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 😦

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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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Green and Navy Knit Moneta…. aka Moneta Part Deux

I thought briefly about not posting the same patterns back to back and then I said screw it, it’s my blog I do what I want 😛

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Yes, mere moments after I posted my last Moneta, I immediately got to work on my next one!  I first re-traced my pattern in my correct size large- and boy howdy, it is amazing how easy and quick this pattern goes when, you know, you pick the right fabric and size!!  With the right size this basically fit straight out of the envelop!

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You can see in addition to changing up the size I added a collar!  I used some left over green knit Robert Kaufman fabric I got forever ago and just barely managed to eke out this collar with some clever tetrising (i.e. I COMPLETELY ignored grainline!)

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Because the back overlap wouldn’t lay flat I threw a few hand stitches in there to force it to lay flat.  I had some difficulty with the front of the collar too.  You can see in the photo above it wants to roll up.  I tried clipping the curves and understitching it, which I think actually made it worse.  It’s not that big of a deal.  I’m sure I’m the only one who notices the width discrepancy between the front center and the shoulders of the collar, but any suggestions would be appreciated :-/

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The body of the dress is a Navy interlock from Jo-ann’s…. yes, east Tennessee got a Jo-ann’s and I’m super excited!  At any rate, back to the fabric itself- it’s pretty decent and with my 20% off coupon, plus 30% off knits you couldn’t beat the price.  However, I’m a bit nervous that it’s already starting to fade.

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I used the twin needle again to hem the skirt and sleeves and threw some green thread in there to match the collar 🙂
Things went a lot smoother this time and the hump between the stitching lines isn’t as bad either.  Maybe the twin needle isn’t actually the anti-christ afterall!?!

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P.S. I may, or may not, have spilled food all over my new dress mere moments after these shots were taken :-/
But that’s ok- I’m already plotting my next Moneta…. this pattern may be the Grail t-shirt pattern for 2017 (FYI: I made that pattern 7 times in 2016!)

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March is the last month for Allie J’s Social Sew 😥  The theme this month is anything goes… and hopeful that includes repeat sewing patterns!

Queen of Hearts Gray Knit Moneta Dress

Yes… evidently the best way to get my sewjo back is to write about having lost my sewjo!  Almost immediately after making that post I decided I was going to sew a Moneta!  I had previously started what became a muslin version of this, so it was (seemingly) a good project to jump into….seemingly.

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But I some how systematically made self sabotaging choices…. first on fabric choice, then on size choice!

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This is an “Italian Heather Gray Cotton Jersey” I got on sale through Mood a few years ago.  It’s got a one-way stretch, but is SUPER stretchy in that one way.  It’s almost like a sweater knit…but not really.

And my machine LOVED to eat this fabric…. like seriously could not stitch more than a few inches without it getting sucked into the machine!  After consulting with my Charleston sewing compatriots I started sewing with tissue paper… which, while annoying, did help a lot.

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However…. what really helped was my brand-new, was when my super fancy Bernina sewing machine FINALLY came in!!!

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I feel a soft chorus of angels should accompany this picture.

Suddenly, 96% of the issues I was having were solved!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for my Montgomery Ward- but there are some things the 40+ year old girl just can’t do and one of them was sew this fabric without eating it!

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The Moneta pattern itself is really straight forward and had I not had all the issues with the fabric I probably could’ve easily finished this in a weekend.

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I cut and sewed a size XL and had a heck of a time with the fit! I had to take the sleeves and bodice in by 1.5 inches!! I could not for the life of me figure it out…. til i realized I had based my size choice on finished garment measurements instead of actual body measurements like the pattern specifically tells you to do!!!  Facepalm!  So…. at some point this week I will be re-tracing this pattern in the correct size L :-/

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I found the Moneta sewalong to be pretty helpful, particularly when it came to doing the elastic gathering and using the twin needles.
Speaking of twin needles- I’m still not entirely convinced they are not the devil, but things did go smoother with the new machine (in that I didn’t want to throw things across the room).  If anyone has tips as to how you can avoid the prominent “hump” between the two lines of stitching I am all ears!

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As I was sewing this up, I felt it was a bit plain…. so it being February, and Valentine’s Day and all, I added an applique heart to the skirt 🙂

So, there you have it!  I’m very excited to try to make this dress again…. in the correct size and with a less persnickety fabric!!  I think it has the potential to be a real staple.  I really want to experiment with the various downloadable collar options.

