01 October 2014

FO: Kwik Sew 3521 - house edition

This dress turned out totally bitchin'.  I feel totally bitchin' wearing it too.


 Fabulous basic pattern that I will be making umpteen times more.  This style is super classic and flattering (at least for me).  I love love love the fabric, it just worked right?  I can't even remember what it is or whether it is entirely appropriate for a dress, it came on a roll at spotlight, cotton, on that table with all the Lisette fabrics.  I'm fairly sure it's just a cotton, it has a fair bit of weight to it.


I'd been stressing so so much about making a dress.  Fitting is HARD!  But somehow this came together, it looks and feels like it fits right and there's still enough ease to make it comfortable.  I know there's probably some scientific way to ensure a good fit but I literally just cut the straight M (which was a size smaller than recommended) and upon it feeling too baggy, took an extra half an inch out at each side.


And look - I even matched the pattern at the front!  I feel like a frickin' wizard!  Fabrico Matcho! 


Less successful at the back.  I managed to match the lamp post but must have had a brain fart when cutting out the left side.  Whaaat?  I don't mind at all, I don't think it's fatal.  I still have some work to do in getting my invisible zip skills up there, but I think this one does the job.  I omitted the hook and eye, they always seem so fiddly and I have never used them, even on my rtw dresses.  Do you use them?  Do they have a point?  Do you even care?



Pattern:  Kwik Sew 3521.  As we all know, commercial patterns are BIG.  I cut a size smaller than recommended according to my actual measurements and even then it was a bit on the big side (hence the extra alterations).  The arm scythes are a smidge tight, I've taken out half a cm in my next one which should remedy this.

Alterations:  

  • I cut a straight size M and after inserting the zip discovered it was still quite baggy.  I took half an inch off each side of the bodice and it fits like a dream.  
  • Instead of a gathered skirt I made box pleats in the front and back that lined up with the bust darts, which I think are much classier.
  • Fully lined!  Is there anything more luxurious than a fully lined dress?  
  • Length is somewhere between the A and B views.  Couldn't possibly show those knees could I!! 

Fabric:  Some cotton poplin from spotlight.  You know when you see a fabric like a thousand times on visiting the store and can just picture wearing it?  I saw this again and again and finally just fucking bought it.  No regrets bitches! It came in a pink background too - the one I chose has more of a neutral sort of beige background.  I'm girly but I'm not that girly!  And just some plain white cotton lawn for the lining which is super comfortable and light and gorgeous and I love it.

Notions:  22" invisible zip.

Of course I chose the windiest day in history for the photos.  Thanks to my little sis for being my photographer.


~Tan

Pattern review here

Handmakers factory here


17 August 2014

FO: February Lady

Hey hey look what I made!  It only took me 6 months!


Well, I wasn't like knitting the whole time. As happens with so many of my projects, my initial enthusiasm wore off and this piece spent a bunch of time in hibernation.


What a great pattern! Super easy to memorise.  It grew like a whole bunch.  I knit until it was just sitting on my hips, and you can see the results post-blocking.  And I didn't block it a lot, really just laid it flat.  Also, look how cute the yos are just before the lace on the yoke.


One day I will knit something with some shaping, just wait and see :)

Pattern:  February Lady Sweater.  I made the larger sized 41" bust.  I think I probably could have gone down a size, but I also quite like the coziness of it.  Even thought the fact that it is full of holes kinda makes it a bit useless as a cardigan.  But anyways, I like it.  The buttons were 85c each at Clegs. Big spenda.
Yarn:  Bendigo Woollen Mills (what else?) Luxury 10ply in Autumn Glow, which I think is the perfect way to describe the colour.
Ravelled here.

~Tan

p.s. thanks lil sis for the photos!  Saw some local wildlife nesting, among a bit of rubbish sadly, but he seems pretty chill.


-Linking with-



Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)


01 August 2014

FO: Contemporary

Let's ignore the myriad of WIPs that are taunting me. 


Let's cast on new projects just because we can.


Let's knit a super cute hat for ourselves, because we realise we're half-way through winter without a single new hand knit to wear.


Let's use this gorgeous yarn we've scandalously had in the stash for over a year.


Yes.  Let's.

Pattern: Contemporary.  Lovely little pattern with the 3 different sized cables to keep it interesting.  I made this in under a week.  I made this exactly according to pattern, which I rarely rarely do (usually because I sub some different weight yarn).
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Pashmina in Oxblood. Gah this is I think the nicest yarn I've ever used.  It's absolutely luxurious and snuggly, I almost feel bad for using it in an item that won't be up against my skin.  I used about half for this hat.
Ravelled here.

