Tag Archives: wool

Completed: Rise Turtleneck

26 Oct

Hello everyone, from the other side! I’m back from my weekend at Camp Workroom Social, which was incredible and full of wonderful friendships with hilarious and awe-inspiring women. I got to room with Devon, who I have missed terribly since she moved away to Atlanta, so it was great to see her again! I had such an amazing weekend, full of awesome memories and SO MANY BOOBS (this is what happens when you assist a bra making class, y’all). Get excited for Amy’s new pattern, btw. Based on what was sewed up in our class, it makes everyone’s boobs happy and beautiful and bouncy.
Anyway, as soon as I got home – I crashed real hard and got real sick. Bummer! I am just really thankful that this didn’t happen while I on either of my trips! I guess my body just needed a serious rest. At some point during my sick week (I’m a huge baby when I get sick, and tend to sleep for a couple days straight until it clears up, no shame), I did something weird to my neck and I guess pinched a nerve… I’ve had a migraine since Friday! Needless to say, I have not felt like doing ANYTHING and have been pretty mopey/miserable since then. I have an appointment with a chiropractor later today – I am literally counting down the hours at this point, it’s that bad – which will hopefully get me fixed up, or at least started down the right path!

So I guess the theme for this post is comfy clothes. Because that’s about all I have been able to handle for the past week… super comfy clothes that double as secret pajamas.

( Also, I took these photos a couple weeks ago, so hold back on your comments of “oh you look nice even when you’re sick!” I wasn’t sick when I took these pictures πŸ˜› haha )

Rise Turtleneck

Rise Turtleneck

It’s still not quite cold here in Nashville… we are in those wonderful in-between days where it’s chilly in the morning, very warm in the afternoon (the high today is 83*, yay!), and only a little chilly in the evening. I haven’t turned my air or heat in weeks… my last electric bill was $60 πŸ˜› But I know the cold weather is coming, and I’m trying to prep in advance by filling any major wardrobe holes. I know at least when I get cold, I want to be as comfy as possible, in secret pajamas. I won’t go as far as to leave my house in actual pajamas – it’s just not a thing I do, unless I’m super sick (and even then, I can usually muster up the energy to pull on a pair of ponte leggins and a sweatshirt so I’m not rolling up to the Kroger in my flannel pjs or some shit) – but I am all about wearing clothes that feel comfy like pjs while looking much more pulled-together from an outsider perspective. Stretch fabrics are the key here, y’all. I think we all already know that, but I just said it again anyway.

Rise Turtleneck

Rise Turtleneck

Rise Turtleneck

One thing I was thinking I needed in my closet was a fitted black turtleneck… to wear with high-waisted skirts, jeans, or as an additional layer of warmth. I remember owning a ribbed black turtleneck back in the 90s and wearing the everloving shit out of that thing because it made me feel like I looked sophisticated. I don’t think sophisticated is a word that anyone would ever use to describe my style, but whatever. I can still have these goals.

Anyway, I used the Rise and Fall Turtleneck from Papercut Patterns, which I’ve had my eye on since it was released last year. There are two versions in this pattern – I made the “Rise,” which is more fitted with a mock turtleneck, the sleek look I was going for. I cut an XXS to start, but it was still a bit more loose than what I was envisioning. I kept taking in the side and sleeve seams until it was more fitted, which probably brought it down to – my guess – about an XXXS (if that was even a size option). I think the shoulder seams are still a bit more dropped than what was comfortable, so after I took these photos I ended up taking the sleeves off, cutting back the shoulder, and then reattaching them (sorry, I don’t have any photos of this and I am not able to take any of my sick ass so you can just believe me here, ha). When I make this pattern again, I will double check the shoulder/armscye seams against another pattern that fits me and make adjustments before I cut my fabric. For my on-the-fly alterations, this was fine.

Rise Turtleneck

Rise Turtleneck

I used light rib knit fabric from Organic Cotton Plus for my turtleneck, in a classic black. This stuff is traditionally used to make ribbed cuffs and necklines, but like I said, I wanted a whole 90s-eqsue turtleneck out of that shit. It’s super soft and laundered up beautifully. It did stretch out a bit when I stitched the hem with a twin needle – it actually got really flared and crazy looking, to be honest – so I threw it in the wash and it shrunk up to what you see now. Still a little wavy, but it’s not terrible. I am guessing this particular fabric won’t have a fantastic recovery since it’s 100% cotton – and cotton tends to grow over the course of the day, it needs a little bit of Lycra to snap it back into shape – but it should shrink up after it’s washed. I haven’t had a chance to wear it properly yet as it’s still a bit too hot for full-on neck coverage, but we’ll see how that works out. I may like it a little more loose. Maybe.

Rise Turtleneck + pashmina

Rise Turtleneck + pashmina

Aaaaaand while we’re talking about comfy – I also made a Pashmina! I LOVE Pashminas; they are one of my go-to souvenirs when I’m traveling. Not to mention, they are handy to have while you’re traveling, especially if you’re on a chilly airplane. Wearing it as a regular scarf definitely keeps me warm, but it can also double as a lightweight blanket without actually looking like… well, a blanket (you can also wad it up and use it as a pillow if you’re lucky enough to get the window seat). It’s also a nice alternative to a sweater or cardigan when you’re wearing fancy dress – again, draped over the shoulders like a cape looks really lovely.

