Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Goals 2013 Recap -- How did I do?

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the absence, I still have not finished my remaining knitting projects and have not (yet) finished my cape -- waiting only on an hour or two's worth of sewing.  Last weekend, we had our house tented for termites (it's a California thing) and I've been busily cleaning like crazy before and ever since.  I don't believe that all those chemicals exposed in your house (even in gas form) are not harmful.    So, I didn't sew as much as I wanted to this year -- and quite frankly I'm glad 2013 is over and we're on to 2014.   

How'd I do?  

1.  Expand my knitting skills.  (Update: Completed -- I learned Continental -- made fingerless gloves, and learned to make many hats!

I have not finished the Craftsy class below -- because I signed up for a in person sweater class this winter -- I'm just to lazy to finish the video (and buy the gad zillion skeins of yarn). 
2.  Perfect a button down dress shirt.  Completed -- Pam's Craftsy class "Class Tailored Shirt" was wonderful.
3.  Make a tailored jacket - Not completed -- I didn't purchase enough material and I couldn't decide on new fabric. 
4.  Sew at least one Wearing History/Decades of Style/Hotpatterns' garment.  Completed and I absolutely love it!
5.  Stash and Pattern Busting.  Successful, mostly.  I've bought plenty of books and patterns,  but have held back with major fabric purchases with the exception of some Pendleton sale fabric from Portland and an occasional drive by at Mood.  However, I did splurge on yarn this year (and books:)).  

I made three Jalie shirts (my new favorite pattern) -- all from my stash:

6.  Expansion:  Learn to hand embroider.  Not completed.  At all.  Not even close.  

7.  Expansion:  Learn to play the ukulele - In progress -- I've learned the major chords and can play many songs (although not perfectly).  So, this is a work in progress.  Learning ukulele is like learning sewing -- it is a lifetime goal.  That said, I'm excited to see Jake Shimbukuro play right down the street from us at the Ventura Theatre in February. 

So, I didn't do too bad -- mostly because I only set five goals that were fairly easy to achieve, and even with that I felt that I was an underachiever in the sewing world this year!  I will say the projects I made -- I mostly loved and wear all the time!  I hardly have been buying any off the rack clothing (with the exception of workout gear (lululemon), which is nice change for 2013.  

How did you do?  Time for new goals!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Becoming a continental knitter and the perfect project

Dear readers,
I'm taking a continental class to switch my knitting to a presumably fast knitting method at my local yarn store, Anacapa Fine Yarns.  I'm right handed and thus, a thrower (English Style).   I like throwing but in knitting lore, the continental knitter is speedy.  I'm interested in your thoughts if you have an opinion.  The class is tonight so I will do a follow up post.

So, I've picked out a project that J. has been asking for all year:
The Dr. Who Scarf.  Yes, it's a twelve - twenty foot scarf by eleven inches wide.  .   . there is also a webpage dedicated to this scarf.  I'm making it in acrylic, both due to the fact that the yarn is .  The webpage, should you wish to browse, is Doctor Who Scarf.
I expect to finish sometime next year. . . . and more on the continental style.  I thought this would be a good project to break my muscle memory as a thrower.



Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Holiday (In which I actually wear my DIY Pendleton Shawl Vest)

Dear readers.

We're in the Holiday spirit in this house . . . and as such, we're working on a Ukulele Christmas Video in front of the tree.   In the meantime, I'm busy with Christmas Decor projects (I made my own wreath/bough!).  And, a picture of my vest in action -- yes, I actually wore it.
When I made it last summer (and it was very hot) -- I never thought I would really wear it.  Well, we've had a cold spell and I love it!   My post on sewing this vest in the New Look patter 6166 is linked here.

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Knitting, knitting, and more knitting. . .

Dear readers!

Happy Holidays!  I've been knitting up a storm -- I learned (finally) how to knit caps.  It was an epiphany!
My hats are left to right, brown for Jonathan, green/yellow/blue for me (slightly large), and another rust/green for me.    The pattern is Ann Norling's Head Huggers No. 51.  My main problem is that my ribbing stitch is so much larger than my stockinette -- I really had to frog more than a few hats on the first try.  On the lighter colored hat -- I am going to put in a band to snug it up -- I found a great tutorial and will post when finished.
Please forgive the overexposure present in these pictures -- I was having lighting issues.  . .among other matters.
I had some leftover yarn from the cowl -- and yes, enough to make a cap.  A tip I got from my class is to weigh the finished project.  You can use that measurement (in grams) to compare to with any remaining yarns in your stash to see if there is enough yarn (in grams) to make another project -- and this works for all kinds of projects. . . I thought this was a great idea.  My instructor recommended a scale on amazon -- I might put it on my Christmas list.

I even made a stripey type of cap for Jonathan -- but in reality I would have made it much deeper had I known he would roll the band.  He is going for the Jack Nicholson look in Cuckoo's Nest.
I've been traveling a lot so knitting is easy on planes.  Above, I made another cowl (Ann Norlin's Easy Cowl in any Gauge No. 71) in Organic Cotton Blue Sky Alpaca cotton.  I was limited in the use of this cotton yarn since it has little to no stretch.

I love these leg warmers from the book "The Joy of Sox."
I changed up the colors just a bit:
But they are taking FOREVER.  I've spent a month knitting tiny little tubes.  Not as much fun as I would have thought!

All my projects are located here on my Ravelry page (PammieandthePs) -- Ravelry Project Page.

My local yarn store has a wish list that you can register for throughout the year.  I love this.  I'm thinking of putting a yarn winder on the list . . . but I'm not sure I really knit enough to do this.

I hope your Holidays are going well.  I have quite a bit of time off this week so I should be able to post more frequently.  I still haven't finished my cape . . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day - Patriotic Patterns

Dear readers,

Again, I'm so behind on my posts.  Nevertheless I wanted to thank all of our veterans on Veteran's Day:
Also,  I am behind in my stash sewing -- I"m dying to make these patriotic patterns:

and finally --
Also, Burda just came out today with some 1940s female (heck yes!)  aviator patterns -- HERE.
I am planning to finally post on the summer ASG conference I attended, my sewing gifts I received on my birthday -- I'm close to finishing my green wool cape, and I have finished three knitted caps, and am working on leg warmers.  I know, so behind.

I'm dying to catch up now if I can just cut down on my time at work and other activities!  That said I have quite a bit of time off I must take in December!



Friday, October 11, 2013

Drawstrings - I'm obsessed

Dear readers,

I'm not going to lie - last year I was a bit obsessed with drawstrings and lace up ties and drafted this post.   Drawstrings?  On boots.  On the back of jeans.  On the front of jeans.   I sense some knock-offs coming out of my sewing room where I bought the pattern but have not (yet) started cutting even.

Now, a year later my drawstring mania has cooled a bit -- but I am still going to make some sailor pants from Hot Patterns!
Drawstrings, yeah or neah? 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cape - New Look 0913/6227 Tailoring Fail

Dear readers,

I am currently working on a very easy garment that I have contrived to make complex! The pattern is a cape pattern with four different looks -- I'm making View A with no collar or epaulets, and using frogs as closures.   I don't remember what inspired me to buy this pattern -- it is listed on New Look as both 6227 and 0913.
However, even though the directions are simple and do not require any facing (except for the front portions and front openings) -- I made it much more difficult.  Hey, I thought  -- I'll do a very precise job with a hand-stitched hair canvas interlining, the type of interlining in tailored jackets.  So, I hand-stitched the left side of the jacket.

Below are both sides compared:
I actually like the drape of the fabric with no interlining, see below -- much softer.
Below is the side with the hair canvas stitched in -- a bit stiff, below.  And, the hair-canvas side feels heavy when it is on.
 I really did handstitch all that canvas in -- and it's relatively expensive, so I'm keeping it either way!  May be a stash item.
I decided to line with red ambiance lining (I wish I went with another color once I got home my local fabric store only had black, red and white).
 And, I found these wonderful frogs at my local fabric store:
 Great, so now my cape will be perfect for an Irish Christmas (not the look I was going for necessarily -- darn it -- I should have gone with or waited to buy a different lining.).

I probably should have made this pattern below.  And, I think it would look fantastic in a houndstooth. Onward.
So, should I remove the hair canvas?  - I'm about to tear it out and merely go with the lining.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Butterick 5678 - Classicly tailored shirt

Dear readers,

My stash-bustin' continues!  I've recently finished the classic shirt - from Butterick 5678  -- and with tips from Craftsy's Perfectly Tailored Shirt class.  This is a vintage-inspired cotton searsucker (light seer suckering:)) Sorry the photos are so large -- I was trying to capture the details here.
It is perfected fitted -- but not perfectly executed.  I highly recommend this pattern, Butterick 5678, a princess seam classic shirt.
 I've never been able to buy a shirt off the rack with perfect fit.  So, I'm thrilled.  It was easy to modify this pattern since I've got bodice blocks to compare the pattern with.

I'm last to the party with a classic shirt -- but thrilled to have finally made one!
 I ran out of fabric 3/4 of the way through the project -- and had to run back to Mood, panicked.
 I can't say enough how comfortable this is.  Pamela's video Craftsy class really helped when I got stuck on the execution.
 The burrito method of doing the collar is difficult to master -- you can see my execution isn't perfect (yet).
I believe I over-fitted this -- but it is perfectly fit.  So, I can't totally complain!

I'm going to make more classic shirts -- not sure yet if I am going to use this pattern, but I do like it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jalie 2921 - Scarf Collar Top X 2

Dear readers,

The stash-bustin' continues.  Today's quickie -- a new TNT pattern for me -- the Jalie Scarf Collar Top.  It is as good as everyone says! It is Jalie 2921.  A shirt a day this weekend.
This pattern is as good as everyone says -- I love the "burrito" technique for the scarf -- fantastic.  I didn't realize the SA was 1/4".  Oops.  But I probably did the sides 1/4" anyway.  It is a perfect fit.  It is a bit low in the bust -- but I think a tank will help.  I cut a "W" size and made the largest sleeves and eased them in. 
 This only took 6 pieces to cut out.  Fully serged (with some sewing in the collar area).
Here is the copy of the pattern photo below:

 I didn't expect to love this top but I did.  I added my standard 3/8" to both shoulder seam allowances.  I have a large neck so this is the best alteration (thanks to Connie Crawford at ASG for suggesting this!).
 This pattern was so good I went ahead and made my remaining fabric of the butterfly Betsey Johnson fabric from Mood.  I had to use scraps so the shoulder seams were not what I would have normally done and I needed to cut down on the scarf collar length.
By the way, there is a Jalie 30 year celebration ongoing with a contest.  I didn't know it when I started the knits -- but I'm in!  Here is the flyer from Pattern Review:
Don't you love when you stumble across a TNT?