-Linking with-


Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)


29 July 2014

Colette Albion Coat: Finito

So I'm sure the suspense has been killing you.... but lookie here I finished my coat!


In case it is not blindingly obvious from those photos, I will clarify that I am deliriously happy with this make.  I can see flaws, but it is entirely wearable, beautifully warm, surprisingly durable and I think, just plain cute.



I finished this baby over a month ago now, probably more, so already I am forgetting some of the specifics that went into the making.  I spent a good 2 or 3 hours I reckon on the cutting, doing my darnedest to get the checks to match.  I will go out and say its as close to perfect as it could have been.  (I found this tutorial super helpful if you are looking for a resource)  I did have a brain fart when cutting out the undersleeves so they don't match, but everything else does!


See, look at that boss matching at the side seams.  I was running out of blanket when it came to cutting the patch pockets, but I am very pleased with the off-centre part of the pattern I managed to duplicate for both pockets. 


Ok here's something that's irking me.  Look at those sleeve tabs (incidentally, what is the freaking point of a sleeve tab? But I digress).  Notice anything?  They are ass-backwards.  Now, I have been looking through the flickr group and it seems like I have read the pattern correctly as others have attached them the same as me.  And they match the pattern photos.  But they are WRONG.  And super annoying because they keep getting snagged every fucking where.  Just google "coat with sleeve tabs" and you will see.  Blerg.  Anyway, just putting it out there, you may want to consider flipping them so the button is to the outside of the sleeve.


And here's a flasher photo, so you can marvel at my lining skillz.  I was surprised that the lining was actually not that difficult to install.  Very clever really.  I did have to concentrate super hard when attaching the sleeves together, but then I clicked and everything was fine.


Another small annoyance is how it sits at the bottom.  I'm not sure if I've installed the lining slightly off or if the shell/blanket is just a bit stretched, but have you noticed that bit of sagging in the hem area?  I am being really picky here because I don't really give a hoot, but just something for noting next time.


Oh hey, wanna see the guts?  So I lined the sleeves with a silky fabric to help with slipping it on.  I really could/should have used a fabric with a bit more body but it does the job nicely.  And I get to say I used silk which I have not done so to date.


So for some strange reason I cut L for the sleeves with M body.  Don't ask me why.  I had no issues at all getting the shell sleeves in, they fit perfectly - probably because the wool stretched a bunch.  But the lining sleeves refused to behave so politely.  So I made a little pleat at the shoulder and was done with it.  No sweat. 


I would have finished my coat a lot sooner had I not been stressing out  about making my own toggles.  It took ages to settle on which part of the blanket to use, bias or straight?  Then what size and shape??  Finally I settled on making small squares.  I essentially used a piece of blanket and lining fabrics, sewed around the edge right sides together with the requisite length of cord and toggle positioned as shown.  The cord I chose was a bitch to sew through, and I discovered I had to fiddle with the tension a lot to stop the bobbin thread bunching up (ok that was not very technical, I really didn't know what I was doing and only discovered how to get through it after a fair amount of swearing and fiddling with my machine settings).


I sewed on the toggle things with a  design, partly to really secure it and partly to mirror the pattern in the blanket.  Pic below (with added bonus dodgy matching of the centre facing booo) - before I started this coat I was desperately trying to figure out when the toggles went on and how many layers you sew through.  So the answer is they go on last - and be prepared for the challenge of managing the entire bulk of your coat around your machine.  I pretty much could only do one line of stitching at a time, there's no way I could pivot to do a complete square to stitch these babies on accurately.


So I'm not sure if I can say much more.  Can you tell I totally adore my Albion?  It is a joy to wear, and I have worn it just about every day since finishing.  What is also a joy are the looks of astonishment I get from friends and colleagues when I tell them I made it myself.  No joke, there have been legit double-takes over my awesomeness.



Pattern:  Colette Albion.  I cut a M for the most part, but used L sleeves for some reason.  I think I was afraid, like, my arms wouldn't fit.  Which is ludicrous because they're quite baggy.  I don't think they look too ridiculous now.  

