Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dahlia cardigan

My two WIPs I blogged about last week are now finished. 

Here is my Dahlia cardigan.... it's not really the weather for it now, I haven't quite got into the right schedule for knitting - mind you, we're passed mid summer now, so the nights are drawing in (kind of, sort of):

I'm not really sure how to wear it as it's not really the shape of cardigan, or clothes, that I'm used to wearing - I don't tend (or haven't tended) to go for anything vaguely draped.  I feel more comfortable with it pinned together at the front.

Although it looks fine open - it would probably be better with something other than scruffy top and t-shirt!  I suppose I could have dressed up properly to show off my new Dahlia, but that's not really my thing :-)

I really like the bit of lacework on the back and sleeve:

And the colour is lovely.  I think I need to use this piece as inspiration to sew some garments that will look really cool with it.  That will have to wait till after the summer holidays as my crafting time and access to the sewing machine is going to be severely diminished.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Wearing what I make: Vogue 1915

Another blouse from the archive of not wearing is this blouse:

It's made from this Vogue pattern:

Vogue 1915, view C and I made a size 10.  This is another Anne Klein design.

I tried it on and it's OK but maybe a bit short - it also rides up a lot if I lift my arms.  The fabric is some sort of crepe.  I haven't really worn it because of the riding up problem.  I'm not sure what to do about it - maybe adding a gusset at the armpit and I could wear it with something high waisted?  The inside is also appallingly finished, so if I do fix it I should do some behind the scenes work too.

I guess another dive into my fabric scraps to see if there's any of this fabric floating about anywhere - I'm such a scrap squirrel that there most likely is. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014


I have two WIPs on the go at the moment (well, there are of course more, but these are the main ones!)... one is nearly done and one is just starting.

The first is the Dahlia cardigan, which I've been working on since October last year.  I had to pause work on it over Christmas as I ran out of yarn and so had to order some more - and then by the time it arrived I was well underway with another project.

Anyway, I'm pleased that the knitting is done and it is blocking before I sew up the gap above and below the lace panel.  This is a different shape of cardigan than I would normally wear, but hopefully it will fit in with what I wear.  I chose this patten as I love the long colour changes and wanted to preserve them - I think this pattern and how it starts at the centre allows me to do this.  I tried to match (as close as I could) the colour when joining at the centre top and bottom and also when going back to add the arms.

My other WIP - which is just starting is going to be a dress for Frances - she is a real dress girl and it's time she had some more.

I had some old sheet in my stash that was donated to me in order to make a muslin for my wedding dress - so I cut up the muslin and to make it a bit more interesting (and hopefully look less like an old sheet) and have done some potato stamping in the shape of bows....

Monday, 16 June 2014

Wearing what I make - Vogue 2544 Frankenblouse

I think I may have made a wearable garment out of my two unworn garments....  As I said earlier, I took the top half of Vogue 2544, used the White Stuff blouse as inspiration and redrafted the bottom half and used the fabric that had previously been Vogue 2152 to make a Frankenblouse - I redrafted the bottom with the help of the free Sorbetto top and this is what I've ended up with:

Not too bad.... it's not my favourite item of clothing but I feel very satisfied that I've managed to cull two items of clothing that have been lolling around not being worn and made them into something that is wearable. 

And to prove that I've worn it out of the house:

The floatiness of the bottom fabric compared to the top half means that the back pleat gets a bit lost - I also had to make a centre seam at the back and include a couple of previous seams into the front piece in order to make it work - but all in order I think it's OK. 

Unfortunately I can't enter this into the Indie Pattern Franken-Indie contest, as only one half of my FrankenBlouse is Indie, but ho hum c'est la vie.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Wearing what I make - Vogue 2152

I didn't even bother to try this one on - it's sat in a box since I made it back who knows when....

I did try it on Felicity Anne though - and she looked OK, it just not really my thing.  I'm not sure it ever was.  It's a wrap around dress made using Vogue 2152 - designer Anna Sui.  I made view B in a size 10.

I seem to remember it always feeling a bit too skimpy, especially around the boobs - I'm not huge in that area, but I do prefer to be covered and not feel like I'm about to fall out.  Even looking at the picture on the pattern envelope, she looks like she's about to fall out of view B, so what did I really expect?

The browny stripes in the fabric match the colour of the shirt I'm trying to redo - so maybe it has a future potential - it's a floatier fabric than the shirt, but maybe it will work?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Wearing what I make - redoing Vogue 2544

So, I've been having a play with the blouse I made using Vogue 2544 that was sitting around not being worn because it doesn't fit.

I opened up the side seams and sleeve seems and added a 9cm wide strip of a different fabric and also put a band around the bottom.

