It’s gotta be spring, right?

Seriously adorable, no?

Maybe because I’m no fan of winter I’m easing myself into spring.  It’s still raining around here (which is needed and good) but it’s starting to feel a little – Portland-y.  So to kick the gray skies around a bit I opted to knit up an adorable baby hat bunny-style.

The pattern is Bunny Hat with Chin Ties by the fabulous Grumperina.  The pattern is well written and sound.  I just followed the pattern and it came out the right size (helpful schematic measurements provided by the pattern) and freaking sweet beyond measure.  The color is a cross between pink and purple and the yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK,  Catchy name that.  The yarn is lovely and soft and perfect for baby’s heads.  Doesn’t it just scream spring and Easter candy?  Or TJ Gummy  Tummy Penguins in my case.

I knit this in a couple of days, not knitting too diligently and on dpns.  That’s a good travel project by my definition, though ironically I knit this one all at home.  I’ll send it off to the baby momma along with some chocs for her boys to get them all sugared up from afar.  Friends like that…

Dotty fail

The shar pei of Morris Blazers.

Well that’s an underwhelming result.  This is the Morris Blazer from Grainline made in a knit that is obviously not the right fabric.  My knit was not stable enough and I had to fight with the facings to get them in.  I interfaced all the facings with fusible knit but that made them too stable to work with the uninterfaced fabric.  What I got was all those droopy wrinkles.

The pattern itself is not to blame, it’s all down to fabric choice.  The pattern recommends a stable knit or a stretch woven.  I may try this again in a stretch cotton sateen that I’ve got stashed to see if I can make this a success.  There are several cute versions online, so this is just probably down to inappropriate fabric.  Luckily the fabric was fairly cheap from Joann with a 40% coupon, but I can’t help thinking I should have used this fabric for a Linden Sweatshirt since I like that pattern very much.  Alas, live and learn.  Onwards.

Slow sewing, is that a thing?

I got up at 3am for work, so this really isn’t too hideous a look.

Hi All!  I hope the holidays were good for all and I’m sure, like me, glad to get back to things.  Not much crafting was done, lots of baking and candy making though.  It’s not Christmas without caramels!

But now on to some sewing.  One of my favorite ways to sew is to watch football and sew.  My machines face the TV across the room and the start and stop action of football almost begs that you do something else while the play.  Now I have no special fondness for the teams currently playing in the post season and this year we in the San Francisco area have been inflicted with the Super Bowl.  I know of no one who thinks hosting this drunken boondoggle is a good idea and in fact they’ve already begun closing whole swathes of SF to prepare the stages and NFL village stuff.  Personally, I’ve made sure I’m not working until this mess is over since the traffic will be a nightmare.  That gives me time to sew, right!

Currently I’m making Grainline’s Morris Blazer.  This is a cute little unlined jacket and if I can get the fit right, will make about a million of them.  My night shots of a black garment aren’t great but I’m using an odd knit fabric that is two layers of poly knit that have tiny dots on the right side and stripes on the wrong.  I like the dots, but the stripes are pretty cool.  My results with Grainline patterns have been mixed.  I could never get the Scout Tee to work for me, but the Linden sweatshirt is great.  The Morris blazer seems to be a bit tight over my back and biceps, not unwearable since it’s a knit but enough to make me consider altering the pattern a smidge.  I shall have a better idea when I’ve finished the garment.  I may make it up again in some stretch woven to see if it’s just my fabric.

The pattern itself is a breeze and the instructions are very thorough.  I was able to cut it out and sew up the body (without facings) in just a few hours.  A good project for advanced beginner skills to give you confidence.

Now I’m off to NY where it’s cold, but I don’t have to stay too long.  Stay warm peeps.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Fave Top with weird fabric.

Hello friends and Happy Thanksgiving if that’s a holiday you’re celebrating.  I’m lucky enough not to be working today and have been making desserts for the meal later today.  I made a pecan pie (with chocolate – Lindt chocolate of course) and a pumpkin cheesecake.  I’d link to pictures but  A.  I didn’t take any, and B. Flickr keeps changing their interface and it’s getting quite cumbersome for me to figure out how to get the info to embed an image here.  Well you know what pie looks like, and mine looks like that.  Both recipes are new to me so if they’re uber delish I’ll post them. Otherwise.

I’ve got a quick top to share.  This is Tessuti Our Fave Top and is one of their free patterns.  It was well drafted and sewn on the serger and using a twin needle for hems and edges.  So it took no time to sew.  It is essentially a big rectangle with sleeves and droopy sides.  Good for running around the house and good for just freaking making something!

