January 26, 2012

Satin Sorbetto

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Sewing,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 22:50

Here’s one that I planned since before Christmas. It’s another Sorbetto top – you can see the first one I made here. It’s a neat little top with endless possibilities for embellishment.

I used this out of scraps leftover from lining my pleated skirt and the very first Anna dress I made. I was stuck for width so I cut the pleat from a separate piece. I thought it was going to be quite obvious but isn’t very at all.

The lace trim I got from Rubanesque for about €2/m. I had a decent amount left over because I had vague thoughts about using it for the armholes as well. Here’s a close up of the applique. My original intention was to use a trim that I could sew into the seams of the pleat but I couldn’t find any that was narrow enough, so I chose this instead. But given its structure, I thought that machining it on would ruin it so I sewed it all on by hand. Laborious but it gave a neat finish.

I ended up cutting separate facings for the neck and armholes because I figured it would look neater in the finish. And, despite me adding extra length to my pieces, it still worked out quite cropped. It just comes down to my hip. I really didn’t have enough to turn a decent hem so I busted out some bias tape, attached one side and hand-stitched down the other. I suppose normally you’d turn in the bias tape and stitch it down but I didn’t want a bulky hem so I left it open.

Between the lace trim, the binding and the facings, there was a lot of finishing by hand in this project. But the upside was that I used a lot of otherwise unusable fabric and got a very comfortable top for going out in or (more likely) playing in. I’m also glad I made this up with the pleat because, although I think this top is nice, I think I prefer my original one without the pleat.

Things are starting to get busy around here. This project is the last of my ‘slow January’ output: tomorrow I pick up the score for an opera which we’ll be rehearsing all February, I enter piano and organ competitions, I have my first session coaching students for Leaving Cert. practicals; the weekend, I start working on a big programme with my flautist for a concert in April. I knew it’d never last… but here are some progress photos from what I’ve been working on this week. Remember that ’60s blouse pattern I got on Etsy?

I was thrilled to find that I had enough fabric for the long sleeved version. Gathering said sleeves into cuffs, not so much.


January 25, 2012

Scout Woven Tee

Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing — Aileen @ 07:01

Here’s the bicycles tshirt that I finished up at the weekend.

Pattern: Scout Woven Tee from Grainline, a downloadable PDF.

Fabric: 1.5m from Pippa Blue. Think it was about €15.

Initially I didn’t like the shape of this very much. It’s quite tent-like, but it falls pretty nicely and is extremely comfortable.

The pattern was very simple to make up. It took me maybe three hours altogether. Only two things of note about the pattern: the piece given for the bias binding for the neckline simply is not long enough (by over an inch), and the sleeves required far more gathering that I thought was necessary. It took a lot of fiddling about to eliminate tucks. I was a bit annoyed about the bias binding but luckily I had enough white binding left over from my Sorbetto top, so I used that instead.

The other tiny thing about this project is that I experimented with sewing a very narrow allowance on my hems. I sewed on my binding with a 1/8″ allowance and given its narrowness to begin with, the seam was almost in the centre. Now, it looks fine, but I would have liked something closer to the edge. So for the hems, I tried using a point on the foot as a guide and it worked out more perfectly than I could have hoped for.

Anyway! The pattern works well for a basic top and I think if you lived in a place that got summer, it would be nice to make a few.


January 24, 2012

Welsh Country Socks and some facecloths

Filed under:Finished Objects,Socks,Stash Down,Zakka — Aileen @ 07:38

I put these on this morning and realised that I had never shown them here.

Pattern: Welsh Country Socks from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.

Yarn: The brown is from Lidl and the white was one skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote. I used about 1.5 balls of the Lidl yarn and one ball of the Wildfoote. The Lidl yarn is great and I will definitely buy more for socks when I see it on sale – they sell 4 balls for about €5.

The pattern was very straight forward to follow – I put the pattern on the toe section as well. I saw someone else had done the same thing in this colour combination and I thought it was really pretty. I wear these socks all the time. Now that I think about it, I think it’s partly because of the colour and also partly because of the length. I got the book on sale and picked it up primarily for this pattern, but it is terrific reading with many other attractive patterns that warrant closer inspection. Nancy Bush never fails to educate and entertain the knitter, I think.

