Monday, December 7, 2015

Stitch in Time, Dinah's Lacy Sweater

This sweater is two years in the making! I started it in AUGUST 2013. I knit the entire back, and started the front and then just left it for two years. I picked it up again in October and finished it quickly, I don't know why I was putting it off! 

The pattern is from Stitch in Time vol. 2, a lovely book with a lot of cute vintage knitting patterns in it. Most of them are knit with the tiniest needles. This is the Dinah's Lacey Sweater a pattern from the 1930s. It was actually very simple to make but the tiny needles needed, size 3, made me put it down for two years, The stitch is a twisted lacy rib. 

The yarn is an angora wool blend from St Magnus D.K. I made a hat out of this a few years ago and dreamt of a sweater from it ever since. It's so soft and fluffy! It's not itchy at all, I love wearing it. I had to order it from Dragon Yarns in Gloucestershire, UK. I can't find it anywhere in the US, and I had to patiently wait for it to come. And then the post office held it hostage because they wanted a signature! AHH! I wish somewhere closer sold it. but I would totally buy it again, it's so lovely.

I made some minor changes to the pattern. I didn't make the short sleeves as long as the picture. Maybe that was a mistake, as I kinda look big in the sweater but whatever. I also didn't put a button and loop and then neck. I'm not about being choked by my sweaters. 

The only downside is that it kinda stretches out as you wear it. The sleeves did not look this huge after if finished it. But blocking a sweater always makes it look different. I'm just gonna roll with it and not let it bother me. 

I'm so happy this is finally finished! What's your longest knitting WIP?

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Here it is the famous Appleton dress! When I saw the announcement for a new pattern line from Cashmerette of a new pattern line where you wouldn't have to do a fba I jumped at the chance. Then I saw that there was a kit, so I quickly clicked buy before it sold out. I am tired of making decisions lately and a kit sounded perfect to me. 

The fabric is a black rayon spandex with white birds flying all over it. The fabric is lightweight and thin but not too thin. It's not the softest fabric, but it is still nice to wear. Looks like its sold out right now, so I guess there will be a lot of twins on the internet! 

I used the largest cup size, in size 14. I initially graded out in the hips but it made a weird bubble, and wasn't working, so I trimmed it back down on the serger. The 14 fits fine in the hips so I guess I didn't need to grade up.

The wrap definitely hugs the top and stays closed. I did wear a tank top under it, I'm not used to wearing a top so low. Next time I will make a full bicep adjustment. I was hoping I wouldn't have to being a knit, and that these patterns are for curvy ladies, but I guess I'm too curvy in the arms. Bleh, I think I hate adjusting sleeves as much as an FBA. 

The printed pattern came with the kit, and I love the way it's set up. The colorful book, the envelope, its all adorable. My only quibble is the glue on the pattern envelope. I had such a hard time trying to open it! Anyone else have this issue?

I made the whole thing on the serger, and used a double needle for all the hemming and topstitching. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me using wonder clips with the serger. I still feel the need to pin with knits, especially with the sleeves and matching up notches. And using wonder clips instead of pins is a foolproof way not to run them over with the serger. Pins are easy to overlook, but not wonder clips. 

The directions were clear, the only part I had to stop and think about was sewing the ties to the neck pieces. But after my coffee in the morning I read the directions again, and got it. Late night sewing is not a good time for direction reading. The neckline is stretched to fit, and the fabric wouldn't stay still so I basted it with the machine first and then serged over the basting. 

I wore this dress out on Saturday, which was a cold and windy night. Woo, you have to be careful in this dress when the wind blows! I am happy to have a basic wrap dress that fits well and I can rely on to throw on and go out and look gooooooood. This dress came together in two short sessions, I actually made two dress this week, this one and my cotton and steel picnic dress, so it is a quick and satisfying project. 


I am so excited to see what pattern Jenny is going to come out with next. Maybe a button down shirt? Wouldn't that be amazing with no fba? 

