Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I'm on the make

There has been a sewing frenzy going on around here. Snowed in, still! Yes the rest of North America and places beyond, we are due for another 30 cm tonight and into tomorrow. Sniff a daffodil for me. I digress. It is good weather for sewing in. I've saved up little shopping errands for elastic or buttons and when I have about five things I need, I have headed to Fabricville or Patch

This is the back of Steve's shirt "Walden, a Collette Pattern" (http://www.coletterie.com/) that I showed earlier. The fabric is a royal blue and white twill, lots of itty bitty raveling at the seams. I really botched up the button holes. Steve is only allowed to wear the back of the shirt, he'll have to put a paper bag over the front. I also messed up the cuff plaquard thingy, it is on the front of one of the sleeves instead of behind. He isn't allowed to use that arm all day when he's wearing the shirt.

Same shirt as above in a white background with browny/black lines.

I paid super attention to the cuff thingys and they are in the right places. I also read the instructions for a curved felled seam several times and tried it out on scrap fabric. I checked twice to make sure the correct sleeve was going into the correct shoulder. All's good until Steve tries on the shirt and we realize I have sewed the right sleeve on inside out. Luckily, this was correctable without ruining anything, except my nerves.

I changed up some of the small details and added a white/black stripe.

The button holes still need to go in, but I am saving that for a day when my nerves are steeled. Or stealed. Or stolen.

For a break between shirt details, I pulled out a 1940's apron pattern. A friend bought it from Calico Cat Quilting Books and Patterns
I wanted an apron that comes up high in the front, because the more I age, the more food goes down the front of my shirt. This should block all that spillage nicely.

The back strap keeps the shoulders from slipping and the wrap around section doesn't flap about. I like it quite a lot. I do not love this pattern's instructions or tissue pattern. There aren't any images to help you make sure the correct piece is being sewn to the correct piece. Maybe I am terrible at reading patterns, but the tissue parts made it look like the small curved piece on the back joined the front shoulders. They don't. Rip and repeat. I am glad the apron fits so well, because I never did figure out how they wanted to tie to work. There is only one tie to cut out, but two ties to tie with and where do they go?. I hope to do this pattern again, but I will redraft the tissues and write the instructions out for myself with photos and file them away to make some more for when I get even older and the nurses refuse to dress me in anything other than aprons and bibs.

In the fall I made a brown jumper (for the Brits, that means a sleeveless dress worn over shirts or sweaters) and it is pretty itchy. I scratched my way into deciding I needed a slip. Last button trip to Fabricville, I purchased a half metre of this silk rayon and a shiny biased tape. No pattern, just one seam, one hem and one elastic band and it is all done.

This magazine page has been in my knitting stash for ages and ages. I finally had the right yarns and pulled it out. Naturally, the instructions were missing. (Lily Chin designer, Knitters Magazine 2000)

I decided to just wing it and see what would happen. Lily Chin has either a double seed stitch or a basket weave pattern going on in the dark black. I used stocking stitch because I get a looser tension that way.

It is meant to be worn with an undershirt of some kind so the wide open neck doesn't bother me. I edged the sleeves with the black merino/alpaca blend but left the collar and hips alone.

I did have to knit the dark black section twice. The pattern relies on a loose gauge and once I switched to straight needles for the armholes, everything tightened up. Since it knit up quickly, I decided to rip out the black bit and do it again on larger circular needles and then a half size up on straight needles. I knit the sleeves first to make sure there was enough yarn for those, then used what was left for the bottom section. I'm rather pleased with myself on this one.

A few years ago, I made nearly everyone a "Ditty Bag" (I have lost the pattern info and have only the instructions left) and had almost enough leftovers to make one last one. I didn't have quite enough to make it wide enough but over the past few years, I picked up a pink or two.

The people I have given these to have used it to hold knitting projects. It's good for shoes in a suitcase or other things to lug around that needs a bit of pretty. Does anyone want it? Let me know and it can be yours.

And not quite finally, I have assembled two pieces to take to Karen Ruane's day class "London Gathering" in (luckily) London, England.

I'm not sure which one I will take, they both interest me for different reasons. The first one is more of a sampler of stitches (one I stitch it) while the second one is more about figuring out how to stitch with thin fabrics. Karen is a wizard and I think can help me figure out issues with the bottom one while the upper one is less pressure for me. I'll just stitch and stitch until it is time to pack the suitcase, toss them both over my shoulder like a bride with her bouquet and the one landing closest to the suitecase goes with me.

The sewing goes on. This week I have a skirt cut out and half sewn, a shirt dress waiting to be cut and a full slip next in line. Since the flurry is inspired by Cheryl's sewing and her challenge, I will have to get her to send some images to post here. There's an idea. She is going mad getting ready for two fundraisers and shoveling snow. I am sure she has enough time to write a guest post. I'll go bug her now.

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