Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Continuing on with My #sewoveritsummer


Sew Over It Heather Dress

I've checked another project off my list and made myself a summer version of the Heather Dress and I couldn't be happier about it!  I practically lived in my quilted jersey version this past fall and winter so I knew I wanted to make a short sleeve one for warmer weather.  It's the perfect dress for just throwing on.  No fuss, no muss.  Dress it up, dress it down.  It doesn't matter, it just feels great wearing it.  And pockets.  Oh those pockets.  I do love me some big pockets!

There's not too much to say about this one that I didn't already say when I made my winter one.  I sewed it pretty much directly from the envelope (Ok, printer since it was a PDF) and shortened the hemline about 2" before hemming it.  I did add a bit of stabilizing clear elastic along the shoulder seams because I was using a lightweight knit but those are the only changes I did to it from the original design/instructions.

I have my eye on a really pretty grey and yellow print jersey at the local Fabricland that I really want to make another Heather with, but it's going to have to go on sale or they're going to have to put out another 50% off email coupon before I take the plunge on buying it, because I refuse to spend $20/metre for a dress especially given right now I rarely have the opportunity to wear a dress since my weekday wardrobe consists of jeans and steel toes... And yet I keep making dresses and buying fabric for dresses and dreaming of dresses.  Huh.  Logic was possibly never my strong point! LOL

Sew Over It Heather Dress

I'm not sure what project to tackle next.  Perhaps I'll grab my list, close my eyes, point and see what I land on!




Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Combining Two Crafty Loves

I'm back with another Sew Over It garment.  What did I tell you?  It's going to be a #sewoveritsummer LOL

This time it's a Betty and I've combined two of my crafty loves into one dress.  Last summer when I found the Cotton and Steel yarn ball fabric from the Cat Lady collection on Craftsy I had to snap it up.  It was a ridiculous purchase in which although the sale price was great, the shipping was insane.  It was before Craftsy lowered their shipping costs and I paid more in shipping then I did for the fabric.  But hello!  Fabric.  With yarn on it!!!!!!  Sometimes you just need to be a bit frivolous and ridiculous.



I knew the minute I saw the fabric that it was destined to be a Betty dress.  I've never made Betty before so first things first.  I whipped up a muslin.  And then I did nothing.  I needed to do some alterations and I was perplexed how.  I just could not wrap my head around it so there it sat.  Untouched until a few weeks ago when I decided it was silly to just let it languish and come hell or high water I was going to get it figured out.  

Really the biggest problem was gaping in the V at the back.  I knew that if I pinched out the excess into a dart it solved it, but who wants darts there?  So on my pattern I created the dart where the gaping was then rotated it into the back waist darts.  Problem solved.  I also made the neckline a little deeper and a little less wide, widened the shoulders a smidge, did a sloped shoulder adjustment and finally added a bit of length to the bottom of the bodice.  Sewed up another muslin and was quite pleased with the fit, so cut out and sewed up the dress.  Of course my muslin was playing tricks on me and once the dress was finished I tried it on and gaping was happening everywhere.  Damn it.


I ended up fudging things a bit rather than go back to the drawing board and cut a new bodice because I was pretty tight on fabric at this point as is.  I took up almost an inch in the shoulders and shaved a little off the side seams and that has solved the problems for the most part, except I now have bust darts pointing way off course and some weird bunching at the lower armscye.  I am not going to quibble though.  I'm willing to bet only a seamstress would even look at the darts at all and if they're rude enough to point out that they are looking at my bust that closely then I'm really not interested in talking to them anyways! Ha ha!  In retrospect it occurs to me that perhaps a lot of my problems would have been solved if I'd gone down a size... sadly that didn't occur to me until after the fact.  


On the plus side of things, this is number three for my #2017MakeNine!  More bonuses are that I added pockets (used my favourite pockets which are from the Emery Dress pattern), my invisible zip went in without a hitch (thank you double sided tape - where have you been all my life?!?!) and most importantly I LOVE my new dress!  


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring Sewing Plans or #sewoveritsummer

The other day I as I sat pairing fabrics and patterns in my head I thought it might be better if I actually wrote them down on a list so they wouldn't get lost in my mental filing cabinet.




Of course I'm being unrealistic in my goals here, because goodness knows that a) I rarely sit down to my sewing machine anymore and b) I still have knitting goal lists floating about that I wrote out about ten years ago and never did a single project of because if nothing else I am fickle.  Today's MUST DO project is not necessarily going to still be next week's MUST DO project.

