i’m making a comeback

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Marriage has made me try new things, like celebrate Valentine’s Day.  No gifts, but I sure would love a Whitman’s sampler of yarn (photo taken during a trip to Asheville, NC last year).

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What I’m REALLY here to say is… I just ordered a laptop!  Which means that hopefully, blogging can resume soon.  Just an announcement for those who haven’t given up on me yet (thank you!)

mitts and a new dress

Happy New Year! Even though it was too quiet around this blog, it was for good reason. The month of December found me knitting and sewing furiously, as I needed new mitts and a new dress so that I could do this [on Christmas Eve]…!

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These photos were taken by the wonderful Aram of Aram O Photography.  I probably owe you some more detail photos, but obviously taking photos for my BLOG was not exactly what he was aiming for [update: I figured out how to crop some more photos on my tablet].

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My dress is the Elisalex from By Hand London and my mitts are Spate by Jane Richmond, in Journey. There was a hat too but I didn’t wear it and I’m not crazy about it. Maybe a later post.

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I LOVE this dress pattern and will definitely make the sleeveless version. I actually made a real, live muslin and it was super helpful – I ended up slimming and lengthening the sleeves. Because of the high waist, I cut the same size for the top and bottom (usually I go a size up on the bottom). I ended up taking in the seams at the roundest part of the tulip because it was sort of collapsing on itself anyways. Too much tulip to hold itself up. You can’t tell from these pics but the fabric is actually black polka dot. I used interfacing on the skirt to hold the structure (after seeing this idea from Heather Lou who I SWEAR I wasn’t trying to rip off her [polka dot] dress AGAIN I bought this fabric, then saw her dress, OK for the second time, so maybe it was in my subconscious).

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The mitts are a great pattern but I wish I had bought a yarn without alpaca – I used Juniper Moon Herriot and the fluffy alpaca didn’t give the stitch as much structure as it should for this awesome stitch pattern. I also wish I didn’t make them quite so long – in theory long mitts are super cool but in reality it just means they bunch up a lot.

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I am really eager to sew and knit more but I have a major blogging problem – after my laptop died a year ago, I had to revert to my eight year old laptop, which apparently lost the ability to go on the internet a few weeks ago. Coincidentally, this occurred after I dropped it. Anyways, I have no way to get photos to the internet anymore (my tablet doesn’t have a USB) which is why I could only use the above photos that were already on the internet. I am bummed and not sure what I will do and when I will blog again. Boo.

more lakeside pajamas

Uh, this looks to be the beginning of a personal collection of Lakeside pajamas….

IMG_3801I’m nuts about this crazy fabric – it’s been in my stash for 4 or 5 years from the remnants at Osgood’s in Springfield, MA.  It’s a satin I guess (I really know too little about textiles).  Unfortunately I did not have enough to match the pattern.

IMG_3802Mr. Nice is responsible for props.  Vegan Pie in the Sky, anyone?  🙂

I attempted to make bias tape out of the scraps, which resulted in a wonky tank hem, but it’s not too bad.  I chose to use regular bias tape for the neck, straps, and shorts for some structure, but was worried that it would be too stiff for the hem.

My weirdo “bias tape” resulted in something more like piping along the hem.  These are about the only 2-3 inches of it that weren’t crooked.

IMG_3809IMG_3812I also put a little loop in the back of the shorts so that I can do this:

IMG_3813I went a size up on the shorts because nobody wants too-tight-satin.  I’m torn about what size to make for the next two sets (one top already cut, next fabric bought), but I’m thinking the shorts look a little loose in the pic below?  Maybe I need to grade between the sizes.

IMG_3804Oh yeah, and another lovely improvisation of mine due to a limited amount of fabric was to cut the front waistband on the bias.  Terrible idea, it’s kind of stretched out, but well, they’re still wearable so far.

I’m going to try not to turn this into a Lakeside-only blog… I’ll have to find something else to post to break it up!

did I just make that?!?

A Bombshell!!!

IMG_3675I know everyone has seen more than their share of Bombshells lately, which tells you just how amazing this pattern is.  Aside from making you feel like one, its been quite a bombshell on the sewing community in fact.

I cannot believe I have made a bathing suit.

And it fits. And it didn’t dissolve when I went in the ocean.  And it’s drip drying on my shower curtain rod right now, like a normal… bathing suit.

IMG_3671It bears mentioning that while a lot has been said about how this swimsuit has empowered women in regards to their body image, I have to say how much it has empowered sewists too.  This is by far the most impressive thing I have ever made, and never thought I could.  Especially for us sorry souls without a serger and no hope for a serger anytime soon.  Heather Lou helped a poor little so-so sewist like me feel like The S&%* for a minute! And hosting a sewalong to hold our hand through it? This woman deserves an award!