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Christmas Dress: Vintage Butterick 9566

 Oh hello there. I'm back with another holiday dress. That's all I seem to post lately. This dress is the dresss of my Christmas dreams. I fell in love with the fabric at Fabricland and snatched up a few yards of it. It was on a mysterious bolt, and seems to be a vintage repro fabric. It is a very light quilt weight cotton, 45" wide. Fabricland also happened to have rick rack and buttons that perfectly match so score.

I wanted to make something vintage looking to go with the dress, but the subtle stripes kept me from choosing anything with princess seams. Then I remembered Butterick 9566 in my stash, and did a quick fba and muslin. The bust darts were very pointy, so I angled them down to make a french dart instead which worked much better for me. 

I made the dress a little differently than the directions, mainly because I didn't want to deal with the opening in the front of the skirt. So I made an invisible zipper in the back, and the bodice is just attached to the front so the whole thing doesn't hang open. The skirt is also from a modern pattern because I need to be able to move in this dress and didn't want to deal with all the fabric. The bodice is underlined in yellow, which makes the unusual color stripes pop a bit more, and the skirt is lined with the same. 

I think I look like I belong in one of my favorite Christmas movies; Pee Wee's Christmas Special, which is now streaming on netflix. Miss Yvonne and Annette Funicello have such great costumes in this movie!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! 
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Vintage Butterick 9566: Cotton + Steel Picnic Dress

AHH! This dress came out better than I expected, don't you love when that happens?  I have been dreaming of this dress for months waiting for the Cotton + Steel fabric to arrive at Fabricland (we had to wait for the second printing!). I just love the vintage vibe to it, I mean it has Pyrex on it! When it finally arrived the print was a lot bigger than I was imagining, so I was stumped of what dress to make with it. Finally I remembered Butterick 9566.

This is my second version of Vintage Butterick 9566. The first one is my Christmas dress, which is one of my favorite dresses, so I thought another one was in order! The bodice was already fitted, I did an FBA, and made the sleeves bigger than the original pattern. I also angled the bust dart more like a french dart, which I think gives it such a good fit. There is only thing I need to change about the pattern if I make it again, the sleeve has too much ease, it's hard to get it to fit without any blips. 

 What I like most about the pattern, is the opportunity to add my favorite thing: RICK RACK.  I think I bought 6 yards of this rick rack which is woven in different pastel colors, and that still wasn't enough. I was planning on doing another row at the hem so I might go and buy some more for that. The rick rack is all around the neckline, down the front of the buttonhole side bodice, around the sleeves and all around the hem. 

The buttons are adorable and very special. They are from the world famous sewing cave of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic! Thanks Carolyn! I had these in my stash and they are the perfect thing, so lucky!

Needless to say, I am very happy with the dress and thinking of more versions of it! 

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Vogue 8972 for my Momma

It is super hard to find cute dresses out there people. That's how I got guilted into making this dress for my mother. Last September my parents had a wedding to go to. She was looking for a dress for over a month and couldn't find anything. We live 15 minutes from three different malls. She looked in Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, like everywhere. She was getting so desperate she was trying on $500 dresses just to see! There are no dresses out there. Ok, the dresses that are out there are either navy, which doesn't look good on her, looks like a Real Housewife dress or are totally frumpy. So finally I said "UGH, fine I guess I have to make you a dress".  Aren't I just the sweetest?

We choose this fabric Rayon asian inspired fabric from Fabricland in NJ. They even had the perfect crinkley silk chiffon print for a luxurious wrap to match. After searching in the pattern books for a while we finally settled on Vogue 8972. It is a simple shape, I like how it has the different cup sizes, so it would be easy to fit. 

I'm so used to fitting myself it's weird doing it to someone else. I cut out the C cup bodice, and made her a muslin. After a little tweaking, the dress came together quickly. It's fully lined in rayon bemberg, and all the seams are topstitched. I used my new edgestitch foot to get the seams perfect. 

The wrap is a yard and a half of fabric, and I just used the narrow hem foot all the way around to finish it. 

