Tee for me

Not bad fit.

After reading about Bootstrap Fashion on Novita’s blog I thought I’d give them a try.  This site offers patterns that can be customized to your measurements and then you print it out and sew it up.  Potentially no tweaking the fit.  Also the majority of the patterns are about $3.  Not much to lose.

Back bow detail.

I wanted to try with a basic silhouette to see how my self measuring worked.  I chose Knit Tee with Back Bow since it was pretty straight forward, but had a cute back detail.  I added my measurements, bought the pattern which was emailed to me a few minutes later and I stuck it together and cut it out.  I sewed this up in a few hours total. The only thing to note is that the sewing instructions are pretty minimal and would be of no use to a beginner.  It would make me leery to try a more complicated pattern since the instructions don’t seem to be good.

As you can see, the fit is pretty good.  The shoulders are too narrow but I must have measured my shoulder width wrong.  I’ll go in and adjust this in my saved measurements and I want to try another pattern to see if that helps my fit.  I think a simple woven blouse would be a good test and since it’s only $3 and I use my stashed fabric, I really don’t have much to lose!  Viva technology!

Ponies and yoga

Wool skirts in summer?

The word around these parts is PT.  I am rehabbing my knee, which seems to be taking forever, but am reliably informed is the normal amount of time.  I am trying to be patient and be a good patient but it’s slow!

To that end I’ve been crafting a bit to take the place of going to work and earning money.  I’ve made tons of pj bottoms that don’t need to be documented since I’ve been making the same pair for years.  The pattern is a tracing off a pair from Old Navy that disintegrated years ago and has been made dozens of times over the years.  My latest two pairs feature flannel prints of London tourist attractions and bunnies in hot air balloons.  Serious comedy.

In the non-comedic sewing category I’ve got a cute Brooklyn skirt from Seamwork Magazine.  The fabric is lighter weight tick weave wool from Stone Mountain that has aged in the stash.  I WASHED and DRIED this fabric before sewing it up and it worked great.  I know, what a crazy idea.  I detest dry cleaning and the fabric is from the magical half price floor at Stone Mountain so I really didn’t have that much to lose by washing it.  The fabric shrunk a little but didn’t seem to mind laundering.  Win for me!  This skirt is a half-ish circle skirt with front pleat and is super easy to sew.  Seamwork instructions are very detailed if you’re not a confident sewist, but this is a four seam skirt.  Not brain surgery.  I hemmed it using some Snug Hug that I had to order online at Zipperstop (who I love btw) and had forgotten how wonderful Snug Hug is.  Rayon seam tape is the new yoga.


Yoga mats now with more ponies.

As for the old yoga, I’ve found a yoga class that I can do with my bum knee (I am one of the very few in the class who is below retirement age).  I tossed my yoga mat into the back of the Mazda and that works, but that poor mat gets all discombobulated back there with my haphazard driving.  Enter a yoga mat holder of some form gleaned from Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style.  It’s just a deep narrow shopping type bag but it does the job.  And when you make it from some trotting pony fabric it super does the job.  This bag is so easy I made it during two episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Now that’s quick.

So now you’re up to speed on my sewing recuperation.  There has been no knitting, but it has been super warm (dare I say hot lately) so no woolly mojo is being summoned.  It’s all about the Bernina.  And ankle weights, but that’s another story for another day.

Hope you’re all well!

Knee time

Small stripes make for crazy strobing in pics. Sorry!

Despite being home recovering (slowly!) from get my knee fixed and not working, I keep thinking I should be getting more done.  It seems the more time I have, the more other stuff I do, hence I’ve got two little sewing projects to share that I’ve managed to finish between PT sessions and acupuncture.

