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.


-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)

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).


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.


-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)

25 April 2014

FO: Safety Scarf

So this project has been sitting around for a loooong time.  I finally wove in the ends and took some kinda shoddy photos.  As it's a Stephen West, so I thought I'd try to channel him with my pics.

How did I do?

But seriously...

This took me so long because I was not liking how it worked up.  While initially I thought it was quite clever, as you go on it feels like a bit of a dogs breakfast.  So many different stitch patterns, not all seeming to go together.  But now that it's done I don't mind it.  Its certainly snuggly, and kind of interesting to look at.

I also think I did a bitchin' job of the seam.  Check it out mo' fos'.

Pattern:  Safety Scarf.  Love the icord eding, and some of the stitch patterns are interesting, but altogether?  Some of the stitch patterns are narrow and dense, and some are wide and loose.  But it does come together.
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10ply.  Not sure if I'm still in love with BWM, luxury seems to get a bit hairy upon handling a lot.  But it is mega soft after washing. mmm.  I think the economy of this yarn will keep me coming back for more.
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)

21 April 2014

Albion coat: toiling

So since I last checked in, I have settled on a coat pattern!!  Guys, do you know how freaking huge this is?  I am making a coat!!  WTF??!?!?!

So, it's Albion for the win! There was a sewalong so I get the benefit of lots of step by step instructions.  Which would help if I actually read them properly before fitting... I cut my first toile based on bust, and it was 2 sizes too big.  The instructions recommend that you cut out according to your shoulder width.  Duh Tanya .. the size I cut was like 4 inches too big across the shoulders.  

Anyway!  I finally got a fit I kinda like, and after working on my toile for the past two days, I feel compelled to post pictures as evidence, if nothing else.

Ta-da!  I feel so proud.  So the left side is the 'correct side' - I did a narrow shoulder adjustment, I feel like a freaking wizard! See how the right shoulder is sagging?  That one hasn't had the adjustment!  I wanted to try to keep adjustments to a minimum, because I really have no idea what I'm doing, but the other one I did was grade the coat out 3 inches on each side (well, 3 inches on each pattern piece so prob 6 inches per side) from about 5 inches under the armpit to make it more roomy for my posterior region.

I also tried to modify the hood to add the tab to the hood, but it looks like it will be too fiddly so I will prob abandon that idea unless I can find a good tutorial which is unlikely.

So I've already shown you the fabric I'm using - well not fabirc, a blanket!  I'm still not 100% sure it will work, but I'm going to give it my best.  I've also picked up some odds and ends, chevron fabric for the body lining from Spotlight, some grey silk/cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics which I will use for lining the arms.  I picked up some heavy duty needles and a zip for the zip customisation.  I also want to add a drawstring waist (says the person who is trying to keep modifications to a minimum).

I'm going to work in as many suggestions from Grainline Studio as I can about working with coating to try to get a professional finish.  I'm also going to make my own toggles like Natalie from Gather and Sew.

I have all these grand ideas for this finished garment in my mind, I really hope I can do half of them justice.


P.S.  I'm tagging all my albion posts albion.  because.

14 April 2014

Planning a coat

I'm currently at the 'thinking about it a lot' stage of planning on sewing a coat for myself.

It all started with inspiration.  I saw Jenny's gorgeous purple blanket coat and was just gob smacked at how cleverly beautiful it was.  No need to buy expensive coating aye?  It kind of takes all the risk out doesn't it?

So suitably inspired I got myself a woollen blanket from the op shop.  Hmm not exactly my colour, but $5!  It's about 2m x 1.7m.  I'm also excited about the prospects of traipsing around town with my lovely yellow coat among the black and grey.

So now I'm on the hunt for a pattern.  It has to be simple with as few pieces as possible and appropriate for the thick woollen fabric of the blanket.  And I don't want something fitted - big and boxy is totally ok in a coat.  How much fun is pattern browsing?  SO MUCH.  I've wasted spent a LOT of time looking for a pattern that hits the right notes, so why not share my efforts here?

So, here's my list of jackets that might work.

I started with burdastyle because I love that website, I find it very easy to navigate, and they do fantastic outerwear.  Here are some that stand out for me.

Rounded jacket 09/2013.  I quite like the 3/4 sleeves and the double breasted look.  It also reminds me of Jenny's version.  However, the patterns calls for lightweight fabrics.  It also has princess seams which would be hellish to deal with with my checked fabric.  But cute eh?

Short jacket 08/2011.  So an initial question is if I need to make a cropped coat, or if I have enough blanket to go with something longer.  I really like the 50s vibe of this with the pleated back, but the sleeves look a bit narrow for the thick fabric.  Looks quite versatile though.

