Not totally lazy

I think I’m looking at a spot on the kitchen floor wondering where it came from…

Sleeve tuck detail – couldn’t get good pics this day.

I’ve been on an medical leave since March when I had my knee “fixed”.  I’m using quotes because as any of you know who’ve been there, there is no fixed.  So long story short, I now have different pain from before, but pain is pain.  At least I have hope I will continue to get better since things have slowly been feeling better.  To that end I think my doc will cut me loose at my next appointment in about a week, so I can work.  Not a tragedy, it’s time.

To that impending event I thought I’d better get the lead out and finish a dress I’d started months ago and is laying around the dining room table that is my sewing space.  Literally months – like Januaryish!  Maybe February.  Still, pretty lame.  The dress is Cardamome from Deer & Doe and when I initially cut it out I thought the 3/4 sleeves would be grand.  Cut to June and blazing heat and 3/4 sleeves in a polyester crepe de chine sounds like a recipe for heatstroke.  Luckily I had lots of material and drafted a short sleeve, added 2″ of fullness and made it 3″ long.  I tried shirring the fullness into the armband but it looked dorky so I just made one big pleat and it gives the sleeve a kind of retro 40s shape.

Overexposed to try to show the yoke.

The dress itself is the Cardamome with the waistband variation (as opposed to the elastic shirred waist) and I left off the collar so I’ve just got a band collar.  The dress has a curved yoke that wasn’t super easy to do in polyester but not impossible.  There is a button front at the yoke and a side zipper to get the thing on plus pockets!  Pockets are a must.  It’s a super comfortable dress, mine is a smidge loose since that’s how I like it and it’s already been worn and washed since it was finally finished.

Now I better see where I put all my work stuff, out of sight out of mind.

Gray ginger

Well they fit, I’ll say that.

For a while there I was starting many sewing and knitting projects and then flitting off on another tangent.  I still need to finish a few more things to get the sewing deck cleared, but these Ginger Jeans are done!

I’d bought this bottom weight cotton stretch fabric at Joann(?) ages ago and couldn’t remember what I’d planned for it.  Well Ginger Jeans are always a good idea since I’ve got that pattern pretty well tweaked to my arse.  As you can see they do fit well and are pretty easy to sew up.  The only problem with these is the crap fabric.  The reverse of the fabric is light colored and in a few places the top stitching created a pull that shows up on the right side as a white line.  Argh.  I have played with different types of needles for the top stitching to stop this horror.  I then used a black sharpie to color in the white lines so they don’t show, at least now before laundering.

Side on.

The inside of these trousers are made from some floral cotton I’d had leftover from a skirt and honestly this is my favorite part of these.  My overall sewing of these is not of the highest quality since I didn’t like the fabric’s behavior and don’t know if they’ll get worn much.  I guess I’ll have to see if anyone likes them and if the crap fabric wears at all well.

Luckily I have a nice piece of denim to make a real pair of Gingers once I finish a couple more sewing projects that are cut and waiting.  But no more new projects until something else gets finished.  Pinky swear.

The pretty floral inside.

Custom Nautical

NO thought given to pattern placement.

I’ve completed another blouse to test out the fit of the Bootstrap Fashion custom pattern concept.  I hope you can see that the fit is quite good from my rather bad photos.  The back shot shows wrinkles because I’m standing funny, but the fit is better in the back since I tweaked one or two of the measurements I put in.

The pattern I chose was a fitted woven blouse with short sleeves.  I’d assumed the lace shown in the drawing was an applique, but rather oddly one is asked to cut some 2″ lace and sew it to the edge you finish.  What that meant pattern wise was that the front yoke and sleeve had a whole bit missing where lace would go.  As I’d not wanted lace I just made new patterns for the front yoke and sleeve, both with mediocre success.  I kind of had to guess on the sleeve width since you aren’t given any measurement for the length of lace you’d supposedly add, and the front yoke should really be redrafted with a front facing piece.  My yoke is a smidge too long making it not lay flat against my clavicle and my sleeve curves are guesses.

The body of the blouse fits will and doesn’t gap at the bust or pull across the shoulders.  I would like to peruse the Bootstrap patterns and try another woven blouse with sleeves to test the fit of their sleeve pattern instead of my guess.  So far my Bootstrap Fashion experiment has been positive, but would be leery about a very complicated sew since the instructions are quite brief.  They make Burda look excessively wordy.

So a good fit on this test blouse made from cotton from the stash.  I shall try another Bootstrap Fashion style to get a handle on their sleeve fit.  Stash diving ahead!  Happy long weekend.

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…