I have moved! Please check out my newest creativity at

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wool jersey dress

I loooooove this dress. The pattern is McCalls 5975. View C without sleeves. I would have put on sleeves if I had enough fabric. I could use a warmish knit dress with sleeves.
The fabric is bright blue wool jersey from Candlelight Valley Fabrics. It is heavenly soft and warm.
I omitted the zipper - no need for it.
The only downside to this dress is the seam at the waist. I mean, it's no big deal, but there's no real reason for it that I can figure. The top isn't cut on the bias or anything and it just makes a little extra fabric seam where no one needs extra fabric. I wore this dress out to dinner with my hubby. I wore a belt with it to cover the seam, but I think it's ok without one too.

Here, I tried to style it a bit more casual for everyday with boots, tights, and a cardi. It's soooo comfy, I want to wear it all the time, but I don't think this look is working. Maybe with a chunkier sweater. I dunno. I guess it would be good for going to the office, but, um, I don't do that. I think it's a bit much for the grocery store, even though I do wear skirts to the grocery store and library from time to time...
One more thing - I think I have abnormally long thighs and short calves or something. The length looks so long, but it's just to the knee. I seem to hem all my skirts above the knee cause I think that's my most flattering length, but a girl's gotta have some knee-covering skirts!

Here is my Pattern Review. :-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knitted wrap

What is this? A bolero, I think? A shrug?

Anyway, I've actually had this done and worn for a couple of years now, but I don't think I ever blogged about it. It might actually pre-date the blog. Since I wore it yesterday, I took some pics. I wore this a LOT while I was pregnant last year since it doesn't involve the tummy at all and is really warm considering it's lace and not very covering.

The pattern was a freebie from Elann that I can't find on their site anymore. The pattern was just for a vest. I added the sleeves by picking up stitches at the armhole and knitting down in the lace pattern until I ran out of yarn. Since the stitch pattern is ribbed and lace, the sizing was very forgiving.

The yarn is a really nice merino/cashmere/? blend I bought here in Germany during the first year we lived here. I got it to make a vest for my hubby but quickly realized I hadn't purchased enough for that. Maybe it was subconsciously intentional, because I love this little shrug!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My first burn test

First off, the bad news: I have no camera. I did a little photo shoot yesterday, but I can't find the connector cable to download the pics to my computer. We have another camera... but I apparently left the battery for that one in the States. Oh well. I tried to buy a new cable today but couldn't find one (not a lot of store options for that here). So, no photos until I either find the cable here at home or order it online, or I buy a new battery for the other camera.

Now, the real subject of this post: I did a burn test on the black fabric I plan to make some pants with. It is of such old stash vintage, I had no clue what it really was... feels like wool to me. If you don't know what a burn test is - you can set fire to a piece of fabric, and depending on what the burn is like, you can determine the fiber content. At least some people can. Sounds like fun, no?

I have Sandra Betzina's book, More Fabric Savvy, in which she explains how to do a burn test and what is characteristic of different fibers. Armed with a large scrap of fabric (slight fear of burning my fingers!) and a lighter, I set fire in the kitchen, figuring there's not much nearby in there that could catch fire and burn down the house.

Best I can figure, I've got a wool/cotton or wool/rayon? blend. I've never heard of a wool/rayon blend, though. I think wool blends better with polyester. The burn had the yellow, quick-burning flame of cotton or rayon and the crushable black ash of wool or silk. Oh, and the smell... It smelled like burnt hair - apparently another sign of wool or silk. I have scented candles burning all over the first floor now, so my husband doesn't walk in the door in a few hours and say "What the....?" Maybe it's a cotton/silk blend. I just can't tell at all by feeling it.

Has anyone else tried a burn test? Anyone else more confused after the test than before? :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Still kicking

Wow, it's been a while since I posted... it seems like longer than a month and a half. Big news is that after 3 months in the U.S. staying with my parents while hubby was in Afghanistan, we are all back together at home in Germany. Yea! It was wonderful to have our family together just in time for Christmas. I really enjoyed the time with my parents, but I had almost forgotten how nice it is to have my own place. I have a renewed love for my little house.

Christmas was wonderful. It was sparse on the gifting since most presents are still in transit with the USPS/Army postal system, but no one minded. That stuff's secondary to the real reason for Christmas anyway. We had great family time and a yummy dinner with some friends. Um, Santa will be coming next weekend.

I've been knitting and sewing and have a little backlog of finished projects to show, which I have been wearing quite a lot. I need to do a massive photo shoot this week at some point. We'll see if the boys cooperate with synchronized napping some day (we're all still jet-lagged).

I was going to ask for some thoughts on making myself something for New Year's, but I don't think I will. We're going to a party, but I think it's pretty casual, and most of my wintery fabrics are either still in the U.S. or also in transit, so options are limited. I'd be settling for making something just for the sake of making it... doubtful I'd be happy with it.

Instead, I think I'll start on some black wool pants for a SWAP. Not the most exciting, but something I actually need. Here's a little peek at another fabric for my SWAP:

lovely, high quality silk chiffon. I didn't think I liked chiffon (all slippery and flimsy) until I got this.