She had another wedding to go to this past weekend so I finally got a chance to take her picture. The fabric has a sheen to it so it seems lumpy in places, but I promise the fit is perfect. There are a lot of seams in this dress, and they intercept at the hips, so I had to go back and trim some more before she wore it again and everything lays flat now.  Well I think she looks very glamorous, and she feels good in it too! Don't get used to it Mom, it's back to selfish sewing for me!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Butterick 5814: Complete!

Ok, I'm in love. THIS DRESS IS LIKE MY DREAM. The wedding was this Saturday, and I finished the dress Wednesday. Like fully finished, hook and eyes, three narrow hems for outer, interlining and lining, and a waist stay. I usually would leave those kinds of those kinds of things until the the last minute, so progress! 

I am thrilled with how the pattern alterations came out. The bodice fits like a glove, after I fixed some minor problems with the front right drape. There was too much fabric and it was pooling by the waistline and the side seam. I had to take the skirt off and undo the side seam a bit and sew the extra fabric in the seam.

 That was the most stressful part. It was coming out perfectly and then I went to try it on after I put the invisible zipper in and EEK! But with the helping hands of a friend, she was able to pin the excess fabric for me while I was wearing the dress. The problem was solved easily after that. Not sure why it didn't show up in the muslin stage, must be the difference in the drape of the fabric. 

The fabric for this dress is a Liberty of London silk, fully underlined and lined. The bodice is underlined with a drapey rayon. It was the only fabric I found that still let the bodice have the drape it needed. The pleated circle skirt is underlined with a silk faille. It gives it body like a taffeta would but without all that taffeta noise. The dress is fully lined with rayon bemberg in a coordinating blue. 

The skirt is my first official pattern draft! Its a basic circle skirt and then you make the waist bigger so it can be pleated. And of course it has pockets! I will do do another post on this if you guys are interested.

The wedding was really fun, my hubby was an usher in it, and we accidentally matched! His tie was the perfect match to the blue in the fabric. I can't wait for another chance to wear this dress! 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Butterick 5814- Making the Bodice

I'm in the mood for couture, darlings! It has been such a long time since I have made a project, taken my time and done anything really special. I have a wedding coming up this month, and with this Liberty silk from my stash it was the perfect opportunity to make something fabulous.

I bought this fabric from, months ago, when it was on sale, and I used something like an extra 15% off it, so I snatched up four yards. Plus, I used ebates so I got 3% back!  I love hydrangeas, and I thought it was the most dreamy print ever. I was expecting the Liberty tana lawn magic to be translated into silk magic, but it is only a regular silk. It's not especially dreamy like Liberty cotton. Oh well, I'm still crazy for the print. 

I've been searching the internets for the perfect pattern for this fabric, nothing was the right floatyness, or the right style or whatever. This wedding is fast approaching so I decided to muslin the bodice of Butterick 5814, a pattern by Gertie. I like the bodice, but the skirt is not what I was picturing so I have to think of something to do for that. 

I started with the size 18 for the bodice, and just made it just like the pattern, expecting scary results. Woah that baby is low, like REALLY LOW. Not suitable for anytime. But other than that, the fit is ok. The sleeves are a little tight on my giant guns, and my bra straps show in the front. 

The first thing i did was to raise the front pieces so the neckline would be about 3" higher. Then I did a 1" FBA. But I didn't want a bust dart, so I would stick to the original look. My pattern looks a little crazy in the end but I swear it works. 

I cut the silk out backed with a roll of unprinted newspaper. Cutting through the paper and the silk helps it from wiggling all over the place. The silk doesn't have enough body to drape on it's own so I knew I had to add underlining. It was a bit of a debate of what fabric to use. Silk organza was too still, just plain muslin wasn't quite right either and then I remembered about rayon! Fabricland has plain white rayon, which had the perfect amount of body and is something like $7 a yard, score! I hand basted all of the bodice pieces to the rayon pieces. I also stitched twill tape to the neckline pieces, like Gertie demonstrated on her blog

After I was done with all the hand stitching, the actual machine sewing came together quickly. I pinned it to my dressform to have a look. Still have some hand-sewing to do, and then I can move on to the skirt. I've already drafted it, and will explain in another post. 

