Category Archives: Finished projects

I’m back!

Hello world! So, I had a baby. He’s a toddler now. And we moved to a new condo. And I haven’t been sewing at all (thus the total and complete lack of posting).*

However, I have gotten back into knitting!! In August, I knit a pair of toddler legwarmers as part of a swap. They were awesome. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture. But they convinced me to knit regularly again. I started a hat, and then got distracted by moving and life, but I finished it this week. I was inspired by the ridiculously cold weather that suddenly moved in to Chicago.

It’s the Aesderina pattern by Jane Richmond. Yes, I *bought* a pattern (and browsing through her website, I want to buy all of her patterns)!** It was an easy knit (and I learned a new decrease), and the resulting product is quite striking. I’ve gotten lots of compliments. Best of all, it was pretty cheap since I used less than a skein of Cascade 220 (in Spring Green, I think).

I have also started knitting socks!!ย  I took a 4-week class at Loopy Yarns. If you’re thinking of knitting socks, I really recommend a class. I learned the knitted cast-on (so easy! and stretchy!) and how to turn the heel. And I re-learned things like ssk and kitchener stitch. I’m not sure I would have stuck with it without a class. I now have 1.25 pairs of socks done. Knitting socks is a bit addictive, I think. They’re horribly time-consuming and a little complicated, but it’s so cool to think that I’ll get to wear warms socks that I knit. Still in progress, but here’s a sneak peek:

I’m on a bit of a green kick.

*It’s true that I haven’t been sewing, but I did sew a nursing cover since my last post. I also knitted a couple of diaper covers and took a crochet class (and never finished the crocheted scarf). But since that was all over a year ago, I’m going to skip over it.
**If anyone is looking for Christmas ideas for me…

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In the homestretch

Picture from The Brown Stitch. My sweater will look exactly the same. Except, you know, without the stripes.

So being pregnant has seriously zapped my crafting mojo. I was way to tired in the first trimester, and then my husband has been home for most of the second trimester, so I’ve been spending time with him and preparing the house for the baby. But now that I’m in the third(!) trimester I’m finally wanting some handmade things for the baby. I managed to knit a quick hat out of leftover Malabrigo Rios (picture coming), and I’ve started a sweater as well.

Picture from Ravelry. Definitely *not* my blanket!

 

I also started a Pine Forest Baby Blanket, but the lace pattern seems to be a bit more than my pregnancy brain can handle!

 

 

I’ll admit that I haven’t thought a whole lot about sewing. As part of the great condo reorganization process, we moved my sewing machines and supplies into our bedroom closet, and well, out of sight, out of mind. Knitting is so much easier to work into my life–I can knit while watching TV or on lunch breaks or while in a car on the way to Ohio.

Picture from Sew Much Ado. So (sew) cute!

But, there are a few things I do intend to sew. First up is a nursing cover. They cost so much to buy, and really this is not difficult or time-consuming sewing! I stopped at JoAnn in Ohio this past weekend (while in town for my baby shower!) and bought boning and D-rings. I already have fabric I can use. So now I just need motivation, and this *should* be an easy and satisfying project.

Picture from Made by Rae. My fabric will be a little subtler!

I also have been meaning to make some newborn pants out of fabric leftover from my own sweatpants. Maybe someday I will actually get around to these. You know, before the baby is a year old. We’ll see. This should also be a very quick project, and I’m thinking I could do the whole thing on my serger, which would definitely make me happy.

 

You may noticeย  lack of dresses and such on this list. That’s because we’re having a BOY! We’ve known for 10 weeks now but had been keeping it a secret to reveal at the Ohio baby shower. My mom found a great geeky (and tasty) way to do the reveal…

Our kid is destined to be a nerd. ๐Ÿ™‚

A simple skirt

Back in November, I bought some black Kona Cotton from Sew, Mama, Sew, with the intention of sewing another Beignet skirt. I even bought buttons and lining to go with it from Fabric.com. Well, when I got pregnant, I quickly realized that a Beignet was not going to fit me for long. So, I made a new plan, to sew a simple elastic waist skirt.

