought, yes: I planned. I bought the patterns and the yarn.
I made both as per the instructions as opposed to winging it. I properly finished every last seam and tucked in every end, and then I WORE THEM. Now we've seen the last of the snow (I hope) and Spring seems to finally be around the corner (oh, I hope!), I plan on wearing them LOTS MORE.
Ruby is a combined top and dress pattern by Made by Rae. I like her modern aesthetic, and the instructions are extremely well-written with lots of tips. I'd never sewn an adult garment to a pattern before so I was nervous initially, but I didn't have any issues at all. The little gathers at the bust were just enough of a challenge to be interesting, without having me tear my hair out.
You'll have to take my word for it that it does fit me, even though I can't show you now - 7 months pregnant! Stupidly I didn't ask anyone to take pictures when it did, actually, still fit. Next summer!
The fabrics are both organic cottons - the mustard one being woven and the flowery one voile - by Art Gallery Fabrics, and I love them. I want piles and piles more (but, time and money).
The Maeve shrug is a design by Carie Bostick Hoge at Madder. As a knitwear designer she seem ubiquitous, and with good reason; her work has a classic, timeless feel to it without being stuffy. It is all just so, so wearable.
This shrug is a good one if you're new to garment knitting. Super-simple shaping on the arms, and then loads of mindless knit stitch for the back and garter stitch for the collar. That collar, that collar... The whole thingis drapey, comforting, and very easy to throw on over pretty much anything.
The yarn is Summer Wool by Pickles Oslo: a blend of 70% organic cotton and 30% merino wool. It's unbelievably soft and smooshy, without either the stiffness of cotton or the overly-processed feel merino can have. Despite the name "Summer Wool" it saw me through most of autumn as well. It's pilling a little bit now, but nothing outrageous.
So there you have it. When Ruby met Maeve I threw on my favourite old jeans and, of course, of course some mustard yellow shoes. I think they got on rather well, don't you?