Ok, “made” is a very very loose term here πŸ˜‰ I got 2 yards of wool cashmere Pashmina fabric (also from Organic Cotton Plus) and frayed the edges with a pin. So there’s not really so much making here – I didn’t even sew a thing, the selvedge edges were finished as they were – but not even project needs a mess of sewing to be proud of, you know? At $26 a yard, this fabric is far from cheap – but a total of $46 (and maybe an hour of fraying) but it is organic wool, and certainly less expensive than the questionable-origins Pashminas I see at Nordstrom. So there’s that.

It’s hard to get a good photo of this fabric, but it’s very light and floaty with a loose weave that has a bit of a design in it-

Organic pashmina

Organic pashmina

It’s also pretty translucent. I originally considered using it to make a full-on lined wool skirt, but it’s just too loosely woven and lightweight, like, well, a scarf πŸ˜‰

Organic pashmina

Here is a close-up of my fraying. I pulled one cross grain thread to make a straight line (same as you’d do when tugging your fabric to be on-grain) and then gently pulled the threads below to make a fringe, using a pin. It probably took about an hour, and wasn’t too bad once I got into the swing of things. I did not secure my fraying with a line of stitching or anything – upon examining all my other scarves, they don’t have any stitching at the end and they have held up fine.

Rise Turtleneck + pashmina

Finally, I should mention – those jeans are secret pajamas too, y’all! They are actually JEGGINGS, made with cotton stretch denim knit, which is like a really awesome ponte that looks like jeans. You can read the post about them here. I’ve worn them steadily for about a year and a half and they’ve held up nicely – washed and worn well, and are still sooo comfy. See! Secret pajamas. These were totally in regular rotation while my dad was in the hospital, btw. I had to wear pants because they keep that ICU freeeeeezing, so it was nice to have something knit that was comfortable enough to wear for hours of sitting. Should you be lucky enough to not have to spend a week in an ICU waiting room, I can also vouch that these pants/this fabric is great for traveling πŸ˜‰

Speaking of traveling – I have one more workshop (well, two back to back) before I’m done for the year! I’ll be in NYC next weekend for jeans making (which is sold out!) and the ever-popular Weekend Pants Making Intensive (which I think still has a couple of open spots if you’ve been on the fence! TREAT YO SELF), both at Workroom Social! Can’t wait πŸ˜€

**Note: The fabrics in this post were provided to me by Organic Cotton Plus, in exchange for a blog post review. All opinions are my own, however, all links to said fabrics *are* affiliate links (which all funds will divert to my Coverstitch Savings Account). The Papercut pattern was purchased with my own dollars, though! β™₯
EDIT: I can’t believe I didn’t notice that this is totally a Steve Jobs outfit hahahahaha

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Completed: Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater

26 Aug

I am SO happy to be finished with this sweater!

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - front

Clocking in at nearly 6 months to knit, seam and finish – this sweater was definitely a labor of love to complete.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - front

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - side

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - back

Both the pattern and the yarn are from Wool and the Gang, which is pretty much the coolest yarn company I’ve ever heard of. WATG sells yarn, patterns, needles, and complete kits for their patterns (as well as RTW knit pieces, if you want to be completely lazy πŸ˜‰ no judgement over here from me!). The company reached out to me earlier this year – well, 6 months ago – and asked if I’d like to try one of their kits for a review. Being the cheeky piece of shit I am, I choose the Teen Spirit Sweater, in the classic red/grey colorway.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - kit

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - kit

The kit came beautifully packaged, and included 21 balls of their Wooly Bully alpaca yarn, the Teen Spirit Sweater pattern, at set of size 10.5 Rosewood needles, and a giant needle for weaving in all the ends.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - front

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - back

The pattern is One Size, which I knew immediately off the bat was gonna be WAY too big for me – it has a 44″ chest measurement (compared to my measly 32″ – that’s a LOTTA ease!). So the first thing I did was knit a gauge swatch to figure how many stitches I knit per inch, and recalculate the pattern so it would work with my specific measurements. Since the pattern is basically 4 giant rectangles (the sleeves have very gradual increases but nothing crazy), this was not at all difficult to do. All I needed to change was the amount of stitches I cast on, and then just follow the pattern henceforth. I also shortened the body of the sweater, because I wanted mine to be slightly cropped to offset the boxiness.

All the pieces are knit separately – front, back, and two sleeves . The front and back are identical, and are literally just two big rectangles – there is no shaping for the neckline, arm holes or waist. As I mentioned, the sleeves have very gradual increases to make them slightly shaped, but they are still primarily just big ol’ rectangles. To make the tartan, you knit in stripes following the pattern, and then weave the vertical stripes in afterward using this technique from WATG. It looks a lot more complicated than it actually is – it’s just time-consuming! I spent MANY nights sitting on the couch, binge-watching Mad Men, with a tiny blanket o’ sweater in my lap, weaving tartan stripes. In fact, this was the main project I worked on in the last week before my move – as it was the only thing I hadn’t packed!

