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.