It took some time, but I finally made my black skirt.

Headless Kelly so that the shot would have enough skirt in it.

I used a tutorial, but I honestly can’t remember which one. Let’s just say there are a lot of skirt tutorials out there. It’s basically two rectangles with side seams and a foldover at the top to pull elastic through to make the gathers. If I remember correctly, the width is something like twice the widest part (usually hips), which makes the skirt pretty full.

Since the construction was so very simple, I did French seams for the first time! And I’m in love. There are NO exposed seams anywhere on this skirt. I always felt like French seams were more work, but now that I get it, I understand that it’s actually less work than serging/picking/etc. Duh.

Yeah, I don't do cute poses. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can see in the pic above (kind of) that I just have the waist sitting under my belly. So it’s not a maternity skirt, per se, and hopefully I’ll be able to wear it post-baby too. Also, I know it looks like my belly button has popped, but actually, I always had an outie; it just didn’t used to strain against my tops!

Bored with the white wall yet?

I probably went a bit too short on the skirt, given how full it is, but I think it’s still more or less work-appropriate. Because I’m pushing the waistband under my belly, the back looks a little shorter than the front. It should look better post-baby.

Anyway, it’s simple and comfortable. I may well make a few more of these in different colors to get me through the summer. But next time I will add pockets!

I finished the sweater!

Well, it only took 5 months…

Don't I look happy to be done? ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know exactly why I put this sweater down and took SO LONG to pick it up again, except that I feared the button band/shawl collar. But I’d done the hard part (picking up stitches) at my final knitting class, so what I had left was just a lot of long rows of 2×2 ribbing.

This sweater used to fit me perfectly.

I finally got around to working on it again and figured I should finish while the weather was momentarily chilly so that I could actually wear the sweater. I took advantage of an evening alone last night while I skipped out on a White Sox game I was supposed to attend (in 40-degree weather!) to complete it. I had decided that the button band didn’t really need buttons. I never quite way the buttons looked on the pattern, since they were off-center, and I don’t ever button cardigans anyway, so it seemed silly to go to all the trouble to make buttonholes and sew on buttons. As an added bonus, the button band didn’t need to be nearly as wide since it wouldn’t need to overlap. I was able to finish last night, even with weaving in ends and binding off taking way more time than they should.

Web cam pictures of myself from behind are always awkward.

I’m reasonably happy with the finished product. It’s not quite the shape I’d like, but that may be more the pattern than the execution. There are two execution problems. One is that I didn’t do enough rows of garter stitch on the bottom, and the sweater has a tendency to flip up on the bottom. The other problem is that as much as I tried not to, I must have been too tight on the button band, and it pulls the sides up. All in all, though, those things are fairly minor.

And hey, I actually finished an adult-size sweater. A baby sweater should be a breeze now…

I’m back!

Astute readers may have noticed that I fell off the radar there for a long while. I wasn’t just not blogging; I was not crafting at all. See, what happened was… I got pregnant!

I’m 20 weeks today, and I’ve finally started to get back into sewing (and knitting). I (thankfully) never did have morning sickness or any kind of problems with food, but I was EXHAUSTED in much of the first trimester, and all I could do when I got home from work was to lay on the couch and stare mindlessly at the TV until I went to bed an hour or more earlier than normal.

Once the exhaustion finally started to abate, I got completely slammed at work, and the thought of starting sewing again was too much. Also, I wanted to make maternity clothes, but it seemed too early.

Well, it’s not too early any more.

Yes, I have a bump

Pictured above is the first sewing I’ve done in quite a while and only my second piece from a vintage pattern. I used Simplicity 6238 from 1974, purchased from PrettyPatternShop on Etsy. The fabric is a cotton lawn from Fabric.com.

I have mixed feelings about the blouse. On the one hand, it’s SO comfortable, especially after trying to squeeze myself into too tight/too short shirts. And it’s light and airy in the suddenly warm Chicago weather.

This is why I don't usually wait until 5PM to take pictures. Please excuse the messy hair!

