Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cascade Falls Cardigan knit in Rowan Merino dk

Ever since I finished my Georgetown Cardigan in light gray, I have wanted a similar open cardigan in dark gray, because one gray open cardigan is never nearly enough!

I considered designing my perfect cardigan - set-in sleeves, open front, longish length, and a pretty cable right at the opening.  Then, after an exhaustive Ravelry search of the pattern options already out there, I found exactly what I was looking for:  Cascade Falls by Amanda Scheuzger.

My cardigan is very close to the original pattern.  I just changed the construction a bit.  It is designed nearly seamlessly, with the body worked bottom-up in one piece, and the sleeves picked up and knit down.  With this heavy merino dk yarn, though, I wanted the strength of seams to help it keep its shape, so I knit this in pieces and sewed them together.  My sleeves are, as always, several inches longer than the design.  After blocking, they grew even more in length, so now I have the unusual (for me) luxury of fold-up cuffs!

The gorgeous, soft yarn is Rowan Super Fine Merino dk, which appears to be discontinued.  That is a crying shame as this is a lovely mid-weight merino.  Yes, I am sure it will pill.  Most soft yarns do.  However, I will be ready with my de-pill-er, and it is an inconvenience I can live with for next-to-skin softness.

You can still find Rowan Merino dk at various online shops, but I can't find this color, Suit, anywhere.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sweater Decisions

The weather is turning here.  It has not been a hot summer, and the leaves are already falling.  Having just finished a nice cardi (photo evidence to come soon), my thoughts are turning to the perfect fall/winter pullover.  I am wanting something a bit over-sized (at least compared to my usual body-con picks) and textured.  I have been all over the Brooklyn Tweed site checking out the patterns and have narrowed down my options.  Of course, their new patterns for fall drop in a few days, so I won't be making my final decision until I see those options, too.  :-)  What do you think?

(All pics are from Ravelry, and links take you to the Brooklyn Tweed site.)

This one calls to my dramatic side, but are those sleeves tooooo dramatic?

An interesting, but classic sweater.  I won't have to worry about this one going out of style.

This one looks so easy to wear but not boring, and I love a good cowl neck.

This is probably the one I'm most viscerally drawn to (is it healthy to be viscerally drawn to a sweater?).  The diagonal cables lend some drama, and the construction sounds interesting.

Another nice classic in a cozy shape.

I have had this one on my radar for years.  Maybe this isn't the exact shape I'm pining for at the moment, but I do see this in my future.

The last two options are more ponchos than sweater, and I already have one BT poncho.  How many does a girl really need?  These are so gorgeous, though!

What do you think?  Are any of these screaming out at you?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Vogue 1439, kind of

Has it REALLY been more than three months since I've posted?  I guess moving really takes it out of me!  Well, I am pretty much settled into Pennsylvania now.  There are still plenty of pictures to hang on the walls and rooms to be painted, but I have been in my new sewing space quite a bit lately, and I have some things to show for it.  

First up is some pink pants.  These are not at all my favorite pants ever.  :-(  They came out pretty baggy, probably due to the stretchy fabric, and I forgot to lower the front rise, so they sit higher on the waist than I'd like.  I'm trying to embrace them as more of a casual chino style than the skinny pants I am used to wearing these days.  We'll see...

 I used the same pattern as my favorite red pants, Vogue 1439.  I think the problems are, as I said above, the fabric is stretchier than the red, and I didn't lower the rise.  I also added some standard pockets, going for more of a jeans look.  That makes it harder to adjust the width at the hips later.
 Looking at this side view, I'm kind of hating the combo of the leg width and where it hits at the hem.  Ugh.  I am thinking maybe just taking in the side seams an inch or two and see what happens.  It couldn't hurt to try.
 The fit is good, though.  I just don't love how the style turned out.  The look great in the back!
Today, I tried to wear them more casually, rolled up a bit and with sneakers.  I like them more today, but I still don't love them, and they have grown through the day.  The fabric is a stretch denim from JoAnns, but it's a very lightweight denim.  
What do you think?  Leave them as is?  Take in the side seams?  Just let them go?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Estonia in Ewe2Yarn Iceberg

Hello!  We have less than one week left until we officially leave Florida.  Things are, of course, a bit nutso here, but very exciting, too.  I finished this sweater a few weeks ago and am loving how soft and cozy it is.  

The pattern is Estonia by Vera Sanon.  It is a basic top-down raglan (no more of those for me in cardigan form, but a pullover is ok) in stockinette stitch.  The interesting detail is the Estonian Braid at the neckline.  The pattern also uses this stitch for the cuffs and hem, but I used simple 1x1 rib for those areas.

The fit of this is great - form-fitting but not tight.  The sample is shown in a semi-solid tonal yarn, so that is what I used, although it does look more variegated than I expected.  My yarn is Ewe2Yarn  100% merino in a colorway called "Iceberg."

