Monday, January 26, 2015

Simplicity 2245

My most recent sewing project is a second version of Simplicity 2245, an out-of-print Lisette pattern.  This time, I used a medium-weight cotton knit that feels a lot like a lighter weight sweatshirt.

Please bear with the photos - my 7-year-old took them inside last evening, so the quality is no fault of the photographer. :-)

 I cannot remember where I got this fabric.  I think it qualifies as "deep-stash."
 I went with the short-sleeve version for maximum wearability in Florida.  It did work nicely yesterday over a long-sleeved tee and leggings.  This was super-comfy and I still just LOVE these pockets.
 The only changes I made from the pattern was to shorten the length a bit and make the neck band narrower (and hence, the neckline is wider).  It really it is a tunic-length - I couldn't wear this without leggings - and it would also work as a swimsuit cover-up.  I also omitted the vent and button at the neckline.
Overall, I think this turned out as a great weekend sweatshirt alternative.  It is cute and VERY comfy, and the pockets are perfect for stashing my iPod to listen to podcasts.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Moondrop Feather Lace Cowl

I finally have another sewing project completed (why do I feel like it's been so long?), but first a pretty little knitted cowl.  

The pattern is the Feather Lace Cowl by Ewelina Murdoch, and it's free!  I found this simply by using the advanced pattern search in Ravelry, looking for a fingering-weight cowl using about 400 yards of yarn.  I'm so happy with the result.

I think the lace pattern looks much more complicated than it is.  It only has lace stitches every fourth row, so 3/4 of the knitting is stockinette in the round.  So simple, and I memorized the pattern very quickly.  I got a good start on this waiting for a delayed flight, and then I finished it on a short trip to visit family.
This was such an enjoyable knit!  The yarn is Voolenvine Yarns hand painted lush - a sockweight base.  Here is her Etsy shop.  The colorway is Moondrop, which she mentioned on her last videocast is very popular.  I'm not surprised!  I'm very happy with the yarn and the service.  I also didn't notice any bleeding of the colors when soaking the yarn for blocking.

For any non- or new knitters, I documented the blocking process.  :-)

Here is the finished cowl, pre-blocking.  Not so pretty.

 Soaking in some warm water for about 10 minutes

I blocked this on a towel, on top of a foam square that is really one of my kids' toys.

Getting the general shape.

...And fully pinned to make the pretty scalloped edge.


The only thing I'm not 100% in love with is the length.  I think it looks nice here, but I was messing with it all morning, so I eventually put a pin in it to hold it in place (above) and felt much more at ease.

It's perfect for a scarf/hood combo, if you're into that and don't live in Florida.

It's just a smidgen too tight for a double-wrap.  It looks like I'm being choked here, and it didn't feel great either.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spring 2015 Vogue Pattern Picks

The new Vogue Patterns are up, which is always a fun day! 

I didn't find much in the designer section that I love, but Kay Unger never disappoints.  1432 is a classic but interesting sheath.
I've been making so many full-skirted dresses lately that a nice summer sheath would be nice.  I think it would be great in a linen/cotton blend in a fabulous color.  If you're more adventurous than me, the options for combining fabrics in the bodice are endless.  I think I'll stick to a solid color, though.  All the strips around the bodice would be a challenge well worth the effort.

I am happy to see some casual separates in the designer section, too.  1440 by Donna Karan is fun.  Definitely the top and leggings, but I'm not sure if I'd get around to the jacket.  It's just not as practical for my climate.  Click over to the site and check out the back of the shirt.  It has some neat details.

1439 by Anne Klein looks like a great pair of pants.  The description says  "Semi-fitted, tapered pants (below waist) have waistband, bias binding, carriers, right side front pocket, welt and zipper, fly front zipper, and back welt pockets."  No "faux welt pockets" or "mock fly front."  I will definitely try this pattern for the pants!

1436, also by Anne Klein, might be my favorite pattern.  Another great pair of pants (a more casual style this time) with a fantastic blouse.  Go check out the cuffs on that blouse.  They have a tiny buckle and snaps.  Fun!

9082 is a Vintage Vogue offering, and I have to say, I am digging the version with the short-sleeved top over it.  However, I know from bitter experience that those pleats combined with pencil skirt are not my flattering friend, so something would have to change there.  I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to stitch them down into darts... or just add my favorite swishy skirt.  That might throw the proportions all off, though.

Go check out 9083.  It's the other Vingate Vogue, and while I have no occasion to make or wear it, it is really fun and pretty.

I really like the style of 9090, but it looks almost exactly like view B of Butterick 5282, which I have (and love!), so I'll pass.

So I have to say I am very pleased with the sportswear offerings this go around and can't wait to find and get started on a few of these.  Also, I saw the new Marfy catalog is out for the new year, so I'm hoping they will put up the designs on the website soon.