First is another Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio using some really old striped knit I picked up in NYC on a layover.  I actually remember buying it because my crew members came with me shopping because they thought it was so weird that I sewed.  I digress, the knit is a small blue stripe of a nice quality.  Linden is a pretty easy pattern that goes together quite quickly on my serger.  This version I topstitched the hem and neck edges with my twin needle to keep them down during laundering, but I find this causes the seams to ripple.  They look super nice before topstitching, then ripples.  I sometimes skip this step since I can’t figure out how to mitigate this rippling, other than buying a coverstitch machine (which would be awesome!) but since I’m not working this month, not a great idea.

The other finished success are a pair of Prefontaine Shorts as a little thanks for a friend.  This particular friend has been the recipient of a few pairs of my cotton flannel pj bottoms and wondered if I could make something cooler since she lives in LA.  Hmmm, I thought some sleep shorts may work on hot nights so I used the Prefontaine pattern I’d previously bought.  The shorts are cute and easy to make and the elastic I used at the waist is called pajama elastic and is super soft and comfy.  I bought a bit of it so I’ll use it in my next pair of flannel pjs which are waiting to be cut out.

So enough of my spring of discontent, I am indeed healing up and will hope to get back to work next month.  Isn’t it funny that I’d looked forward to a bit of a break and now I want to go back to work/normal?  Human nature is a funny thing.  Hope you’re all well!

Cotton with knit jersey binding. Hopefully sleep worthy.

Almost human

Crap photo, but you get the idea. Flowers added in BeautyPlus app.

After a busy first half of the month working tons to make up for the second half of March (and April) not working, I’ve been celebrating a birthday (in Vegas), having my knee fixed and then coming down with another nasty sinus infection in the space of a week.  Today is the second day I’ve felt normal, albeit with a limp, since mid March.  To celebrate I sewed something.

I put aside my Cardamom dress since that’s at a point that needs concentration to install the collar/stand/cuffs and chose an easy project to dip those sewing toes back into the water.  I liked Papercut Patterns new Bowline Sweater very much and thought a sweatshirt with a twist would be easy.  It was, you can probably make this in two or three hours total if you have more stamina than me (right now).  The fabric is a french terry in an olive green, medium weight with some drape.  I made the medium with no alterations and it’s plenty roomy.  The pattern and instructions were well done and I could recommend this to anyone wanting a sweatshirt with a bit of interest.

I think I’ll make another sweatshirt (since I bought a few cuts of knit fabric) and will have to decide between Grainline’s Linden Sweatshirt (a proven winner) or the Driftless Cardigan.  Or maybe I’ll go a different way after my nap.  Yes, I’ve been napping.  Recovering is hard!

Hope you’re well this beautiful spring day.daffs

Cinnamon bun cake

It smells amazing. Just cut it like a cake so you can have a bite or an embarrassing amount.

Just so I remember to make this more often, I’m sharing this Cinnamon Bun Cake that is cooling as I type.  The recipe is from Scandilicious Baking and I make it as written except always need a bit more flour and of course use the Kitchenaid mixer to make the dough. Cinnamon bun cake.

Diamonds take forever

I’m trying to show the pretty lace points. See them?

Even I got sick of looking at this almost completed scarf, and that is really saying something.  Yesterday I decided to finish this scarf I started almost two freaking years ago, basically because I’d just bought some more yarn for a new project and thought I should clear out a corner of space for the new.

I’m showing off my messy closet here.

This scarf is “A Little Romance” by Dani Berg and I used Quince Tern in color Mist.  The pattern is lovely, the yarn is fabulous and any delays were due to my flawed nature.  I made the pattern up as written, and rather strangely for me, in the yarn used in the pattern.  No changes at all.

After I decided to finish this up, it took about an hour of knitting.  Sigh.  I suck.  I immediately wove in the ends and blocked it to keep riding this wave of enthusiasm.  As you can see it’s quite nice and should not have taken almost two years.

So I’ll wear my diamond lace scarf and think about how long it takes to make diamonds in nature.  Almost as long as it takes to make diamonds at my house.

Diamonds all in a row.

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).