Monday, May 23, 2016

Finished Object: Kielo Wrap Dress - The Wrap Version

I'm pretty happy with my second version of the Kielo Wrap Dress. This one actually includes the ties:

Named Patterns - Kielo Wrap Dress
Stupidly, I didn't get a shot of the full dress before my flash gave up the charge. I'm particularly happy with the length from armpit to natural waist. I removed 4 inches from this bodice in 2 places and I managed to do so such that the drape was maintained.

It falls about an inch above the knee and it's quite elegant in this mauve-meets-aubergine modal:

I did narrow the front collar width this time - I removed about 0.5" total, so not much but it hangs better. I also stitched the binding on with more negative ease to give it a bit of additional tension.

I'm very fond of the back construction. The darts are really well-placed both vertically and horizontally (I did modify them) and my waist-ties are actually aligned with my waist.

I'm even improving my coverstitched hems:

I'm not giving up my day job but this is better than my previous attempts.
Admittedly, this hem took an absurd amount of time (30 minutes?) as I:
  • Serged the raw edge.
  • Folded the hem and pressed on both sides.
  • Aligned hem tape on the raw edge side. Pressed.
  • Removed upper paper from pressed hem tape. Pressed the raw edge to the main fabric - to make the hem. This keeps both sides of the fabric easily attached while you stitch. (This tape is more useful than I'd imagined, fyi. It totally prevents that easing issue that can occur between the raw side and main fabric side of the hem as you sew.)
  • Set up the coverstitch machine.
  • Added a marker made of scotch tape (with a pen-line) to ensure I'd be able to stitch straight.
  • Stitched the hem.
  • Figured out how to stop the hem from unravelling (even though I coverstitched over the ends). Note: My coverstitch hems NEVER unravel cuz they're usually knotted all to shit. So I'm taking this as progress.
  • Pressed the finished hem on both sides.
This time I serged the raw edge of the hem before coverstitching it (because my fabric edge was a bit more jagged than usual).

The modal drapes beautifully and is adequately weighty.

My workmanship was in good shape as I put this dress together. Phew.

My mother got my previous, tie-free version because I couldn't fit it in my suitcase after buying a batch of new bed linens, as well as a new pair of shoes and a bunch of yarn. Gotta say, I almost prefer the Kielo without the ties because it's much more mod. But this version will work well for days when I have fancy briefings and I can't bear to wear sleeves since it's 30C. (Note: I will not complain about that weather cuz it's a gift from the gods.)

I could almost see myself making this in a maxi length - if I could find a light enough (but hefty enough) fabric - something like a stretch linen (if such a thing exists).

I also downloaded the free sleeve pattern piece. I'll have to alter it substantively (to meet the dimensions of my highly altered armscye) but I'm hoping my sloper will keep this relatively clear and simple.

All in all, I cannot recommend this dress enough - and I was seriously on the fence about its potential to begin with. It's easy, it's fast, it's chic, it's modifiable, it's multiple styles in one pattern. It's really wearable and will work with a topper for extra warmth. You just have to ensure that you modify it for your vertical proportions and ensure that the armscye works. That's easier said than done, I realize, but it's worth it (if you like this dress) because it's actually scalable. It will simply take a bit of knowledge and effort, on that front.

So, whatcha think?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Long Weekend Musing

Where to begin? Just got home from Charlotte and, let me say, the weather SUCKED! That's never happened. In all of my years of going to NC, there has never before been a moment wherein I've been grateful to get away from its weather and/or to go back to that of TO. It was totally weird. My mother did, at one point, suggest that I have to stop taking the weather so personally - apparently it affects everyone and not just me?! - but, really, she's in the cheap seats.

The benefit of rain and cold (it was only cold if you live there, for me it was sandal weather) is that it makes for a nice backdrop to knitting. This visit I taught my parents - who are due to retire in about 1 year - how to knit. Turns out that they're likely moving to Asheville when they do retire, you know, land of the fiber arts. So no time like the present.

