Wednesday, April 22, 2015

McCalls Pattern Picks Summer 2015

Summer McCalls are on the website.  It looks like there are a lot of good basic summer dress shapes, which is great.  I already have the basics in my pattern boxes, though. so there are only a few that I'm eyeing.

M7161 is what I'd call a pretty basic shape, but I still would like to get my hands on it.  I like the slit on the long length and like the idea of a maxi dress in something other than a knit fabric.

M7158 is another long woven dress I wouldn't mind having in my closet.

M7152 is super cute.  I have been wearing tons of dresses and skirts lately.  I love the button detail at the shoulders.  I'd like to make this with a solid at the shoulders and stripes below, but lots of combos would be nice.

M7162  Tell me - are peplum tops still "in?"  The fact that I really like this one tells me that they are  probably on the way "out" since I'm generally a year or two behind the curve.

I really want to like M7155 but It's a bit wide for me.  I'll be anxious to see some made up.  Views A and C are my favorites.  No ruffles, please.
M7165 looks like a nice shorts pattern.  I don't really need one at the minute, though.

I am always drawn to swimwear patterns, although I have yet to make a wearable swimsuit.  M7168 is really cute.  Another I'll hold off purchasing until I see some made up on Pattern Review.
M7174 intrigues me.  I want to see how these pillows are made.  Very impressive, McCall.

Finally, there are two girls' patterns that I'll try to pick up for possible niece sewing. Very cute!

and M7142

Monday, April 20, 2015

Butterblumchen Socks

Here are a bunch of terrible photos of my first ever socks for ME!  I still haven't gotten a tripod, and I took these when I was the only human in the house, so yeah... voila!
 I will say that sock knitting has turned out to be not so terrible, and these are insanely comfy, so I can see myself knitting more socks in the future.  They are a nice, relatively quick knit option, and a girl only needs so many hats in the sub-tropics.

I love the pattern of these socks.  I found it on Ravelry by searching for free sock patterns.  There are several thousand!  This particular one is Butterblumchen.  I only put three little flowers on each sock even though the pattern has you knit them over the foot as well.  This was for easy of knitting, and also since I can't see how they would hold up well if I wear these inside shoes during winter.

 For now, these are basically slippers in the evening.  So comfy and they make me happy.  Plus, I can pretend I'm ice skating on the tile.

I knit these on little 9" circular needles.  They took some getting used to, but the socks felt like they grew faster than with dpns.  I just took breaks when my hand got uncomfortable from gripping the short needles.  As I progressed, I could knit for longer periods of time.  They just take getting used to.
 These are constructed top-down.  I think I prefer toe-up, which I used for my dad's and my husband's Christmas socks.  I like being able to try on as you go, and it is nice to not have to kitchener at the end.
 Standard heel flap construction, though it was my first time using this method.  I bought the yarn from Webs online.  It is called Charlemont in Soft Grape kettle dyed.  I don't think that the soft grape on the page at the link is the exact same, though.  It looks like a solid.  Anyway, I'm very happy with the yarn and am eyeing the waterfall hand-dyed.  Wouldn't that be a lovely cardi?  I'm still a sweater knitter at heart.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Short-Sleeved Cardi copied from RTW

For this cardi, I used a ready-to-wear, long-sleeved jersey cardigan as a pattern.  I didn't cut it apart.  I just folded each section in half, laid it on my fabric, and added a seam allowance while cutting.  It is just one back, cut on the fold, two fronts, and two sleeves.  The only tricky part was getting the back neck collar area (attached to the fronts) just right.  I just laid it out as flat as I could and it turned out fine.

 My 8-year-old photographer helped me out again.  Still need to get a new tripod!
The fabric is from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota.  It's a slightly sheer cotton knit.  Lovely.  I wish Nasir had it in some more colors!  The only part of this piece that I'm not 100% happy with is the hem.  It is a bit wobbly.  I didn't interface it at all as the fabric is very lightweight.  Do you think it would have helped to use a very lightweight fusible or a tear-away stabilizer maybe?  Ideas?
After the cardi was complete, it felt a little bit dowdy for some reason, and I determined it was the length of the short sleeves.  I made the little sleeve tabs and tacked them on with buttons.  Much better.  It needed a little interest.
I can't tell you how to go forth and make this for yourself because I didn't use a pattern, but maybe it will inspire you to look through your closet for a simple garment you love that you can easily reproduce without even taking it apart!  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Simplicity 1810 Dress in Dotted Swiss Cotton

My most recent dress is from Simplicity 1810.  This design is the dress of my dreams (my current dreams, anyway.  My dress dreams are fickle).  It is a breezy woven dress that is not too tight and uncomfortable in the Florida heat.  It breathes!

