Friday, October 30, 2015


Regular readers will know that I love to knit. And when I lived in Illinois, winters were fierce and I had good reason to wear warm knits. Now that I live in balmy Chattanooga, where winter lasts for a morning and then melts, I have warmth to spare. So I find myself knitting for others, which makes me very happy.
Here's a little number which I made back in 2006, wore once for the camera and once to share at my knitting group. Then it got stored in the closet. What a shame. Noro Kureyon, 100% wool. Size? Loose!

This is what it looked like being blocked on the bed, before sewing. 
So here's the offer: Price of the yarn $60 and shipping $13=$73. First come, first served. Email me.SOLD

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Black, White and Red

The vest pattern was supposedly what I would be sewing next, but in looking for something interesting to make it from, I uncovered this wonderful piece of cotton sateen. I have had this waiting in my stash for lo these many years. It was just too much yardage to use for the vest and I decided I could make one more shirt. So glad I did.

Turns out that as much as I like color, I really love love love black and white, and yes, RED.
I could be happy with just those colors in my wardrobe. So easy to mix and decide what goes with what. Perhaps I can keep going in this direction for a bit longer. A vest in black perhaps?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vest Prototype

For me, this is all about the neckline. It's a collar that is not a collar. Just covering the back of the neck and then gracefully sloping down the fronts into a curve. It is a bit tricky to sew, or shall I say serge, but sewn with a regular sewing machine, it is easier.
Usually I begin with a muslin, and then make adjustments in it, tossing it out when I have determined the changes. In this case, I just made the bodice length, for fit.
Then onto the fabric I might actually wear. This ancient piece of faux indigo was the right amount, and so I began cutting. Unfortunately I didn't have enough for the long neck facing and had to find another fabric for that. No matter, it hardly shows.
Now that I have determined the fit and decided the length could better work shorter, I am ready to start getting creative.


Friday, October 23, 2015

One More Time

 The plan was to use only what I have in my stash...where have we heard that one before?
But in one of my visits to Joann's Fabrics, I fell in love with this fabric and it was on know the rest of the story.
I had the dots, an old Jennifer Sampou design which I have hoarded and used in many of my quilts. Now I get to wear it.
In this version I eliminated the back pleat, and placed the pattern back slightly on the bias to create an A-line shape with a nicer drape. This is just perfect now, after so many tries. No side vents needed, and plenty of ease.
To tart it up a bit, I added a contrasting breast pocket and lined the collar with the dots. The back neck has the patch and knot again.

 Next, I am going to use this pattern and of course alter it to fit my taste.

My inspiration comes from this vest by Holly that neckline.
Turquoise Dervish Vest:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Far East Influence

 The same pattern but extended fronts, sloping neckline, and a band collar. The addition of a contrasting print brightens the dark batik.

 The back pleat has a slit in this version and the patch and knot is repeated at the back neck.
Contrasting cuffs, and an in-seam pocket complete the shirt.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Adapting the Pattern

McCall's Pattern Misses', Men's and Teen Boys' Tops, Nightshirt, Pants and Sweatsuit, Y (XS, S, M)

Bettina asked:
is there a base pattern that I could buy to modify?
Yes and this is it. 
Mccall's 5992. I changed the neckline, because it flared out, and discarded that collar. Everything else worked. What I wanted was a loose fitting shirt, without darts. 
On some garments I added a back pleat, or widened the bottoms, or cut curved hems, or allowed for side vents. I added my own pockets and changed the neckline too. It's a pretty straightforward shape, and I found it easy to modify. 
However, I traced the pattern in my size, and reduced the seam allowance to 1/4 inch, so I could easily stitch seams with my serger. 
My first attempts were thwarted because I chose too large a size and it sent me back to the store in a hurry. Even mistakes are worth making, if it teaches me something.  After 8 finished garments, I am ready to really get 'arty' with the next several pieces. And today I cleaned out my closet and filled a huge trash bag with clothes that don't work for me anymore, but are still good. They will be going to Goodwill, along with a huge bagful from Dave.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Shirt So Nice. . .

And I have leggings to match.
When I scanned my available fabrics I found this 2 yard piece of batik and thought..."Can I get a long sleeved, long shirt out of two yards of fabric?" I laid out the pattern pieces and wound up with shortened sleeves, which I felt were not right for this shirt. But I cut away and soon saw I had leftover fabric which could be added to the sleeve for the right length. Genius! Ha! I was also able to squeak in the side seam pockets again and bingo, I was in business. Having just made one of these, I was hip to the quick assembly and had it done in time to take the dogs for their afternoon walk in it.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Fabric Makes It

 Another variation on the shirt idea. This time with a stand up collar and pleated back from the neck down. Side seam pockets again, as they are the slimmest look. The fabric is one I have been saving since the 90's. I kid you not. It's an African batik. and I didn't use it all, so it will show up again in another garment.