Is that candy striper job still available?

I didn’t crop out my head so I could enjoy the bit of hair that was sticking out like a tusk that appeared mysteriously when I woke that morning. Wasn’t there the night before, but during the night I grew it.

Just so you know, this cardi will never go outside the house.  It’s destined to be “home wear”.  I don’t know why I bought 2 yards of this pink and white strip jersey but there is was in the stash, perfect to make a toile for the Jenna Cardi from Muse Patterns.

I saw this pattern on Lauren’s blog and she looked adorable in it.  Of course Lauren is totally adorable and would look great in a Safeway bag, but buy the Jenna pattern I did.  It fills a niche between tee and sweater, which is a wide niche here in sunny California.  I thought I’d make a practice garment to evaluate the pattern since I’d not used this company’s patterns before.

Enter pink stripe jersey.  While this fabric isn’t hideous, it would be perfect for a 5 year old’s Easter dress.  I matched up the stripes on the sides and sleeves but totally lost interest in straight lines at the cuffs and hems.  Oh well.  The buttons are from the stash so this was a pretty easy and fast make.  It was constructed almost totally on the serger, only used the straight stitch for the top stitching.

As for fit, it fits pretty well but the sleeves are WAY too long.  I have long monkey arms and they’re too long for me.  I took out 1″ in the above photos and need at least another inch out of the length.  I may think about taking a smidge out of the shoulder width, but may not bother with the next iteration.  Off to root around the stash for some more jersey.

Saucy girl!

Before, during and after.

Seriously, what’s up with me and the puns?

I’ve made my first batch of roasted tomato sauce and I’m a fan.  Very easy and delicious.  I used this recipe because it seemed reasonable and used doable quantities.  My freezer is pretty full and I don’t need a gallon of anything.  I’d guess this is enough sauce for a pound of pasta but I’m batching mine up for personal use.  First scoops will be used on pizza.  Made the recipe as written, though I’d probably skip adding butter next time – but on second thought butter never hurt anyone.

Every time I go to Greenstring Farm for tomatoes I worry that they’ll be over, but I may have time to make another batch or two of this sauce before that happens.  First I have to go to work but my mind will be on tomatoes!


Blue and white pattern

I look pretty pleased with myself here, but it’s just a pretty straight forward blouse.

Finally!!  I finished something.  It seems like I hit a work patch there and couldn’t do much craftwise.

Here is a basic cotton voile blouse cut out weeks ago and sewed up last week.  I finally added the buttons this weekend so it’s done.  The pattern is Kwik Sew 3555 and is a classic button front blouse with breast pocket, collar and stand, cuffs and a shirt tail hem.

I’d initially planned to sew this up following the most excellent Craftsy class “The Classic Tailored Shirt” by Pam Howard.  I’ve made a shirt following the class before and it’s a great way to learn, plus you end up with a high quality shirt.  Unfortunately, I cut out the blouse forgetting that Kwik Sew uses 1/4″ seam allowances and the tailoring techniques in Pam’s class use 5/8″ SA for the tailored techniques.  I didn’t remember until after the blouse had been cut out so I just sewed it up following the Kwik Sew directions, which are fine.

The blouse turned out well and has been worn, so success there.  I do have some more voile in the stash that I’d like to use with a more fitted blouse pattern so this may be the first shirt of many.  Eventually.  Tomorrow I’m making some sauce from the 2 pounds of sweet tomatoes I bought today.

The freeze frame of the shirt, but it’s pretty much a basic style.

No much here

One sleeve, one sleeve nubbin.

The past few weeks have all been about work. And more work. Now the icky bit has finished, I’m back! That said I’ve got nothing much to share though.

Knitting-wise I finished one sleeve for Grettir and have the nubbin of the second sleeve started.  I still work sporadically on A Little Romance which is my travel project.  I should really get on that scarf because I really want to start a new scarf pattern that’s just come out, plus it’s getting cooler so it’ll be useful quite soon.

