Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Vintage Wrap Blouse is Done

Here is my Vintage Wrap Blouse, which I finished Tuesday evening. I really like it, and I am very pleased with the end result of my drafting. Here's a link to a back and side view. The color is not too true on these photos, as the actual batik is quite pale, almost a butter/sage combination, with a little bit of darker sage here and there.

I like the fact that this wrap design has a high cross-point, since I usually avoid wrap styles because they gape open. I like the neckline on this, and one really nice point, which doesn't show in any of the photos, is that the back yoke seam and the back shoulder darts are at exactly the same angle, which looks very pretty. That's the kind of detail that's difficult to achieve I think. At least it is for me, so this seems like a very lucky break.

Photo of Katia Surf Shell

Here's the finished Katia Surf Shell. I think it turned out pretty well. I didn't do the V opening in the scoop neck, and I'm glad I didn't. I think it will be nice under jackets this fall, especially. It's very soft yarn, and quite comfortable to wear. I especially like the brioche stitch at the armholes. It was fun to knit too. I've never done brioche stitch before.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katia Surf Shell is Finished

Tonight I finished the Katia Surf Shell that I began in the middle of July. It's very cute, and I'll try to take pictures tomorrow (Tuesday) although I'm thinking it might be good to wash this and wet block it first. I steamed it, but there are places where the stitches don't want to lay evenly even though they look even. I didn't do the split-V neck, just the scoop neck. The fit is quite good on this, and it's very soft yarn, but trying to crochet around it was really something. You are to do backward single crochet around the neck and armholes. The yarn wants to split terribly, and to go backwards was impossible, so I did one round forward, and one round forward from the wrong side. I would have done the first round from the wrong side, but I wanted to be able to place the stitches nicely without having to turn and check each stitch as I formed it.

Nothing on the wrap blouse today, but I hope to finish it tomorrow (today,) my birthday.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Just a Little Progress

I finished the sleeve hems for the Wrap Blouse, and put in the waist stay tonight. The waist stay really improves the feel while wearing it. I used Cynthia Guffey's triple-hemming technique on the sleeves, and they're solid as a rock. I marked where I will apply one snap at the neckline, and I think that's about it. I will be adding photos when it's finally complete.

Fabric & Findings Source Links

I thought you might enjoy a list of sources I use or have considered when looking for fabrics, findings, patterns, etc. I haven't purchased from all of these vendors, but the ones I have purchased from are marked with a star.

Apple Annie's Fabrics
Bendigo Woolen Mills* Yarn
Bra-makers Supply Lingerie Findings
Casual Elegance Fabric*
Decades of Style Patterns* Patterns
Denver Fabrics
Dharma Trading* Dyes, dyeable fabrics* Yarn
Elliot Berman Textiles*
Emma Seabrooke (SewKeysE)*
Fabric Depot* Lingerie Findings
Fabric Mart*
Farmhouse Fabrics
Fashion Fabrics Club*
Fashion Sewing Group(Nancy Erickson)*
Fiber on a Whim* mostly hand-dyed fabrics
Fine Fabrics
Gorgeous Things Fabrics*
Hemp Traders
Hyena Silks
Italy Fabrics
Jalie Patterns*
Kantjeboord Lingerie Findings
Lace Heaven* Lingerie Findings
Lace Mart*
Lacis* Embroidery, Needlework
MacPhee Workshop
Malden Mills now Mill Yardage
Marfy Patterns*
Maria Denmark Patterns (incorporating Onion Patterns)*
Mekong River Textiles
Mendel Goldberg*
Merckwaerdigh* Lingerie patterns & Findings
Michael's Fabrics*
MJTrends Unique Fabrics*
MJ Trim
NY Fashion Center Fabrics
Sawyer Brook Fabrics
Sew Exciting Sewing Supplies* Interfacing
Sew Sassy Fabrics* Lingerie Findings
Sew Thankful
The Sewing Place*
The Sewing Workshop*
Sewy (Bärbel's site) Lingerie Findings
Shirley's Sewing Stuff*
Soft Expressions*
Southstar Supply Co.
Lingerie Findings
styleARC Patterns
Textile Fabrics*
Thai Silks*
Tinsel Trading
Trim Fabric*
Wazoodle* mostly PUL and specialty fabrics, especially for diaper-making
Wien2002 Lingerie Findings
Yarn Country*

