Friday, February 12, 2016

My Marlboroughs

I started to venture into lingerie making towards the end of last year. I debated for a long time which pattern to start with and ended up choosing the marlborough bra from orange lingerie. I liked the style the most and it seemed most like something I would wear. So armed with a kit from Blackbird Fabrics I set off on my merry way. Behold the prettiest thing I had ever made.

Of course when I put it on it was way too small, a poor size choice on my part. I was heartbroken but decided to try again with another kit and new underwires. For this one I left the lovely scalloped edge on the band and I love it. It just feels so fancy. I have a little excess fabric but I think it's my poor sewing on this one. I need to stretch the underarm elastic a bit more and be more careful when assembling the cups. But it fits and I think it's super pretty even if it doesn't photograph as well.

That kit is also a Blackbird Fabrics kit, I love that shop, such amazing taste and the blog posts that talk about the kits are really helpful. I have some more supplies I've been sourcing (that is seriously the hardest part) and I think I have enough to make another peach Marlborough if I salvage the findings from the small one. Expect more in the near future... :)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Vogue 9157

Just in time for our 50 degree week I put the finishing touches on my new coat, V9157. It's way too warm to wear it now but I'm pretty sure things will cool off enough to wear it this season soon.

I made a straight 14 with no adjustments. The outer fabric is a wool nylon blend in a basket weave camel color that came from Fashion Fabrics. I have had mixed success with the site but this fabric is a winner. The slight brushed and checked look it really nice.  

The fabric was super drapey, I'm actually planning a skirt with the leftovers. The lining is Kasha satin and each lining piece is interline with Thinsulate, both from Vogue fabrics. The thinsulate might have been a mistake, it's really warm and I think the coat makes me look a bit puffy, but we'll see if it relaxes a bit. I did want the coat to have some structure. Since the coat was so puffy already I left off the shoulder pads, I didn't think more bulk would help.

The only change I made to the pattern was to try and sew the tab right onto the front piece. I just couldn't see carrying a separate tab piece around, seems really strange. It sort of worked... the collar is a bit wonky but I can deal. The back views show the collar, it is lined with sew in interfacing but it won't stand right. I may try to steam it again into place but I fear it just isn't stiff enough.

Things I love about this coat:

  • The Fabric, I think it's a nice and classic looking
  • The seam lines. Love the raglan and pocket lines.
  • The belt and collar
  • The lining is nice and soft and the coat is really warm
Things I don't love:

  • I've never been a fan of patch pockets for comfort of use but the look got me on this one, I had to use them rather than adding in-seam pockets which I did cut
  • The thinsulate, I think it just added too much bulk. I may feel differently the first time I wear it in freezing weather.
  • How heavy and awkward this was to sew. It was quite the workout and Bernie did not enojoy sewing the buttons or button holes.
Overall I am happy I made this. I made a coat! I'm pleased with that fact for now and perhaps some day when I find the perfect boiled wool I will make another coat. I've had a pea coat pattern in my stash for some time and now that I have learned some things with this coat I'm sure the next will be much smoother. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Professor Baa-ble Sweater

Remember when this used to be a knitting blog? It still is!

This has got to be the cutest thing I have made. I seriously want one in my size, I can totally pull that off... look at those elbow patches!

This is a mashup of two patterns, the Professor Sweater and the Baa-ble hat. My Brother-in-law requested a sweater for my nephew and once I got thinking about it I had to add sheep. Some ravelry searching lead me to these two patterns. I loved the cute shawl collar and fortuitously the Baa-ble chart fit with the numbers for the sweater.
To make this I made the smallest size and knit from the bottom up. The Baa-ble hat is worked over 120 stitches so I cast on that, plus 2 border stitches and 6 steek stitches. The sleeves I sort of winged, changing colors whenever I wanted. I found it best to make a cheat sheet of when to decrease rather than increase. I started by writing down the cast on number at the top of my page but changing it to cast-off, and then just writing decrease instead of increase for each row. This made is easy to work through the knitting without having to think at all. 
I chose Paton's classic wool DK superwash for this as it's a kid's sweater and I've seen him eat. Dude is messy! It's really soft and worked up well. 
The steek was machine stitched on Bernie and the collar worked as indicated in the pattern. By using the US 6 needles I think I got a size a little bigger than the smallest which is what I was going for. I want it to be big this year at 1 year of age, but still wearable next year. It will be sent off in the mail this weekend.
My ravelry project page is here.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cropped Hudson's and a Plantain

After having suck success with the Hudson pants I decided to make a fun peach and grey cropped version and added a matching plantain t-shirt. The shirt is a bit tight for my personal preference and a bit low cut, but for lounging around the house it works. I already worked on these things in a later project.

Not much to say about these makes. I shortened the pants by 1 inch and they have been in heavy rotation. I really want a black ponte version. The flare on the shirt works really well for my shape so there will be more plantains in my future. They grey knit is a bit heavier than t-shirt weight so it works well for these pants, I think it came from Joann. I have more peach for additional items, it's got great recovery and came from I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

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Hudson Pants

I've made the Hudson Pants a few times now. The first time the I chose some bamboo rayon french terry that grows like mad the second you touch it. It's so soft and comfy but the pants were given to my sister as they fit her better. The second time I chose a more stable knit I found at Joann. It's very soft and as an added bonus, is a bit sparkly. I'm behind in my posting, these were photographed back in July hence the lush background.