After I wove in all the tartan stripes, I then blocked the pieces (which seriously took like 2 days to dry completely) before seaming. You seam the shoulders first, then attach the sleeves at the sleeve cap, then seam up the side and sleeve seam in one go (same as you’d do when sewing a knit tshirt). Finally, you knit the neckline ribbing (the sleeve and hem ribbing are knit while you are knitting the pieces). The resulting sweater is MASSIVELY heavy – I wish I owned a scale, because I’d love to know how much it actually weighs! Honestly, I love throwing it at people and watching how surprised they are when they feel it’s heft hahaha. It’s surprisingly not that itchy – it’s a little bit itchy, but I think another wash with some lanolin will clear that right now – but it is super duper warm. Way too warm to wear right now, obviously, but I’m sure I’ll really appreciate it come winter πŸ˜‰

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - flat

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - flat

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - flat

As complicated at this sweater looks and as long as I spent working on it – it honestly was not difficult to knit at all. Even with rewriting the pattern to work with my measurements, the overall construction was very simple and straightforward. It was definitely time-consuming, but not hard – seriously, this is a great pattern for a beginner. Lots of knitting and purling, simple color changes for the stripes, and then seaming everything together (my seaming definitely needs some work, btw. Woof.).

Part of what took me so long to finish was simple mistakes I made on my end. I wasn’t happy with my first batch of tartan stripes – which I decided after I’d finished weaving the tartan for the entire front. I ripped everything out, recalculated, and wove it all in again. I could have stood to do a neater job with my weaving – all the other examples I see are much more even and precise and mine looks a bit sloppy in comparison – but I’m pretty happy with it regardless because I AM SO NOT RIPPING THAT SHIT OUT AGAIN. I also had some trouble with the neckline ribbing – I picked up too few stitches the first time, and wasn’t able to get the sweater over my head! So I got PISSED, ripped out the ripping, and put that fucker in time out for a solid month. Ha! Eventually, I got some liquid courage (aka wine) and tried again – this time picking up stitches at a 1:1 ratio and making sure it pulled over my head before binding off. It worked! Go me!

Check out my Ravelry page for the full low-down on this project – my stitch counts, measurements for the tartan weaving, etc. Didn’t want to clog up this post with all that, but it’s on the ‘Rav! BTW, I should mention – you can also buy this pattern individually, if you don’t need the yarn and needles. Teen Spirit sweaters for everyone! πŸ˜€

Smells Like Teen Spirit Sweater - front

When I started this sweater, I naively thought that I would have it finished before the weather started warming up – ha! Not even! On the flip side, it’s definitely ready and waiting for the next season! I’m actually pretty glad that I had an entire summer to fuss with this, because it made me not be in a hurry to finish it – I knew I’d have to wait months before that was even an option. Instead, I took my time and ripped out when needed, and I think the end result was worth it. Man, I cannot WAIT to wear this bad boy! I think it’ll look especially ace with my Elizabeth Suzann Cecilia Pants. Which, btw – if you are looking for the magic pants that look amazing on EVERYONE, that’s those. You’re welcome.

**Note: The kit for my Teen Spirit Sweater (which included the yarn, pattern and needles) was VERY generously given to me by Wool and the Gang, in exchange for a blog review. Thank you, WATG!

Completed: Cozy Loungewear

7 Dec

It’s officially that time of year – black and grey layers from head to toe. My favorite!

Colette Oslo Cardigan - front

I feel like I spend the beginning of every winter on the prowl, looking for pieces that will keep my warm and comfortable, without looking like a complete slob (only, like, 30% slob. I have my limits, you know). Every year, I wear said pieces until they are ratty beyond repair, so each new season means new duds. Honestly, none of the pieces in this post are particularly earth-shattering, which is why you get a 3-fer post, ha.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - side

Colette Oslo Cardigan - side

The grey/black cardigan is hands-down the coziest cardigan I have ever made – it even works as a light coat! The pattern is the Oslo from Colette’s Seamwork Magazine. I didn’t care much for the pattern when it was first released, however, I kept noticing cool versions popping up and eventually became mildly obsessed with the idea of making my own. I love the long, butt-covering length, as well as the big shawl collar. In September, Oslo was granted the glory of being “Pattern of the Month,” which knocked the price down to $5 and thus justified my immediate purchase.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - back

Anyway, I can see why everyone and their mom has made an Oslo – it’s a great pattern! It’s a super simple, super quick make, and the resulting garment is a great layering piece that I find vaguely reminiscent of those knit duster cardigans we all wore back in the late 90s (I bought mine at Rave. SUP.). It works especially well with heavier knits – which is great, because I keep buying them but I never know what to make them into! I don’t want a super heavy tshirt. I’ll wear a super heavy cardigan/duster hybrid, though, hell yeah I will.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - inside

Speaking of heavy knits, this was certainly one of those! I bought this double-cloth Italian wool sweater knit months ago, and while it’s really awesome – it’s also super thick. It’s basically two layers of wool knit – black on one side, grey on the other – fused together to make one really heavy layer. It makes for the perfect Oslo, because it’s super warm, but I had no idea what to do with it when I originally bought it. Also, it was kind of expensive, so I only bought 1.5 yards. I BARELY had enough yardage to eek this out – I had to do some piecing at one shoulder, and cut everything on the single layer, but I managed!

Colette Oslo Cardigan - front

Tetris-ing the shit out the cutting layout took a long time, but the actual sewing part did not take long at all! I used my serger for everything – shit got REAL bulky when I was attaching the shawl collar, but other than that was smooth sailing. I cut the size XS and sewed the pattern as drafted with folded back cuffs, although I didn’t add the buttons. I wish I’d had enough fabric to add front patch pockets, as I feel like that’s the only thing this pattern is missing.
Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - front

The next piece is a boring ol’ black tshirt! Haha! Well, I used a new pattern to make this – so that makes things a little less boring πŸ™‚

Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - front

This is the Grail tshirt from Vesta Patterns, a new company in the pattern world. These patterns are drafted and produced for 3 different body shapes, so that you don’t have to do so much futzing with the flat pattern for a good fit. I’ve been super interested in the idea but haven’t had a chance to try out the patterns, despite having them in my arsenal for a few months now. I have both the patterns for E & S (well, I had A too, but I gave it to an A-shaped friend πŸ˜‰ ), so I started with the E in a size Small. The patterns are drafted to have a bit of ease, which I found to be too much for my personal fit preferences – I had a bit of excess from the underarm down to the waist, but that was easy to nip in before I hemmed the sleeves and bottom. Next time, I may go down a size for a closer fit, or use a more stable fabric like the pattern suggests. That being said, I am really impressed with how well and proportional the neckline and shoulders fit!

Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - back

Like the cardigan, construction was straightforward and simple. The pattern doesn’t include a lot of information for construction – the steps are written out, but they are short, concise, and don’t include pictures or line drawings. Having made zillions of tshirts in my time, this does not phase me. I don’t need a full booklet with step-by-step instructions for sewing a shoulder seam, you know? But if you need the hand-holding, you may want to consider finding a tutorial online or consulting a book for further assistance.

The one construction element about this pattern that differs from most knits that I’ve sewn, is how the neckline was finished. Strips of fabric are sewn as a sort of binding around the neckline, wrapping the raw edges. It’s similar to how I did the binding on my Mission Skater dress, although without the serged edge. I think it makes a really nice, clean finish that looks really good from the outside. I hemmed the sleeves and bottom at 1″, and just used the zigzag on my sewing machine.

Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - front

I stayed on the wool bandwagon with this top, and used another wool knit to make it up. I found this weird “black cozy knit” (their description, not mine) on the Mood website – appears to be sold out now. Y’all, this was a WEIRD fucking fabric! I don’t know what I was expecting to get, but what I received was what I would describe as a wool crepe knit. It has that crepey, spongey texture – but it’s a true knit, and stretches as so. I’ve never seen fabric like this before. It’s borderline semi-sheer, but works well for a tshirt. Because of the crepey texture, it has a fantastic drape – perfect for a loose-fitting shirt. It’s also surprisingly not itchy. Just, well, cozy πŸ™‚ It also attracts cat hair like a magnet, sooo, sorry bout that!

SBCC Pinot pants - front

Finally, pants! These are the Pinot Pants from SBCC Patterns and they are my FAVORITE lounge pants ever ever. These are just basically yoga-style pants – not true yoga pants, as they don’t have a crotch gusset, but they do have the flared leg and elastic waistband. I have actually practiced yoga in these pants (not my preferred style of yoga pants – I like slim leggings – but I went to yoga with Jenny when I was in Boston, and hey, I actually had yoga pants in my suitcase!), and they worked just fine. Terrible fabric choice for hot yoga, but I had a great range of movement hahaha.

I made the size XS and cut a longer inseam so I’d have some length to play with (which I immediately cut off, and now they’re a smidge too short. Wah!). I added the free pocket add-on, which was the best decision ever! There aren’t any instructions for attaching these, but I just topstitched them on with a straight stitch (and left the edges raw – other than the top opening edge, which is finished with a self-fabric band). Leaving the edges raw is fine with this sort of fabric, as it’s not prone to unraveling or fraying (and, speaking of raw edges – these pants are unhemmed. Like I said, I cut them too short as it is and I couldn’t afford to lose any length! haha!). I also left off the elastic waistband, and instead used some heavy-duty power mesh in it’s place. Betsy had mentioned once that she preferred power mesh over elastic for a flat, yet stretchy, waistband, and I was immediately intrigued. I actually have some heavy power mesh that is way too heavy for general lingerie (I believe it’s probably good for shapewear, though), so I used that in the waistband. Just cut a waistband layer in the mesh, basted it to the wrong side of the fabric waistband, and sewed as normal. It holds as well as elastic does, but it’s flat like a traditional yoga waistband. I love it!

For fabric, I used black nylon/rayon ponte de roma, which is AWESOME and I wish I had more! It holds shape really nicely and doesn’t stretch out. Like I said, it’s not so great for shit like actual yoga – it retains heat a little too well – but for general lounge pants, it’s perfect.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - on dressform

Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - on dressform

Vespa Patterns Grail tshirt - neckline detail

You can really see the texture of the knit here. And check out that bound neckline!

Colette Oslo Cardigan - flat

Here is where I had to piece the shoulder area of my Oslo, in order to get the pattern pieces to fit on my limited yardage. You can’t really tell it’s there when I’m wearing it.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - flat

SBCC Pinot pants - flat

Ok, that’s it! Sorry for the overwhelming amount of black + cat hair, ha.

Colette Oslo Cardigan - front

This is the kind of ensemble I reach for when I’m feeling crappy (sick, sad, hungover, etc) but still need to look somewhat presentable out of the house. As much as I love my plaid flannel Carolyn pajamas, they definitely look like pajamas! With these pieces – either all worn together, or individually with other garments – they keep the comfy factor without compromising the yes-i-put-on-pants-to-leave-the-house element. I consider that a win!

Completed: Crazy Aztec Waver Jacket

28 Oct

Well, my winter jacket is ready for this year! Guess I can cross that one off the list!

Papercut Waver Jacket

Before we get too deep into this post, I have to warn you – I took a LOT of photos of this jacket. It’s a big project and one that I’m especially proud of. I am not even sorry that you’ll have to look at like 40 pictures of it now. Yep.

