When I make something with the intention of selling it, I know I’ve done something right if I want to keep it once it’s finished. It’s not a bad standard to aim for, because if I don’t like it, how can I expect anyone else to give it house room? Of course there are times that I’m so fed up with something by the time I’ve finished it that I can’t appreciate it for what it is straight away. It needs to be hidden away from my over critical eye for a while to be given a fair chance.
The granny square bag I’ve just finished is definitely something I’d love to keep though!
I made thirteen squares out of four different shades of Stylecraft Special Double Knit (Aster, Bluebell, Aspen and Spring Green) then edged each one in a round of trebles in Teal. I used dc through the back loops to join the squares and for the edging and handles.
The side seams were the easiest part… so of course I complicated things by trying French seams for the first time. I’ve never missed an episode of the Great British Sewing Bee so (surprisingly!) I knew what I was doing, but the rest of the shape was more challenging! I just took my time and hand stitched it.
As much as I love this bag, I did make it to be sold, and now come the excruciating process of setting a price… I hate this part!
Let’s change the subject.
Let me tell you about my accidental muumuu. What’s a muumuu?
If you’re a fan of the Simpsons, you might remember the episode called King-size Homer in which Homer gains 60lb so that he can work from home instead of having to drive to the nuclear power station everyday. He is so overweight that he is forced to buy new clothes, and his garment of choice is a muumuu.
Muumuus aren’t just a cheap gag though. I’ll let Wikipedia explain:
The muumuu or muʻumuʻu/ˈmuːmuː/ is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin that hangs from the shoulder. Like the Aloha shirt, muumuu exports are often brilliantly colored with floral patterns of generic Polynesian motifs. Muumuu for local Hawaiian residents are more subdued in tone. Muumuu are no longer as widely worn at work as the aloha shirt, but continue to be the preferred formal dress for weddings and festivals such as the Merrie Monarch hula competition. They are also frequently worn as a uniform by women working in the hotel industry. Muumuu are also popular as maternity wear because they do not restrict the waist.”
So how the hell did I make a muumuu accidentally?
Well, I started with some funky retro floral print fabric, and a vintage pattern that a lady from my Knit for Victory group gave me.
I bottled out of doing the teeny-tiny baby-doll version (B – on the far left) and went for the slightly longer knee length one (D – the blue one in the middle). My first mistake was making the largest size (XL or size 20-22). Although I’m usually only a size 18 I picked the larger size because people keep telling me that pattern sizes often work out a lot smaller than clothes in that size in the shops. Besides, I was only going to sleep in it, not wear it in public.
Well, as it turns out, a family of four could probably sleep in it!
By the time I’d got to the point in the pattern where I was supposed to add the wide lace at the hem and gather the sleeves, I knew I wouldn’t be wearing the muumuu, so I didn’t bother. I know the lace might have made it look less like a muumuu but I wasn’t risking using any lace that I might want for a garment that actually fits!
The muumuu wasn’t a waste of time though, and I’m glad I (mostly!) finished it. Following a paper pattern was a good confidence builder, and I learned some good construction techniques, like how to do the puffed sleeves (the only part I was really pleased with!) and the yoke neck.
The purple lace I used around the neck and sleeves was elasticated stuff that was lurking in my collection of trimmings. It would have been more suited to knicker making really, but I liked the colour so I used I anyway. I then learned the hard way that purple knicker elastic and super hot irons do now mix well. Fortunately I only melted a small area that I was able to sort of patch up a bit with purple thread so at least it didn’t keep unravelling. The iron was in a bit of a sorry state for a while, but once it cooled down the melted purple gore came off okay (thank you non stick coating!)
So although the muumuu was not a success as a finished garment, as a learning experience it was invaluable. Plus I love typing muumuu almost as much as I love saying it… muumuu muuumuu muumuu… Say it out loud with me! Muumuu!
Now if I made another one of these in cow print fabric, it could be a moo moo muumuu!
I’m going to take the muumuu in to show my knitting group, where it should get a few laughs, but I don’t think I’m ever really going to like it enough to wear. Even if I took it in a LOT it would still be a muumuu in my head and it would make me feel like I weighed 300lb! If making the muumuu has taught me anything about myself, it’s that I’m not as big as I thought I was!