We went to the 2 local yarn stores and spent some time talking about wool and needles and everything else. I was reminded by how huge the world of knitting really is. At this point, the craft is a kind of language I take for granted (unless I encounter an issue, of course). But for newbies, this can be daunting.

We only breezed by Ravelry - my parents are not social media types and they love to hate the computer. I did show them some motivational blogs (Brooklyn Tweed amongst them). They loved Heather's latest post about her new, aunt-made sweater.

For my parents, we bought some beautiful Peruvian worsted-weight yarn (of course, I didn't write down the info so I have to wait for my mum to send me a pic of the tag). My mother chose a grey mauve and my father a charcoal grey. In retrospect, it would have been easier to teach on light yarn so we went back and bought a ball of light grey/blue acrylic stuff, just for practice. I put together a pattern for simple rib bordered, stockinette scarf for each of them to use up 500 yards of said yarn. So far they're still practicing their stitches.

FWIW, in 4 days, we focused on this:
  • Cast on and bind off
  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • How to pick up a dropped knit or purl stitch
  • How to knit or purl back stitches (tinking) when you make a mistake
  • How to "view" the fabric to understand what's going on
  • Stockinette pattern
  • Garter pattern
It's enough info to make a scarf and we can build on these basics next time.

I will corroborate (yet again) that one's knitting style is, fundamentally, a metaphor. My mother was quick to learn and easily frustrated. She "gained" a few extra stitches every few rows. Her tension is naturally even. My father was very serious and technical. He always maintained stitch count and made perfect stitches - at the peril of momentum, natch. Of course, one's initial approach in no way dictates one's journey. It's just a moment in time. But it was interesting to observe (and to manage as a teacher) and it makes me want to remember how I felt about learning this craft. Fortunately, I've got it all on this blog so I think I'm going to take a trip down memory lane. Knowing me, I treated it like a test - and I LOVE tests - cuz, apparently, I'm a bit competitive with myself. Hmmm...

Hilariously, whenever I was upbeat and gave positive feedback, they laughed at me and told me I was acting like a kindergarten teacher.

They kindly bought me some gorgeous yarn (that I'd never before come across):

Classic Elite MountainTop Chalet
It's absurdly soft. It has awesome drape (as evidenced by a great bias-knit shawl pattern on display). I believe the pattern used was the Color Block Bias Wrap by Suzanne Shaw. It's designed with this yarn in mind and it's just fantastic:

The yarn is quite reasonably priced, IMO, given its quality but to make this shawl will set you back about @75 USD. So it's not a cheap garment. Mind you, who needs a freakin' soft, bias-knit wrap more than me?!?

My mother wanted to make this but we convinced her to wait until her second project. The combo of the chain-stitch construction of the yarn (which is in NO way visible in the final knit garment, btw) and the need to understand how to create increases and decreases - not to mention the very drapey nature of the wool - would have been a recipe in frustration, I suspect. Happily, this yarn is readily available in beautiful, natural colourways, so my mum has her next project sorted.

It's a mark of how lovely it was that I was bamboozled into bringing it into the stash - esp. since it's bulky-weight (a yarn-weight I like in principle, but that I don't gravitate towards in practice). The chain construction really does give it an airy quality so it's not a heavy yarn, even given its gauge.

But to totally switch gears...

...I'll leave you with a small story about a very exciting purchase, my newest Arche sandals:

Arche Exor Sandal
These are FREAKIN' gorgeous and I have already worn them to walk miles cuz, yesterday, when I returned from Charlotte, our weather in TO was sublime. Way to start the long weekend.

Let me just say, these shoes are not cheap and cheerful. They're a current style and I'm not in Europe during the July sales. They set me back $375 USD / $450 CDN, which is a totally absurd price for a pair of sandals, I realize. But here's the thing: They are totally sexy. They are elegant. They work with EVERYTHING (jeans, check / dresses, check / pants, check / skirts, check). They look perfect on my feet. Really. And they're like walking on fucking clouds for 5 miles - first time out. I took them off after a night out - and a day of air travel - and my feet were in perfect shape. Not the slightest sign of friction, let alone a blister.

