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Thursday, June 5, 2014

McCalls 6740

I posted about my new dress, McCalls 6740 in my new spot at SouthShore Handmade.  :-)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I'm moving!  And I started a podcast!

For a while, I've felt that "Knitting Jenny" is a misleading name, considering I do more sewing than knitting these days.  My new site better reflects my focus.

Without appearing to be begging, pretty please come see me at SouthShore Handmade.  My podcast will soon be up in iTunes, but if you just cannot wait, I put the first episode up there.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

McCalls 6713

Here is the result of McCalls 6713.  Blech.  :-(  Too short-waisted for me.  Or, maybe that's a design feature, but it's not a flattering one for me.  It isn't high enough to be empire-waist, but it's several inches above my natural waist.  Plus, it's too short.  Just not a hit. 

Anyway, I've been working on some other things, knitting and sewing, so I'm going to get back to them. :-)  That's all for now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

McCalls 7000

Hahaha I can't help it.  I love this.  McCalls has released a "Winter Princess" pattern as a special release at the end of May...  I guess some pattern drafters have been burning the midnight oil for a while now, and now that it's ready, McCalls just can't wait.  I'm sure there will be some happy little girls this summer.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

McCalls 6949 and McCalls 6918

I've been in a bit of a funk since forgetting to enter my SWAP pieces.  I started a dress with a vintage pattern, but it was not attractive, so I just ripped out the zipper and let it go (into the trash) last night. It was an older tweed fabric that was left over from a skirt I made years ago.  Hubs found it humorous I didn't want to part with the $3 zipper, though. :-)

Last night, I still wanted to sew, and not on the little quilted table runner thing that's half finished on my ironing board. I wanted to sew something for me, so I found a bunch of blue jersey up in my stash and paired it with McCalls 6713.  I cut it out and sewed up the bodice and so far so good!

As for Me Made May, I've been doing... ok.  I had two funerals to sing for this week, and I have three, yes, three black dresses I've made for such occasions, but one never fit quite right, and the other two are, um, a bit too snug.  It's seriously time to just get rid of all the things in my closet that are a skosh too tight.  Let 'em go, Jenny.  Other than those days, I've been doing well, but have failed at my photo taking this week.

Today, I want to share some cuties I made for one of my nieces, just because.  Meanwhile I need to make a birthday present for another niece, and I'm thinking I'll use these same patterns (minus the sweater since it's almost summer).

The sweater and top are from McCalls 6949.  I doubled the number of ruffles on the top, and I really prefer this look.  The sweater came together really easily and I think it's so cute.  It's so big, though, that I'm sure it will fit her next winter.  The skort, McCalls 6918, was also easy to make and looks really cute.  All in all, this made for a comfy outfit, all in knits, and I hope she likes it.  If not, I may try to squeeze into it!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Simplicity 2245

Oh I can be such a doofus!  I've been sewing for months for the Sewing With a Plan contest (SWAP) at Stitcher's Guild, and I finished on time... but I totally spaced out and missed the deadline to get photos in yesterday.  So frustrated with myself.  Oh well, at least I have some great new things.

ANYWAY, moving on.  I have to catch up on showing my me-made photos, but trust I have still been participating.  For now, I'll show something brand new, finished up just yesterday - Simplicity 2245, which is apparently so out-of-print that it isn't on the Simplicity website anymore.
Now, I have mixed feelings about this.  I fear that it won't be very popular.  It has a distinct whiff of muumuu.  However, the fabric is so pretty, and it fits well, and the pockets are just so handy for toting around my iPod that I am in love.
The height of fashion?  No.  Not even with the cute little star buttons which probably push it into twee-town.
But goodness help me, I just like it.  Is it super "becky-home ec-y"?  Do I care?  I tried it with a couple different pairs of leggings, but I like it best with some white shorts just peeking out the bottom.  Hubs thinks it is super retro... like 1950s housewife housedress.  Not his least favorite thing I've made but not his most favorite either.
Do the pockets make it look like a nurse's smock?  I can't decide.  Again, though, I can't be bothered to get too worked up about it either way.  Maybe if I'd made the yoke and cuffs from the same fabric as the body, it would look more conventional?  I don't know.  Practicality wins me over either way.  I just am in love with these big pockets.
I know using a quilting cotton for a garment is the ultimate faux pas for some seamstresses, but I just can't get worked up about it.  I know this is not the latest thing from a catwalk, but I just don't care.  The fabric makes me happy.  I just hope I'm not a walking billboard for "why not to sew your own clothes."  :-)
Oh, the fabric is by Moda.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Me Made May 5, 6, and 7

