Saturday, February 11, 2017

February Plans

The month is half over and I'm still working on that motorcycle jacket! I swear I'll finish this weekend. I've said that the last three weekends, but I mean it this time. Of course, we do have other things going on, like making this beautiful Ikea-hacked light fixture!


On to February plans. The February Burda was only okay, unfortunately. The only piece that grabbed me was this beautiful coat! I don't have much need for a knee length coat in SF, though, and I don't like the shorter versions. This one is destined for my Someday list. I may try to make the boucle jacket if I can find suitable fabric in my stash. I've been enjoying wearing casual zip-up jackets to work quite a bit lately and this has lovely, classic lines. If not, maybe the skirt. Meh.

I also took a look at my Someday list to see if anything grabs me in the moment:
Lots of buttons! I'm leaning most toward the DKNY dress upper right. It's been on my to-sew list for ages!

Finally, knitting. I'm almost finished with the front of my Stonecutter, and need a break. I'm weary of cables, and am definitely not knitting a complex design in black yarn again, ever. Mark my words. I wanted something easy mindless, but instead cast this on earlier this week:

It is easier, though certainly not mindless, and the bright blue yarn is a welcome change. I love knitting again, which was really the goal!

Happy February!

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Cape to Match Aster


Here it is, the December Burda Cape! The cape that may have pushed me too far into crazy pet lady territory. I made Aster's rain jacket first, in desperation, last winter after we brought him home and life was endless puppy walks in the rain. I used a coated cotton that had been in the stash a long time, and had enough left to make me something as originally planned. 


I debated making the long version of the cape, but ultimately thought it would be too much lightweight fabric blowing around. I think that was the right choice, but I do wish I had added a few inches.


I left off the patch pockets and did not seam the arms, though I think I may go back and do it. I envisioned wearing this to work with my bag tucked up dry inside, but it's really too short (my sweaters poke out!). If I'm not wearing it to work, a bit of anchoring would help--it's windy up here on the coast! The other major design flaw is that the roomy hood blows off in the slightest breeze. I've put another snap right under the chin, which keeps it on pretty well.


This was my first time sewing with a plaid. I didn't do so well. The pattern did include helpful match lines, but even then I wasn't careful enough and there is some unfortunate seaming at the back and front bands. I hated it at first, but now barely notice!


I lined Aster's jacket with a cheerful floral, and added a bit of bias at the cape neckline for a little more subtle matching. But the matching. I love it in theory, but was pretty self-conscious outside the house. It's a little crazy, right? I think it will work, though. Aster doesn't like his jacket so I only use it if it's pouring, and in that case I would probably wear something heavier.

All together, I think it will be a great cover up for dog walking and running, particularly during the foggy days of summer. The fog can be so thick that you can't really tell if it's raining or just foggy, but with temps in the 60s it's too warm for a jacket when exercising.

Side note: The amount of beige in these photos is alarming. This appears to be my photo spot, so I'd better figure something out! Curtains instead of closet doors, perhaps. The cat would like that, too!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January Plans

It's already halfway through January! I've been all over the place with work, and holidays, and goodness knows what, but am still slowly working on my December Burda project:


I just need to attach the hood and do the finishing--almost there!

I hope to complete a January Burda project, though nothing really stood out to me in the 1/2017 issue. Nothing except that cropped motorcycle jacket. I want it... but four dots worth of difficulty? Not sure I want to face that right now! I would also have to go to JoAnn for zippers. Horrors. The sweatshirt is an easy, but not very exciting, backup, or I could go back to the 2016 issue for this sloppily-drawn long skirt. 


Or, maybe it's time to take a break from Burda and revisit my neglected envelope patterns. It's been a while since I've looked through them, but I know there are some great ones waiting to be remembered!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

To Sew Someday

Last July I started keeping a Bullet Journal, and turns out I love it. The system basically has you set up a custom planner, with the added flexibility of keeping any other lists or collections in the same place since there is no pre-made structure. I keep it pretty simple, but if you do a search on Pinterest you'll see that some people really go all out!

