Friday, December 30, 2011

My December

Sorry for the lapse in posts, it's been a crazy month! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Not only have I been knitting up a storm for some Christmas presents, but I also went wedding dress shopping! Remember a while back when I won the wedding dress from Amsale, well I finally went to go pick it out. It was such a memorable experience and I had such a fun time with my Mom and Maid of Honor. The dresses are amazing, and it was so fun to see actual gowns, inside and out. It was interesting to see the sewing techniques I use on "couture". There is a lot of horsehair braiding in the dresses. Anyway, I'm keeping my choice a surprise so you'll have to wait until the Fall to see!


My Mom and I outside of the Amsale Flagship Store

After all of that excitement I was ready to do some knitting for Christmas! I took my time on the first hat, for my brother, which ended in DISASTER! The "Weekend in the Country Hat"  by Mimi Hill, is a interesting hat. A plaid colorwork hat, was simple to make just a bit time consuming with the color changes. Somehow it came out too small and too long! The only person it would fit is the life size reindeer in the kitchen. Good thing he looks good in it.

The Strib hat was the perfect solution to my problem. It is quick, easy, free pattern, and manly. I made four of them using different worsted weight I had in my stash. They were a big hit!


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finished Coat! Vogue 8548

TA DA! My finished coat. My version of Vogue pattern 8548. I love this coat, it is so warm and cozy. It is completely interlined with lambswool, and lined with a bright blue china silk. I also ordered some custom buttons from Pat's Custom Buttons and Belts. A lot of tailoring went into this coat, the entire inside is stiched with hymo which helps the coat keep its shape.

I added a third button to the pattern, at the top, which keeps the wide neck in place. Pockets are a neccesity on a winter coat, so I also included some in the coat. This color combo in the houndstooth is so great, tan and white, it is a true neutral. All my other coats are wild colors so a nuetral color was good to make, it goes with all my purses, shoes, hats and gloves. I will be wearing this all winter.

See the inside of the coat here
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Stockings are Hung

Now that I'm engaged my Fiance needs a Christmas stocking to match the rest of the family's. Last year I finally made one for my Dad. I bought another stocking kit from Elegant Heirlooms, this one is called Jolly Ol' Saint Nick, and has a giant Santa face. I knitted the name in as I went along, which is very easy once you figure out the spacing, to make it centered. This time I used a size 7 needle and the intarsia came out much better. I also replaced the yarn for the beard included with the kit (it was a single strand of mohair) with a much fuzzier angora. I love the way it came out. Now on to knitting Christmas presents!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Betty Sweater

 I finished a sweater! This is betty from Rowan Magazine #50. I had to make this as soon as I saw it, I just love the fair isle neckline. It also gave me an excuse to use my favorite yarn again; blue sky alpacas melange and sport weight. The body of the sweater is made out of melange (which has a more subtle coloring than the sport weight, otherwise the same), this color is called cotton candy. The fair isle is mainly made from colors I had leftover from another sweater.

 This was a very simple sweater to make. The body is knit in 2 pieces, and increases to make the sleeves. Then the collar is knitted in the round, picking up from the neckline. You could change up this pattern very easily, making a different fair isle pattern or design. This is a simple sweet pattern, which knit up rather quickly.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Houndstooth Coat Progress

I've been a very busy girl. The outside of my coat (vogue 8548) is done. I've been following all the tailoring techniques from the famous book Tailoring: the Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket, (which apparently has a new edition out, but looks the same). Here are some of the techniques I used:

See! The inside is not as pretty as the outside.

Added hymo to the bodice portions, bound buttonholes and staytaped the neck edge.

Catchstitch the seam allowance down

Set in sleeve using a bias strip of lambswool (which worked out great)
Back Stay out of hymo, and twill tape on back seam
I also added pockets, and interfaced the rest of the coat with weft, because the fabric had such a loose weave. I've also run out of lining fabric while cutting my last piece out, the sleeve! Now I have to find something else to use. The fabric I had was a blue china silk that I ordered form Mood online, but when it came i was not happy with the quality. I have to find something that will match the pockets, because I am not ripping all that out. I've run just a bit short on the lining and the outer on this coat, so if anyone is also making it, make sure to get extra!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Dress Mini-Makeover

I've had this dress from Anthropologie for years, and never found it to be a very useful garment. It's a wool strapless dress, with boning.  I tried to layer it and put a t-shirt under it, or just covering it up with a cardigan, but it never fit right and who wants to wear a strapless bra in winter?!

 So I turned it into a skirt, by simply adding a waistband. I measured the width of the bodice and drafted a waistband using that measurement. I had to make the waistband about 4 inches tall because the zipper I had was a little long. The hard part was trying to seam rip the lining apart from the bodice. The outer waist band was sewn to the outer skirt and then inner waistband was catchstiched to the lining .

Now I have a useful skirt, that can be worn a million ways, rather than a dress that was never really worn.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coat Plotting

It seems the coat bug is going around the sewing world and I got it too. I have been dying to make Vogue 8548, ever since I saw this finished one on the Sew Tessuti blog. Wow is it gorgeous. I have gathered my supplies, a tan and white wool houndstooth for the outer, a bright blue china silk lining, lambswool interlining and hymo.  