To have such perfection, one is inclined to pay.

I need shoes that I can walk to and fro in with ease (my ever-maturing feet are my car, peeps) and I cannot bring myself to look anything less than chic as I amble down the street with my cute outfit and a cappuccino. Look, perhaps I should be more chill about things, but this is a time in my life when I'm not feeling particularly comfortable in my skin. If a pair of pricey shoes can up my game, then I'm going to pay and walk on.

But here are today's questions: What was your learning-to-knit personality? Has it changed over time? Did you hate learning to knit but now you love knitting? Have you worked with the Chalet yarn? Did you like it? (The reviews on Ravelry are universally positive.) And what about pricey shoes? Where do you stand on that? Let's talk!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Finished Object: Kielo Wrap Dress - Wearable Muslin

I went a bit off-road with this sewing experience - and (much as one loves woodsy clean air and fresh water) I have nothing but enjoyment to report.

Here's my new dress. It's a total muslin (albeit a wearable one) - made in a cotton/poly blend jersey that cost me 5 bucks a metre at FabricLand, a while ago:

Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Cloting - Non-wrap version
No, it doesn't look like the version on the website:

I'm not 5'10". My waist is not 9" long. I am not going to a wedding.

My version is hemmed at knee-length, omitting the back vent (unnecessary with a short tulip skirt). You might also note the sheer absence of, um, the ties that make this dress a wrap.

Here's the thing: I deliberately opted to muslin - I know, not very "quick and dirty" of me, but I had no idea how my vertical adjustments were going to land and I couldn't bring myself to spend 50 bucks in fabric on something unwearable. But my muslin fabric is NOTHING like my final fabric. It's cotton-y. It has mediocre recovery. It holds its shape because there isn't much in the way of drape. It's a cheap-ish, non-flimsy fabric that one might use for a casual t shirt. I bought it cuz it wasn't too special and it wasn't too pricey. But it IS a great colour and it does the trick excellently as muslin fabric.

Alas, though I spent 30 minutes making those ties and pulling them inside out (with a fabric that loves to stick to itself), I sensed that the dress was not going to fare well with them. Again - no drape. Not slinky.

I recall having read a review the Kielo Wrap, made without the ties. In truth, even if I hadn't seen that review, I would have known not to attach them. It was obvious. This version of the dress, in this fabric, did not want ties. Its boxy line is SO Scandi-chic, peeps. It's got all the side-seam appeal of that Toni Dress and none of the potential detractors.

This pattern is by Named Clothing, a Finnish line, and I am freakin' impressed. I'm impressed because it's awesomely drafted - the best evidence of which is that, when I shortened it vertically (and to some extent horizontally) - respecting the laws of alterations - it scaled beautifully.

You'll recall my pre-construction alterations. They were a best guess but I'm more confident about those vertical adjustments than ever I have been. I did end up making the wedge-alteration in the low back (one I always do to account for the extra length I require in the front body piece re: the boobs).

I could tell, just by looking at the model (never mind the pattern pieces) that this thing is drafted, not only for a tall person, but a person that's tall in the torso. The span between the armscye and the waist is LONG. The span between the waist and the hip is LONG. The armholes, as drafted, are LONG. These dimensions work very well for a tall, lean, small-breasted person. They are terrible for a short, short-waisted frame with sizeable breasts.

But because the pattern is so well-labeled with info about where the armscyes end and where the waist and hip sit, it was pretty clear about how to shorten the armscye / upper back length and the waist length above the hip. In addition to yesterday's alterations, I decided to lower the side wings (which should be at actual waist height given that this is where the ties attach) - that is to say that I removed some of the fabric above them which resulted in a) lowering the waist tie zone and b) removing some of the bulk at the upper (diagonal) part of the wing. I suspect, when I do add the ties to the next version, this will put them where I want them and diminish unnecessary bulk at my under bust (where I scarcely need it).

By making the armscye depth (and under armscye width) identical to my sloper's, I was successful in producing a well-fitted bodice that does not require a bust dart. Woohoo - since I don't love bust darts and I particularly don't love the ones that point downwards.

