Monday
Dec302013

Knitting up a storm: what I did on Xmas break

On my Christmas break I’ve had lots of free time at home to basically veg the hell out, sit on the couch watching endless Netflix, bake cookies, and knit.

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Knitting and I always have a back and forth relationship: there are so many things that I want to make that I get project burnout before I even start. It’s really the perfect thing to do, though, when it’s cold and rainy out, you have a plate of chocolate chip cookies sitting in front of you, and you want to be *slightly* productive while sitting in front of the t.v.

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I started on a hat for myself and finished it in about 5-6 hours. I know, I’m terribly slow. But still, it’s really cute and gave me something to do while learning about Inca ruins and the Spanish Conquistadors. Score!

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I also started a pair of yellow mittens for Thea literally a year ago. Oh god, the shame. In digging around my knitting bag the single mitten turned up, and Thea found it, put it on, and ran around the house showing everyone. That shamed me into finishing the second one, and making an cord to attach them together through her jacket.

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Now, if I could just get paid for eating cookies, watching t.v., knitting, and drinking endless pots of coffee… my life would be complete. P.S. If you’re on Ravelry you can check out my projects here. The mitten pattern is here, and the hat pattern is here. Knit on, my knittahs!

Tuesday
Sep102013

Geranium Dresses + Go To Leggings

The other day I made myself an Ikat Washi dress (no, I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I promise to get around to it… eventually).  Phoebe loved it so much she asked me if I could make one for her.  Usually the answer is no (adult patterns are not child-sized, natch) but in this case I could.  That Rae is a super genius!

We have a tradition of late of the girls getting first-day-of-school dresses made by me.  Most of the time I try to pick out the fabric, but this year I let them do it.  Yep, it happened.  I actually happen to like what they chose (gasp!) and I was excited to make them some Geranium dresses.

I sewed these assembly-line style and they went… medium fast.  The dresses have a lined bodice with back button closure, pleats on the front and back, and pockets (pockets oh yessss).  I used snaps on the back instead of buttons.  I did the faux cap sleeves and scoop neck (no cutout) so it looked more like the Washi I made for myself.  I originally bought 5 yards of material (I figured 2.5 yards for each dress) and I have a good 2 yards left over.  So Thea will get a Geranium dress too, and they’ll be matchy x3.  IKNORITE.

I sewed a size 6 for the middles and they fit perfectly, the length was good, but I figured some leggings wouldn’t hurt.  I had snatched up this silver dot jersey from Girl Charlee (it has these metallic silver pin dots that are raised up from the fabric - no longer available or I’d link to it) and I knew it would make fantastic leggings.  I searched around for a pattern and came upon the Go To Leggings pattern by Go to Patterns, and since it was a PDF download (my fave!) I had instant gratification and could get their leggings knocked out super fast.

It took longer to print, tape, and trace the pattern than it did to sew the leggings.  They went together lightning fast, like, no lie.  I was amazed.  There are lines to make shorts, capris, or full length leggings, and all sorts of fancy embellishments.  I just wanted some plain jane standard leggings, but I love how many options come with the pattern, and that there’s a huge range of sizes so we can use it for awhile.

Sewed up the leggings on my serger (I used white thread, shh, don’t tell) and zigzagged the elastic onto the waist.  I hemmed the bottoms by about a half inch using a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, and done!  Not pictured: I made a matching pair for Thea so she doesn’t feel left out.  Srsly I’m going to be making leggings for days now.  I’m addicted.  They fit so well and Charlie wore them to gymnastics so that’s the real test of whether they’ll hold up or not.  

Fancy first day of school outfits, yey!

Saturday
Sep072013

Nightgowns! Kwik Sew 3105 + Butterick 4005

I've been sewing up a storm lately, not that you can tell by my (lack of) blog posting.  Stuff for me, and a bunch of stuff for the girls.  Totes bustin' my stash, which feels good y'all.  Feels good.

In any event, the other night Charlie came out of her room in her "jammies" -- meaning a shirt that was roughly a bazillion sizes too small.  I rolled my eyes as hard as I could and then decided to make up some fancy nightgowns.  

I don't know about the rest of the world, but making nightgowns doesn't excite me that much.  It's like buying new towels or sheets: totally necessary, but boring and nothing that you're really ever going to be able to show off.  Oops, I guess my sewing ego is showing.

I originally wanted to make this Kwik Sew pattern (3105) (OMG SO ADORBS) but I couldn't find it in the store and I did NOT want to order the paper pattern online and pay shipping.  Yuck.  So I found this See and Sew (Butterick) 4005 in the store and made up 2, one for Phoebe and one for Charlie.