Papercut Waver Jacket

As I mentioned in my Fall/Winter sewing plans, I’ve been collecting all the bits and pieces to make this jacket for a couple of months now (PROTIP: Making a coat can get expensive when you start buying all the crap that goes into it, but you can make the cost hurt a lot less by buying everything in phases πŸ™‚ HAHA). I’m pretty set on the heavy winter coat front – my Vogue coat is still serving me well nearly 2 years later, and the Ralph Rucci knock-off is a wonderful piece to wear when I’m dressed up. My wardrobe does have a small gap in lightweight jackets – my black and gold bomber jacket, while awesome, is a bit short to really be cozy, and my orange Minoru jacket is really better suited for the super mild spring temperatures as it’s really not that warm (it’s just cotton with a poly lining, after all)! What I needed was a longer jacket, preferably one with a hood. I always miss having a hood.

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

The Papercut Patterns Waver Jacket was my pattern choice – it’s a really cool, casual style and I liked that it included a hood, as well as the waist-cinching drawstring. This pattern is pretty similar to the Sewaholic Minoru, although without all the additional gathering nor the hood-stashing wide collar. I think the style of the Minoru looks pretty good on me, so I knew the Waver would as well. I also found an eerily similar replica (with set-in sleeves rather than raglan) at the GAP a few months ago, so I was able to try it on and see what I thought before I started making muslins. I love it when things work out that way!

I cut the size XS, which is my usual size with Papercut. I like that the jacket has some shape, but there’s still enough room in there for me to pile a sweater on underneath (which is about the max layer of clothing I’d have on if the weather was appropriate for a jacket like this!). My muslin revealed that I didn’t need to make any fitting changes, other than shorten the sleeves about 1cm (ooh, look at me, sounding all international and shit).

Papercut Waver Jacket

Of course, the fabric really makes the jacket! This cool navy Aztec virgin wool is from Mood Fabrics, and I’ve had a big piece squirreled away in my stash for months. It’s a pretty lightweight wool, which is perfect for my needs, and suitable for this pattern. I love all the colors in the print! Trying to cut those pattern pieces to match all the bold, colorful lines was a little bit of a struggle, but I made it work. I lined the jacket with English blue silk charmeuse (the exact one that I used appears to be sold out at this point, sorry!). I really did agonize for a long time over what color lining to include – the fun side of me loves contrast linings, but the boring side of me thinks it makes things look a little cheap (except that red lining in my plaid Vogue coat; I have no regrets about that one!). I actually like a more subdued lining, and prefer the contrast in the form of texture, not color. So I went with English blue, which perfectly matches the navy in the wool.

I didn’t do a lot of crazy tailoring with this coat – it was actually a fairly simple project. I did add a back stay (made of medium-weight muslin and using this tutorial from Sewaholic) to the back to keep it from stretching out, and I catch-stitched all the wool seam allowances down so that they’d stay flat with wear (similar to this, but without any of that horsehair interfacing. This is a casual coat that doesn’t need heavy tailoring!). There’s no padstitching in this project, or bound button holes. While I LOVE big projects with lots of interior details, not every project has to be couture-worthy. Especially if it’s a simple jacket.

Papercut Waver Jacket

ha! Bet you didn’t notice those big patch pockets, did you? I cut those so they are hidden in plain sight right on the front of the coat. Good thing I have radar fingers, otherwise I’d never be able to find them when my hands get cold.

Papercut Waver Jacket

I also added inseam pockets (not included in the pattern, but as easy as stealing a pocket piece from another pattern and popping it into the side seams as you are sewing it up!), sewn in silk charmeuse, along the side seams. The wind blowing in my hair for this photo is an added bonus, and you are welcome for that.

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

The hood was a big selling point for this pattern! I love jackets with hoods, but I never really come across jacket patterns with hoods that I actually like. It’s nice to have a hood for rain and light snow, so I’m glad this pattern has a hood! It’s a nice 3 piece hood, too, so it stays on your head without squishing it, and stays put (and it’s big enough to cover my head even when my hair is pulled up in a bun!). The pattern calls for lining the hood with self lining (aka the jacket fabric), but I was afraid that wool would give me weird hat head, so I lined the hood with more silk charmeuse instead. I figured, they make pillowcases out of silk, so hood lining can’t be too far off… right?

As you can see, I also added faux fur around the hood. Yeehaw! I love this detail in coats, and I was keen to add it to this coat as well. This black and white faux fur from Mood is really nice stuff – it’s super soft and almost feels like real fur. It’s certainly way better quality than any other faux fur I’ve sewn. This doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to sew – I still had fur flying everywhere as I cut it, etc etc – but the payoff is worth it!

What you can’t see in these photos is that the fur is actually removable – just in case I change my mind and want it off, it won’t be difficult to remove it (I doubt that will happen, but I like having options!). I sewed the fur trim the same way you’d make a fur collar, loosely following this tutorial from Casey, although I did not add any interfacing as my fur has a pretty heavy backing as-is.

Papercut Waver Jacket

I sewed black twill tape around the edges and then folded it to the inside, catch-stitching everything down securely.

Papercut Waver Jacket

Then I laid my silk charmeuse lining on top, covering all the insides and attaching the folded edge of the lining to the twill tape on the fur, using teeny hand stitches. The fur trim was then attached to the perimeter of the hood, using invisible hand stitches. I briefly considered using snaps or buttons+loops, but decided that I didn’t want anything to show when the fur was removed. The stitches will be easy to pull out if I need to take the fur off, but you can’t see them when the fur is on, either. You can see what the jacket looks like without the fur here, if you’re interested!

