Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Knitting some fingerless mitts!

Cooler temperatures have arrived here in Michigan, and I needed a warm pair of fingerless mitts. I found this free pattern on Ravelry, and cast on, using the Kathmandu Aran yarn from the Queensland Collection and size 6 DPNs. This yarn is a plied worsted of 85% wool, 10% silk and 5% cashmere, and a bit 'rustic' in nature. So yummy, and exactly what I wanted.


The color is actually a tweedy lavender/cream, shown below with the last rose of summer:


The only modification that I made to the pattern was to add 3 more rounds to the thumb to make it a bit longer. 
I would recommend this pattern as it is easy to follow, knits up quickly and has that cool looking cable running up the top of the hand :-)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simplicity 2648...and an Amazing Fit!

Simplicity 2648 is an Amazing Fit pattern, which has different bodice pattern pieces for cup sizes A-B-C-D along with adjustments for "slim, average and curvy fit".



If you read my last post, you will already know that I am excited about these options that the pattern companies are providing the home sewist. I think with these options, along with a lot of trial and error over my last few years of sewing, that I've finally figured out how to obtain a much better fit with my garment sewing.



The fabric I used for this unlined sheath dress was a 
heathered gray ponte knit from FabricMart that I purchased online in June, 2011.
I have several of the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns, but hadn't yet actually used one. When I picked this dress pattern to sew up, I decided to follow the directions as written. That meant cutting larger seam allowances, and basting(!) seams for fitting, then removing the basting, taking apart the dress and resewing. This process is in place of making a muslin or test garment first, and really worked well! 
It also means slower sewing with more attention to measuring, cutting, construction and detail, and I find I am enjoying myself and the finished project much more. 
Though I do remember those days in my 20s when I could sew a pattern straight out of the envelope....purchase the pattern and fabric one day, and wear it the next!
Some projects still allow for that kind of quick turn around, and that can be fun too. 
I'm never bored with my sewing, that is for sure ;-) 

On to the pics...a little too windy today in Michigan to take outside:

with the silk scarf I picked up in Paris:



The vintage buttons on the tab at the waist were a birthday gift from a good friend:



Cute pleated sleeve detail, with a self-hemmed, bias sleeve band:



No zipper necessary with this fabric:



A small walking pleat is always appreciated in a sheath dress:


Wow, this dress looks purple now, taken outside with IPhone on a cloudy day:





So silly...........



Finally, I thought you might be amused by how I audition fabric for my next project(s). And it maintains my dress forms' modesty :-)!






Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Make a Garment a Month: my garment for Oct. 2013: Very Easy Vogue 8764


Vogue 8764 is a Custom Fit pattern by Vogue, which includes bodice patterns for bust cup sizes A-B-C-D. I am SO glad that the pattern companies are making the effort to produce more patterns like this.....it makes this dressmaker's alterations so much easier! I did still need to make my usual changes tho: broad back, lengthen the bodice by 1 inch above the dart, sway back....along with a little extra room from the waist down. With this pattern, making the broad back adjustment made the the shoulder seam fall off a bit, which I corrected by placing a small dart at the back shoulder seam.  This is a great pattern to get that perfect fit, since there are bust darts, back darts, front and back seams along with the horizontal seam at the raised waist. Many sewing bloggers have made this a TNT (tried-n-true) that they return to often, and I can see why.



My fabric was an oh-so-soft lightweight double knit:

                                                             
                           










I elected not to line this one, as it was a test garment for this pattern. Using Carolyn's suggestion, I serged the neckline, turned and topstitched.


I'm calling this my Plain Jane dress...it just lacks a little oomph, and I'm at a loss on how to accessorize it. I ended up wearing it to work today with a different necklace which looks better, I think.






Love the small dart at the elbow:





Next up: this same pattern again using a very large houndstooth knit purchased at the Novi Sewing Expo a year or two ago:


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pillowcases for Rhonda's 900 Pillowcases Project

Fellow blogger Rhonda has a project going on to donate 900 pillowcases to the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Washington State. You can click here to see her first post from back in March introducing her project.
Here it is October, and I finally got a chance to participate! I had the most fun pulling novelty fabrics to make some pillowcases to send to Rhonda. Reaching back into my stash I found some leftover Little League Baseball fabric from *too many* years ago when my sons were playing Little League.....for several years I made donation quilts for the LL to raffle off as a fundraiser.  Then there is the fishy batik from the Hawaiian shirts that I made for my husband and the boys to wear to the elementary school (!) luau. 
Not quite sure how the bowling fabric got into the stash....but it turned out to be Rhonda's favorite!


Pay a visit to Rhonda's blog to read more about the 900 Pillowcases Project, and see pics of my donated pillowcases hanging on the clothesline :-)


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Go Blue!


Can you tell we made a trip to Ann Arbor this week to visit our son Matthew?
Wish I could buy flowers like this every weekend ;-)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Circle baby quilt/playmat, chevron table runner: finished!

This baby quilt was another
 project that was finished last week, and was gifted at Saturday's baby shower. I should have put an object near the quilt in the photo to reference the size! This photo looks like it could be a coaster LOL. In reality, it is about 55" wide :-)



The Halloween table runner was finished also...
loving the chevrons :-)



And the Halloween quilt from my quilt guild block exchange is hung! 



Like I said in the previous post, lots of time was spent hand-sewing binding last weekend! Good thing there is a lot of great sports to watch right now: the Detroit Tigers are contending for the World Series, the Univ. of Mich Wolverines are playing on Saturdays, and if there is nothing else to do on Sunday I'll watch the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Bears or the New England Patriots.

What's next?.......pillowcases!