Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seuss Rides Again: A Modkid Bailey Romper

For some reason, Camden LOVES the Modkid Bailey romper.  She adored it the first time, and she was super excited when she could change out of her yellow dress INTO this romper.
Circa Spring 2013
The new version is just as fun and was just as easy to sew (I mean unless you count all those annoying rows of shirring, aha!)!
Weirdo girl!
In this 2014 version, I made sure to lengthen the top, as I found the first time, the bodice was too short.  I lengthened it a smidge, and I may or may not have used a smaller seam allowance where the bodice meets the waistband (I also used a 1/4" to 3/8" SA on the cuff attachment).  It fits better than her last one did.  Also, the only other thing I changed was in using a button hole this time around, rather than sewing on lame snaps.  I don't have cool snaps and a snap press or anything, so, when I did it the first time, I wasn't super pleased with the wee metal snaps.  I do NOT love the D-ring, but in Bend, I only have access to Joann Fabrics and the like, so, I used what they had, though I'd prefer a rectangular ring.

As always, I love Modkid patterns, so, I have nothing fancy to say about this one - though I stilllll wish people would stop going PDF-only.  I want more paper patterns :(  Just thought I'd throw that out there, LOL.

Telling me she wanted to pose

Funny how the difference of a chair sure spiffed up that smile!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Silk Shawl - Say WHAT??!!!

Ladies and gents, I introduce you to my first-ever shawl - the Beithe by Susanna IC on Ravelry.
ME????  How did I make it into a blog post???

This yarn is definitely a stash yarn - something I picked up years ago in Seattle at The Weaving Works.  It was the first silk I'd ever purchased (since then, I've only purchased silk blends), and it's a single ply....which is something NOW I'd never buy, as single ply is basically against my religion.  Single ply unto itself can be grabby/splitty, and the fact that it's SILK single ply...????  Yikes.

All turned out well, though.  I knew going into the pattern that this yarn wouldn't best represent, so to speak.  But I wanted something easy for my first shawl, and I didn't have a yarn that would work well for any pattern I could find in the right yardage.  I used Colinette Tao in colorway Marble, and it's lovely, though I'm not sure the photos capture it as well as they could (well, and my CRAZY GENIUS photography skills do NOT come into play, naturally).

The pattern is super easy to follow, and starts out with the lace edging then moves up through the stockinette with short row shaping.  I have NO idea how, but i miscounted at some point (I can only assume) and didn't have my short rows correct.  NO WAY/NO HOW was I going to rip out and figure out where I'd messed up - so, I fudged it and figured nobody would notice ;)

One SUPER SCORE from a weekend or so ago was a set of rubber mats to use as blocking mats.  I naturally printed out some Joann Fabric coupons and sprinted with the kids yesterday to buy T pins (and D rings...well...and a square of chocolate) for blocking.  I soaked the silk in plain water and blocked it out as best as my lazy self felt like can tell I'm no expert, and I don't own blocking wires, but I figured I was fine without those at this time, anyway.

I do have to say that I might wear this one a few times, but as it's white-ish and 100% silk, it might also be something I save for a special occasion for Camden down the road.  I'm glad I did it - and in record time:  12 days!  I am nervous to think about how long it'll take me to do the Bryce Canyon shawl, pictured below, for the marigoldjen KAL over July and I also would like to join the KAL in Lete's Knits in August...lawds.  Too much to knit!

Some Dresses Just Look Better the Second Time Around - A Dotted Scirocco!

Sooooo happy with this version of the Figgy's Scirocco!  I have NO idea what happened with the silk dupioni version I made during the summer of 2012, but it turned into a hot mess when I started attaching skirt pieces together; one section refused to line up, and I ended up calling it quits on trying to fix it - long story short, if you DON'T look underneath the top skirt flounce, you'd never know ;)  It was for Camden's aunt's wedding, though, so, I was a bit miffed at the whole situation.

Also, please love on the only decent shot I happen to have of the dress, aha!  One where she is eating....

Anyway, the chance to sew today was bestowed upon me like a fine gift - and I full finished this lovely number in Moda quilting cotton:
Testing the direction of the wind

Don't mind the mediocre photos - my life story revolves around taking pictures SUPER fast so I can get back inside to a sad baby.

The pattern itself is quite lovely, and it does have errata - the skirt lining doesn't include the seam allowance, and you need to make sure to add it on the piece, which I thankfully remembered to do BEFORE cutting the fabric - though after tracing the pattern.

The bodice is fiddly, only in that you have to do the sewing in parts because of the way the back attaches and how the shoulders are sew - which is okay for the effect, in my humble opinion!

After that, the skirt goes together semi-quickly....depends on how you hem the skirt - rolled hem or regular hem.  As with the first time I sewed this pattern, I did a rolled hem for the skirt pieces, as there are four of them to hem, and I was working with the time I had today (of course, because it's ME, I hemmed all SIX pieces before remembering I made that same mistake the last time I sewed the dress, LOL).
Stray threads, of course!

I like how the casing for the elastic is hidden underneath the top flounce, so, you get the lovely gathered look, but you don't see the casing for it:
The lining side

Also, don't mind if I pretty much copied the version I had seen at Bolt, my favorite fabric store in Portland.  I used the same fabric and then white trim at the bodice, which is quite lovely.

Just have to say, though - so happy to sew today, as it had been quite a while, it seems - well....since the last blog post, aha!  Camden loves the dress but clearly wasn't enthused about photos, as always lately.

And these crazy kids chilled with their dad today - thanks soooooo much to him!  I have been telling him our daughter will soon be nekkid if I don't get to sew!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wool Socks....Score! Just in Time for Summer!!!

I am MORE excited than anyone can possibly know!  I'm done with my Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti of Sezza Knits.  Strangely, this felt like QUITE the undertaking.  I have done SEVERAL pairs of baby/toddler socks, but I've only ever completed ONE pair for myself.  I've been WANTING to knit socks for myself, but I always find more important things to work - namely clothing for Camden, aha!

Clearly NOT as excited as I am!

The pair I did for myself several years ago was the Knitting Pure and Simple Lightweight Sock Pattern, and it's lovely enough, though I know better now that I'm not into a gathered-close toe finish, so, if I did a vanilla (all stockinette) sock again in the future, I'd finish it with a kitchener or something else equally as awesome, LOL.  This first pair of socks I made myself were knitted out of Misty Alpaca fingering weight yarn, and they fit nicely, actually.

As for this new pair, I knit it out of Black Trillium (Ravelry group) 100% superwash merino (Pebble sock base) in the Cherry colorway, though this colorway is so NOT a real red to me, aha!  I bought it yearsssss ago, and there are SO MANY BT colorways I wish I could have - of course!
Good times taking pictures of socks on your OWN feet!

These are SOCKS, for the love of my grandmother, so, there aren't too many exciting things to report, BUT.  I did do the basic gusset decrease/heel flap, and I knit cuff-down on size 000 needles (YES, you read that right...TRIPLE ZERO.  EFF my loose gauge, people!).  I purchased Karbonz DPNs from HERE on Amazon.  It was my first time using them, and they definitely have a little more give than a steel needle (my Hiya Hiyas), but they worked pretty well - debating getting a second set each of 000 and 00.

I know there are tons of fancy ways to do heels these days, but I like the standard heel flap, LOL.  I'm not sure I'm an old dog, needing to learn new tricks right now.  I have huge calves, though, so, I did the leg at 5 inches, rather than 6, as I worried about the ribbing fitting if I knit them any longer.  I also did a 2 by 2 rib, rather than a 1 by 1, as I like how it looks better.

As for the toe finish, I decreased to 8 stitches per needle on one foot and 10 stitches per needle on the other (right) foot.  It was sort of an experiment, to see how it'd fit, but I guess my toe box isn't as pointed as I pretended it was, LOL.  So, I'll do 12 next time - and make sure to do the toe box longer.  Also, I DID add 4 stitches to the foot near my bunion (totally guesstimated the first food and waited too many rows, so, I remedied that for my second sock, which will forever be my right-foot sock) for a little more ease.  I am thinking I should make the foot a tad longer next time I do a pair of socks for myself.