 I like the wrap-around belt detail.  It is two pieces attached in the back darts.  You can wrap it around double as I did, knotting in the back, or you can tie a bow in the front.  I had barely enough belt to get around my waist and tie.  I'd consider adding a couple of inches to each tie next time.  I'm thinking I would like the top version.  It would be very Florida-chic with linen pants.

The only change I made to the dress was at the armholes.  Originally, they were too tight, so I lowered the bottom a bit and now they are just fine - maybe a bit lower than I prefer, but my bra doesn't show.  Well, not under the arms anyway.  It's sneaking out at the back.

I broke my tri-pod today.  :-(  My 8-year-old helped me out, but he didn't want to get his feet wet, so the exposure is a bit funny with us in different light, I think.  We took these photos right after a rain shower, and  I think the screen looks quite neat with the water still clinging.

 Kindly ignore the bra strap.

 The fabric for this dress is from my local JoAnn's - a floral on cotton swiss dot.  I really like the colors of the print and the delicate flowers.  I fully lined the dress with plain white cotton.  I treated the swiss dot and lining as one when sewing the shoulder area and neckline.  The neckline is finished with a facing, and the armholes use bias tape.  Below the armholes, I finished the lining and swiss dot separately so that they hang free.

I've been playing with my new narrow hem foot for my sewing machine.  It definitely takes some practice, but I'm getting better.  This hem is only a little wonky.

Close-up of the shoulder gathers... and my Orkney birds :-)  The necklace is by Ola Gorie.  Compared to the website, my pendant looks filthy!  I also have this viking ship brooch, which I love to wear with my knit cowls and scarves.  Oh, I want to go back to Scotland.  Wait - I'm getting sidetracked...

Belt detail

In other sewing news, I just got an email from Nasir at Pennie Fabrics, the store in Sarasota I have repeatedly raved about.  He is having a sale this weekend - 25% off all fabric!?  Any local seamstresses out there, you are thus notified.  And looky what I found.  Looks like he's working on a website.  :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Louisa Tunic from French Girl Knits

So I feel a bit like I'm cheating with this post since I've already blogged about this sweater, but oh well.  Here's what happened.  I wore my Louisa Top from the book French Girl Knits (pattern is for a tunic, but mine is top-length) to church today and fell back in love with it.
        I finished it nearly three years ago but have only worn it a few times because...

1. It's an odd combination of warm and cold.  The wool yarn (Tosh dk oooooh) and the short sleeves mean the weather has to be just right to be comfortable.

2. The sleeves are a little snug.  Luckily, they do stay put over my bra straps, though.

3.  The top is on the short side to wear with pants.  It's certainly not cropped, but current styles are definitely for a longer sweater with jeans and pants.
Enter the skirt.  I love this skirt.  It's ready-to-wear, and I would love to copy it in some more colors.  It's a great hybrid of all the things I love about A-line skirts and full gored skirts.  I've had it for a few years and wear it often.  Plus, I've decided that this top is the perfect length to wear with a skirt.

So anyway, I wore this to church and was so happy with the outfit.  Then I became convinced I had never put this up on Ravelry.  I remembered the original blog post, but decided to take pictures for Ravelry.  Yeah, I just went to make a project page, and there was already an entry.  Oops.  I just added the new photos and there you go.
 So yeah, this isn't new, but new pictures!  Does that count for anything?  Getting ready for Me-Made-May and all?

If I'm cheating by re-blogging a project, I took the difficult route.

 Also, I'm really enjoying A Little Sewing's series about sewing blogging, and she suggested in comments that I use larger photos.  I guess it just never occurred to me, but that's easy to change.  How's are these? :-)

Have a great week everybody!  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pattern Picks and Pattern Purchases

I'm in the middle of a big crafting organization.  I've been going through the house during the past two weeks, sorting through everything in each room and really getting organized.  My method of attack is pretending that we are about to move.  If it wouldn't come on the moving truck, it doesn't stay.  I've donated bags of clothing and toys and now it's time for the guest room / crafting storage area.

