Saturday, December 07, 2013
Inspired by the holiday decorations in this Scandinavian home, I decided to create my own washi tape tree on the front door of my house. Washi tape is a Japanese masking tape made of rice paper and it usually comes in fun patterns and colors. Its low tack adhesive allows it to be reused and repositioned easily. The tapes I had on hand were reds and greens, perfect for the season. This project literally took no longer than 10 minutes and is a bit of festive cheer. Love it!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Winter has arrived in the Pacific Northwest! Though it's not as rainy as last year, the days have been sunny and cold; temperatures have dipped below freezing during the early morning and at night. Commuting by bike has its challenges during cold and rainy weather and a balaclava seemed like a perfect solution. It covers your ears and can be comfortably worn under your helmet. I purchased some velour lightweight fleece and some fold-over elastic to bind the face opening. I ended up drafting my own pattern, inspired by this pattern, this pattern and this one. The length is about 17" and the width is about 11". The bottom edge is finished with zigzag stitching. I think it will keep me warm on my rides!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I knitted up this super quick hat this afternoon. It's actually the Carrie pattern from an old Rowan Big Wool pattern book. I had originally made this hat years and years ago and it was one of my favorites. I had spilled something on it and in the process of trying to clean it, it ended up shrinking just a tiny bit–but enough that now it doesn't cover my ears. I love this pattern and wanted to make another version. I ended up choosing some super soft Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn, which is a lofty chainette made from a blend of baby alpaca and merino. It's a unique hat because it's knit from side to side, which ends up as a vertical stitch pattern. It's very cozy and warm and I love the red pompom too.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
I was excited to start the last of my sewing projects yesterday evening. I made a cocoon dress using the Theory grey denim that I bought during the Bolt sale a couple of weeks ago. I was having a hard time deciding on which side of the fabric to use as the self, so I decided to use both–the dark on the front and the light on the back. I absolutely love how it turned out! The denim was extremely easy to work with and made for quick sewing. I started this dress last night and completed everything except the hem, which I finished this morning. This is one of my favorite dress silhouettes and makes frequent appearances in many of the Japanese pattern books. The details that I especially love are the pockets, the kimono-style sleeves, the elasticized hem and the color-blocking. There is also a sleeveless version of this dress with a round neckline that I will put on my to-sew list for spring or summer.
The other project I completed this afternoon was the Point of View Vest from Knitbot Linen that I started way back in August. This project seemingly took forever since I didn't work on it consistently. It's all stockinette stitch, so rather boring knitting. The pattern calls for using linen yarn obviously, but I hate knitting with linen and instead substituted Cascade Heritage sock yarn. Even after blocking it's still pretty curly at the edges. Finally being able to see this entire piece done, I really like it. I love the color, as well as the asymmetrical hem. It will be a good layering piece.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Here's my second project I sewed today: a shift dress using the platinum bird print silk fabric. I was drawn to this pattern because of the interesting seaming detail on the sides. There are only two pieces to sew, the front and the back, along with the neck facings. Once the shoulders are sewn together, all the edges are hemmed. It's not completely visible from first glance, but the side seams are sewn with the wrong sides together, about one and three-quarter inches in from the edges. This seaming gives the dress a very casual feel, like a caftan and I'm not sure if I like that or not. This project would have gone more quickly had the fabric not been so slippery to sew. I do love the print though and can see this dress layered with a long sleeve T and tights.
PS Sorry for the bad photos. I was too tired to retake the blurry ones!
PS Sorry for the bad photos. I was too tired to retake the blurry ones!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
The fall Bolt sale is happening this weekend and I headed over there after work yesterday to purchase some fabric I spied several weeks ago. There's a great selection of cotton silks there right now and I picked up two: a platinum colorway with birds and tiny pops of neon and a multicolored digital print. I also had to have this Theory grey stretch cotton denim. I'm not sure which face of the denim I will use as the right side, but it would look great either way.
I decided to sew the digital print first and I selected a square blouse pattern from the Pretty Straight Sewing Japanese book. This shirt is literally a square with holes for your head and arms. I only bought a yard of this fabric, which was a little short, so I had to alter the pattern by about three inches on each side. This was a quick project and I absolutely love how it turned out. The drape that is created when the blouse is worn is perfect and I really dig the print and the colors. On to project #2!
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
This was a sewing project I finally got around to this past weekend. I had the fabric and pattern laying out for months, waiting to be cut and stitched together. The dress is another project from Home Couture by Machiko Kayaki. It's actually a pullover shirt pattern that I modified to be a dress. There are also supposed to be ruffles down the front, but I decided to omit those from my finished project. I love the French sleeves; they are my favorite style. The most time-consuming part was the trim on the neck and sleeves, but overall, it was a quick sew.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
While I am on vacation for a couple of more days, I started another summer knitting project, the Point of View Vest from Hannah Fettig's book Knitbot Linen. I previously knit her Walpole cardigan, which appeared as a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. I really don't like knitting with linen or the fabric that's created by knitting with linen, so I'm using Cascade Heritage sock yarn as a substitution. I love the unstructured design of the vest. I just cast on a couple of days ago, but the knitting is going fast.
I sewed this dress yesterday and love how it turned out! The dress pattern is from Home Couture by Machiko Kayaki. The fabric is color-flecked chambray that I purchased from Bolt over the weekend. The project was very simple and came together quickly. The facings and collar were sewn right in to the dress since it is sleeveless, which saved a lot of time and made everything look very neat. The only modification I made to the pattern was not aligning the collar to the edges of the neck opening so you could see the button. I also love the tie in the back. This dress will be perfect to wear for late summer. Next up, a blouse from the same book.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Vespertine is a bike apparel brand out of NYC whose Haute Réflecture line integrates great fabrics with beautiful tailoring and design. Each piece also incorporates highly reflective materials for safety on the road. Vespertine was in Portland Sunday afternoon for a trunk show at Folly, a local boutique that is also a stockist of the line. My favorite pieces include these two vests: the Isoar reversible vest and the Vespert sequins. I ended up purchasing the Vesp silver vest, which is made with a gorgeous lamé. I can't wait to wear it riding around town. So chic!