WIP: Vivien Pullover (Christmas Sweater Update)

I have really put this project on the back burner. It was not picked up the entire month of June or most of July. I caught the sewing bug and was really enjoying the OAL2014. So, now that the sewing machine is packed away and the OAL is over I am back at it.

I am still working on the front. Sad, right? But, whatev. I may be off my schedule but, if I continue to work on it I can definitely finish this before December.  I am determined to finish this pullover.

I adore how the colors are coming together and hopefully, this will be a sweater that I love.

Right now, I am about to start the armhole shaping. I plan on working on this over the next couple of weeks before I start school. (I plan on working on it while at school, too.)

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Extra Thoughts: Today is officially my last day at work. I have been a Secretary for the past 5 1/2 years (I never expected to be here that long) and I am really going to miss it. I’ve enjoyed the memories and the wonderful friendships formed. However, I am looking forward to school and having a career in the field of Library Science and/or Archiving. I’m also looking forward to sushi tonight with my sister, Alison. She’s treating me so, that’s always a plus ;)

OAL2014: Blue Myrna and Marvel Dress

I finally got around to taking those pics of my second finished outfit from the OAL2014.

In reality, I made this dress before the Owl dress. So, this dress will always have a special place in my heart because it is my first dress. To top that, it’s a dress I love! The process of this dress went by wonderfully because of LLADYBIRD’s wonderful tutorials and detailed instructions. Near the end, I did get anxious and did the skirt portion on my own. In retrospect, I wish I would taken LLADYBIRD’s advice and put the pockets on the side. I definitely have kangaroo pockets.

So, let’s get into the details. I went with the offical OAL2014 dress, which is Simplicity 1803.This dress was made as written. The only slight adjustment made was tacking down the yoke portion to prevent gaping. I made Version A without sleeves. I also added the tie end to this version of the dress. I like how the tie end wraps around the back and then ties in the front. The details are kinda obscured with this print. I did a narrow hem which turned out pretty nice for the most part. The line did get a bit crooked when I top-stitched the hem. I finished my seams by using pinking shears. However, for the interfacing, I finished the seams using the zig-zag stitch.

The fabric for the dress is a Marvel print in cotton. I underlined the dress with a black satin fabric.

So, let’s talk about my Myrna cardigan. This is my second Myrna. After my first Myrna worked up so quickly, I decided to make another. The yarn used is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Whirlpool. Again, I got gauge with Size 8 needles. Initially, this blue cardigan was meant to go with the owl dress but, when it arrived I liked the color with the Marvel dress. With the Marvel dress in mind, I decided to go with contrasting buttons in the color red. I was hesitant to do this at first because I thought it would limit the cardigan but, it doesn’t limit it at all. Also, this time I went with 1-inch buttons and they stay on perfectly. I made the XS size, which has a 30 bust. My bust is 32” but, I wanted the 2-inches of negative ease. I really like the fit of this cardigan. And of course, I really appreciate that Andi’s designs always fit into my wardrobe so seamlessly. I have already worn this cardigan so much. It is the perfect balance of lightweight yet warm. It gets really hot in Alabama so, I like lightweight cardigans that work perfectly in air conditioned buildings.

I can’t think of anything else to say about this outfit besides I adore it. As I’ve said before, I am all up for participating next year should LLADYBIRD and Andi decide to do another OAL because this really made me step out of my box and challenge myself.

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Finished: Simplicity 2444

Remember my frustration with this dress. Well, it is all over and done.  And now I have a staple dress that I simply love!

This is Simplicity 2444 and it can be a really quick project if you don’t have the hiccups that I experienced with it. Pretty much, this pattern runs small. I am a 32” bust and the Size 4 has a finished 32.5” bust. Well, initially it was too small and I could not close it in the back.

I made the following changes to it:

  1. I took out the side seams and stitched with a 1/4” seam allowance instead of the 5/8”
  2. I did not bring in the back pleats as much.

And that fixed the dress! I now can move about comfortably in the dress.

The fabric was purchased at the thrift store about a year ago for $2. I had about 3 yards so I did the version of the dress that required the least amount of fabric. I really am not sure what type of fiber it is. Initially, I thought a type of polyester blend. Now, I think it may be cotton. I’m not sure but, I love the moveability of the fabric the comfort of it.

While I was working on this dress, no one liked the fabric. My family is not big into plaid. I may be one of the few. However, this morning when my Dad saw me he was like,  It looks so good. I didn’t think the plaid would look right. It’s nice now that I see it. 

So, check out the pics.

