Monday, June 29, 2009

McCalls 5853, Knitting, and something extra

Awhile back I made a pair of pants but have not been able to figure out a top to wear with them. I finally decided on making McCalls 5853, View B. I used a stretch rayon blend jersey knit from fabric .com.

This fabric loves to curl at the edges when you are trying to sew it. I sewed it straight from the pattern except that I raised the neckline in the back so that it lays right at my shoulder line. I teach in a community college and, although we don't have a dress code, I think having a u-neck in the back and front (a tank top) might be pushing the envelope, even in the summer.

I hand-stitched the neck and armhole binding down by hand. That took awhile. I also handstitched down every little leaf and flower, some in more than one place to get them to lay like I wanted.

Since the fabric is so lightweight, I was afraid that the flowers and leaves would be heavy, but they aren't. I used my Evolve serger to coverstitch the hem. Here are up close pics of the hem, inside and outsidse.

The thread on the frontside is Maderia rayon machine embroidery thread. The thread on the underside is red serger thread--I didn't have pink. Here is the finished product.

I am currently working on knitting my first sweater, St. James. I chose this because I love the style, and it is supposed to be a good sweater for a new knitter. I am having so much fun. I am using Caron Simply Soft in Country Peach. I have about 3 or 4 stitches in my sweater that do not look completely perfect. I will probably have more before I am through. I know a couple of them is due to splitting yarn which I am trying to be very careful not to do. I am a recovering perfectionist, so I am trying not to let it bother me. I know blocking will help, even though you can't really block acrylic from what I understand. Anyway, I have the yoke done and am about to start the body. Here is a pic of where I am:

A little something extra:
Here is a dress I smocked and constructed for a friend of mine. It is made out of purple Imperial broadcloth.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The dress that became a top - Simplicity 3560

Last year I fell in love with Simplicity 3560. I decided to make the version with the keyhole neckline and ruffle. I omitted the sleeves and made a knee length dress.

Unfortunately, as you can see in these pictures. It wasn't a good marriage of fabric and pattern. The ruffle around the neck is some black silk charmeuse I got from I underlined the dress with some basic ecru color polyester lining and put a hidden zipper in the back.
I just did not like the way the dress hang. I had been wanting to use the beautiful silk charmeuse that I had gotten from, but I unfortunately chose the wrong pattern for it. I think a linen or cotton --something with a little more body--would work better with this pattern. It lay in my UFO stash for about a year, and last week I decided to cut the skirt off and make it into a top. I am much happier.
The entire outfit I wore is below.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What I've been doing

I haven't been doing much blogging, but I have been very busy. I have several projects going on at the moment--just none that are finished. It bothers me that I have not been blogging, because I am a bit of a perfectionist, and when I take on something I feel I ought to do it right. I also feel that if anyone if following this blog, I am letting them down if I don't contribute regularly. Not that anyone will learn much, because I feel I learn more from all of you than I could ever teach.

I joined the Machine Embroidery Club at the sewing store where I bought got my new Babylock Embroidery machine. We meet one Saturday per month and I went to my first meeting this past Saturday. We made a windowpane tea towel:

The fabric is linen and the windowpane is backed with polyester organza. Here is an upclose of the design and the hemstitching (a la a wing needle and special machine stitch):


I have also been crocheting "Baby's Summer Dress and Hat" in a lavendar Bernat Baby Yarn. I am almost through with the collar:

I am about to knit my first sweater (hopefully) and I am almost finished with the swatch for it. I am using Caron Simply Soft in country peach. If my sweater turns out, I have just the skirt in mind to make to go with it. I am going to be very interested to see what my swatch measurement is. The sweater is St. James. Here is my swatch so far. I have about 8 more rows to go.

I actually did complete BWOF 5-2008-120 and, WHEW!!!, did I ever have problems with it. I will talk about that in my next blog posting. I am not ready to show a pic of it yet because I don't have anything high waisted enough to wear with it, and I can't get it on my dress form. I can put it on but for some reason, it won't go on Lady Burgundy. In my next post, I am going to show it in an outfit with the skirt I am currently cutting out. This is a line drawing of the top: