Well, it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been busy at my sewing machine and knitting needles! I don’t have much to say this time, but will instead give you a photo recap of what I’ve been up to.
I started off in the early spring with this cowl-necked top in a shiny poly satin, using Simplicity 3568. I made it in about 4 hours, in time to wear to an evening event! Unfortunately the shininess of the fabric just didn’t make for good photos, but here’s an ok shot (except for the goofy expression on my face):
I made another version of this top more recently in linen, and decided that what it really needed was a peacock on the right hip, so I embroidered one! Here’s the top, and close-up of the embroidery:
I took a class later in the spring at Grey’s Fabric and Notions with Ashley, where I sewed my first knit garment, the Mabel Skirt from Colette Patterns. Here’s a poorly-lit photo, but don’t worry, the skirt will make a reappearance further down in the post!
We had 2 weddings to attend in the summer, so I made the Kat dress by Grainline Studios (pattern no longer available). I lengthened the skirt by 2″, and added width to the center back pieces. The PDF pattern pages didn’t quite align at the arrows, so I did my best, but found that my solution resulted in the panels of the skirt hem not quite lining up. I was glad that I walked the tissue pieces before cutting the fabric! (I suspect this may be part of the reason the pattern was pulled from the Grainline Studios store). The fabrics are cotton sateens from Jo-Ann’s. Here’s the dress being worn at the second wedding, which took place at a horse farm (complete with horse-and-buggy rides for the guests)!
I had bought a second pattern from Colette, the Oolong dress. This one caused me lots of trouble, mostly due to my fabric choice. The pattern calls for very lightweight fabrics like voile. I went up a notch in weight, using something more like broadcloth (the dotted fabric was one of my alternative options for the skirt hem for the Kat dress). The bias-cut dress is supposed to slip on, but I could barely get it on and off. The pink broadcloth of the skirt turned out to be far more transparent than I was comfortable with, so I decide to make only a half-lining (instead of a full one), and to stitch the skirt lining to the waist seam allowance. That basically killed the dress, as the extra stitching in the seam allowance destroyed any remaining elasticity at the waist. So I opened the side seam and inserted a zipper, which meant I couldn’t add the sleeves. Oh well, I got something wearable, and learned not to mess with Colette’s fabric recommendations, since they rely on the fabric properties rather than construction to make the patterns work with “beginner” level sewing. Here’s another badly-lit photo (but this dress will also make a reappearance further on):
And this outfit is one that I barely recall making. The skirt was made about a year ago, converting the pencil skirt of my favorite Vogue 8766 pattern to an A-line shape. The top is Colette’s Sorbetto tank, to which I appliqued a flower cut from a piece of the skirt lace fabric.
And here’s my current sewing WIP, which needs only the buttons (marked by pins in the photo). I haven’t quite mastered the one-step buttonhole feature on the sewing machine, and may end up making the buttonholes by hand. The pattern is 8619 from Burda, which worked off the bat. I made the body hem much narrower than called for, because I liked the extra length. Consequently, I had to let out the side seams to allow room over the hips. I also spliced the sleeve extension of “view B” to the 3/4 sleeve of “view A” (and added 1″) in hopes of getting a proper long sleeve. I ended up with something just shy of wrist-length. Next time I’ll add another 1″. Otherwise, everything else worked perfectly! I only wish they had warned you to finish the facings’ inner raw edges before attaching the facings to the jacket. I used bias tape to bind the raw edges, because I had few options by that point. The fabric, on the other hand, was a bit of a disaster. I had purchased it online last December, in hopes of making pants. It was called a suiting fabric with 5% spandex. Well, it has all the instability of a knit fabric, with all the fraying of a woven. The worst of both worlds! The fabric actually irreparably warped and stretched in some spots during construction (especially the sleeve hems), which I’m not pleased about. But this will still be wearable for casual purposes.
I made two patterns from Tanja Luescher, Gemma’s Cowl
and Thunder and Lightning shawl:
(And there’s the Oolong dress again!).
I made a very quick baby sweater for a friend’s kid, using bulky yarn, and taking the dimensions from a 1970s Woman’s Day pattern magazine:
And then there’s a surprise design coming at the end of the month in Holla Knits. But it won’t be too much of a surprise to readers here, because it’ll revisit something that’s been featured in a previous post. I won’t give away too much more, but here’s a sneak preview:
That’s all for now. I’d love to hear what your spring/ summer projects have been!
More details on the Holla Knits design coming soon– the release is scheduled for Oct. 26th!