Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lace & Dye Arrived

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The lace came yesterday as well as the dye, and I'm very pleased with it. It's very nice and drapey with a beautiful sheen to it. It's heavy enough to hang nicely I think. Holding it up, I am afraid that although the galloon edge is beautiful, it may be a little too delicate looking for the skirt I'm thinking of.

I probably will not get to dye it until next week, but I did handwash and machine dry a swatch. It shows no change whatsoever, so that's very encouraging.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Musings, Lace and Otherwise

I went ahead and ordered the lace I talked about in the previous post. Linda asked where I found it; it's from Lace Mart, and is their E040. I haven't received it yet, but I have to say the responses from Martha there to my dying question and to my subsequent order were exemplary in their speed and completeness. She told me she's absolutely sure it can be dyed, and that it's 80% rayon and 20% cotton. It sure sounds like it ought to dye, and if there is some variation in color between the two fibers, I would hope that it would only add to the depth of color interest. I also ordered dye from Dharma Trading, which should get here about the same time as the lace I hope.

Carolyn is also planning a Prada-esque lace skirt, as is RuthieK, both on Stitcher's Guild, where we've been discussing this a little bit. I'm planning to use the pattern from my large scale floral skirt I made this spring rather than a straight skirt, but I'm holding off on a final decision until I see what the hand of the lace is like after it's dyed. I am assuming after all it will have been through that it will be fairly drapey, and that will be great. I don't want stiffness at all. I know Carolyn's planning to underline her skirt with charmeuse, but I don't want any shine, so I'm thinking possibly tinted organza if the lace needs a little body, and something more like crepe if it doesn't. Or, I could go without any lining at all, as Prada has done, but I would wear a slip! I was really surprised to see that they just do a plain turned-up hem on this, but perhaps that's part of what makes it work as daywear. It's a shame to waste the pretty edge, but if it looks too "bridal" with the fancy lace edge as the hem, I may have to do a turned hem too.

I spent last night and this afternoon working on the Marfy jacket I started a while ago. It's just been hanging there waiting for a few things. I hemmed the jacket and the lining, gave it a good pressing, and started doing buttonhole tests. At this point, I'm thinking I probably should have done bound buttonholes, but I'm going to go ahead and do the hand-worked silk thread ones I originally decided on. Whatever I do isn't going to show much on the tweed side anyway, but it will definitely show on the twill side, so that's my focus now. After the buttonholes, all I have left to do is the edge-stitching, which is going to be by hand also. It's looking pretty good I think.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Marfy Fish Tank & Lace Musings

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I'm still trying to get back in the groove, and so rather than just wandering around my sewing room wishing I was sewing something, I whipped up a little Marfy tank last night. It's #9829, a TNT pattern for me, and I ordered this cute knit print from FabricMart early this spring to make up this summer, so I thought I'd better get at it, or summer will be over.

I used the twisted binding again on just the neckline this time, with plain binding on the armscyes, and I think it's cute. I thought about using a contrast binding, but not until I was just about done with this, and the pink I had wasn't quite the right color anyway.

Here's a side view. I really like the side coverage I get with this pattern.

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You may have noticed that I never wear plain white, and this is about as much white as I am comfortable with in a print. It's just not a color that I feel secure wearing, but I was crazy about these fish.

Lately I've been thinking more and more about the wonderful lace pieces that Prada had in their Fall collection. There have been multi-page spreads in all the magazines, and while I am not a lace person, these were just my cup of tea for some reason. I've been looking around on-line for a lace fabric that would approximate the look, and I think I may have found some. Now to decide if it can be dyed, since I don't want white lace. Here's what I'm looking at.

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I also played around last night with some organza I have, both gold and rust, and some gold lace with fabric leaves in it. I think it would make a really nice overlay, but I think it needs more of a contrast color under it, as both the gold and the rust make the lace disappear a little bit. I'm thinking of a sleeveless tabard or tunic-type thing over a plain dress, or even pants with a matching top, almost a jumpsuit effect.

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Lots of ideas here, but how many will come to fruition is another thing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Burda WOF Top

Link to ALL PHOTOS pertaining to this post.

I subscribe to Burda WOF (World of Fashion) magazine, and I almost always find several patterns that I would really like to try in each issue, but I don't often get to them, or at least not in a timely manner. The August issue was different. I found a cute top pattern that I thought would be great for a shell to wear under jackets and cardigans this fall or winter, and possibly even by itself this summer. It has a high neck, but very short cap sleeves, so it's versatile.

