Posted in Machine Knitting

Finished: Bamboo/Cotton Machine Knit Sweater and Maryland Sheep and Wool

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I’d started this sweater  last summer but ran into some rather unsightly dropped stitches and a holey short rowed neckline. So, I’d put it aside until this year I wanted something new to wear to the 2018 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

IMG_20180507_092933I didn’t get to go last year because it was the summer of A THOUSAND WEDDINGS and we were out of town (Jordan’s friends. The joke is mine are divorcing and his are just getting started.) Anywho, I made it a priority to go this year and I got this beauty to wear.

IMG_20180507_092853~2 No real pattern. I wanted to play a bit more with Cochinelle’s Garment Designer and my ability to draft. What I do like about this sweater is in general fit is exactly what I wanted. I LOVE the depth and shape of the scoop neck. I like how my hems are done. But, I don’t like my sleeves.

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I wanted more of a lantern and they are more triangular. I think  I can fix that in another version if I come back to this (and what I want may not work with a dropped shoulder).

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Shoulder seaming

The yarn was purchased on a visit to Tokyo Central when I was in Bali in 2016.

It’s really crochet thread per the labeling. But, it worked beautifully in my standard bed knitting machine. It’s so draper and soft– I think I’ll get a lot of wear from it this summer.

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Ravelry notes with all the same information are here 


 

As for Sheep and Wool, I bought far, far less than I did in 2016. In part because I have yarn from 2016 that I haven’t knit.  And, I went with a list this year.

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I got enough to make a black version of my Corvid Coat (it’ll be my third time knitting this one). I also bought some yarn with the colors of the Maryland Flag for a hat for me and a few tools.

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I was looking for interesting shawl pins that aren’t too artsy and more modern. But, I didn’t manage to find anything.

IMG_20180504_172404  Definitely the best part is the social aspect! Claudine came down from  New Jersey and met Jeannie and I for drinks at a cocktail bar in town.

Truth: I love running into fellow bloggers and Instagram friends. It makes our community feel "real" when you meet people in the flesh. @lladybird came to Baltimore for the weekend and we hit the #marylandsheepandwool festival with my friends @dearestlizzie (not a knitter. There for the herding sheepdogs and spectacle) and @sfumatara (sews and knits a little).. . . In our first hour we met @sierraburrell and we were so tickled! Especially because as a veterinarian she reminded us to wash our hands after handling all the baby sheep 😄. I saw a few students including @oceanicknits and my favorite redhead — that's above Prince Harry even — @ms.knitsalot (2). . . . And, finally we met @kspuryear and Johanna (of "the sewing machine museum" as nicknamed by @peterlappin) who came up and gave me the BEST, most helpful recommendation to get my Single Girl Quilt long arm quilted (3). I left #mdsw full from kettle corn and warm from seeing old friends and meeting new peeps.

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We also hosted Lauren (Lladybird) and my friend Liz came along too. It was just a great weekend all together!

