Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FO: Peplumed.

I've seen peplums popping up everywhere, but have felt uneasy about them.  It was one of those trendy, looks good on other people but not for me kind of things.  I can't say exactly what made me re-consider, but I decided to take a baby step and try one.  I'm not even sure this can be called a peplum though, it's so much more understated than many out there.

I used McCalls 6507, a dress pattern, changing the skirt into a peplum by closing the darts (like this), and shortening it a lot.  Other changes I made to the pattern were to shorten the strap that goes across the back by about 1", and raise the back scoop by 1" to be 100% sure my bra was covered.  The fabric is rayon challis (my favorite!) from Fabric Mart.

Overall, this top fits my needs quite nicely.  The cowl neck is cut high enough to be fine for the office, and this will look good with a pencil skirt and a cardigan.  I'm slowly filling my desperate need for work-appropriate tops in my wardrobe, and hopefully soon getting dressed in the morning won't be so difficult! I do like the peplum, and I can see making other tops with similarly understated ones.  How do you feel about them? Too trendy? Unflattering? 

Fabric: Rayon challis from Fabric Mart
Pattern: McCalls 6507, converted to a top.

In other news, we were lucky with Hurricane Sandy and did not have any real problems - just stranded in our neighborhood in Brooklyn for now, and the building where I work in Manhattan is closed anyway due to the power outage.  So, hanging out at home mostly.  I hope everyone else is doing ok too!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

FO: Autumnal Cardigan

I finally had a chance to take some photos of my finished sweater! I'm also wearing a new top, which I will blog later this week.  
The name of this cardigan is so appropriate - it really is perfect for fall.  I used Cascade 220 Sport (a terrible name, since it only has about 160 yards!!).  The wool sportweight yarn means it's nice and light, but still warm.

This sweater took forever - I kept putting it down in favor of other projects because the stockinette was just never-ending.  I knit very loosely - I had to drop down to a US3 needle to be even close to gauge, and it is still a little big.  I didn't realize until I was more than halfway through the neckline ribbing that my front & back armholes were not the same - I somehow added an extra inch in height to the front.  No way was I ripping out the ribbing, so the shoulder seem sits at the back of my shoulder instead of on top.

The pattern was very well written.  The only modifications I made were to the sleeves.  I did a seamless short-row sleeve cap, and did several decreases on the sleeves to make them more fitted.  I'm not sure I would recommend the short row sleeve cap, because the short sleeve cap height that I ended up with means that the shoulder consistently slips down my arm.

All in all though, I'm very pleased.  It's cozy, perfect for hanging around the house, and also wearable with jeans and dresses.

Yarn: Cascade 220 Sport, about 1200 yards
Pattern: Autumnal Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Meanwhile, Sandy is on its way... they shut down the subways here tonight, and closed work for tomorrow.  More time for sewing? Everyone in the Northeast, stay safe & dry!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Haha... I just realized my last post was my 100th! How anticlimactic. Here goes 101...

I finished something! Namely, my Autumnal Cardigan.  AKA 1 million hours of stockinette on US3 needles. Ok, so the ends aren't all woven in yet... but it's blocking anyway!
It's been a quiet week or two for me on the blogging (and crafting) front... things have just been so crazy busy! It's good stuff though, and I'm excited about starting my new job next week.  It's a step in the right direction for me, though sadly means that new fabric is not in the cards for quite a while (except for holidays, and you can bet my wishlist is 100% sewing/knitting related!).  I've got quite a bit to work with at home, so the projects will keep coming! Maybe by this time next year I'll have made it through my whole stash! A girl can dream...

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Apologies for the radio silence... and the photo-less post... a lot's been happening in my life outside of blogging! Thank you all for your comments on my last dress! I haven't had a chance to respond to you yet, but I'm getting there!
So, back to this week.  I had a lovely brunch with Leah of Struggle Sews a Straight Seam, who moved to Brooklyn recently.  Neither one of us needs fabric, so we opted for food instead.  Leah is great brunch company.  Then I found out that I won a giveaway - swimsuit fabric and an Ohhh Lulu pattern from Dixie DIYThen I spent all day Sunday suit shopping.  My work week was jam-packed between work, my Spanish class, and an interview for a new job.  Which I got.  Yay! I'm very excited, very nervous, and also very exhausted.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!
I'm hoping I'll be back here in the coming days with something crafty to share.  Particularly since the attire for my new job is a little different from what I have in my closet...
Anyone else having a particularly crazy in a good way week?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

FO: Fit to be Tied Dress

I think I may be approaching the number of bows a normal person should have in their closet... not that that's going to stop me from adding more!

I basically copied this dress.  I can't figure out who the designer is, since I pinned it from one of those flash sale websites several months ago. When I saw it, I immediately knew that I wanted one, and that I could make one with my trusty Jalie pattern.  Jalie 2921 is probably my most often used pattern.  I've made one top, one other dress, and altered the pattern to be my basic t-shirt block.  And now, one more dress.

The bodice is Jalie 2921, one size smaller overall than usual, and also graded down an extra size at the waist.     I had quite the time with the tie - the pattern has you basically fit the top into the tube for the tie like a burrito so that the finish is clean (sorry, this is very hard to explain!!).  My problem was that I made a mistake when I was cutting and my tie ended up being half as wide, so it took a lot of squishing to get the top to fit into half the normal amount of space.  The skirt is from Butterick 5030, which is basically a slightly-less-than-half circle skirt.

Since I don't have a serger (sadface), and the overedge stitch I normally use with knits causes crazy distortion in fabrics with two-way stretch, I used a narrow zigzag to sew the seams.  The shoulders and waist are reinforced with clear elastic, something I haven't done before.  What did I learn? My machine thinks that clear elastic is a very delicious snack and attaching it  Many four letter words were involved.  But it looks good, and hopefully will keep things from stretching out of shape.  The bottom is unhemmed; I had no interest in messing with a curved knit hem this week.

And you know what else? This is a solid color! And wasn't boring to sew! I may be coming around...

Pattern: Jalie 2921 for the bodice, Butterick 5030 for the skirt
Fabric: Rayon jersey knit from Fabric Mart - somewhere around 1.5 yds.