Papercut Waver Jacket

Here’s that blue lining! You can see another change I made to the jacket – instead of using a drawstring to cinch the waist, I added wide elastic. This was mostly due to comfort – elastic isn’t constricting like a rigid draw string is – plus I think it looks better on me. I did have to change up the order of construction a bit to get this to work. First I bagged the lining as usual (per the pattern instructions). I left off the drawstring channel pattern piece and instead sewed through all the layers of the wool and lining to make a channel (similar to the construction of the Minoru), then fed the elastic through that and tacked down the ends.

Papercut Waver Jacket

I also added a little leather tab to the back of the neck, so I can hang the coat more easily (or from my finger haha).

Papercut Waver Jacket

I actually like this way this coat looks unbuttoned, which is a first for me!

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

I do wish that I had paid more attention to my pattern-matching on the front of the coat, so that the design would continue uninterrupted. Oh well! It still turned out pretty cool despite that mishap, and there are triangles down the center front instead. I’m ok with that!

Now for a buttload of dressform and flat pictures:

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

The buttons are antique glass buttons that I bought at the flea market earlier this summer. Love them so much! That guy has the best buttons.

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

Papercut Waver Jacket

My favorite part!! The leather tab was an idea I took from an old American Eagle coat – I just cut a strip of heavy leather, rounded the ends, and punched holes so I could run stitches through it. And the woven label is from Wunderlabel – isn’t that the best finishing touch? I had a hard time deciding what mine should say – I wanted it to say Made in Nashville, but I don’t really live in Nashville anymore (I mean, we are close enough but I’m a huge weirdo/stickler about that sort of thing!), so The South works πŸ˜‰ Anyway, this was my first experience with Wunderlabel – I’ll have more of a review up in the future after I’ve used more of the labels. But in the meantime, I’m sewing them on everything!

Papercut Waver Jacket

While I certainly did not push myself to hurry and finish this project, I did wrap things up pretty quickly! I think it took about a week to get everything sewn up, after making the muslin and cutting the fabric. I’m glad I finished it, too, because I think it’ll come in handy when I’m in NYC in a couple of weeks. Hell, it’s already starting to get cold here – I will probably be able to wear it later this week! πŸ™‚

Papercut Waver JacketNote: The fabric for this jacket was purchased with my allowance for the Mood Sewing Network (over a period of months, I might add! πŸ™‚ ). Pattern was given to me as a gift. All comments on this blog post 100% mine, however!

Completed: White Graphite Sweater

20 Oct

I started this sweater back in Feburary, which gives it the title of Longest WIP Ever (for me, anyway). Not because it was complicated to knit, but rather because I put it on the backburner several times in order to work on new and shiny projects. Yep, I totally broke my own personal rule about UFOs! But I did finally complete this unfinished object, so I’d reckon that it’s all good πŸ™‚

White Graphite Sweater - front

For this sweater, I used the Graphite pattern, and knitted up a size XS. Based on my gauge swatch (can you believe I’m still faithfully knitting these before starting a project?! Mostly because I told myself I would turn all those swatches into a blanket eventually. Despite all my swatches, it’s still a pretty tiny blanket haha), I went down a couple of needle sizes to an 8. The pattern has you knit the ribbing with an even smaller needle – in my case, that would be a 6 – but I didn’t do that with this sweater because I totally forgot. Oh well!

White Graphite Sweater - front

Oh, by the way – Kevin Pancho piggy is back in some of these pictures. Everyone say hi to Kevin! She’s currently in the process of invisible fence training, hence her collar. Kevin loooves rooting around in the woods a little too much (like, she disappeared for over 2 hours more than once!), so we had to take some measures to keep her safely in the yard. Training is going a lot more smoothly than it was at the beginning, but man, is that pig stubborn!

White Graphite Sweater - side

White Graphite Sweater - side

Anyway, enough about that pig! Back to my sweater!

I used Plymouth Yarn Homestead for this, purchased from my local yarn store, Haus of Yarn (actually, since I moved, I have a new local yarn store! More on that when I get around to posting projects from the stuff I’ve bought from there, though!). This yarn is 100% wool, Aran weight, and Haus of Yarn only had the natural colors. I don’t know why I gravitated to this off-white – it’s beaaaaautiful on the skein, but not really so much against my face. Ugh. Me and my visions of white sweaters, the endless mistake.

White Graphite Sweater - back

This sweater also gave me the stark realization that I need to pay more attention to suggested yarns for my patterns. I know this is a VERY obvious thing for me to admit, but I have never really given much thought to the suggested yarn, other than weight and ply. I just always stick with 100% wool, regardless of what the pattern tells me to use. Since I don’t really knit patterns that require a different fiber (for drape, or stitch definition, or what have you), this hasn’t posed a huge problem, but it does limit me. I think this sweater would look a lot better if I had used a yarn with a little more drape, like the suggested Debbie Bliss merino. Just something to keep in mind for my next sweater!

White Graphite Sweater - back

As for the pattern, I knit it exactly according to the instructions, with no further fitting adjustments. It has a nice fit, I think – form-fitting without being snug, and it skims over the body. I do think it’s a bit too long, though! It does not look bad in these pictures, but I prefer a little more of a crop with my sweaters, since I wear my pants so high-waisted (I think it looks weird to have high-waisted pants and a long sweater! Or maybe it doesn’t look weird, but it certainly feels weird!). But, the almost butt-skimming length will work in my wardrobe. I can totally wear it with leggings and pants with a lower rise.

