Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Road Test Results and a UFO

I test drove the new knit dress yesterday and I am pleased to report that it passed. I actually got a few complements on it! Although I have to wonder if that wasn't so much because of the dress itself, or because I work in a super casual environment and a dress- any dress- is going to stand out. In any case, the dress is a success and I'm pleased with it's performance. The fabric, with it's minimal lengthwise stretch, was a good choice.

After making the dress on Saturday, I was itching for something to do on Sunday, but I really didn't want to trace a new pattern, or worry about a muslin, so I pulled this out:

Yes, it's a knitting project. Now I don't really consider myself "a knitter." I don't really make anything but scarves, which are just long rectangles. I love yarn, I love knitted things, I even love the sound and the feel of my bamboo knitting needles as I make scarves. I just can't seem to get past the scarf stage. I'd love to make a sweater- I even have a sleeve almost finished- but I just can't seem to wrap my head around anything more complicated than a scarf. I get lost in a pattern. I can't seem to keep up with the increases, the decreases, and the pattern repetitions. And then there's the dreaded gauge. I actually found a sweater pattern that looked easy enough for me to attempt, but I could not for the life of me get the correct gauge. If I got the right stitch count, the rows were off, and vice versa. I gave up.
Scarves are great because the gauge doesn't matter. I can just cast on and knit- literally. I almost always knit, hardly ever purl, so most of my scarves are garter stitch. And since most of the time I use novelty yarns, it doesn't matter anyway.
This project is a simple garter stitch scarf in Yarn Bee Truffles, which I picked up awhile back at Hobby Lobby. I made a scarf out of this yarn (blue and green colorway) last year and I adore wearing it. So I thought I'd try another color. This one is called Out West and it's a combination of red, teal green, tan, and chocolate brown. I'm not sure I'm liking it yet. Since the photo was taken Sunday, I've knit up almost the whole ball, and I have approximately 18" of scarf. This is a ladder yarn with shiny satin bits and fluffy matte bits. When it's knit up it makes a really cool textural fabric. I'll cut enough fringe for both ends (this yarn fringes nicely, too) and then join the second ball and knit until the end. Then I'll finish it off with the fringe and wear it. With the weather cooling off the way it is, it'll be scarf weather soon.
I hope to have this finished by the end of the week (famous last words.) I'll have to remember to take a picture and share.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another New Look 6802

So I wanted to make NL6802 again in a less stretchy fabric to see what would happen.

And here's the result. I'm liking it. I used a novelty knit from Hancock's that I've had hibernating in my stash for probably two years. It has a really nice multicolored horizontal stripe, a little bit of shimmer, and a pointelle pattern knit into it. It has just enough horizontal stretch to make it suitable for this dress, and almost no lengthwise stretch. I think it's going to work great, because the first version of this dress had a lot of lengthwise stretch, and it tends to grow throughout the day.

The only problem is that this fabric is a tiny bit sheer, so I have to remember to wear a slip.

I pretty much made this version exactly the same as the last one, except I shortened the sleeves, and I had to cut the overlay on the crossgrain to take advantage of the stripes (and the stretch!) I love how the stripes seem to flow over the upper arm straight into the overlay. A happy accident, I assure you.

The princess likes it, too. And since I had a good 2+ yards left of this fabric, (what was I thinking buying so much?) I think I might look for a suitable pattern to make her a "matching" dress.

Now, back to the sewing room!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Filler Blog Post (Or Shannon's Picks from the October BWOF)

Wow. It's been a week and a half since my last post. I have absolutely no sewing news to share. I haven't touched my machine in probably two weeks.

So I thought I'd at least check in and share my picks from the most recent BWOF issue. I have to admit upfront that this issue just isn't thrilling me like the last two. That said, there are still a couple of cute things in here, and I wonder if I won't come back to this one later and find some gems that I'm just not seeing right this minute.

I think my favorite thing in the issue is this jacket, #130 from the Take 1, Make 4 section. I love the vague military styling (the stand-up collar, the epaulettes, the pockets with button flaps, and the tabs at the cuffs), and I have some cotton velvet in my stash, which is the recommended fabric. Mine is periwinkle, though. I think that could be kind of cool.
The only thing that bothers me about the jacket is that it's cut very straight and boxy. There appears to be no shaping at the sides or the center back. That means that I would have to make a muslin and then probably some significant adjustments to make this flattering for my curvy figure. While I'm sure the finished jacket would be worth it, I just don't have the energy right now. Sigh...

Next up is this very simple knit dress, #117 from the Little Black Dress section. The magazine calls it Dancing Queen, and styled like it is on the model with the big floppy hat, it does have a very 70's vibe. The drawing is pretty blah, but I see some real potential here. I'm seeing it in a beautiful knit print, worn with a pretty cami underneath. (You know, to keep things modest. That neckline looks like it's pretty low!)

I like this one a lot, too. This is dress #119, shown in black chiffon and in grey flannel in the photos. I love both the dresses, but I really don't want a sleeveless dress right now with the weather getting cooler. I'm going to file this one away, though... Maybe later.

And last we have dress #113, also from the Little Black Dress section. I L-O-V-E this dress. From the double cap sleeves to the neckline, from the empire sash to the flattering (and easy to alter) princess seams, this dress is hot. Too bad I don't have anywhere or any reason to make it.
There are a couple of other things that I like, but these are the ones that stand out to me right now. Like I said, I may come back to this issue later and be captivated by something entirely different.
It's Friday night. I'm exhasuted from this week and ready to collapse into bed right now, but I hope to get another knit dress cut out this weekend. Maybe I'll have some sewing to share before too long. Cross you fingers for me!