Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to Cold Weather

Just yesterday morning, I was walking the beach.  Now I'm wearing my winter coat.  Brrrr!

I've made progress on my DGS's sweater.  I've managed to finished the sleeves.

They were knitted together, so the lengths would be the same.  The stitches are identical to the stitches in the hat.  My only new experience was increasing in the loop between the two stitches.  This sweater has raglan sleeves.   It's important to have two rows of a stockinette stitches along each edge.

I couldn't wait to start the back with all the fun cabling.  The first inch was my challenge.  I couln't see the pattern right away.  However, once I saw what was developing, there were no further difficulties.  It will be knitted straight up with no increases until the decreases for the sleeve edge.  The right and left edges are the same stitches as the sleeves and hat. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Off To The Panhandle of Florida

Tomorrow I'm leaving the cold and snow of NH for the sun and beaches of FL.  Family members and myself are joining my DH at the end of his business trip at Fort Walton Beach.  I won't be taking any sewing projects along, but I will start a knitting one.  Yes, I know I haven't finished the gingerbread socks, but I am saving that for our knitting group, which hasn't met for a very long time.  I'm told maybe we will meet again in two weeks.
 I bought this knitting leaflet a few months back

with intentions of making the sweater with collar and the hat for my DGS.   I actually made the hat as one of his Christmas present.   He looks beautiful in the hat, but he won't keep it on for more than a minute.  He just won't allow any hat on his head.  One day he'll figure a hat will keep his head warm. 

My carpool mate loves this pattern, too, and asked me if I will help her with the directions.  I want to resolve issues before she begins, so I am getting a head start.  The yarn I am using is the Snuggly DK.  It is baby soft and washable.  My gauge is right on with the pattern, which was figured when doing the hat.  It's all packed and ready to go.

Speaking of cable sweaters, my DH and I visit estate sales and yard sales all the time.  Something I was never really into until I met my DH.  We've managed some great purchases.  One is this handmade, cable sweater


for just $5.00.  Supposedly, it was never worn, because the young owner was allergic to wool.   An aunt made them for all her nieces and nephews.  The plastic buttons got damaged during the dry cleaning process, but the rest of it held up just great. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 7 of 17

I don't usually make the same pattern twice.  The challenge becomes lost.  I have no TNT.  However, I thought it would be very clever on my part to reproduce Vogue 2987.  My thinking was again that this should go together really quickly, since I worked out all the kinks.  I'd have another SWAP top in no time at all.  I didn't take into consideration the difference in fabric.  

This time around I used a black rayon jersey.  The fabric has a lot of stretch, but that wasn't my first problem.  I very carefully layed out each piece, was sure I had it right.  Only when I went to put the top together did I realize the gathered side was on the opposite side from the last time.  I did figure out what went wrong.  The back was set on the fold, but the right and left sides were layed singularly.  I had the paper pattern right side up, but the fabric was inside out.  Duh! 

The secondary problem was the stretching.  I had to re-do the shoulder seams three times.  I finally read about the differential feed on my serger.  By adjusting it, the shoulders went together nicely.  I took Sandra Betzina's advice from More Fabric Savvy to use a walking foot for topstitching.  I bought the foot last year to prepare for making a faux Chanel jacket this year.  What a pleasant experience.  The foot was a dream to work with.  If I hadn't adjusted the differential feed or used the walking foot, this piece would have gone in the trash.  Instead I have this very soft, comfortable top.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

MPB Shirt Sew Along - Week 1

My DH found himself the perfect classic dress shirt pattern.

It has all the important features that he's particular about ~ front band, collar stand, collar stay.  I explained that if he can master this pattern, anything after this will be easy.

He narrowed down the fabric choices to this white/lavendar stripe.

This small stripe won't be difficult for him to work with.  It will actually help in locating the straight of grain.  It was washed/ironed and is ready, but I am having him make a muslin first.

My DH spent a few days reading sections of Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin and a 1926 edition of Tailored Garments by Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences on tailored shirts.  I did research on wearing ease for a man's shirt.  Scott R Robinson, Designer and Instructor in Theater Arts at Central Washington University states that a classic shirt should have 3" of wearing ease at the chest.  A fitted shirt should have 1 1/2" - 2 1/2" inches of wearing ease.  I took DH's measurements after I had him watch this video.  Never even thought about the watch.

Since my DH feels this pattern is so nice, I had him preserve it by having him trace each piece instead of using the originals.  I put the cutting table near his work bench, so he would feel more confortable.  At first, he did a lot of complaining about having to trace the pattern.  Something like, it would be cheaper to buy a new pattern than use up his time.  Blah, blah, blah!  I had him iron each original pattern piece, and showed him how easy it is to trace.  That you don't have to mark everything.  So we proceed to trace the large pieces together.  I went on to do other things and came back to this.

What an amazing job!  A little obsessive, but amazing.  If he keeps this up, he is going to have one beautiful shirt.  Each pattern piece is now cut ready for the muslin fabric. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

SWAP 2011 - Week 6 of 17

I resolved my problem with the sleeveless top of Vogue 2987.  I decided to treat the stretch lace and the stretch lining as one.  I took apart the shoulder seams and placed each lace piece with its appropriate lining piece.  Literally only three pieces for this top.  I first serged the shoulder seams with stay tape sandwiched between the seams.  The stay tape keeps the shoulders from stretching.  I then serged the neck edge and the arm openings. 

This allowed me to cut off 1/4" of fabric while finishing these seams.  This left 3/8" seams to be turned into the inside of the top. 

The outside was topstitched . 

I really thought this top would go together in no time.  Not so.  I changed my serger threads back and forth.  Nude when sewing the shoulder and side seams and black when serging the pieces together and topsitching. 

I broke my left serger needle four different times, but can't figure out why.  Luckily while not doing the seams, but at the end.  I think I am pulling the thread tail while taking out the garment and the needle springs back hitting the looper.  Sewing with knits, and a lace knit at that, is the technique I was trying to master.