I noticed a few things about this list besides my delusions of productivity.  I have a heck of a lot fabric.  I should not be buying more.  And yet... well.  Don't judge. There are much worse vices I could have.  The next thing I noticed was that out of 18 projects, ten of them involve Sew Over It patterns (actually there's an 11th needs to be added to the list.  I realized just now that I have the perfect fabric for the newly released Eve dress... Eve wasn't out when I wrote the list and I had totally forgotten about the fabric that I have in mind for it.  I definitely need to get my hands on that pattern!)

In light of the patterns, I thought maybe I should just go ahead and declare 2017 a #sewoveritsummer  because my wardrobe is going to be overwhelmingly designed by Sew Over It.

Would you believe that I already have one of my makes done?  Last week I picked up some rayon voile at the fabric store and thought it would be perfect for Susie although the details of the collar do get a little lost in the print.  My two Susie blouses I made last year were so well loved, but the fit needed a bit of tweaking so I knew I had to tackle that before I did anything.  I was pretty sure that I needed to do a broad back adjustment because while my blouses from last year are fine when I'm wearing them and not moving my arms, the minute I move my arms it feels tight across the upper back, and getting out of them just about requires the jaws of life to extricate me.  In my search for information I came across a video that made the adjustment really easy to do.  I extended the back sleeve a bit too to match up with the side seam and it was exactly what I needed.  I did a half inch adjustment on either side, which was a touch on the generous side, but at least I know what I need to do now and my blouse is totally wearable and very comfortable.  I also gently curved the hemline for a shirt tail hem rather than more straight across feeling that is a more flattering look.  (although I realize that I neglected to get any photos of the bottom of the top so you'll just have to imagine it!)


The rayon voile is super comfortable to wear, but was a bit of a beast to cut out and sew.  It was so darn slippery and wanted to slide away at every turn, but I managed to get it on grain with a bit of patience and determination (and more than just a bit of flouncing and bad words).

I was really excited to have a new spring top just in time for some sunshine and warm weather yesterday!


I also finished a Betty dress yesterday, it's been mostly done since Easter weekend, but still needed hemming.  I got put off a bit when it got really cold last weekend and then decided to be full fledged winter, complete with snow again for a few days.  But the sunshine inspired me yesterday and my machine was already threaded with blue from my blouse so I did a quick machine hem on the Betty before turning the machine off for the day.  I'll try and get pictures soon of it!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Killing Two Birds with One Spinning Wheel

When the sewing mojo was failing me (or more aptly sewing success was alluding me), I gave the sewing machine a bit of a break and took out my basket of fibre and sat down at the spinning wheel instead.  After spinning some Doodles In String Merino that I'd bought from Ram Wools Co-op when I took my drop spindle class last spring over the Christmas holidays I hadn't done much of anything at all really with my wheel.


It felt great to get back to my spinning that I'd been ignoring for awhile.  It wasn't being ignored for anything beyond a lack of time and energy, but I was worried that so many weeks away and I'd be back to square one with my very beginner abilities.  In the beginning of January I had started working on a batt from Tog and Thel that I'd bought at the Manitoba Fibre Festival last fall so I figured it would be thick and thin spun anyways with it's four beautiful ounces of Jacob, Icelandic, Merino, Merino Tencel and Mohair blended together.  



It was such a pleasure to spin.  I enjoyed seeing the different fibres and colours as they twisted together.  And while it is thick and thin in spots I'm getting more consistent with how I spin, so it's not as noticeable.   A lot of the thick and thin came from big blobby bits of fluff that didn't get attenuated as much as other bits sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, but I am pleased with the end result.  It's fluffy and cozy and while I have no idea what I'll make with it, I am very pleased to have it in my yarn stash!



Another bonus to all the spinning was that I realized early into resuming work with my Tog and Thel batt that the motion of treaddling was exactly the same motion as the very boring, but very necessary exercises that my doctor prescribed for my foot injury.  Killing two birds with one spinning wheel. Doing something I love while getting something I loathe out of the way!  Talk about a win-win situation.  


So as soon as I finished plying up the Tog and Thel I took out another squishy gorgeous bit of fibre I'd bought at the fibre festival.  This one was from Manjusha Farms located in southeast Manitoba.  It's a deliciously soft merino/bamboo blend and I spun the four ounce braid up in record short time - it only took a week from start to finish.  Getting up and spinning before work.  Spinning while supper cooked.  Spinning before bed.


I'm beyond thrilled with how the merino/bamboo turned out.  It almost felt like cheating it was so very easy to spin.  Again, it's not perfect - there are some thick and thin bits, but it's the most consistent I've done yet, and the final result makes me so happy!