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Posted in sewing

Empire Waist, Surplice Green Sweater: Burda 5-2009-103

 photo DSC_0148_zpshqw7nidi.jpg I imagine this is the last cold-weather top left in me before I start some spring sewing. I just CANNOT with winter anymore. Is it me, or as you get older, do you just get totally over cold weather? We had a surprise snow storm over the weekend.  They called for 1 – 3 inches and we ended up getting 7 – 10. The roads were such a mess! We were slipping and sliding all over, got stuck at an intersection and had to leave our car on the side of the road. We ended up taking a bus home (yay for mass transit!) plus a one mile walk. After all that, I STILL didn’t make my 10,000 steps. Grrrr. I’m really over winter. Just four weeks until spring!  photo DSC_0156_zpskajufpxs.jpg I think the greens of this sweater knit sort or looks forward to spring, don’t you?  It’s interesting, I rarely sew green. I love a green nail polish, but think I’ve sewn only two green items. This luscious fabric is from my December 2013 trip to Mood. Anywho, it’s very similar in look as this blue cowl top and this blue sweater dress (Loved that dress. I should have treated the fabric better). But, this knit is the sturdiest of the three with far better recovery. And, as I type this, I just remembered that I can’t remember if I pre-treated before cutting or not. Ugh. I think I didn’t pre-treat and have sewn myself a dry-clean only sweater #RookieMistake  photo 000001764893_zpsxgaoqpx1.jpg I chose this pattern because it combined a wrap top with a fitted waist. Both  features good for a busty hourglass. And I LOVE it.  photo DSC_0158_zps6wca3i4m.jpg I sewed a 40 grading to a 44 at the hip. I also tried taking 1/3 inch off the shoulder seams. I usually take 1/4 inch and think I may stick with that. Sadly, I find the neckline wide for me and had a bunch of photos where you could really see my bra strap — versus the ones here where it’s just peeking. I’ve since altered the pattern adding another 1/2 inch to the neckline on each side. I made a 1.5 inch  FBA on this top and added a bust dart, it’s almost invisible in this sweater knit. I’ve since added to the pattern an additional 1/2 inch under the bust. If there is something I personally can’t stand it’s a bust bifurcated by a seam. It makes me ragey and sad inside.  photo DSC_0161_zpsqajbs9zy.jpg Looking at the made up version from the magazine, it looks like my bust is just eating up all the length in the bust. Maybe what I need it a bigger FBA rather than just throwing some length on to the upper bodice. And, let’s face it. This is too low cut on its own.  I’ve raised the neckline 1/2 inch for my next version.  photo 000001764897_zpschvrm3vr.jpg    photo DSC_0163_zpseys2zy3k.jpgI like how I walked around all day with a massive center part at the back of my head from my twist out. I really need to get a second mirror in the bathroom.  Moving on, as drafted, the pattern already has a center back seam so I made my swayback adjustment at the waist line. I think the darts give awesome shaping.  photo DSC_0129_zpshs3bm7si.jpg I think this would be better on me a few inches longer (becuz I hates my thighs). So, I’ve also altered the pattern to add three inches in length.  photo DSC_0152_zpsva1hos3w.jpg There you have it. A good sweater that I hope will be great the next time I make it. Can’t you see this in spring weight knit with 3/4 sleeves?

Posted in sewing

Burda 9/2012 #130: Sweater Knit Semi Fail

I first made this September 2012 Burda Style sweater  two years ago in a poly sweater knit (line drawing and pattern description in that post). It was extremely flattering and I got compliments every time I wore it. But, given a few years and the poor quality of the knit, it pilled and got gross. So, I thought I’d recreate it in a wool blend sweater knit I bought in Mood back in December 2013. The pattern is still available for individual download.

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When I first started this project, I thought more than a few times about underlining it with a tricot knit for fabric support. But, I wanted some instant gratification and I didn’t. It’s too bad, because the material has ZERO recovery and stretches any which way you move it. So, it doesn’t hold it’s shape well. Which makes it impossible to get the curve hugging I did from my first version.

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It ends up looking stretched out after just a few wears. I’ve taken it in several times already. But, at the end of this shoot, you can see that it’s stretched out at the hips. I just don’t know how long for this world this top is.

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I love the color, I love that it’s wool and I love a sweater knit. But, the fabric doesn’t have enough recovery to work on a body skimming sweater. I didn’t even bother with the side and sleeve ruching since I knew it wasn’t going to ‘hold’.  Even the hem is wonky. It looks lovely after a press, but one bit of tension and it’s all out of sorts. Plus, I’ve worn it twice and it’s already pilling ::sad trombone::

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This fabric also didn’t take the drape at the neck very well. I might actually lower the front neckline if I make the patter again.

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I did make a swayback adjustment, added darts in my FBA.

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Yet, I gotta give it a solid ‘meh’. Mostly due to fabric choice.

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In exciting news, my friend Liz  and I started a photography class at the local community college. We’ve both always like taking photos. And, when Jordan gifted me a new DSLR at Christmas, I gave my beloved white Pentax k-x to her and we’re taking a class together. So, be prepared to be bored with loads of landscapes and such over the next few months.

Posted in sewing

Ponte Wrap Top: Burda Style 10-2012 #119

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I was so bored making this grey top I almost fell asleep typing the title. Last top was black and grey. This one is like a muddy  grey. I really do prefer grey to black. And, I *like* grey. But, I am a magpie. I gotta sew color.

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I am still on the basics train for hourglass figures.  Wrap tops rank high with items that work. They provide waist definition and a low/ wide neckline. And, I liked that this one from Burda has some length to it (no need to cut me off at the waist) and had darts in the back for shaping. I *think* next time I’ll make it with 3/4 sleeves too.