IMG_0604[1] IMG_0599[1] IMG_0601[1]Extra Thoughts: I have packed my sewing machine away and maybe I’ll get to sewing something while in school. As a going away present, one of my co-workers from Ghana, Africa has given me some authentic African fabric. It is so gorgeous and I can’t wait to make a dress from it. It is about 3 yards and I am thinking of using this pattern with my personal adjustments for it.

WIP: Piperita by Andi Satterlund

While Andi was working this pattern up, I was anxiously waiting for it’s release. As soon as she released it, I queued it. I already had the yarn in my stash so, I didn’t have to wait long to start it.

Piperita is a pattern for the most elegant pair of fingerless gloves I have ever seen. I tried to choose a favorite aspect of this pattern but, I just love every part. I really like the i-cord, the button detail, the lace pattern, and the shell finishing. It has a vintage and ladylike flair to it that I simply adore.

I am using Knit Picks Shadow Tonal (discontinued) and the color is Deep Waters. The skein has 440 yards and this pattern requires only 90 yards.  Therefore, I will be making a matching belt using Andi’s free pattern here. (I’ll do a blog post on that later.)

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Last night, I checked my gauge with the Size 2 needles and it came out perfect.

I am currently working on the glove for the left hand. I am still on the i-cord portion.

I am looking forward to the finished product.

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Extra Thoughts: I haven’t had three WIPs in a long time. On top of that I plan on adding one more to the mix. The pace will be slow on these because I have 10 days to move out of my apartment.

Finished Object: Dress for My Niece

With my most recent failure in dress making, let’s talk about a successful finished dress.

When, I started the OAL2014 I didn’t know anything about the amount of fabric needed. So, I had quite a bit of fabric left over. I decided to make my niece a dress with the remaining fabric.

I bought this pattern from Wal-Mart because it was only 97 cent, simple, and too adorable. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pattern in front of me so, I don’t know the pattern number. I’ll update with that information later.

I really liked how this dress turned out. My favorite feature is the rick rack. Now, I want a dress with rick rack ;)

My niece loved it and we wore our matching dresses to church this past Sunday.

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UPDATE: The pattern is Simplicity’s Sew Simple line in A1397.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Sewing

Just when I think I kinda have the hang of this sewing thing then, I realize that I don’t. Let’s talk about Simplicity 2444. I really debated between making a Size 4 or a Size 6. Well, I went with the 4. HUGE MISTAKE. The thing runs really small. I went with the size 4 because I wanted a fitted bust with no gaping. My bust is a 32” and the size 4 is 32.5” when finished. Now the dress itself is beautiful and I adore the darts and how it brings everything in at the waist. But, in the end, it just doesn’t fit :/

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Sorry about the crappy photo but, I just wanted to show you a pic of the dress so far. It looks fine in the picture but, I am actually attempting to hold it closed in the back. 

After I finished my side seams, I tried on the dress and it is too small. I will play with letting out the seams and maybe some of the darts. I have also been debating adding a fabric panel to the back. I just don’t know. Of course, I stayed up until 2:00 am fiddling with it. And I knew I needed to go to bed but, the mistake just kept niggling at my mind.

I really enjoy how sewing allows for you to have a wonderful finished object suited to your likes but, I get super annoyed with the fit issues. Maybe it’ll come in time.

Also, how annoying is it to work on something for hours on end and then have to rip back all that work?!?! Argh!!!! Ok, I’m finished with my gripe.

Oh yeah, I don’t know if I want to toss this crap of a dress, buy another 2444, and try again in a different size. Or just work with what I have because I loathe giving up on projects. Another thing is, I love this plaid fabric and I found it at the thrift store so, I will need to search for a similar print if I were to attempt it again.

Was this project a waste of time and materials? Right now, I’m not sure and will have to find out.

WIP: Hetty (red) and Simplicity 2444

I am officially done with the OAL2014. I have finished both dresses and both cardigans for the dresses. It was fun and it put a spark in me to sew more things. I really tried to resist sewing more projects because I have less than a month to move out of my apartment. Well, I lost that battle.

I have noticed a lack in my wardrobe of a red cardigan. I did recently make a red bolero but, boleros don’t fit as seamlessly into your wardrobe as cardigans do. Originally, I had planned to make Armande in red however, I scrapped this idea. (I want to make Armande in a vivid blue.) My pink Hetty is one of my most worn cardigans. I really like the lace work and the fit. My favorite cardigans are cropped (but, not too cropped) with a high neck. So, I decided to make another Hetty in the brightest red I could find. In comes Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Red. It’s perfect.

