Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all! 
Sorry for my lack of posts lately. I have been caught up in the celebrations and neglected my crafts! I've also been organizing like a mad woman.  I have been working on the simplicity dress to wear on Christmas Eve, but just couldn't finish the final details in time. Just the hem to finish now, pictures to come in 2011. Hope everyone has a wonderful night, farewell 2010, and hello to 2011!
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Sugar cookies with crushed life savor center

Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you are enjoying the holiday.
Love, Erika
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa's Suprise!

Christmas stocking are a special family tradition around here. My Mom's Godmother made hers, my Mom made mine from the same pattern and she made my brothers. They are our favorite thing to take out every Christmas. But somehow my Dad never had his own, he had a store bought one which made him feel like an orphan! (It didn't help the situation that we always put a lump of coal in his stocking). So this year I decided to make him his very own stocking.

A local yarn store The Blue Purl in Madison, NJ, happened to have a Elegant Heirlooms trunk show. They have the most beautiful Christmas stockings, and they even have some for Hanukkah! The kit comes with all the yarn, and all you need is a size 5 needle. It is knit flat, and cannot be done in the round because the intarsia is only done on the front. This pattern is different than the traditional ones I have seen, the Santa is more complex, with many more colors and the design is only on the front, not the back, so the color changes are more frequent. It is a pretty long stocking, we will have to fill it with lots of goodies. Merry Christmas!

The family Christmas stockings
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

5 Minute Christmas Craft

 It's Christmas cruch time, T-minus 8 days! I made this simple pin to decorate my plain white beret. All you need is green and red felt, and a pin back. I traced the leaf shape from a holly leaf from outside onto the green felt, cut it out, along with 2 red circles and hot glued it to a pin. So easy, and really cute. I was planning on adding glitter and a jingle bell, but sometimes things are better when they are simple. I made one for my aunt too and she LOVED it. This is a perfect last minute craft.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beatnik Babe Pullover

This is the beatnik babe sweater from The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book, which I reviewed in a blog post a few weeks ago. I started working on it a few days ago and I LOVE IT. I've been in a bit of a knitting slump, and just a general crafty slump. I have been knitting with mohair for too long and needed a break. I did say I was going to work on a Christmas dress but I'm waiting for lining fabric to come in the mail. So I decided to start something new!
I'm using what the pattern called for, three colors of Manos del Uruguay classica in Citric and Calypso, but instead of black I decided to lighten it up with a lighter grey color. The patten also calls for facings in a regular worsted weight yarn, which I did in a pink color, to add an extra level of fun. I'm also working on a Christmas stocking right now, but can't show because it might ruin the surprise!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thank you Mood!

I went to Mood this week to get some fabric for the projects I've been scheming. The bottom is a white with blue squares shirting cotton. It will be perfect for a summer blouse, it looks really cute and retro.

The second is some kind of silk crepe I will be making this blouse with. I bought really cute buttons which you can't really see and all I need is some piping and it will look just like a top from Anthropologie.

The third is a cotton/silk blend that I'm going to make into a dress, possibly for Christmas. I'm going to make the dress with the stand up collar, which is just screaming for a pin. Hopefully i have enough fabric to make the version with sleeves. Hopefully. I also went to pacific trimming and bought a riri zipper to use with it. I'm very excited about it. Is it strange to be excited about a zipper? Riri zippers are made in Italy, and I've noticed its the kind of zipper they use in some of my fancier purses. I'm going to make muslin for the dress and see how it fits, this is the first time I've really used a pattern from the big pattern brands.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rooibos Dress

This is the Rooibos dress from Colette Patterns. I finished it in time to wear on Thanksgiving. I used a wool herringbone grey wool and a puce colored silk charmeuse for the facings, pockets, and the piping. I made my own piping, by taking the stitching out of some old piping taking the cord and using the old fabric as a model to cut the charmeuse. Then I used a zipper foot to get close to the cord and made the piping.

I also used my new serger and serged all the pieces after I cut them out. I'm so glad I did this, It makes sewing it together a dream! I will definitely do this again. The only problem is that the little triangle markings that are cut out get serged away. So I have to think about a better way of marking the pieces. I did a side lapped zipper, and hand picked the lapped side.

Overall I think this dress came out OK, its a little big in the bodice even though I mad a muslin. Maybe I should have made the smaller size and done a full bust adjustment.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And for my next trick...

I'm making a Thanksgiving dress.  Another Colette pattern. I think I need to be admitted into Colette patterns anonymous, because I'm an addict. This time I am making Rooibos out of herringbone wool and silk charmeuse. I am also going to attempt to make a lapped zipper on the side like Gertie blogged about. I made my own piping out of the puce color charmeuse. It is my first time working with piping, isn't that shocking? Hopefully, I will finish by tomorrow so I can look fabulous eating my turkey.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Sew U Home Stretch

I have been playing with my new serger.  My serger came with instructional DVDs but I also wanted to learn more so I turned to the book Sew U Home Stretch by Built By Wendy. It comes with three basic patterns and ways you can tweak them to make other things. I was feeling very adventerous and made my first t shirt.

I used a rayon/poly knit from Fabricland, and the Built by Wendy t-shirt pattern from the book. I cut a scoop in the neckline added the four inch drapy collar and 11 inch sleeves. It came together very quickly, and I think it looks at least as good as something from Old Navy. (I'm twisting in the picture). I need more basics like this for winter so I will sure to make more. Serging looks scary but it's fun.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quantoid Hat

 I made another hat, this one is for the boyfriend. It is the Quantoid Hat from the Fall 2010 issue of Knitscene. I'm not sure what a quantoid is but I like this hat. I made the bigger size but I used a DK weight yarn instead of a worsted. I used Koigu Kersti, in two different shades of grey.