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With my applique addition I believe this fits in perfect with Allie J.’s Date Night theme for the February Social Sew!!  Although, to be honest, the husband and I’s date nights are more likely to include PJs, Netflix and not leaving the couch 😛

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I’m also posting this with enough time to coincide with the Moneta Party Colette Patterns is running…. although technically I guess you have to post on Instagram (…still haven’t set that one up yet)  But since I’m trying to be more active in the online sewing community I’m claiming both!!

Year in Review/Shit for 2017

It’s that time of year again! Yes, when I belatedly talk about last years past goals and future goals for the New Year…better late than never I say!

Sewing Highs!

2016 was the year this really became a SEWING blog.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, it seems I just stopped posting about gardens and cooking after the move :-/

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This year I got another mention from Colette Patterns!!  This is becoming a yearly tradition… and I LOVE it!

Another sewing highlight was participating in Allie J‘s Social Sew not once, but twice!  Which was a lot of fun 😀

2016 Goal Assessments!

  • Knit a sweater…..

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I….uh…. started one, and technically I started it twice :-/

  • Knit and sew more winter things:

    I’m slowly, but surely building up my ‘Winter is Coming’ Wardrobe…. but I definitely need more!
    I, unfortunately, discovered it’s very hard to sew for winter when it’s 90 degrees outside :-/

 

  • Sew new patterns…. so…. this was a partial success.  I did indeed sew all new patterns this year….

    I just…uh… sewed the same new pattern SEVEN times :-/

 

 

2017 Goals!

  • Put together the sewing room!

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    I’ve been sewing (and living!) out of boxes for over a year now and I’ve finally reached my limit!  This is the year the sewing room gets put into good working order!

  • Participate in the sewing community more!

    I really enjoyed the Social Sew this year, I’d like to try to participate more in that.  In addition, I think this is the year I finally participate in Me Made May 😀
    I may also try to find a sewalong or knitalong to join, but I’m really shit with deadlines 😦
    I’ve also been toying with the idea of joining Instagram from a while now…someone just needs to explain to me how to use it!

  • Continue to sew and knit more!
    I want to keep this momentum going and sew & knit EVEN more in 2017!  I definitely need to continue my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe… ’cause that bitch has arrived and I am still freezing!

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    I also may try to do more unselfish sewing and knitting… my Mom has requested a skirt and my poor husband has been promised multiple knitted items I have never followed through on.  [Although to be fair, he has promised me multiple woodworked items he has never followed through on!]

So, there you have it!  Continue to check in here to find out if I actually follow through with any of these goals!

The Long Awaited Vogue 8959 Cape

Yes…. I have FINALLY finished my cape….only a year in the making!!

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I started this project last October…. it was actually a goal for 2015, but yeah that didn’t happen!  HOWEVER, this has been in planning stages since the beginning of 2014…. which is when I ordered the fabric!

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The pattern is Vogue 8959, I made the shortest version A.  I had looked at a couple of other patterns, including the Milano Cape from Papercut, but this one had everything I wanted. Plus a good price when I waited for a pattern sale and hey look it’s on sale again!

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This was the first Big Four pattern I’ve sewed up in a while…. and boy howdy did I miss my Indie patterns!  Despite it being a “Very Easy” pattern, the directions were lacking and the line drawings were less then helpful.  At a certain point I just stopped using the directions and went by gut :-/

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The fabric is a very lovely brown, black and off-white herringbone coating from Mood…which they haven’t had in stock for years!  In looking back at my order history, this was my very first purchase from Mood 😀
The lining is a Bemberg rayon lining from Jo-Ann’s….. and it was a BITCH and a half!!

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First off she was a shifty bastard!  Which I expected, what I didn’t expect was my other troubles!  …I’m not sure if I cut it out wrong, if the pattern was off or what, but the lining ended up being too small for the cape!  I ended up using some grosgrain ribbon I had in my stash to extend it, which I actually really like 😀

However, pretty ribbon couldn’t fix the fact it was also too short at the collar!  I ended up doing a patch job, which worked out pretty well.  Buffy the Seam Slayer and I certainly spent a lot of quality time together on this one!