I was tidying up and found a ball of Louisa Harding Ianthe that I bought to experiment with. It’s 50-50 merino-cotton and I had been thinking about a summer top, perhaps. I changed my mind subsequently and figured that some washcloths would be a good use. You can see how what size I think the hooks in the bathroom are changes…! The yarn was really lovely to work with , not very splitty at all and would make a nice top, were one so inclined.


January 23, 2012

Liverpool Blouse

Filed under:Finished Objects,Sewing,Sleeves,Stash Down — Aileen @ 14:21

Here we go!

Pattern: ‘Liverpool’ by Amy Butler. This comes with tunic and dress, as well as shorter sleeve length options. I made the Blouse with long sleeves.

Fabric: 1.5m of 100% cotton from my K&S stash. I think it was €8 a metre, so this cost €12 along with something like €4 for the buttons to cover. I’m pretty happy with the cost of this project.

I am happiest with how the collar and sleeves turned out. When I made my mock-up, I had trouble getting the collar stand to fit properly so I took my time when I was making it up this time. My mum helped me fit the sleeve caps. I ended up having to take them in quite a lot and basted them maybe three or four times. I was prepared to do it, though, and it paid off.

This was my first project with buttonholes so it forced me to take out my manual and finally learn how to make them. They’re really not that hard but I probably sewed about 15 practice ones before I did my blouse. Even so, one of the holes in the middle is just a touch too small. This was also my first project with covered buttons. They were lots of fun to make but the downside to having such a long shank is that they’re kind of tricky to sew on! Seeing them all sewn on now, though, makes me happy with my choice because I can’t envisage any other kind of button.

Here’s the smaller button that I used for the cuffs. Initially, when I first mocked up the pattern, I wasn’t thrilled with the cuffs. They’re kind of wide. But it meant that I didn’t have to sew a placket or gather the sleeve into a cuff, so that was the compromise. Now that it’s finished, I actually really like the cuff. I think this is more to do with the finished length of the sleeve with the cuff turned up – I can turn the cuff up over the cuff of my jumper. (I’m a bit of a show-off, really.)

So aside from fitting the sleeve cap, the one main adjustment I made was to add 1.5″ to the front – so 3/4″ to each front. I did this by marking the extra distance parallel to the bust dart and then grading it gently away up to the neckline. What I did initially was just add the extra to the whole front but my Mum pointed out that the collar fitted really well and I didn’t need the extra at the neckline. So I graded it down but kept the extra from the bustline all the way to the hem. I didn’t make any adjustments to the back at all.

It seems that the Amy Butler garment patterns run quite long – it was something I noticed in the Anna pattern too. The blouse length on this pattern comes down below my bum so I saved myself a decent amount of fabric not cutting it out. Maybe if you’re short like me and you’re thinking about sewing this pattern, this will be of some help.

The pattern overall was really clear to follow and was a perfect introduction to making a blouse. I’m looking forward to making another!


Kiri Shawl IV

Filed under:Finished Objects,Shawls,Stash Down — Aileen @ 12:17

There has been an awful lot of mindless knitting the last few months. I knit almost constantly when we watch tv but unfortunately for you guys, most of it is pretty bland stuff. I’m starting to break out of my funk, though, starting with this.

I finished it on Saturday but it’s not blocked out yet. It’s pretty huge.

Pattern: Kiri shawl (my fourth now, I think).

Needles: 4.5mm. I used those new Cubix needles from Knitpicks that have edges like a pencil. I find them very comfortable but not necessarily for every project.

Yarn: 3 balls of Drops Kid Silk. I got mine at Love to Knit in Bray but I see that The Constant Knitter has lots of colours too.

I’d never used this yarn before so I was interested to see how it would compare to the seemingly incomparable Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Overall, very well. It is constructed a bit differently, so the strand of silk is apparent. This is quite nice, actually, and gives a nice pearlescent sheen.

And, of course, costing about half of what the Rowan usually is, the price was right – I just wanted the colour. I’ll post more photos when it’s blocked.