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

DKNY Vogue 1448

Woah summer has just flown by. I missed the whole month of August on here! Well I've still been sewing, just haven't got a chance to photograph anything. 

So I'm back with something a little crazy. I got this BRIGHT rayon from Fabricland, it was only 8.99 a yard. I scooped it up as soon as it came into the store, that's the benefit of working in a fabric store. I rarely pick out fabric with no plan, so I was flipping through the vogue book for ideas and I saw 1448, which was something a little different for me. Of course my fabric choice would turn it into a Carmen Miranda style dress. 


I made a muslin of the bodice, and obviously I needed to do an FBA. But uh oh there is no dart. I could have added a dart, but I wanted it to look like the original. All the cool kids can go around with no darts, so that's what I wanted to do! I cut and slashed and added a third pleat to accommodate the excess. Now I can be cool with no darts. The only other thing it needed was a little tack to keep the wrap together. 

The bodice is lined, I couldn't find a color that was right for the yellow so I went with white. My go-to lining is Robert Kaufman Savannah. Omg its the lightest softest cotton, and perfect for lining. It's only like 6.99 a yard or something. 

The skirt is the most fun. It is three layers of skirt on the front and the back, all with a narrow hem. I am very thankful for the Bernina narrow hem foot, which I finally mastered. It has these pockets in the front, which don't even fit a phone, so they are kind useless. 

PLEASE NOTE: I found a mistake in the pattern, The front peplum piece 6 should say cut 2 not cut 1. GRRR. I didn't figure that out until I was piecing the skirt together. AND I WAS OUT OF FABRIC. If I didn't have to go to work that day, and knew we had more of the fabric, I would have been in trouble. (I have emailed Vogue about the mistake and they said they are fixing it in future patterns.) 

It was fun to make something a little more complicated than the average dress. It's a fun dress to go out to dinner in, and I wore it a lot on my trip to Italy this summer. 

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sallie Jumpsuit

I enjoyed making the Carolyn Pajamas so much that when Closet Case Files came out with the Sallie Jumpsuit/ Maxidress, I was excited to make this as well. I have never really made a maxi dress or a jumpsuit, or worn one for that matter. I am happy to report that this really is like wearing secret pajamas. I feel like I am curled up in my bed, but instead I am out in public with a cocktail in my hand. Sometimes its fun to look ridiculous. 

I chose this rayon knit in a magenta/ peach floral print from Fabricland. Its so soft and very lightweight. And man does it remind me of Mrs. Roper from Three's Company. It was difficult to choose between the jumpsuit and the maxidress, both would look cute in this fabric. but I decided to go for the jumpsuit, for the full 70s look. 

I made a few changes to the pattern before I started. I didn't want that tie in the back, I'm planning on wearing this on a long airplane ride and thought the tie would be annoying at my neck. So I raised the back up 1 inch to prevent it from falling off my shoulders without the tie. I can still get it on and off easily. Then I needed to add some length to the crotch. (bleh I hate that word). I am long in the torso, so I can't really buy a romper/jumpsuit with out getting the dreaded cameltoe. I added two inches, which was a bit excessive, i probably could have used 1.5 (next time). I also took 3 inches off the pant length. 

This is a really quick sew, but I had a few problems. First I made the bodice and I slip it on and the sleeve openings are too tight. All of the sizes have the marks for the opening at the same spot. Next time I will leave a bigger opening for my big guns. Then I had a problem serging the bodice to the pants, my serger was acting up, and it caught the pants in several places. BLEH. I tried taking it out in the worst bits, but this fabric is so light it was just making holes. I had to hand sew some holes closed and then I decided a belt would fix all of my problems. Now you can't really notice, and I think it needed a belt. 

I am taking a trip to Italy next week and I am definitely packing this, along with mostly me mades. It weighs nothing, and I had it shoved in my bag all weekend and then put it on after a beach day and it's not even wrinkled. I think it will be perfect to wear on the airplane, comfy and chic, the only downside is stripping down to go to the bathroom!  

Cheers to going out in secret pajamas!

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