Vogue 1020 Knit Top

Fresh from the UFO pile, I bring you Vogue 1020, a knit wardrobe pattern where I made the top.  It is gathered on the left side, has three quarter length sleeves, and in the pattern also has an option for a dress length.

Apologies for the crummy pictures but thunderstorms stole all of my daylight, of which there has been precious little this week

I cut out this top five years ago, I think.  I remember messing with it, getting upset with the gathering, chucking it in a closet, and finding it only when I was unpacking a moving box.  It’s a front, back, and two sleeves, and all of the pieces were together, but the one side was still open and I had no idea how I was going to finish this up as I still hadn’t unpacked my coverstitch machine.  The fabric choice for this was unfortunate.  I think it’s from Jo-Ann’s, but I don’t remember if I bought it or my mom.  It’s pretty beefy for a jersey, and it sewed up fine.  However, the print obscures the lines of the design, and honestly, I’m just not loving it.  It’s fun, but I feel like the print is wearing me rather than the other way around.  Also, I’m not really drawn to yellow or bronze tones these days, so I can already tell that its days in my closet are numbered.

The back piece is also gathered into the left side seam, not that you can tell in this print. The hem does sort of fall on that side too, alas

That’s a bit tragic because I like the lines of this and think that it would be really nice in a solid color. The only drawback to the pattern is the gathering is controlled by some sort of stay for the left side as both front and back are gathered, and finding something I liked for that was harder than I would have liked. I used clear elastic this time, and it’s a bit too bulky and it is a total pain to sew with.  That’s an understatement.  I hate clear elastic all the time, but gathering with clear elastic was a nightmare.  Still I think I want to make this again in a hefty knit for winter.  I need to take out more length just above the waist, but all in all, not a terrible fit.

All of the edges including the neckline are turned under and hem stitched.  Getting my coverstitch to behave for the first time in months was an interesting challenge as the looper thread tension was a mess, but once I fixed that via the third rethreading, hemming was a breeze.  So all of the sewing machines have made it back onto the sewing table, and I need to get cracking on some new projects.


Blue Bird

This was supposed to be a simple fast cross stitch project, a week max to complete and here I am a month later finally finishing it.  I did not realize how much I would slow down with a 4 inch hoop because I could only stitch one handed and I would get a cramp in my left hand and every stitch was twice as long as I was used to.  However, I’m thrilled with the final result and cannot wait to see this framed and on the wall.

The pattern is Yellow Bird from La-D-Da. It’s not a large design, something like 60 by 70 stitches on a 32 count Platinum linen.  I used the Thread Gatherer’s Silk ‘N Colors in Union Blue and needed just a bit less than the whole skein.  I didn’t like the effect with two strands like I would have normally done on this count so I went with three strands instead to eliminate fabric peek through in the individual x’s.  Ten years ago you would have never gotten me to do something in this style, but I’m finding that my tastes in cross stitch have been changing and I have some projects picked out a decade ago that I don’t think I will ever do now.

Sewing space organization continues

Well, I’m not sewing anything, but that’s not stopping me from buying things.  Happily, it’s not fabric or notions so I’m feeling a bit virtuous (but only a little bit).  I have really liked the bookcases that my unpacked fabric is hanging out in, but it’s not the easiest to see what I have nor to efficiently use the space because lots of the cuts are slippery, and so they slide right off of each other when stacked.  I finally started looking at other sewing blogs again, and I was intrigued by the idea of mini bolts several weeks ago.

Distracted by real life, I pushed the idea to the side and finally got to revisit them today.  An image search led to the site for Fabric Organizers by DeNiece which looked promising.  First thing, glad I busted out the tape measure because my first inclination would have been way too big for my shelves, which defeats the entire point.  I also hit up Amazon because I was curious what I could find that could be in my grubby hands within two days.  The pricing on Amazon blows for these things by the way.  Looks like if you want the plastic boards, buy direct.  Anyway, I was coming up with a price of $1.35 per board and I would need to buy at least a hundred to be able to wind all of my unpacked fabric.  I love the idea, but I do not know that I love the idea at $135.  Sometimes, you have to make tough calls, folks, and I couldn’t bring myself to fork over that much money.  However, someone in one of the reviews mentioned comic book boards.  Less elegant with no handy tabs to help you get started winding your fabric, but for $19.71 plus tax, I have 100 American-made, acid free pieces of cardboard in the perfect size arriving Thursday. I’m feeling kind of happy about this right now.

Vogue 9100 Dress

I’m slowly picking through the wayward pattern pile, and the envelope to Vogue 9100 caused me to remember, why yes, I did make that dress something last year.

Yes, that’s the view from my back yard.  It’s ridiculously pretty.

This is made with a cotton/lycra sateen from Jo-Ann’s bought at some point in the past that I’m too lazy to bother looking up.  I posted earlier in this blog’s life about wanting to use this pattern to recreate an old dress that I had loved but shrunk out of.  The pattern calls for gathering the skirt, but I changed it into three large pleats that line up with the bodice seams and the centerline of the garment.  So far, so good, right?

Yeah, no.

I ended up disliking this dress, only worn a couple of times, and a year in the closet has only solidified my initial impression.  The sateen turned out to be a lighter weight than the original dress and so it feels more insubstantial through the skirt, plus the pleats press mediocrely.  The waist seam hits just enough too low to throw off the entire feel of the garment and while fitted through the waist, it’s too big in the bodice, which makes me feel dumpy.  It’s a sundress! If it feels dumpy than I’m doing it wrong.

