Thursday, August 25, 2016

Winter White Cozy Wool Alta

I am never going to win any prizes in speed knitting because my latest project has taken all year in the making.  In fact sometimes there can be such large gaps between my knitting sessions I have completely forgotten how to create the stitches and have to go back to the instructions all over again.  This is very frustrating and how mistakes happen not that I have had any biggies happen yet!

The wool was bought at an end of season Lincraft sale.  It is double knitting 100% wool and Lincraft Cozy Wool.  I really like this stuff.  It is durable but soft and best of all inexpensive.  I find jerseys that rub very annoying and fortunately this stuff doesn't.

The pattern is Amy Herzog Alta made using my customfit sizing.  I didn't do any front shaping on this jumper though.  The panel on the front made it difficult and I felt it really didn't need it.  Because I have a sway back, I did include the back shaping.  I found some of the instructions for the cables confusing so ended up using a little poetic licence so there are probably subtle differences between my version and the original design.

I wore my new jumper today for the second time this winter.  It was lovely and sunny but typical of this time of the year, a quite biting breeze in the open.  I spent the day watching my son playing football (soccer) in a centrals primary school tournament in Hagley Park.  I left my hat on for the photo, because when I took it off, well hat hair just about says it all!

I really like Amy Herzog custom fit jumpers, especially this one, so there will be more, just not anytime soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Simplicity 2508 in Orange Wool

Two years ago, I picked up a significant quantity of orange wool coating for $6 per metre at Fabric Vision.  It was such a a bargain, I bought about six metres from memory.  Courteney made a bomber jacket for her brother out of it but there was still a ton of it left for my planned project.  It took a mere two years for my plans to come to fruition.

My black coat made using Simplicity 2508   is starting to look a little tired.  It is my favourite because it is nice and roomy for layering.  The raglan sleeves mean it is not too snug so perfect for wearing jumpers underneath, a necessity first thing in the morning when temperatures are frequently below freezing.  To make sure though, that I stayed warm I added an additional layer of flannel interlining.  After basting in said interlining it quickly became apparent that my choice of green plaid from my stash was visible from the outside, darn it!  An evening in front of the tv with my seam ripper and a dig around in my linen cupboard later, and my interlinings were replaced with an old flannelette sheet, in a more practical shade of cream.  It isn't glamorous but it is practical.  I did have doubts about interlining at all as the coat came together because this puppy weight a to!  Don't even get me started on the difficulties maneuvering it to sew buttonholes and top stitching!

Given the weight of the outer part of the coat, lining it in satin was a good decision.  Last years make, Grainline Cascade is lined in cotton and I do find it grabs my clothes and isn't at all easy to put on.  I still love it but wouldn't line in cotton again for this reason.  The satin is an op shop purchase so was a no brainer for lining anyway.

I bought the fur for the hood from The Fabric Store and initially was intending to button it to the hood so I could remove it but decided that actually, I probably wouldn't bother removing it anyway so just hand stitched it on after the fact.

My coat has been sitting on my mannequin for several weeks, ironically in the coldest days of winter, waiting on the arrival of buttons and shoulder pads from Aliexpress.  Considering the number of buttons on this coat, I wasn't willing to pay big money for the buttons.

The verdict;  despite being a seemingly endless project, and taking up many evenings, I am happy with the results.  Who wouldn't be happy wearing such a cheerful coat!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Working With What I Have

I have been spending a bit of time emptying my overflowing scrap bin by way of making up the contents  where possible.  

The orange wool is leftover from my recent McCall's jumper and the piece I had left was too big to throw out.  I only had enough for the front and neckband using McCalls 6992.  For the back sleeves and cuffs, I used what I could salvage from this jacket which had been in my recycle bag for a while now.   It didn't have much warmth in it and I found I just didn't wear it.  The fabric is however perfect for a jumper.  I had to extend the sleeves by using a bit of creative licence in the form of an extension which I topstitched.

Now, as much as I love my version of this jumper, I really had no use for a second one, so this version was always going to be donated and Courteney who is flatting was certainly not going to turn down a warm jumper in the middle of winter.

So, how much do you like your new jumper Courteney?  Oh, this much!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Levis Demi Fit Rub Off

 When I was in the US last year, I bought a pair of Levis Demi Fit Jeans which have become my favourites.  They are designed for those of us who like low rise but have generous backsides.  They are low in the front and generous in the back.  While I generally like my Ginger jeans, they do puddle behind my knees and the leg seam tends to twist.  I am not sure how to fix this so starting from scratch with a tnt pair of rtw seamed to be an easier option.

Rubbing off my Levis was not as difficult as you might think.  I simply pinned plastic to each piece and traced it with a sharpie, adding grain lines as I went.  I then transferred each piece to an actual pattern adding seam allowances.

The fabric I chose was from The Fabric Store.  I had checked the stretch on my jeans and chose the fabric based on it.  As extra insurance I added an extra centimetre to each side seam when I cut my fabric.

Because this exercise involved replicating my original jeans, I cut the waistband across the grain.  I would normally cut my waistband down the grain because I really don't want it to stretch.  I did however cut a curved waistband using my Ginger pattern piece.  I know this wasn't part of my plan, but I know from experience that  a curved waistband fits my sway back better.

Having bought my previous silver hardware from M. Reicht at enormous cost, this time I bought buttons from Aliexpress and also for the first time bought rivets.

I got a little bit over confident when it came to installing the zip and installed it from memory which was a big mistake!  I should have followed the excellent Ginger Jeans instructions.  As it turns out the zip installation is my only disappointment with these jeans.  I love them so much I have bought fabric for more.

These photos were taken after a couple of days of constant wear.  They do stretch nicely so are really comfortable to wear but the recovery is good as well.  I would call that a win!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Burdastyle Skirt in Mock Suede

I have seen a lot of mock suede skirts popping up in fashion blogs of late.  This gave me the perfect excuse to use a piece of op shop mock suede that has been stored for close to five years.

I initially planned a button up skirt but while flicking through my back issues of Burdastyle, I came across 10/2013 123.  I drew up the pattern to size 38 but in hindsight I should have made it size 40 in the hips.  The style is unfortunately quite a snug fit which makes the pockets a little useless.

After mastering my invisible zip insertion, the fitting gave me quite a headache.   I removed and reinserted that darn zip twice in the quest for more ease through the hips but in the end conceded defeat and just worked with what I had.
I made a lining for the skirt for extra warmth and because I knew it would be worn with tights.

Would I make this skirt again?  Potentially yes, now that I know the pitfalls but I would up size through the hips.  I have ended up with a wearable muslin and used up a piece of fabric that has been around for way too long.

I have to add a disclaimer of sorts to this post.  Despite being a synthetic type of fabric, this skirt does crease quite badly, hence the drag lines in the photo above.  This was taken after a day sitting in an office.