Otherwise, the pattern is lovely and easy/straightforward.  There are three sizes, and it's a FREE pattern, so double bonus!!!  (Or triple, aha!)

.... Speaking of, I would LOVE to do a pair of socks this month, too, but I don't know if I should do a practice shawl in preparation for doing a shawl KAL in the MarigoldJen group in July.  If I do this, I will be using a Colinette Tao silk base for the Beithe shawl by Susanna IC.  Not sure my silk will do the pattern design justice, but we can always hope for the best!  LOL.

Some socks I'm NEEDING to do in the near future (and by that, I mean SOME DAY, aha!):
Think Spring


Walk Now

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Josephine and Whitney - So Classy!


You're all, "Wait, Autumn!  I've seen a Josephine somewhere else recently."

I'm all, "Toooo right!  You have - why just the other day, you saw not ONE, but TWO Josephine dresses."

Today's feature includes the blouse version and the Whitney pants, also designed by Violette Field Threads.  I have allllways loved this outfit, and this is only Camden's second version.  This was pictured in the last blog post, but for your loving eyes, here is another shot:

I talked up the Josephine pattern quite a bit in the previous blog post, but in summary, the button holes make me a bit crazy because of the thickness of the fabric in the button/ruffle band.  I believe I did manually sew the top button hole, rather than using my automatic button hole feature, as I sewed the blouse before the dresses.  Lesson was learned after this :)  This mama does NOT enjoy doing a manual button hole :O  

Your basic Joann Fabric buttons!

You can probably note in the pictures that this year's blouse was definitely sized up, so, it's a good inch too big in the chest, if not more.  I always find it funny how Camden needs to size UP in Modkid and Oliver and S - and others - yet these VFT blouses are quite roomy for it.  I think I did the size 4 this time, but again, I sewed this before Christmas, and finding the pattern sheets right now sounds like NO FUN.

For the Whitney pants, I cut them as follows (this I know, because HEYHEYHEY I GOT TO SEW TODAY!!!):  size 4 rise, size 5 width, size 4 plus 3/4 inch for length.  I also hemmed them at 3/4 inch and the next fold was at 2 inches, so, I could hypothetically let them out if she doesn't exceed the rise (my bad, though - I didn't think about his before hemming them with the machine, as I normally hand-sew the hem when I plan to let something out).  

Sewing these pants is so stinkin' easy, of course - four total box pleats and then a few other seams.  I DID sew the waistband differently than the pattern calls for, if I remember right:  I sew the pants together completely before sewing the waistband in a circle.  THEN I attach it, leaving an opening for the elastic in the back.  I sewed (well, normally, I sew it shut; I forgot this time, aha!)  the opening closed after I do this, and I serged the seam, though I know folding it under would be fancier.  Essence of time and all that nonsense.  VFT calls for the pant's side seams to be left un-sewn; you then sew the waistband on the front and on the back separately.  That sounds NOT pretty to me, LOL.

Also, my first official day back at sewing couldn't go without at least ONE problem:  I did manage to sew a right and wrong side today - AND serge it....nice, LOL.

I promise these were JUST pressed!!!
As for fabrics, I used Aneela Hoey once again - and the pants fabric is a remnant from some Colette Juniper trousers I made a couple years ago (I can't remember the fabric name AT ALL, but it was maybe a cotton/linen blend and is a BEEEYOTCH to cut; it does this weird warping, so, I had to be careful).
Had to show off the freshly painted nails :)

Allllll sadness and coldness

To elicit smiles in the following pictures, I had to ask Camden what kind of face she'd make if she saw certain friends....
This is if she saw Lizzie and Jack
This is if she saw Greta
This is if she gets to see Elora
Siblings, just chilling yesterday!

So.  Since I was able to sew today, that meant the wee boy was fed by his dad and his big sister - how cute!!!
His first bottle

Tired times after that bottle ;)