Tag Archives: knits

The Lost In The Woods Dress

Before I show you my latest creation, or rather, my latest creation that I’ve been able to get photos of (SERIOUSLY, photographer/boyfriend, where ARE you? Call me! Thanks.), I thought I would let you know about some of my works in progress. So here we go:

1. I got some excellent advice about my Pastille dress, thank you, kind people! I’m going to go ahead and make a for real for real version in aqua stretch poplin, with a full-bust-adjustment and a sway-back adjustment, adding 1/2 an inch at the sides of the two back pieces. That’s the plan.

2. I worked all weekend on my Simplicity 4494 jacket. I’m really trying to take my time on this one and not rush it, so I’m not trying to put pressure on myself to speed up and finish it in an evening. I even made a bound buttonhole. Yeah. I’m that good. Tomorrow night? The sleeves go in. The breath, she is bated.

3. Obviously I’ve fallen deeply in love with the Renfrew. And obviously my poor mother deserves something for all her hard work and aid. So she’s getting a long-sleeved v-necked Renfrew, which will be number 2 of the 9 options outlined in the pattern. You thought I was kidding about making ever version? I never kid with knits. NEVER.

Okay, that’s enough of that. Now, onto the dress I made!

This is not a great photo. I look like I’ve just seen my family slaughtered in front of me. It’s adorable, no?

I made this dress for my company’s latest opening. The show takes place in a rural environment in a time that is ambiguous, but not the present. So I thought this dress would be a very fitting one to correspond with the themes of the show. And I have to say, I completely adore it! It’s my second version of Dixie DIY’s Ballet Dress pattern. I’m going to make 10 of these, I swear. SO. COMFORTABLE.

I used a fabric from the hoarder’s stash, this fabric, to be precise:

I made one change to the pattern, slimming the sleeves to make them more fitted. Other then that, this is just the best and I wouldn’t alter a thing. Thank you, Dixie!

This time I made a matching belt. Which is cute, but, I don’t know, man, it makes this look like an empire waist shape which is so not a good look on me.

I abused my power completely and had our company intern, Brian (thank you, Brian!) take photos of me on the set. I cleared it with the director, don’t worry! But it’s a pretty amazing set created by a wonderful design team, and I was happy to get lost on it for a little while.

Pretty cool, right?

This photo is kind of a joke, honestly, because I’m pretending to be like my friend Emilie, who is in the play and makes a gesture similar to this. It’s in no way funny if you haven’t seen the play. So, yeah, good times.

So this is how I looked when I wore it to the opening. But I changed it up a little when I wore it out last night  to a birthday party in a BYO bowling alley. Which is, by the way, as trashy and delightful as it sounds. Seriously, it was amazing, I can’t wait to go back. And I am a TERRIBLE bowler.

And because this event couldn’t have been more hipster, I thought I would give you a super indie shot:

Yeah, doesn’t that just scream “I listen to bands that don’t exist yet”?

So what do you think? Belt or sash? Rural world or bowling alley? Hipster hangout or….hipster hangout?

Glamour shot!

What’s on your sewing table? What are you up to? Any sewing cues going on? Cue in the sense of line, not in the sense of forgetting a line. (I know, I’m so clever!)

 

23 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Fabric, Sewing

The Thank You Tasia Top

Sew Grateful week may be over, but my gratitude goes on and on! And today I would like to thank a wonderful and amazing Tasia, of Sewaholic, for the pattern that has taken the interwebs by storm and set my heart a flutter, and that would be the deceptively simple Renfrew Top.

Tasia is amazing, number 1. First of all, she’s Canadian, and I will pretty much do anything a Canadian tells me to do at any time. (Sidenote: Go watch Slings and Arrows right now, if you haven’t already. Don’t question me, just do it.) Tasia’s blog, Sewaholic is fantastic as all hell, filled with awesome tutorials and tips and tricks and truly excellent question posts that generate smart and helpful discussions.  And, most importantly, she bikes to work! I also do this, so I love her.

Additionally,  Tasia designs patterns especially for pear-shaped ladies. I am not, in fact, a pear shaped lady, rather I am an hour-glass shaped lady, but still, I appreciate her making a range of patterns for lovely pear-shaped ladies. I like knowing that it’s out there, you see. So anyway, I’ve always admired Tasia’s designs, but never actually made one myself, despite the plethora of amazing makes out there (google Pendrell Blouse if you need something to do for the next, say, ten hours, because that’s how many amazing iterations of it exist). However, Tasia recently released a pattern in knit, the Renfrew Top. And people, my heart, it nearly exploded.

As you may or may not know, I’ve recently jumped into the world of sewing with knits head first. Dixie DIY has been hugely grateful, as has Made By Rae, who recently did a week of interviews with champion knit sewers. As someone who doesn’t own a serger, and isn’t planning on buying one anytime soon, not for lack of interest but for lack of funds, I have been on the lookout for ways to make knit stuff that doesn’t look hopelessly home-ec. Enter Tasia with the Renfrew, as if on cue. And so I bought the pattern in pre-sale, got it almost instantaneously, and, armed with this striped knit from the Hoarder Stash, came out with this:

In other interesting news, my hair is really big.

And I love it. I LOVE IT. It looks like a real, honest to god shirt! That’s what Ginger’s boyfriend said, and he is very wise. It looks so professional! Right? RIGHT?

It’s the bands, people, the glorious glorious bands. There are fabric bands around the hems of the sleeves and bottom of the shirt, and they just make it look so good!

Look how happy the bands make me!

So happy. My enormous face is aglow with happiness.

Now, onto the construction. As I said, Tasia designs for Pears, and I’m not one of those. So I had to do some resizing. I traced the pattern in a size 10, and graded to a size 8 in the waist and a size 6 in the hips, essentially ruining all Tasia’s hard work in scaling for pear-shapes. Sorry, Tasia! I kept a 10 in the shoulders and sleeves, which, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have done, because the sleeves are a bit too long. Oh, well!

And this is the face I make when my sleeves are too long.

Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with this top. It came together in a ridiculously easy fashion, taking up maybe 4 hours of my life, all together.

I like the length of the body of the shirt a lot, it’s perfect for me. And I cannot wait to make more of these. I sewed up View A, but there are two other options, a short-sleeved v-neck, and a 3/4 length-sleeved cowl neck, which, if you mix and match, makes a total of 9 combinations, as Tasia reminds us on the envelope. Challenge? Accepted.

And the back, if you are interested.

I know it’s more typical to see horizontal stripes then vertical ones, but I swear, they are death to women with anything going on in the chest region. So I went vertical, because I think they look awesome. But I threw in the horizontal ones on the bands A. for variety and B. so I didn’t have to worry about matching! Two birds, one stone.

I didn’t mean to do this, but the neckline came out all white, even thought it was cut from the same cloth. Oh, well, it actually looks rather nice, I think:

You can just see the zig-zag used to keep the collar in place. Luckily, I don’t mind that kind of thing. In fact, I kind of like it.

A final photo of happy, stripy, me. And it should be noted that not only am I wearing Tasia’s pattern, BUT the cowl I’m wearing in this photo is one I made after I saw her version and was inspired! It’s the honey cowl, and after I selflessly made one for my friend Becca to help her through the cold Chicago winter, I made one for myself! A girl can only be so selfless….

So thank you, Tasia, for all that you do.

10 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing

The I Don’t Do Casual Dress

I almost never spend New Years Eve in Philadelphia. I adore Philadelphia with all of my heart, but for whatever reason I just don’t seem to ring in the new year in my hometown. Last year I had an amazing time in New York with my friend Becca, and the year before I was in London with my friend Andrew and we did things with duck fat that can’t be even remotely considered healthy choices. But they were delicious ones….

Anyway, this year was no exception to my out-of-town rule, so when my friend Lee invited me up to Cape Cod for the holiday, how could I say no? And I’m so glad I went, because I had the most fantastic time. Highlights included but were not limited to impromptu dance parties, late night croquet, fireworks, making dinner for 17 people ( like I do), getting to spend time with Lee and my friend Lisa and a score of other old and new friends who were filled with awesomesauce, and drinking everything in the house. Everything. In. The. House. But for me, mostly wine. And then Makers Mark. In a wine glass. Because I like things fancy.

I really do like things fancy.  I would say that comes to me directly from my mother, who got it from her mother. I didn’t own a pair of jeans until I was about 15 years old. I can honestly say that I’m usually overdressed for things, or at the very least, the only person in a skirt. So when I called Lisa, who had been to Cape Cod before, and asked her about the dress code, and she was like, oh, it’s super causal, I was like, ….okay. Causal, you say? And that’s, what is that, exactly?  But I try to make an effort, and when in Rome, right?

And yet, I made a dress.

Don’t yell at me! It’s super casual! It’s made of knit! (Ooooooo!)

I bought this fabric last summer (as in, a year and a half ago) at PA Fabric Outlet. It was in the special clearance section and I got two yards at 2.98 a yard. I honestly had no plans for it for the longest time, after all, I’d never sewn with knits and I was a bit afraid of them, really. But I recently came across/fell in love with Dixie of Dixie DIY, mostly because she’s excellent and charming and wise, but also because she did a series called Never Fear Knits, teaching cowards like myself how to deal with non-woven fabric. And I actually read all her posts and made myself a shirt from Burda Style’s Lydia pattern. You will never get a post devoted to said shirt, which I’m actually wearing right now, because it’s a bit wonkey (first time, people, come on!) and I don’t want you to make fun of me. But I wear it all the time, so whatever.

And then, like manna from the heavens, Dixie released a pattern FOR FREE called The Ballet Dress Pattern. Now, this was a limited free download but it’s still for sale for a measly three bucks over here. AND she did a sewalong! Which I meant to follow but got very impatient/was on a deadline for my trip to Cape Cod so I went ahead! Oh, well.

 

What can you do. So I missed the instructions about the neckline binding and as such mine is a little loose and slightly gapes. But in every other respect, I really love this dress!

I used the zig-zag stitch on my machine and had no problems at all with my usual foot. Instead of stablizing the shoulder seams with clear elastic, I used seam binding, which worked just fine. I used regular elastic at the waist, and didn’t QUITE match my stripes, but I don’t honestly care. This dress is so so so comfortable, and never wrinkles, is warm and forgives me for a large meal. What more could you ask for?

No matching chevrons. Whatevs. You can’t have everything, and I in no way had enough fabric for that sort of thing.

I made a medium. When I make this again (oh, I will be making this again. Many times. Short sleeves, long sleeves, ruffles, embellishments, the works) I would take it in a bit at the waist. You can’t see, because it’s belted, but it’s just a bit loose. But it’s quick and fantastically clear and easy to make. Thank you, Dixie! You’ve made me a convert, I really like knits now!

I love the sleeves. Rather drapey and fun, no?

I did not, alas, take these photos in Cape Cod. I was too busy with the aforementioned fantastic time I was having. So I made my friend Ben shoot them after brunch at Farmacia when I got back home.

Thank you, Ben. You are the best. He even indulged my wanting to photos of odd things, like my cool belt/nailpolish:

I was like, people will want to know! Right? So the belt was my grandmothers, and the polish, which is grayer in real life, was a gift from Lisa. Thanks, Lisa!

The light was great this day, so I took some shots on my way home from brunch:

And one last one of happy knit-clad me:

And that’s about as causal as I get. At least, in public, anyway.

8 Comments

Filed under Angela Kane, Burda Style, Clothing, Fabric, Sewing