Hello!  Look at me, keeping up with my Me Made May pledge for a whole week!

Monday, (day 5), I wore this tee shirt dress with a belt and this cardi in the morning.  No photo, sorry.

Yesterday, (day 6), I wore a new twist front top.  This is a great success, but I feel I don't have much to blog about it.  I had one almost the exact same color from Banana Republic.  LOVED it!  Wore it until it was a pilled, stretched-out mess.  Just a couple weeks ago, I cut it apart along the seams and used the pieces as pattern pieces on this rayon jersey.  I wasn't sure how it would come out, but it's a perfect copy!  I have saved the old pieces, also, so I can make it in more colors if I want.
The pants are a recent purchase (bad Jenny - I'm still on my year-long clothes shopping fast until June) with my mom for $10.  As much as I try to convince her and my husband and friends that wide-leg, patterned jersey pants are a trend, they just don't believe me.  Oh well, joke's on them since I basically get to wear jammies around all day in the name of trendiness.  Unfortunately, they did shrink in the dryer and I wish they were 2 inches longer now.

Today, I kind of feel like I'm cheating, but I'm still adhering to my pledge to wear one handmade item each day.  Today, it's my earrings. :-)
Have a great Wednesday, everyone!  I have some little girl sewing to show off soon.  I can't keep from making those cute little outfits for my nieces.  Perfect use for leftovers from my own projects.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Vogue 1382 and Me Made May 4

I employed the services of my 7-year-old photographer today.  I think he did pretty well.  :-)

Yesterday was rainy... all... day... long.  Of course, this filled me with glee since it meant a day of sewing!  I had a new dress for church today to show for it.

Vogue 1382 was very straightforward to make out of some crisp linen from JoAnn's.  I've had the blue in my stash for years, and I picked up the white recently when I decided to make this dress.  I think I quite like the combo.
 I like the easy shift shape.  It's a nice change of pace from my usual body-conscious silhouette.  I blended a size 10 in the bust and waist to a 12 in the hips and the fit is perfect - skims over the hips with a little extra room in the middle.  The pockets are a nice detail on this simple dress.

 Crazy photographer making me laugh...
 Of course, I had to show off the invisible zipper insertion across the colors. Not too shabby.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Me Made May 2-3

So far, so good for Me Made May.  :-)  

Friday, I wore this blouse with some purchased shorts.  Very comfy.
Today was a rainy one, and truth be told, it took my a while to get up the energy to get dressed. I did have the energy to make a new dress for church tomorrow, though!  In the end, Hubs and I went out for a dinner alone, so when I did get dressed, I brought along this shawl.  I just spent a crazy long time looking for a blog post about in the archives, but I can't find one.  I guess I never blogged about it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Me Made May 1

So it begins... always with enthusiasm.  :-)  Me Made May begins today.  Are you participating?  Zoe has a giveaway to kick it off.

Here is my first offering, my funky Vogue 1259 tee with a purchased skirt.  A bit squinty in the photo, but what am I to do?  It IS the sunshine state!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Red/white striped tee

I was so inspired by this post by Erica B. that I copied her new top, right down to the fabric and U-neck.  In my defense, I did already have the fabric (from a recent seasonal collection at JoAnn) and was planning to make a summer dress.  Her top convinced me that simple tee was what I needed.

