Armande Sweater in Tweedy Oatmeal

Woot! A finished object!! I had meant to post this as one final make for 2017, but that cruel bitch that was 2017 had one last ‘fuck you’ in store for me…. the stomach flu (or food poisoning) on New Years Eve [insert vomit emoji].  I will spare you the graphic details, but I will say that it is not an experience I would wish on my worst enemy.

At any rate, back to more pleasant matters.  I give you my finished Armande!


Armande is a bottom-up seamlessly knit cardigan sweater from Andi Satterlund.  I knit this in a size large, using size 8 needles to get the right swatch.  I started it around Christmas 2016 and finished it up around Christmas 2017 🙂

And what a start it was!! I had a pretty rough time with it at the beginning….particularly the pockets.  I ripped back and re-started them twice before I finally frogged the whole damn thing and started from scratch.  But honestly the whole thing was user error….never question the directions!


Despite the rough start I do really like the way the pockets were knit, it makes for a very smooth and seemingly very sturdy pocket 🙂

Otherwise it’s a fairly simple knit, great for binge watching and knitting days…. Knitflixing if you will 😉


I was a bit nervous about the fit, but other than being slightly big in the shoulders it’s pretty good.  In these shots I’m wearing a sturdy long sleeve shirt under it…. this one actually!


The buttons are again from Wood Buttons.  These actually weren’t what I originally ordered, they were out of that and sent me TWO replacement sets instead of slightly different buttons.  I honestly can’t remember what I originally ordered and am quite pleased with these.


The yarn is Homestead Tweed from Plymouth Yarn Company in Oatmeal Tweed.  When I envisioned this sweater it was with this EXACT kind of yarn and lo & behold I was actually able to find it!!

It was my last purchase from my old LYS The Village Knittery…. which just recently went out of business 😥 😥


But cry not, for I have this insanely warm sweater to remember them by!  Yes, it is fitting nicely into my Winter is Coming Wardrobe already…. because as you know if you live anywhere along the eastern seaboard of the U.S.- SHE HAS ARRIVED!!



One Week, One Pattern 2017

A day late and a dollar short, but here you have it my One Week, One Pattern round-up….

And of course I choose Vesta Pattern’s The Grail t-shirt…. because I have literally made 1,000s of these… or you know, 8 :-/

[I’m also going to apologize for the photos right now… day-light savings time and working late do not produce the best lighting conditions for photos]

Day 1:


One of my first Grail t-shirt makes 🙂

Day 2:


It was a lazy Sunday inside with my latest un-blogged t-shirt…. trying to branch out with some patterns!

Day 3:


Another very early Grail t-shirt make.  I actually had to wear a work polo all day, so this only got worn for a few hours at the end of the day…

Day 4:


….which is why I felt pretty safe wearing it again the very next day!  I wore it with my State Street Cowl… so it’s not the exact same outfit 😉

Day 5:


Forgot to take a photo actually in my outfit… which is too bad because it was super cute.  3/4 length sleeve Grail shirt, with my first Zinna skirt.

Day 6:


Busting out the long-sleeve Grail and my 2nd Zinnia!

Day 7:


Another Grail t-shirt and another un-blogged (and technically un-finished!) make.  I’ll hopefully have more on the sweater for you soon!


Day 8:


I kinda misunderstood the time-frame….not sure how, one week being a fairly standard 7 days :-/
But at any rate we have my Grailed Renfrew and my first Zinnia again 🙂

So there you have it!  I managed to squeeze in another sewing community, social media thingy before the end of the year 🙂  Although, I ended up only participating unofficially.  Options were given for participating for a chance for prizes both through Instagram and Facebook, but I never could find the Facebook group to post to 😦  **Yes, I still have not gotten on the Instagram train :-/



Fall and Winter Sewing plans!

The seasons are starting to change have changed here and I’m feeling less and less into making summer-y makes.  In fact…. there has been very little summer-y makes this year in general :-/

BUT I’m hopeful that by outlining a plan I’ll be more likely to, you know, actually follow through :-/


I’ve got three winter skirts in the works and I’ve already got the fabric for all of them!

I’m planning two Brooklyn skirts from Seamwork with some medium/heavy weight wool.  I did not get any swatches for these, so I’m hopeful it won’t turn out to be too heavy weight. [Update: The fabric isn’t too heavy weight, but the persimmon turned out much more orangey in person….which I should have known from the persimmon tree in my neighbors yard!]

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I also have some plaid/check fabric that has been in my stash for eons…. I think I bought it the first year I was getting into sewing from Hancock.  I always planned on drafting and making a circle skirt with that…. and now I think I will!