IMG_3665Here’s the details on mine:  I cut a size 8 top and size 10 bottom, per the measurements on the pattern.  I am 5’10” so I added 3 inches to the length, just like she did in the sewalong.  Do you have any idea how nice it is to wear a one piece that is actually comfortable and long enough for your torso, covering everything it’s supposed to? Wow!

IMG_3669Because I was worried about the sheerness of the white fabric with nude lining, I added an extra crotch piece (underwear style), but because of the bathing suit’s “skirt,” it really didn’t matter.  I used swimsuit cups from the sewing store, not because I need the support that others need… let’s just say I need some “structure.”  After I got them all sewed in (I was nervous about this part) I discovered they are in there a little uneven and wonky.  That got me very worried about looking kind of Kitty a la Arrested Development, post-boob job, but I think it turned out ok.

IMG_3672The zigzag stitch on my machine is generally pretty heinous, and I really can’t adjust the width or length, no matter how much I fiddle with the settings (I have the most basic of basic machines), so from the outside my seams unfortunately look a little Frankensteinish (see below).  However, for finishing the edges, they don’t look bad, because the edges are bulky enough that the stitches don’t pull.

IMG_3673I had a lot of difficulty with finishing the bustline – so much gaping that the bust looked all stretched out.  Or maybe it was stretched out.  I had to rip the whole thing out twice, which isn’t fun with lycra and elastic.  But I have to say that I expected to have a LOT more difficulty with this project, so if that was the extent of it, I’m more than pleased.

Oh, and I HAVE to mention – this fabric?  $9.77/yd remnant at G Street!  Yes!

the newest scout

Scout – all the rage, right?!  I just can’t stop.

IMG_3645It’s sweaty in Baltimore.

Anyways, when I made my linen and wool Scout, I drafted a collar with some leftover Archer fabric.  I loved the color so much, and loved how it looked with my Scout pre-sleeve insertion, that I thought I would put it to use on a sleeveless Scout.

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I used the Wiksten tank hem again, by laying that pattern piece over the Scout pattern, matching them at the armholes, and used bias binding to finish the armholes the same way as the neck.IMG_3570

This was a stashbuster, hence the variety of fabrics.  I think I would have preferred all green, but I’ll take it.

IMG_3561What kind of Scout will be next…?!

belladone the first

IMG_3477OKOKOK I’m back.  Why was I gone so long?  That’s how long it took my Stone Age computer to upload these pictures.  Sort of kidding.  Beautiful weather and a fun guy to hang out with got in the way a little too.

Now it is HOT and my man is on the road for a while, so sewing can commence.

And we can pretend that the reason these photos are out of focus is so that they can be… dreamy.

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IMG_3484 Yes, wrinkles, crooked skirt, yes, yes, shhhhhhhh……

Who has not seen the Belladone pattern from Deer & Doe and loved it?  Also, it’s very fun to get a package from France.  (Funny story about idealizing Europe:  I get the package and I’m all “see, even the envelopes are cooler in Europe;” I open the envelope and it’s from Office Depot.  What a dork.)

This fabric is from, where else, the $2.99 remnants at G Street.  It did not look like this when I bought it.  It was stiff and the print was bolder and darker.  Then I washed it.  Woops.  Perhaps it was meant to be dry cleaned, but I consider it a happy accident, because now it’s soft and drapey and pastelly (people who know my style are like what?!).

What?!  Yes normally, pastels are not my style, BUT it is the eerie tree graphics that I love.  Closer look?

IMG_3487Very pleased with my placement of the front {pat on back}.  Not pleased with the wrinkles.

What to say about this pattern?

  • I made no technical modifications, but I did cut a size 38 for the top and size 40 for the bottom, according to my measurements, then tapered the waistband to fit both.
  • This fabric was sheer so I had to line the dress.  Given that funky [AWESOME] back opening this was tricky:  I lined the front and the bottom half of the back, but for various reasons I can’t remember, this resulted in sewing the lining into the same seams as the dress, including the zipper and the hem.  Not pretty, but you’re not going to look inside my dress, right?!
  • Uh, I accidentally sewed a pin into my hem, then forgot to remove it before I washed  the dress, and then it made itself a nice little hole to escape through.  Fixing that while I write this post.
  • And I love the hem facing rather than the more common fold-over business.

This is Belladone the First because I have yet to make the Belladone with the fabric I originally bought the fabric for.  This was my most wearable “muslin.”

Oh, another thing.  I have seen different Belladones with the top of the back overlapping the bottom and some with the opposite (like mine).  I chose to do it this way because I didn’t like the way the top gapes when it’s done the other way, but any thoughts for my second one?