Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

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Yes, I had a wonderful time in Chicago, and I thank you all for your good wishes, and many suggestions. We saw 2 concerts in the Northwestern Winter Chamber Music series, The Merry Widow at the Lyric Opera, and Ramsey Lewis in a MLK Day Performance. All of the music was just what you'd wish when you go to a concert, and I have many lovely memories.

The fabric shopping was TDF of course! I knew you'd be most interested in what came home with me, so I put it first.

Clockwise from Left.
Pink wool crepe & washed Rose Duppioni was a gift from Patti. (!)
Autumnal knit with bias stripes of a lacy knit from Vogue Fabrics.
Olive Jersey from Fishman's.
Olive/Black Crossdye Superfine Mohair/Wool from Fishman's.
Terracotta/Blue 'holey' knit from Vogue Fabrics.
Blue-green Animal print knit from Vogue Fabrics.

The knit with mesh lacey diagonal stripes in autumnal colors is something I hadn't seen before, and while they were cutting it for me, another clerk came to see what was left, as a customer had noticed it and wanted 15 yards, so I guess it was appealing to at least two of us. The terracotta/blue marbled print has narrow oval-ish 'holes' filled with a sheer mesh. The effect makes me think of columns. It looks holey, but it isn't really.

I am very excited by all of these pieces, and I am planning tops out of all the knits, with scraps heading for the lingerie-ready pile. The wool/mohair is slated to be pants. There were so many great fabrics at both Vogue and Fishman's that it was difficult to make choices. Before I got there, I had decided to attempt to limit myself to things that I was likely to make up very quickly and wear right away. I don't think I'm ready for a major project yet, but my wardrobe is lacking in certain things. These fabrics/garments should fit in very well.

We had such a great time just visiting as well as shopping and going to cultural events, and meeting Patti's friends was a great pleasure. We attended a weaving retrospective which had quite a few interesting and inspiring items. I have photos, and will put them into another post, or perhaps a couple.

Finally, the Peep was glad to have me at home again. My brother very kindly came over to make sure he had cat food, etc. while I was gone, and Peep was glad to see him, but apparently seemed puzzled over the sudden change of routine. Cats like everything to stay the same, and he'd never been home alone for more than a day before.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just For Fun

I don't know whether you have a place called 84 Lumber near you, but this was just too funny not to share.

My sister was visiting me and she saw the sign for this business as we drove down the street. She said "Before Lumber....I guess that would be 'caves'." I was totally nonplussed, and then realized she thought the sign was B4 Lumber, not 84 Lumber. Anyway, I guess caves would be before lumber.

I'm very excited because I'm going on a trip Friday. I'm flying to Chicago to visit a sewing friend. We're going to shop and go to musical events of all types for a few days. It will definitely be a total change for me, and I think I'm ready for something different. I will attempt to report on the fabric, etc., perhaps even with pictures, although I'm famous for taking the camera along, and then not taking any photos. So, we shall see.

Friday, January 08, 2010

It's Cold Outside!

So naturally, I decided I wanted something warmer to wear. Seems like every winter I suddenly get the urge to 'sew warm'. Forget style, etc., just find something to bundle up in. Well, maybe not forget style, but it's not at the top of the list. I found a very cute RTW fleece vest that had a very droopy back on me, since it hadn't had my swayback alteration. (Strange that they didn't do that, isn't it?) I knew I had fleece, and I copied the vest.

Link to First Photo. You may click through them all from here.

Since the back was the problem, I pinned the RTW vest at the waist, taking out about 2 inches in length, and then copied the pattern that way, tapering to the side seam. I used a needlepoint wheel to copy the seamlines, etc. onto pattern paper, marked the pocket placement, then trued my seamlines and that was about it. The original vest had no princess seam, it was simply a row of coverstitching at the pocket placement. I did an actual seam there since it made the pocket easier (I just did an inseam pocket) and because I don't have a coverstitch machine, and I liked the line. My fleece is textured while the original was smooth, so I think an actual seam was necessary to even show up. I also added a CB seam to get the shaping I had put in.

The details are simple.
+ The separating zipper is very basic, with no facing on the inside, as per the original.
+ Hems and armhole edges are simply turned under and stitched.
+ All seams are topstitched. This doesn't show as much on my fleece as the original, but it makes for a nice finish anyway.
+ The collar is interfaced. I didn't want to use a fusible on fleece, so I used a fused suedecloth that I had and didn't use for a previous project. It was nice and sturdy without being stiff, and worked perfectly for this.
+ Each of the pockets forms an interior pocket also, because of the way it's sewn at the sides and bottom but left open at the top. I'm not sure I'm crazy about this, but it might come in handy. I can always go back and sew across the top.

I will say that everything for this project came from my inventory. I even had the perfect 23" separating zipper used in the original. Warm and frugal, that's me!

This is as close a photo as I can find to the original, which was one color, and did not have zipper pockets.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Alex's Drops Cabled Pullover

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Yes, I did finally finish Alex's Xmas sweater in time. I had the knitting done a month or so early, but I didn't finish the sewing-together until a week before the 25th. There was very minimal sewing and finishing so I don't know what took me so long, but there it was. I was awfully pleased when he opened it, as he really seemed very thrilled with it. I hadn't been sure if he really was looking forward to having it, or was lukewarm about the whole thing. Well, he seemed genuinely pleased, which pleased me of course. Now the three men in that family all have matching sweaters.

Alex's is big on him, but I purposely waited two years after I made the ones for his Dad and younger brother. I knew he was close enough to a likely major growth-spurt that it would be silly to do all that work for something he couldn't wear more than a year or two. He's shot up pretty well lately, and this is generously sized in all directions. He'll definitely get taller, and fill out some, so I think this will be good for a long time. With the cuffs rolled up, the sleeves are fine now, too. This is him opening his package. Yeah, I think he likes it.

Photo Link

Pattern: Drops 59-6 Adult Sweater (child sizes available)
Yarn: Bendigo Rustic 8-ply in color #950 Delta
Size: Men's Small/Medium, took just under 6 balls (200g size)