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!


There has been a bit of sewing around here!  I know, finally she gets off her ass and makes something.  I’ve seriously lost my momentum so hopefully this latest make will help my mojo.

That said, my top is not done for lack of an appropriate zipper.  I had no light colored zips in the zip box!  Crikey, so instead of finishing my top I made zucchini bread.

I know, zucchini bread is trial and scourge upon humanity.  I like it, so bwah!  Now I don’t have a garden and don’t grow stupid amounts of it, but I did buy some young zuchs at the farm stand and used those.  I used this Zucchini Bread recipe which is all about cinnamon.  Plus you get to squeeze the liquid out of your shredded zucchini and that’s fun.  Really.

Hopefully I’ll get my top finished soon.  I’d thought to bring it to work on the 4th of July since I was scheduled to go to Honolulu, but fortunately for me I was able to get rid of the trip.  Sure I’ll have to pick up another one, but I so hate working holidays.  So now I’ve got a summery top almost done and no place to wear it.  Except for here I guess, where it’s been about 90 for days!  Stay cool friends!


I just came back from a few days in Copenhagen and have nothing to show for it except jet lag and tight waistbands from eating all the pastries I could find.  As you do.  Oh and clogs ’cause I ran over to Sweden one day.

So hopefully I’ll finish my baby blanket before the little girl hits college (only 8″ to go really) and I’ve got two sweaters and two pairs of socks started.  I’d like to sew something too but have no clue what to make.  Every time I decide on a project I rethink it.  I guess that means hold your horses until you get a clear idea.  Or the jet lag clears.

So back to work to pay for all the fun.

Skirting around the issue

The last time I went fabric shopping in NYC I bought some black stretch denim in a light medium weight to make a jeans skirt.  That would plug a little hole in my wardrobe and be fairly easy to make up.

Why then did I just use that fabric for jeans?  Not a jeans skirt, just jeans?  I guess I’d seen one to many versions of Ginger Jeans  from Closet Case Patterns popping up around the web.  I actually have well fitting rtw jeans available from Levi, but I must have been caught up in the enthusiasm.

I downloaded the Ginger Jeans pattern, taped it together and made some adjustments to accommodate the curves and had at it.  I’ve made fly front pants before so that wasn’t a problem, I was leery of the topstitching.  But that turned out to be fine too.  It just needed a bit of machine tweaking to get the stitch tension working and voila!

So a pretty straight forward make.  I had to take two little darts in the yoke back to get the waistband to lay flat above the wagon I’m dragin’ (which is an adjustment I’ve since made to my pattern as shown by those illustrative red lines below).  The pockets and waistband facing are made from leftover aloha dress fabric and the topstitching is purple.  So a pretty sedate pair of black jeans, not too heavy which will be good for packing.

I finished them and promptly wore them to the dentist to get a broken tooth seen to.  My dentist is on vacation this week and I am on vacation next week and didn’t want to swan around too long with my snaggle molar, so temporary fix and a crown in my future according to my borrowed dentist.  And much more work to pay for the darn thing!  So black jeans and dental work here on the blog.  I’m not sure where I’ll go next week, but I’ll be wearing my comfy new Ginger Jeans!