mardi 29 juillet 2014

Outfit Along : completed!

Hi all, I've finally completed both my cardigan and dress for the outfit along!

I look slightly stupid on that pic. Dunno why but my boyfriend wasn't very inspired. He could at least have told me I was looking that dumb!

I won't go over the cardi once more as you've already seen it in a previous post, but here are a few facts about the dress :
This is Colette Pattern's Hawthorn dress and I've made the sleeveless version, in a navy swiss dot cotton underlined (for the bodice) and lined (fort the skirt) in a navy cotton voile.

Sorry for the crappy pictures, didn't have the time to snap anything better...

I mean, this is the first time I sew something (relatively) complicated and manage to get perfectly finished seams everywhere! My facings have been finished with a mock overlock stitch and then catchstitched to the (under)lining, same goes for my hem, I made a faux waist stay, finished my armholes with piping, used French seams everywhere I's almost as beautiful on the inside as on the outside! (check my FlickR if you want to see the details!)
On top of that, the fit is spot on (although I was unsure about it after making 2 muslins, I finally cut a size 6 with no alterations) and this is a perfectly office-friendly garment.

However, even if this dress, due to its color and clean lines, is definitely cake material, it would be very easy to add some frosting to it with the right accessories and make it a perfect outfit for an evening out or even fancier occasions! I can already imagine wearing it with green or pink...I'll have to knit more Myrnas to pair with it! And I think it's definitely going to be worn a lot!

To conclude, I'd just like to thank Andi and Lauren for organizing the Outfit Along, it was fun!

mardi 15 juillet 2014

Outfit Along - Dress Progress

Hi folks, hope you had a lovely weekend! 
I personally had a lovely 3-days weekend (July 14th being our national day here in France) and coud really make some progress on my Outfit Along dress.

It's not easy to photograph a navy dress on a purple dress form, but there you have it! The only things left to do are finishing the armscyes, creating the buttonholes, making my fabric-covered buttons, hemming and catch-stitching the facing on to the lining/underlining fabric. I think the 15 days ahead should be enough to do this!

Look, I'm making a faux waist stay (thank Anna for her tutorial!)

Stay tuned for the final Outfit Along posted, it should come soon (or so I hope)!

jeudi 10 juillet 2014

Unselfish knitting

Now that I've started knitting, it's hard to imagine a train trip without something to keep my hands busy...And as I spend more or less 2 hours a day on the train, you can imagine I don't wait till I finish a project to start thinking about the next!
However it might not be comfortable to manipulate some warm material like wool in the summer, so I chose 4 small projects to start after my Myrna : I'm going to make 4  of Ysolda Teagues's Icing Swirl Hats, as Christmas Presents for the ladies in my family.

Here's the beginning of the first one. I had started it last night, but as I had dropped a few stitches, it didn't look very pretty, so I ripped it off and started afresh this morning. However, as I'm using a big yarn (Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky), it's quite fast!

As I had never knitted with double pointed needles before, I decided to give it a try with some scrap yarn before getting the yarn I ordered in the mail. The yarn was too thin and there wasn't enough of it to make much, but I managed to get something just the right size for Gipsy. She doesn't look very happy about it though...Cats are such an ungrateful bunch! ;) And honestly, that's what she gets for turning my OAL dress fabric into a hairy mess. How sad would life be if you couldn't make fun of your cat once in a while?!

lundi 7 juillet 2014

Outfit Along : one down and one to go!

Hi folks, I'm done with Outfit Along Part1!

I'm only showing it on my dress form for the moment, I'll make an outfit post of sorts when I finish the dress.

