Thursday, January 24, 2013

FO: The "I'm never going to take this off because it feels like wearing pajamas but I look nice!" Top

How's that for a descriptive title?

After the complexity of my Minoru, I was looking for an easy project - something with near-instant gratification.  I found it in Cation Design's Dolman Sleeve Top (it's free!).  Paired with a yard some super soft rayon (I think?) jersey I bought at East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse for $3, I really couldn't lose.

It's the perfect weekend, lounging, travel, and Friday work top as long as I accessorize properly.  I can't share much about my pattern mods because I had some printing issues - no matter what I did to my printer settings, the 4" test square kept printing as 3.5".  After trying a few times, I decided to cut the large size to get something close to a small.  I cut the sleeves as long as I could with the amount of fabric I had and made the sleeve cuffs about twice as tall.  I attached the neck band by folding the strip of fabric in half and sewing it right sides together to the neckline, my usual method for knits.

All in all, it was quick, easy, and I'm very happy with it.  Just what the sewing doctor ordered.

Pattern: Cation Design's Dolman Sleeve Top
Fabric: Rayon knit

Saturday, January 19, 2013

FO: Mega Minoru

This project was bouncing around in my head for a few months before I was finally able to start it. I made a lightweight Minoru last year, and ever since I have wanted a wintery version with "extras."

I left out most of the elastic at the waist, and just used a few inches of 1/4" elastic to cinch in the center back.  Then I covered it up with a tab and buttons.  Who doesn't love covered buttons??? I also added a fixed hood, instead of the convertible collar/hood in the pattern. I altered the pattern hood to be a 3 piece, which fits my head better, and attached it by treating it like the collar in the instructions.

I narrowed the neckline slightly, since the one on my first Minoru has always felt a little wide to me, and added a placket behind the zipper for comfort. Rocket Sews describes how to add one here. This keeps the top of the zipper from rubbing my chin, and keeps the cold metal zipper off of my skin.  And it looks fancy.

I never ever use the inside pocket of my other Minoru, so I added welt pockets to this one using the Colette tutorial for the Anise Jacket here.  I'm so proud of these! And I also put in knit cuffs, instead of the elastic in the original pattern.  This was a fun way to combine knitting and sewing.  Most cuffs are a double layer, with the fold at the edge.  I didn't want that much bulk, so I re-created the folded-edge look with a tubular cast-on.  
I used flannel for the lining, which makes it nice and cozy.  The sleeves are lined in VERY pink rayon with a flannel under(inter?)lining to make the jacket easier to get on and off.  AND the flannel lining...

...has WHALES on it!!! Only on the back and in the pockets, because I knew that the front lining would show when the jacket was open, and I wanted to wear this to work.  While I think the whales are awesome, they don't exactly scream "professional."

The main fabric is a lightweight wool coating from Fashion Fabrics Club that I got for Christmas (thanks, Mom!).  It is very loosely woven, so I interfaced the whole jacket with a fusible tricot for stability and longevity.  This also added a little heft to the fabric, which is nice.  This also lead to my only gripe about this jacket - despite my best efforts, there are a couple of small spots where the interfacing did not want to fuse.  I'm using the good stuff (from Fashion Sewing Supply), and I've read about people interfacing some coat parts with tricot, so I'm not sure where I went wrong.  Hopefully it doesn't get worse and bubble all over.  I'll be dry cleaning, so that should help.  Right???
Other than that, I'm thrilled!  I know I'll get a lot of wear out of it.

Fabric: Wool from Fashion Fabrics Club, flannel from Fabric Frantic on Etsy, rayon lining from Mood.
Pattern: Sewaholic Minoru
Modifications: "Extras" above, plus the same size modifications as last time.  I also slimmed it down at the hips a little more than before.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are....

Suz for the McCall's & Haylee (who just posted some very cute lobster print aprons!) for the Vogue! Congrats, ladies! Look for an email in your inboxes.

Back soon with more sewing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In Progress

From Pantone
Pantone says that the color of the year is emerald.  But my color of the month is definitely grey.  I don't mind, since I know these items will get more use as neutrals, but I am going to be ready for a healthy dose of color once these are done.

On the needles is a Chuck cropped pullover.  I had nearly finished a Miette cardigan with this yarn when I noticed I had made a mistake with the pattern right in the front.  It probably would have gone unnoticed by most, but I knew it was going to drive me crazy.  After leaving the project alone for a while, I decided I wanted something different.  I have just enough yarn for the Chuck, so that was what I settled on.  It's going pretty fast - I started a few days ago and am nearly at the end of the cables.

On my cutting table is another Minoru, this time in wool.  I'm making a few changes to the pattern - knit cuffs, a fixed hood, welt pockets and a few other little things.  I can't wait to share this one once it's done!

What's your first project of 2013?

Also - don't miss out on my blogiversary giveaway! It ends on Tuesday at midnight EST.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blogiversary Giveaway

Happy Birthday to my blog!

What a year! While still of modest size compared to many sewing blogs out there, I'm thrilled that people (hundreds, in fact!) who I am not related to and who are not friends of my mother actually read this.  Not that I'm not thrilled that my friends and family read it... isn't it a little bit strange that we measure the success of a blog by the number of total strangers reading it?

Anyway, strangers, to say thank you for sticking with me, I'm doing a little giveaway! 

While I have yet to make a garment from a vintage pattern, that absolutely does not keep me from admiring (and purchasing!) them.  Since I have not yet found anywhere in New York that has them, I went to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse (in Oakland, CA) while I was back in the Bay Area for Christmas.  If you live in the bay, I would highly recommend a trip. In addition to a yard of a very soft eggplant rayon knit, I picked up these for me...

And these for two of you!

On the left: McCalls 7397 in a size 10 (25" waist).  I really love the yoke on the skirt.  I'd be interested to see the pants as shorts too!
On the right: Vogue 2840 in a size 16 (38" bust, 40" hip).  So cute!

So - if you would like to win one of these patterns, please leave a comment in this post by 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, January 8th with your email address (if it is not in your blogger profile or listed on your blog) and which pattern you would like! If you're open to both, just say so and I'll enter you for both drawings.  Or, if you don't specify at all then I'll enter you for both.  I'll ship anywhere.  Good luck!