Dress Coat 09/2012.  Now I'm thinking I might get a longer coat out of my blanket.  Not really sure with this one, it might be pushing it.  I really don't want to deal with princess seams, but I love the neckline.

Wool Long Coat 08/2012.  Is this daggy?  I think it might be a bit daggy.  I was just excited to find a pattern that seemed appropriate for the blanket. But it seems easy though, that's good.

Long A-Line Coat 10/2011.  This is very nice!  But I am quite sure I do not have enough fabric.  I love the collar (or lack thereof) and the shape.  But that's a lot of fabric, likely to feel quite overwhelming I'd wager.

Duffle Coat 09/2011.  A totally different way to go.  I love the hood, the pockets and the double breasted closures.  I could see myself wearing this a lot and I think it would work really well with my blanket.  Not too many seams, fantastic pockets and subtle bust darts. The way the sleeves are inset worries me slightly.  Even so, this is definitely a front runner.

Here's another, Duffle Coat 11/2011.  The normal sleeves make me feel better about life, but it's missing the cute rounded pockets and double breasted look of 09/2011.  Do I dare attempt to combine my favourite elements of the two?

Ombre Coat 11/2010.  Still looking for simple.  I do like the mandarin collar and the few pieces.  Seems to be slightly A-Line too.  Might have to stretch to fit it on the blanket, but I'd be willing to sacrifice a bit of the length.

Long Coat 10/2010.  Similar to the last one, but I'm quite attracted to the simplicity.  I really like the concealed buttons and the slight A-line shape.  I'd have to sacrifice length, which is OK because long coats are a bit restrictive.

I like some of the variations in Burda 7700, although the picture is so small it's hard to tell what's going on.  I suspect these are prob a bit too baggy for my liking.

Burda have a lot of these 'ample' fitting coat patterns. 7711 and 7732 also caught my eye.

So the more I look for patterns the more same sameness I am seeing.  Vogue 8960 is a case in point.  It's ok, but a bit meh?

McCalls 6657.  I quite like this, though they have chosen some crazy fabric for the sample.  The duffle-ish variant has normal sleeves, which I find more appealing than the Burdastyle crazy sleeve version.  

Butterick have some nice easy looking designs.  I quite like 5685, but collar seems a bit unnecessary.  Also prob a bit too fitted for what I'm looking for. 

Colette have a duffle coat pattern - Albion, though it's just not pushing the same buttons for me as the Burdastyle one.

Another Burda pattern, 8017 is quite cute.  I like the overlapped front and the cute collar. I do like that teapot pose too.  lol

I quite like the look of this nice casual hoodie too.  Butterick 5931.  I might just make this for fun with some polar fleece I've got hanging around. 

So this is pretty cute, New Look 6760.  I like that there is no collar, I like the cuffs and the pockets.  (cute dress too!)  6736 is similar and also cute. 

New Look 6619 is a cute little cropped jacket with a lot of variations.

I don't know about you but that was exhausting!  But I feel that it was a very useful exercise, because I'm now dreaming of a hooded duffle coat.  I'm sure I'll do another post about the pros and cons of all the duffle patterns I can find before I work up the courage to chop up the blanket!  I am acutely aware that a coat is about a million sewing difficulty levels to where I am now, but I also am of the view that big challenges are how we learn the most.  So why not throw myself into the deep end??

Did I bore you to tears?  Do you love looking at all the gorgeous things you'll never get time to make too?


12 April 2014

The Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL

Guess what everybody?  Lisa and I are hosing another KAL/CAL!! 

This time we've (well, Lisa) found a super funky retro knitting pattern for a pineapple tea cosy.   Not a knitter?  No worries, Lisa has whipped up a gorgeous crochet version, so there's no excuse not to participate! 

If you would like to join in our Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL, all you need to do is download the pattern and get crafting!  Please also join our Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL Ravelry Group  to connect with other KAL participants. 

Click here to download the knit version.
Click here to get the crochet version.
We'll officially begin the KAL on 5 May, and you will have until 2 June to post pictures of your completed cosy in our special purpose KAL group on Ravelry.  Click here to join!!!

And what's a KAL without prizes?  One person will receive the GRAND PINEAPPLE PRIZE of all the pineapple themed goodies you see below, and maybe more.  Just like last time we'll also have some minor prizes, which will include some amazeballs handmade goodies! 

You just know you want those cool pineapple sunnies.  
So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to the rav group to let us know if you're in!  We'd love to see all your WIPs and FOs! 

Finally, we'll be using the tag #giantpineapplecosykal for those of you wanting to play along on instagram!