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You can also see here that I haven’t finished the button holes yet :-/
Yes, in a desperate attempt to get it done in time to wear on a day trip to Asheville I Fray Checked the ever-loving-shit out of them and just wore it.  Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone 😉
I plan to work the button holes by hand before I have to go back to work.  The buttons themselves are vintage from my Grandmother’s stash… I had originally wanted leather, but I’m really digging these 🙂

When I started this project I had wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn some fancy tailoring techniques.  That started with refusing to use fusible interfacing… and also ended there :-/
I used some muslin as interfacing (I honestly can’t tell you why now or even if it was “right”).  It turned out ok, but the collar could use some extra stability.

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These are the arm slits…. I’m mostly including this shot as an excuse to show the next shot of the topstitching process on these….’cause it’s hilarious!

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HA!

I originally planned this project for Charleston “winters”, but was pleasantly surprised at how warm the cape was.  Granted we’re having an unseasonably warm winter so far…and I love it!  Even still it will definitely be counted towards my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe 🙂

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Part of the reason for the big push to finish this (aside from the fact it’s been languishing for a year) was I wanted to include it for Allie J’s Social Sew.  I really loved participating for the TnT month and had literally planned projects for the rest of the year that could link in…. none of which happened 😦
Which was why I was SO excited when she included a Winter Cape as part of the Inspiration post for the December Holiday Glamour month.  Perhaps not the classic glitz and glamour holiday- more of an English country house holiday glamour, but fuck it we’re going with it!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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The Grailed Renfrew!

Yes…. I present to you yet another Grail T-shirt from Vesta Patterns!  I should really just buy stock in Vesta Patterns.  Although, this one is slightly different….

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Yes, I give you the Grailed Renfrew…. or Renfrewed Grail if you prefer.  I went straight up Frankenpattern on this and combined the cowl neck of the Renfrew with the body of the Grail.

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I used the long-sleeved scoop neck Grail with the largest size of the cowl from the Renfrew pattern.  I unfortunately did not have enough fabric and ended up needing to piece the cowl neck.  It worked out though- I was able to hide the seams for the most part.  I used this post to help with figuring out the cowl… it was a tad confusing based solely on the pattern directions :-/

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On my last long-sleeve Grail the sleeves were just right.  I realize now that may have just been the super stable ponte talking, as this one ended up being just a tad too long.

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Speaking of fabric….I’ve been hoarding this stuff for a few months now with the express intention of making a cowl t-shirt.  It’s freakin’ Bamboo Jersey!!  It’s super soft and drapey, with just a touch of sheen 🙂

It is, however, a slippery bitch!  She gave me a bit ‘o trouble more than once… so I would not recommend it as first time sewing with knits project :-/
Of course that did not stop me from buying more for short-sleeve t-shirts!

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This pose seems to be a requirement when you make a Refrew, so I didn’t want to disappoint 😉  You can also see were I had to piece the cowl neck.

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Apologies for the indoors/oddly lit pictures.  This represents the third in my ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe… and well we are firmly in the throws of Summer- I did not want to go outside in long sleeves 😦

P.S. I busted out my wool Zinnia to give you the full Winter look 🙂

Navy State Street Cowl

I present to you the second make in the ‘Winter is Coming’ wardrobe!  [FYI the first one was this]  Yes..just in time for Spring, I finished up the State Street Cowl.  This was my first Quince & Co. pattern (although I didn’t use their yarn) and it did not disappoint.

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This was a great straight forward knit and would’ve been real simple had I not unknowing dropped a stitch! Curses!! *shakes fist at the heavens*  This turned out to be the cause of all the difficulties I had been having up to the point of discovery.  After I frogged half of it (grumble, grumble) and started re-knitting it was smooth sailing!  Even with the re-kniting it was very fast…and therefore wins the potential gift pattern seal of approval!

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I used beautiful and squishy Alpaca yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in Navy.  It’s a bulky weight- which probably contributed to the speed.  It was purchased from my new LYS- Yarntiques!

