Thursday, September 8, 2022

Project! Summer Lee Knits Totally Rad Ribbed Socks in Beehive Yarns

Pattern: My mom gifted me a limited Christmas Socks Set - "Vintage Cheer" - from Beehive Yarns last year and it took a minute to find the perfect pattern worthy of this gorgeous yarn. It came with a pattern, but there were certain details that weren't exactly my cup of tea, so I held off. When Summer Lee released the Totally Rad Ribbed Socks pattern, I knew IT WAS TIME. I pulled in some design elements from the pattern included and mashed it all together in a pair of beautifully retro socks.


Cost: The Christmas Socks Set was gifted, and the pattern was $5. 

Timeline: This was my travel project in France during the month of April. I love working on socks while traveling - they take a decent amount of time but take up a small amount of space, so they're perfect, in my opinion.

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I knit a size M with a cable cast on for a stretchy cuff, and then followed the pattern as written, with the exception of adding another round of stripes before the toe to use more of the accent colors. This was a VERY generous sock set - after I finished the Totally Rad socks, I had enough yarn to cast on a second pair of Weekend Shorty socks, whoohoo!! And I still have leftover yarn. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Project! Summer Lee Knits Weekend Shorty Socks (HAMBURGER SOCKS)

Ok, here's another project (finished in March...) that I didn't blog about in a timely manner... so details are missing but I super love these socks and wanted to make sure they saw the light of day...

Pattern: My new favorite sock pattern - the Weekend Shorty Socks by Summer Lee.

Materials: I knit these socks with the leftovers from my Hamburger Socks, knit from Knit Picks Felici (sadly, no longer available in the hamburger colorway, but there are lots of other fun self-striping colors available), and some ancient Knit Picks Stroll Tonal - truly scrappy socks. It makes me *very* happy to use up scraps. 

Cost: Free Ninety-Nine, since this was a completely scrappy project, and used a free pattern.

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I cast on a size M using a cable cast on for a stretchy cuff and followed the instructions pretty closely from there. The Felici yarn is self-striping, so I just let it stripe as it would for the cuff, heel and toe, and then used the Stroll for the main part of the sock. I love the fit and simplicity of this pattern!

Feelings about this project: Yes, I have already knit another pair of these socks with other sock leftovers. It's such a versatile pattern!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Project! The Maiden Blouse with Flutter Sleeves (Stitch Witch Patterns)

Pattern: This top started as my muslin for The Maiden Blouse by Stitch Witch patterns when I tested the pattern back in February.

Materials: The lightweight gingham I used lived a previous life as an apron, which I found at an estate sale for $1! About a year ago, I added "gingham" to my Thrift Store List (anyone else have this list??) and the apron was the first time I found gingham fabric in the wild, so I got excited... and then realized it wasn't really enough fabric to do much with. UNTIL NOW.

Cost: $1 for the fabric, I got the pattern for free in exchange for testing, and the buttons were from my stash. So $1 total. 

Timeline: I cut the bodice in February and intended to go back and finish it for months after finishing my striped circus-y Maiden Blouse. Lately I have been REALLY trying to clear out my sewing WIP's, so here we are! Only took 7 months to make this muslin into a wearable top.

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: LOTS. After fitting my muslin, I had pulled it apart to make changes to the front bodice piece on my final. So when I picked this version back up, I pulled out the darts and completely re-cut the front bodice. 

Now, Madeline has included a facing in the final pattern to make a sleeveless version of this blouse, but it uses the other, rounded neckline, not this square, Queen Anne neckline. So instead of using the facing for the sleeveless version, I cut the neckline facing as normal and treated it like a binding, sewing it to the wrong side and then folding it under and stitching it down. This worked pretty well! I think it will hold up and keep the square neckline crisp, despite the light weight of the fabric.

The apron also did not provide enough fabric for the epic sleeves included in the fabric (too bad, they would have been awesome in this floaty fabric), but it DID have two very long ties, which I repurposed into the flutter sleeves. Because I am all about SLEEVES. After basting on the gathered sleeves, I used a basic binding to finish them. 

I skipped the boning for this version - the fabric was too light and it was just not what I was going for. 

Feelings about this project: This is so so cute - a little bit Picnic Maiden, a little bit Milk Maid. The light fabric is very wearable for this hot hot weather, while still offering drama. 