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I’m trying to build my casual work wardrobe. And, I’ve quickly realized that’s going to mean a lot more separates in my life. I was worried this top would be Burda-low in the front. But, I think it’s actually ok.

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I made a 1.5 inch FBA. For my size, the recommendation would be 2 inches of length and one inch of width. FYI, somehow, I’ve only just discovered this chart for seeing the BWOF design lines. So helpful to know where they put the bust point. Anywho, my original dart was ridiculous. First, it was huge (read 1.5 inch FBA). It was also thick because of the ponte.

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Second, if you look where my finger was pointing, the original dart was way, way way too long and low. “Long and Low” are words you should never use to describe your bust. Not sure if this is a product of a bias, stretch item. Also, they totally point down instead of up (or rather ‘to’ my BP) as you can see below. I’ve already altered to pattern so hopefully the next time will be better.

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I used my coverstitch for the neckline and hems with wool nylon on the lower looper. I reinforced the armhole with my Viseline tape, the neckline and shoulders with bias fusible interfacing. In thin knits I sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. But, with a thicker knit you gots to go with 1/2 inch.

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I suspect this fabric is a little thicker than intended. The pattern suggests drapey knit fabrics. But, I was looking for cosy comfy tops to wear to work. I really love how the darts in back give great shaping.

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I took it in quite a bit at the waist to make sure I had some definition. But, I am not big on how the side seams on wrap tops always seem to pull forward a bit.

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I think the back, like in almost every Burda I sew, is a little wide at the neck. I would reccomend a little wedge in the neckline for fit and for me, adding a 1/4 – 1/2 inch at the shoulder neckline so bra straps don’t show.

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I quite like this top. But, it really grew on me.  Originally, I kind of felt like a concrete brick. I think with a looser weave fabric, this will be a real winner. In the meantime, warm and cuter than a sweatshirt.

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Ok. I gotta sew some color.

Posted in sewing

Black Knit Double Tee: Burda 8-2010-112

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I’m almost a little embarrassed to even blog this basic knit tee shirt. But, I’ve discovered if I don’t blog it, I almost can’t keep track of what I’ve made and what worked / didn’t.  And, I think I may have found a basic TNT tee shirt pattern.  Besides, I always like a layered look and had long admired this tee from BWOF.  And, after my last knit top, I thought I should try something more along the guidelines for my body type. I figured with a FBA, darts and the right amount of ease, this double tee top from Burda would work.

Also, photos are a little soft. Jordan bought me a new camera and some lens for Christmas and I’m still playing around with it 🙂

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For my version,  I sewed a 40 grading to a 46 starting at my waist. I used two cotton interlock knits from my stash in black and light grey. While a lot of people are trying to incorporate color into their wardrobe, I’m always trying to put in solid neutrals. And, since I wear jeans nearly every single day now, I thought this top provided interest but is still casual.  Essentially, the pattern is one sleeveless top attached to a long sleeve top. I joined mine at the armscyce and tacked it down in the shoulder seams. I decided to shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length to limit the expansion of fabric. Other alterations? I shortened the shoulder seam by almost 1/2 an inch. Next time, I’ll also make a sloping shoulder adjustment.

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The oringal is dartless. So, I did a 1.5 inch FBA and added a dart. A dart you can’t see because I’m wearing black and taking photos indoors. Winter = ten degrees out today.

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I also made a 1.25 inch swayback adjustment. It looks like I could use a hair more.

As for length, these days  I like things to end just about my widest part to create a longer line. Some examples of how it looks different were it to be hemmed at various lengths:

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I think this shows my widest part are my thighs and not my hips. Even though my hands are covering my *actual* hip.  So… no more waist length tops for me I think.

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This ends right above my widest part (just below my hip line). I think it is a better than waist level.

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And this is the length I used. Here, I’m pointing to my widest part. I also think next time, I’ll lower the center of the necklines of both by 1/4 – 1/2 inch. Hmm, which means I think you’ll be seeing me in this pattern again.

I was a little bored taking photos and started doing moves from Beyonce’s 7/11 video. Because, Beyonce (I would have done number #10, but I don’t have any red Solo cups).

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Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I have more comments and folks I’d like to respond to. I think there was an amazing exchange of ideas and some viewpoints I hadn’t considered. I’m always happy when we can talk about sewing outside of the craft and in a civilized, balanced manner.