I have my sewing machine in the office and my current knitting projects in a basket in my bedroom, but any overflow (fabric, yarn, paper crafting supplies) are stuffed into closets, under beds, and in guest room drawers.  Last year, I really culled my yarn stash and have been thoughtful about purchases since then, so I don't plan to donate any more.  Fabric, patterns, and paper craft supplies, though, are another story.  I haven't gone through them in, oh, ever, and there is plenty that just doesn't need to be in my house any more.

So as I go upstairs and continue the purge, here is some of my current inspiration, i.e., new patterns!

Vogue summer patterns just came out, and I'm not as in love as I was with the spring offerings.  These are the ones I may buy at some point, but I'm not rushing out to to the fabric store for them.

Vogue 1449, by Rebecca Taylor, is the only designer offering that interested me.  It would need some adjustment (about 4 more inches on the skirt), but the lines are different, and the skirt portion is fun with the big pleats.

Vogue 1452, by Sandra Betzina, has a cute top.  I would narrow that shoulder strap to be the same width as the other.  I like the split hem detail and rouching.

That top stitching at the neckline, though... I'd go for invisible stitching inside.

Claire Shaeffer has a new Custom Couture jacket pattern, Vogue 9099.  
Very nice, but I have a very similar style that was discontinued... complete with half finished jacket in need of a lining.  

I'm thinking about Vogue 9109, but I could cobble it together with little trouble from patterns I already have.

What I'm really excited about is the three Marfy patterns on their way to my house.

I got Marfy 3443 to make this spring for a wedding that I now won't be able to attend.  I'm still excited to make the dress, though, and have a beautiful silk chiffon and silk charmeuse all ready for underlining.  I'm even going to make a muslin.  Will wonders never cease?

Since I ordered that pattern, I had to get a couple more, right?  I also ordered Marfy 2762 to satisfy my jacket love with something a bit more suitable for Florida.  I find it hilarious that the suggested fabric is "viscose in an ethnic print."  Specific enough?  I'll go with linen or cotton, I think.  Sorry, designer.

My last pattern is Marfy 2779 because, well, because I like it, in this tunic length or lengthened into a dress.

I also bought some Simplicity patterns a few weeks ago, but I think this post is long enough already.  They'll just have to wait.

Happy spring cleaning to all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Butterick 5619 in Robert Kauffman London Calling print

 Don't let that face fool you.  I'm very happy with this little skirt.  :-)  I cut all of the fabric and interfacing for this skirt about a week ago, and on Friday morning, I thought, "Hey, I have an hour.  I'm going to make that skirt."  It actually took an hour and fifteen minutes, which aint bad for a lined skirt.
 Hubs took these photos on Easter evening.  I wore this crazy blue skirt to church, with bow (and got many compliments!), but thought something a bit more casual was in order for dinner with neighbors.
 It's a bit wrinkled but you get the idea.  The pattern is Butterick 5619.  The skirt is a great A-line that I've used before for a denim version.  I've only ever made the skirt from this pattern, but I keep eyeing that sheath dress.
 I purchased the fabric at a new local shop, Gigi's Fabric Shop.  The fabric is from the London Calling collection by Robert Kauffman.  The fabrics seam  pretty Liberty-inspired.  It feels like a cotton lawn and is a bit sheer, so I lined the skirt with white cotton.
Overall, I am happy with this comfortable little skirt for spring.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hitofude Cardigan in Voolenvine Yarn

Hi there!  I've had this little sweater, the Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu, finished for about a month now, and I've been wearing it.  It is one of those throw-on pieces that works with lots of different dresses and pants and jeans.  
 The construction is very fun and unique and leaves you with no sewing of seams - just weave in the ends, block, and you're finished!
 My only regret with this sweater is that I didn't alternate between the two hand painted skeins of yarn, so you can see where one skein ends and the next begins, especially on the back, but it's not a big deal.
 I would love to make more of these little cardigans.  The lace pattern was easy to remember, and the shaping provided enough interest to keep it from ever being boring.  The yarn is Voolenvine Yarns Wolke base in a Valentine's Day colorway called Lady Godiva.
I shortened the sleeves on this first version, but I'd love to try different sleeve lengths, and I think this would be great in a cotton or linen blend yarn to really take advantage of the airy lace.