What I like about the pattern:
  • It's totally easy to put together (esp. in a jersey short version with no lining). I didn't follow the instructions, which is just as well, cuz I'm better when I work intuitively. The fact that this is marginally more complicated than a t shirt helps. The fish-eye (diamond) darts are very well applied.
  • It's multiple dresses in one: There's the long fancy version, a version you could make with sleeves (if you drafted the sleeve, it doesn't come along with the pattern apparently there's a free add-on sleeve - check out the website), a short version, a version with ties, a version without. Very versatile. Moreover, it looks totally different when made in different fabrics, having different properties of drape and hand.
  • It's elegant. Perfect with bare legs or denim leggings.
  • Not to be gauche, but it looks expensive. It's very sack-like in that French way.
  • Made to fit the shoulder/arms well,  it's very flattering. Note: Badly fitted, I imagine it would be awful.
  • It took me 3 hours to put this together - and I was figuring it out as I went along. Next time I suspect it will take 2 hours. That's pretty unheard of quick for me.
  • A newbie could make this. I mean, a few knit projects under her belt would help, but it's not complicated - especially with a serger (which I realize, most newbies don't have).
Things I don't love (but that aren't deal-breakers):
  • I don't love making the ties but I can't blame the pattern. Turning ties is a pain in the ass and it's got to be done. 
  •  I also think that the front neck may be a bit too wide for me so I'm potentially going to have to alter that next time. (It might be that I just didn't affix the neck binding with enough negative ease.) I did consider this possibility when I was cutting the pattern, but I didn't want to start messing with this on top of everything else.
  • And, on the topic of neck binding - the pattern doesn't come with binding pattern pieces for the neck and armscyce. This is because the instructions are pretty neutral about how you are supposed to finish these areas. Turn-under is the proposed option - and I do find that so meh. Mind you, if ever it were going to work on an armscye, it's this one cuz it's almost flat at the underarm. The neck, though. I don't know how you'd turn that under to any good effect.  I've made enough knits that I just cut out my standard 2 x 1.75" wide / 15" long (for armscyes) and 1 x 1.75" wide / 30" long for neck. Then, I cut off any excess length at the end of the seaming (after stretching the binding to produce a snug hole for head or arms).
  • Alas, and this is TOTALLY my fault: while I won't abide bad fit, I feel far too little shame about wonky top stitching, particularly when I'm making a muslin. This fabric didn't love the top stitch and I wasn't in the mood to thread the coverstitch machine and get all into that (I'm not awesome at it yet). So shoddiness ensued. Since I like this muslin a lot, I'm probably going to rip out and redo the neck stitching (of course, I fucked it up right along the front neck). But I'm bringing it to NC so that's not going to happen till next weekend at the earliest.
On the topic of top stitching, I'm rather horrified by how mediocre I am at it. I mean, I work carefully, I have good motor coordination, I follow a marker. And still, I make some garments with very amateur-seeming, visible seams. Top stitching's never been my strength, but I'm going to have to start paying it more mind. I sense that this is where my multiple repeats of projects will stand me in good stead. Most of the time, my first version (often a wearable muslin) is the worst. As I get more comfortable with a garment's specific sewing process - esp. if I'm working with a malleable fabric - my stitching improves. No surprise, I suppose.  Also, when I'm making the muslin, I'm always so focused on the preceding pattern alterations and the fit. I'll take the garment off 10 times to examine the line produced by a basted stitch. But by the time it comes to sewing the actual thing, I'm tired and I'm sure I rush. I tell myself that no one notices this but me, but I notice it on others, all the time, and it would be pretty stupid to assume I'm the only one.

For what it's worth, I will not wear a muslin - even if the fabric is GORGEOUS and my work flawless - if the fit is even slightly off. But wavy or jagged stitching is a secondary concern. I suppose it's because, much of the time, I know I could actually fix the issue (even if I tend to be too lazy to do so in the long run - really, it's just that I'm onto other things). It's also because this craft is challenging. It takes a lot of mediocrity to yield eventual, beautiful technique. It's taken me years to get even the small distance that I have with fit. Technical workmanship is its own art form and one can only focus on so many things at once without blowing all her circuits.