I also want to try to make a Winter Hawthorn….. I have no idea what fabric to use. I’m oscillating between just something solid or getting crazy and trying to sew with some plaid…. this of course would end in pattern matching tears I feel 😥

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Then of course there are the Ginger Jeans!  I bought fabric from the Hancock going out of business sale, which is the perfect price point for a trail run/wearable muslin.


I’m a little bit nervous about what the length will be, as I found the Carolyn PJ pants to be absurdly long on me.

……which brings us to:


FINISH MY CAROLYN PAJAMAS!!! These have been languishing for almost over a year and need to be finished!

I also would like some more Grail t-shirts….because evidently seven isn’t enough?!  Now, I’m specifically trying to re-create some favorite shirts that have quite literally been worn out!  A cowl neck shirt in lilac, a la my Navy cowl neck, and a black ballet scoop shirt.

…..Which actually brings us to…. One Week, One Pattern!  Yes, I’m actually following through with participating in the Sewing Community…. or at least trying to, I can’t quite find the Facebook page where you’re suppose to post your photos if you don’t have Instagram :-/   But no matter!  I’m still moving forward!

Slate Blue Miette…. aka half of OAL2017

While it is increasingly looking like the Kim dress portion of the Outfit Along will not be finished…. or…err started….. for some time, I have finished the sweater portion!!

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This is my second Miette sweater!  I had issues with sizing on the first one and didn’t even bother to put buttons on it, because that shit wasn’t going to close.

This time though I got serious about sizing and taking my time with the swatching…. you can read more about that process here.  And that work paid off 🙂

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The fit came out real well!  I followed the pattern fairly closely this time to make a true cropped sweater…. my first version I lengthened quite a bit.  I did add a couple of rows to the button band on this one though, because I was paranoid it would be too small again.  That is a also why the top button is out of line with the others :-/

The yarn is the worsted weight Cascade 220 in the Atlantic color, which I ordered online.  And after much deliberations I settled on these rust colored buttons from my local fabric store In Stitches 🙂   I had wanted to use these awesome vintage shank buttons I’ve had in my stash for FOREVER… but alas there are only 5 😦


So, there you have it!  There’s not a whole lot more to say…. this is a great free, beginner pattern and would work great as someone’s first or second handmade sweater.

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I’m hard at work on my Armande sweater, I’m hopeful I’ll finish it in time to wear this fall/winter…. famous last words 😉

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Throwback Thursday: Simplicity 2286 in Vintage Barkcloth

Yes…. in a blatant ripoff of the Sometimes Sewist, I’m posting a Throwback Thursday…#TBT to you young, hip kids 😉

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This is my Simplicity 2286 completed way back in 2012, solidly pre-blog.  In fact, this was the first finished garment I made once I really got into sewing…. There was a very 80’s leopard print jumper/overall atrocity made for a Girl Scout sewing badge in elementary school, which we don’t talk about *shudder*.

Simplicity 2286 is solidly a beginner/learn to sew pattern and a really great one!  There’s no closures, but a lot of very basic skills 🙂

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I honestly can’t remember too much about making this, except I basically completed it in a day from cutting the pattern pieces to hemming.  I also cut straight into my “special” fabric….no muslins, no trial runs in less “special” fabric!


The fabric is a vintage barkcloth my Mom had gotten, she had had it since forever (I remember rummaging through her fabric stash and finding it periodical growing up).  I’m not sure how old it actually is, but I’d say at least 1970’s.   And there couldn’t have been much more than a yard 😦

It is amazing looking back….. I just jumped straight in- there was no hemming and hawing about finding the “right” pattern, no muslins, no trial runs to make sure I had gotten all the techniques down; there was just cutting (and the hubris of a beginner).  I guarantee you had I not made this skirt that fabric would probably still be languishing in my stash waiting for the “perfect” project….. there’s a lesson somewhere in that :-/


Now, being the n00b that I was, I actually didn’t finish the seams….at all.  I also, used the wrong size elastic, twisted said elastic, and then hemmed it too short.  It was kind of a hot mess if you looked close enough! So, after a year or two of things slowly unraveling with each wash, which honestly wasn’t that much because I hardly wore it due to fear of flashing everyone every time I bent over, I went back and “fixed” everything.


I used store bought bias tape and finished everything with Hong Kong seams.  I also unpicked the hem and used lace hem tape to help lengthen things a bit.  And replaced the elastic.

Since then I’ve gotten a lot more use out of it!  I still find it a bit short and so will usually pair it with tights, but given I only started with about a yard it’s not too bad!

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And there you have it!  I’ve got a couple of other pre-blog makes I could post about, so we’ll see if this becomes a regular thing 😉

OAL 2017 Update and other stuff!

