winter

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Even though I’ve made quite a few Seamwork patterns and the Cooper backpack twice, this is the first time I’ve actually sewn with a Colette apparel pattern! I made this Selene skirt all the way back in July, so the construction details are a little bit fuzzy, but I do remember that the instructions were great and I don’t think I encountered any difficulties.

The skirt is made from some lovely raw silk that my grandma gave me. I decided to use some of it for this project, but I knew it would be a bit too lightweight for a structured skirt like this, so I underlined it with Kona cotton. Underlining really made a huge difference – it made the silk feel much more substantial, and it also keeps it from wrinkling too badly!  For the lining I used bemberg rayon.

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

This is definitely one of the best garments I’ve made in terms of finishing. Lining, underlining, lapped zipper, vent, hand-sewn hem… these all make the skirt feel very high-quality. This was my first time doing a lapped zipper, and I think it turned out pretty well! I like that Colette includes vintage-inspired techniques like that. The notched pockets are my favorite feature!

White’s hard to photograph, so unfortunately the construction details don’t show up too well! I lowered the highlights, so hopefully you can make them out okay.

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

The turtleneck I made toward the end of last winter. The fabric is a lightweight merino wool from The Fabric Store. I used Style Arc’s Alexi pattern and the fit is pretty good, although it’s a bit too big through the shoulders and bust. I also shortened the sleeves and the body by an inch or two.

I actually just made another Alexi turtleneck last weekend from Kaufman Laguna jersey, and the fit is much better and tighter, so I guess it just depends on your stretch percentage. The pattern says it’s “suitable for any stretch knit fabric”, so not a lot of guidance there. It is a great basic though!

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

Selene Skirt & Alexi Turtleneck

I have about two yards of the raw silk left, so if you have any pattern suggestions that it would work well for I’d love to hear them! I think I’ll try dyeing it a darker color for whatever I use it for next.

<3 Lindsay

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I started this dress back in November intending to wear it to Thanksgiving. With the amount of time I left myself that wasn’t going to happen, so I didn’t stress it and instead gave myself the new deadline of Dec. 23 so I could wear it out to Christmas tea with my family.

This is the Olivia Wrap Dress from Named – “a classic wrap dress with a slightly tulip-shaped skirt”.

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a big fan of Named and this pattern is no exception. November was a while ago so the construction details are kind of fuzzy, but I remember everything being pretty straightforward. The pattern is well designed and I love that there’s no neckline gaping or skirt flashing in the wind!

This dress was kind of a wearable muslin and there are a couple things I’d change next time. The bodice is a bit roomy all over, so I think I need to both shorten it and do an SBA. I’d also probably eliminate the in-seam pockets. They’re nice to have, but I don’t like the way they tend to flop around and mess with the silhouette of the skirt.

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I shortened the skirt by a whopping 5″ before I cut it out because I know Named patterns run long on me (I’m 5’4″), and I thought I would probably want it to end above the knee. Actually I ended up deciding to leave the length just below the knee as the pattern intended – I think it looks a bit dressier that way. There wasn’t enough length left to do a hem (and I’m lazy) so I just left it raw!

The fabric is “Silky Stretch ITY Jersey Knit Asian Scallop” from fabric.com (no longer on their site). It’s a polyester fabric, which I don’t normally go for, but I’d read that it works well for wrap dresses (more fluid, less robe-like). I may have to reconsider polyester because I do really like this fabric. It’s silky smooth, has a great drape, and doesn’t wrinkle at all – great for traveling!

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

And with that I’m caught up with last year’s blogging – at least of the more interesting things! In January I made my dad a shirt and I’m almost done with a pair of high-waisted Ginger jeans for myself. It never really got cold here this winter (it was in the 80s last weekend!) so I’m already planning my spring wardrobe. Anyone else dreaming of sundresses already?

<3 Lindsay

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir SweaterJust a quick post so I can show off my first knitted sweater! This is the Sundottir sweater, which I’ve been crazy about for ages. I think the colorwork yoke is so gorgeous!

I first fell in love with this sweater design when I saw Tasia’s post about her finished Sundottir a couple years ago. Honestly, this sweater is the main reason I learned how to knit! I really wanted one and I knew there was no way to get one unless I made it myself. So I took a Craftsy class and made my first scarf around this time last year. I followed that up with a hat, took a break from knitting during the summer, eased back into it this fall by doing a more complicated hat, and then I decided I was ready to tackle this sweater!

I started swatching at the beginning of October, so it took about three months to complete. There were tons of new-to-me techniques involved (short rows, colorwork, etc.), but I just took it slow and watched plenty of youtube tutorials along the way. There’s plenty of little mistakes if you look closely enough, but I’m so pleased with how it turned out! I think I’m more proud of this sweater than anything I’ve sewn, both because it took so long to make, and because I learned so much while making it. And it fits perfectly which I’m so happy about! I’m glad all that swatching paid off :)

Ravelry notes here.

