Franken-hack! The “Brontemisu”

I am so in love with the Bronte top by Jennifer Lawrence. I can’t rave about this pattern enough. It makes me feel feminine but it’s terribly comfortable too. It’s a quick make once you get a good fit, and takes barely any fabric! That being said, my second favorite pattern being the Tiramisu I knew, instantly, that I had to combine them. As soon as I saw the neckline of the Bronte, even before I owned it, the Bronte reminded me of a knit version of vintage styles kinda like Colette dresses. So I combined the waistband and skirt of the Tiramisu and part of the Bronte and voila! I will absolutely make more of these! Next time, with more gathers under the girls, if you know what I mean.

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It was an easy make, relatively. If you try this, and like me are too lazy to make a muslin (let’s hear it for lazy sewists! *hollah!*) absolutely use a drapey knit. Drape drape drape! This wouldn’t work so great in cotton interlock, for example. Don’t ask me how I know.

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I want more knit dresses! I have some beautiful florals in ITY but we shall see. It’s getting to be sweater weather, not clingy sexy drapey dress weather. What patterns do you like to mix together?!

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Ps: some days it’s just awkward to take pictures of yourself.

Respite in spite

Today is one of those days when I get to sigh with relief. I spent grocery money on childcare so I could get some ultrasounds to confirm or deny serious medical issues. I am pleased and damn lucky to announce that I don’t have any issues to report. While the scare was real, the potential was only a small percentage. (Here, I avoid big words like cancer or leukemia, because the results are clear; because I am one of the lucky ones.)

It has been easy for me to not process the changes in my life, because so many of my processes are the same. Day in, day out.

As I type this, my toddler presses his forehead into my temple and begs to touch just the “T” or the “C” key. He wants to do what I want to do. I distract him with singing me the alphabet. He sings “a b c d lmnop q r s t u v wxy z” and dances on our bed. He is my constant reminder that my life does and doesn’t change. He is my balance of stasis and growth.

My relief is long overdue. Maybe I am slightly anxious, maybe I do expect the worst. However, I work to find solace in my own endeavors. I harvest the fruits from my labor. I work for my own happiness.

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And I think, “This is how it should be.”

I have always been a hard worker. I never minded the long way around. Over zealous about my interests, I dive head first into curiosities. Oh I make blunders, get frustrated, and flat out fail sometimes. But I never fail without learning; I never try and gain nothing.

One day I hope to teach my son this very necessary virtue. Yes, honesty and loyalty, devotion and kindness are important. But hard work and self reliance and the ability to teach yourself what you want to know, the endurance, the patience… These are things you can give yourself, these are ways of living I need him to know.

I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with. Each year growing up we made a family trek to the town of my birth, to my grandparent’s house. Each year, we came away with the food my grandparents grew and stored for winter. Hazelnuts, corn, jam. They were pretty amazing to produce so much. My grandmother’s tomato jam was so sweet. I hope to make some this weekend and remind myself that family goes and keeps going, that community is built of individuals, that mistakes and triumphs are both valuable.

I hope we can all relax a little this weekend; find respite in spite of all the little things that block our way. For me, summer turns to fall. Our cool evenings make me enjoy things like wool socks and long sleeves. I will relax and rest, and be thankful for this sigh of relief.

Menswear!

This is less of a real writing post and more of a show and tell. I am so in love with the Strathcona Henley by Thread Theory!

Here is my brother trying to look comfortable and relaxed. Modeling is not his career, so no worries he won’t starve.

Strathcona Henley

Strathcona Henley

Seriously Matt, you actually look angry in this one.

The grey is a wool blend jersey that is fairly thin. I made no alterations to the medium size. He is slender and tall, over 6′, and it fits perfect! What I love most about this pattern is the match points are particularly arranged the sleeve and shoulder. Thread Theory made it so easy.

And then, since it went so well, I made even more. Here are my super heroes.

Strathcona Henley

I think they were very obliging to be put on my blog, also wearing wool shirts on a particularly warm day wasn’t the most comfortable either. Thanks gents!

My Chuck got a rusty orange merino wool jersey in a size large (again, nearly perfect fit!) and my brother Matt a heavy brown wool rib knit with the cuffs on the long sleeve. I love them both (the shirts, and the guys too I guess.)

The brown wool hangs more like a sweater and will be quite useful in winter for layering. Chuck will probably wear his rusty orange one biking, and he put in an order for a few more for winter rides. He mentioned he loved the short sleeve length, because indeed, it wasn’t that short. It hit right above the elbow. It didn’t have as much stretch as I wanted, so I will make the neckband longer than expected next time.

My only comment about the pattern is that they are very long. I never added length and did not use the additional bottom waist band for either pattern. Instead, I just turned under and hemmed 1″. My husband is 6’5 and needed no alteration to the body or sleeve for the large, which I think is well above average in height, so I would test the length in arm and body before using your precious fabric. They are designed for the tall and slender, though I bet they would be fairly easy to add width too where necessary.

Thanks for looking! I can’t wait to make a Newcastle Cardigan too! Have you made either of these patterns and want did you think? I am interested in sewing for the men in my life so if you have any suggestions about fabrics, patterns or anything let me know. I can’t seem to find a good men’s raglan modern fit t-shirt anywhere.

Ps: Here is Chuck ready to ride!

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