It still amazes me that I can take a bit of fluff and turn it into yarn that, when I finally decide what to use it for, I'll be able to actually make something with it.  I do have a slight obsession with spinning local fibres.  I find it even more exciting to know exactly where the fibre came from and as a result find myself counting down the months until the fibre festival again (I've got a few to go given it's not until the fall...) Not too mention dreaming of some day owning sheep or mohair goats of my own.  Or maybe an alpaca.  Of course I know absolutely NOTHING about raising sheep, goats or alpaca, but a spinner can dream, right?


In the meantime I think I'll be calling on my neighbour up the way at Prairie's Edge Wool Farm to see if I can go visit her and her sheep and the very adorable Max the Goat.  (If you're at all interested in the Manitoba Fibre Festival you'll no doubt know exactly who Max is.  If you're not up to speed he's the incredibly personable, incredibly sweet angora goat that won all our hearts last year and continues to enjoy fame as he grows up)  Her shetland, and shetland/alpaca blend fibres were some of the first I ever spun and it was glorious. I have a wee bit left from last fall in my spinning basket and I definitely want more!  I have daily exercising to be doing after all!




Friday, March 31, 2017

#2017MakeNine - Make Two


So happy to have finally sewn a Jasper!
I promised I'd be back to talk about make number two.  It's my favourite make of the year (Ok - so I've only made four things and two were duds, but let's not focus on that, alrighty?).  For make number two I chose a pattern that I've been wanting to sew since it popped up on Pinterest long before it ever became a pattern.  Of course I'm talking about Paprika Pattern's Jasper Hoodie.

It's a bit ridiculous that it's taken so long to make, but full disclosure here, I was scared of messing up the welt pockets.  I have no idea why.  I've sewn welt pockets before.  I've sewn much harder things than welt pockets before and yet for some reason I was so intimidated.  I can't even tell how many times I bought fabric specifically for Jasper, chickened out of making it and made something else instead.

This time I decided that if it was in my Make Nine choices I was going to use that as my accountability factor and I would have to make it and it worked. And boy am I glad. As I said this is my favourite sewn make and I wear it several times a week.

You might recognize this quilted jersey.  It's from the same collection as the fabric I used for my Sew Over It Heather dress back in the fall.  It's not quite the same though beyond being only one shade of grey instead of having a lighter and darker side.  The other difference is that this one has WAY more stretch than the original fabric.  Knowing that the original fabric didn't have much give I sized up on my Jasper.  I also added a bit of length. Obviously I did not need to worry about sizing up or adding length and my Jasper is a whole lot more relaxed than intended.  No worries though. It's cozy and snuggly and I really love wearing it as is!

As for sewing it?  It really wasn't a problem.  In fact I would say it was pretty easy.  The only tricky part for me was lining up those welts perfectly straight and even that wasn't too arduous a task in the end.  Mine are a smidge off from the seam line, but I'm not going to quibble over such a miniscule amount.

Check out those "not really scary after all" welts!
I do have one tiny little grumble about my Jasper and that is the pocket lining.  It has a nasty habit of curling a bit at the top where it's not attached along the front, which occasionally leaves me with a bit of a lumpy looking line across my midsection.  Have you made Jasper?  Does yours do that?  What did you do about it???  I think I may just tack it down with a bit of hand sewing.  If I ever get around to it that is.  As I said, I wear this several times a week so it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for fixing it and it definitely won't stop me from wearing it.



I've been actually feeling a bit down about my sewing lately.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired, or if it's just fabric/pattern combos I've chosen or that I'm rushing a bit when I do sew since I always feel I have no time for it anymore.  But having two out of four projects turn out pretty lousy was quite a hit to my confidence so I've taken a bit of break from my machine and focused on my knitting and spinning instead.  The break has done me well and I'm getting some sewing mojo back.  I've even been so bold as to start cutting out my third Make Nine project this evening!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

#2017MakeNine - Make 1

Holy smokes!  Would you look at that!  I said I'd be back and here I am and months haven't gone by.  It's some sort of blogging miracle!  LOL

As a recap, the #2017MakeNine challenge was started by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille and I picked the following nine for myself.



The patterns I chose are the following:

By Hand London : Anna
Closet Case Files : Ginger Jeans and Morgan Boyfriend Jeans
Colette Patterns : Myrtle Dress
Paprika Patterns : Jade Sweater and Dress
Sew Over It :  Anderson BlouseBettyMolly Top and Vintage Shirt Dress

I feel like I took the easy way out and started with my TnT (tried and true) Sew Over It's Molly Top.  This is my third one and I reach for it all the time.  I wasn't sure if I liked it in the super drapey viscose blend jersey that I ordered from Minerva Crafts in January.  The jersey is absolutely heavenly to wear, but I wondered if the top itself was a bit too flowey for my curves (as in I hope it doesn't look maternity-ish - yikes!), but I've decided I don't care.  It is so comfortable.  I did add a wee bit of length to it as I wear it often to work and the last thing I feel like worrying about as I climb up and down ladders or bend and stoop to grab things is if my fish white belly is hanging out or even worse if I have the dreaded "plumber butt" look going on.  Eeeek!  I was generous with my length adding too, because if I have no other talents in this world, I excel at the one in which I can shrink pretty much anything at all.


