Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lace Wrap

Here's what I've been knitting the last couple of days. I finally started on the Lace Wrap from Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2005. What a fun pattern, but I was going crazy doing it until I made myself a nice chart. They had it written out line by line, but each line of printing just started wherever the last one ended, and it was maddening to try to make sure you were in the right place. The pattern makes much more sense this way too, as you can see how the designs stack up. The top of the wrap in the photo is actually the right side of the chart. The pointed edge will be the ruffle at the bottom. That's why it's purposefully wider than the rest of the wrap, and you can see that the left side of the chart varies in length of rows. This is what makes the points. I like this yarn a lot too. It's from Elann, and is their Peruvian Collection Highland Wool. It's very nice to knit with. Here's a close up of the yarn that's a little more true to color.

It seems to go pretty fast, which is nice, and it's certainly an interesting pattern to knit.

I finished my caramel wool pants and knit top before Christmas, and they're very nice. I just don't have a photo yet, and may not until after the end of the year, as I'm trying desperately to finish up all the bookwork, etc. before the 1st. It's always a mad rush around here in the week after Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Wool Pants & Decades of Style

I bought some fabric at Sew Creative the other day; a lovely caramel colored wool, and a rayon/lycra fine ribknit in a slightly darker shade of the same color. The knit seemed to have slight color variations across the grain, so I bought a small amount, and prewashed it, and it came out beautifully even. It will be a Jalie Tee, and I have since bought a little more, which will be a matching skirt.

I cut out a pair of my Double Burda pants tonight from the wool, applied the pocket and zipper, and sewed the in- and out-seams. It is so lovely to work with, and just does everything I would like it to, instead of fighting me every step of the way, or at least sabotaging me a little. I will finish them tomorrow, I hope.

I also got a pattern today that I ordered only 3 days ago. It's the 1951 French Couturier (Patou) Suitdress from Decades of Style. In their very nice email telling me that it had shipped, they also mentioned that this was their most advanced pattern, and that if I had any questions of problems, not to hesitate to call or email them. That gave me pause, and when I looked at the directions this morning, I could see why it's difficult. It just has lots of tricky things, and lots of shaping, including the curved back peplum, which is so lovely, but is going to be exciting to make, in a lot of ways. I plan to do the view with the drape that comes from under the peplum. I'm not sure when I will be able to start on this, but probably not until sometime in late January or later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More Pants

Well, I've been making some pants. I love my Double Burda pattern, but wanted to add a pocket, preferably an inseam pocket.
I've always liked the one used on the Great Copy Classic Pants, and so I used it, correcting the side seam shape to match this pattern. I think it turned out pretty well. I only put one on the right, as the zipper is on the left, and it would add quite a lot of bulk there to add a pocket too. I've been buying fabric for pants for quite a while in the certain knowledge that I would be needing and making pants again in the near future. Well, maybe not quite as near as I'd thought, but still, one always needs pants.

I'm fairly pleased with these, and I like the new waistband treatment I tried. It's detailed on this page of Pam's Off the Cuffwebsite. She calls it The Comfy Waistband, and it is very comfortable. I did it with a zipper and darts, so not nearly as much gathering as she is getting with a regular cut-on elastic pants treatment, but still a little bit, and it gives a really nice, smooth look. Almost what I've seen described as a Hollywood waist pant, and it does give that long look.

The dark green pair I made first actually have a lowered waist, and I like them very much too. They're dark enough that photos don't really work too well , except the pocket close up.

I plan to make these again in more wintry fabrications. I have a very nice light-cognac wool, with a matching rayon/lycra knit for a Tee, which will probably be next.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bouclé Haiku Two

I decided that I wanted to wear this jacket for a music club luncheon on Thursday that I will sing at. So, thought I'd better get with it, and was very pleased to find that it was almost as quick as the fleece version. This is the Chocolate/Multi Bouclé from EmmaOneSock.

I'm very glad I waited to make this until after I made a "muslin" in fleece. If nothing else, it gave me a chance to look at my layout once again before cutting, and I decided that the other selvedge was prettier, so I moved it all to the other side. This is cut with a crosswise fold in the fabric, so it's an unusual layout. I have a strip about 15" wide left along the smaller selvedge, the whole length of the fabric. Now, to think if I should do something with it. Maybe just a scarf or narrowish shawl?

The seams had to be finished, naturally, as the bouclé is very ravelly. The pattern calls for topstitching through the folded seam allowances on all seams, but I didn't think that would really do it on this. So, I used rayon seam binding to cover the SAs, and edgestitched it on both sides. This made for double topstitching on all seams, but it seems to work fine. I also did more staystitching than they call for; along the horizontal seam between the upper and lower back pieces, which in the fleece seemed to want to stretch out a little. Between the staystitching and the double topstitching on the seam binding, I think on the bouclé, this seam is very solid.