It's not right - it now fits across the bust OK but the hip/waist area isn't right.  I let out the seams around the hip area before I sewed on the bottom band and it just looks like a shambles and doesn't fit.

I'm quite enjoying the challenge of figuring this out though (at the moment anyway) and think I'm going to preserve the sleeves and collar area and do something different below approximately where the pin is in the photo above.

I've seen this blouse on the White Stuff website:

 And I'm thinking I could do something similar with my blouse - I think the pleat in the back and the more shaped sides will look better than the original boxiness.  Of course there won't be much of my original blouse left and I need to find a complementary fabric so this may take some time. 

Wish me luck!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Pattern weights

I would have thought that the first thing I would make with the return of my sewing machine would have been something vaguely taxing, or at least using more than a straight stitch ... but no, I made myself some pattern weights.

I used the tutorial from Zaaberry and some bits of old jeans:- the legs of some of Rory's jeans that I'd made into shorts and some bits I'd cut off some jeans I'd bought and bothered to turn up. 

I find it really difficult to throw out any fabric, no matter how small so it's nice to find something to use up some bits that are floating around.  I like the look of flat felled seams on jeans, so made sure to include them in some of my squares.  I filled them with red lentils.

I've never used pattern weights, but with my recent purchase of some vintage patterns I think these will come in useful so as not to have to use pins when tracing and cutting out. 

The kids like them too... so double bonus.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Tank top for Rory

Another knitting project that got finished while my sewing machine was on holiday (I can talk about my sewing machine being away less bitterly now that it's back safe and sound) is a tank top from the Knitter's handy book of sweater patterns for Rory.  I've had this book for ages but hadn't knitted anything from it. 

No photos of Rory modelling the jumper, I'm afraid - he tried it on once (pre-blocking) said that it's nice and promptly took it off again.  Oh well, it's not really jumper wearing season at the moment.

So, I'm really proud of this jumper, not only did I finally use a book that I own but have never used I also ended up steeking it.  I feel fearless where knitting is concerned now.

The yarn I used is Artistic 8/2 in the rainbow colourway by Aade Lõng.  Half of the yarn used is reclaimed from a smaller tank top Rory had been knitted by his Nanna and the other half is the same yarn bought by David on a work trip he went on to Tallinn just before we moved to Switzerland.  The yarn is lovely - I've always loved the long, gradual colour changes. 

I've also had my eye on the Alberta sweater by Jared Flood and thought I would try to do something similar.  I followed the pattern for the Set-In Sleeve Sweater - Child from the book and did alternating 3 row stripes from my two sets of yarn.  One was wound in one direction and the other in the opposite direction which has led to the yellow conversion where I started the armholes - if I did another one I'd make sure they were both wound in the same direction.  Of course, in order to preserve the stripes the logical thing to do was to steek.  Gulp.

I was a bit scared when I finally admitted this revelation, but with the help of the internet - specifically Jared Flood's blog notes about making his original Alberta and also Eunny Jang's steeking notes and Kate Davies' steeking tutorials I got there.  As I wasn't doing colourwork as such (ie didn't have two colours in one row) I made my steek using a k1p1 rib over an odd number of stitches (7 I think), which helped with locating where to do the crochet, the scary cutting and also where to pick up the neck and sleeve rib edges. 

Here's a picture of the inside (this one is pre-blocking):

And also a close up of the steek all neatly finished off with some herringbone stitch.

I can see some more steeking in my future, it's scarier to think about than to do.  Even though I'm a sewer as well as a knitter I don't like sewing up knitting!

Link to my ravelry project page.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

It's back :-)

Hoorah, it's back - after 6 weeks.  I went into the shop today and found it languishing on the floor.  The phone number they had written down for us didn't work.  Who knows how long it's been there, but I don't really care as it's back.  I've cleared it's table again and it's back ready and plugged in for a test drive. 

I've been accumulating a few projects while it's been away.  Not sure where to start....

Monday, 2 June 2014

Darlek dress

One positive about not having a sewing machine at the moment is that my knitting projects are ticking along nicely.

A friend of mine has recently had a little girl, she has two older brothers so no doubt will get quite a few masculine looking hand-me-downs but I thought I would give her something a little girly.  Her Mum is into Dr Who, so I thought a Darlek dress would be a good move... but not in traditional Darlek colours, but in girly pink.

I don't have a baby to do any modelling, so Mollamella stepped in:

The pattern is Mummy's Little Darlek jumper by ABitterKnitter (ravelry link).

I used some Novita 7 Veljestä I had in my stash.  I think it's come out quite darlek-like and not too scary (I remember being scared of the Darleks when I was little).  I love the texture of the bobbles. Link to my ravelry project.