Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another anthropologie knock off--Simplicity 2605 & McCalls 5936

I fell in love with another anthropologie skirt awhile back--the Leifsdottir Honeyed Peplum Skirt. The minute I saw the name "Leifsdottir" I knew it was expensive. The retail price was $268. Leifsdottir makes gorgeous and unique, but overpriced clothing IMHO. Here are the stock pictures from anthropologie:

I decided to knock it off. I really didn't want the gold color but chose to make a purple one instead. I found this gorgeous purple 100% wool flannel fabric on sale at during one of their clearances and decided to use it for the skirt.

I began with Simplicity 2605, view F.

Then, I morphed the peplum piece from McCalls 5936 onto the waist of the skirt. I had to lengthen the peplum in order for it to be long enough to go around the skirt and also, I cut it in half in the back since my skirt zips up the back. Here are McCalls 5936 line drawings.

This is what I came up with:

Closeup of front peplum, front buttons, and back covered buttons:

My front peplum doesn't have pleats in it like the anthropologie skirt, and I like that better. Also, my back peplum is "flouncier", and I like that better, too. My buttons are tortoise shell-ish buttons from my local fabric shop.

I used some basic polyester lining that I bought at my local fabric shop for the inside. They didn't have purple, and beggars can't be choosers, since I have no Hancock's in this podunk town I live in. Also, I didn't want to wait to order any online. I decided to just use the color of a basic slip.

I did not make any alterations to the actual skirt. My only alterations were to the peplum so that it would work for the skirt. Here is a picture of my outfit with the skirt:

I will give outfit details. I love looking at fashion blogs and always appreciate when outfit details are given.
Black cardigan: Delias
Scattered petals camisole: JCrew (on sale -- I feel like I need to say that since I commented about Leifsdottir being expensive )
necklace: Avon (gift from my mother from about 20 years ago)
leopard heels: Nine West
Speaking of the heels, I leave you with a closeup:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grading down a pattern--the Beyonce coat

angie a. on quality time recently blogged about this gorgeous coat that Beyonce wore in a video.

angie a.--I dropped you a comment about it on your latest post.
I think I have found a pattern that could at least be a starting point for making it. The pattern is BWOF 5-2007-134. Ignore the skirt unless you like it. I wasn't even looking for a pattern for it, but I came across it when I was looking for something else. Now, the flouncy ruffled petticoat would have to be added. Any ideas how?
My main problem is that I need a size 38 and the smallest size in this coat is a size 44. Is it possible to grade down that many sizes, and if so, how? .....HELP

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Diary of a frustrated knitter

Back on September 17, I started knitting Alpine. I had knitted St. James sweater a couple of times. I posted the first time I knitted it but I have not posted about the second time. It was very successful and I was very pleased because my tension was great and it fit me. That post is coming sometime when I get my head above water at work. I actually have been doing alot of sewing and have several things to show but no time to take pictures and post them. I will eventually.
I actually started knitting back in February of this year. It was something I had always wanted to do ever since I saw Princess Diana in that gorgeous black sheep sweater. I also fell in love with that beautiful Capecho sweater in Vogue Knitting. I am working my way up to that so it will be awhile, but the sweater that pushed me over the edge and made me want to get serious about knitting is this Owl sweater. Actually, it is a couple of projects down the road for me. Mainly, I don't have the money to buy the yarn for it right now, because I have been too busy buying fabric and the occassional on sale top (or two, or three) from JCrew.

------Must stay off the JCrew website-----

I decided to start knitting Alpine because I had bought some beautiful Alpaca/merino yarn from a blogger who was destashing, so I got it for a steal. I got 5.5 skeins for what one would have cost me retail. I was wanting a cropped sweater and Alpine fit the yardage and weight of yarn I had. Also, I just loved the sweater so much. It has a pretty chevron pattern in it and I thought it would be a great learning experience. Well, it has been an experience to say the least. I actually made it to the point of blocking it.

That is when the trouble began. Let me share with you my diary entry on ravelry for this sweater as it went from good to terrible.
Dear Diary,

9-17-09 Cast on and completed back ribbing at bottom. This is my first Intermediate pattern and the first sweater where I will have to do seaming. I am aiming for a chest size of 34 to 35 with my gauge and needle size.