I leave you with one more pic:

Do tell me if you like this sort of dress. Would you make a version without the ties? What do you think of my version? What do you think of Named Clothing? Let's talk!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


I have a problem which is reasonably pronounced. Apparently I am incapable of not altering things:

This is the Kielo Wrap Dress - really.
Even before (perhaps, especially before) I make a first muslin, this is what happens. Every time.

Sure, part of the issue is the inevitable scrap paper heap that comes of putting together a pdf pattern.

But if you look closely, there's more:

It occurred to me that there would be little point in just altering the armscye curve (which isn't particularly straightforward with this pattern, even if there are lines that delineate it for you).

It's drafted for a gazelle or a woman of 5"9'. With a long waist. Whatevs. I cut a modified Eur 40 / US 8.

Pre-Construction Pattern Alterations:
  • I removed 1 5/8" length from the waist (waistline is marked on the pattern). 
  • I also removed 1 5/8" of depth from the armscye (also marked on the pattern but tricky to feel comfortable about in advance of constructing the garment).
  • Then I hacked off the bottom (it's a maxi dress) so that the end result should hit slightly above the knee, once hemmed.
  • I had to shorten the back dart by lowering its upper start point, because I took the length out of the upper back by removing it from the armscye depth. 
  • I don't know if I'm going to need to dart the front because I worked hard to get the necessary width at the full bust by comparing it against my sloper. If I do need to dart, I'll prob pick it up on the fly, first time around, cuz I can't predict how long or deep it will need to be - nor do I know where to put it. 
  • I trued up the sides to maintain the size 8 width.
  • It occurs to me that I should probably remove a wedge of 1" from the lower back, tapering to nothing at the side seam, to account for the additional front length I need to deal with the boobs, vs my short waist and back body. Since the back piece isn't cut on the fold, this won't be an issue. It might also be overkill given all of the other alterations I've already made, on spec. Mind you, I've seen some versions of this that are too long in the back - albeit, more in the upper back than lower, given that there are waist ties at the low back to obfuscate that issue.
For starters - way to cut down on fabric consumption! I bet I'll be able to make this with 1.5 yards of fabric. I'll let you know.

Secondly, it's not a quick sew if I spend 2 hours modifying the freakin' pattern. (Now I've got to wait a while to ensure that I consider what I've done because I've cut into my fabric, immediately, too many times not to realize that I generally need to fix something after letting things sit for a while.) No question, I'm not quick at sewing, but I'm that much less quick because it takes me forever just to get to the point when the sewing begins.

You may say: Kristin, you're so considered. This will make your finished garment so much better. The truth is that, yeah, sometimes that's true. And other times, it just turns into its own sort of mess. So I can't really rely on that assumption - though in some ways I do or I wouldn't bother to constantly amend things before I start.

At any rate, wish me luck.

And while you're at it - please tell me whether you do this insanity too.

(PS: I do this crazy sort of alteration with knitting ALL the time and I still manage to be relatively quick at the craft. I wonder what it is about sewing that keeps me slow??)

Make Do and Mend

Nothing like driving rain and 11C in mid-May, no? This spring has been cold. I'm sick of cold. I'm sick of not knowing that I can count on a bit of sun and warmth. One day it's 22C and bright and I feel my spirit relent. The next, there's chance of flurries. (Just want to keep up with my hateful TO weather diary - don't want y'all to feel that we've got lucky here.)

Of course, it predisposes one to sit on the couch and knit (or to make up a new quick dress). A propos of this, I'm hoping that I can print out the Kielo Dress this morning. Scott's printer is acting up so keep your fingers crossed. If I can, then it's likely I'll be able to make the dress before I go to see my parents in NC on Monday. One thing I'll say about NC - it's well situated for freakin' gorgeous weather. Note: I'm not suggesting that it will be gorgeous when I'm there because I'm superstitious.