The fabric is a mystery knit from one of those fabric stores in the NYC fabric district that is constantly “Going Out of Business”.  It was raining and I ducked in and one of the ladies working there was HI–larious.  This place was STUFFED with fabric all on big rolls just leaning everywhere.  You couldn’t see the stock in the back of the piles if you wanted to.  WTF?  I did buy this striped knit (hello glitter stripes) and some heavy slinky black knit for almost nothing (cash price – HA!) and moseyed on down to Broadway and B&J Fabrics which couldn’t be better organized if they wanted to.  B&J had the wool I wanted for another Tessuti jacket pattern, but alas haven’t had time to do more than stick the pattern together.  Soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving or Thursday as the case may be!

P.s.  Sorry for the crap photo, my iPhone seems to want to focus on the framed photo of me as a high school senior on the sideboard, rather than me as a live person who owns the freaking phone.  (Shakes fist).

Sewing sweaters

Hanging out in the corner.

Every month at work I’m on call 3 days and 99% of the time I get assigned a trip immediately and life goes on.  Today I have no trip assigned and am mooching around the house just standing by.  I can’t really do much since I could be called in and don’t want to get the call in the middle of something.  Thanks to this, I have time to finish a few projects.  Today I finished this Linden Sweatshirt that I’d cut out a few weeks ago.

Print placement.

Linden Sweatshirt pattern is from Grainline Studio and is a raglan top with sleeve and hemline variations.  The pattern is super easy and I sewed it up using my serger – super quick!

The fabric I wanted to use is some Italian merino wool sweater knit I picked up at Mood last spring and has been aging in the stash.  I’m sure I had a plan when I bought this fabric because it was a bit expensive (for me) but can’t for the life of me remember what the plan was.  After much agonizing on how to best use this fabric, I decided on Linden.  Adding to my indecision was the fabric has big/little print going on, so pattern placement had to thought through.  I ended up placing the smaller print at the top and bigger at the bottom, much like real life.

The only pattern alterations I made were to make the top more A-line since I find Grainline patterns more straight up and down than I am.  My fabric spread a bit when cut and I found the neckband pattern piece to be too small so I used my usual method of neckband calculation of measuring the neckband (26″ in my case) and made my neckband 85% of that (22″ here) add a bit for seam allowance and made mine 2.5″ wide.  The other change I made was to skip the twin needle stitch down of the neck and sleeve bands since my merino fabric is so well behaved and sometimes twin needling makes thinks wobbly.  So it was good enough.

Another sweater for my closet and lots more stash to work through.

A better look at the color in natural light.

Gray roots

It’s actually quite warm and sunny for these shots, so that’s why I forgot I had on sunglasses and why I didn’t wait to take a “good one”. It’s way too warm for this sweater today!

I actually need to do a root touch up, but I digress.  I started this Grettir in August and now she’s done.  Uh, what?  August 2014!?!  What!  14 months for a worsted weight sweater?  I’m going to get my needles yanked at this pace.

Well  obviously I let this one age for about a year, because even with a full time job and a million people nagging my ass for stuff it should only take a few weeks to make this sweater.  So don’t be put off by the lapse of time here.

Now for details.  The pattern is Grettir by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.  The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and I chose to knit the gray colorway shown in the pattern for the male version.  I love gray!  Just not on my roots, natch.  The pattern is exceedingly well written and it taught me a new and much superior way for a tubular cast on.  Why is this way not in Montse Stanley (my resident book guru)?  I made no modifications, knit as writ and it worked out well.  Note:  when I went to Am*zon to get a book link I saw that this wonderful book is available used for $0.38!!  I may buy another just because!

The wool is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and I used Soot (MC), Cast Iron, Sweatshirt and Snowbound.  I enjoyed knitting with this yarn, it had a bit of spring on my needles, very little vegetative matter or knots and beautiful coloring.  I will certainly be using this yarn again.  I have no problem wearing this knitted fabric next to my skin, but that’s a personal decision.  That said, it’s not been below 70 degrees since I finished this sweater and there is no way I’ll need this around these hot parts for weeks so we shall see if that changes.

So for those interested in a well written pattern for and Icelandic yoke sweater, keep this one in mind.  And because you don’t ever get to see my garage on the blog, I took some shots out there for giggles.  You’re welcome.

Among the detritus trying to look like a car show model – not! Xmas tree upper left on shelf btw…

Sutton Lawn

Side view for split hem detail. Frontal scrubs look.

Wasn’t it Britney Spears who said those immortal words “oops I did it again”?  Well this blouse is kind of like that.