I added a collar to this version, which I think closes up the neckline nicely. I had thought a stand-up type collar would be very cute, but I wanted to use the selvedge fringe, which is so outstanding on this fabric, and it would have looked very strange in a stand-up collar.

I used a medium-to-heavyweight lining fabric for the back facing and the sleeve facings, and I think it makes it very nice to wear, as it slides on easily, and feels rather luxurious. It also saved a lot of bulk right at the shoulder seam.

I was surprised at how quickly this pattern goes together, but since there is no lining, and I didn't fuse anything except the facings, it really only took me a little over a day.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fleece Haiku Two

I decided that the Sewing Workshop Haiku Two pattern is what I want to use with the EmmaOneSock chocolate/multi bouclé. I will use the gorgeous selvedges for the lapel edges. I spent Wednesday evening checking the pattern for size, etc. and finally did a tissue fitting, and was amazed when the XS size appeared to be what I wanted. These patterns are usually very oversized, but XS?!! So, I was loathe to cut my beautiful bouclé without a test.

I got out some burgundy fleece that didn't get made up last year, and used it for a "muslin." I think it came out quite well. I will add shoulder pads to the bouclé version, and also a hem, as the wrong side of the hem allowance shows right at the center front on the turnback lapels, and it really looked icky on the fleece, but I think it will be unnoticeable in the bouclé. This is really warm and cuddly in the fleece, and I've been wearing it pretty much since I finished it, as winter has really come with a vengeance around here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nikko Jacket is Done

Here's the finished Nikko Jacket. It's a Sewing Workshop pattern in a printed and embossed stretch cotton. I spent today finishing the sleeve hems, shoulder pads and closure, which I think turned out pretty nicely. The buttons are glass, from the Czech Republic, and extremely reflective; very similar to carnival glass, and so they are very difficult to photograph. I used 2, and a twisted cord to loop them together. The end of the cord has 2 much smaller glass buttons attached cuff-link style, for weight, and to give a finished look to the cord. You can see the grass stitch topstitching in the variegated rayon thread, which gives it a random effect, as the deep plum almost disappears into the fabric, while the silver is strongly contrasting, and it runs the gamut in between.

I may add a small snap or invisible button to the underlap of this jacket after it's recipient tries it. It would be impossible to pick the right spot for it before that. As it is now, there are some interesting folds that form above the closure, which I kind of like. Whether she will, is another thing.

You can see more photos of this jacket at, including detail photos. Click on any of the thumbnails to see larger photos, and use the Next and Previous buttons to navigate.

Fashion-Incubator: Saran wrap pattern making method #2

Fashion-Incubator: Saran wrap pattern making method #2

Kathleen just posted Part 2 this afternoon. Sounds like there may be a Part 3 which would entail making a pattern from the wrap. Otherwise, this is all the info in the originally published article, plus a little extra.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Progress

I haven't done quite as much sewing this holiday weekend as I'd thought I might. My sister has been here for a week, and we like to spend as much time together as we can, while she's here. I did get the Nikko jacket together, facings understitched, and about half the topstitching done. The topstitching is extremely unhandy to do on this, as you really can't do it until you have the entire jacket together, and of course it would be much easier while it was still flat. One good thing about using the grass stitch rather than a straight stitch is that it's very easy, and quite undetectable to start and stop as necessary, even with the variegated thread.

I bought some glass buttons from the Czech Republic to use on the Nikko. They're hand made in molds that are around 100 years old, and the metal shanks are hand-placed before the glass cools. They look like carnival glass to me, and I tried to scan them, but they just look like blobs. They are very reflective; pink and green, but the pink really is beautiful with this fabric. I'm planning to use 2, with a tie of some sort to loop around them. I bought them at Sew Creative here. I know they're trying to post photos of them on their site, but I think they're having as much trouble as I did trying to photograph them. They hadn't given up though, so they may have them up at any time.

I also did some tricky mending this evening of a very fine-gauge machine knit skirt and top, also for my sister. They're a silk/rayon/nylon blend, and knit with a very interesting ribbed pattern. The skirt is quite long, and basically straight, except the top has much narrower ribbing, and more of it, than the bottom, where the ribs are quite widely spaced, and a little wider themselves. On this, the thread/yarn at the very bottom was failing in several spots. I think I did some fairly invisible darning, and I hope it will hold up for quite a while yet. The top is a more standard plain ribbed pattern, but perfect with the skirt rib graduation. It had just one place to fix. She leaves Tuesday, so I wanted to get them done, as the skirt especially is rather integral to her wardrobe. It's always a real problem when one of your major "foundation" pieces bites the dust. It throws all your clothing plans off the track, so I wanted to get them done before she went home.

