Shirt scared no more

Not angry, just keeping an eye on the bees buzzing around my flowered shirt.

I’ve been working on this classic tailored shirt for was seems like EVER.  I made this blouse (Simplicity 2339) as my pattern in the Craftsy class “The Classic Tailored Shirt” taught by Pam Howard.  Note:  I am in no way affiliated with Craftsy (no shit right).  I loved this class!  Pam rocks.  I have never been comfortable sewing collars so when Craftsy had a sale I bought this class.  Pam walks you though every step and before you know it, you’re done!  She even talked me into hand sewing!  You know I hate hand sewing!  There I was, happily sewing collar and cuffs closed with a needle and thread.  That woman is good!  She also has you flat fell seams, top stitch till the cows come home and even shows you how to space buttons properly.  Soup to nuts.

The sewing on this shirt is great.  The fit is not.  I didn’t devote any thought to fit since I just wanted to work on technique.  The pattern I used had 1″ side seam allowances so I hoped I could fudge through ok, and ok is what I got.  I used some quilting cotton that I had stashed and didn’t quite have enough so the cuff facings and sleeve plackets are grey dotted and are quite cute.

I worked through this project over the last few weeks in little spurts of time.  That actually works well with the Craftsy class setup since they break down each concept into a separate lesson.  I always knew where I’d left off because the class remembers where you are.

Now I’d like to make another shirt with better fit.  I’ve got some cotton voile stashed that may just be enough yardage.  If not, perhaps a trip to the fabric store…

If you’re at all interested in sewing and if Craftsy is having a sale you have my hearty endorsement of this class.

Fit is kind of wonky, but the cup size I chose was spot on!

Odd sewing notions

Working on front plackets. Don’t you love the word “placket”?

What does that mean?  Do I use odd things to help me sew?  Do I have weird ideas about my sewing hobby?  Well yes to both.  But in this case I needed a trip to Radio Shack to help me sew this blouse.

Yes, Radio Shack.

I’m taking a Craftsy class (The Classic Tailored Shirt – which is awesome btw) and have been really annoyed having to watch them on my laptop when there’s a perfectly good TV sitting across the room which does nothing (except for watching the stinky 49ers).  I sew across the room from the TV at the table but I can’t watch Craftsy classes on the TV because it’s not that high end fancy schmancy.

So today I finally articulated the thought of “why not connect the laptop to the TV and watch that way?”  With a bit of searching I found I only needed an adapter for my laptop (it doesn’t have an HDMI port for those that know what that could possibly be) which is found at, you guessed it, Radio Shack.

I went out and bought the gizmo, plugged in the the laptop to the TV and bob’s-your-uncle it worked with no fuss at all.  I hunkered down and watched Instructor Pam Howard (who is also awesome) and sewed along.  I’m a shirt making machine!  It is so much easier watching those Craftsy classes while sewing along.  I’ve actually bought a few of them and just haven’t had time to watch them, but now I can watch and sew concurrently.

What does this jerry-rigged setup look like.  Well here’s the set up below.  My laptop is sitting on a little stool at the left side of the TV stand plugged in via HDMI cable (and adapter) and it’s working a treat.  Tomorrow is sleeve day!

Ignore the dusty shelf – I’ll get around to that later. And the screen can be maximized to show just the class video and not the desktop.

Dress garden

I expect everyone to notice the matching piping!

Here I am strolling in the yard in my dress.  Is it new?  Well thanks for asking, yes it is.  How do I have time to make a dress with officially the worst work schedule in the world?  I sewed this up in record slow time in chunks of 15 minutes here and there.  Turns out that’s doable!

What you see here is Simplicity 1882 in the “Amazing Fit” series.  Since I totally ignore the pattern sewing instructions, for me this means you can choose your cup size in the bodice and amount of “curve” in the ass-al region.  The fabric I used is some lovely Kokka cotton bought on sale at Stonemountain.  The contrast is quilting cotton that matched so freakishly well I had to use it.

I had to be patient and sew this up in small chunks of time, but I also used my patience to baste the piping at matching areas so the piping matches everywhere.  Of course it would have been easier to match the piping if I hadn’t sewed it in like a stupidhead.  Instead of sewing in each line of piping in one long strip, I sewed it onto the fronts and backs separately so I had to match it up at the side seams.  There was a reason for this, sort of.  I was more interested in getting the top and yoke to fit properly and kind of just ignored the piping situation.  Well that gave me lots of practice in matching seams, let me tell you.  There was much ripping.  Yes, I took lots of pics of matching seams so that’s what those are about.

The only major change I made was to shorten the skirt 2″ on the pattern and to swing out the side seams as much as possible since this A-line skirt is a bit of a narrow A in my book.  Otherwise it’s a comfy, cotton dress that will wear well in my climate.

For more details for the sewing crowd, check out my review of this pattern.

Piping of love! (Ignore the wrinkles – I was standing wrong).

Socks in the ears

No better way to model a lace sock than to shove it on your hoof.

Instead of being at work this weekend, I pitched up with an ear infection that required me to go to the doc instead of the airport.  I really dislike doc visits, it’s not the doctors I dislike – it’s all the bullshit insurance fighting the one goes through if you have my wonderful insurance.  So you know it must have been bad for me to go!  Happy to report that after a day of antibiotics the vertigo is gone, along with some of the earache.  Yay head!

The good part of sick is that I’ve been able to work on Sarang Socks.  Well, sock would be more accurate.  I’m using the Sarang chart but am making my usual short row heel and toe.  I’ve ripped a fair bit to get to this spot.  I’d originally done 4 leg chart repeats and then made the heel.  That looked bad with the lace coming right on the heel.  So I ripped out the nice little heel and added one more leg chart repeat at the top of the foot and did plain stockinette round the heel side THEN made the heel.  It looks much better this way and it more comfortable for wearing.  The Sarang pattern has the heel situation all mapped out with decreases and such but since I’m not using the flap heel, trial and error (lots of error) has been necessary.

So that’s solved.  Now what can be done for the “it’s 90 degrees outside, the house is warm and I have sick malaise?”  Cookies?  Gelato?  Naps?  Naps are winning in early polling.

Actual knitting

Trust me, it’s really quite pretty.

Yes, I am attempting to knit a pair of socks.  Despite very little knitting for the past few months, I am attempting to make some socks for a friend’s birthday in September.  I know, it’s already September so hurry the F up.  Sadly the work slow down I’d hoped for has not materialized and I’m still working a ton, which means I’m usually too tired to knit.  I also broke one of my DPNs with my butt and taking these socks around the country on 3 needles instead of 4 has proven to be a challenge.

I just realized I haven’t properly introduced my sock project.  Terribly sorry.  This is Sarang knit up in Tosh Sock’s Sugarplum colorway.  I had to rip the start out about 3 or 4 times but that was all on me and my fatigue.  Nothing wrong with the pattern if you just follow it properly.  When I feel like starting the heel I’ll do my standard short row heel and toe since I’m not much of a heel flap gal, but that’s not been a secret has it?!  So far so good with the lace pattern too, it’s been a while since I’ve knit lace and it’s going well.  If you want to try this pattern out go for it.  It’s free and quite pretty, though it’s hard to tell from my not so great photo.