I don't have too much to say about these pants, they are very comfortable and I think very stylish. I wear them all the time and I think a black ponte version is in the near future for running errands. I never wear them with a shirt tucked in as you see in these photos but I appreciate being able to see the whole garment in pictures. The pattern went together easily and quickly. I can never seem to get the pockets to not stick out on any of my pairs (a woven and grey and peach crops!). I think the trickiest part of these pants is sewing the two stitching lines through the elastic waistband. Go slow and eventually you get a good feel for it. It's a really nice way to finish the waistband. For reference I made an 8 in this knit based on my hip measurement and shortened them by an inch as I am 5'4"

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Minoru Jacket with zip pockets and a fully lined collar

This is definitely one of my favorite makes. So much so that I'm writing it up right away, finished and photographed yesterday. This is the Sewaholic Minoru Jacket with added zippered pockets.

The details: I used water resistant Supplex in Dry Rose from Rockywoods Fabrics. This was great, you can pin it and rip out stitching which I did a lot. The lining is from Joann and it's a cotton sateen jacks print from Gertie's new collection. It's lovely fabric, not as slippery as would have been ideal, but it works and it was easy to sew with. The zippers are also from Joann and are water resistant. I used 7" zippers for the pockets. The thread is Mettler thread, I picket it up while I was at a sewing class for the new machine I got a couple of months ago (it's a Bernina 560 and I LOVE IT). The piping is store bought black Wright's piping.

I made a straight size 8, that matches up with my bust measurement and seems to fit me pretty well in Sewaholic patters, if a little big at times. For this jacket it is a tiny bit tighter across the back than I usually wear for outerwear but it's totally wearable. I'm not sure if the piping added some stiffness and bulk to the seams or if I just need to go up a size. Speaking of the piping. I now own a piping foot. Yeah, it was a challenge to do that with my zipper foot and I want to make the Carolyn pajamas with piping so I made that investment and got a used foot at my dealer while I was there for class.

I made this jacket a lot harder on myself than it needed to be by making a couple of changes to the pattern. The good thing about being late to the sewing party is you get to see a lot of other versions of a pattern. I knew going into this that the raw edges would be visible from inside the collar. I did not want that so I cut another collar lining piece and placed it right sides together on top of the collar lining piece attached to the outer shell, after inserting the zipper and basting the hood in place. Hopefully the picture below helps someone else who wants to do this. I did some googling but didn't come up with any pictures so I had to work it out on my own. If you do this, when you attach the lining to the outer shell all your raw edges will be concealed inside the jacket. I wish the pattern had just been written this way but it does add a little more bulk to that area. My fabrics were very light so it didn't matter much to me.

My hood has buttonholes so that I can insert a drawstring there to cinch the hood close once I source that. I pinned the hood into the collar and marked where I wanted the drawstring holes to be. I also cut a hood out of lining fabric and lined the hood. I sewed the hoods right sides together then stitched at 1" away from the edge to form a channel (oh and I understiched the lining). Then inserted it as instructed.

I also think a jacket needs pockets. I saw a version of a minoru with zip pockets and most of my favorite store bought coats have this feature. To do this I sewed up the outer shell and then tried it on. I marked where I wanted my pockets to go at this point and then I drew a 7" by 1/2" rectangle. I was totally flying by the seat of my pants with these pockets so I cut a rectangle of lining fabric for each pocket that was 8 x 12.5 ish. Yeah so I bought 2 yards of lining fabric and after cutting the hood that is all I had enough for. Thankfully it was big enough. So at this point I basically followed the instructions for inserting the zipper in the collar. You sew the pocket to the coat around the rectangle, cut it open, push the pocket to the wrong side, insert the zipper, and then fold the pocket right sides together and stitch around the pocket bag. I put the coat on and saw the pockets would peak out, so I eyeballed where I would need to chop them off but still be able to put my hands in. Then I sewed a diagonal line and pinked the edges of the pocket. They are really far from perfect but I love them.

Like I said I love this jacket and have wanted to make it for a while now. The sleeves for me are a great length, I feel the fitted waist is flattering, and the sewalong is a great resource. I used the machine version of attaching the lining to the sleeves and while it took me forever to wrap my head around that and it was super fiddly, I'm glad I found that tip. I think it will be a nice strong seam.

This was a bit of an intense make for me. After sewing up the body with the piping I was trimming seam allowances and cut right into my sleeve! Thank goodness I had enough fabric to cut another sleeve but I spent some serious time taking apart that body. Really it scared me to the point that I barely trimmed anything else. Then my zippers didn't want to attach nicely, I almost ran out of lining fabric, and I made it through with maybe a yard of thread left.

That may not be a big deal to some, but I got this thread like 40 miles away from my house so lesson learned. Just buy two spools. I did use black thread in my bobbin at times since my lining was black and the hidden seams are done with peach thread. It was intense at times but I am so happy with the results. I can see myself making this again at some point. I think it would be awesome as a real snow coat with a thin water resistant outer layer, some kind of insulation, and then a cozy lining.