The local Bernina store had a 25% off before 10am sale on Friday, so I went and bought some YLI silk thread. I've used Tire before, but there's no local dealer for it anymore, so thought I'd try the YLI before I order Tire from Things Japanese. Since taking the class from Linda Lee, I've become somewhat more convinced that sewing with silk thread is something I want to do more of.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hanging Pocket

Kathleen asked what I meant by "hanging pocket" and was it what is called a Bluff Pocket or Invisibly Stitched Pocket. No, I guess I just called this a hanging pocket all by myself, but it's really a patch pocket that is made with the fold at the bottom, and you attach the bottom layer at the top, a couple inches down from the pocket placement line, then attach the top of the pocket at the line, and stitch down the sides for only about 3", and it just hangs there. I haven't done a final press on this yet, but had a chance to take the photos in pretty decent light, so here they are.
Below is the pocket with the free-hanging bag portion lifted. There's really no purpose to this, and I would think if you put much in it, it would look pretty bad, but it's one of those "unique" details that Sewing Workshop likes to put in their patterns. I like some of them, and some of them seem to have a slightly make-work effect to them, to little purpose, but I think they are probably one of the real selling points of these patterns. If you like them, you like them.
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You can see the embossed portion of the print on these photos, which I avoided with the topstitching on the hem edge of the pocket, and the variegated thread shows also, with the "grass stitch" I'm using for it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Saran Wrap Block Part I

The Saran Wrap Patternmaking Method, Part I post is up on Fashion-Incubator. Here's your chance to get the directions, and either go right at it, or save them for future use. The rest should be posted very soon, I believe. Kathleen was so kind as to thank me for prompting her to post this, and I'm just glad she was willing to do so.

The Nikko jacket is coming along, and I'm beginning to quite like it. There really isn't a whole lot to the construction, but everyone tells me that you must follow the instructions exactly to get the desired results (what a surprise, but actually, for me it's a big change) so I'm checking and rechecking the steps instead of just forging ahead with what seems to naturally follow. I also find myself searching the instructions to find out whether they forgot a step that seems to need doing, and I have so far found that they haven't skipped anything; they just have a different order-of-work than I usually do. I'm following theirs, just in case it makes a big difference. Anyway, it's lovely fabric to work on, and once I get to where I'm pressing seams open, and they look so lovely and flat and perfect, it just makes it all seem very thrilling. Great mitering instructions and markings on this, too.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Saran Wrap & Pockets

I added a link to the right side of this site, which will take you to Fashion-Incubator, a really great website which has many things to teach those of us who love sewing. Its subtitle is "Lessons from the Sustainable Factory Floor" which may sound pretty daunting, but Kathleen is an industry professional, a patternmaker, who has a fund of knowledge that she readily shares in the form of tutorials on zipper application, bagging a lining, and finishing the spot where the lining meets the front facing on a jacket (that's the Nameless Tutorial; no one seems to know anything printable to call that point!) among others. I asked her to please post her directions to do a Saran Wrap Block on the site, and she agreed not only to post them, but to update them as well! They should be up by Monday, so please do yourself a favor and get them, and/or some of the tutorials. Her posts are widely ranging, and always interesting.

I finally got down to it, and did the hanging patch pocket on the Nikko jacket this evening. It was a little tricky with the Cotton/Lycra fabric, as it wants to stretch instead of remaining nice and flat. Linen would really be ideal for this pattern, but I think this will be beautiful when it's done. I did the decorative topstitching on the top of the pocket, and plain on the sides.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Nikko Jacket Begun

I received this lovely printed and embossed cotton/Lycra fabric from EmmaOneSock today.
So, last night I cut out the Sewing Workshop Nikko Jacket I'm making as a Christmas gift. I think it's going to be very nice. Some of the print is embossed and it gives more depth to the design than a plain print would. I'm still deciding what kind of contrast I'll use. The recipient wears a lot of black, so that's one easy way out. I tested some interesting variegated threads that I may use for the topstitching. One is plums/violets/silver, and looks really pretty. I will have to find out if she wants it to be more matte, as it's a rayon thread, so there's a lot of shine. I'm thinking maybe some crumpled black or plum silk organza overlay on the pocket and/or facings, but maybe good old piping will be the final choice.