Burda #108 08-2008.

I made a quick muslin from a very thin mesh knit that turned out pretty good, Photo Link so I made a few changes and forged ahead with a very silky, fine rib knit fabric that I've used before and have quite a bit of. That's the top you see at the beginning of this post. It's a little bit of a problem fabric, although if one had a coverstitch machine, it might be fine. Sewing across the ribs, it's difficult to make it look straight, even if it is. I solved this by using a 3-step zigzag for the hems, and I think it turned out cute. It also shows every tiny bump underneath it, and that's why there's no photo of me wearing it. I need to get a different bra, with no cup seams before I wear it. You can read my review at PR here, and see all the gory details.

The difference in fabric weights led to some interesting discoveries on the second (non-muslin) version. The weight of the fabric dragged down the darts from their original position, and necessitated my removing and redoing them. Since I had sewn the side seams with my serger and included the dart take-ups in the seam, I really didn't want to remove that stitching. I took out the darts and using the original starting position and depth, I curved them to end up where I wanted them. I then stitched them by hand from the outside while the top was on my dressform. That form really comes in handy for tricky things like this, that would be almost impossible to do successfully while flat.

The other big change I made was to use 2 hanging snaps to close the collar at CB, leaving the top 3" of the seam open, as a keyhole. They wanted you to use an invisible zipper, and I just don't care for zippers in knits if I can avoid them, and this works great, and is easy to get into, too. If you don't know about Hanging Snaps, I did a Technique Tip at PR on them. They're easy and so handy for closing edges that are abutted rather than overlapped. I wanted something quick, and including altering the pattern, I made them both in two days, and not long days, either. I think this would make a really cute dress just by lengthening it.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing lately, along with thinking hard about my coat, but not doing anything yet. I'm waiting for one more sample of underlining to test before I actually cut and start.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Fall Vogue Knitting is Here

I got the new VK the other day, and it has more tempting patterns than I've seen for quite a few issues. There are more than a few that I would never actually knit for one reason or another, but there are several that I could be fairly serious about.

The really interesting shell above is not one of the editorial patterns, but is from the Tahki S. Charles Collezione ad. It has a look of old stucco or brick, with a vine running up it, and I would make it about as shown, except I would begin the patterned section a little higher I think.

The very oversized vest above is done in Koigu yarn, and it calls to me, although I'm not sure it's really my style. It looks like it would be wonderfully cozy to pull on over whatever else one had on in the winter.

I have never knitted a pair of mittens, and I doubt I'd wear these even if I knitted them, but I like the way the pattern ends with bobbles at the side instead of being completed on the back of the hand.

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This is just a cute, cabled sweater with I-cord ties, but it's very nicely done, and would be a classic and wearable for years, unlike the wild vest above. I like cables, but I'm not sure the neckline is really me.

There were several other cardigans and some wonderful opera-length gloves, and I recommend this issue to anyone. They just did a really good job getting great designs this time.

I haven't cut out my cashmere yet, although I got it back from the cleaners all steamed and ready to go. I ordered silk charmeuse for the lining from Thai Silks and that came on Friday and is a fantastic color match, as I'd hoped. So, I need to just start. I feel like I'm teetering on the brink, but I'm sure I'll soon start in. It's been a very busy week here, and I need to just settle down and work.

A Surprise from Sewsy & My Swatchbook

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I received these items in the mail just before we went to the ER last week and ended up at the hospital for almost a week, so I naturally put everything on hold. Things are much better now. Although, I was rubbing Pearle's feet this morning, and he swears I broke one! I really think (hope!) he's exaggerating, but with our luck lately....

Kim (Sewsy on Stitcher's Guild) has a sewing organization system she's selling, and she was kind enough to send me some samples of what she has. I like the smaller pages, which would fit my old Day Planner binder. I haven't checked to see if they'd also fit in the card file box I'm using now, but if they would, that would be handy. Not that I really need another notebook or organizing system, but there's always that little hope that maybe this time will be the one that "takes". Also, it's back-to-school shopping time, and I love paper and notebooks. The larger pages are not quite the same quality as the smaller ones, but they would give you a lot more space to write. Thanks Sewsy! It's great fun to get unexpected fun things in the mail! Sewsy had quite the interesting story about how she tracked down my address. I didn't know I was quite so incognito.