Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sewing FO

I've finished a sewing project, and I LOVE this dress. The pattern is Vogue V8552, with a few mods. I avoid sewing a lot of dresses because they usually require a big fitting effort, and to do it right requires sewing up a muslin version for at least the bodice portion, and I'm too lazy to do muslins. This pattern is an easy fitting one, so I figured I could adjust it as I go, and I wouldn't need to do what The Other Half would call "fire a test shot".

For the mods, I added waistline tucks to the front to give it a little more shape. I narrowed the pockets a bit and also widened the placement. I really liked those gaping pockets in the photo, but in person, they stuck out way too much. The dress is unlined, but I decided to line both the pockets and the cap sleeves with a contrasting green cotton. The pattern called for sewing down the pocket flaps, but I decided to just tack the corners down by hand, and I sewed a button on each corner of the flaps.

My fabric is a heavy weight linen that I purchased at a local fabric shop in San Francisco. (Is there such an acronym as "LFS" in the sewing world"?). I subsequently looked for it online and found it sold here as drapery fabric. I should keep drapery fabric in mind in the future if I want heavy weight linen.

I'm thinking of making this pattern again with a much softer fabric and sewing the side pockets. I might also just sew the tucks as inside pleats, and wear it with a thin belt.

If I saw this dress hanging on a rack in a shop, I would probably never try it on because I would dismiss it as shapeless and unflattering. This reminds me that I should be a little more willing to try on garments because sometimes, they just look quite different when worn.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FO: Ambrosia

I've finished Amnbrosia from Interweave Knits Summer 2010. This is actually not quite Ambrosia because my front cables are more squiggly because I sort of neglected to read the cable pattern and just did something that I thought looked like the picture. It doesn't quite look like the picture, but I didn't even notice until I finished the entire body of the sweater! The yarn is Classic Silk from Classic Elite Yarns. I had a hard time capturing the color in photos -- it's sort of the color of a fruit smoothie.

I'm very happy with this sweater. In addition to the accidental difference in cable design, some other mods include omitting the waistline ribbing and using a single crochet followed by reverse single crochet trim on the neckline instead of the I-cord. I added one stitch on edge side of the cables and slipped that stitch at the start of each row, then applied a row of crocheted slip stitches onto the edge for the finishing. This gave me sturdy and non-stretchy front edges. For the sleeves, I went down one needle size shortly after picking up the stitches, then went down one more size for the ribbing. I wanted to ensure that the sleeve openings don't flare out.

For the fasteners, I bought some jumbo hook and eye tape, which made the job a lot easier. I especially like the large-sized hooks and eyes. What I don't like is that it's white in color -- it doesn't show through on the front, but you can see the white inside if you look down onto the neckline. It's not a big deal, but I wonder if I should have dyed it or something before using it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I'm almost finished with my Ambrosia-more-or-less, from Interweave Knits Summer 2010. I say more-or-less because it wasn't until I finished the entire body of the sweater, including finishing the edges and sewing on the hook-and-eye tape, that I realized I had done the front cables differently from the pattern! When I started, I just sort of read the stitch notations, then did the stitch pattern without really actually reading the instructions -- I just did something that I thought looked like the photo. But, it doesn't matter since I like it anyway, and it has basically the same look and feel as the real Ambrosia. My cables just look a little more wavy.
I omitted the middle ribbing section on purpose -- I've discovered that narrow waistline ribbing doesn't really do that much for me and I always fuss too much about its placement. I also raised the neckline a bit so that it's just above the point where the body is split from the sleeves.
It seemed like too many knitters were not entirely happy with the neckline I-cord, so I decided not to try it. Instead, I did my favorite edging of a row of single crochet followed by a row of reverse single crochet.
My yarn is Classic Silk by Classic Elite Yarns. I'm quite happy with this sweater, and I just have one sleeve to go -yay!

I recently cast on for Goodale, using Brown Sheep's Serendipity Tweed. I really like the little pockets formed by folding the fronts over, but I don't w such a wide opening in the front, so I'm adding increase stitches about 3 inches from the edge. That should put the front pieces much closer together after the folding over.