Lingerie Fabric & Findings Blog Post

last updated 09-18-2018.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

First Prize Shirt

The shirt in the case is the one I entered in the 2005 Nebraska State Fair. I found out this morning that it won 1st Prize Shirt, and also Best of Adult Sewing! I'm quite pleased. Since it's Pearle's shirt, I'm glad he's pleased too. The shirt that he's wearing in the photo is another shirt that I've made for him. You can get an idea of the fit from this. I've tweaked this pattern over the years until it's just the way he likes it, and the most noticeable thing is probably that the shoulders are almost a natural shoulder rather than the very dropped shoulder you see on most men's shirts. It's also a classic-fitting shirt, i.e., not very fitted.

I also received two 2nd's and a 4th on other things I entered. Second on my Gedifra Mauritius Pullover, and on my Brown Italian Basketweave Cardigan with Brown FFF Skirt (entered as a Structured Suit), and 4th on my Lily Shell. So, all in all, a very successful fair.

More Wrap Blouse

Well, I got all the hemming done, except the sleeves yesterday, and then fiddled with sleeve heads and shoulder pads until I decided what I wanted, then tacked the pads in. Tonight I will remove the pads, cover them, and retack. Oh well, a trial run is not a bad thing.... Now I only have a few snaps and the waist stay (for which I have found a lovely sage petersham ribbon) left, so I hope to be done soon. I really like the look of this, and when I was trying it on last night, I had on my taupe Double Burda pants, and the colors were wonderful together. I can hardly wait to get to wear it, and so far, I'm leaning toward skipping the trim around the yoke. I don't want it to get too fussy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wrap Blouse Progressing

I spent several hours this afternoon and evening working on my wrap blouse, and I'm encouraged to hope that it's going to turn out all right after all. It's all together, and I put in sleeve heads, and will also use thin shoulder pads which pretty much cover the entire area between the armscye seam and the yoke. It had a tendency to look a little bit collapsed otherwise. I think after all that this fabric is almost too soft for this style, or I should have fused the entire bodice, as I originally thought I would, but it seemed like overkill. I did fuse the facings and about an inch into the body at the front opening on each side. This very fine, sheer interfacing could have worked for the body.

I will insert the shoulder pads and hem all the edges tomorrow. I'm thinking of applying a cord trim to the yoke/bodice seam. I think it would define the seam nicely, but I'll have to try it. I have some that I think would be a good color.

When I bought the extra fabric, I stopped in afterwards at Threads (my very nice local yarn shop) and bought 6 balls of a Crystal Palace ribbonyarn I saw in June there called Party, in the Sandstone colorway. I liked it then, and immediately thought of a shell, probably the same Berroco pattern as the Vrillee shell I finished this summer, but didn't know how much I needed. I never did get back for it, but when I saw it yesterday, I still liked it a lot, so bought it. It reminds me of the ribbons that are applied onto lace in patterns sometimes. Beautiful colors too; very creamy, and almost like slightly toasted meringue.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Beginning Real Wrap Blouse

Monday night I finished the trial (muslin) of the vintage Wrap Blouse I'm drafting. I added the length at the waist, and after adding width to the shoulder, I attached the sleeve, and fiddled with it until deciding that I didn't like the dropped sleeve. So, I took the extra width back off (saving the pieces as add-ons to my block in case a nice, small cut-on cap sleeve is desired) and put in a normal fitted sleeve. Since this is a vintage-design blouse, I left the elbow dart, which I quite like. All this finished about 1 am, so no photos. I also determined that I will need more of my fashion fabric, as I could get it all out of 2 yards except one sleeve. It's all cut single layer, which takes more work in the layout, but less fabric, and it's much easier to mark.