You will notice this is not a finished OAL 2017…. you will also notice the OAL deadline was like 4 weeks ago 😦

On the other hand:


I finished my sweater!!  This is the quickest start to finish sweater I’ve done….like 2.5 months.  So, despite not finishing in time for OAL deadline I’m quite pleased with myself 😀

On the other, other hand:


Yes…. ironies of ironies, I was convinced I’d be able to zip through the Kim Dress no problem and it would be the sweater preventing me from finishing, but it was the other way around 😦
It may be the seasons starting to change, but I can’t seem to get started on this :-/

So, having failed at the Outfit Along I decided to jump on Fringe Associations Summer of Basics…..2 weeks before it ended, because yes, I am insane!

In my head this was going to be easy….. my Zinnia skirt would be my first item, the Miette sweater would be number two, and a quick and easy T-shirt would be number three.

Easy peasy…..right?


And then for reasons I can’t fully explain, I did ZERO sewing in the month of August 😦   There was knitting to be sure….


And traveling to view awe inspiring astronomical events….


But no sewing…. or blogging for that matter 😦

On the other, other, other hand, after living in my house for over a year I’m finally getting it set up!!



Zinnia Skirt in Sand Washed Navy Tencel

This may be the most expensive object I’ve made….. and it is worth EVERY penny!!


This is (finally) my finished version 1 of the Zinnia skirt.  At some point I had vowed to make this skirt and promptly spent way too much money on this fabric (according to my husband, but what does he know!). The fabric then proceeded to sit in my stash for over a year :-/
It is sand washed tencel….. and HOLY SHIT it is like butter!
I mean look at this:


That was just a slight breeze 😉

The fabric came from Mulberry Silks…. which is were ALL my good fabric comes from!  They told me specific washing instructions….which I promptly forgot 😦  After some Googling, I decided to pre-wash it in the machine and handwash it for all subsequent washes.  I am usually pretty hard on my makes (machine wash ALL the things!), but I’m trying to be better about that :-/


The buttons are pretty awesome!  They are made from corozo or tagua nuts….. otherwise known as vegetable ivory.


This company is neat- everything is made in Brooklyn and although there is a minimum order, they have some pretty gorgeous buttons.


Construction was fairly simple and straight forward.  I busted out my new edgestitch foot for this…. and holy crap is that thing AWESOME!  I used it on practically everything, including, but not limited to: the pockets, the button placket and the waistband.


I decided to leave the pocket flaps off, because they just seemed un-necessary.  Also, pockets!!

I used French seams throughout, which coupled with the button placket makes for a very clean finish inside (which I forgot to photograph… you’ll have to take my word).

I cut this in a size 16, which was a size up from my usual size 14 for my two previous Zinnia skirts. I figured since my old Zinnia’s were getting a bit snug I should size-up….. and I was wrong 😦  This actually turned out to be a bit big, I probably should’ve stuck with my original size :-/


But it still works!  And of course what this means is I can’t lose any more weight 😉   … fact I should really have some extra cookies and ice cream to ensure a better fit 😀


If you recall I ran into some trouble with a mystery stain…. that is still a mystery, I have no idea what the fuck that was.  But true to everyone’s assurances they did come out with the first washing 🙂

And there you have it!  All I need now is to make Version 3 and I’ll have the Zinnia trifecta!

Works in Progress XVII….. aka Sewcation ’17!!

When I lived in Charleston my sewing friends (Jen and Elizabeth) and I would get together for marathon sewing days with food and alcohol…and sometimes even actual sewing 😉
When I (and later others) moved away we kept in touch via text and email- asking questions, getting opinions, sharing finished objects and often lamenting the distance.  One day while sewing all by my lonesome it struck me that we should get together for a sewing weekend…. a Sewcation if you will 😉

After much planning, coordinating of schedules and driving we met up at my parents mountain cabin in western North Carolina (heck yay free accommodations!).


There was lots of sewing, knitting, cross stitching,…. cursing, and a surprising amount of wildlife!
Due to a variety of reasons the cabin had sat empty for over a year and a half and had since been occupied by a whole lot of mice!  They would appear every night around 8 or 9pm….. which came to be known as “The Mousing Hour”.


I managed to catch and release (a fair distance away from the cabin) three mice.

Because we were in the mountains and both Jen & Elizabeth live on the coast, there was a fair amount of hikes.  We were able to see lots of various animal tracks, including, deer, turkey, and ….. BEAR!!


Now, between all this gallivanting with wildlife there was some actual sewing!


After the weekend, I am very nearly done with my version one of the Zinnia skirt….despite trying to sew the button placket on backwards! :-/


A little quality time with Buffy the Seam Slayer.

I also have some mysterious stains I somehow managed to acquire.


