Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Sewing: Lisette Portfolio Top

I completed this Lisette Portfolio top during my long weekend since I had Friday off. I had some Cloud 9 voile that I had purchased a while back and thought this pattern would be perfect. I had previously made the dress, which I loved. The  original pattern is currently out of print, but it's been updated as the Cappuccino dress and tunic and can be found here. This sewed up pretty quickly, though the neckband took me some extra time because I didn't remember how it was constructed even with the directions. The only modification I made was to skip the button fastening in the back and make the top a pullover. This top will be a great layering piece for spring!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Sewing: Merchant & Mills Factory Dress

Here's my second Merchant & Mills project: the Factory Dress. I love the easy wearability and style of this pullover dress. Plus, it has pockets! I used a striped railroad stretch denim in indigo stripe. Staring at it too long makes me dizzy! Like the Top #64, this pattern was very easy to follow and easy to sew. I did not have to make any modifications, though I did have some issues with my pattern layout and not having enough fabric. I think I lost some yardage doing the conversion from meters to yards and didn't make the appropriate adjustments. I was able to seam a couple of pieces together to make everything work out in the end. Seaming the center front was tricky with the stripes and I had to do it a couple of times to get them to alternate between blue and white. I almost made the front pocket in a contrasting fabric but decided against that and instead used some Liberty fabric for the inseam pockets. I can't wait for some warmer weather to wear this dress!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday Sewing: The Top #64

Here's my completed Top #64. The pattern is from Merchant & Mills and I purchased it online from Purl Soho. I stopped by Bolt yesterday afternoon and picked up this lightweight canvas from quilt designer Yoshiko Jinzenji. I was really drawn to the abstract shapes and lines and the muted color palette. I considered this other print from Nani Iro, but decided the Yoshiko fabric was ultimately more wearable. I cut out the fabric last night and did all the sewing today, which only took about two hours. I made a size 10–it fits me perfectly with the top more like a tunic. I made no modifications aside from having to shorten the sleeves by about three inches and using a fun contrast binding for the neck facing. The details I love: the center seaming on the front and back, the raglan sleeves, the inset pockets and how the fabric pattern on the rear sleeves mimics the back of the top (completely unintentional). I also love that this is a pullover top with no fastenings. So simple yet modern. Can't wait to try more of these patterns!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Merchant & Mills

Recently, I've seen several references online to Merchant & Mills, a British company that offers sewing patterns and kits. There's a more thorough review of their patterns on Fancy Tiger Crafts. The only question now is which patterns should I purchase?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Yay, friendly fair isle sweater is finished!

This sweater was such a fun knit! I started it last weekend and it went very quickly with the bulky Classic Elite yarn. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow. The sleeves are knit first and attached later after the body is knit in the round. The simple fair isle pattern is perfect for beginners and adds just the right amount of interest to the knitting. The fair isle on the yoke was a little more difficult to manage since it's happening across every third stitch. I may have carried too much slack in my contrasting color stitches, but I was able to tighten them up a little bit. After grafting the underarm seams, I lightly steam blocked the sweater to set the stitches. We still have some cool weather here in Portland, so this sweater will get some wear before the higher temperatures arrive. I highly recommend this project!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Knitting Projects

Back in mid-January, I started the Trestle chevron pullover from Brooklyn Tweed. I'm using Cascade Heritage sock yarn in grey and snow. I finished the bottom-front and am now combining triangles for the bottom-back. The garter stitch knitting is rather mundane though, not to mention slow going with size four needles, so when I saw this Purl Soho fair isle sweater pattern, I got pretty excited. First of all, it's knit with chunky yarn, which means I could probably finish it in a week. Second, I love the design–it's like a deconstructed fair isle, which is so utterly simple that it's brilliant. I love the colorways of the Purl Soho sweater, but for my version I decided to use Mountain Top Blackthorn in alabaster for the main color and Classic Elite Wynter in dusty teal for the contrast color. I'll be swatching and starting this project today!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sewing: Deer and Doe Sureau Dress

I started sewing the Sureau dress last night and finished it this afternoon. I love how it turned out! This is a fitted dress with three-quarter length sleeves and I used this lovely abstract floral cotton fabric from J. Crew. The pattern is from Deer and Doe, a French company that offers a nice selection of different patterns. I made a few modifications that included a small bust adjustment and adding an inch to the side seams so the dress was more relaxed and less fitted. One of my glass buttons also broke, so I only sewed on three instead of four. The pattern itself was well written and very easy to follow. I'd recommend it! I'm adding the Datura blouse pattern to my sewing to do list.


Thursday, January 09, 2014

Cute Free T-Shirt Pattern

Check out this cute free T-shirt pattern, Plantain, from Deer and Doe. I like the low scoop neck and there are three sleeve variations, as well as elbow patches.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Knitting: Fair Isle Socks

I had never knit Fair Isle before, so I thought a pair of socks would be the perfect introduction to learn this technique. I watched this video and started casting on using this pattern from Patons via Ravelry. I used some Berroco Ultra Alpaca and Knitpicks merino wool from my stash. The knitting was fun and went by quickly. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I think a Fair Isle sweater would be doable. I ran out of the dark green yarn for the foot of the second sock, so just continued with the lighter green. They're very warm and cozy!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Metallic Triangle Sweatshirt

As I was out running errands downtown last week, I stopped in to J. Crew to check out their sale section. I didn't find anything but I did see this great vintage sweatshirt with metallic triangles. It wasn't on sale and cost $65, which was more than I was willing to spend. So, I decided to make my own version. I got a sweatshirt from Old Navy that was on sale for $12 and I already had freezer paper and metallic paint supplies for the triangle stencils. I decided to do only two shorter columns of triangles because I didn't want to spend too much time cutting them out. This project took an afternoon and the paint was dry by evening. I love how the sweatshirt and triangles have a monochrome look; a subtle pizazz for the holidays!