At any rate, over the summer and fall I sketched out a few patterns that I want to make, but not at this very moment. I always have a running list in my head, but designs are forgotten, patterns and magazines are all in different places, and it sometimes my to-sew list feels totally overwhelming. Putting the line drawings on paper was surprisingly liberating! Taking the care and attention to do the sketch also made me give the design thoughtful consideration. I've since had to change notebooks, and last week sketched out some more designs. So far they are all burda (❤), but my envelope patterns are coming up next!

Now I'm putting them all together here so I can really see them in one place, with a tag!







Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ogden Cami

I love camisoles. I'm constantly on the hunt for the perfect thing, both in stores and with patterns. So far, I haven't had much luck making camisoles, for various reasons. Usually there is something wrong with the neckline, or the finishing, or the shape. There was a camisole in a recent Burda issue that I meant to try, but then the Ogden Cami was released and everyone started making it and it looked great... I couldn't resist.


I actually like it quite a bit! For this mock-up/test version, I used a loosely woven fabric that I think must be rayon. It was one of those online orders that doesn't look very good in person, and I assumed this camisole would be pretty much unwearable. Turns out, it looks fine in the finished garment, maybe even a bit elegant! Since the fabric is a little sheer, I made a full lining rather than a facing. By the time I sewed the hems, though, I was running on autopilot and still didn't believe this was a wearable garment, so I didn't make any length adjustments. The lining peeks out a bit where the hems aren't perfectly even, but I don't really mind it when wearing.



I raised the neckline about an inch, based on photos of others' projects. It's the perfect depth now, and I absolutely love the soft v-neck shape. The rest of the camisole is rather swingy, which I like for the most part.

Excuse the rather lousy hemming job. I didn't think the fabric would work out as well as it did! In a "real" version, I would hand roll the hems.
The project turned out well, however, if I'm being honest with myself I must do an FBA on the next one, as well as most other things I make. I don't really understand what's happened over the last couple years as my measurements haven't really changed (slight bulking up from yoga pushed it over the edge? is that even a thing?), and I'm dismayed, but the truth is that my clothes don't fit right anymore. I don't really make resolutions, but a 2017 goal for sewing is to face facts and learn how to do an FBA. 

Overall, this is by far the most successful camisole I've made, and I'm super excited to make a few in silk!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mountain High Sweater



Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm over sewing. Especially when a top that should have been great turns out too small. That happened last weekend, and this past weekend I did nothing but finish up what was on my needles, the Mountain High sweater by Heidi Kirrmaier. 

This sweater is most definitely not too small! That's because it's actually my second Mountain High. The first I knit according to measurements, despite warning that the model was wearing a size with more ease. It fit well, but didn't have the slouchy look I wanted, so I ripped it out and shoved the pattern aside for a while. I picked it up again with the Olympics, shoving the too-complicated Stonecutter aside for the moment. I needed something mindless to knit while watching!

The pattern is very easy, with subtle shaping and garter stitch highlights. I ended up erring on the large side, knitting size M2, though now that it's done I think I probably should have stuck with M1. Any bigger and it would be much too big! I love the subtlety of Heidi's designs, like the way the knitting moves diagonally inward at CF:

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in worsted. It was nice to knit and so far is nice to wear. Not too itchy, though I'm not terribly sensitive, and very cozy. Also, it's just so inexpensive. I'm not at that point in knitting yet, where spending a ton on yarn for a sweater seems like the right thing to do. I'm not even quite there with sewing! This sweater cost about $15 in materials, that I can live with no problem!


I have a few more Advent Garland ornaments to knit up for Eric now, then it's back to Stonecutter. Of course, in the meantime I'm sure it will be back to sewing. I've got so many ideas, one wadder isn't going to keep me down!

Here is that wadder... Burda 10/2016 #121. Isn't it pretty?? I may just take the sleeves off to make it barely wearable. siiiiiiigh.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mitts for my Sister



Just a quick post to share a pair of mitts I knitted up for my sister's birthday. She's just transferred to UCSB and I'm pretty sure she will need something to keep her hands warm while studying in the coming months. 

I used the Cranford Mitts pattern, though really it's just a basic horseshoe lace pattern in a tube with a simple thumb gusset. I'm looking forward to making this pattern again using other Shetland lace patterns, I love old-fashioned knitted lace!

I used Paton Kroy self-striping sock yarn. The yarn was nice to use, and I almost matched the two mitts. Close enough, anyway!