Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Now you know what I sleep in

I like to sleep in knit night shirts and I was in dire need of some new ones. I've used  Kwik Sew 2821 to make a few in the past but was a bit bored with the plain t-shirt type. So I flipped through my notebook of Burda magazine technical drawings and thought #114 in the December 2008 issue looked comfortable (and easy). Then I shopped my stash and came up with a yellow knit that I bought from fabric.com a long time ago. And here is the result:

And here's my review of the pattern that I posted on patternreview.com:

Pattern Description:
Raglan-sleeve nightgown with pleated front neck edge, and tie-belt.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were adequate except I didn't follow the directions for sewing the facing to the neck edge and did something different - see the design change section for details on how I applied it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that the pleated front and raglan sleeves make it different than just a plain t-shirt type nightgown, like my tried and true Kwik Sew 2821.

I like the detail of the picot-edge elastic at the sleeves and neck, but I don't really like the way it's applied - just sewn on to the hemmed sleeve and neck, leaving the raw edge of the sleeves and elastic.

Fabric Used:
Cotton interlock purchased from fabric.com many years ago. It's a very nice weight, not too thin and not too thick. It's also very soft but I don't think it's a very durable fabric and expect it's going to pill terribly after a few nights of wearing it to bed and definitely after washing it a few times.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Graded out from a 42 at the bust to a 46 at the waist and below. I checked the width of the pattern against Kwik Sew 2821 and it was the same, so I was good to go. I did not change the neckline height or the overall length of the nightgown.

I did change the way I sewed the neckline. The instructions call for attaching a strip of cross-grain cut fabric, folded lengthwise, to the raw edge of the neckline. It's supposed to be sewn right-sides together and then turned to the inside as a facing. Then the pico-edged elastic is stitched to the inside neck edge so that the pico edge shows. I thought this resulted in too much bulk - the seam allowance would contain two layers of the folded strip + the one layer of the body and then you fold the strip over on top of that (2 more layers). I was also afraid the elastic might be scratchy against my neck. So I tried something different. I first basted the elastic to the body fabric, a little outside of the seam line into the seam allowance, and then I sewed only one layer of the facing strip at the seam line, so that the pico edge elastic was sandwiched in between. I top stitched to hold it all in place. Then I trimmed the seam allowance and folded the extra fabric of the facing strip over the raw edges and stitched it down - on the seam allowance.

The other thing I changed about the neckline was that the instruction say to sew the neckline facing strip on and then fold the ends over each other. Forget that! I stitched the neckline strip together first on the short end and attached it in one circular piece, position the seam edge at the back neck and making sure the strip was evenly positioned around the neck. I did the same with the elastic trim.

I used my serger for the construction of the body, to finish inside hemmed edge of the sleeves, and I used a coverstitch for the bottom hem of the body.

I also left off the belt and belt loops. No need for a belt on my nightwear!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I do recommend the pattern and think I will make at least one more short sleeve and maybe a long sleeve one as well.

A nice nightgown that fits well and is not too plain but not too fancy.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I need to find some time to weave on my loom.

One link led to another on the internet and I found this neat site where I can generate a tartan pattern. This free online program lets you add different colors and select the number of threads for each. It then calculates the total number of threads for a repeat and the width of that repeat based on a 16 oz or 13 oz wool yarn. I think it's for people to custom order tartans made from a commercial weaving facility, but I think I can certainly use it to create some fun plaids and tartans for weaving on my loom. Here's a simple black and red plaid pattern I whipped up. It's made with 16 threads of black, 16 threads of red and 4 threads of black:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A knitting weekend

Proud to be a sheep guardianNatural dyesSheep on a Sunday afternoonCat on a missionAmong the RedwoodsSt. Dorothy's Rest
Not spaghettiScrub Jay on the FenceBeesHere they comeSheep on the ranchGrass whiskers
Pictures from the knitting retreat I went on this weekend, called Knitting on the Coast.

No pictures of actual knitting, but some pictures of the sheep (and llama and cat) from Bodega Pastures, where we went on Sunday to dye some yarn and visit the sheep.

It was a lovely weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Patrones X 5

I picked these up when I was in Buenos Aires in April. They were easy to find at just about every newstand kiosk. I paid about 24-28 Argentinean pesos each (less for older copies, more for new ones), which was about US$6-7 a copy. Not bad.