As mentioned, if I'm able to print the pattern, I'll hack it off above the knee (I mean, carefully ensure that I maintain the tulip lines while shortening it by a good foot). I'll also follow my own knit sloper armscye (and bust width). What I'm wondering is whether I'll need to sew the dart at the bust if I actually cut according to my T shirt bust (which doesn't have darts). I suspect yes, cuz without a sleeve I'll need the shaping. But I'm not thrilled at the prospect of downward slanting darts. Here's the thing, this project is about not overthinking - not creating an artificial issue. So I'm going to get with a down slope dart if that's what's called for.

I'm currently working on 2 knitting projects - neither of which I can photograph because the weather is dusk-dark given the rain.

One is my second version of the Circular Vest (aka Balboa Waistcoat), which is a joy to knit. The other is a CRAZY pair of socks.

How and why are the socks so crazy? Well, it's not because I'm using a new sock pattern. I'm still attached to my Simple Sock (stockinette, top down, basic). It's that I've opted to do more freakin' colour striping. And, this time, just to make things more lively, I've used 2 self-striping yarns that have fuck all to do with one another - except that they are of the same brand.

These yarns, Regia war-horse which last forever (I know, I've been wearing the blue pair weekly for 3 years), aren't the most gorgeous colourways. To wit - here are the socks they produced originally (1 yarn, 1 sock):

I know - not my best choices from a stripe perspective.

You'd imagine that to combine them in a 1:1.5 ratio (I have 33% more of the brown/teal than the blue/grey) would be horrible. But I want to practice my yarn carry-up on socks and there's no better way to do it than with a 2-row / 3-row split in yarns that are so freakin' busy you can't tell what's going on. (Mind you, I'm still so bad at carry-up that I may never do this stripe ratio again because, if in future I don't carry up, I'll have to weave in ends and I will not do that every 2 rows.) Furthermore, when the universe throws you the perfect amount of yarn - well, slightly less than perfect but workable - you go for it. This is a stash-busting dream.

Yeah, I also know - hideous socks are hideous even if you do use up all your yarn.

Here's the amazing thing, and you'll see this when I take a shot of the final result: These self-striping yarns are less hideous, when combined again in manual stripes, than each is on its own. Don't misunderstand, they're skirting a "socks only a mother could love" vibe, but I love the integration. I love the practicality. Whenever I knit socks to use up stash, I am transported mentally to another time and place - specifically WW2-era England.

Those wartime ladies knit the shit out of scrap yarns and created warm, necessary things for their families and soldiers in a time when everything was scarce. (Note: Apparently by WW2 there were standards about how these women knitted for the soldiers - which seems a bit obnoxious, frankly - but the point stands.) And I wish we felt this way about resources now.

Hilarious and weird side note: When I lived in England in the 80s, I went to visit a co-boarder friend at her home in London. It was a totally amazing place (though I cannot remember the neighbourhood). Let's just say, the house was huge, over multiple narrow floors, but the 'hood was having a bad moment. I'm sure it's been so gentrified at this point that their home would sell for 6 million pounds today. At any rate, my friend lived with her parents and grandparents there, when she wasn't at school. Her gparents had lived through WW2, natch. While were were looking around (cuz I LOVE to look around fantastic houses), we went into the coach house at the back of the garden (it was ancient) and found a tin of salmon from the wartime, wedged between some shelves. It had been there for 40 years at least. I was amazed, in that way that only new-world people can be, and my friend brought the tin into the house to show her grandfather. No word of a lie, he opened it on the spot - it did look entirely normal, fwiw - and he ate it!! I was ASTOUNDED and horrified. But the guy was fine. BTW, I'm sure this place was one of my formative architectural influences. The tall, skinny Victorian is still my fave.

So that's my weekend so far. Here's to wasting not.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Can You See A Pattern Here?

The benefits of pattern-surfing can tell the story of one's current sense of style.

Theoretically, I could make any of these purportedly simple projects using fabric I already own:

Named Kielo Wrap Dress
I'd definitely shorten this above the knee, and make it in a knit.