I also ordered some wonderful wool bouclé from EmmaOneSock that is a multicolor on a chocolate brown base, rather than the more usual black base. I snapped it up, and I'm glad I did, as she was sold out within about a day. I can't wait until it comes. I plan a jacket for me from it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

1st Finished Little Blouse - Brown TieDye

This is the finished Little Blouse. I consider it only the first of many. They will all be somewhat different I imagine, and I plan to scoop the neckline even further and make this my default tank top pattern. It will be great with a button front, and more of a V-neck. Pintucks would be nice also. There are so many cute blouse details, and I just needed a basic pattern to do them. I assume sleeves will be added sometime, too.
It has a little more scooped neck than the pink plaid muslin in the previous post, and of course the attached tie is different. I also left off the bias bottom band, since it would be almost invisible in this print, and just narrow-hemmed the bottom. The neckline and armscyes are faced with brown Seams-Great, and turned, then edgestitched.

In this side view, you can see how the CB seam follows the upper curve of my back. I stitched the top of the seam closed, since I was attaching the scarf, and the blouse will fit over my head anyway. The point you see in front is the tie end.

One thing I am very particular about on sleeveless garments is that they should have a very high armscye, with quite a bit of coverage. I hate it when the crease between the arm and body is visible on me. This shoulder is extended just slightly, and the armscye is cut for maximum coverage. This will be mainly worn under jackets or sweaters, and I think silk chiffon will be rather wonderful for this, or any soft fabric, preferably not polyester, although that's what this is. I felt I needed one more trial version before I cut into the good stuff.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Testing the Little Blouse

I've thought for a long time that I need a "little blouse" to wear under jackets or in the summer by itself, and that I would like one made from my saran wrap block. Well, I finally took the plunge, and drafted a pattern yesterday. I made one trial version (muslin) and redid quite a few things. The second trial I finished last night, and it's not too bad. I used a pretty awful shiny, cheap woven that has absolutely no give, and a plaid pattern, so it was good for a trial, as I could see what was straight and what wasn't. I used the whole block, as the right and left are pretty different, and I wanted this to be fairly close fitting. The pattern looks pretty asymmetrical, but once I put it on, it appears even. Since this is just a trial, I just turned the neck and armholes under and stitched with seam binding. Here's the "finished" trial.

I will put a little more shape into the side seams on the next version, but in general, it's not too bad. I can change the neck shape anyway I like, and I'm thinking an attached scarf/cowl might be very nice too. There is a CB seam, and the top 4" or so is open, with a button and loop closure at the top. One thing I really like is that the CB seam follows my shape all the way up instead of sticking out at the top, as commercial patterns always do.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Resort Tweed Marfy Suit is Finished

I finished the jacket of my Resort Tweed suit on Thursday evening. I worked on it pretty steadily all day, and was able to finish at a decent hour. I found that a very old silk top I have is the perfect color, so I did not feel that I needed to hurry up and make a top from the printed silk to be able to wear this tomorrow. I am very pleased with this jacket, and with the entire ensemble. It's definitely a departure for me, but I really like it. Here's a side view, and another with the jacket open.

I like it that way too, and I think the hook and eye closures turned out to be a great thing. The lining is a taupe silk charmeuse that I got at the Linda Lee seminar in Omaha in October. It was the perfect color, and just what I needed after I decided not to line the entire jacket in the print.

I am pleased with the alterations I made to this pattern, compared with the first version, which is fine, but I think this tweed version is a little more fine-tuned. I have been thinking about this ensemble for over a year now, after deciding that what I wanted was silk print lapels/facings on a tweed jacket. This skirt pattern was not in my mind at all, but I think it worked out very well. I also think a yoked, pleated skirt would be nice. Plainer, and maybe a little more wearable, but this is not an everyday outfit, after all.

Thanks to Sandy and Joan who each very generously offered to let me take a little Resort Tweed off their hands, so I could make this ensemble I had been dreaming of. I actually got it done the same year I got the fabric! Pretty amazing. You can see more detail photos of the jacket here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Marfy skirt is Done!

I finished the Resort Tweed Marfy skirt #9420 last night at about 1am.

I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. I fiddled with the waistband for quite a while last night, as it wanted to be too loose, and so I ended up shrinking and easing quite a bit of the skirt at both the CF and CB. I like the way the drape turned out, and the separate layers hang very nicely. I did a baby hem on the silk. This technique was demonstrated at the Linda Lee seminar I went to a couple weeks ago. How timely, and it made a very nice hem finish.

Here's the silk hem, with the tweed hem above it. The blue is just the couch under it.

I made a straight grain turned tube for the band at the yoke/panel seam. I was afraid I might have to use bias, but with the print, I really thought having it on the straight would give a prettier look. It worked just fine, and I finished it with a bow. I don't think that's too much, since I'm not having tassels on the skirt points. That would definitely be too much for me, anyway.