I left my cut pieces out and when I woke up in the morning I had these weird white marks that almost seemed like sap?  Everyone is assuring me it will come out once I wash it and I’m trying not to think about how many tears will be shed if it doesn’t 😥

Jen brought a bunch costumes she’s working on for DragonCon….. and got a LOT of stuff done!


Though she too managed to wind up spending some quality time with her seam ripper when she sewed some leggings backwards 😉

Elizabeth managed to sew both a super cute bag and refashion a thrift store shirt.  She also made some progress on a super cute cross stitch of her dog 🙂


I did not have any photos of Elizabeth sewing, so here is one of her exploring an abandoned mica mine from our hike.

So, there you have it!  Plans and schemes are already in the works for Sewcation ’18!!


P.S. Elizabeth took all of the photos of the lovely scenery and wildlife.  She is currently running an animal rescue and they are raising funds for heartworm treatment for one of their newest rescues.  If you’ve got some extra money think about donating here.

Outfit Along 2017….Update

Ah, The Outfit Along…. I decided I was going to do this almost on a whim… because I am in fact crazy :-/   But I had the perfect fabric for the Kim Dress and had been itching to try princess seams.  So, I immediately got to work on…. the sweater portion!


I wasn’t sure I really liked the Anaheim sweater that was the official sweater pattern, plus I wanted something the would take my dress firmly into colder months (Winter is coming you know).  So, I chose Andi’s Miette pattern!
Not only is it a free pattern, but I’ve actually made it before!


Which I’m hoping might give me an edge in actually finishing this by the deadline…. I wouldn’t hold your breath though!

I had some issues with the fit last time I made it…. but of course made no notes as to what size I did or anything useful like that :-/
So, I decided I would actually properly swatch this one!


L to R: US size 8, 9, and 10

I ended up going with the middle swatch- US needle size 9 and size large in the pattern.  I used this knitalong from WAY back in 2012 to help me with gauging and picking the proper size (as well as Row 25)…. it is quite helpful and I highly recommend it!


In terms of the Kim Dress….. I’ve, uh…. bought the pattern?  In point of fact, I just bought the pattern, because I wanted to at least be able to say I’d bought the pattern for this post :-/  I actually spent an inordinate amount of time trying to see if I could find an old printed copy to buy, but alas people are hoarding those 😦

However, I refuse to print and tape this shit together!  So, I’m taking this opportunity to price the local Kinkos.    If that fails I’ll certainly be using Cashmerette’s excellent resource guide on how to cheaply print pdf copyshop files 🙂

Violet Shirt in Vintage Fabric

What’s this?! A finished object post???  Yes, at long last I actually finished something I started sewing!

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This is the Violet shirt by Colette patterns (shown with my Zinnia).  I bought a couple of years ago when they put a bunch of their old paper patterns on sale… I am not down with PDFs and sensed this would probably be my last chance to get the paper version.  And surprise, only the PDF is available now 😦

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Ignore my mysterious leg bruise!

I muslined (yes, it’s a verb now) this in a size 12 figuring that perhaps I had gained enough weight to necessitate it. NOPE! I discovered that while it fit in the bust, it was way too big every where else 😦  So, re-traced everything (le sigh) in the size 10 and did my usual 1 inch FBA. #bigboobproblems

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Speaking of….

I had some weird puckering going on with the bust darts that you can see here.  I’m not sure if I sewed them wrong, if the fabric is too stiff, or what…. I did press the ever loving shit out of it [with my fancy new tailors ham! Thanks Aunt Sandy!] which only seemed to help slightly.  Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated in the comments!

I finished the hem of the shirt with some leftover bias tape I had in my stash.  In the beginning I used this method because I had been a bit aggressive adjusting the length back down after the FBA, but I actually really like!


The fabric was given to me by my Mom, I believe she got it years ago at her church rummage sale.   It’s a vintage(-ish) Laura Ashley fabric from 1979…. how you may ask do I know such a precise year…..


The fabric is similar in weight to a quilting cotton weight fabric, maybe even a bit stiffer.  I was treating this as a kind of wearable muslin, so free fabric that I had quite a few yards of seemed a safe bet 🙂

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Overall, this was a good and decently quick make AND it’s a good shirt!  I had fears at first it was going to be too twee or look like a school uniform, but I’m actually really digging it.  Future adjustments though I will try are to grade down a size in the shoulder and maybe even try to adjust the arm scythe- it’s a bit low.

I’ve a got a couple of different yards of fancier fabric I’ve bought specifically for this pattern over the years, so hopefully I’ll be able to crank out a few more!

And finally, in conclusion, here are some shots of me and my co-workers messing around during our lunchtime photo shoot!

My co-worker shot these and you should TOTALLY check-out/follow her on Instagram- @maeggycakes23

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Behold!  Mary the Elephant!