Saturday, June 19, 2010

FO; Two toned shell

I've finished the two toned shell from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2010 (ravelry link). It's a great top for warmer weather. The Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy is fun to knit with and really comfortable to wear. I converted this pattern so that I could knit it as flat front and back pieces. I also added the lace trim to the armholes because the top in the magazine just looked a little incomplete around the armholes. I'm very happy with the result.

I did have some issue with the pattern for the yoke because I think the stitch counts don't match the pattern schematic dimensions. I adjusted everything to my liking and the gory details are documented on my ravelry page. I widened the neckline a bit also because I don't like crew necklines. I omitted the buttonhole and just sewed the button through both layers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer WIPs

I've currently got two tops on the needles, both of which will be nice for summer.

First off, I'm almost done with the two-toned shell from Vogue spring/summer 2010. (ravelry link) I have to just add the lace trim to the other armhole. I really liked this pattern when I first saw it, but it just looked like there was something missing on the armholes that made it look unfinished. I think an I-cord would have looked just as nice, but I thought I'd try the lace. It took two tries on first armhole. My first attempt was to do a trim that did not circle the entire armhole, but that came out loose and floppy at the ends. My yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, and I really love it.

Next up is the new Jordan pattern by Wendy Bernard. I normally don't like stuff with a lot of lace, but this one looks more modern than others, as does a lot of her patterns. When I got to the arrow lace pattern, I decided I wanted a little more length so I'm doing 4 repeats of the arrow pattern. I'm also knitting this flat, and I used needles one size smaller in the middle to give it a tiny bit of shaping. The yarn is one of my favorites, the discontinued Jaeger Trinity. I bought this last batch from RobinM.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FO: Sewing interlude

We interrupt the normal knitting content with a little sewing content. This is my once-or-twice-a-year sewing project for this year. I wanted to make one of these double-layered skirts that I often see in Anthropologie and other stores. I wanted something nicely printed for spring and summer, but not too fussy or flowery. This is from Vogue 8295. I made view D, but using two skirt layers. The bottom layer is cut shorter than the top one and I added a ruffle. The top layer is a fairly lightweight cotton print, and the bottom is a broadcloth.

I do wish to pass on two sewing tips that helped me in making this skirt. One involves invisible zippers. With these zippers, I always find that it's difficult to sew up the last bit of seam after the zipper has been applied such that it meets up perfectly with the zipper seams. For some reason the bottom of the zipper gets in the way, even if I'm using a zipper foot. I tried it and ripped it a couple of times and decided that it would be faster and easier to just sew it by hand. I used small back stitches and sewed up the last 3/4" of the seam by hand and it gives a perfect seam that matches the zipper seams.
I learned my second tip eons ago when I watched my mother do it. I don't have a fancy sewing machine, so this might not be a problem for everyone. However, when I sew a thick piece on top of a very lightweight fabric, in this case the zipper on top of the top skirt layer, I get puckering on the bottom thinner fabric. To solve this problem, I simply place a piece of paper (such as printer paper) underneath everything and sew the fabric layers along with the paper. When done, just rip out the paper, and voila -- no puckering. This also helps if you are sewing two very thin pieces of fabric together because that can sometimes pucker also.