But what’s this talk of a new scarf pattern you’re obsessed with?  It’s a Veera Välimäki pattern called Neon Beast. It’s striped and made up in lovely bright colors.  Another perfect travel project.  I’ve made quite a few of Veera’s patterns and have enjoyed all of them.  I like her aesthetic and if she didn’t live around the world from me I’d probably peek in her windows to see what she’s working on next.  But I have neither the time nor inclination to stalk poor Veera, so I shall just read her blog.

Sewing-wise the only thing I’ve sewn is to hem some new work uniform pants.  No, I didn’t take pictures of that since it would be the most boring thing in the world!  I have decided I need more blouses so I’ll have to get on that soon.

Hope everyone is doing well and I hope I’ll be back with something to share!

20 Bernina 1080 years

20 year old receipt!

Twenty years ago I bought my sewing machine and serger. I didn’t remember when I’d actually bought them until I was moving stuff out of one drawer to another.  Voila, a receipt slipped in between two other things.  It’s a testament to the Bernina quality that those machines are just as good today as when I bought them.  Which is good because they were pretty darn expensive.  I’m sure I made payments for yonks.

Cute pink and green skulls.

I wish I had a dramatic and glamorous garment to show you to celebrate my machines’ and my 20th anniversary, but what I’ve got is pretty much cake and not frosting.  That really does sum up what my machines have made for 20 years, so I guess it’s only fitting that I’ve got pajama pants.

Yes, another pair of flannel pajama pants made from the Tofino pattern.  Same mods as the last two times, 28″ inside leg measurement (this pattern is REALLY long!) and omitting the bow belt thing.  The fabric is cotton flannel and is covered in cute skulls.  It was pretty difficult to find skull fabric for these pjs.  My friend (the recipient) wanted skull pjs for her birthday and I thought it would be a snap to find fabric since skulls and pirates are kind of popular now.  No, I was mistaken.  There are several quilting cottons I found with skulls of varying scariness, but this was one of the only fabrics in flannel.  Nevertheless, they’re cute and the pjs will hopefully be well received.

Pajamas that are hopefully not scary.

Finishing up

Tees and remnants made into pants.

I’ve had some projects sitting around for ages that involve upcycling or mending.  Sigh.  Dullsville.  Well yesterday the dam of ennui broke and I finished up a few straggler projects.

First up was some boy short knickers made from a remnant of black jersey.  I’d already cut them out and they’ve been waiting patiently for sewing up.  The two pairs of colored knickers are made from thrifted tees that I originally planned to wear for work out tees but ended up not liking.  I made those into bikini undies.  The white scalloped elastic is from Fabrix and is 25 cents a yard so these were pretty cheap undies.

Five bananas in the bread and one more sliced on top. Delicious!

I find sewing undies fiddly so I don’t make too many of them, but I wanted to reuse these materials.  I’ve sewn the elastics in the round and flat and much prefer sewing in the flat – much easier.  I’ve also found I get a much nicer elastic fit if I make the elastic almost as long as the length of the leg or top, rather than using the 10% less rule of thumb.  Maybe it depends on the elastic, but the almost at parity length works for me.

Another reuse came from bananas.  What?  Yup, when bananas go brown I peel them and freeze them.  I don’t like bananas that are terribly ripe and freezing them for later use makes sense.  I had a bunch (ha!) of them to use up so I used a new banana bread recipe and made up a delicious batch.  Ultimate Banana Bread.  Plus it used five frozen bananas up and gave me some valuable freezer space.  I wonder why I never have any left over chocolate?

Tell me they’re not pink

The pants were much easier to make than editing the photos.

