Monday, August 25, 2014

Alder Dress Sew-Along: W.I.P.

Our little Alder Shirtdress Sew-along is going strong! Allyson and Laura both posted fun pictures of their WIP dresses last week. They're a bit ahead of me, since my bike accident held me back from starting this as soon as I laid eyes on the pattern. 

Alder Dress, ready for cutting

This past weekend I was finally able to cut into my fabric. It's a slippery rayon, so I had some trouble cutting it perfectly on the grain. I've been straightening it up as I sew, though, and thus far that's worked out. 

Do you like my cutting table? Yeah... it's the floor. 

How about my scenic sewing room: 

My Sewing Room

I moved into a tiny, 420 sq ft studio last January, so this "sewing room" is also the kitchen, and the dining room, and sometimes bike storage. It's a challenge to fit everything into such a tiny space, but now that I have all my sewing stuff out of the closet, I'll be knocking out a few projects in one go. You can see my pile on the ottoman in the corner! 

Ok, check with Allyson on Wednesday for her finished Alder, and Laura on Friday! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Alder Shirtdress Sew-Along Extravaganza

Have you seen the Alder Shirtdress pattern from Grainline Studio? I first saw it on Ginger Makes, where Sonja made two gorgeous versions, and I fell in love. I had to have this dress!

Then I found out that my bff's, Allyson and Laura, were also obsessed with this pattern, and it was official: we had to do a Sew-Along.

Luckily, our mini sew-along is just a week behind the official Grainline Studio Sew-Along, so I've been benefiting from their guidance.

Here are my plans, thus far:

Version 1: A straightforward take on View A. This will hopefully be a wearable muslin, where I work out any fitting issues within the pattern. Since it's designed for a B-cup, I will definitely be doing a Full-Bust Adjustment (following the instructions here). I will also be adding pockets, and possibly tweaking the collar to a Peter Pan style, depending on the fabric.

Version 2: View B, made out of something drape-y, like silk charmeuse. Also adding pockets. Always with the pockets.

Version 3: A v-neck shirt version, a la this post. I think this would be amazing in a chambray.

My plans are ambitious, but after my bike accident last week, they have stalled. Thus far I have....

Alder Shirtdress Pattern

Just an assembled pattern. But hey! That took a really long time. I really wish I had seen this tutorial from Colette or this one from Sewaholic before I started. But I'll be cutting that fabric in no time, I just know it.

You can catch up with Allyson's progress on Wednesday and Laura's on Friday for all the Alder-goodness you can handle!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hodgepodge Mittens for Meghan

Here's a Christmas 2013 project that never got a blog post: Hodgepodge Mittens for my sister. 

Hodge Podge Mittens on Meg

This was my favorite pattern from Holla Knits Accessories last year, since I love colorwork mittens. So cozy and so entertaining to knit! I knew my sister would dig them, too, in a nice, neutral color palette. And look! They matched her post-Christmas outfit perfectly. 

I knit them pretty much as written, using Magic Loop. I stopped a few rows before the end of the chart because my sister (and I) have small hands. It worked well to try them on as I went and adjust accordingly. I loved the easy 4-stitch pattern repeat and simple color scheme. They look great finished, but weren't too crazy-making while knitting. 

Meg's Hodge Podge Mittens

My sister got married in June, and a few months before the wedding, I was sitting at my desk, thinking about how things were going to change within our family. Meghan and Jeff, her new husband, have been together for 10 years, so I wasn't really worried until I realized: Meghan and I would not be waking up together on Christmas morning, like we had since we were old enough to sleep in our own beds. It brought tears to my eyes to think about! Who knew, that at age 30, I'd still have some "growing up" to do?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Knitting - Harnett Tank

Hey, check it out: it's my Harnett Tank.

Harnett Back

I cast on this baby on New Year's Eve, and finished in early June. (Rav page here, if you're interested.) I knit size 38 with almost no mods, except following Michelle's directions for jog-less stripes. She's so helpful!

I used the recommended yarn - Knit Pick's Stroll - and found it... lacking. After I finished my Fire Opal Tee, knit in a cotton blend, I was totally in love. Putting on a wool blend, at the beach, for these photos, was torture. The sweater fares much better when worn in my air-conditioned office, but I still wish I had used cotton. 

Harnett Front

But it sure looks beautiful, doesn't it? I was a little worried about the length and width while knitting, but the nice thing about wool is that it's so darn flexible, and I was able to wet block it into a nice shape. 

And hey! I'm a lucky lady, because Allyson came to visit and work on Red Letter Day Stitches stuff, and took these photos of me. This was pretty much the most perfect day at the beach because:
  • We saw a whale, and it spouted water! 
  • We saw dolphins, doing flips! Seeing dolphins is not unusual on the SoCal coast, but I had never seen so many, being so acrobatic. 
  • The water was very warm and swim-able. Rare for the Pacific, and probably why we saw so many animals.
  • We mastered the technique necessary for anchoring a beach umbrella in the sand. 
  • We were seated next to a group of very beautiful European people, and spent a good amount of time eavesdropping on their conversations and speculating on who was dating whom. Maybe that's a thing I shouldn't admit on the internet...
Harnett Flat