Thursday, March 12, 2015

new dress!

Let me start by saying I am hopeful that I will wear more dresses this summer than in the past. I feel like I have to say that because I keep making dresses but so rarely do I wear them. Actually this awesome fabric was initally bought to make some sweet leggings....which I wear less frequently than I wear dresses and since I could think of absolutely no tops I have that I could wear with said leggings, I switched gears and went with a dress instead.

I'll be honest, I really wanted it to be maxi length, but I didn't have enough fabric so I had to settle for a shorter dress. In the end, I think it worked out great! I actually used a simplicity pattern for this (2219), against my better judgement, but I managed to make it work. It was pretty straightforward, although like every simplicity pattern I make, I feel like it looks a little weird. I had to shorten the elastic quite a bit to get it to do anything and I still have some underarm wings or something, where it never lays right in these patterns, but it is still cute and totally wearable. I also cut quite a few inches off the hem because for some reason, the length was odd on me.  On the plus side though, that pattern matching in the front there is nothing short of a miracle!

Anyway, point is, cute dress. One more thing off the list! Speaking of the list, I am now making the lists for the spring/summer clothes for the littles, but I can't bring myself to get started on that or to work on the scrapbook I need to be doing because all I want to do is work on my double wedding ring quilt! For now I am just going to run with it and work on the quilt I think since I have the motivation. I had a breakthrough the other day on the corner pieces for the quilt and now I am all excited again. This is actually #1 on my finish-it list, so hopefully I'll make some good progress before I get sucked in to more urgent sewing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Basic beauties

Look at this, back again! As promised, I have some more basic clothes that I have made for myself recently. These two things are sure to be staples in my wardrobe considering I don't want to take them off.

First up, I made another lane raglan shirt. I went down a size and made it long sleeved this time. I have been hoarding this butterfly knit for a while. I think it was a joanns clearance purchase and it is so.soft! Since I just used it for the center of the shirt, I might even have enough to make something for one of the children. This shirt is so stinking soft. As in, every time my husband hugs me while I am wearing it he comments on it ha! I think I want to make another one now, maybe with the sleeves and body the same fabric.

The other make that I am absolutely living in is a pair of hudson pants. Only not exactly since I took the pattern and made it work for a non-stretchy sweatshirt fleece. I used the same size as my test pair since that came out big and just cut some extra on the sides and made a nice long straight leg. I used knit for the waistband and the pocket detail. They are pretty perfect. They are the right length (no easy feat for a pretty tall girl) and so soft and comfy and man do I love having pockets. I think I added 6.5" to the length from the edge before the cuff. I skipped the button holes and the string in front, mostly because I am lazy. I just....really all I have to say is that I love them. I wish I had altered the pattern for them so I could make another pair just like them, but oh well, I'll figure it out again when the time comes. 

A couple of more springy makes to share next. I am still not sure if I am done making myself things, but for now I guess I should start focusing on some clothes for the small people as the weather gets ready to warm up. A certain tiny someone has only 1 short sleeved shirt I think, so I should probably get on that, or else I'll get stuck buying them *gasp* and we just couldn't have that. At least not while she's so small and uses so little fabric.

Friday, March 6, 2015

You'll never guess what I made!!!

Alright, I debated what to share first as far as the clothing I made for myself recently and in the end, I just had to start with the most exciting thing. So things may seem a bit boring after this, but I can't help myself, I am practically bursting. What could be so exciting I would be bursting, you ask? My friends, I have made a leather jacket!

Just take a minute and let that sink in. If you are thinking I must be crazy, you are probably right. It started when my mom thrifted me a leather jacket that I had intended to use for bag accents, something I have wanted to try for quite a while. The jacket was hanging around and waiting for me to get it cut up and usable, and as I kept walking by and looking at it and thinking about how nice the leather was and how much I would like to wear it. Keep in mind I had never sewn with leather at all at this point. Yep, I'm nuts! For reference, here is the jacket, a men's XL.

My main problem was a pattern but as I was perusing my pin boards (I knew I collected all that stuff for a reason!) I came across the perfect pattern! The cookie zipper blouson by waffle patterns. I was a bit concerned about whether I could get all the pieced I needed out of the jacket but in the end, I bought it to see since it was on my wish list anyway and let's be honest, I was going to buy it eventually. I figured out that I could {just barely} get all that I needed out of it, with only a few odd seams and such to work around. For the knit I used an old shirt I haven't worn in ages, and I decided to use their tutorial to add a lining which is made from an old sheet. I didn't have enough leather for the facing inside but I did have some old brown corduroy pants of the husbands that were perfect. What I am saying is, I made it work.

The sleeves are a bit shorter than they were supposed to be since the original jacket had snaps on the end of the sleeves that I needed to cut off, and the back yoke has a weird seam, but overall, it worked out better than I could have imagined. The leather was light and smooth and pretty easy to sew with. I used a leather needle and my walking foot and a bunch of clover clips since no pins allowed, and things went really well. I had one place on the shoulder where the seam started to rip and I'm not sure why, but I glued it down and reinforced it and it will hopefully be fine. I will say that gathering the leather was a bit of a beast and I had a heck of a time figuring out that lining tutorial, but it all came together. The only thing my machine didn't like was the top stitching at the end, around the zipper especially since there are so many layers. I definitely have some areas of skipped stitches, but I decided I am okay with it and no one will notice but me.  Also, I was quite happy that I didn't have to make pockets since there were some there already, and while they may not be ideally placed, they are super functional and I was glad to be able to skip that step. I reused the zipper too even though it was a bit shorter than I needed.

I finished it days ago now and I am still amazed that I made a leather jacket. I would guess that eventually I will make this pattern again, maybe out of sweatshirt material and perhaps without a lining. Or maybe out of knit....oh the possibilities! For now though, I am just going to be proud of this :) With that said, next week I'll show of some of the much more boring everyday clothes. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

the yarn related update

Hi friends! How in the world has a month gone by? I wish I knew, but I guess all this getting up and going through the day has got to add up to something at some point. Anyway, here we are, and guess what! I have some awesome things to share!

The first thing is that I have been working right along on my cardigan sweater (the pattern is Grace by Jane Richmond). I am so excited about this one and I can't wait to wear it. It is a bit slower than I'd like since it is not knit in the round and back and forth takes longer for me with the purl rows in there, but I am down past separating the sleeves and I just have to soldier on. After I get the body and sleeves done I have to admit I am a little scared of the neck/button bands that I have to pick up and stitch, but I am really hoping it will be worth it in the end. This plucky yarn I am using (primo fingering in high cotton), it's just dreamy. Soft and light and wonderful.  So far I just have these instagram progress pictures, but oh man I am loving it!

I started it just about a month ago, and I am just a couple inches further now, but still have quite a ways to go. I may have gotten a bit excited and ordered the yarn for my next sweater, which will involved thicker yarn and should therefore be warmer and quicker. That, however, is a story for another day. One thing at a time.

In other knitting news, I wanted to quickly share the bag I made for my dad for his birthday. He taught me how to knit and does some really fantastic knitting himself, so I thought a project bag was quite appropriate. Some stencils and a sharpie and I had this beauty all ready to go!

Aside from knitting and organizing years of digital pictures (not my favorite thing, but I just keep telling myself if I can get it all caught up, it should be fairly easy to maintain), I have been sewing some great clothes for myself. I have revisited a couple favorite patterns and also tried a couple new so I will be sharing those over the coming week, and let me just say, I am very excited.