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Currently, I am still working on the back and I have been fitting in knit time whenever I can.

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Let’s talk about the dress. First off, I love plaid. And I found this plaid fabric at the thrift store about a year ago for about $2. I’m guessing that it is at least 3 yards, which I figure is enough for a dress. I haven’t actually measured the amount yet. I believe the fabric is polyester so, I do not plan on lining it. This will save me some time also. I chose this Simplicity 2444 pattern because it looks super simple especially compared to my Simplicity 1803. I do not plan on trying to match the lines. I am going to just cut the fabric and go with whatever it does.

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To this day, I do not understand Simplicity’s pattern sizing. So, I am going to continue to follow LLADYBIRD‘s advice about sizing. My bust is 32” and the finished bust size for Size 4 is 32.5”. So, I plan on making a Size 4. Hopefully, this will work out well enough.

This pattern gives you the option of adding little details and elements. It’s another Project Runway edition. However, I don’t know exactly how much fabric or time I have so, I am going with the most minimal version. I don’t plan on adding the fancy cape collar, sleeves, or tie belt. I just want a simple sleeveless dress with pockets of course.

I haven’t really started cutting the fabric yet because I’ve been at church the previous 2 nights (and tonight also) for Revival Service. I plan on squeezing in time wherever I find it because next week we have Vacation Bible School for 3 nights also.

It’s kinda funny that I am making these projects simultaneously. So, it is kinda like I’m adding a third outfit to the OAL2014. But, I don’t want to confine myself to that time period because who knows when this will be done. So, it’ll get done when it gets done.

Extra Thoughts: I know I haven’t shown the finished Marvel outfit yet but, I haven’t worn the dress with the cardigan yet. I did wear the dress this past Saturday and I wore the cardigan this past Monday. I planned on getting some pictures done this week but, there has been no time for a photo session. So, as soon as I can I’ll do a blog post about that dress and cardigan.

OAL2014: Yellow Myrna and Owl Dress

I was off work last week and I got so much accomplished for the OAL2014. I finished both my dresses and I simply adore them both. I have learned many lessons. And I can’t wait to make another dress already! So, let’s talk about the first dress.

The pattern used was the official pattern for the OAL, which is Simplicity 1803. I made Bodice B for the owl dress and kept everything exactly the same for the pattern. I didn’t add a tie belt or tie end to this dress because I wanted to wear belts with this dress for a contrast.

This dress was started after the Marvel dress and it was not my first choice for fabric. However, when Joann’s did not have the Marvel print fabric then, I went with this owl print, which I loved. I thought I would put off making a dress from this fabric for about a month or two but, I couldn’t resist the fabric and decided to make them both simultaneously.

The dress was underlined with pink tulle that gives it great volume. The first lesson learned is to watch my iron setting because I definitely burned a piece of the pink tulle while make the bodice but, it was covered when I pressed the skirt seam upward. The underlining was an extra step but, it was so worth it. I would not love this dress as much if it didn’t have the underlining.

The bodice was the most intense part of the dressmaking. I thought the princess seams would be a problem but LLADYBIRD explained it so wonderfully that they turned out absolutely beautiful. Also, I loved her way of making darts and my back darts are just gorgeous. I don’t think I would have been able to have such great success with the bodice if it weren’t for LLADYBIRD. I kept the bodice sleeveless because I like to wear cardigans with my dresses the majority of the time and I don’t like the added bulk of sleeves. Adding the bias tape was no biggy. It could have been a bit neater but, I still like how it turned out. I don’t really like working armholes because it is such a small area to work with and you have to be extra careful. I was praying the entire time. Since the bodice was the main part I needed help with I decided to finish the dresses by simply following the pattern.

The skirt portion went by relatively smoothly. My threads did snap while doing the gathers for my skirt but, once I tried it again everything was cool. I must agree with LLADYBIRD about the pockets. They are in a kinda weird spot but, I’m not really dwelling on it. I did a narrow hem and made sure to take my time and it came out so neat.

Now, let’s talk about this zipper. I really wanted to finish my dress but, I was wary of inserting a lapped zipper. Well, I found that I built it up in my mind because it was no biggy. I referred to my book Teach Yourself Visually Sewing, looked at YouTube videos, and read the pattern instructions. I prayed and started the process and I love it!! I tried to make sure the zipper matched but, I see that with a lapped zipper it doesn’t really matter because it is covered. I did add the hook and eye above the zipper but, I can’t reach it by myself so, I usually leave it undone.