I’ve made another Sutton Blouse because I could.  I had this cotton lawn stashed, and the pattern was still out on the table so I thought why not?  I like the first one, it’s like a tee only different.  But easy.

So True Bias Sutton Blouse, cotton lawn from Stonemountain and Daughter and no pattern modifications.  Just made it up slowly and today I finally got sick of looking at the unhemmed blouse and hemmed it.  It took no time at all and it’s a good day to wear it since it’s freaking hot.

Any cons to this pattern?  Well I took more care with the neck staystitching since it tends to gap  a bit (it’s bias grainline) so I staystitched and machine eased a bit (that’s when you put a finger behind the feed dogs and accordion up the fabric to make it a touch smaller – just a bit though).  The neck is less gappy here in cotton than in the poly crepe of the last version, both are fine but I’m just nitpicking my technique.

Although I think this floral version is a bit “scrubs” but I still like it.  This fabric is dreamy to wear and I’ve got a few more fabrics stashed that would make nice Suttons.

Made Up Sutton Ave. with REAL Unicorns

It took a while to find a wall to coordinate with the unicorns, but I did it.

When I was a kid I lived on Sutton Avenue.  Here is True Bias’s Sutton Blouse.  While Sutton Avenue was a fine place, it didn’t have unicorns so I made the upgrade for Sutton Blouse.  As one does.

Here is my humble addition to Karen’s Made Up Initiative whereby sewists can pledge money for literacy and make a sewing intention to complete before September 10(?) with fabulous prizes as a further incentive.  I chose something super duper easy to make in this Sutton Blouse pattern.  I didn’t have to make a muslin, or fit it until the cows come home.  I don’t really have that kind of time or concentration right now, but I can make a pull over blouse.  Easy!

I found the unicorn fabric at Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley and HAD to have it.  It doesn’t really look weird from a distance, it just looks like prancing horses (a la Ralph Lauren) but it you take a second glance you notice it’s unicorns.  And it’s freaking funny and comes in various colorways.  The fabric itself is a polyester crepe that was easy to work with and pressed pretty darn well.  Quality unicorns.

The Sutton Blouse pattern is pretty much perfect.  It’s easy to make, looks good and is wearable.  I’ve even started another version in cotton lawn, and I never do that.  French seams throughout (except for side seams – serged those) and great instructions for new sewists.  You can make this in one day if you’re that motivated, or it’s easy to stop and start over a matter of days without losing your place (my method if I’m honest).

So good for Karen to raise some money for literacy and for jump starting my sewing machine.  Check out Karen’s blog for more information. #MadeUpmade-up-blog-button-ii

 

Not much

Mango peach jam!

Not much describes the crafting I’ve done this month.  Honestly, it’s been a horrible month because my mom’s health has worsened significantly.  I do the bulk of the care work and between working my “real” job and that, my “life” has fallen to the wayside.  Now, I don’t plan on this continuing for too long since I deserve better, but for now the fun bits are curtailed.  Not gone, but diminished.

That depressing shit doesn’t mean I can’t make jam.  Here is some peach/mango jam that begged to be made with a peach needed to be used.  The mango just happened to be on sale at the grocery and this union was born.  It’s good too! (2 peaches, one mango = 1lb).

I hope to at least finish some knitting projects soon (hello – baby blanket for a two month old!!!!) that really are quite close to done.  Be well.

Checks and such

All done!

Finishing touches have been applied to my gingham top and matching zipper procured.  For this particular make I’d bought some gingham from Fabrix when I should have been elsewhere, doing something else.  But, as happens, when you put a fabric store next to several of my favorite dim sum bakeries, chaos ensues and gingham is bought with a pork bun side.

After buying the gingham I was at a loss as to what to make out of it that didn’t look too little girl or “guess who repurposed a tablecloth?”  I finally decided to to troll through the really old copies of Burda World of Fashion I have in my garage.  These date back to times when the pattern sheets were not totally crammed with patterns and tracing off was much easier.  I also wanted to justify keeping a couple dozen copies of old pattern magazines.

So after much looking and dithering I decided on a simple shell.  This one is from 3/1999 #117.  I only added 2″ to the length of the body, other than that I made it as writ.  Nothing too outlandish, princess seams, small bust darts and a one piece neck/armhole facing with a back invisible zipper.  I didn’t follow the directions (which were as brief then as they are today) but this was pretty darn straight forward.

I’m glad I looked through the old patterns (1999-2002ish) since there are a lot of good basic shapes in there and if high waist pants reemerge, I’ve got a collection of patterns from which to choose.  There were also many good skirts, blouses and dresses as well as my love of old – coats!  Too hot to think about coats right now though.  Happy 1999!