Oh, look!  The fabric is still in stock online and on sale to boot!

The pattern is my usual for tees - out of print Butterick 3344.  My pattern tissue is looking so sad at this point that it's time to trace it on cardboard or something.  I guess I could look for a new pattern, but then again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

My camera took this one photo before going on strike and refusing to work until I charge the battery.  No worries.  I must get back to my sewing machine anyway and finish up the last skirt to complete my SWAP at Artisans Square.  Last sewing day, you know.  This works out quite well with my plan to join Me-Made-May starting tomorrow, wearing at least one handmade thing each day in May.  I have a little backlog to get on the blog, but I'm hoping Me-Made-May will help me with documenting those.  I've only blogged this and this and this.  Together with today's offering, that means I've made at least 6 other garments since the beginning of the year.  Sheesh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Princess Seam Dress

I'm not sure what to call this dress.  I can't find the pattern on any of the websites, so I assume it's out of print, and I've misplaced it here at home, so no pattern number.  It's just a princess-seam dress.  The pattern was for a strapless dress that was straight across the front.  I added straps, omitted the boning, and made a sweetheart neckline for some pizzazz.  The fabric is a linen/cotton from JoAnn's.  I can't find it at the online store, but I did see a bolt my local store the other day.    This is the dress I wore as a skirt with my new green top.
I didn't take a closeup pic, but I added a detail at the hem.  I hemmed as usual and then pleated a narrow bias strip and hand-sewed it peeking out the bottom.  It is a cute detail and gives the skirt some body.  
I'm just realizing these photos are quite old.  My hair is about 3 inches longer now!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bramble Beret from Vintage Modern Knits

Thanks for your encouragement on my green top.  Not every piece can be our favorites, I guess.  I think that my husband's non-love for it definitely swayed my opinion even more to the disliked side.  :-)

Anyway, today I have some more knitting to share, a quick hat from the same book as my recent yoke sweater.  This is the Bramble Beret from Vintage Modern Knits.
 Don't my photos look so artfully composed?  Truth is these are the best from about 20 I took with the tried and true method of holding the camera as far away from myself as possible.  :-)

 Mine seems a bit less slouchy than the example, but I'm sure I could block it a bit more aggressively.  It has been the perfect little accessory on cool days when I craved a little coziness.  When I wear it, I wear it all day since seriously bad hat-head always results.  It's always met with compliments, though, so I'm fine with the being the Florida eccentric who sometimes feels the need to wear a wool cap all day!  With each passing year, I find it easier to embrace my more eccentric side.  I'm sure I'm not alone there.
The yarn I used is Berroco Vintage, a nice, affordable acrylic/wool which I also used for my Adelaide sweater.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

McCalls 6801

It's been said before, and I'll say it again:  the downside of sewing your clothes is that you don't get to try something on until you've invested time and money in the making of it.  Maybe that's what leads me to be not terribly adventurous with my garments.  I do think I tend towards the basic.

Exhibit A:  McCalls 6801.  Look at those flattering gathers!  Extra oomph around the bust is always a good thing in my book.

Exhibit B:  huh?  How did that exuberant ruching become so unflattering??  And it's pulling a bit in the shoulders and back.  And the color I thought was so pretty makes me look ill.  And the silky hand of the fabric feels like cheap poly.  And Hubs agrees it's not my most flattering work.

 I wore it to church over a dress (still not blogged!?!) and it gave a cute skirt effect.  A little cardi hid the pulling shoulders.
Now, I don't want to be toooooo overly dramatic.  This is by no means the worst thing I've made, and I don't hate it... it's just that had I tried this on in a store, no way would I have chosen to bring it home.  I'll keep wearing it for awhile with this cardigan.  I like the greens together, and it goes with several skirts I have (one reason for picking this fabric).  But, I doubt this will still be in my closet in a year.