It's so cute, it has gathered sleeves with elastic, three box pleats on the front, easy peasy front/back facings, and a simple button closure in the back. (Do forgive the instagram photos. I have not been inspired to take regular camera shots.)  I made them both a size 6 even though they're closer to a 7 in RTW since I knew the nightgown would be boxy and a little big on them regardless.

 

Takes a lot of fabric, though, but I love the fullness.  Fabric for the middles' nightgowns was some $3/yard apple flannel I found at Joanns.  Fabric for Thea's was some flannel that I already had in my stash.  Woot!  Not pictured was some lace I had lying around that I used for the hem on Thea's nightgown.  

After making up the Butterick pattern, though, I wanted that Kwik Sew nightgown even more, so I bit the bullet and ended up ordering it online anyway.  Aw shucks.  I also ordered yards and yards and yards of lace trim from Deb's Lace and Trims online since I have literally nothing in my stash, and really, you can't make a nightgown without some sort of lace trim. 

YOU GUYS, that shop has such great trims, and really really cheap, and super fast shipping!  Don't bother paying $2-3 per yard for lace trims.  Go order some from Deb's.  You're welcome.  I used this one on Thea's nightgown (hello! 5 yards for $1.25!  yes please!)

Anywho, I whipped this up last night, yes, same owls from the other nightgown just in a blue color way.  I have a sickness, but at least I'm consistent.  

The pattern is easy -- front/back bodice, gathered skirt, then ruffle on the bottom.  No closure.  I chose View B (sleeveless).  The application of the lace trim was interesting, but it worked.  I hated to gather the ruffle on the bottom thinking it would take forever, but nope.  It went pretty quickly.  The lace is probably a little wide for the pattern, but I don't really care.  It's just the cutest thing ever, and she loved it, so everybody wins.

I have plans to make 2 more of the Kwik Sew nightgowns for the middles once I get back from my work trip (Ireland, aw yeah!) and I pinky swear to take real actual pictures and blog about it.  Pinky swear!

Wednesday
May292013

Megan Nielsen Briar. Can I get a what what?

Another game that I’m evidently late to: the Megan Nielsen Briar top. ZOMG WHERE HAS THIS PATTERN BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

ahem.

So, this is a fabulous shirt pattern with a high-low hem, that you can make as a crop top or regular length.  You can also choose short sleeves, 3/4 length, or long sleeves.  2 types of pockets.  And then I DIED.

I made the first as a muslin to test the fit, in this ugly ass green and orange striped knit that I bought (when I was on drugs? because someone was holding a gun to my head?) eleventy billion years ago and just clearly never hated anyone enough to use it on them.  I figured if the shirt turned out terribly then hell, it wasn’t like I was wasting the material or anything.

briar again!

I didn’t have *quite* enough yardage to bind the neck with self fabric, so I found some tangerine tissue knit in my stash and at the last minute decided to use it for the pocket as well to make it look more intentional.  Don’t tell anyone that this was not intentional please and thank you.

le pocket

I made the medium, and I feel like it’s too big.  Is it, or am I crazy?  

front/side view

I had ordered some of this really beautiful fushia cotton/lycra knit to make another top, so I forged ahead and made the medium one there, as well.  I *still* think it’s too big.

front view

Really easy construction, though, I made the longer version with short sleeves.  It’s super comfy, and very straightforward to make.  Love the hem, for serious.

back view

I want to make a few more (or a million more) but I really think I’m going to size down to a size small.  I also want to make the cropped version, maybe with long sleeves, to wear over my maxi dresses.  Because that’s my new favorite thing.

googly face

Go me!

Monday
May272013

Mission Maxi turned tank

Yeah, I decided to take the Maxi craze a step further and make myself a tank top.  Knit from Girl Charlee (obvies) that I got one million years ago with the intention of making the girls a dress or shirt or something.  Then I stole it for myself.

Jamie Christina tank

The material doesn’t have *that* much stretch to it, and I was worried that it would be a problem.  I made the size 10/12, and cut it off where the pattern indicates to make a tank.  

with my sweater

I have two issues with this:

1. The racerback construction shows my bra straps.  No, I don’t want to buy a new bra.  Blarg.

2. The construction of the dress flares out at the hips, so the tank flares out a little after the waist.  It’s not bad, but I don’t particularly like it.  

top view

Also, I decided to twin needled the hem, which created some tunneling.  And I didn’t have enough self fabric to bind the neck or armholes, so I had to use a different knit entirely.  I’m actually fine with the binding, I think it looks great, but I’m not sure how I feel overall about this top.  I definitely don’t think I’ll make it again, but I’m not sure how often I’ll actually wear it, either.

side view

These pictures are after wearing it and washing it, and the hem did not fare particularly well.  I draw the line at ironing a tank top you guys, so we’ll see how much play this bad boy will actually get.