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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Simplicity 2181

Thanks so much for the comments on my red sweater.  That was a real labor of love, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. 

Today, I'm going to share a top I made about a week ago for a little break from my cranberry jacket.  I really want to finish that jacket up before I leave for a short Thanksgiving vacay in a few days.  All it needs is buttons and a couple of buttonholes.

This is Simplicity 2181, which I made once before here.
I love how this one turned out, also, but I wonder if I should shorten it a few inches.  It's giving off a bit of a sloppy vibe here to me, maybe because it's paired with the slouchy knit pants (also recently sewn, which I'll explain in my next post)
Maybe the solution is to try it with some skinny jeans today and see what I think.  If I still don't love the length then, time for a chop.  What do you think?
Of course, skinny jeans seems to be my go-to for unfrumpying my comfiest tops.  :-)
Here is a closeup of the front detail.  The fabric is Magenta Magic from Sawyer Brook.  I love when I make this top how it all comes together in one step when you put in that little strip to make the fabric bunch up.  I still think this is a great pattern for a really fluid jersey. 
The only change I made was to give my hips a bit more room, probably about two inches total.  If you recall, on the last version, I hemmed it a bit shorter because the hip area was tight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Sweater

This sweater was a long time in the making.  I had the vision last fall sometime and then had to work out the cable chart.  Then, the knitting took awhile, including what seemed like yards of ribbing.  Finally, I cast off only to decide the ribbing at the neckline wasn't long enough, so it sat around for a month or so until I worked up the desire to rip out and rib some more. 

THEN, I got the genius idea to try to submit the pattern to Knitty, but about 1/3 of the way through writing up the pattern, I decided, um, no, but I did try to take halfway decent photos.

The yarn is a Noro Maiko that I got at a LYS near my parents' house, Kitnit.  I don't know if I've mentioned them before, but I LOVE that yarn store.  :-)  Such great yarn and a nice, calm atmosphere.

Here is the page on Ravelry.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pirate Vest

This is the first  year I've sewn something for one of my boys for Halloween.  I'm just not a big Halloween-loving person.  (Last year, I did sew Tinkerbell for myself.) 
My little guy wanted to be Jake the Neverland Pirate (from Disney Junior).  You can buy costumes for this character, but it's so easy to recreate without any polyester!  Jeans, a white tee with a slit at the neck, and a vest whipped up from stash fabrics.  I self-lined it, so there are no raw edges exposed at seams.  I matched up all the raw edges and covered them with yellow bias tape (also from stash fabric).  The boots are adult pirate costume boot covers that I resized with a few snips and zips through the sewing machine.  A strip of red fabric for the head, and a store-bought sword complete the look.
My ninja's outfit is polyester, courtesy of Target.  :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Starflower Hat

Update on the Mystery Hat I posted about in August!  It's called Starflower Hat and is in the book Textured Knits by Connie Chang Chinchio.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Cuffs for Lady Grey

The original Lady Grey pattern has wide 3/4 length sleeves which I used for my first version.  I decided for this one, though, I wanted long sleeves.  Then, I decided to add some little cuffs for detail.  I added about three inches to the length of the sleeves and then added a little self-lined rectangular piece, overlapped with buttonholes.
 I topppstitched on the sleeve, and I like how the cuff appears to ever-so-slightly gather in the sleeve. 
 Here is my overall progress so far:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interfacing my Jacket

On my new Lady Grey jacket, I used an allover fusible stabilizer, Gridweft, on my loosely woven fabric.  This is working great to keep the fabric from sagging, and it gives the jacket a bit of structure, but for the areas of a jacket that are typically interfaced, it is not enough.  For those areas, I'm using an additional midweight fusible.  Rather than cut all the individual pieces (back, fronts, side backs and fronts, and different sleeve pieces), I cut the interfacing after constructing most of my shell. 

The upper back was the easiest piece, cut straight across at about the armholes.
 The fronts required a bit more finesse since I needed to consider the roll line of the lapels.  I fused my pieces up to the roll line...

...then flipped the lapel back and fused that area, allowing the interfacing to fold around the roll line.

Here it is all fixed.  Certainly not couture techniques, but I'm ok with that. :-)

I also cut pieces for the upper sleeves, just to make sure they don't collapse under the shoulder pads later.

For the undercollar, I used the same basic premise as the lapel roll line to mould my neck shape.
 After the interfacing was fused, I trimmed off 1/8th inch around the edge of the undercollar.
 You can see how the undercollar is now a smidge smaller than the upper collar piece (cut from the same pattern piece originally)
 After it is pinned and sewn up, though...
 ... the seam lays nicely on the undercollar side.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting started on my jacket

Today, I got started on my Colette Patterns Lady Grey.  Not much to show yet, but look how pretty the fabric is!
I got as far as assembling the shell (no sleeves yet) with the pockets - here you can see the gray lining.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Colette Lady Grey Muslin

I purchased my first Colette pattern a couple of months ago, and I am very pleased!  I chose to try out the Lady Grey jacket pattern, which is a really fun retro-look style with a large collar, swingy hem, and wide 3/4 sleeves. 

I made up a muslin, of sorts.  I used a JoAnn's wool blend suiting fabric that I'd bought pretty inexpensively a year or two ago.  I really like the fabric but wasn't sure what I'd ever use it for (naughty Jenny for buying it in the first place), so it became the muslin.  I liked the result so much that I lined it and finished it, and now I have a lovely gray herringbone model:

Oh my, please excuse the post-yoga photo shoot.
My final version will have a less flared hem and long, less-full sleeves.  I guess you could argue I'm taking all of the style out of it, but I don't really need two of this identical, distinctive style.  I will keep the collar the same proportions, but I will use stiffer interfacing for the second version for more of a stand-up style.