I'm not 100% happy with how the keyhole looks, too many holes for my taste. Maybe my bind off is too tight?
Sleeve detail. Notice something funny? Read on ;)
On the whole everything went pretty well. I'm not super happy with the keyhole, and the shoulders look a bit weird, but nothing to prevent me from wearing this sweater, and after all I've been knitting for less than a year!
You may have noticed some differences in the stitches on my sleeve, so I'll try and explain why it is so. I had started on the short rows and was knitting "normally" (that's what you see on the right, on the picture above). Then I got to the part when you join in the round and I found that the stitches didn't look the same - they were looking perfectly parallel and there was a gap between the two parallel sides of the stitches (that's what you see in the 5 or so rows on the middle of the picture) - instead of looking like a little braid with alternate criss-cross as before (I don't know if that's clear, I hope it makes more sense if you look at the picture!). I was too lazy to rip the whole thing off to have everything look the same, so I ended up knitting through the back loop for the last rows before the decrease round, and my stitches ended up looking a little bit more like what you see on the rest of the sweater. 
And, of course, I did the same on the second sleeve and decided to call it a design feature ;) 

As for my dress, it's still not going quite as fast as I'd like too...After making a second muslin and deciding that the first one finally looked better, I traced all the pattern pieces the weekend before last, and left my fabric on my ironing board, which is about the only place in the house where I can put my fabric out of the way and have it lying flat.
Incidentally, the ironing  board is ALSO one of my cat's favorite resting place. Needless to say that when I came back to my fabric last Saturday to finish cutting, it had gone from smooth and navy to white and fluffy!
However, after using 11 sheets on my sticky lint remover, I finally restored my fabric to its previous navy color and I have now cut all the pattern pieces, basted my underlining to the bodice's shell fabric, interfaced my collar and facing and pinned the darts on the bodice pieces, woohoo!
I'm looking forward for the long weekend to come, hope I'll be able to go a little faster!

lundi 23 juin 2014

A few vintage finds

I like going to my town's flea market's, but whenever I go it seems like I never have the time to stop and have a close look at whatever might interest me. And when I do have the time and spot something lovely, it seems like I never have any money...
However, last sunday, I happened to have both a little time and money, and I managed to find something :

4 belt buckles dating back from the 1950s-60s (according to the lady who sold them to me).
Well, now I just have to learn how to make belts!

mardi 17 juin 2014

Outfit Along : an update

Hello folks!
Here's my little OAL update :

Bad picture, but it's lucky it's dark, otherwise you would see what a mess my flat is ;). As you can see, Myrna is growing quite well (I'm currently halfway through the waist shaping). However, the same can't be said about my dress...the pile of fabric on which I put my ball of yarn is actually going to become a Hawthorn, but for the moment it's only been prewashed. I made a first muslin of the bodice, which proved I'd have to make it a bit longer, I started tracing the other pattern pieces...and that's as far as I went for the moment.

I hope I'll be more productive next week-end!

dimanche 1 juin 2014

Smooth Sailing strikes again!

Remember my yellow linen pants ? I made them last year because I needed some pants that were classy, casual and with the right amount of retro. Although they were not perfect ( the waistband was notably far too loose) I loved these pants and really wore them to much that they actually got damaged. They were starting to show signs of heavy fraying around the back darts, and were not in a state that allowed me to wear them at work.
And here I was, once more in need of a pair of casual, but office-friendly pants
So, for the 3rd time now, I dug out my Wearing History's Smooth Sailing pants pattern...but I made a few changes to the pattern. Here they are :

  • I took the waist in and removed 1 inch from it ;
  • I added pockets (which I'm not sure was a good idea as I had to insert a side seam zipper, but it works! However, my pockets being far too narrow for me to put my hands in it comfortably, I'll have to re-draft them if I make another version - which is highly likely) ;
  • I made 4 tucks at the front instead of 2 ;
  • I doubled the width of the waistband, which results in a much more high-waisted looks and allows me (see picture below for evidence) to wear my "breton-top-which-used-to-be-a-skirt" without flashing my belly! Yay!
And dare I say, I absolutely love my new pants!

Picture taken by my boyfriend! Daylight and a lovely background are so much better than a dimly lit building hall, don't you think? 

Well, I'll leave you for now and go back to my Hawthorn muslin for the Oufit Along! Bye everybody!