The muslin is made from some leftover felt, which is closer to wool than just plain muslin fabric. It's not very pretty, but the felt worked pretty well,its easy to cut, fast to sew and you can mark it easily with a marker. This coat does not include pockets, so I will have to add some on the side seams. Nothing is worse than a coat without pockets. I'm also going to make three buttonholes instead of two. Other than that, it fits perfectly, and I'm ready to cut my fabric. I have been studing my tailoring book, and I'm ready to start!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Sorbetto

I finally made a sorbetto top! Sorbetto is a free pattern available for download from my favorite pattern company Colette Patterns. I made mine out of a liberty print from B&J fabric. The pattern calls for a yard and a half of fabric but I only used a yard. Still have plenty of this liberty print to make something else. I like that the bias tape is exposed on this top, to give it a little more interest.

It was really simple to make, and took me only a little over an hour. Colette patterns are always simple to follow along. This is a great top to wear under cardigans, which is one of my wardrobe staples!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Layer Cake Crinoline

After being in my to do pile for over a year, I finally made the layer cake crinoline. I followed the multimedia tutorial from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. I used half a yard of bemberg rayon, and  half a yard of cotton organdy, both in hot pink! It was super easy to put together, the hardest part was trying to iron these fabrics. The rayon does not want to be ironed. I had a bit of a mishap with my serger and caught more organdy than needed to be serged. Oops.

So I took a break halfway through gathering the organdy, and went shopping with the friends. Guess what I saw, the crinoline hanging in the Kate Spade store. This is made from tulle, but the same exact color, with the same effect. It also cost $195, and made entirely out of polyester.  I think mine may have cost $16 including the elastic. I will definitely be making more of these. Thanks Gertie!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simmer Dim Wrap

I've been knitting for a million years and this is my first shawl. This is the Simmer Dim wrap
by Gudrun Johnston. I love her patterns, I also made her pattern Audrey in unst, which was so well written. This shawl knits up very quickly. The center triangle is knit using the Shetland construction method, which makes loops in the beginning of every row, making it very easy to pick up all and knit the rest of the shawl.  
I used one skein of madelinetosh eyre light, that I bought on the madelinetosh etsy page. The yarn is super soft, and a gorgeous color. The last two things I have made with madelinetosh have been impossible to wind and knit from the skein. It is constantly getting caught on itself, it really slows down the progress when you have to stop all the time and untangle. Anyway, this is a simple and fast pattern that would be great for anyone.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Valentine Cardigan

I've been knitting this little cardigan since March and I finally made myself finish it. This is the Valentine Cardi from Spud and Chloe and designed by Laura Chau. The stitch is a lacy rib, that was very easy to knit, I just didn't work on it very much, so it took so long to finish. This is a botton up cardigan knit in one piece until the armholes. I used two skeins of Madelinetosh tosh merino light in tangerine. I just love this color, but it was very hard to find buttons that were the right shade.  I originally bought some orange mirrored buttons from M&J trimming, but they were just not right, I found the perfect shade of orange at the local fabric store.

I made some minor changes to this pattern. I made sort little cap sleeves, instead of the elbow length in the picture. I also made it a little bit shorter. This sweater is not blocked. The stitch will stretch out a lot when wet, so leaving it unblocked gives it a cropped look. I learned a new technique from this pattern, the stich in 1 row button hole, which sounds hard but is actually easy and gives the buttonhole a very finished, professional look. This video here, helped me a lot. 

I'm so glad I finally finished this sweater, even though it can probably only be worn a few times before it gets too cold out.  I can see myself wearing this over and over again in the spring and summer.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Simplicity 5707

I finished my dress in time for our engagement party. Vintage Simplicity pattern 5707, made with a burgundy silk charmeuse and a detachable velvet flocked tulle overlay skirt. It's the perfect party dress, it felt so special.

I didn't have to change much to this pattern. It was already cut out, and whoever owned it before me had elongated the bodice, so I made the muslin with that alteration. All that needed to be done was take up the shoulders a bit and make the back smaller at the zipper! So easy.

I was very careful while sewing the silk, I used silk thread and held the fabric taught while sewing. The finished product doesn't have any dimples. The hardest part about sewing this dress was gathering the tulle for the skirt. I sewed through the velvet polka dots and the gathering stitches were stuck in the velvet and broke. So I had to make several rows of gathering stitches. 

The only thing I don't like about this dress is that the facings around the armhole won't stay down. After I put the dress on I have to tuck them in. I did understich them and tack them down at the seams. But over all I'm glad I made my dress for this occasion, I think it made it even more special.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Colette Patterns Featured Seamstress

I am Colette Pattern's Featured Seamstress! You can see the post here. I'm wearing my yellow beignet skirt and the meitte sweater, both were made for Colette's spring palette challenge!

So nice to be featured, Thanks Colette Patterns!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Simplicity 3045 / 2444

I've been working on this pattern for a little while now. I made several muslins and realized that a short sleeved kimono sleeve is not for me. So I tweaked the patten a bit, using the scalloped neckline from the vintage pattern and the basic bodice from simplicity 2444.

The scallops are subtle, and the open neckline is flattering. It is a good transitional piece for the fall. I used a cotton from B&J in NYC. It has a bit of stretch to it. The fabric gets a little more wrinkled than desirable, sitting down makes the skirt a mess! It did not seem this way in the store. Oh well.

For this dress I used some different techniques, the vintage pattern suggested I stabilize the waistband with some stay tape, after is is sewn all together. I used hug snug on that seam, as well as turning in the armholes. Horsehair braid on the hem makes the skirt crazy swirly.  I attempted to do a lapped side zip, from this tutorial the famous Gertie posted a while ago, but it doesn't look the same.

I had some trouble with the scallops, and I don't think they look as defined as they do in the photo. Maybe this pattern would look better with a different fabric. Sometimes things just don't work out as fabulous as I pictured them. On to the next project! Pin It Now!