Here is a better look at the Estonian Braid neckline.  It was less fiddly to knit than I expected.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

McCalls 7429

This is version 2 of McCalls 7429, actually in the full-length dress this time.  The first time I made this pattern, I found the skirt portion too short and tight, so I modified it to be a tunic.  This time, I lengthened the skirt pieces and cut the sides more A-line shaped to compensate.  

I started out by cutting the sleeves long, figuring I could adjust them when the rest of the dress was finished.  I decided that with the long sleeves, it was just too much white, but I did like the look of longer sleeves, so instead of cutting them short, I went with 3/4.

The fabric is a white cotton ponte from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota, but white ponte isn't hard to find online.  

I am not sure about the hem.  The knot pulls the hem all different ways.  Sometimes it looks like the outer wrap is too long, but a little adjustment fixes it.  I am leaving it as is for now, but if I find that I am constantly having to adjust, I will just redo the hem.

When I envisioned this dress in white in my head, I thought it would be so classic and classy, and it is.  I wanted it to hit at the bottom of my knee, which it does.  It is form-fitting, but doesn't show a lot of skin.  Then, the first time I wore it, I noticed THIS as I walked through a parking lot...

Yeah, there is nothing to be done.  That wrap is at the just the right spot to show a LOT of leg when walking.  :-)
Here is a closeup of the knot detail.

I constructed almost all of this dress on my serger and coverstitch machines that I received for Christmas.  It was awesome!  It goes without saying that you don't need either type of machine to make this dress, though.  In fact, I made my first red tunic version before I had either one.

I hope all the moms out there have a great Mothers' Day!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Cashmere Princess Seam Dress with Embroidery Simplicity 2473

This is an updated (more like fixed) post from that time about a week ago that I tried to blog from my phone and no photos came through...  Yeah, sorry about that.  I hope you'll forgive me.  Anyway, here goes...

I made this dress to wear for Easter several years ago and just kind of rediscovered it while going through my closet to prepare to move.

The pattern is the out-of-print "Project Runway" Simplicity 2473.

The interest is in the embroidered waistband. I was afraid it might end up looking very "homemade" in a not awesome way, but I really like how it turned out, imperfections and all.  I played around with scraps until I found a design I liked and went to town.  I used a disappearing ink to mark the circles and then free-handed after that.

This was actually a candidate for the donate pile when I was clearing out my closet.  I have only worn it a couple of times.  It is that odd combination of warm fabric on a spring/summer style dress.  After I tried it on, though, I remembered how much I liked it.  With some tights and maybe a cardigan, it will be great in fall and spring.

The fabric is a super-soft cashmere. I had it for years before I decided what to make with it. It looks like it could use some pressing now.  Here is a closeup of the embroidery. I used plain old embroidery floss.

Well, I don't think I'll be doing much phone blogging after all, despite the ease of taking photos since I can't seem to make them show up on the actual blog! I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Vogue 1537 Dress in Silk/Linen

Hi there!  You may (or may not - it has been a few months) remember my excitement at Vogue 1537, a spring Kay Unger Designer pattern for Vogue.  Well, I finished it about two months ago, but with all the move excitement, I never got around to photographing and sharing it.  The coat is 95% finished as well.  It just needs a bit of hand sewing at the buttonholes (and buttons!), but once I missed the deadline on a perfect event for it, I lost steam.  It is too warm to wear now in Florida, but hopefully I will find the perfect excuse to wear it once we get to Pennsylvania.

So back to the main event - Vogue 1537.  I photographed this on a beautiful day, but I think the pale colored dress plus the white in the background was just too much for my camera and the photos are a bit washed out.  The detail photos at the end are an accurate representation of the fabric.  It is a silk/linen blend that I purchased at Penny Fabrics in Sarasota (sorry, still no website).  The lining is rayon from JoAnn fabrics.

The only shaping on the front is two french darts.  This style dart starts at the side seam around the waist and comes to a point at the bust.  This is a very flattering dart on my body shape.  It is easy to fit.  Here is another example of a dress with french darts.

The back has standard vertical fish-eye darts and a side invisible zipper.  I tried so hard to get that bottom band to be in the perfect position to cover my bra strap, but it always pops out, which totally ruins the look.  So far, I have only worn this dress with a little cardi over top, so you couldn't see the main detail anyway, but maybe I could look for a bra with a very thin band.  I can also envision some type of thread loop carriers like are used for bra straps, but that would be quite a pain to attach to my bra band and might cause strange bunching of my dress.

Here are the detail photos that show the fabric better.  After I wore this dress two times, I took it to the dry cleaner, and I kind of want to cry.  I was so meticulous with sewing and pressing this dress, and it came back distorted on the left side of the opening...

...and look what they did to the back left shoulder!  That isn't a sewing mistake.  The corresponding underside on the right is just as bad, but this is visible.  I don't know what to do in the future.  Just hand wash and press myself?  I like the crispness from the dry cleaner, but not at the expense of the shape of my dress!  Any ideas?