If I make this top again, I WILL interface the back button bands. In both this lightweight version, and my heavier version, the button band pulls in a weird way and needs a little extra stability. I love the detail of the buttons, so I wouldn't want to lose that, but it needs some help.

Now, I DO have a larger check gingham tablecloth that I thrifted shortly after this apron, so... stay tuned for my full gingham look (joking... maybe).

Monday, July 25, 2022

Project! Wildflowers Blouse by Poison Grrls (Test Knit)

Pattern: Wildflowers Blouse by Poison Grrls. I test knit this one and it's a gem! The neckline! The sleeves!

Materials: The recommended yarn for this knit is CoBaSi by HiKoo and I also heartily recommend this yarn. This is the second time using this yarn (in a second Poison Grrls design) and it's just perfect for summer or, you know, living in LA like I do. 

Cost: I used almost all of 5 skeins of CoBaSi in "Gold Crest", so total was $47 including shipping.

Timeline: Woof. Test knits can be tricky, you know?? I started this on June 10th and finished it on July 21st, after a lot of ripping and re-knitting. I knit a total of FIVE sleeves on this sweater, can you believe it??

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: Ok, the finished product is fantastic, I am very happy with it BUT due to the "test" variety of knitting, this didn't exactly go as planned. I cast on the wrong number of stitches, so it's a little larger than the size L. Now, each designer has a testing process that is different and works well for them, but unfortunately for ME, Amy's process requires detailed reading and apparently I am very bad at that!!!!! So I missed a few corrections to the first draft of the pattern and that led to the sizing issue, as well as me having to rip and re-knit the top of the bodice AFTER I had already finished the entire garment. So yes, this took me over a month to get right, but I never have regrets about ripping out a "Meh" knit to make sure it's fab. 

I also got Covid somewhere in that month, and I partially blame that for my inability to read the corrections. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT (it was my fault).

Ok, back to what I DID do right: I added an extra inch of length to the body before beginning the increases for the bust, and I knit the sleeves one size smaller (my usual mod for my skinny arms). I love love love the sleeves and the proportions of the puffy sleeves vs. the sweetheart neckline! 

Feelings about this project: Overall, I am so so happy with how it turned out, and I feel really fantastic wearing it. And I promise to learn to read soon. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Project! Joss Pants in Linen by Seamwork

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. A great thing about belated blogging is a lot of photos of your finished garments in action! So here we go:

Pattern: The Joss Pants by Seamwork. Yes, this is my second pair of Joss pants... this pair is much more outdoor-friendly.

Materials: 100% Linen from Joann's, thread and 1.5" elastic for the waistband. The pattern calls for 1" elastic, but I had 1.5" non-roll elastic in my stash and WOW, am I glad I went with that. Highly recommend a sturdy elastic for this waistband. 

 Cost: 3 yards of this linen came in at a whopping $46, plus another $4 for thread, bringing this project to $50, and making this my most expensive sewing project since my Bryant Gown! I do have a little linen leftover, so I'm hoping to squeeze a tank out of it for a little matching outfit look. 

Timeline: Fast and furious - I made these the first week of April, days before I left for France, when I realized I had very few options for comfy travel pants. Since I had sewn the pattern before, I knew I could bang them out in time. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I sewed a straight size 12, adding a 1/2" in height to the waistband to accommodate the taller elastic. I also added the same slanted patch pockets I used on the first pair I sewed, which I drafted by following Seamwork's tutorial

Since I ended up adding a drawstring to my first pair of Joss pants, I added two buttonholes to the waistband this time. However - the non roll elastic is so sturdy and the linen fabric is so light that I definitely didn't need a drawstring and didn't end up adding it. So there are just two unused buttonholes, waiting on the waistband for the time they might be needed (which will probably never come). 

I go back and forth on the length - when I sit down they REALLY ride up, but when I'm standing I think they look great, so I probably would not change it. 

Feelings about this project: While I liked the first pair of Joss Pants I sewed, they were made out of knit jersey and are really more PJ-type pants. This version, however, is MAGIC. Every time I wear them, people ask where I got them, and then are disappointed when I tell them I made them (because I have nice friends who don't immediately ask me to make them a thing they want).

