Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mojave

We're in that part of summer that's making me long for autumn. Mostly this entails me asking "why is it still so hot?"  While I can't wait for sweater weather, something needs to be done to keep cool in the meantime. This means a little more summer sewing until I can break the knitting back out.


I saw this pattern, Mojave, in the most recent Seamwork sewing magazine and immediately knew I wanted to make it. It's a kaftan pattern, ideally a swimsuit cover up, but loose and breezy enough to be perfect for hot summer days. Coupled with some Anna Maria Horner rayon challis that I've been hording, I knew this would be the ideal August dress.


The dress came together in about 2 hours of sewing (yay!). My favorite thing about the final dress is definitely the fabric; I love both the print and how comfortable and breathable the rayon challis is. My least favorite thing is the size. The dress came out a little too big, meaning it slips off of my shoulders occasionally. Still, this is the perfect dress for lounging around while still looking chic.


I'm very glad to have finally found a use for this awesome fabric. I now understand why I've heard such good things about rayon challis and I definitely plan on using this fabric again in the future! In the meantime, I'll be here trying to keep cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three-peat

I'm a serial re-reader of books. If it's a favorite of mine, you can bet I've read it at least three times. While I'm not as bad in the crafting realm, there are definitely patterns that are so wonderful that they can't be made only once. On the knitting side, it's a bunch of Ysolda patterns - Ishbel (x3), Veyla (x2), Damson (x2), Garter Stitch Mitts (x2), and Gretel (x2)- while on the sewing front the patterns come from Colette - particularly Peony (x2) and Moneta (now x3).


This is my third Moneta and definitely my best one yet. This has all to do with the fabric; the first version was too drapey, the fabric for number two had minimal stretch, but the blue dotted cotton here is just right. It's actually taught me a lot about matching knitted fabric to a pattern by experimenting with such a wide range for one design.


I'm kicking myself for not finishing this project sooner, as it's perfect for the summertime. Instead, it's been sitting in my craft room for months waiting to be hemmed. I'm really glad I finally got around to it because this dress has become an immediate wardrobe staple. You just can't argue with a comfortable handsewn dress in a cute print!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Just For Fun

It's a truth universally acknowledged that sometimes crafters lose their mojo. Many years this happens to me in the spring, but this year it seemed to be a summer problem. Thankfully, I'm starting to feel the desire to craft again after a 2-month hiatus. I've got several projects in the works at the moment, but want to show off the first thing I finished after getting my mojo back:


This is a tiny sushi from the Mochimochi Land sushi bar set. Mochimochi Land has the most adorable tiny patterns and kits and, after knitting my first one, I can definitely see the appeal of tiny knitting. It was a nice quick reentry into knitting life and good springboard for several other projects which I can wait to show off on the blog!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Women in Science Dress

It's no secret that I'm a crafty nerd. If you've been following this blog for a while, you've seen me make a bad passwords dress and a number of Harry Potter items, among other geeky stuff. I'm very happy to increase my crafty nerd cred with my latest creation, the Women in Science dress.


There's a long story behind how this dress came about, and it starts with #shirtgate. Someone had the brilliant idea to counter that unfortunate and sexist shirt with a positive women in science shirt. This idea soon became a Kickstarter project, which resulted in not only shirts (I'm very excited to be getting mine soon) but also the release of the fabric design on Spoonflower. The latter is how I got my hands on this awesome fabric.


I'm still can't recognize all of the women on this dress, but there are definitely some great highlights: Ada Lovelace, Lise Meitner, Marie Curie, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Hedy Lamarr (yes, that Hedy Lamarr), Mae Jemison, Grace Hopper, and even more. I need to find and carry around the key so I can point out the awesome lady scientists that I'm wearing.


For those of you interested in the crafty details, the pattern is Colette Moneta and the fabric is Spoonflower's performance pique. I really like how substantial this fabric is and how it isn't too drapey (a problem I'm having with the fabric in my other Moneta). That said, it was kind of a pain to sew with as my machine kept skipping stitches. The other downside is that there isn't a lot of vertical stretch to this fabric, meaning the final dress is rather short-waisted. Chalk this up to a learning experience. Also, thank goodness for wide belts.


Overall, I love this dress. I not only expect to get lots of wear out of it but also enlighten people on all of these amazing women scientists!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Handy

Now that I have free time again, I've been doing some improvements around the house. For example, last week I hung curtains in the front room and fixed the couch covers. The curtains are a nice addition, but it's the couch covers that I'm particularly proud of. This is because they previously looked like this or worse on a regular basis:


And now they look like this on a regular basis:


The difference is yard-long stripes of elastic that run behind the cushions, anchoring the cover in place. I sewed the elastic at the top of the cover, in the middle, and again at the bottom so it keeps a good hold on each cushion. So now when I get on and off the couch, the cover stays in place.


Using my crafting skills to fix a failing in a commercial object always makes me feel like a crafting genius. Add this to the fact that the couch covers might now actually protect our sofas from puppy abuse, means that I'm feeling pretty brilliant right now. Sewing skills for the win!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Hello!

It's been quiet on this blog for the last couple months as I've been working to finish up a giant project: a book! It has absolutely nothing to do with knitting, sewing, or crafting except that it has taken up a lot of crafting time in the last 18 months. Hopefully now that the proofs are in, I'll have a bit more time for fun.

That's not to say I haven't been crafting recently (more that I've been too busy to write about it). In the past few months, I've finished a few awesome projects. At the top of the awesome list is my Emily Capelet made from MadTosh.


Continuing in the theme of Ysolda patterns, I finished a Wee Envelope in Briar Rose yarn.


And then there was the adorable Poklon, who would be more adorable if I hadn't run out of yarn right at the end.


So this is a quick check-in to say that I'm here, I've been doing some knitting, and I'm looking forward to being back here more now that my giant book project is done!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Coco

I'm just going to put this right out here: I'm getting pretty good at sewing with knit fabrics. Actually, the sewing part of this particular project, the Coco pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, was perfectly fine. It was the non-sewing part that ended up getting me in trouble.


The problem was that I'm between two sizes for the pattern. I therefore made my normal assumption to make the larger size, forgetting that there are different rules for knits and wovens (you can round down for knits as they stretch). Needless to say, the top came out a bit on the large side.


The good news is that I learned how to take in seams (sides and shoulders, plus the bottom hem) as well as to round a size down for patterns using knits. So while this top isn't exactly perfect in its final fit, it fits well enough for the top's awesome style to be the most notable thing. And in the end, that's what really matters.