Here are a photo of the back of the skirt, and of the bow treatment. The line that shows at the CB of the yoke must be a shadow, as there's no CB seam, and no dark line either. Sorry it's a little washed out. The last photo is quite true to the colors.

I attached the flattened tube by hand with silk thread which just melted into the background.

I hope to be able to get the jacket done, as well as some kind of shell, as I'd like to wear this to a brunch/fashion show on Saturday. We'll see how this week goes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

There's just something about this Marfy skirt. I have had more trouble with it, and really it seems as if it should be pretty straightforward. I realized that I had it in my mind that the longer side of the panel went to the left, where the drape is, but it's the shorter side that goes to the left. Once I "turned my head around" it went much better. I should have made myself a diagram to start with.

I finally decided to do the silk underlayer as a completely separate layer, and began on the skirt panels. Then I had to decide just how to finish the edges of the panels. I decided to hem the bottom of the tweed overlayer with a regular hem, and to narrow-hem the draped edge. The silk will have a twice turned narrow hem I believe.

I attached the tweed panels to the yoke. No problem. I pressed the hem and drape edges and hand stitched the drape edge. I decided to wait until today to begin stitching the hem edge. I laid the skirt on my cutting table and was ready to go upstairs, took one last look at it, and was immediately certain that I had the wrong side of the fabric up. (Shades of my yoke problem!) I looked at it every way I could, and it refused to be correct. I resigned myself to starting over today. Of course, the panels had met the yoke perfectly since I would now have to rip it all out.

This morning I procrastinated around before going down to look at the skirt again, as I could hardly stand to think of ripping it apart and recutting, etc. It seemed to look better, and I brought it into the sunlight, and suddenly I couldn't tell the difference between what I thought was right and wrong. This was maddening, to say the least. I thought maybe the difference was that the yoke and jacket are fused to Texture Weft, and the panels are not. This flattens the fabric slightly, and changes the way light reflects. So, I steamed the yoke and the panels and brushed gently with a lint brush to raise the nap a little on the yoke, and to ensure the panels had the same treatment as the yoke. It still looked as if they matched perfectly. I finally had Pearle look at it both in sunlight and away from the window, with artificial light. He's much better with colors than I am usually, and he thought that it was fine as is. That's the final word on whether it's right or not, and as far as I'm concerned, it's right. What a to-ing and fro-ing this has been. I can hardly wait until tonight to finish the tweed hem and then begin on the silk layer.

(The title will be familiar to Jabberwocky fans. I'm chortling in my joy.)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sewing Workshop Seminar

Pretty fun time yesterday at the seminar with Linda Lee from Sewing Workshop Patterns! I had a couple of Sewing Workshop patterns already, but had never actually made one up. Of course, after the presentation I bought 2 more! I do have plans for them, and I would encourage anyone who has a chance to see her finished garments to do so. They really sell the patterns much more effectively than the pattern envelope artwork, and she is a delightful person. The Haiku Two (at left) is a darling jacket, and just what I've been looking for, I think.

One very exciting thing that happened at the seminar was that I met a fellow-poster from Sewing World! Sandy from Ankeny, Iowa was there, and we had a very nice visit. I usually never meet anyone who's even heard of Sewing World, so this was really an extra special treat!

Of course I also bought some fabric while there. Hancock's brings in a special group of things for this, along with some things from their regular stock. I bought a lovely taupe silk charmeuse which may end up being used as a lining, but it's really gorgeous, and could be so much more. I also bought a wild piece of old-gold embroidered lace with silk flower/leaf "appliques," which you can see here. I hope to use it for the lace overlay on the other Marfy jacket pattern I have. I've been looking for the perfect lace, and this may be it, so now I'll see if it goes with the "tentative" fabric I bought this summer. It's a striped batik, so it may be a little too wild. If I can use it, the straight selvedge will be cut off the lace to expose the scalloped edge, and there may have to be drastic lace-shaping at the corners, etc. Anyway, it could be great.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

LaBella/Fiore and Other General Progress

Here's the back of the LaBella/Fiore cardigan so far. The same Fiore stripe will be across the front pieces, but I don't believe I'll do it on the sleeves. I may add some toward the top or around the neck too. I don't want too much, but I do want it to coordinate with the Fiore shell I'll be making.

The color in the top photo is a little more vivid than the actual yarn, and the next photo is somewhat duller than the actual colors. This is a close up of the knitted fabric, with the stripe.

