Monday, February 26, 2007

It's Nice To Be Back on Track

I finally got the lining cut for the embossed Marfy jacket, and hooray, I feel like I'm finally back on track. It's going in rather well too. I stopped tonight when I felt like I was getting tired, so at least there were no silly mistakes made. That's always a plus.

The Bendigo cardigan is getting closer to a finish as well. I'm halfway up the second sleeve. The weather has been great for knitting, as well as sewing, or anything that keeps one in the house.

It snowed last night and this morning, and we were snowed in. Our drive finally was cleared about 10pm tonight.

I also made my very first ever peach pie this evening. I'm usually an apple pie girl, but Pearle loves peach pie, so thought I'd try it. I got out the old Farm Journal Pie Book, and I have to say, I think peach pie might be my favorite now too. It's pretty wonderful! I got to use my new Microplane nutmeg grater too.

Tomorrow night is a Sewing Guild meeting, and the program is unique doll making. I've never made a doll, but it should be interesting.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's Been A While

Still here, just quiet. I've been getting quite a bit done on the Bendigo cardigan, and in fact I just started on the second sleeve tonight. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far, and once I get the sleeve done, there will be only the blocking, assembly, and then picking up the button band. Practically done!

I've also been working, albeit slowly, on the Marfy jacket I'm making from the FabricMart embossed cotton. That fabric has been a struggle all the way. It's kind of thick, has no give whatsoever, and acts kind of "lumpy" at times because of the embossing I think. The sleeves are what gave me fits. Up to that point, things were going well, and I thought I was on track for a quick finish. I got the sleeves in, and although I did get them set in with no actual puckers on the sleeve side of the seam, the convolutions of the seam allowance came right through and because of the density of the fabric, made it look as if there were puckers on the sleeve itself. If I took a sleeve head and really held it in tight, they went away, but in real life, it wasn't working.

I checked a lot of my books, and the best information on what to do came from Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing. I lowered the sleeve cap, quite a bit actually, and they went in much more easily, and they look and feel fine. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was doing about what she suggested for UltraSuede, which this is not, but it sure acts like it.

Hand basting was difficult as well, as no matter how fine the needle, it's very difficult to get it through, and if you happen to hit one of the embossed spots, it's tougher yet.

I think I did a poor job of matching the fabric and pattern. The fact that this jacket has curving lapels makes it difficult with this fabric, as wherever you have an embossed spot that extends into the edge seam, it doesn't want to lie smoothly, it wants to make a small "point" instead. Maddening, but with pressing and patience, I managed to get it right. I am afraid however, that if I topstitch or edgestitch, it will just bring the points back with a vengeance. Hand stitching holds no temptation with this fabric either. I think I'm just going to finish it, and be done. It's a lovely fabric, and quite busy by itself, so it really doesn't need even the extra embellishment of edgestitching.

Anyway, I'm up to the lining, which I haven't cut out yet. I also need to figure out an interesting, and unique closure. The pattern suggests a single frog with 2 buttons, which looks very nice. I may look for some unusual buttons or something. Actually, I have a couple of drilled, polished stones that might be just the ticket. I'll have to hunt them. They're from my LYS, which also carries a wonderful button selection.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Marfy Dress Photos

Marfy 1128

Here is the finished dress from Marfy #1128. It was a little hard to photograph because the matelassé is such a dark brown. I'm actually very pleased with this, and although I doubt I'd make another like it, it was quite fun to do, and it really took me in a new direction. I love the chiffon on this dress.

The back view is below. It's about 1" higher in the back than the original design, as I raised the whole thing at the shoulders. I recut the front neckline to the original depth, but I left the back, as I felt a lower back would do nothing for me, and I think this gives the same effect, with less chance of problems.

Back View

Here's a close up of the buttons I used, and you can see a couple more construction-related photos here.

Button, Cuff & Placket

Marfy Dress Today; Photos Tomorrow

This afternoon I finished the Marfy dress, #1128, that I've been working on for a while. No photos yet, as it was too dark by the time I was done. It really turned out quite well, and I'm pleased with it, but I must say, I'm not sure just how soon the occasion will arise to wear it. When it does though, I'll be ready.

I was very worried that I might not like the look of the printed chiffon with the matelassé, but I think it's fine. The design calls for fancy buttons, and even says "jeweled" buttons, but I looked at what was in my button stash, and it turns out that one of my favorites from the collection I was given at Sewing Guild a couple weeks ago is the perfect thing for this. They're the brown domed buttons with brass dots. They're quite large, and "important" looking. There is one at each end of the chiffon scarf/collar, and one on each cuff. The cuffs close with snaps, as I didn't want such large buttonholes in them. Here's the pattern illustration.


On the knitting front, I decided how to adjust the stitch pattern for the back of the cabled Bendigo cardigan I'm knitting, so I'm ready to knit during the Super Bowl, if necessary, and I'm sure it will be. The original pattern had a panel of plain reverse stockinette in the center of the back, with a pattern panel on each side, but I wanted something with patterning all the way across, so I needed to adjust the panel placement slightly to get everything to work out right. I'm done with both fronts now, and I'm pleased and also slightly surprised at how quickly it seems to be going.