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I don’t own a serger so, I used pinking shears for most of my seams except the facing. I used the zig zag stitch on the edge of the interfacing. I was battling with my machine because my zig zag stitch would not do proper zig zags. I took it apart, cleaned it out, and changed the needle but, it still wasn’t working. I finally changed the tension and it worked like a charm.

Let’s talk about the cardigan. This is Myrna by Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots. It was a very simple knit and the fit is perfect. I do feel the buttons are too small and I may change them out for larger buttons at a later date. The cardigan pops free from the buttons and doesn’t really stay closed securely. I am not rushing to change out the buttons because I very rarely wear my cardigans completely closed. They are usually open most of the time. The yarn is my favorite part of the cardigan. The color is perfect!! The yellow has orange undertones. And the yellow is so vivid. The yarn feels absolutely amazing and it is very lightweight despite it being wool. This was a very quick knit and I finished it in about a week.  The yarn is Miss Bab’s Yowza in Squash Blossom. I used the suggested Size 8 needles because I did get gauge with it. The gauge was actually an errata but, I still like the fit and my measurements weren’t off according to the schematics so, the errata was not a big problem when it came to my cardigan.

Hopefully, I covered everything about this dress. So, here are the pictures of the complete outfit…


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OAL2014: Finished Myrna, Cutting, and Underlining the Dress

Last Thursday, I finished my Myrna cardigan and actually wore it this past Sunday to church. I probably won’t wear it again until my dress is finished. I don’t want to wear it out. Check out the pic below of the finished cardigan. Let me tell you, it was HOT this past Sunday yet, this was the perfect lightweight cardigan. Since this cardigan worked up so fast, I actually started another Myrna using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in whirlpool yesterday. I’ll talk about that later on in this post.

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I started cutting for my dress this past Friday. To ensure accuracy, I took my precious time about it. I finished the cutting for everything last night. I am definitely moving at a snail’s pace.

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I really debated with myself on if I should add underlining. I wanted underlining to give the garment a better structure. Also, this would make the dress fit seamlessly into my wardrobe for the Fall and Winter. After much debate, I decided to go through with the underlining. At the end of the day, I was just being lazy and I figured that I might as well go through with it. Last night, I started basting my pieces. I used LLADYBIRD’s tutorial for underlining and I really like how simple it is. The process of basting the pieces was so relaxing to me. Or maybe I was just so done with the cutting that I enjoyed this next step. I sat at the dining room table and watched a few detective shows while basting.

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So, let’s talk about some changes I’m making to my outfits. Yes, outfits with an ‘s’. Remember when I told you all how I bought some owl fabric from Joann’s because I couldn’t find the Marvel print. Well, I did find the Marvel print later on but, I still kept staring at the owl print with the pretty pink lining I bought for it. It sat next to my sewing table and just tempted me. So, I made up my mind to make another dress! I will make these dresses simultaneously and hopefully they will be finished around the same time. I know this is a lot for a person that has never sewn a dress but, I can’t help myself. I like to challenge myself and I figured it’s definitely possible.

For the Marvel dress I plan on making Bodice A with the yoke, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but, I adore it. For the Owl dress I plan on making Bodice B, which has no yoke. Both dresses will be sleeveless. Since I wear cardigans the majority of the time with my dresses, I don’t like the added bulk of sleeves.

Both dresses will have underlining. The Marvel print dress will have a black satin lining and the Owl dress will have a pink rayon lining.

Initially, I had planned on wearing the yellow Myrna with my Marvel dress. Then, yesterday I randomly noticed that the blue from my current Myrna matched Captain America perfectly in the Marvel print! Then, I grabbed my yellow cardigan and put it next to the owl print and it looked absolutely perfect against it! So, I plan on wearing the blue Myrna with the Marvel dress and the yellow Myrna with the owl dress. Of course, down the line I will remix it either way. But, I prefer these combinations.

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I plan on cutting for the owl dress sometime this week. Next week, I am off work so I hope to get quite a bit done. I’ll keep you posted.

OAN: I’ll be leaving for graduate school in North Carolina soon and I can’t believe I am making dresses and moving at the same time. I’m a busy bee. This has really been the year for moving. I for one am sick of the moving process but, I look forward to the relocating process.

 

 

WIP: Myrna

I am making headway with my Myrna cardigan. I finished the body last night and I am about to start on the sleeves. This project works up super fast. I plan on finishing it in the next day or two. And since it is such a quick and fun knit I have already ordered yarn to make another in turquoise.

I really look forward to wearing this. The color is just beautiful. And I love the eyelets surrounding the body and the keyhole in the back.

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I’ll keep you posted.