Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vogue 2793 - Tan Corduroy Jacket

I'm not really sure why it took me so long to finish this jacket.  I didn't find it all that inspiring even though I was pretty sure I would like the end result.  Anyway, here it is...

Vogue 2793

My thoughts about the beginning of the jacket and pattern pictures are posted here.  There are a lot of seams with a lot of topstitching on this jacket.  I used regular thread with the triple-straight stitch for the topstitching.  My machine doesn't really like heavy-duty thread so this seems like the best option for me.  Getting nice straight topstitching on the corduroy was difficult.  If I was stitching in the same direction as the wales, the stitching either "fell" into the troughs or looked very crooked and messy if I wasn't stitching exactly parallel to the wales.  If I was stitching across the wales, the presser foot tended to slide one way or the other with the nap.

Vogue 2793

The lining is a poly stretch satin that is pretty wild.  It might even be objectively ugly.  But, honestly, there's something about it that I like.  It's nice to be able to use linings to express my "wild side."

Vogue 2793

I love the way the buttons look but they were really frustrating to put on the jacket.  I used this tack style button on my jeans and had no problem at all putting it on.  These were a different brand and the nail/back part was much bigger than the hole in the button shank.  I had to pound on these buttons with a hammer as hard as I could.  A couple of the buttons are slightly bent, but not enough to be noticed by anyone but me.

Vogue 2793

The other problem with the buttons was that I needed 13 and only had 12.  I did not notice this until I was putting on the buttons.  I bought them at Fabricland when I started the jacket and now that they're going out of business, there are no more.  So, the sleeve plackets don't have buttons, but they do have buttonholes.  I didn't slice the buttonhole open yet because I wasn't sure if I would rip out the stitches, leave them in with no button, or try to find two "close enough" buttons for that spot.  When I wore the jacket, I did notice that the placket kind of gapes open and really should have a button.  I did buy some tack buttons in the same color, but they are smaller and have a different design.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do yet.

Vogue 2793

It feels good to have this finished.  This project started as part of my plan to wear more layers for warmth.  With the corduroy and lining, this will be a warm jacket and will work well as outerwear in the fall.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kwik Sew 3617 - Brown Circle Print Top

I actually made this top several weeks ago, but never photographed it.  I mentioned it here.  While shopping before Christmas I noticed lots of gathered necklines and I found that I liked this detail.  I'm not one to wear ruffles or anything with lots of volume, so I was more drawn to the controlled gathering.

Kwik Sew 3617 isn't a new pattern for me.  I used it here and here.  I considered combining the two views - the neckline of View B with the long sleeves of View A.  Instead, I decided to just make the neckband of View A gathered.

Kwik Sew 3617
I was so tired when the Preacher took this picture.  Apparently, too tired to even straighten out my shirt.  Pardon those wrinkles on my right side.  I took a nap right after this picture was taken.  :)

It was a pretty simple change.  I just cut a strip of fabric the same width as the neckband pattern piece and twice as long as the neck opening.  I gathered both edges and sewed it to the neck edge.  Since I cut a straight strip, the lower edge of the band is less gathered than the top edge.  Then I attached the neck band facing at the top edge, understitched it and stitched in the ditch along the lower band edge to keep it down.  I did press the gathers since it looked a little poofy when I was done.

Kwik Sew 3617

The only other alterations I made were adding length to the body and the sleeves, but since it was awhile ago, I don't remember how much I added.

Kwik Sew 3617

This fabric is rayon jersey and feels great.  But, there are some problems with it.  First of all, I don't really like to wear prints.  I like them on other people.  I like them on the bolt.  I don't like them on me.  This is a recent discovery.  Second, prints with circles can be particularly tricky to sew and wear.  Check out this post.  I saw this right before I cut into my fabric.  I tried to be careful with print placement when cutting out and for the most part, I think I avoided the bullseye effect. However, I will still feel a bit self-conscious wearing this.  This top isn't going to be one of my favorite things and I plan to wear this under a jacket most of the time, so I'm not too concerned.

Next up:  I'll tell you about this jacket, which is now (finally) finished.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

McCall's 4643 - Red Fleece Bathrobe

My son had his fourth birthday at the beginning of the week.  I decided to spare no expense on him and made him a bathrobe using both a pattern and fabric that someone else passed on to me.  Red is his favorite color and he loves fuzzy things, so this fleece had his name all over it.

The pattern is McCall's 4643, toddler pajamas and robe.  I made a size 4 with no changes.  I was hoping it would be too big so it would last for awhile, but it isn't really.

fleece bathrobe

The robe has a hood and bound front edges and sleeve hems.  The instructions suggest using purchased bias binding, but I made my own from a red plaid print that I had.  I did everything besides the bottom hem on the serger.

fleece bathrobe

I also cut the tie from the red print rather than from the fleece.  The thought of turning and topstitching a fleece tie was not at all appealing to me.  The tie is attached at CB.

fleece bathrobe

I'm glad I didn't invest a great deal in this because this robe did not get a second look after he opened the box.  I don't think he even pulled it out of the box, actually.  His response went something like, "Oh.  It's clothes.  Can I open the next present?"  It was pretty funny.  However, his younger sister had a great time with the robe - she wore it by the hood only, like a cape and ran around pretending she was a superhero.