When I ordered the blue marl jersey I also ordered a pink and purple striped jersey as well.  I had started out initially to make a Day Tripper by Schwin Designs.  What a disappointment.  Sizing seems to be huge on it (of course nearly every review I read after the fact mentions the sizing), the length was laughably long on me and the width careened towards sack like rather than merely slouchy or relaxed.  Given I was worried about it being too small going off my measurements I was pretty surprised by the end result.  (Note to self: read reviews before starting out.  Not after.) Also?  Every time I look at the fabric I think of the damn Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.  Not that I have anything against it per say.  But I do NOT want to look like it.  I think it'll become a pj top at some point.  It's not a going out in public top.  That's for sure.  I really wish I'd stuck with my TnT Molly.  The fit is great and it always looks good in a stripey jersey.  Woe is me.

So that's update number one.  Next time I'm back I'll talk about my second make of my #2017MakeNine patterns!








Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That

I don't even remember when I was here last.  I'm not even going to look. It leads to all sorts of misplaced feeling of guilt and disappointment in myself.  Life has been soundly kicking my butt lately with everything going on, the sloth has become my spirit animal.  It's hard to accept given I normally like to be busy, getting things done, and more importantly used to relish in my night owl tendencies.  What was that meme going around Facebook awhile back?  "I'm not an early bird or a night owl. I'm some form of permanently exhausted pigeon."  That pretty much sums me up right now.

Despite all, I have been getting a few things done here and there.  I've actually even finished a few things!  I often listen to podcasts on my drive to work and one I really enjoy is The Knitmore Girls.  They have an ongoing instagram contest in the works called "Operation Sock Drawer" and Gigi often talks about the socks she's working on or has already knit.  Listening to all her talk of socks inspired me to pick up a long standing work in progress and get them done.  I actually started the Tin Can Knits SeaWall socks on March 11th last year.  (Bear in mind it normally it takes me a few weeks at most to knit a pair of socks.)  I finally cast off these babies on March 8th of this year.  What happened????  It's an interesting enough pattern.  The yarn wasn't horrible.  How did it take me just shy of a year to knit them?  It wasn't even a case of second sock syndrome holding me up.  Sock number one took until mid-February this year.  Ridiculous!  I'm super happy to have them off the needles and out of my knitting bag!

Seawall Socks by Tin Can Knits
I also finished my Andi Satterlund cardi, Henriette for the Selfish Sweater KAL in the Untangling Knots Ravelry group.  This one thankfully went quicker than the socks and I finished knitting it in exactly a month!  I'll show you some modelled pics of it at some point - I want to make a dress to actually go with it first, and quite frankly it's still sitting on top of my dresser waiting to get blocked.  But here's a sneaky peek at it, taken while I was doing the finishing!

Henriette by Andi Satterlund
And you know, since I have so little time for knitting, I've decided to cast on ALL the things in the last few weeks.  This is so weird for me.  I'm usually such a monogamous knitter that I have no hot clue how I'll ever manage to finish any of it. Really.  No clue.  How do you decide which project to work on when you have more than one on the go?  At first I justified it.  Sock knitting for portable knitting (hockey practices, car knitting, waiting rooms, lunch breaks etc.).

Lumberjack by Tin Can Knits

Shawl knitting for at home.

Polarity by Elena Nodel

Seemed reasonable.  Except I keep picking up the sock at home, and the shawl has been languishing. And then I decided that I should cast on a Greyson for Little Man on Thursday night.

Greyson by Julia Stanfield

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????  We won't even discuss that even though I have three projects already on the needles, it hasn't stopped me from downloading patterns and picking yarn out (from my stash at least) for other projects.  Someone needs to intervene and put a stop to this madness of multiple works in progress!

I've finished very few things at the sewing machine, but do have two of my 2017 Make Nine projects finished.  I just haven't taken photos of them yet, although I've been wearing them loads since sewing them.  Also.  I've been collecting WIP sewing projects in a similar fashion to what I've been doing in knitting.  I'm like a magpie -  Ooooh!  Must have all the shiny new things!!!!  Seriously. Someone send help!!!

So that's at least a bit of an update on my crafty doings as of late.   I'm going to try to get my sewing projects up here on the blog in the near future (no promises though - who knows when I'll actually get back to blogging again it seems to be so hit or miss for me lately).