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir Sweater

Sundottir Sweater

I need to get back in the habit of blogging! Hopefully I’ll be back later this week with a post about the wrap dress I wore to Christmas tea.

Hope everyone’s having a happy new year!

<3 Lindsay

Quilted Sweatshirts Duo

Quilted SweatshirtsWith the weather finally getting chilly around here I decided to make quilted sweatshirts for myself and Nathaniel: Named’s Sloane sweatshirt for me and Seamwork’s Paxson raglan for him.

With other knit Named patterns I’ve sized down, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that with this one, especially if your fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch. I made my true size (34) and I’m really happy with the fit. It’s definitely a pattern I’ll be using again! The long darts give it a bit of a slimmer fit than your traditional sweatshirt, so you may even want to size up if you’re planning on wearing it over layers.

The thing I’m not terribly happy with is the fabric. It looks great and the outer layer is super soft… but the inner layer is kind of itchy. It’s not too bad when worn over a t-shirt, but it’s definitely not as cozy as I was expecting. The funny thing is that I got the end of the bolt with my fabric.com order, so I have over a yard of this fabric left. I’m not sure yet what to do with it… maybe pillows since the outside is so soft?

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

I’m also wearing my “wearable muslin” Ginger jeans. For my first pair, I’m really surprised how well these fit! From my Jamie Jeans experience I knew that there were three main pattern alterations I’d need: shortening the legs, taking in the inner thigh, and doing a swayback adjustment on the waistband. I did all these to the paper pattern (guessing at the right amounts) before cutting it out  and basting the jeans together. The basted fit was good, so I didn’t make any further adjustments.

The denim is super soft, but also fairly lightweight. That would be great for summer, except this fabric has one fatal flaw: it attracts cat hair like crazy. One sit-down on the couch and it’s all over. A lint brush helps a bit, but this fabric is seriously a cat hair magnet.

This is View A: low rise and straight leg. I definitely want to try the high-waisted version next! I’ve ordered some Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics for my next couple pairs.

Ginger Jeans

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

The fabric I used for Nathaniel’s sweater, on the other hand, is much softer on the inside. The issue here was with the fit. His measurements placed him at the low end of the size medium, so I thought I’d be fine sewing the size M even though the fabric didn’t have quite as much stretch as called for. Incorrect. Especially since I think Paxson is meant to be worn as a shirt rather than layered on top of something. So it ended up a little tight, but not unwearably so.

The other issue was with the cuffs and hemband. The sleeves (and therefore the cuffs) ended up too short, while the hemband ended up too long and frumpy looking. Luckily these were easy to fix: I cut off the hemband and shortened it, and re-cut new, longer cuffs.

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

Quilted Sweatshirts

So neither project turned out quite as expected, but I think they’ll get a lot of wear anyway! And they were quick to make at just a couple hours each.

How’s your winter sewing coming along?

<3 Lindsay

Learning to Knit

knitting1

One of the side effects of finally signing up for Instagram last Me-Made-May was discovering that many of my sewing friends are also excellent knitters. And, being a crafty person, I of course wanted to understand how all these gorgeous projects were being made. I had zero experience with knitting, so I bought the Knit Lab Craftsy class. And then I waited for the heat of summer to subside enough that just the thought of wool wouldn’t cause me to break out in a sweat.

During a couple rainy days in September I watched the first lesson and tried it out. It didn’t look good. My yarn was a mess, the temps went back up to the ’90s, and I put it aside.

Then there was the holidays, a new job, and lots of winter sewing to keep me busy, so it wasn’t until February that I picked up my knitting again. This time I was determined, and after three days something finally clicked and the whole knit/purl thing finally made sense! First up I made the Seed Stitch Cambridge scarf that came with my Craftsy class. It took me about a month to finish, but it was really gratifying to see the scarf taking shape and to feel myself getting faster and more comfortable with knitting. The repeating stitch patterns kept it interesting and forced me to practice alternating knits and purls.

knitting2

I was really happy with how it turned out, and eager to knit something else that wouldn’t take quite so long. I found the free Man Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to try it out. Since it’s unisex I figured if it didn’t fit I could always give it to my husband!

This involved learning a new set of skills (knitting in the round, decreases, double-pointed needles, etc.), which I did with the help of youtube. The chunkier yarn knit up much faster and I was able to knit almost the whole hat on my flight to Paris last month. I really enjoyed making it, but I’m not quite sure what it was that made it more enjoyable than the scarf. Three major factors were different: bamboo needles, knitting in the round, and chunky yarn. So I’m a fan of at least one of those things… or maybe all three?

knitting3

And luckily it fit! This picture’s from when I finished it in March, as you can see by my long hair.

knitting4

I’m really glad I gave knitting a try! I don’t think I’ll ever knit nearly as much as I sew, but I do love how portable it is. And learning a new skill satisfies my crafty spirit (at least temporarily). So, fellow knitters, I’m curious – what do you knit in the summer? I’d like to keep practicing my knitting, but wooly sweaters are the last thing on my mind right now!

<3 Lindsay