I love them and have worn them multiple times a week since I finished them. I wore them in Paris when it was chilly, I wore them in Joshua Tree when it was hot. They are versatile, comfy and look chic. They're the perfect pants for my current lifestyle and I am thrilled I FINALLY gave this pattern a second look. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Project! Groovy Floral Striped Madhu Top by Seamwork

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. So here we go:

Pattern: Surprise, it's another Seamwork Madhu! I love this pattern so much, and both of my tops get a LOT of wear. It might be time to make a third...

Materials: When I saw this beautiful, slightly groovy/slightly Hawaiian rayon at Remainders Creative Reuse, I knew it was destined to be a Madhu. It's a perfect match of fabric to pattern.

Cost: 2.5 yards of this rayon came in at $7.50, and the thread and elastic were in my stash, so a total of $7.50 for this top. Seriously, cannot beat Remainders.

Timeline: I bought this fabric at the same time as my fabric for my Capulet Dress, and cut them both at the same time, finishing at the end of March. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: I cut a size Medium and made no mods. Easy peasy! 

Feelings about this project: I waxed poetic about this pattern when I wrote about my Hawaiian Print Madhu Top, and my feelings have only deepened with this second version. It's a perfect t-shirt for me, I will love it forever, and I look forward to wearing it all summer long.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Project! The Capulet Dress (Test) by Stitch Witch Patterns

I'm blogging my way through some projects I finished in March and April, right before I got busy and did some traveling. So here we go:

Pattern: Oh yes, it's another lovely pattern from Stitch Witch Patterns - The Capulet Dress

Materials: I purchased 5.5 yards of this beautiful rayon from Remainders Creative Reuse for another project, intending to use a stiffer cotton for this dress. I did not read the pattern closely, though, and was only able to score about 3 yards of the 45" wide cotton when the pattern calls for 60" wide fabric, and so I used this backup fabric. It's a different dress than I intended to make, but it still came out gorgeous!

I will take this opportunity to shout it from the rooftops: Remainders is amazing and I am so so lucky to have a craft thrift store here in Pasadena. I try to stay chill every time I go in there, but inevitably I leave with vintage fabric. This is where I got the amazing plaid fabric for my Christmas B6453. And I have 2-3 cuts of fabric in my stash that haven't been sewn up yet. 

Cost: $16.50 for 5.5 yards of rayon. The rest of the materials were already in my stash so we'll say a total of $16.50 for this dress, since I received the pattern in exchange for testing it. 

Timeline: Finished at the end of March, before the pattern release. 

Sizing, mods, changes and notes on fitting: Since this was a test sew, the fit is pretty off. (Madeline has since made changes to the pattern, so go forth and sew it without fear!) As you'll see from my photos, the back had to be taken in quite a bit, so it doesn't have that nice square back. On my next version, I'll be sure to do more extensive fitting. 

Because I am both tall and old, I added length to the bodice and the skirt. I don't think I really needed the extra bodice length, and next time I'll skip it. I also added pockets, because I love snacks and must always have lip balm on me. Since I was sewing with the rayon, I had to make the longer Juliet sleeves! I LOVE them, they're so dramatic and elegant. 

Feelings about this project: I love this dress - it's very romantic and a little 90's when made up in this fabric. This one is on my list to revisit in a lighter fabric with more body in the short sleeve version, so watch out, Summer 2022!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Me Made May 2022 Recap

Well, we're 10 days into June, but here's my Me Made May Recap. Yes, you'll notice there are only 10 outfits, but 10 out of 31 ain't too bad in my book!


Left: Linen Joss Pants and a refashioned tank from Old Navy. Right: Ikat Alder Shirtdress

Left: Linen-blend Burnside Bibs (unblogged, gasp!). Right: Lace Stripes Sweater


And the MVP for this Me Made May goes to... the Linen Joss Pants! I'm actually wearing them right now as I type this, too. They are so comfy but look kinda chic in a burlap-sack, paper-bag-sorta-way, and I LOVE them.

Truly, this Me Made May tested my wardrobe. A lot of my handmade clothes no longer fit comfortably and I don't wear uncomfortable clothes (anymore), so. My options were limited. But onward and upward! Summer is here and I have leftover linen, so look out!