But, if you were a four-year-old boy and your other presents looked like this:

birthday presents

birthday presents

would you give a robe a second look?  I probably wouldn't.  I'm just hoping it cuts down on some of the post-bath streaking that goes on here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Butterick 3344 - Long-Sleeved T-Shirt

Thanks for all the comments about my sweater!  I'm still so happy about it.  I usually like everything to be put away as much as possible, but I've intentionally left it out so I can admire it.  :)

But, in order to wear it, I needed a lightweight long-sleeved shirt to keep me from being too itchy in the wool.  So even though I have other things in the works, that jumped to the front of the line.  I pretty much made it while the kiddos watched Sesame Street this morning.

layering T

Not terribly exciting, but it fulfills its purpose beautifully.  I'm not sure exactly what the fabric is.  It's super stretchy like a rib knit, but looks more like interlock.  And I'm not sure about the fiber content, either.  It feels like some sort of blend - very soft and smooth.  The color is difficult to discern from the photo, but it's a heathered oatmeal sort of color (somewhere between off-white and tan).  I'm pretty sure I bought it at Metro Textile in NYC.

I used Butterick 3344, now OOP.  This one is the same as the green one I made a few weeks ago, except for the sleeve length.  I like this pattern more each time I use it.

Okay, now back to the other things I was working on...

Friday, February 12, 2010


I finished my Owls sweater and I am so happy with it.  I mentioned before that I've never knit myself a whole sweater before, but after this I think I'll do it again and again and again.

Owls sweater

I'm happy with the fit.  The right sleeve looks shorter in the picture above, but they are actually the same length.  Knitting in the round does have some disadvantages, but for this project I really liked being able to try it on to check the length both in the body and the sleeves.

Owls sweater

Blocking really helped with the shaping in the back.  The increases and decreases created some strange lumps and bumps that flattened out nicely.  Blocking also helped smooth out the owls a lot.  I have been frustrated before by yarn that relaxes a lot during blocking - enough to even change the gauge.  This yarn (Cascade Ecological Wool) didn't do that at all.  I kind of held my breath during blocking really hoping it would come out the same size.  I was really relieved to find that the blocking did exactly what it should do and nothing else.

Owls sweater

It felt like it took a looooong time to sew on all those buttons (34!).  When I'm sewing I usually attach buttons by machine.  That wasn't an option here.

Owls sweater

This sweater might make the rest of the winter endurable for me.  I need to make a long-sleeved shirt to wear under it as it is rather itchy.  But, once I've got that done I'll probably wear it a lot.  And if someone tells me they like my sweater, I'll probably say, "Thank you.  I made it myself."  And then I might hoot.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kwik Sew 2605 - Pink Girl's Swimsuit

My daughter has a birthday party to go to on Sunday afternoon.  She's soooo excited.  A birthday party is always great, but the excitement is compounded by the fact that this is a swimming party at the local recreational complex.  That's all fine and good except that my daughter's swimming suit from this past summer was really tired.  The elastic wasn't elastic anymore and it didn't cover her up as well as it should have.  So, a new one was in order.

I've never sewn swimwear before, but I wasn't optimistic about being able to find a RTW one to buy, so now was as good of a time as any to try it out.  Fabricland still had some swimwear fabric and I found one that would meet with my daughter's approval.

I used Kwik Sew 2605.  It included good instructions for sewing swimwear and good measurements for sizing.

M's swimming suit, KS 2605

I started with a size 4, lengthened it about 0.75", and took 0.25" off of each side seam (front and back) at the underarm, tapering to 0 at the waist.  After basting it together and trying it on, I took in the CB seam 0.5" from the waist down and trimmed 0.25" off of the back sides at the hip, tapering to 0 at the waist.  (Essentially, I made the side seams straight).

M's swimming suit, KS 2605

I really like the racer back as the last swim suit was always falling off her shoulders.  I think I could have added more in length.  We'll see how this one works while she's in action.  Obviously, I made no attempt at pattern matching across the CB seam.

I self-lined the front, enclosing the crotch seam.  The pattern instructions just have you line the crotch.  The fabric I used was pretty substantial, but I think a lining is still a good thing.

M's swimming suit, KS 2605

I used a triple zig-zag stitch for the hems.  Not the most professional look, but I thought it was the safest for me as a rookie.  Next time, I'll try something else.

Next up:  I have a few things in the works.  We'll see which gets to the finish line first....  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Beginning of the End

My local Fabricland is slated to close March 31.  Sniff.  The closing sale has started.  So I've started stashing notions as these will be hard to get in a couple of months.  Sniff, sniff.

Today's haul was mostly buttons and zippers.

stashing notions

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nearly Hooting

I'm having a great time knitting the owls sweater.  I'm not a fast knitter, but this is coming together quickly and it's encouraging to see progress each time I work on it.

owls sweater in progress

It's a lot of stockinette stitch, which many find boring, but I don't.  And most of the sweaters that I really like are mostly stockinette stitch, so that's what I'm doing.

The shaping is all at the back, rather than along the sides.

owls sweater in progress

The yarn is Cascade Ecological Wool and I love it.  I needed to double the strand to get the right gauge (I'm a tight knitter, I guess).

I just have to finish the second sleeve, the join the sleeves to the body and then come the owls.  Hoot!