Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Purple paisley

This top has been on my to-do list for a long, long time. But now it's finished!

Not the best pattern placement on the back - I didn't try to match it and it shows! Oh well, now it looks like RTW, right?

The pattern is Butterick 4986, unfortunately out of print but probably available on eBay. The first time I made a top with this pattern was in 2007. At that time I wrote that I had another knit that I wanted to use with this pattern, and I'm pretty sure that this purple paisley was what I had in mind. The t-shirt underneath is from the Jalie 2566 pattern using a knit fabric I bought locally.

The most significant modification is that I turned the short sleeves into long by simply extending the side seams of the pattern for the short sleeve. Originally I thought I'd put elastic at the cuff, but decided I liked the sleeves wide to match the flow of the rest of the garment.

Another change I made was to leave off the collar. I was a bit short on fabric and would have had to sacrifice some length to cut one out. Also, my fabric is a knit mesh and I felt the collar might look too heavy since the interfacing would show through and make it appear darker. Of course, now that I see the top over a t-shirt, the way it will be worn, the collar would have looked similar.

I also cut out the back on the straight of grain. The pattern calls for cutting out the back on the bias, but I found this unnecessary and more difficult when using a knit for this pattern.

I used my serger for the construction seams but my sewing machine did not like to stitch through this fabric for the hems. I tried different needles, adjusted the needle and bobbin tensions, changed the stitch length and type, and rethreaded the machine, but nothing worked to get a nice looking stitch (after I had my sewing machine cleaned and adjusted at the shop, the stitches were much better, so it wasn't all about the fabric). So for the hems, I turned under the edges twice - about a 1/4-3/8 inch hem - and hand stitched them in place. Oh my, that was a lot of hand stitching! I also decided against using my coverstitch for the hems because the serger thread I was using was a brighter purple than I wanted. In the end I decided that I liked the look of the hand stitched hems, even with the tiny dots of stitching because it is extremely difficult to hand stitch a mesh that is also a print and not have it show!

No sewing for a bit though. The patterns for new pajamas and a robe are ready, but I'm going to have to pack away the sewing room for a couple weeks since my sister-in-law and niece are visiting and the guest room is also the sewing room. Glad I have knitting projects!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mishmash of sewing-weaving-knitting-spinning

When last I posted, I said I'd show some of my latest projects and fiber, so here goes. If you're friends with my on Facebook or follow my Instagram, you've probably already seen some of these.

In June, I went to a small fiber festival in Schwabsburg, Germany.

My purchases: fiber for spinning, yarn for knitting and weaving and a ceramic yarn bowl

Lots of fleece!

It's a tiny, old town center with timber frame buildings


The Kwik Sew 2821 nightshirt I whipped up on my serger while my sewing machine was in the shop. The pattern is my old standby for night shirts. I had problems with poor fabric recovery so instead of a separate band for the collar and sleeves, I simply turned the edges under and used a coverstitch. I'm pretty sure the fabric was on the deep sale table (my stash notes say I bought it at G Street Fabric). I originally bought it to make a shirt, but decided the print was better used for something not worn outside of the house (hah!). The graphics and words are a bit much for my style these days and if you look closely, to the lower right of the woman in the center in the blue skirt are the words "beautiful" in mirror image. Huh?? Perhaps this error and the poor recovery of the knit may be why it was on the sale table.

My sewing machine is back! It's cleaned up and sewing nicely but it got back just in time for the July heat to keep me out of my attic sewing room.

I finished weaving some trim on my inkle loom:

My current knitting project is a shawl using some interesting cotton yarn. It's made up of 4 threads, which started as all white and then after a while a blue one replaced one of the white, then another blue replaced a white, and so on. The shawl is a simple triangle, with increases done on every other row so that one side is straight and the other angled. After I've knitted 1/2 the ball and therefore, half the shawl, I switch to decreases on the angled side.

Knitting with a view of the alps!