Sunday, August 30, 2015

Midwinter Cardigan - Sleeveless Version

This is a cardigan that I finished knitting several weeks ago. Knit with a bulky yarn and all in one piece it was a super fast knit. Well, it should have been but I wasn't paying attention while doing one cable & mis-crossed it. I saw my mistake when I had completely finished the body of the sweater but thankfully, before I grafted the collar together. 

I was able to successfully tink back & redo my cables all the way back up. 

I'm pretty proud of how my collar turned out after grafting the two sides together. 

The cardigan is supposed to have sleeves but in the climate that I live in, I knew that I would wear this much more often without the sleeves. 

My project notes are here

Saturday, August 29, 2015

She Turned 13 Yesterday

Rachael turned 13 yesterday. 

Sorry, the photo is blurry. I didn't realize until I uploaded them & I don't think Rachael is up to another photo shoot today. 

She had started planning her birthday dress 3 months ago. Once again using Dainty Jewell's as her inspiration website, she picked out a dress that was cream lace with strips of black lace across the bodice, sleeves & skirt. 

We weren't able to find a cream lace that we liked and a matching lining so we used a white lace & lining. The lace is a polyester chantilly lace bought off of Etsy and shipped from China. 

I finally started sewing  the lace onto the white lace this past Saturday. Remember - I'm a charter member of Procrastinator's Anonymous? Anyway, the dress itself was easy enough to sew,  very basic and I finished the dress Thursday evening. Beautiful fabric can turn an average dress pattern into a jewel. 

She wore it last night to a Youth Rally at a neighboring church. Hard to believe my little bitty baby has grown so very much, I'm so thankful she's my child!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

One Mile of Yarn + Some Extra

I didn't think the knitting would ever end. Totally worth every single minute.

My projects notes are open to the public. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Simplicity 1585 - Ready for Church

Hair curled, dress & accessories on.  Ready to head out for a night of Worship. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tutu, tutu. Tutu for Rachael

Frankly, almost all of my sewing since school let out at the end of May has been for Rachael. This is a child (young lady!) that knows what she wants to wear. 

Rachael is completely into the retro/vintage dress patterns that have been re-issued by the Big 4 pattern companies. This is the slip/skirt that I made the last week of May for her to wear on its own or as a slip under her red vintage dress to give the skirt the appropriate fullness. 

The bottom layer is black broadcloth leftover from another project, there is a double layer of petticoat netting, three layers of tulle, and the top layer is a sequined netting that I found at Hancock Fabrics and thought would turn this skirt into a sparkly confection that would delight her. 

As it turns out? She felt the skirt made her hips look too big. At 12! Tonight is the first time she's worn it & I practically had to beg for her to wear it - she's probably wearing it because she's afraid I won't sew for her if she doesn't!  

I think she looks super cute! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Simplicity 1585

Just a warning: I'm working from my phone. It's a pain but I want to show off my sewing!

There are several online clothing websites that cater to women that dress modestly. Dainty Jewell's is one of them. I've ordered from them several times, and was displeased with the quality versus cost both times. I will not order from them again.

That said, my middle daughter, Rachael, is very much into her clothes and looking as fashionable as a young Apostolic lady can. Much time is spent on creating the perfect look. That makes her sound a little vain but she isn't, this is also the child that has hunting & fishing very high in her priorities.

Earlier this summer, knowing that we had anniversary services coming up in the middle of August, Rachael started making her plans. She asked me to sew a dress similar to one she had seen on the Dainty Jewell's website.

It's pretty. Kind of plain. I knew we could do better.

We bought a blue lace and matching lining while in Houston at JoAnn's. Oh, that we still had a JoAnn's here at home. The closest is in Shreveport or Jackson, MS.

I bought Simplicity 1585 at Hancock's last week when they were on sale. I cut an 8 at the neckline, grading out to a 12 at the underarms. I eliminated the center front seam and placed the neck band and the bodice front on the fold. The sleeves were shortened about 5" and the skirt is 3.5" shorter than the pattern.

The sleeves are really wide! I could put MY arm completely inside it. I took out 2" tapering back to the original seam at the waist (and I almost took out too much). Her sleeves aren't too tight but her forearms better not get any bigger. I used an 18" white invisible zipper for the back closure. We couldn't find a good match among the stock at the store so we decided to go with one that I had in stash.