The fabrics I'm using for the final version are from Sawyer Brook:
Cranapple for the shell
Squire for the lining
Gridweft for block fusing stability
I also got some coordinating rayon jersey for a fun top - Magenta Magic

Here are all the fabrics on my table.  Woohoo! 
The jacket fabric and the jersey:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Quilt

Ok, I am ready to commit to being back for real.  :-)  I have definitely missed this over my lazy unintended hiatus.  There is a nice backlog of projects to post that should let me remain pretty lazy for a couple more weeks.

First up, here is a the quilt I made for my brand new niece (four days old today).  I've blogged before about the snuggly quilts my mom made for each of my boys and all my sisters' kids.  I wanted to try something similar for the new member (my husband's brother's and his wife's first!).

I was definitely excited to create for a girl.  :-)


 This is the quilt top, and sadly I forgot to take a photo of the finished product or any closeups.  It is safely in Michigan with the recipient now.

Maybe you recall the applique style from a post a while back (seriously?  almost 6 months ago?).  I made it into a little iPad case with several layers of batting.  I hand-appliqued the iPad cover, but I did the quilt with fusible web and decorative machine blanket stiches. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Hanging in there

I really don't know what happened to the last three weeks.  My husband returned after 4 months away for work, and my kiddos started school.  My big boy is now in kindergarten and my little guy is in preschool three mornings a week.  I am still adjusting. 

I have yet to use any of that alone time for sewing.  I spend most of Monday and Wednesday mornings volunteering (and socializing, a combination which I find pretty vital for my week) and Fridays, I get most of my groceries and any other odds and ends errands.  I think I don't really want to be here at home all alone.  :-) 

So when I am home, there's of course the laundry and the cleaning and cooking to keep me busy, so while I have more alone time this year, I'm not spending any more of it sewing and knitting during the day. 

I have been sewing up a storm in the evenings and weekends, though, but I have more excuses!  I have run into the limit of my free photos here, and the extra steps of uploading to a third party site and moving them over proves pretty annoying.  Plus, my photo editing software died on me, so I need to fork out $80 (unlikely) or find a good free online one, I guess... or just take really great pictures straight from the camera (ha!)

If you're still reading this, thanks for coming around.  :-)  I'll be back just as soon as I figure this stuff out, and I have loads of projects for my various nieces ready to share!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mystery Hat

I knitted this hat in the recent past.  I only cast off about a week ago, but I cannot find or remember the pattern!  I know it was in one of my (too many) knitting books, a fairly recently purchased one, I think.  Ususally I keep the book out long enough to write the blog post. 

So, what I'm trying to say is this is my new hat.  I hope you like it, but I can't tell you where to find the pattern to make your own.  I'll update in approximately 20 minutes when I'm sure it will appear. 
The yarn?  Well, the ball band I reserved seems to be in hiding with the pattern.  It's some type of lovely wool/silk blend, I believe, also purchased fairly recently.  The moral of this story is:  blog while you block.  :-)
I felt super silly taking a pic of this with my tee shirt on, so I popped on this denim shirt for fall flavor.  It was about 95 degrees out on the porch, though, so forgive my forced smiles.
Oh, and my photo editing software isn't working.  I should just go back to bed.
Edit:  Found it!  It's the Starflower Hat from Textured Stitches by Connie Chang Chinchio! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vogue 8766

First off, thanks so much for the nice comments on my recent skirt and sweater.  They really make my day.  :-)  I also appreciate the compliments on my short hair.  It's a cut I've been wanting to try for about a decade but always chickened out.  Now that I did it, I LOVE it, but I do know I'll get bored with it very quickly and will grow it out again.  It is so fun and easy for the summer, though.

So it has been what? about three weeks since I've posted a sewing project?  I hang my head in shame.  Well, I finally got around to hemming this dress for church yesterday.

Pretty sure this is NOT a fair depiction of my hair color.

The pattern is Vogue 8766, kind of a combination of views plus some changes made by me.

The inspiration was a cotton boatneck dress my sister wore during our vacation.  I think this pattern is a pretty close match to the style. 

I started by making the neckline wider/straps narrower.  After assembling the bodice, I found it was a little short waisted for my taste, so I added a band.  I also had to let out the side seams quite a bit toward my waist, but lets not discuss that.  The final adjustment was hiking up the shoulder seams about an inch.  Sheesh.  Next time, I'll know what changes to make when cutting.  Of course, all these little nips and tucks would have been avoided by making a muslin...

The fabric is (don't roll your eyes too much) a decorator cotton from a local fabric store by my parents' house.  I can't help myself.  I fell in LOVE with the print.  It behaved a lot like a bottomweight cotton, I think.  Quite suitable for this style.

Thanks for checking out my newest dress.  :-)  I'll be back soon with progress on a baby quilt (not for me, I assure you).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fall Vogue Patterns Picks

Oh my, could the Vogue patterns for fall be any more awesome??

Here are the ones I actually think I might buy and make:

Suddenly I am wanting tunics over leggings, which means the look must be totally going out of style
1315 has an interesting neck detail and cool pockets.

I am predicting that 1314 will be very popular.  Perfectly flattering rouching and how can a jersey dress look so sophisticated?

1317... sigh... so fabulous.
I do NOT need any more church dresses, but I have no doubt I will give in.

8825 could be another tunic option.  It would be really nice and cozy in wool jersey... not that I need cozy in Florida.

I really like 8827, view B (not modeled in the photos), but it's yet another dress I don't need.  We need more sportswear patterns, people.

8833 looks like a really cute shirt I used to have, and it's sportswear!

The pants in 8837 have my attention.  I just may try them out.  They could work under my tunics.

8839 looks like a great sweatshirt substitute.
Ok that's it for me!  Did I miss any you love?