My music fraternity, Mu Phi Epsilon, is having a fundraiser in November, and I thought I'd try making some of the quick, easy knitted scarves for it, that seem to be so popular. The guard cat is The Peeper, who's my sewing/knitting cat. He's very helpful, and this is actually his ironing board cover. It's an elasticized one that I leave on top of the real one, so he can sit on it, as it's become one of his favorite perches, because of the window.

All I got done on my skirt yesterday was staystitching the panels, and I've decided that I will attach the panels to the yoke, and then miter the corners rather than the other way around.

I forgot to mention that my fabric from EmmaOneSock came Monday! It's really gorgeous, and the Oscar de la Renta wool is, as she always says, "much brighter and more vivid in real life." The more I look at it, the more I see a swingback jacket suit, or something similar. Doris Day's suits from different roles keep popping into my head. I'd never thought of her as a fashion leader, but I realize that I always liked the shapes she wore, so guess I should start watching old movies. The organza is lovely too, so I'm pretty pleased all around.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Correct Skirt Progress (This Time)

You may remember that last time I started on the Marfy skirt that matches the Resort Tweed jacket I'm doing, I had "The Yoke Disaster." Since I got to the point where I needed to decide what I'm lining the jacket with, I had to begin again on the skirt, so I could see how much silk I would have left to work with.

Yesterday I had a sudden flash of how to do the contrast (silk) binding/facing of the skirt hem. I've been worried that trying to do a wide edge of the silk might not work well because of the great difference in fabric weight between it and the tweed. I had been thinking of facing the entire lower-skirt panels, and realized that what I really should do is make tweed panels and silk panels separately, and attach them to the yoke, with the silk panels being a little longer. That will give me the flash of color I want, and still allow the movement of the fabrics to be independent, which I think is important.

I tore the silk to get a nice, straight hem edge, and allowed 4" extra, including hem, so I think that will be plenty. I also cut out the yokes again, correctly this time, interfaced them, stitched the darts and installed the zipper. I checked it against my test yoke, and it appears to be just fine. (Sigh of relief!) I just finished cutting out the tweed panels. I made them 3" longer than the pattern piece to allow for hemming, etc. I need to decide exactly how I want to finish the edges, as they will be single layer, and both sides will probably show. Right now I'm thinking of just a twice turned and stitched edge on the side edge that's loose, and maybe a nice, plain hem, invisibly stitched for the hem edge.

I hope to get back to this tonight, as tomorrow I won't have much time, and Friday is the Linda Lee sewing seminar in Omaha that I'm going to with Jane.

The other really good news is that I have about 2 yards of silk left. I must have had more than I thought to start with or something. Anyway, I'll have plenty to line the jacket, and maybe even enough to do a little shell top, or the front of one anyway.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Marfy Resort Tweed in Progress

Here's the progress so far on my Marfy jacket in Resort Tweed. There's no lining as yet, and the collar/facings are only attached at the outer edges and preliminarily pressed, and the shoulder pads are just pinned in. The fringy looking stuff around the collar edges are tailor tacks that haven't yet been removed. You can see them along the hem crease too, and probably other places. I always hate to take them out until I'm absolutely sure that I won't be needing them any more. I like the way the contrast silk looks with the tweed. The cuffs were somewhat of an afterthought, but I think they look quite nice.

I decided to hand-overcast the seam allowances, as it's such a ravelly fabric, and the individual yarns/threads in it are quite large, so if you lose one, it's very noticeable. I worked on that yesterday afternoon and am almost done. One sleeve yet to go. I have to stop and switch gears now, and work on the skirt, as I need the same silk to trim and face the skirt hem, and I may line the jacket with what's left, if there's enough.

Last night I began the cardigan with the LaBella and Fiore yarns, and it's going very well. It's going to be like wearing a cloud I think, it's just so weightless. It's knitting along nicely now, but it was a little tough to tell where I was at the beginning. The LaBella hides the stitch construction quite handily. I did my Fiore stripe near the hem, so that's already done.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Sleeves are Finally In.

I fiddled with the sleeves on my Resort Tweed Marfy jacket some more last night, and finally got them to look alike. If the one hadn't been so absolutely perfect to start with, it wouldn't have been so maddening to try and get the other one to match. I have one high shoulder and usually put an extra bit of pad on the low side, but this time, I took a little out of the pad on the high side, and Ta Da! It looks just fine. Amazing what just a little something will do. So, on to the next thing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ordered Yarn

I just ordered the second yarn I need for the cardigan and shell I'm planning. It's the SRKertzer Fiore in spiced Coral. It will be the accent yarn for the cardigan, and the sole yarn in the shell.