Today I bought more of my fabric, a rayon batik in pale sage and butter, and prewashed it to match the rest. I cut out all the pieces, marked them, and after trials of several interfacings,fused the collar/yoke pieces with the DK/Brooks Bros. interfacing I got from Pam at Sew Exciting sewing supplies. It's fairly stiff, which I think is what I want, as the fabric is very drapey, and I don't want the yoke to collapse. The collar/yoke is ready to attach, and looks good. I stitched all my darts and seams, and am ready to serge the seam allowances as soon as I change thread colors in my serger. I decided to wait until tomorrow rather than rethread at 1 am. I think I will use some of Pam's very lightweight sheer interfacing for the cut-on front facings, just to keep them from stretching out of shape, and for a nice soft fold. She has wonderful interfacings, and such generous yardage. She's adding more essentials every day. I had thought of staytape, but I think this interfacing will be perfect. I can always add a fusible tape if necessary, later.

I don't think I want a shoulder pad, as this should be a very natural shoulder, but I think a small puff/sleeve head a la Roberta Carr would be in order. I haven't done one of hers for a long time, but I always liked them. They just fill out your seam a little, and keep a soft fabric from collapsing. I hope to finish this tomorrow, but I'm not sure how much time I'll actually get to sew.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

First Bodice Trial of Wrap Blouse

This is the first trial bodice of the vintage wrap blouse I'm attempting to draft from my block. It's not too bad so far. There will be sleeves, and the yoke/collar is only pinned on, and will change a little.

The yoke in the original is deeper, and has 2 buttons in slot buttonholes at the seam that joins it to the bodice, but I held buttons up in various sizes, and I think I like it better without buttons. I'll probably use snaps under the overlap, and possibly frogs or maybe nothing on the top. Maybe in a plainer fabric the buttons would be necessary, but in this or the batik, I think it's overkill with all that's going on in this style, plus the fabric design.

There will be sleeves certainly, and I will extend and drop the shoulders a little. My ties in the back are quite a bit longer than the drawing shows. They would be great for a very dressy look, but are a little much for daywear I think. Maybe if this were extended into a dress with a full skirt, the ties would be fine, but I think I'll like them better a little shorter. The flap in the back below the waist is the part that gets tucked in to hold everything in place, along with a grosgrain waist stay.

The general fit I think is pretty good. I'll redo the front facing extensions so they're at the proper angle. I think this is pretty cute in checks, but it will be nicer in my batik. It would probably be nice to have a skirt or pants that match, but I don't want to get too carried away. I have a lot of pieces that will coordinate with this very nicely in the batik.

Side View

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Drafting the Wrap Blouse

Well, I'm doing a sew-along with Sue on the vintage Wrap Blouse. She's using the pattern, and I'm drafting mine from my block. So far, it's going pretty well. I got the bodice and yoke pieces cut out yesterday and the bodice sewn together for a test fit. The fit is pretty good, but I could see immediately that I'd folded the front back on the Center Front rather than the front edge when I made my facing extension, so it's not right. I also need to change the armscyes, as I just left them the same as the block. I think I will just extend them and do them fairly straight, and use the dropped shoulder as the pattern shows.

I bought a nice piece of drapey rayon in a black and white check for the muslin. Quite a bargain, and I thought the checks might be helpful. One thing I've learned is that I do not want to fuse the fabric for the final blouse, as I had thought I might. It needs to be very drapey, and I think the rayon batik I bought at Sew Creative for a different blouse will be great, although I may have to go get some more, as I don't think I'll have quite enough for long sleeves, which are what I think I want. The tie ends will not need to be as long as I had thought, so that will save me quite a bit of fabric. Maybe it will even out.

Well, I hope to get more done today, but I'm not going to work until 2am tonight again, like last night. Sewing that late is sometimes a mistake, and when I'm doing something like this, I need to be fairly sharp.