You know when you want to toss up a quick post about a make then head out to do something else?  Well that was me this morning.  I’ve got these shiny new pants to share and found out my Photoshop was not working.  At all.  Would not run  Uninstall and reinstall.  Still wouldn’t go.  Late afternoon by now.  Well, it’s a 10 year old version of CS2, maybe it’s just done.  So I bought a one year sub for Photoshop new and shiny and will now have to relearn how to do everything.  Seriously, editing these pictures took about three times as long.  I shall have to find some tutorials to learn how to accomplish my basic tasks more efficiently.  Any Photoshop tutorials you can point me toward?

And if you’re thinking that the pics still look like crap after I edited them, just stifle.

Here is my version of 7/8 length cigarette pants.  I used Burda Style 4/2013 pattern #114A for these.  The stretch cotton fabric is from Denver Fabric and though it’s not the dark red ‘d hoped for when I was looking at fabric, it’s an absolutely gorgeous weight and feel of fabric.  I wanted a cigarette pant silhouette but a bit looser since I don’t think tight tight tight is the best look on me.  The 114A pattern was just the right length and style.  It’s a simple pant with no pockets so it’s super easy to make.  Even easier in a stretch woven like this one to keep the fitting to a minimum.

The only mods I made were to omit the waistband and belt loops because I’m not a fan of waistbands.  I moved the zipper from the side to the back because (you guessed it) I don’t like zippers at my hip.  I drafted a facing for pant instead of a waistband and used an nonstretch quilting cotton to cut down on bulk and give it some stability.  The only bad thing about stretch cotton is that you get those pants to fit just like to want and then you wear them and they stretch out.  The two pics on the right above are pre-wearing, and the left is post-wearing.  They did stretch but don’t fall down much because of that anchor facing.

Other than those small changes, I made these as drafted.  If you want more information about these sewing of these just click for my PatternReview.

Stay tape, button at back and double needle hem shown here.


Is it still ribbing if it’s not stretchy?

Looks ok, but hoping it doesn’t stretch out when worn.

Having quickly received my Brooklyn Tweed Shelter for Grettir, I thought I’d dive right in and swatch up.  I’ve managed to get gauge in the round and promptly started my sleeve.  According to my sister swatches lie, so sleeve as swatch proof procedure has been implemented.

I’ve ripped this little ribbed cuff out about 3 times.  While that kind of sucks, I did have the opportunity to master the tubular cast on described in the pattern.  It’s much easier to do than the version I learned in my Montse Stanley book.  So that’s my plus, I guess.

My issue is that my ribbing was way too loose.  I sized down to size 2 dpns and it was still to huge.  I ended up taking 8 stitches out of the ribbing and it’s better, but still not tight.  The good news is that my ribbing is pretty much bullet proof.

I’m now knitting my way up the sleeve and increasing via the pattern method, again a nice and well thought out way to do it.  So far I’m finding the Grettir pattern well engineered and the Shelter is nice to work with.  So far so good, but am keeping my eye on those sleeve increases.  Happy knitting.

What the heck?

Oh isn’t it gorgeous?!

I have no business buying yarn.  I’ve been knitting on my scarf at such a pace that it will be a minor miracle if I can wear it when the weather turns less than Africa hot.

But did I buy yarn?  Well yes I did.  Here it is laying in the 80 degree, no cloud in the sky, sunshine.  Pure wool, you betcha.  Only three skeins?  Don’t be silly!  I’ve got a sweater’s worth.

Mmmm…apricots, cherries, almonds and marzipan topping. Stop the insanity.

What sweater is planned for this lovely stuff?  Grettir!  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I’ve been wanting a fair isle type project but just don’t have the patience for tiny yarn right now.  This Shelter yarn is super nice.  Granted I’ve not worked it yet, but petting it has been super.  My colorway is the gray one shown on the man sweater.  Simple and classic.

Want to see what I did with a bunch of apricots and cherries that came my way via the asian greengrocer?  Are you guessing jam?  Pysch!  It’s an apricot tart.  The recipe is here and is wonderful.  The tart dough is flaky, innovative and easy and you don’t need a rolling pin so try it!  You’ll thank me.