Monday, January 28, 2019

Envigado Vest

Time keeps slipping by faster than I can keep track of.  I've had approximately eleventy billion different blog posts in my head that want to be written, but somehow they haven't actually got from my head onto the screen.  Life's been crazy busy as usual and blogging always tends to take a back seat whether I plan on it or not.  The hockey schedule has kept us hopping every weekend - this weekend from Friday through Sunday we had a total of six games to be at.  We actually ended up going to only four out of the six as the weather kicked up a huge fuss and got really lousy for highway driving with blowing snow and very poor visibility and because we were going to have to drive from one town to another and then back to the first town and then drive home after dark, we made the decision to not risk it.  I'm getting way too old to navigate nearly zero visibility in the dark.  But generally, if you're looking for me at all in the winter, just check the local arenas... You're bound to find me in one of them - in the stands, freezing despite wearing ALL the layers, tea in my travel mug in hand and cheering loudly for our Novice and Atom Redwings!

I also started a new job on January 7th.  I've taken a term position at a local school as their librarian and it feels great to be back in the library!  It's been a long while since I've done library work - since I went on Maternity leave to have Baby Boy in 2010 and an even longer while since I've been in a school.  I left that back in 2006 for cataloging at the university.  Thankfully its come back quickly and I'm loving it.  The students delight me with their enthusiasm and the schedule is busy so that the days fly by.  I feel like work wise, I've come home.

I have been puttering away at crafty pursuits - my knitting mojo is coming back slowly with the excitement of a new project to help, but sewing is still my go to, which brings me to the reason for this post!  I have a new project to share with you all.

Let me introduce the Envigado Vest* from Itch to Stitch (really, who else these days! LOL I'm pretty sure soon my entire wardrobe will consist of the Itch to Stitch pattern library.)

I've been really wanting to try my hand at proper outwear for a while now, so of course jumped on the chance to give the pattern a whirl in testing. Sometime it's nice to branch out from the quick/easy projects to work on something that is more involved and this was a great starting out point for that and a good way to dip my toe in the outerwear waters as well.  Since the Envigado Vest is unlined, there are no sleeves, and the pattern features princess seams I thought it would be much easier for fitting as well.  Sized from the usual 00-20 with cup sizes A-DD, there are lots of options for sizing that don't require masses of alterations, which is all a big win in my books especially with my limited time for sewing these days.

As I mentioned it was a bit more involved with the facings, collar and pockets as well a zip and there's hardware to install for the snaps and drawstrings.  I had a beast of a time with my snaps having purchased apparently the cheapest quality snaps on earth (not that they were cheaply priced - they were ridiculously expensive).  The first set I installed I had to uninstall and buy another set. The second set didn't fair much better and I actually already have several that need replacing, which makes me incredibly grouchy that I threw good money after bad.  If anyone has any fantastic suggestions for snaps that can live up to the expectations of a) functioning properly and b) not breaking upon installation please send them my way!

Kennis had shown us her version of the vest when we began testing and she had done a gorgeous Hong Kong finish treatment on all her seams allowances and I think most testers jumped on the band wagon in a big hurry.  It adds quite a bit of time to the process, but so worth it to have the beautifully finished edges and a fun pop of colour.

The fabric world is your oyster if you choose to make your own bias binding, which I did.  I paired a fun quilt cotton with my twill fabric and used the half a meter I had for both the lining pieces and all my bias binding!  If you need a quick tutorial on making bias tape or how to do a Hong Kong finish, head over to the Itch to Stitch blog.  She's got you covered here and here!

I really love how this vest came together and I'm hoping Kennis will do an add on at some point down the road for sleeves and/or a lining.  I'd love to make this vest into a jacket one day!!  As a vest, I know I will get lots of wear out of it as soon as the weather co-operates (you'll notice there's no standing out in the snow pics for me now - we've been under "extreme cold warnings" since I finished sewing and there's no way in h-e-double hockey sticks that I'm standing outside for photos... or anything else at the moment.  It's amazing I leave the house at all these days! LOL).  Also... don't mind the wrinkles - should've probably given my vest a bit of time with the iron before taking photos!  Ooops!

I'm looking forward to wearing this with my Busan as pictured or a Uvita with the new add on variation of cuffs and hood.  I think it'll also be perfect for over my old Beach in the Winter pullover that I knit back in 2015!

If you'd like to get your own copy of the Envigado Vest hop on over to the Itch to Stitch website and make sure to grab it while it's on sale for the release week!