Wool Base Layers: A PSA

Eff Minus 33. I bought a pair of their midweight bottoms last winter because it was cheaper than the SmartWool equivalent, which I also bought a pair of (on heavy discount, which was still $$$). Well, the Minus 33 developed a cluster of small runs in one area with three that developed into full on holes. I mended them yesterday (I hand baseball-stitched them shut – the holes were essentially vertical) and there will definitely be more repairs in the future. The time lost is/will not be worth the $30 or so that I saved. For comparison my SmartWool leggings are still pristine. But the good stuff is $$$, so I’ll try to get through this winter with these two pairs and wait until next winter to swap out for a second SmartWool pair. Sigh. 便宜没好货。

(“Kara why are YOU buying wool base layers” – I have picked up the unfortunate habit of commuting to/from work on my bicycle. Good exercise, but an enterprise that occasionally requires new clothes.)

Bloomers for a Bean

A toddler in shorts, with the head cropped out.

I love sewing but don’t usually have enough uninterrupted free time for a project. So on Memorial Day, I treated myself to a morning spent making Wiksten bloomers for my almost-two-year-old Bean. Three hours to make and three weeks to outgrow! If I’m lucky.

Now for a brief review of the pattern, followed by process photos. I consider myself an adventurous beginner (applies to sewing and pretty much the rest of my life). The pattern was perfect for my level. Highly recommended, especially if you have a small human on hand. If not, perhaps you will make a relative or friend very happy.

Paper pattern pieces cut out and taped together.
The cut out pieces of the pattern, taped together and ready for action.
Cut fabric with pins for sewing
Fabric, after cutting & pinning. The hardest parts!
Wiksten bloomers (leg openings not finished)
“Where the #$%@ did I stash the rest of my elastic?”
Wiksten bloomers, finished
The finished bloomers!

I enjoy many creative endeavors but sewing and knitting are special to me. I think it’s because of the unspoken the guarantee of the craft: if I do all the preparations and follow all the instructions correctly, I will end up with exactly what I intended. For this writer, that is the true treat above all treats.