Sunday, August 5, 2012

Last Summer Dress

Finally finished is the Grainline Studio Tank Dress! I love her pattern variations and decided I was up for a challenge. Turning the tank into a dress was easy, getting the placket right was the bigger challenge. My pattern drafting skills definitely need more work! Small issues with the placket pattern draft resulted in some tricky sewing. It took me an entire afternoon (sewing it on inside out, ripping out, having that "ah ha!" moment, then sewing it in correctly) but the work was totally worth the seam ripper. 

My second hurdle was the buttonholes. I'm working with a new machine and this was the first time I was using the buttonhole function. This sidelined me for about 2 hours which involved half a yard of scrap fabric, digging out the manual, searching for a web tutorial, etc. It wasn't until I walked away and came back 20 minutes later that I had my second "ah ha!" moment of the day. I felt like a total sewing genius when I figured it out (a well hidden, pull down, buttonhole lever in the back ...). I was so proud to have figured it out I texted my mother immediately to let her know I beat the machine.

This project then got put on hold while the husband and I took a vacation to Maine. I finally found time this weekend to finish the armholes and hem. 
Voila! One last summer dress. 

A big thank you to Jen at Grainline for her wonderful patterns, thoughtful variations, clear tutorials and continued inspiration! You're single-handedly providing my summer wardrobe (2 tank tops, 1 swing back woven shirt, 1 tank dress and counting!). 
You rock.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Knitting Update

The Flint mittens I had started back in April are finally finished! They were so easy and so rewarding to knit. I absolutely love them. I think the cable going up the thumb is my favorite part (after the neon trim, of course). I really love these Brooklyn Tweed patterns though. Speaking of which ...

During my recent trip (read: splurge) to Purl Soho, I picked up some Brooklyn Tweed Loft yarn. They have a great selection and the colors are all beautiful. It took a while for me to decide. So many choices can be debilitating. In the end I went with my favorite go-to color ... grey (Loft color equivalent: Snowbound). Surprise, surprise.

I can't wait to get these wound and ready to go.

What to make is the next question. Brooklyn Tweed just debuted Wool People 3 and I am so into all of it. As usual. I love thoroughly reading those Look Books. So beautiful. Even the pattern diagrams! Wool People 3 aside, I'm still pretty smitten with the Spring Thaw patterns.

Right now, my top three project contenders are:

Image: Brooklyn Tweed

Image: Brooklyn Tweed

And the Auden Sweater:
Image: Brooklyn Tweed

I'm not sure if I'm in the mood for another sweater, however this one is knit in the round which means easy and relatively quick. It will also give me a second sweater option for Rhinebeck (woo woo!). I'm leaning a bit towards the loop scarf though since I will be able to wear it immediately (in my freezing cold office). Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Dress #2

Two weeks ago I finished up another summer dress. I am in love! The pattern is New Look #6804 and the fabric is a beautiful cotton/linen blend I bought (totally splurged on) at Purl Soho. This may end up being a new 'go to' pattern for me. It was very easy to make and those pockets are just too cute. I especially love how the skirt flies when you twirl (an important dress component, ha ha).

I have been totally possessed by the sewing bug this spring. This weekend I cut out another dress (hello, grainline studio tank dress!). I found a nice plaid in the stash and there was just enough to make the tank. Perfect-o. You can sort of see it in the above photos, hanging off the chair to the right. The sewing portion will have to wait until next weekend though. I just can't turn an iron on when it's over 90 degrees outside. Yeck.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

scarf, no wait, a tank

It started when I saw this cute pom pom scarf on the Purl Bee

I bought the two yards of cotton fabric, a navy solid and a navy gingham, washed them and put them in the 'to make' pile of my sewing corner. Memorial Day weekend came and while I was finishing up a dress, I realized I also wanted to make something else (a magical moment of manic sewing compulsion).

 Looking around the sewing corner I found the navy fabrics. As I was ironing them I really fell in love with the feel. I needed to be able to really WEAR this fabric. A scarf was not going to cut it. That's when I reached for my trusty tank pattern. I made the front of the tank in the gingham and the back in the solid. And I love it.

Another great addition to the wardrobe!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

On a roll

Last weekend was a sewing weekend like no other. In one day I managed to crank out a new dress and a new tank top. 

First the dress. 

I used my go-to dress pattern, Simplicity 8482, and tried the variation that included two long ties that can be overlapped across the body (and tied in the back) or gently tied in the front. I love it!  

 The fabric is a lightweight cotton I bought at Nido last autumn while the husband and I were vacationing in Vermont. A great shop for fabric and yarns!

For this dress I tried a new tip that I learned from Colette Patterns.  When preparing the skirt and all the gathers, they suggest sewing three rows of basting (instead of the usual two rows) to help better control the gathers. And boy are they right! The gathers were much more controlled and even - sewing them down was a breeze. I love little tips like this! Here's the blog post for a full description and I highly suggest subscribing to their weekly newsletter, Snippets.

I still need to photograph the tank top that I made. Post coming soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ikat Scout

I'm excited to add a new blouse to the closet! 

Spring weather & sun make me want to sew and the conditions proved just right this weekend. Today I made Grainline's Scout Woven Tee. I had this beautiful cotton ikat in the stash and it was begging to be a blouse. Feeling ambitious I also went ahead with a pattern adjustment - adding a full back - following Grainline's awesome tutorial

I love this pattern and am sure I'll be making more blouses with it in the future (and perhaps a dress?). I should also mention that I used Grainline's flat bias neckline tutorial and it worked like a charm. Next weekend (long weekend, woo hoo!) I'll be sewing up a dress I've got cut and ready to go. Gosh, I love sewing!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


My first seamed sweater is complete .. and it fits!

I'm so pleased with how this sweater came out. It's warm and roomy enough for a shirt underneath. I used the dimensions of a favorite sweater as a guide and I think that was the biggest help. The one change I made was with the neckline. The pattern instructions have you do a purl round, then knit to create a sort of lining. I found the lining to be bunchy and really thick. When I put the sweater on,  I felt like I was being choked. I ripped all of that out and just did a regular bind off. It doesn't look as clean as the knit lining version but it is significantly thinner and more flexible. I don't think anyone will really notice anyway.

In other news, the blanket is almost done - I just need to decide on a contrast color. I really wish Cascade's Magnum came in neon colors. I think the cream would look awesome with a neon yellow border.  I'm loving the neon yellow trim I've worked into my Flint mittens. I think it looks so awesome. This picture doesn't do it justice -

I can't wait to see the progression of the cables. These mittens are a really fun knit and I think they will be a great travel project for some small trips we have coming up. 
All of this beautiful wool ... is it crazy that I've already started dreaming about this year's Rhinebeck?