I shortened it quite a bit. Instead of the 8 row repeat I cut it down to 6 rows, and then I cut out the 4 row repeat in the crown shaping. It came out perfectly, the extra rows would have made the hat way too long. This is the perfect hat for boys, and fun to make. It's not just a monotonous ribbed hat, the color work and the varied vertical stripes make it interesting to make. I whipped this one up in three days, in between finishing sewing my Lady Grey.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Lady Grey Coat

This has been my biggest project ever! My Grey Lady coat is finished and I love it. I feel so accomplished and it's all thanks to Gertie and her wonderfull sew-along! I can tackle any sewing project now that I have done a coat, at least thats what I feel like right now. If you would like to see the rest of my post on Lady Grey, you can see them here. My pictures in this post were taken by the fabulous VerbenaKnits, Thanks Lindsay!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lady Grey Supplies

My coat is done! Hooray! I will post my fabulous pictures lady today. Meanwhile, this is everything I used to make my Lady Grey coat. Sewing is much more involved than knitting, I think this picture proves it.

What I used:
Grey Lady pattern from Colette Patterns
Pattern weights
marking supplies
seam ripper
3 kinds of scissors
dritz button cover kit
2 plain inside buttons
purple ribbon
twill tape

4 yds heavy weight muslin fabric
2 yds weft interfacing
1/4 yd silk organza (with a lot left over) dyed to match outer coat
4 1/2 yds Magenta Wool Crepe (it was a Tahari remnant)
3 yds rayon lining fabric
2 yds cotton flannel for interlining
5+yds of hair canvas
2 sleeve heads

Magenta silk thread
Magenta cotton thread
purple cotton thread

spray bottle
tailor's ham (This one is from The Cupcake Goddess)
Oh yeah and a sewing machine!

I think that is it. Phew! Today I am going to attempt to play with my new serger. Wish me luck.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lady Grey Hem

Has anyone else been having trouble hemming this coat? I have been fretting over it for a while. I would be a lot farther right now if this hem wasn't scaring me so much. Going the 2 inches all the way around wasn't working at all, it was all sorts of uneven and making me very nervous. I was getting discouraged and then looked to the floor and it was my muslin. Oh yeah, I can use that! So I quickly measured a 2 inch hem every inch all the way around and cut. Then i put my muslin (actually it's half a muslin by now) through the sleeve like a vest and I had an easy way to mark my hem.

You can see that my dress form has a hem measurement device but when I tried to use it, it PULLED MY FABRIC! The horror! I feel so betrayed. I don't know what to do to fix it, it's made out of sharp plastic. I finshed my hem using Gertie's excellent advice as always.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grey Lady Lining

I have finished the lining! I'm a little behind but I'm close to the finish line. I have to remember not to rush things, because sewing turns out better when you take your time. I decided to interline the coat with cotton fleece because my outer fabric and my lining are thin fabrics. Interlining is fabric you sew to the inside of your coat to make you toasty warm. I cut my interlining pieces to match my lining and sewed them together, close to the seams, then i trimmed the excess. It was easy to sew the lining together after adding the interfacing because it made it a more substantial fabric than the flimsy rayon. I included all the lining pieces, except for the facing because they will overlap when I wear the coat and I don't wanna look too bulky.

You can see my back pleat above, Gertie explained it in an easy to follow post. I also interlined the sleeves, which isn't always recommended, but I had enough room in the sleeve and the sleeves are wide so I wanted the extra warmth there.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hooray for Birthdays!

It was my birthday this week and I wanted to share some of my cute presents with you!

I'm a very lucky girl and I got this brand new serger from my parents. Its a Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger. SO excited to finally have one. I'm looking forward to finishing the edges of my pattern pieces before i sew them together. It will make everything neat and crisp. This serger has some good reviews on amazon. I've never really used a serger so I would love to hear some feedback!

Look at what else I got, a juicy couture PINK SEWING MACHINE CHARM! I can't even handle it, I always love the juicy charms but now it's as if they are making them personally for me. Or stalking me and reading my mind. I own a pink sewing machine. Here is the story about my custom brother sewing machine. I was looking for a machine to learn to sew with and Costco had some on the website, and they had a pink one, or at least it looked pink. So when it came in the mail it was white! I was very sad and contacted costco and they said the picture looked pink and it was a mistake on their part. Many people bought it because it was pink and were equally as sad when they opened it.

 I kept the WHITE machine, (it was a good deal) and just kept dreaming of my pink sewing machine. A couple years after that I was in the hospital so some reason or another and asked my dad to paint my sewing machine for me. (He's pretty pro at painting and I looked so pathetic laying there I could have gotten him to paint anything. haha) He used krylon plastic spray paint in princess pink, I love it so much.

My mom is also an excellent cake decorator and whipped up this sewing cake for me. Spools of thread and rick rack! I feel so loved.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Button Makeover

I made this sweater last winter, and it was cute but the buttons did not work. The sweater is 28thirty by Zephyr, they make really cute patterns and the yarn is a yummy manos de uruguay. The problem I had with this sweater was the buttons. I had a hard time picking them out to begin with and now they are just not working for me.  They are metal, with a shank and they were too heavy and loud (they clanged together) for this sweater. I think they would have worked better on something with more structure, not a knit. I have barely worn the sweater because these buttons were making me so nervous. So I finally found the perfect buttons.

They are the perfect color and I didn't even have the sweater with me when I found them! They are from Mood (that's where they shop on Project Runway). I was so happy to find them.  THANK YOU MOOD!

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