White Graphite Sweater - front

Like I said, the pattern was super super easy. This would be an easy first sweater project – lots of endless stockinette in the round. It’s knit top-down, and you make increases for the raglan sleeves and then separate those stitches from the body. From there, you knit in an endless tube to make the cool broken rib knit pattern (which, again, SUPER easy. Just knits and purls!). After you knit the ribbing and bind off the bottom, you knit the sleeves (putting the live stitches on the needles, rather than picking up bound-off stitches as with traditional set-in sleeves). Since they are raglan, there’s no sleeve cap to knit – you just knit an endless circle. Finally, the neckline is picked up and knit with a rib pattern. Easy!

White Graphite Sweater

White Graphite Sweater

Blocking the thing (where you wash it and lay it flat to dry, pulling it into the desired shape and size) really made a difference in the finished sweater! Not only did it set the stitches and make them nice and flat/even, but it relaxed the yarn and gave it a nice drape. Where the raglan sleeve “seam” (really just a series of increases) ends, there was a poof right over my armpit when I put the sweater on. Totally not a good look. After blocking, though, that relaxed into a soft little fold, which I can live with.

Doesn’t that yarn look so delicious and swishy!? YAY.

Ok, I don’t have anything else to say about this project, so here are some pictures of me trying to make friends with Kevin. Whatever, I know y’all are just here for the pig.

KEVIN PANCHO

Holy shit, I look like I’m balding in these pictures hahahahah. I swear that’s just the flat spot I get from sleeping haha. Oh lord!

KEVIN PANCHO

I’m glad I finished this project and can finally put it to rest! While I’m not crazy about the color on me, I think I’ll like it with a colorful collared shirt underneath it πŸ™‚ (I did consider dyeing it, but then decided… nah. Haha!). What’s on your knitting needles these days? What’s your favorite wool sweater yarn? I’m about to cast on for my next sweater, but I’m always looking for new projects to add to the queue!

Completed: Basic Ribbed Socks

1 Sep

I finished these socks a while back – at the end of May, to be specific – and I just realized that I never got around to posting them. Whoops! Better late than never!

Handknit red socksEver since I finished my first pair of socks, I knew I wanted to try again and improve on what I had learned. The biggest issue I had with the first pair was my yarn selection. Since I used an alpaca blend (and before you tell I should have asked the yarn store for yarn suggestions- I did! That was what they said was best for sock-making, for some ungodly reason), the socks tend to slouch and stretch out of shape, and I never liked the little fuzzy halo of fibers that is typical with alpaca. I wanted to try with an easier pattern – one without lace – and a better sock yarn. And here is the result! I think they turned out pretty nice πŸ™‚ Handknit red socksOh, about that random pig in these photos. Ha! That is our pet piggy and her name is Kevin Pancho. Yes, Kevin is a girl (we were under the assumption that we had a boy pig, and then she ended up being a girl whoops hahaha). She’s a potbelly and still just a baby, but she will eventually get pretty big. Before you ask – we have no plans on eating her, she’s just a pet (I mean, unless doomsday comes around and we all start starving to death or some shit. Then, Kevin will be a Food.).

Handknit red socksAnyway, back to my socks (with some random piggy butt)! I used this Basic Ribbed Socks pattern, which is one of those free patterns on Ravelry that apparently everyone has tried (ok, not everyone, but 6k+ people can’t be wrong amirite). It’s a basic, easy sock pattern, knit with fingering weight yarn and constructed from the cuff down. The majority of the knitting is done with a 3×1 ribbing, which keeps the sock from slouching as much, and is a little more interesting than your standard 1×1 ribbing. Because the socks aren’t ridiculously tall, I was able to knit them out of a single ball of yarn. Which means they were quite economical to make! Handknit red socksI knit these for the size 6, which is pretty close to my shoe size (I generally wear a women’s 6.5). The socks fit perfectly, and they are super comfortable! They stay up pretty well, as promised, and the lightweight yarn means that they aren’t too thick to wear with shoes (which isn’t something I’m doing right now, but I’m sure I will be happy for that option come winter!).

For yarn, I used Cascade 220 Fingering. Again, I only had to buy one ball to knit both socks – and I still have a little yarn butt left over. I bought the yarn while I was in Philly for Maddie’s Bramaking class, ‘way back in January, on my evening ladydate with the wonderful Andrea. Andrea took me to her favorite yarn store, Loop Yarn, and this was my yarn souvenir for the trip. I chose this yarn based on the suggestion of the woman working there, and I am extremely happy with how it worked up. I use Cascade 220 worsted weight for a lot of my knitting projects, and while this was my first try with the fingering weight, it’s just as nice as the worsted. Easy to knit and looks good when finished. As you can see in these pictures, it does pill a little with frequent wear (I wear these socks a lot! I even brought them to Peru with me πŸ™‚ ), but, they are socks. Whateverrrr.

I also bought metal DPNs to knit these socks; I was using bamboo before because I like how it grips, but those tiny little needles snapped like crazy on me. The metal ones don’t break (or, I guess, they haven’t broken yet haha), but I have bent them a little bit. As with my first pair of fingering weight socks, I used a size 0. So yeah, teeny little needles!

Handknit red socksHandknit red socksI really enjoyed working with this pattern. It is simple and relatively mindless (so, good for bringing to knitting night, or watching tv, or whatever), and the socks knit up pretty quickly. Turning the heel was fun and magical, and I didn’t feel like I was doing too much endless repetition with all that circular ribbing. I think it’s too soon to say that this will be my TNT sock pattern, however, it’s definitely a contender! I will totally knit this pattern again.