Alterations:
  • narrow shoulder adjustment (which I spoke about here, albeit briefly)
  • added 3 inches of width to the bottom hem, grading out from around the bust area
  • added zip customisation
  • fully lined the patch pockets (no big whoop I'm aware but still.  I don't know why you'd only do a facing)
  • lots of extra interfacing (which I spoke about here)
  • added raglan-style shoulder pads (some info again here)
  • made the hood a bit bigger, I believe I graded out to a L. 
  • used lining fabric for inseam pockets rather than shell fabric to reduce bulk
  • used lining fabric for underside of sleeve tabs
  • used toggle buttons for sleeve tabs, stitched directly onto sleeves (ie no buttonhole)
  • did a flat fell seam on the front arm seam (it is more traditional to do one on the back sleeve, for future reference)
Fabric:
  • Shell: woollen blanket.  Labelled 'Godfrey Hirst 100% Virgin Wool'.  Measured about 2m x 1.7m and I used all but very few scraps.  
  • Lining: cotton quilting fabric, 2m, chevron design from Spotlight and probably around 70cm of grey cotton/silk blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Notions:
  • 5 x toggle closures, ebay
  • elastic drawcord from etsy
  • 22" open end metal zip
  • iron on woven interfacing
And the internet could always use a bit more of my stupid face :)


Many thanks to my little sis Jack for taking the awesome photos (and putting up with me demanding two separate photo shoots) and to Jenny for inspiring me with her gorgeous blanket coat!

~Tan


Sewing pattern review here

Handmakers Factory here


29 May 2014

FO: Hatchling Cardigan

Babies!  People have babies sometimes.  Not me.  Nope.

But good excuse to knit eh?

Here's a hatchling cardigan.



I made the smallest size but it came out big enough to fit my friend's 16 month old.  It measures 25cm across the chest and 25cm from shoulder to hem.

Pattern: Hatchling cardigan.  Good little pattern.  I knit the sleeves in the round instead of seaming, because I'm cool.  And I didn't have matching buttons so I did a bunch of different ones.  I really like them.  I also did less repeats of the lace, making it more of a cropped cardi.
Yarn:  Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8ply in Blush. When will I learn with this yarn?  It knits up lovely and soft but I really need to use smaller needles, and get better at stockinette, look how messy it is?  ugh.
Ravelled here.

~Tan

-Linking with-
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14 May 2014

Albion progress

I initially thought I'd have to do a whole series of posts about this coat but it's coming together so easily that it's not giving me very much blog content.  How rude.

I expect this to be the penultimate post about Albion.  I think I've spent more time thinking about this coat and reading about other people's Albions than I've spent sewing my own.

So as I type I have the shell complete and am working on the lining.  Have a look at this.  I'm going to be really annoying and not give it all away.  Just wait til the dramatic reveal yo.


So above is the inside, pre-lining, pre-hood and pre-shoulder pads (!).  I've gone a bit cray-cray with the interfacing.  As recommended by Grainline Studio I have interfaced under the arms, behind pockets and the hem.  I also opted to interface the entire front and back yokes as they were cut on the bias and I was worried about stretch.  The fabric (erm, blanket) I used has a lot less integrity than I initially thought (read:  it's kinda stretchy) so I'm trying to mitigate any serious misshaping before it happens.  I also only cut one layer for the back yoke as I was worried it would be too much bulk for my poor little machine to handle.


Oh and it's pretty heavy!  I was a bit lazy so I didn't staystitch the neckline, thinking the interfacing would negate the need for it, but the weight of the coat ripppped the interfacing - that's why there's a double layer of interfacing up there and some 11th hour staystitching. 


The shoulder before shoulder pads before... and after below!  What a difference eh?  I also flat felled the front seam of the sleeves.  I'm not sure if I should have done the back seam instead?  I saw someone else do it this way and liked it so anyway. 


And a bit of a peek inside.  Shoulder pads (!).  I inserted them according to this tutorial, even though I think the ones I have are more of a raglan style??  Or something.  I also wasn't happy with the 3/8" seam to join the hood so increased it to 5/8".


I'm really loving the lining.  Chevrons are so hot right now, and they kind of echo the stripes in the fabric/blanket (I think).  Now I just need to finish and install the lining and zip, make my own toggle anchor things and add buttons to the sleeve tabs.  Do-able in one weekend?

I think this is going to be an awesomely cheerful coat and I am really excited to finish and wear it :)

Check out all of my alibon posts (lol all 2 of em).

~Tan


29 April 2014

FO: Venus Shawl

I feel like I've spoken about this project a lot.  I probably don't have a lot more to say really, so gratuitous photos ahoy!







Many thanks to my good friend Lu for taking the wonderful photos :)

Pattern:  Venus by Aoibhe Ni.  Pretty much made as is, although I made it larger by continuing the pattern for an extra repeat and did a row of dc across the straight edge of the shawl because the edges seems quite messy and unstable. A few more notes and some really useful resources for helping you get your head around this shawl are noted on my project page.
Yarn:  Ms Gusset pure silk laceweight.  Same yarn as used for the wedding shawl.   Got it on sale, as it was full of breakages.  I used braided joins as I went to mend these which I think worked really well.
Ravelled here.

~Tan

-Linking with-


Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)