I also ordered some Peruvian Collection Spiced Wine worsted weight yarn for the Lace Scarf pattern in VK that's shown in the previous post.I liked the color shown in the magazine, but didn't want burgundy, so I've been looking for something with the same feel. Of course, green always appeals to me, but I've been afraid I'm stuck in a color rut, so felt I should do something different. This is a great color, and I think this will be just lovely.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Finished Socks

Here is the finished pair of Lacy Arrow Socks. I'm not unhappy with them, but they're not the greatest pair of socks I've ever knitted either. I like them, they're comfortable and warm, and pretty, but they're a little big. I used to knit very loosely, and routinely went down 2 needle sizes on just about everything, with fine results. Since I have returned to knitting after a several years hiatus, I'd been knitting truer to size, but am now apparently "relaxed" enough again that it's back to smaller needles all the time. Glad this happened on a pair of socks rather than a whole sweater or something.

The new Vogue Knitting came Saturday, and it's quite an interesting issue. There is almost nothing in it that is below Experienced level. I wonder if this is because they came out with a new magazine aimed at young, neophyte knitters, and so they're putting the Easy and Intermediate level patterns there? Anyway, there are some lovely patterns. A scarf and belt especially, caught my eye.

I've decided that I need to get back to some wardrobe planning. The SWAP contest always gets me in gear for that, but there's no reason I can't make a list and a plan on my own. At least, I don't think there is. It's hard attempt to be organized when you're really not.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sewing Again

Well, I'm back at it after becoming discouraged with my skirt yoke problem. I've been knitting since then, and am almost done with the second lacy arrow sock. I guess I did the faux suede skirt too, so that's something. But, I started in again on the Marfy jacket in Resort Tweed with the silk print lapels/collar. The sleeves are in provisionally, and only need a little tweaking to look great. The silk collar, etc. is on, and I decided not to use a center front zipper closure, but will instead use some decorative gold hooks, and perhaps attach them in a decorative manner. Anyway, it's going well, and I'm excited about it again.

I ordered some gorgeous new fabric from EmmaOneSock this morning. To celebrate, apparently.

This gorgeous Oscar de la Renta foiled printed wool which should become a suit,
and this Nanette Lepore silk organza brocade. I've been looking at it for a while, but couldn't decide what to do with it. I finally ordered it when I saw the wool this morning. Not that they'll be worn together, but I knew I had to get the wool. The silk will be a blouse I think, since blouses seem to be back in a big way now.

I've also been ordering yarn, and after playing with the Elann swatches (shown in a recent post,) I've decided to order the top yarn for a cardigan, and the second yarn for a shell, and one stripe in the cardigan. I want to get some of the third one too, for a shell in Indian Cross Stitch. The original is in a ribbon yarn, and I hope this won't be too see through, but I like the stitch and the pattern. It's from an old Vogue Knitting magazine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

All Appendages Will Be Covered

Here's the first half of my pair of Lacy Arrow Socks. I finished it the other night, and immediately put it on while I started the next one. My feet were cold, so half a pair seemed better than none. It's a larger sock than I usually make, but I wanted it to be really cushy and comfy. The heel is taller than usual, but in making this type of lacy socks before, I have noticed that where the lace stitches end at the top of the heel is a real wear point with some shoes, so I decided to just make the heel taller. I think this will work well.

My title deals with the next photos in conjunction with the sock photo. I love gloves, and have quite a few pair, but it's difficult to find really nice ones, with a great fit. So, when I ran across 3 pairs (!!!) yesterday, in my size even, I bought them immediately. These are all from Italy, in actual sizes not just S/M/L, and gorgeous soft leather with silk lining. The fingers are so nicely shaped, and so different from the Made in China type. The black ones are classic,

as are the pale yellow,

but the Pucci print gloves are simply for fun.

The background of the print is the palest grey-green, and just matches a group of knit coordinates I made a few years ago, and still wear. Anyway, with socks and gloves, all appendages will definitely be covered.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cool Yarn Samples

I got my new yarn samples from Elann today,and I'm really thrilled with these. There are so many neat things I could do with them, and I can hardly wait to play. The four small skeins at the top are what I will be playing with, and the color card is at the bottom. I'm so pleased I signed up for these, as it's much nicer to have the yarns "in hand" before I make a decision.

I turned the heel on my lacy arrow sock last night (first heel in quite a few years, so that was a trip down Memory Lane) and am decreasing on the gusset now. There's something about socks that just makes you want to do one more row....