In other news, the baptism that was to be the debut of this skirt didn't happen.  My boys and I had a lovely visit with family, but the day of the baptism was the same day as freezing rain (ICE) in Philadelphia, so we stayed put that morning.  The skirt will need to wait for its debut until Easter.  Plenty of time to find or knit the perfect top before then!  :-)

Ok.  My boys are home today from school for a teacher work day, and I'm planning to do something I haven't done in a while (except for the above-mentioned skirt) - sew something for myself!  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 12, 2015

What do I wear with my new skirt?

I made a blue skirt to wear to my niece/goddaughter's baptism.  Since my plans for a Christmas dress never worked out (see first photo), I thought this was a nice excuse for a pretty new skirt at least.  The fabric is blue silk I've had in my stash for eons.  I used every scrap to make a straight skirt with pleats and waistband and a big ol' bow... the jury is still out on that part. Hubs definitely doesn't "get" it.

Anyway, here is the failed X-mas dress, just for posterity.  The skirt fabric was left over from another project and it just turned out way too short, despite my measuring.  In the photo, the right half is hemmed.  I didn't even finish it.  The bodice is another eons-old stash silk, and the problem there is that I couldn't raise my arms at all.  Definitely needed gussets.  Oh well.

Enough stalling.  Here is my skirt, which I am happy with:

It is just some rectangles with large box pleats (like this one has at the center) and some smaller secondary pleats, and an invisible back zipper.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  That cream-colored sweater is what I was planning to wear with it, along with those booties.

But wait, I also remembered this skirt that Katherine (Bloom) made, and for some reason, that made me think I needed a big bow.  Bow on the skirt and bow on the sweater is a bit much, though, so now I'm going to march out in every possible top I own and solicit opinions.  Help!

Also, it started raining right after that first photo, so the backdrop goes downhill.  Okay, here goes.

The original, first option:

#2, but this shindig is in Philly next weekend, so really, the short sleeves won't cut it.  It was more to see another option for warmer weather.  Also trying some different shoes.  And BAM, there's the bow.

#3, the closest to the original sweater, but this one feels more casual with the button cuffs.  It's also more of an oatmeal color, and I'm not sure it works as well with the blue.

#4, I like this more than I thought I would.  What say you?

 Oh, and here is a side view.  I really like the side view.

Aaaand the back.  Matching pleats all the way around.

And yes, I'm a dork, but look how pretty!  Someone else is going to have to hold the baby during the baptism so that I can artfully arrange my skirt.

#5, This is more of a sweater than the previous one, which is like a glorified ribbed tee shirt.  I do kind of like this one, but I thought the bow would be too much with the cowl.

#6 And my Carolina Herrera-inspired look.  Trying some black booties, but I'm not feeling them.

I think I'm still partial to the first sweater, but I think the pumps are better than the booties.  I'm not opposed to getting a totally new top, but I'm running out of time.

Please help!  :-)  What looks best to you?

And a little WIW today.  An oldie but goodie.  It's a testament to the quality of the fabric that I can still wear this after (5!?) years in rotation.  The hem is getting stretched out, though.  It's definitely time to make another version.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Professoressa Cardigan

Well, I've finished my Professoressa Cardigan.  I last mentioned it here.

I love this cardigan!  The fit is perfection.  It doesn't slide off of my shoulders at all like some other open cardigans (ahem, raglans, cough).  It is nice and cozy warm, thanks to the beautiful alpaca yarn, which was the perfect choice for this style (I take no credit for that - the example uses alpaca).

 One unique design feature of this sweater is the slightly ballooning sleeves below the elbow. I almost left this design element out of my sweater, but I'm glad I gave it a try.  They make it a bit more special and fun, even if I do feel a tad bit like a pirate in a puffy shirt.
Anyway, I'm wearing this as often as the weather will allow.  Great pattern!  It is in the book Textured Stitches, and this is my fourth completed project from this book, so that was definitely a good buy.

Podcast 9: Hibernating

Note:  I had to re-upload all of the podcasts.  I'm not sure what this will do when you download.  I assume they will all auto-download again.  Sorry about that!


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      JennyAnne on Ravelry
      JennyAnne on Artisan's Square


Goodies - Healing Touch Yarn Bowl

                 Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

                 Voolenvine yarns on their way to my house!

Sewing - Christmas dress fail

                    It's too short and I can't move my arms!  Also, the hem is only halfway finished.
                    The skirt fabric is from this jacket.  I cannot find a blog post about the finished jacket!                         Sheesh.  I'll have to do that.

              Lavender Cardi

              Fox Sweatshirt Applique

             Pillow Shams and Front Porch cushion covers in the works

             Stitcher's Guild/Artisan's Square SWAP

                     Stack of sweaters for possible refashion

Knitting - Mom's Beacon Hill needs some aggressive blocking

                Professoressa Cardigan

                Araucania Atacama mitts

                                                          (my other fingerless mitts)

Gift Plans -  Candlelit Shawl for my Nana

                     Claudine Layered Top and Dress for friend's baby girl
                                                      Pattern photo (mine isn't even started yet!)

Living Handmade - Gardening