Handknit red socksHandknit red socksHandknit red socksI’m already working on my next pair of socks. Socks are great little portable projects that pack up small and are easy to bust out for a couple of rows at a time. They are especially awesome for traveling, since you aren’t lugging around a bunch of pieces or a big sack of yarn (and if you finish one sock, you can wear it! Yay!). That being said, I also love knitting sweaters, so don’t expect that to go away anytime soon. I haven’t knit as much as I used to in years past – not having a dedicated hour-long lunch break to commit to knitting will do that – but I’m making an effort to get at least a few rows done a couple times a week. Not even because I want to make progress (well, I do, but that’s not the #1 reason), but mostly because it’s an awesome stress-reliever. And it keeps me from falling asleep on the couch hahaha. Handknit red socksI’m including this last picture because Landon and I were arguing about which ~scenic~ spot to take photos. He said the cinderblock was stupid and ugly, I said the deck was even stupider and uglier (sorry, deck.). So you tell me – who was right? Personally, I think Kevin really made the pictures worth looking at πŸ™‚

Completed: OAL2015 (M6887 dress + Vianne sweater)

31 Jul

MY GOD, you guys. I am so happy I got this finished in time for the OAL deadline! I’ve had the dress finished for a couple of weeks now, but I worried about that sweater as the time drew closer! I ended up needing to take a couple marathon days in order to finish, but I did finish! And now I’ve got an outfit to show y’all!

OAL2015 - M6887I’ll start with the dress. Again, this is McCall’s 6887, which I used cotton ikat fabric from Mood Fabrics to make it up with (this isn’t a Mood Fabrics allowances fabric; I bought this on my own dime while I was in NY last year). I used the version with the back cut-out, as well as the cap sleeves, omitted the lining in favor of bias facing, and added pockets. I’m not going to go into detail about the construction, since there’s a whole series of blog posts on the making of this dress! You can see them all here:

We are just gonna look at pictures instead. Btw, I walked through a lot of spiderwebs to take these. Appreciate me, dammit. OAL2015 - M6887

OAL2015 - M6887OAL2015 - M6887

OAL2015 - M6887OAL2015 - M6887

OAL2015 - M6887Now for the sweater part! OAL2015 - Vianne

Vianne is a sweet little top-down cardigan with lace details and a open mesh back. It’s supposed to be knitted up in DK weight yarn, but I used Cascade 220 worsted weight and was able to get gauge using size 6 needles. I knit the size XS, and the only modification I made to the pattern was to knit full-length sleeves. As in, I followed the sleeve directions and just kept knitting/decreasing until they were long enough. I’ve found that I don’t have much need for 3/4 sleeves – if I’m cold enough to wear a sweater, I am cold enough to need the full sleeve – so I went with long sleeves. I did keep the mesh back, though. The mesh back is awesome. I found the mesh+lace a little confusing to follow, so I used a bunch of stitch markers to stay on track and that helped a lot.

While I normally finish my buttonbands with a strip of petersham ribbon for stability, I did not do that with this cardigan. Vianne is a looser fit on me, and the button bands are so wide that they don’t really stretch when they are buttoned. So I left off the petersham and just sewed the buttons directly on the ribbing. One thing I will say about using a stabilizer with your button band – it makes sewing on the buttons a helluva a lot easier! Oh well! Anyway, the buttons are vintage glass from my stash – I’ve had them for YEARS and been hoarding them for a special project, which I’m happy to have finally found! I only had 4 buttons, so I left off one of the button holes. And by “left off,” I mean I originally knit it and then later closed it up with a slipstitch haha.

OAL2015 - VianneOAL2015 - Vianne

OAL2015 - VianneOAL2015 - Vianne

OAL2015 - VianneOAL2015 - Vianne

OAL2015 - VianneOAL2015 - Vianne

OAL2015 - VianneOAL2015 - Vianne

OAL2015 - VianneAs with all of Andi’s patterns, I REALLY enjoyed knitting this sweater! The yarn was so nice to work with (after a long Cascade 220 hiatus, I’m happy to be home! And I’m really happy to find a local source that is still selling it – Ewe & Company, who happen to be located here in Kingston Springs! What are the odds?) and the color is my favorite. The only thing I didn’t like was feeling rushed at the end, but that’s my own damn fault for not pacing myself earlier during the OAL. I’m glad I got it finished in time, at any rate!

As a side note, wrangling the last sleeve of the sweater got me really wanting to start doing seamed knitting. I’ve always been a fan of in-the-round, because it’s so easy, but I’m starting to feel a little comfortable and I’m kind of craving a bit of a challenge. It would be fun to learn how to properly seam a sweater. Not to mention all the pattern possibilities that open up when you’re not hung up on just one particular construction style!OAL2015 - M6887

Anyway, that’s it! Here is Vianne on Ravelry (spoiler: not any more info than what you see here!). Don’t forget to post your finished outfit in the OAL 2015 FO Thread on Ravelry for a chance to win prizes! We have prize donations from Indie Stitches andΒ The McCall Pattern Company, as well as from Andi Satterlund herself (winner’s choice with all of these, so you won’t get stuck with something you don’t want!), and there will be 4 winners. Also, if you have blog posts to share with your FO, post them here so I can see! I need to get my lurk on πŸ˜‰