I fixed my sprinkler line on the east side of the house this morning, where the gas company cut it when they replaced a feeder line or something, so I'm watering my newly planted grass and clover the easy way now, instead of standing there with a spray nozzle. Hope it comes up as well as the first bunch did. The weeds are just amazing in the flowerbeds and the grass. I sprayed 2,4D in the front yard Thursday, and it's beginning to take effect. I could almost wish for a freeze if it would just kill the weeds. Oh well, spring is always eternally optimistic, and by then I'll have forgotten just how much crabgrass there seems to be. Surely the crabgrass preventer should be doing a better job than this?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Lily Shell Finished!

My Euroflax Lily Shell is finished!
I am really pleased with it. The picot edge turned out very well, and lies nice and flat. I ended up using a smaller crochet hook than the pattern called for, and more stitches, but I think it turned out very well. After it's completely finished, the linen yarn is supposed to be washed and tumble dried, so I did that, and it turned out beautifully; very glossy, smooth and luxuriously drapey. Here are photos of the front and a close up of the shoulder seam.



Thursday, August 11, 2005

Knitting and Unknitting

I finished the knitting on my Euroflax Lily shell this evening, and also bound off the shoulder seams. I followed their instructions, and they have you do it so the seam ridge is on the right side. After I did them, I just looked and looked at them while hunting the right size crochet hook (3mm) to do the picot edging, and finally decided I didn't like the ridge there, so I got one seam ripped out and back on the needles. I'll do the other one tomorrow and maybe get them back together the way I want them. I don't think the crochet edging around the neckline and armholes will take long. I already like the way it looks even in its unfinished state, so that's a good sign. Here's a link to more info from my first Lily post.

I ordered more yarn from Elann Saturday and got it today. It's a baby alpaca/merino blend DK weight in a dark spruce color. I'm planning a cabled cardigan, fairly classic in style and fit. I bought a Pingouin pattern book with the yarn which has a nice pattern. I also ordered a year's worth of sample skeins. I think it will be fun to try them, and apparently I'm back into knitting in a bigger way than I'd thought, so why not?

Sue from Sewzine alerted me to a great site for vintage patterns that are available in multiple sizes. It's called Decades of Style Pattern Co. I ordered the 1930sKitchenette Pajamas which I think are adorable, and will be wonderful for after-dinner wearing. Should be very comfortable, and yet practical.
I also ordered the Flapper Apron, a very cute bias cut style.
They also offer a wonderful wrap blouse from the 1950's that I'm thinking about quite seriously.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pink Dot Ensemble & Lily Progress

Here's the total outfit of Jalie Tee and FFF Skirt that I made from Wazoodle cotton ribknit. I really like this; it's very cool for a knit, which is just what I need this time of year. The pintucked hem on the skirt is in lieu of a band.

Here's my progress on the Euroflax Lily Shell.

This is the back, which is finished, and waiting for the shoulders to be grafted to the front when it's done. It will look much nicer after blocking, of course.

The next photo is of the interesting side increases on this shell. You make your increases into the pattern stitches, and it makes almost a gusset effect. Kind of fun!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

County Fair Result

Well, I took my shirt to the County Fair on Monday, and today the results were in. I got First place on it, so I was very pleased! I will enter it in the Nebraska State Fair at the end of the month.

I've been working on my polka dot knit skirt to match the Tee I did so quickly. Since there's no deadline, I guess there's no hurry. It's going to be just a plain hem. The fabric is light enough, that the band hem was really weighing it down more than I liked, so away it went.

Knitting progress has been steady again, especially on the Lily Euroflax shell. I finished the in-the-round part, and have divided for the front and back, and finished the armhole shaping on the back, and am working my way up to the neckline. It seems to go much more quickly when there are only 110 stitches in a row instead of 308 in a round! I've done a lot of this while sitting on the patio with the cats in the evenings, and it amazes me how much easier it is to knit when there's enough light to actually see what I'm doing. I may have to get one of those little booklights or something. Really, what would be handy are these little solar spotlights. We got a set of 3 that we're using to light some of the ponds at night, and I love the light they give. It's a pretty blue, and reminds me of the new type of headlights on some cars, although not nearly so bright, of course.