Back view.

The back is almost okay, but note the bra strap that is playing peekaboo on the right.  We’ll be coming back to that.

Side view

The side view makes me cry a little inside.  The front hem is higher on my body than the back hem.  I can’t even blame it on the mild slope of the yard because all of my garments tend to show the side seam swinging forward and if you look through the busy print, that seam line ends up at the front of my knee.  Waist seams also do this on me so I need to be more aggressive in taking out back length above the waist and I’m hoping that if I fix it above the waist that it eliminates it at the hem.  Speaking of hems, I did this one as a 1/4 rolled hem.  I don’t love it.  Then again, I’m not sure that the hem is the least of my problems with this dress.

Oh, both bra straps now, yay!

One thing that was never right from the moment I first tried it on for fitting was the angle of the strap.  The side back piece extends up to meet the side front piece at the shoulder.  The shoulder seam for me is an inch too far back and this was after making the entire strap shorter.  The side of the strap closer to center back lies flat on my body.  The side closer to my arm likes to make a weird fold that I have never had happen before.  This is not the first time I’ve made a bodice like this, but it’s the first time that the strap has looked like this.  I could possibly permit this flaw as it is where I cannot see it except for the mess that is the front bodice.

That smile is me resolving to get the dress and its attendant pattern out of my life.

This neckline doesn’t work.  At all.  I can obviously park the shoulder straps over my bra straps, but this is where they want to be.  Drifting out to the far edges of my shoulders so I can spend all day worrying about them, or putting a jacket on so no one can see that it looks like I’ve failed to double check myself in the mirror.  I wish I could remember what pattern alterations I did for this project because they weren’t good enough, but I guess I have new things to check for with future makes.

I hesitate to call this a crummy pattern, but in the end, I couldn’t make it work for me.  The seaming though the bodice let me get a smooth fit through the bust, but the shoulder straps are just too wide for my frame and I didn’t catch that in the flat pattern stage.  Converting gathers to pleats was simple, so I’ll definitely try it again in trying to make my perfect warm weather dress.  Alas, this dress is not it.

Coffee and cross-stitch

My real life and my fantasy life have collided today.  After putting the kids on the school bus, I made some French press coffee, decided it would be fun to put in the wedding china, and sat down to my cross-stitch project for the day. Not every day goes like this; but the ones that do, I am grateful for.


Sewing space update

Remember that messy box of sewing stuff that I shared several posts back?  This is all that remains of that box to put away. Sadly for me, this will be the worst part to deal with because I’m never certain how ruthless I should be at culling used patterns that didn’t get put away properly.  There are pieces from a good ten different patterns and no envelopes in sight for most of them.  This is the downside to having movers come shove things in boxes for you because I think the wayward pattern pile I had before was separated into two different boxes, and I haven’t found that second box yet.  In the meantime, I’m mentally getting a bit bogged down in whether any of these are worth keeping in the first place.  If I can’t make a decision by Friday, I’m just going to throw it all out and trust that in my hundreds of patterns, these aren’t really that unique.  Truthfully, some of them, I know that I have made and been meh about the finished garment so it’s not like they will be the first choice for future projects, but the completionist in me feels compelled to reunite all of the pieces before trashing them.  Yes, that is as irrational sounding as you think, I know.

Happily, I also emptied another box and got all of my crafting books into one case.  At last house, all of the vintage books got exiled to my attic hidey-hole; but here, they are all together.  I have a bunch of library castoffs from the seventies that I’m not sure are useful at all, but I like having them and it’s not like I don’t have the space for them.  I even have room for all of my knitting publications, and cross-stitch leaflets too.  The only thing that isn’t working is the binder for the Burda magazine pattern sheets as it sticks out into my walkway.  I suspect that I’m going to downsize those into multiple, smaller binders whenever I get around to buying new office supplies.

So finding and getting my sewing stuff put away is continuing apace, and I hope to get the coverstitch up and running next as I found a quick knit top that is mostly done, but needs part of a side seam and hemming to get it out of the Unfinished Objects inventory.

I never want to knit socks again, but I still have sock yarn in my stash

Not going to lie here- I find no joy in knitting socks.  I have a drawer full of manufactured wool socks that do the job fabulously, so I can’t even say that the final product is worth it to me.  I am very much a product knitter, not a process one.  These are the eight stitch per inch base pattern from Ann Budd, knit top down.  I used a eye of partridge pattern for the heel flap, which I finally got the hang of halfway through sock two.  I still don’t love tonal yarn knit up, though it is so gorgeous in the skein, which is how I get seduced into buying it in the first place.  The yarn is Squoosh Yarn’s Sock yarn, which is apparently discontinued, in the colorway Depth.  The skein was labeled at 100g, but was actually 106g when I started and I only used 60g to make these.  The yarn was okay enough, but I don’t know that it was worth the price as I honestly didn’t love knitting with it as it was had a tendency to split on all of the decreases, so I don’t know if that bodes well for making anything else with the remaining 45g that are left in stash.

According to Ravelry, I started this project in December 2014, so I guess sometime by 2020 I may have another pair of socks to share here.  I have two small 50g skeins from Bergere de France to try two at time toe up socks.  Maybe that will change how I feel about knitting socks.