Papercut Patterns Bowline Sweater
Sure, I've got a lot of tops that already work this asymmetrical angle (ha!) but who can't use another?

StyleArc Jessica Dress
This one is cute but runs the risk of being bulky at the twist and I don't know that it would be the most flattering .

StyleArc Pamela Dress
Interestingly, I own a rayon that would probably work well with the Pamela Dress (it calls for a stretch woven).

Special mention goes to the Toni Dress, for which I have a decided soft-spot, despite the fact that this dress is very "of a style" (and that style's name is science-fiction hippie). The likelihood that this would be VERY difficult to fit on me is high. I mean, if the shoulders are drafted wide or long, I'd pretty well have to start from scratch. And that collar could go all kinds of wrong...:

StyleArc Toni Dress
Of course, I also have a bunch of appropriate patterns in my stash which, according to Felicia, I might be using in lieu of online shopping. While I completely agree with her in her latest (really interesting) post, that window shopping catalyzes desire, not gratitude, I find it hard to begrudge the activity when it comes to pdf patterns. I mean, yes, this activity may have derailed me from using patterns that I already own, but it's also sparked my current creativity and it allows me to connect with things anew. I'm not necessarily in the same mood today as I was six months ago when I bought my last batch of patterns. I don't have to pay (or use resources) to ship these and they take up veritably no space (unless I use them). Not to mention that it allows me to support independent creative business owners. (Update: Apparently, the Pamela Dress isn't available in pdf...)

So these are some things I'm thinking of making up. Any preferences?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Any Ideas?

Hey - I've decided to change up my sewing plan a smidge. I'm still going to make 2 pairs of Hudsons but other than that, I want to think a bit more creatively about how best to use these fabrics:
  • 2 yards of lavender meets aubergine modal - quite drapey, on the heavy side, great recovery
  • 2 yards of "sweatshirt" grey bamboo jersey - also very drapey, a bit thinner than the modal, great recovery, in truth, this is more of a winter colour...
  • 2 yards of electric blue bamboo jersey - also very drapey, a bit thinner than the modal, great recovery, spectacular colour that really should shine
These are all very luxe fabrics. My only complaint is that Chu Shing seems to consistently short-change me. Like - to the tune of a third of a yard per piece. And all the fabric is in yards, not metres, so the prices are that much higher. Paying $24 a yard and getting 0.75 yard is very irritating. It means that I can't actually use the fabric purchased in some instances (that's why I had to go back for more of the electric blue jersey - I bought a yard, got 0.65 of a yard...) Part of the issue is that one of the SAs doesn't use a ruler (as far as I can tell) so it's not like I can measure it for myself before buying. The service is very polite and the stock is awesome, but this is stealing. If it hadn't happened multiple times, which I've tried to overlook, I'd keep my mouth shut. Mind you, I'm almost at the point that I'm going to bring in my own measuring tape into the shop. And that may seem offensive. If only the stock weren't so good...

As luck would have it, EweKnit has started selling solid jersey knits - I cannot wait to check this out. The prices are right in line with good knit fabric and I have every confidence that I'll receive what I pay for.

But back to the question at hand: I want to make something fun - and maybe new - with each of these fabrics but here are my parameters:
  • Would prefer to use in 1-yard increments to maximize what I can do with the remnants
  • Wouldn't mind something a bit dressy to wear to meetings - or something casual
  • Don't want to have to go insane with fitting. I'm looking for something that I can more or less compare to other knit slopers I've got and make my alterations that way
  • Would be happy to make a top, dress, jacket - anything, really
  • I like interesting lines
  • Has to work with boobs
  • In a perfect world, it would be an intermediate project - not looking to take on something advanced right now. I need some quick wins.
I'm thinking of oversized things with fitted shoulders or things that skim over the midsection.

Please provide any fab pattern ideas - preferably ones that can be downloaded! Thanks!

On another note, I hemmed the stripey V1179, from yesterday, and it seems much nicer than it did yesterday. From the outside, the workmanship isn't bad. So it's a keeper, I suppose. Good thing I didn't go nuts and throw it out on a whim...