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My only issue is it won’t fit over my shoulders- if you peruse the Ravelry gallery you can see what I’m talking about.  This is either to do with the fact that I didn’t gauge (#rebel) or the fact I have fat shoulders…. I’m gonna go out on a limb say it’s probably a combination of both :-/

However, I can do this:

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😛

The husband and I will be moving into our new digs here soon…so posting may be sparse- try to spot the difference 😉

 

 

 

Cranberry Long Sleeved Grail T-shirt

Helllooooo dear reader!  I’ve got another finished garment to share with y’all….

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That’s right ANOTHER Grail t-shirt for you!  You will recall She tried to thwart me…but I prevailed!

There’s not much more to say about the Grail pattern.  I still LOVE it and it is quickly becoming a TNT pattern.  I made the same shoulder adjustment here- which continues to seem to help.

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I was nervous about the sleeves being too long, but they’re actually perfect!  Which probably means they’ll be too short for others, because I am fairly petite… you have been forewarned :-/

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The sleeves themselves were SUPER tight…. like seriously, my arms felt like sausages!  I was thinking I maybe cut the wrong size or got off grain, but more and more I think it’s just the fabric.  [Apologies for the lint on it- I couldn’t find a lint roller.*]

In retrospect, the Cranberry Ponte is probably too stable for this pattern or at the very least the size I’m using (remember I’m going one size down from the recommended sizing)- hence sausage arms.

However, that being said it is a beautiful piece of fabric.  The color doesn’t come across as well here, but it’s super dark and rich! I purchased it from Mulberry Silks.  It really is beautiful- so much so that when I bought it the other woman at the cutting table promptly added the bolt to her pile when I was done 😀

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So, there you have it!  Finally starting to fill out my need for long-sleeved shirts….but less so keeping up with the sew new patterns thing.  I’ve already started on my next version :-/

Also, the skirt is made by me too! (ignore the creases…stupid linen)  You can see it way back here on one of my first posts.

[*That’s a lie I didn’t care enough to find a lint roller! Deal with it!]

Shit to do in 2016!

This post also contains assessments of goals from 2015…but that title was way to pithy to change 😉

Sooo… here we go!

2015 Goals:

First- Knit a sweater that actually fits….

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Check!

Second- finally make the V8959 cape….

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Sadly, I stalled out a bit on this 😦

Third- sew a t-shirt

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Hells yeah, check!  This is the new-ish t-shirt pattern from Vesta Patterns. I’ll do a proper post and discuss it more, but they are legit!

Finally- successfully do a FBA…

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Check and double check, motherf*ckers!

There were two other non-sewing/knitting goals I set…but yeah…those didn’t happen.  I am starting to work back into running again though 🙂

But this is a new Year with new goals…onwards and upwards!

2016 Goals:

My motto/theme for this year is “Winter is Coming”… I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but the mountains of Tennessee are COLD AS SHIT.  My thin, southern, coastal blood can’t handle this!

So without further ado-

  • Knit more sweaters!

I’m wearing these a lot more up here and have discovered almost all my sweaters have 3/4 length sleeves….at best.  I own exactly one proper sweater 😦

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Not my photo- source.

I actually already have the yarn and everything for this one AND it’s a free pattern!! 😀

  • Knit/sew more winter things!

Sooo….in addition to owning only one proper sweater, I have exactly 3 actual long sleeve shirts (not 3/4 length) and 2 of them are looking real worse for the wear.

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Sweaters and long-sleeve shirts are definitely in order.  As well as, any other good layering items!  ….Y’all, for serious, I am FREEZING!

  • Sew more new patterns!

I have a bad tendency to just sew the same patterns over and over again….sure things will be tweaked and franken-patterned, but at the end of the day it’s the same damn thing.

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This of course hasn’t prevented me from BUYING all sorts of different patterns!  So, my goal this year is to actually USE all these variety of patterns I’ve bought

  • Sew and knit more in general!

I make excuses… some legitimate (“I started a new job, moved myself and some of my stuff two states, then drove back and forth moving the rest of my stuff”), some not so legitimate (“I can’t possibly sew, my sewing table is cluttered!”)…. but if I’m being honest I have a lot of free time and I could be sewing and knitting and *cough, cough* exercising a lot more than I am currently doing.
So, my last goal is to just sew and knit more, period.  Doesn’t matter what, just as long as I’m doing it.

So, there you go! I feel I did pretty good on last year’s goals….which probably means these will all go to shit 😉
But who knows??? Check back and find out!!