...internal monologue... I am getting some serious ombre-effect hair... time to fix that...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Adelaide from Vintage Modern Knits

This is no doubt my favorite thing I've knit.  I love the style and the colors, and the fit is perfect.  Love it!  I finished it about a month ago and it is my go-to warm sweater.
The pattern is Adelaide, the cover sweater from Vintage Modern Knits, which has many great patterns.  I've also made the Bramble Beret from the same book, which I haven't blogged about yet.

The aran weight yarn meant this knit up quickly, and since the yoke is the last thing you knit, I was motivated throughout the body to get to it.  I knit this entire sweater in under 2 weeks, which is unheard of for me.

After many years of cables, I'm obsessed at the moment with fairisle in general and yoke patterns in particular.  I'd love to make the Trefoil Cardigan and the Ross Cardigan (if I can devote  a year to that one!).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vogue 8670 with a roll neck

Tilly's new top pattern has given me the bug to make some knit tops and dresses.  I haven't bought the pattern (because I already have some similar ones), but I anxiously await to see what she releases next.  If you do find yourself in need of a top pattern, give hers a try.  I've read nothing but good things about it.

Aaaaaanyway, this is what I whipped up the other day in about an hour while The Great British Sewing Bee kept buffering.  I decided to use my raglan pattern, Vogue 8670, which I used for a tunic once before.

 The only change I made from the pattern was to widen the neckline about an inch and add a roll neck.  I would have liked it a bit taller (a la Tilly's) but didn't have any larger piece of fabric left.  I cut it on the bias in hopes that it would lay flat and it does!  I assumed I'd have to tack it down in a few places, but it behaves itself nicely.  :-)
 The fabric is a beefy rayon/poly jersey from JoAnn's with the tiniest bit of sparkle.  I really like the weight of this for a nice tee, and I do like a bit of orange in my life.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Je t'aime and the Classy Cubicle

I found a new-to-me style blog, the Classy Cubicle.  Now, I have never worked in a cubicle or chosen spiffy work clothes.  When I did work, I wore a uniform every day in my own office, and it's been six years since I did that.  However, if I did work in a cubicle, or anywhere, I would pretty much want to recreate her outfits (with the exception of the overalls look... shuddering).

She has awesome advice for staying classy at work (no hooker heels, cleavage, short skirts...), and a lot of her advice translate into my stay-at-home life and church attire... I spend quite a bit of time at church.  AND, here is the key, she never looks frumpy.  Classy, not frumpy.

My favorites are her casual Friday posts, because that is exactly how I want to dress every day.  I didn't include any photos here (because she specifically asks people  not to take her photos...), but go over and check out the link above.  My goal today is to take one of my older bretons and use my embroidery machine to make this top, minus the sequins.

I'll let you know how it turns out...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Raindrop Cardigan from Textured Stitches

I recently finished the Raindrop Cardigan from Connie Chang Chinchio's Textured Stitches book.  This is a great pattern.  The finished cardigan fits well.  I wish I'd made the sleeves about 2" longer or shorter, but it's not a big deal.  I have super long arms, so I'm used to scrunching up sleeves.

I chose a 100% pima cotton to knit this to keep it from being too warm for Florida.  The weight turned out perfect for our cooler days, but I do have some trouble getting the collar to behave without the body of a wool.  Just something to think about.

Here is my Ravelry post.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spring henly blouse

I finished up my new spring-y blouse just in time for a cold snap.  Oh well. :-) I used a button-down blouse pattern but modified it so much that it's hardly worth linking.  I'm really happy with how this turned out.  I see myself wearing it a lot when the weather gets hot. Fabric is Cindy from Sawyer Brook.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chanel inspiration

I kind of love the proportions of these Chanel outfits.  The short boxy tops over the sleeker dresses and skirts.  It seems harder and harder to find a unique idea that isn't butt-ugly, so a pat on the back for Karl Lagerfeld.  (I'm sure he needs my pats for his ego.)  I'm thinking of ways to create something similar.  I'd leave off the couture fanny pack and knee pads, though...

Chanel Spring 2014, all photos from