Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beatnik and Why Gauge Matters

I'm really proud of this one. It fits nicely (after some serious stretching and blocking). I wouldn't mind another Beatnik in a bright color with stockinette sleeves instead of moss stitch. I was pretty thorough in my note-taking, so if you want to read specifics go to my Ravelry page here.

I used a different weight yarn than called for, different sized needles and knit the smallest size. That was wrong of me.  I rarely knit a gauge swatch and when I do I kind of stretch it out and manipulate it to fit whatever it's supposed to be. Weird, I know. So here's a kind reminder to myself that I do not have a 32" bust and that I should always knit a gauge swatch. It's totes worth it.

My mantra. It almost caught up with me on this one. Phew!

Here are a couple of shoddy pictures of fabrics that I have in my stash. I don't really have a plan other than if I cut into something this fall it better be one of these fabrics or something teal.

Bizarre-o mish-mash of sparkly jersey, silk/linen coating and poly chiffon.

I was supposed to head south this weekend, but unexpected events are taking me north for a little while instead. I won't be able to sew, but I'll get a lot of knitting done. Like, Kaide better be finished. I'm sick of talking about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I'm still recovering from the weekend. I lost one night of sleep because I was so excited for the Sewing Summit and another couple of nights due to watching movies (That's another one of my favorite things - movies. Has anyone else seen Incendies? OMG.)

The Sewing Summit was amazing. I learned so much and met some super-talented, friendly, incredible girls. I walked away from the experience inspired, motivated and overwhelmed! I'm also going to re-think how and what I sew and attempt some more difficult pieces.

It was so fun for me to not only meet, but hang out with sewing bloggers that I've been following for years. I was able to spend a lot of time with Lavender and Suriah. We went thrifting, talked about sewing techniques (I never get to do that) and enjoyed a few good meals. Lavender's Rooibos is so beautiful in person. It fits her perfectly. I also met Sunni, another local, who was wearing her fabulous Clover pants. Gertie is hilarious and I like how the classes were a bit unstructured and fun.

Gertie! She's kind of a big deal.

Speaking of Clover pants, that sewalong has started and I'm not even sure I have fabric for a muslin! I think there's some white stretch twill somewhere on my craft cave floor. For my final pair I'm using some stretchy mustard corduroy. Does that alarm you? I was going to pair them with a white, tucked-in, button-up OR a slouchy knit sweater.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Chambray Tiny Pocket Tank

I wore this shirt everyday all summer long. 
I didn't even bother taking it off for a quick press before my big shoot.

Pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank (Highly recommended!)

Mods: Size 2 with a 3/4" FBA and an exposed bias trim. This is the first tank I made and initially thought it was too small, so I threw away the traced off pattern. Huge mistake because I would like fifteen more.

Fabric: cotton chambray

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Rainy Day

My yellow shorts have needed an invisible zipper for a month now and last night I sat down, quickly hand-basted it down, then sewed it in without any problems. It took me maybe thirty minutes. Why do I out off simple tasks? And it's not like that's my first zipper either. I've installed my fair share.

The Sewing Summit is this weekend.

The Sewing Summit

I'm a bit nervous, but mostly excited. Since I'm a local I decided to just go on Saturday. I've registered for two blogging/social media/photography classes and two technique classes. I'm sure I'll learn a lot and hopefully meet some new friends! I feel quite isolated in my creative hobbies and as a result mistakenly think that my interests are weird.

Besides feeling anxious about upcoming events, I've been putting together fall/winter sewing and knitting plans. Whenever I do this the plan snowballs. I'm trying to really limit myself and be realistic. I'm thinking about sewing two small collections, four to fives pieces each. One will be black, white, grey and teal. The other will consist of browns, mustard and oranges. 

My stash isn't completely out of hand, but over the years I've acquired a collection of fabric and yarn. I have several fabrics that I'll be using in my mini-collections, but there is a teal wool crepe (for a dress) and teal coating that will be purchased shortly. I think it's a really pretty, flattering color so I'm excited to add it to my closet!