10-13-09 I can’t believe I have been knitting this long on this project. My goal was to get it done within a month, but I don’t think that it is going to happen. I have made it through the sleeves. I am on the FINISHING part of the pattern where I have to do the front bands and neckband. Then I have to block it and seam it up. Hopefully I will have it in a couple of weeks. My excuse is that I work full time and I also sew. I am loving knitting with this yarn.

10-17-09 Alpine is finally blocking and then needs to be seamed and the neckline has to be knitted. I had to go ahead and seam the front band pieces before blocking and I used the mattress stitch. I had never used that before and it was fun!!!

10-24-09 Well, Alpine is a disaster. I am so discouraged, but it is my own fault. I seamed it up in the incorrect order. As I was taking out the stiches, I cut some stitches that were not my seaming thread–yes, I cut knitted stitches. I have tried a couple of ways to salvage it but it is just not happening. It will hiberbate for awhile until I can figure out what to do.

10-27-09 Well I am feeling much better. I decided to unravel the rats nest I had created with what I thought was cut knit stitches at a shoulder seam. But, Praise God, it turned out that all I had cut was a yarn tail. I just frogged the shoulder seam back a little and reknit it. I did cut knit stitches on a sleeve so I am reknitting it, but it won’t take long. I am encouraged and hoping this will turn out well.

11-5-09 This project is a bummer. I reknit the sleeve and now it doesn’t fit the armhole even though I blocked it. I want to cry. I have put this project in a room of my house where I hardly ever go so that I don’t have to look at it.

11-8 09 I have let this project sit in time out in a room where don’t have to see it. I have been sufferering from mild insomnia for about 1.5 years now. Basically, I have trouble going to sleep on M, Tu, W nights, so during one of my fitful nights of trying to go to sleep, I think I have it worked out how I am going to fix this. I am feeling better again. Side note: Why can't I sleep on M, Tu, W nights? It has to do with work and is too long a story to tell right now.

11-12-09 I finally fixed my sleeve and was so excited. Then I seamed the wrong seam together. In the process of taking them out, I cut the wrong thread and my sweater began to unravel. I am not frogging it because I just tossed it into the garbage. I do not want to look at it anymore. I don’t even want to see the yarn anymore. It will be a very long time before I knit anything that requires any major seaming. Top down or bottom up is it for me for awhile.

Yes readers, you read that correctly. I threw it into the garbage can.

For some reason, it is simply not meant to be. You would think that as long as I have been sewing (10 years), I could seam up a sweater correctly. Apparently not. I am literally seething over this and my brain is fried when it comes to fixing this project. At this point, I don't want to even try to fix it. It is 10:40 pm and I am nowhere near sleepy, even though I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning. Anyway, you live and learn. I have learned that I won't be doing anything that requires alot of seaming. I much prefer knitting in the round.
I do have some Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted in a gorgeous colorway that I bought several months ago. It has been hibernating in my closet. I have decided to use it to knit the February Fitted Pullover. I am trying to challenge myself to learn new knitting techniques and I want to learn lace. Also this is something I would wear, and I have enough yarn. It has a little seaming but nothing compared to Alpine. Also, it starts out knitting in the round so I hope it will be less of a hassle.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chadwicks won't take my credit card!!!

This is a non-sewing post and a rant. I am sorry for the lack of sewing posts lately, but work is stressing me out. I am having to bring work home and by the time the weekends get here, I am exhausted. I do have a couple of things to show you, but I haven't had time to take pics.
Here goes the rant. I love Chadwicks, but apparently they don't love me. They will not accept my credit card even though it is listed as one of the cards they accept. I have attempted to place online orders a couple of times and I get a rejected message. My husband and I always pay off our credit card at the end of each month. We don't put anything on our card that we could not pay cash for at that very moment. In other words, there is no reason for Chadwick's to be doing this. I called them on the phone and tried to place it and the service representative said it was rejected. I told him my situation and he just said, "I'm sorry but I don't know what is going on." Then I called my credit card company to see if they would look into it. They said they had not received any rejected cc orders on me from Chadwick's and could not understand why they would not accept the card. WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?! Have any of you ever had this problem with an online store? Did you get it resolved? What did you do? I should just boycott Chadwicks, but they have the cutest clothing at great prices. Help.