I cut the scallops from the edges of the lace and sewed those to the edges of the sleeves and the skirt hem. We are both very pleased with how this dress looks. Fabulous. 

I had bought 4 yards of the lace (60") and 5 yards of the lining (45"). I have one yard of each remaining. I'm thinking of making a large tote bag using these two fabrics along with some natural colored duck canvas.

Pattern: $1.99
Lace: $14.36
Lining: $12.08
Zipper: stash

Total: $28.43

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Wadder Was Made

Rachael has very definite opinions about her clothes. What budding fashion diva doesn't? Anyway, she's been making her list and checking it twice about what she wants to take to this year's Youth Camp in June. She knows me...

If she wants it in June, better ask Mom in February to make it. It will get made with more time. Anyway, two Saturday's ago after Rachael played at ULM's Piano Festival (she made a superior!), we hit up Hancock's and got a pattern (New Look 6210) and 2.5 yards of very thin blue jersey and a 1 yard of pink satin (I advised against both but she wanted that color jersey and that color satin).

Our inspiration dress:

The pattern worked perfectly with a few alterations since this is an adult pattern and Rachael is still growing from a child's body into a young lady's shape. I started with view A bodice and morphed it to view C skirt in a size 12. I scooped out the back and raised the front neckline 2". I took in the center back seam 1 1/4" only towards the top since she does not yet have an adult's broadness. When she tried on the dress, I ended up taking in another 1/2" at the underarm - it flaired out just a tad. 

The dress looked exactly like the above photo. Except, the jersey was too thin. It clung to her curves. And there was the bow. The bow was cute but she had picked out a pink satin and since the wrong side showed, I lined it. This was a mistake it proved to be too thick for the look we were going for. We both agreed that we needed to look for a slightly thicker fabric for the dress and a totally different fabric for the bow. 

In other news, I finally finished a knit project. I had made a pair of fingerless mitts, wove in threads, blocked them and even wore them twice. Unfortunately, with those two wearings I realized that I had made them just a few rows too long. My pinkies couldn't decide if they were supposed to be outside the mitts or inside. It was driving me nutsy! I unpicked the bind-off, frogged back the garter stitch edge and then an additional 5 rows. From there, I knit 3 rows of garter stitch and bound off. They are the perfect length now. Yay me!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Days Are Fun!

Here in Louisiana, snow & ice are rare occurences. Seldom does it get THAT cold. School was let out early on Monday and then canceled completely Tuesday and Wednesday. I had fun cutting out a new shirt and just being a bit lazy. It was a nice break from the usual routine of school, housework, laundry, sleep. Instead I had sewing, housework, laundry and sleep!

I cut out Simplicity 2369 (have you noticed that all my patterns are several years old?), view C with lengthened view A sleeves. The fabric is a black midweight rayon jersey with a bit of lycra. I love this fabric. I want to say that it's from Gorgeous Fabrics because the cut edges were very rough and that's how almost all the fabrics that I have from there are (please know that I have not ordered from this store in about 6 years or any fabric store actually).

I started with an 18 around the neckline, grading out to a 22 around the hips. I shortened the ties 5" and they are borderline almost being a tad too long. I am super pleased with how this top turned out - I love it!

The photos are a little washed out to show a bit of the details. 

The hemline doesn't pucker like that when I'm wearing the blouse (I wore it into town this morning). It's comfortable and I'm just thrilled with it.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sickness Came to Visit

Last month, my husband mentioned something about my blog and I had to say that I hadn't posted anything since last April. I also realized that I had not made a single item for myself at all last year. Everything was for my daughters, school uniforms for the girls at school, a grocery bag holder for my husband. Nothing other than hemming several store-bought skirts was done for myself.

Part of that was the very real lack of wanting to know what my measurements were/are. The other was my obsession with knitting. I may not have sewn anything for myself but there was plenty of selfish knitting!

A few weeks ago, a 3 day fast was called at church & as the girls I were driving home that night, my middle daughter mentioned that since nothing was said about the fast being a food fast (pushing back the plate was mentioned) that I should fast from all knitting. I did not like the idea. At. All. Flesh rose up and said No! Not happening.

I woke up the next morning & put my knitting to the back burner. If I can't go a few days without doing something, then that something might be taking God's rightful place as first in my life. I figured that with work, I'd be ok fasting from my knitting. Ha ha.  Monday was ok. Guess who woke up sick Tuesday morning though? That would be my youngest child. The one that can not be left at home by herself. Okay, it took about 2 hours of sitting around at home to get me up and doing something. First, I started repainting the walls in my bedroom. Between coats of paint, I started cutting out fabric - the same fabric that has been sitting out for the last 2 years waiting on me to find the motivation to cut it up. When the fabric was cut (which has always been the part I liked least about sewing), I started sewing.

First, I pulled out McCalls 6844. I can totally see why this has been such a popular pattern! I love the
open knit jacket that I now have to wear. I made View A. I started with a L in the shoulders, graded out to an XL at the bust and all the way up to XXL at the hips. I did fold up along the petite lines for the sleeves, front & back.  Usually, I'm a fan of 3/4 length sleeves, this time I left them long. I love it and definitely plan to make more!

Do you see the black on the collar? I didn't pay attention when cutting out the fabric and only cut 2 of the collar instead of 4. I had already cut the remaining fabric and had NO leftovers. To the rescue with a solid black knit that I had in stash.

Next, I sewed up Vogue 8534. This used up the remainder of this piece of fabric. I made View C with 3/4 sleeves (barely). I didn't have a lot of fabric to work with. While I was sewing this up, I wondered why there were no mentions in any of the reviews that this had a reverse high/low hem. It wasn't until I really looked at the line drawings that it dawned on me that I had cut the front with the curved hem but cut the back with the shorter, straight hem of View A. I actually like the way it looks and both of my older girls agree that it still looks pretty good.

I think that I will probably make View B of this pattern with the shorter hem length. 

At this point, we were no longer sick (the rest of us got sick later that week), I wasn't fasting from my knitting any longer but I was on a roll. The mojo had returned.

I pulled out McCall's 6896. This one... I'm just kind of meh about. It's okay, I'll probably wear it but it's a bit uninspiring. I love the fabric though. Kind of wish I had made the other view of Vogue 8534 with it. Oh well...

This pattern will go in the reject pile.

Last up is Pamela's Patterns #105 The Perfect Tank Top. I love this! Of course there are mods to make this a more modest tank top for me but I know that I will make more! The mods: I traced a medium at the front using the darted front going out to a large at the hips. I lowered the dart point 1". Raised the front neckline, took off 1" along center front fold at the top tapering to nothing at the bottom. The straps are about 5" shorter than called for.

It's an awesome tank top and I will be probably make multiples of this not only for myself but also for my girls.

Both pieces of fabric were bought from Sawyer Brook Fabrics about 5 years ago(?!) - 6 yards of fabric out. 

I'm not finished yet. There is more fabric to be sewn and after the sickness of a few weeks ago, Debra came home with flu on Thursday - we are under quarantine until Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Bit of Selfishness

I think that most of y'all know that whenever we have long school breaks, we spend that time with my husband where ever he might be working at the time. Currently, he's in Baytown, TX.

Last month, while we were on Spring Break I had the awesome chance to visit a couple of yarn shops. It felt like pure luxury. First because I got to go by myself! Second because I only had to drive 25 miles to get to it. Here at home, I have to drive to Shreveport or over to Jackson, MS. - we're talking 3 hours in a vehicle. One way. Needless to say, those trips are usually only made once a year.

At the first yarn shop, Park Avenue Yarns, I bought a couple of Kim Hargreaves pattern books, 2 pair of circular needles and 10 skeins of Cherry Red Hempathy by Elsebeth Lavold. 

It's a sport-weight yarn, hemp/cotton/rayon blend. The notes on Ravelry says that swatching is essential since this yarn blooms after washing. I still didn't swatch - I like knitting dangerously. 

The sweater is Maggie by Kim Hargreaves. I have to say this about Ms. Hargreaves. I'm not sure if I've ever seen any other knitwear designer manage to have as many patterns that I love and want to knit. right. now as she has.

My notes on the few mods that I made are here.

I currently have a summer shawl blocking - I'll share that in the next few days.