I'm trying to finish Kaide as soon as possibly because I'm already losing steam and want to start something else. The first sleeve is halfway done. Oooh yeah, I have a long way to go. As a public knitter I have this conversation often:

They don't really want to learn.
Just kidding!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Hot Patterns Sleepwear

 After sharing a few pieces that need work, I wanted to share something that I made and love. After I sorted out some fit issues (more on that below), the sewing part was relatively quick. It was completed in May except for the ruffle. I didn't want to use my machine to attach it because the bias tape looked so pretty! Months later I hand-stitched the ruffle on. I'm glad I put in the extra effort. So here's another warm weather piece finished just in time for fall!

Pattern: Hot Patterns - 1093 Boudoir Of Bliss Ooh Yeah Baby-Doll

Mods: I traced off the pattern and made a muslin. The result was a lunch lady apron. The front piece was then slashed, spread, taped and glued. I have no idea what size I even cut out. The resulting pattern piece says 'custom fit based on muslin.' That is not very helpful information. Anyway, I will be very sad if I lose these pattern pieces because the fit is perfect.

The shorts were a size 8, but turned out so huge that I took in the side seams by TWO INCHES.

Fabric: Cotton batiste from Mood. I bought it there during my first-ever trip to New York a few years ago. It was an overwhelming experience.

Monday, October 03, 2011


At the beginning of the summer I had this great idea. I thought that if I sewed a few cute skirts then I would wear those instead of fishing shorts. Well, I made the skirts and still wore the shorts. I need some help with styling.

Pattern: McCall's 6333

Mods: Initially I added 4" to this pattern. When all was said and done, I lopped of two of the inches and took up a 2" hem. I'm 5'9" for reference. The instructions made me a little bit crazy and the only helpful thing I can say is this: Sew the elastic lines on the waistband accurately and don't serge/sew the elastic when attaching the skirt to the waistband. This will make you crazy. There will be weird, uneven bunching and you'll have to tear the entire thing apart.

Fabric: I used a linen (blend?) from Hancock Fabrics. I need to stop with the super-wrinkly cheap linen.

Because of the aforementioned stress and trauma, I sort of gave up when it came time to match stuff up. The pleated section does not match up perfectly with the flat waistband. Whatever. For the hem I just serged the bottom, then did a not-so-blind hem. I think it looks nice. Next time (there probably will be a next time!) I would insert the pockets into the side seam instead of the front panel. They are kind of awkward and I really like putting my hands in pockets. Otherwise I'm not sure what to do with them.

Pattern: Wiksten skirt
Mods: None! I think I made an XS because I wanted it to be high-waisted, but it turned out too small.
Fabric: Cotton chambray from Nuttall's - purchased during my brief stint working there.

The buttons aren't centered and I haven't sewn a tab at the top. I'll wear this more often when those things are fixed.

Pattern: Kwik Sew 3830 - View B
Mods: None. I think it's a size small.
Fabric: Lightweight denim

I really enjoyed making this skirt and think it's cute, but it's doing some really weird things at the waist. I think I need to take out some elastic. 


Pattern: Simplicity 2413 (OOP??)
Mods: None. Size 8
Fabric: Black cotton twill from Joann's

I love the idea of a tulip/pegged skirt, but this skirt does some weird poofing. The back is kind of a mess. Maybe because my hands were in the pockets? I don't think it's super flattering either.

Reading back over my post I notice a consistent theme - I don't like my skirts and they aren't flattering. Am I just not a skirt girl?? This fall I'm going to make pants and see how often those make it out of the closet. Sewing is so frustrating because even when I take my time and do a really good job, the fit could be completely off. Or the style all wrong. I started this blog in order to make better decisions about patterns and fabrics. It's already helping!

You might be wondering why my shorts are not done. I'll leave you with this: