Jersey 1/3 Dress

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Often when I see clothes that I really like in stores, worn by other people, on TV or the internet I think of making them for myself and how I could change them to make them better.  When I was in the States recently I bought a very cute, pale pink jersey dress. It is super easy to wear and so girly, I love it.  However it is a bit special, the fabric is nice and should be hand washed and the color is not one I can wear all the time. So I figured I could make a new dress better suited for everyday wear.

I used a bodice IMGP4839_PEF_shotwell_modifiedpattern from Ottobre magazine which I also used for my sweatshirt dress. I compared it to the dress I was trying to copy and made changes according to my wishes. Then based on the waist measurement and my desired length I drafted a skirt which is actually one third of a circle, hence the name.  I think it has just the right flair. I used campan stripes jersey from my stash.  The fabric is super soft cotton with 3% elastane and it feels really good and of high quality. I highly recommend it.  I then sewed the whole thingIMGP4845_PEF_shotwell_modified on my serger except the hem and edges where I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine and I also used clear elastic for the armholes and neckline. It feels great to wear.

The day after I finished my dress, the Closet Case Files released their Nettie pattern and I think there is some resemblance. I surely got ideas to improve my pattern, I love the super low back neckline which I will definitely try.  I already have a pattern for sleeves and lengthening the bodice to make a one piece should not be that difficult. You see, I constantly get new ideas! IMGP4843_PEF_shotwell_modified

 

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Hawthorn Dress

Hello, I have a finished dress to show today.  This is my new Hawthorn dress from Colette patterns. The pattern is beautiful and has clear instructions with some additional help in the sewalong, which I highly recommend.IMGP4790_PEF_shotwell_modified IMGP4788_PEF_shotwell_modifiedThe fabric is a cotton/viscose shirting fabric which looks a lot like chambray. I got it at Mood when I was in NYC last month and I used about two meters of full width fabric (60”).  It’s a beautiful fabric, presses and irons well and it’s light and flowy, great for a spring/summer dress.

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I cut a size 2, based on my waist measurement but made some alterations to the pattern. First of all I did a SBA, since I am rather small in that area.  In the sewalong there are some instructions to do this but I found that they were not complete.  They are very clear if you want to do a FBA but I was a bit unsure how to overlap the pattern pieces to get the correct amount of reduction.  Anyhow, since I will probably need to make more SBAs in the future I am planing on studying them thoroughly and maybe even post my findings here. FBAs seem to be much more common than SBAs so obviously they get more attention on the web.  When I did the SBA the front bodice piece was shortened by 2cm so I also made that adjustment to the back piece. Then I also tightened the dress by 1cm on each side seam so overall the bodice fits me well enough. Its a bit baggy under my chest, maybe I need to make the darts a bit deeper, and I would also like to narrow the shoulders a bit.  My final adjustment was to cut 8cm of the length of the skirt(pretty standard for me).IMGP4806_PEF_shotwell_modifiedIMGP4805_PEF_shotwell_modified

The dress is not hard to sew, of course you have to pay some attention to detail when constructing the collar and making the buttonholes.  The hem is sewn by hand as instructed and I am quite happy with it.  It took a long time though because the skirt is a half circle and therefore the hem is soooo long. I have one complaint about this pattern though. When attaching the collar and and facings there is only 1/4 inch seam allowance which I find a bit small and it means that there is really no room for mistake. And if you are sewing with a fabric that frays and you have to unpick you might end up having real difficulty when sewing the pieces back together.  Also when the seam allowance is so narrow I feel you are in more danger of the presser foot falling of the fabric specially when you have to pivot to make sharp corners like on this dress. You have to be very precise when basting and sewing the collar and facings. Maybe this is just me but I will have this in mind next time I make a Hawthorn. Because I am planing more dresses since I only need a few more tweaks to make this pattern fit me perfectly.  I would love a winter version with the long sleeves in cotton flanell or some pretty wool.IMGP4801_PEF_shotwell_modifiedBut overall I love this dress, it is so playful and easy to wear. And it goes very nicely with my new Fieldwork Cardigan.

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Fieldwork Cardigan

IMGP4772_PEF_shotwell_modified  Here is another make from PomPom magazine.  This is the Fieldwork Cardigan from last years summer issue (issue 5).  It’s funny how long it can take to start a project. In this case I already had the yarn when I got the magazine last May but I only got myself to start this March.  I took the project with me on vacation and had plenty of time to knit so it went quickly. I finished the four panels in about two weeks, but was not able to block the pieces and stitch them together until I got home.  Then I also knit the garter stitch borders and finished.  I used Merino Singles from Lioness Arts in the colorway “Seeing other People” which is a deep shade of red, very pretty.  I actually won the yarn in a PomPom KAL last spring.  I got two 100 gram skeins and used almost all of it for the cardi.  I think it was a very nice paring. The yarn is excellent to knit with and feels high quality.

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The construction of this cardigan is unusual and I know there has been some confusion about it.  First of all it is knit from the side in four panels: right back, left back, right front and left front.  The two back panels are grafted together and then the front pieces are sewn to the back pieces which means there are two sleeve seams, one on upper arm and one on the underarm as well as side seams.  This is a lot of seams on my opinion ( I am a lover of seamless knits) and makes the construction complicated. Before seaming the panels together you have to block them “to measurements” as it says in the pattern.  I found this confusing, since the measurements given in the pattern are that of the finished garment which has borders that add to its length and width.  I would have found it better to have a figure or table with measurements of only the panels. IMGP4767_PEF_shotwell_modified

The Wave Lace pattern is relatively easy, a repetition of 4 rows over seven stitches so once you get the hang of it the knitting is a breeze.  Also because the four panels are very similar, it feels like you are knitting the same thing four times and by the time I started the fourth panel I had gotten a little bored. However, I followed the pattern to the dot, with one exception.  I decided to graft the pack pieces together before blocking since it felt unsafe to do it with lots of open stitches, even though they were on a thread.IMGP4722_PEF_modified

The PomPom magazine makes sure to write all their pattern is the same style. It is clear and precise, they explain every special method at the beginning of the pattern and they always indicate if you are working from the right side (RS) or the wrong side (WS). I find this very helpful and missing in many patterns.  You also know what to expect if you make many of PomPoms garments . However in the Fieldwork cardigan pattern there are many mistakes regarding the precision and things that were overseen.  Some of the mistakes have been corrected in the errata, but not all of them and not clearly enough.  This is especially obvious towards the end of the pattern where all descriptions get very short.  In the sewn cast of it is not indicated from which side it is and the stitches in the button holes do not add up.  At least to my best knowledge it should say:

Buttonhole Row(RS): Sl 1,k to last 7 sts, work One Row Buttonhole over 5 sts, p1. IMGP4721_PEF_modifiedIn spite of this, the cardigan is a beautiful garment and I am very happy with my make.  It is pretty and perfect to complement flowy (summer)dresses.  I have talked about my love of PomPom magazine before and they continue to amaze me with their beautiful designs and I am very exited to get the next copy in only a few weeks 🙂

 

 

A couple of Beignets

Hello!

IMGP4759_PEF_shotwell_modified I know I am very late since this pattern was released some years ago and so many sewers have made this skirt already and posted them online. I have been admiring this pattern and the skirts I’ve seen for a while and a few months ago I finally decided to get one for myself. Now I’ve made two versions of the pattern and I am totally in love with the style of this skirt, the high waist, the button down front and the loose A-line fit I find very flattering and the construction is juIMGP4748_PEF_shotwell_modifiedst so clever.  Because it is fully lined there are no visible raw edges on the inside and it looks very pretty and finished.  A skirt like this is not a very big garment so it is easy and not very time consuming to give much attention to the details which give a nice and polished finish, for example hand sewn hem.

 

 

I made the first skirt in black wool/polyester blend with black and white polka dot silk lining (very luxurious). IMGP4733_PEF_modified  I made size 2 and shortened it by about 10 cm since I am not the tallest person.   It has fabric covered buttons of which I needed 10. I omitted the belt, belt loops and the pockets because I read somewhere that they tend to gape and also, unlike everyone, I do not really like pockets in my skirts and dresses.IMGP4735_PEF_modified  I like this version because it is a nice skirt, perfect for special occasions and it feels very classy. The fabric is very soft and maybe a little to soft.  I guess a fabric with more body works better.  Which is the case of the next skirt.IMGP4738_PEF_modified

The second skirt is made from a fine cord in a pretty burgundy color.  Because of the thickness of the fabric I used quilters cotton from the stash for the facings and the lining is a bright blue typical polyester lining fabric.  IMGP4737_PEF_modifiedNot the most usual combination of colors but I think it’s fun.  No one ever sees the inside anyway so it is OK to have it unexpected. Since the first version was a little to wide in the waist I still cut a size 2 but made each seam a little bit deeper (1-2mm). Therefore it is a little bit tighter and I also shortened it by 10 cm. I have worn this skirt a lot and it’s been through the washing machine a few times.  It keeps it shape pretty well but it does wrinkle. And the only problem with this version is the ironing.  Because it is cord I don’t want to iron it from the outside but ironing it from the inside is a little tricky because of the lining.  Also, all those buttons get in the way.  It is a perfect everyday skirt in my opinion.IMGP4743_PEF_shotwell_modified

In all I really like this pattern. It is well made and the instructions are very good and thorough. I just have a few tips.

  • Make sure that the fabric is not to soft and drapy, a stiffer fabric gives the skirt more body and structure.
  • You should decide the final length before cutting the fabric since shortening it after wards can be tricky because of the construction.
  • When I joined the lining to the facings (the long curved seam) in stead of following the instructions, I stay stitched along the seam line on the lining and the facings, then I clipped the curves and pinned the two pieces together matching notches. This way the seam lines are flexible and you can make them match exactly in length before sewing and there is no need to baste. I did this because I felt that trimming down the seam allowance of one edge before stitching together was more risky and if I made a mistake it would be harder to unpick, Using my way you do not have to measure anything and you can pin the two edges together accurately.
  • If I make this again I will try to omit the buttons and have the center front piece whole.  I think that then it will look a lot like Deer and Doe’s new pattern, Anemone

That’s it, two pretty skirts and hopefully more on the way.IMGP4765_PEF_shotwell_modified

 

 

Cobalt Blue Skirt

I made this skirt recently, just got round to take pictures today.IMGP4563_modifiedIt’s a classic mini skirt with fly front and back yoke.  I got the pattern from Ottobre Magazine 4/12 and yes it is a kids pattern.  I made a size 158 and surprisingly it fit just right. I could maybe have reduced the waist a little, but I think it is Ok.  It was my first ever fly front, and although it is a little crooked I am happy. I had the metal flower button in my stash and think it fits quite well. In the back there is a little kick pleat which I find quite cute.  It also has front and pack pockets, so a lot of detail, which is nice.IMGP4566_modifiedI bought the fabric a while ago. It is cobalt blue cotton twill, great for this project since it has some body and similar features as denim.  I also love the color, although I find it a bit hard to style. I guess I just have to experiment a little.

IMGP4567_modifiedOverall I am happy with it and I hope to wear it a lot.  I guess it has the potential of much wear, since I can wear it with tights in autumn and spring and then by itself in summer.  I guess it is not a heavy winter skirt, but maybe I’ll give it a try.

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Lobelia

 

IMGP3627It’s finished and I could not be happier!

On Thursday I wove in the ends and on Friday I fastened the buttons which means that my pretty cardi is ready to wear.

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked knitting it. The lace yarn was easy to work with and since there was not much pattern, only straight knitting I could do it while watching my boys and talking and it was easy to put down and come back to.  The only tricky part was the ribbing at the bottom and the sleeves.  All those knitting and purling through the back loop (which I had no idea how to do (thank you youtube!)) and those twists… but it looks really pretty.

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Blocking was not hard and I think the flowers are looking fab.

 

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I made size 1 exactly like described in the pattern except I added a few stitches to the fronts and back to make the body a little wider and it fits great but maybe I should have mad it a little longer.

Overall, a cute, well fitting crop cardi, great to wear with high waisted skirts.  The lace yarn turned out beautifully and resulted in a light, airy fabric which I love. And those flowers…

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This weekend I made that gray circle skirt to go with the cardi.  It’s made from cotton voile and is very light and super fun to twirl in.  Since I hemmed it with a rolled hem on my overlocker it was very easy to make and I imagine it will get lots of wear this summer.

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