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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Simplicity 2564

Here is skirt #2 for my Sawyer Brook sew along!
The pattern is Simplicity 2564 and the fabric is Springtime Satin in leek.  It's a bit snug.  I didn't used to have the problem that things came out too small, and this has happened before in the recent past, so I think it's time to take new measurements.

aaaand.... BOOM, the booty.  This is the reason I won't be wearing this skirt to church tomorrow.
I explained the scalloped hem here.  The only thing I'll add is to recommend doing that with a facing instead of a lining (which I did).  No matter how you smooth and pin, there will be little hang-ups on the lining, and I find myself adjusting quite often in this skirt.  In hindsight, I could have done the scallop with a 4" or so facing and then still added a lining that ended above the scallops.  Live and learn.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rocky Coast Cardigan

Voila!  My favorite new sweater!  This is the quickest sweater I've knitted in... ever.  I'm sure the size 10 needles had something to do with that.  The pattern is in the book Coastal Knits, where I also got the pattern for this hat.  The pattern's ravelry page is here.
 There's not much else to say - it was a pretty easy knit, and I think it looks really nice.
 After I finished it, I saw there are some suggestions to improve the fit around the neck and upper arms.  I can see how that would be good (it's a bit snug up top), but I find it fits ok as written.
 The fabric is Berroco Ultra Alpaca (50% alpaca/50% wool).  It's a bit warm for now, even with the open stitches, but it'll be great in the fall.
 There is no closure on the cardi, so I used this little pin I got in Orkney in Scotland.  It's the edge of a ship.
 Here it is open.
 And here it is in action with one of my little hams, all ready for bed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This and That

I've been trying a little hand applique, a first for me.  I thought I'd hate the tediousness (tediosity?) of it, but I found it quite enjoyable, if time consuming.  I just have a little embelishment stitching to do, then I can make this into its intended project.

Do you read The Panopticon?  It's knitting-focused, but you have to zip over and read this post about sewing instruction.  It had me laughing, especially the comments on servent-glorification, which my sisters and I were totally guilty of growing up.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Scalloped hem tutorial

This is how I made a scalloped hem on my in-progress pencil skirt.  The first half of the photos were taken at night - hence the crummy quality.  The fabric is a celery green cotton sateen.

1.  Find a circular object (glass, bowl, candlestick...) that is about the size you want your scllops.  If you have a few of them, lay them in a line for an idea of scale.

2. Do a little math:  Measure your hem all the way around, starting and ending at the back vent or back seam.  Divide by the diameter of your circle to get approximately how many scallops you will have - I had 6 on the back and 6 on the front.  You will probably have to fudge a bit.

3. Use an eraseable pen to trace your circles around the hem, making sure they match up at the center back.
4. Put the skirt right sides together with the lining (or you can use a facing).  Stitch on the drawn lines.  Trim and clip a lot.

5. Turn the scallops out.  this is where it got tricky to make them smooth.  I finally decided to try a template cut from cardboard that I slid in each scallop and ironed.  It worked out great!

The scallop template for ironing.

All ready for a zipper and waistband!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Dose of Cute

Last month, I made a couple of outfits for my niece who lives so far away in Arizona. (sniff sniff)

Well, my awesome sister somehow managed a photo shoot with a barely-one-year-old, so I bring you your daily dose of cuteness:

I'm please that everything fits pretty well.  All of the things that looked off to me are a little off (high rise yellow shorts), so I'll be trusting my instincts from now on.  :-)

Good news is I have a brand new niece from my other sister, so Miss E here won't be tooooo spoiled by Aunt Jenny.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Striped Box Pleat Skirt

Here are some photos of my new striped skirt, as I wore it to church.  I didn't use a pattern but explained my construction process here.  The fabric is 100% textured silk, Treebark from Sawyer Brook.  I only bought 3/4 yard, which was perfect.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Striped Box Pleat Skirt Tutorial

The vague inspiration for this skirt was these striped skirts I've seen popping up in a few places this spring.  Modelled photos to come...

I did not use a pattern, but I took a bunch of photos of my construction process.  Then I realized I didn't have a memory card in the camera.  This is happening a lot to me lately. :-/

Here is the process I used.  I hope it makes sense if you've made a few skirts before.  I started with 3/4 yard of fabric.

Measured the width of the fabric (45") minus center back seam allowances (1") = skirt fabric to work with (44")

Measured my waist where I wanted the waistband to hit (33").  Cut off a strip of fabric to become the waistband.

Skirt fabric (44") minus waist (33") = fabric to use for box pleats (11")

Decided number and placement of box pleats (5), then fabric per box pleat (about 2.25") - mine are little pleats.  This would be fabulous on some wider width fabric, too, with deep pleats.

Formed box pleats and basted in place. 

Attached waistband.

Attached zipper and hemmed skirt.

Folded over waistband and stitched in the ditch on the front, between the waistband and skirt to secure the facing inside.  (Make any sense?) 

Attatched hook and eye at top of skirt and did a little hand-finishing at the edges.

Posh Sweatshirts

Confession:  I stockpile $2 clearance Big Boys sweatshirts from Target for the day when I will make my boys and I some awesome sweatshirts.  Oh, that day is coming... just you wait.

Anyway, when The Guardian's "How to Dress" vlog popped up in my reader this morning with "Posh Sweatshirts," I was super excited.  Sadly, the trend seems to have more to do with the fabric than the details, but it did make me remember those sweatshirts just waiting for some love.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5 skirts in the making

This afternoon, I received a package of fabric for 5 skirts. I'm doing a skirt sew along at Sawyer Brook. Even my pup thinks they are gorgeous!

Not the Easter Dress

I didn't finish my Easter dress in time for Easter. We took a kind of last minute trip to my husband's parents' house, so I lost all of Saturday to squeeze in the time to finish it up. Here it is right now, still needing a few finishing touches. It will still be a lovely church dress for spring.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Top of the Tops

I entered my blue cotton voile Simplicy 2365 in Made by Rae's Spring Top Sewalong contest, and this week, I'm in the Top of the Tops!  Woohoo!  Not only that, but I'm the first one on the page... I'm pretty sure that means something.  What's that?  It dosn't mean anything?  Oh, ok.

Anyway, hop on over if you'd like and vote for your favorite.  There are also several more weeks to enter and three more rounds of judging, so enter your own!

I am a little bummed that I look so goofy in this pic, but whatevs.  I was ready to party like a 5-year-old!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Dress started

I started my Easter dress last week. Here is a little peek. I am super excited to finally use some beautiful linen I bought in Philadelphia and some handmade lace from italy.

I am trying to learn how to post from my new iPad and one pic is about as crazy as I can get at a moment. :-)