Monday, September 26, 2005

Scalloped Faux Suede Skirt

I saw this dark green faux suede fabric (very thin with a knit construction) with a laser-cut and scalloped edge on Thursday at Hancock's, and went back Saturday when I knew how much I needed. I immediately knew that I wanted to repeat the pink Mrs Stylebook skirt that I made in March. But, I wasn't sure how much it would take, since the border on the selvedge would dictate that it be cut on the crossgrain. I bought 2 yards, and it took most of that, since I made sure each of the 6 panels had a scallop centered. The cutting was the easy part, as this fabric was kind of difficult. It was almost flimsy, and yet there was no give to it at all. I really had to take a lot of pains with the fitting, and when I stand perfectly straight and still, it hangs quite nicely. Any movement brings draglines, but I guess that's the nature of the fabric. It might have been a little better on the lengthwise grain, but then you would lose the scallops, and there would be no point in using this at all. Anyway, I thought this would be a nice quickie for the weekend, and I'm kind of pleased. The hem is really darling, I think, and here is a close up.

I was thinking that I could sew this evening, since it's Monday Night Football, but I realized I have a Sewing Guild meeting to go to, so that's probably out. It's the first Guild meeting of the year, and has been a potluck for quite a few years, but this year, it's just going to be dessert, so that should be easier, and just as nice, or nicer! Last night, I was at another club's Open House, and there was a wonderful hors d'oeuvre buffet, so it's been a pretty good start to the week so far!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lacy Arrow Sock So Far

Here is the beginning of the Lacy Arrow Sock that I began as a complete change from my latest sewing project, the Marfy skirt. I have made this pattern at least 3 times before, but it's been a long time. My sister brought me a pair I had given her with hopes of my repairing them, and I decided that the only way I could do it was to begin knitting the pattern again so I got familiar enough with it to be able to darn it into the pattern correctly.

It's a nice pattern, and really only has 4 pattern rounds, although it has a 16 round repeat. The 4th pattern row is repeated 5 times, so actually a pretty simple pattern, although it looks complex.

This yarn is some Phentex acrylic which I received from a friend when she learned I was knitting baby things for my nephews. This was some that I ended up not using, and it's very nice sock-weight yarn. I'm using 2.75mm needles and 64 stitches in a round. I didn't really realize it was acrylic until I had done the ribbing, but I like the color, and it seems very nice, so I'm going to go ahead. I don't see why it shouldn't be just fine.

I have decided that I will just recut the skirt yoke pieces and start over on it. I still don't have a zipper for the jacket, but I'm leaning toward using one I have, although it's not an ideal color, but apparently the ideal color does not exist, so I will just make sure it doesn't show much, and it won't matter. I am definitely going to wait until I'm feeling bright-eyed and clear-headed before tackling this again.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Are Mad....

Sorry, the title's an "in" joke. A very young relative used to ask his mother "Are mad, Mom?" and of course he knew she was. So; are mad, means it's really bad.

Everything was going along pretty well yesterday. I got my Resort Tweed Marfy jacket shell all together except the sleeves, started pinning the facings, and realized I needed a separating zipper. I have a lot of them, but the color I liked best was in a length that's too short. This only needs a 10" zipper, and I don't know where I got the shorter one, although I'm thinking Pendleton or Wazoodle, in a zipper bundle. It's a lovely taupey color, and all they have in YKK or Coats&Clarks (at the local fabric chains) are Beige, which is almost Natural, and really a little too light a color. So, I decided that if I had to go on a zipper hunt, I would just stop working on the jacket, and move on to the skirt for a while. About 10pm last night, I decided to cut out the skirt.

There are 4 pieces to the skirt, a Front and Back Yoke, and a Front and Back Skirt. None of these are cut on the fold, as they're asymmetrical. They have to be cut with the fabric right side up, and I knew this. I cut the Textured Weft first, taking great care to make sure the fusible side would correspond with the wrong side of the fashion fabric. So far, so good. Then, I proceeded to cut the Tweed with the wrong side up, and didn't flip the pattern pieces! I just couldn't believe it. I went to bed.

So, now I'm trying to decide whether to start over and cut new yoke pieces, or should I just have the angle and skirt-drape on the Right instead of the Left. At this point, I can't even decide whether I can make a good decision, so I'm waiting for a little more reflection. These are the kinds of things that are just maddening, and they never seem to become obsolete.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Party Shell is Done

Here's the latest version of the Berroco Shell pattern I've used several times. I did this in Party yarn by Crystal Palace. This was a (successful, I think) experiment in sizing, as I used a Small for the Back, and a Large for the Front. I like the fit very much, and I used single crochet around the armholes for a more covered-up look than the pattern, and also to tighten them a little. Here's a side view of the shell.

The finishing on this went pretty smoothly last night, except I seem to have to sew the first seam on every sweater lately so that one right side and one wrong side face out. This was not a fun yarn to rip out either. It slides nicely, but it's hard to tell where it goes. Just a little more care and patience would probably work wonders, both in knitting and in life in general.