But the top is SO big. I know I’m going to grow and will appreciate the space in the belly area. But it’s too big in the chest. I’ll admit that I’m not used to sewing for my new cup size, but I actually just went with the pattern sizing for a 12, which should have fit and ended up with way too much room. I ended up adding some elastic at the waist on both sides, which did help cinch it up.

For reasons I can’t explain, the pattern called for a zipper in the back. I had plenty of room in the neck to pull it on without a zipper, so I left that out completely.

No zipper for me!

There you have it– a finished sewing project from me. More maternity clothes to come soon, since I’m running out of things I can wear. And baby clothes eventually too.

And finally, because everyone loves a cute ultrasound pic…

20 weeks

Look Ma! I sewed again!

I know it’s been a while, but at long last I finished my Pendrell blouse!

Pretty Pendrell

A few weeks ago, I had it mostly done, and it looked like I would be finished quickly. But then I failed to read directions properly and got mighty discouraged. This is definitely not the fault of the pattern, which is clearly written, or the fault of Tasia’s Sewalong, which was well-documented. No, the fault is entirely mine. I start going and think I know what I’m doing and get into trouble.

In this case, my problem was that I sewed up the right side seam before doing the princess seam on the left side. Big mistake! This made it much more difficult to get the princess seam lined up properly, and I somehow ended up with extra fabric that didn’t line up. So I let it sit. For a long time. I had thought about ripping everything out, but I was afraid that the ripped out seams would show on this fabric. In the end, I left it as is and just trimmed that section to match the rest of my hem. I still don’t know exactly where the bubble of fabric was, but it didn’t matter.

Close-up of the neckline.

Sewing up the side seam too early also made it more difficult to do the armhole binding, but it still wasn’t difficult. I’d never made my own bias binding before and hadn’t even really worked with pre-made bias binding much, but this pattern made is very easy to make my own and use it for the neckline and armholes. I’m definitely a fan of this method.

Based on the fabric recommendations, I used charmeuse for the first time (from fabric.com for $5/yard). I hated working with it (it’s sooooo slippery), but I love the final look and feel.

I wore the Pendrell to work with my Beignet skirt, and in fact I bought this fabric specifically to match the Beignet. It’s a great combination!

 

Whoa. Super blurry picture.

It’s a great pattern with no closures, which is fantastic. I did have to grade down the waist and hips a bit from the size 6 I started with, but it wasn’t difficult. I do have plans to make this again, in View B and maybe even one in View A for summer. And I finished this just in time for Tasia to announce her next pattern (sign up for her mailing list to find out more)!

It’s a wrap!

As I noted earlier, I got a little bored with the pace of Gertie’s Crepe Sewalong. The Sewalong is a great idea, but I’m a fast sewer without much patience, so it just doesn’t work well for me. And the Crepe is a pretty easy pattern with very clear instructions, so I just forged ahead on my own, with lovely results!

 

Crepe Dress in my "Winter Look"

 

 

Mu husband said that this is the most flattering thing I have ever made, and I might just have to agree with him. The contrasting waistband is a definite plus for my body shape (or for anyone with a waist that’s smaller than her hips), and all shades of blue look good on me (lucky thing, since I’m obsessed with blue!).

To top it off, the dress is comfy (with one notable exception I’ll talk about later). The pockets are fantastic and hit in just the right place, and I feel very girly in this dress, which is not something I feel often.

 

Sweater Necessary

 

 

As is usual with Colette Patterns (at least in the two I’ve done so far), the instructions are crystal clear, and I was never unsure what I had to do. I did have one adventure with the seam ripper, but that’s not entirely the fault of the pattern. Although the pattern never said to sew together the back seam and made it clear that you should finish the edges, I just kept thinking that of course I would need to sew up a back seam. And I did. But of course this is a wrap dress, and the back seam isn’t sewn up. I understood that on the bodice but somehow managed to forget on the skirt. Oh well, it worked out.

You may remember from my muslin that the size 2 was way too big in the bodice, even though it matched my measurements. I cut a size 0 for the bodice on the dress and a 2 on the skirt (although a 0 on the skirt probably would’ve worked). The 0 bodice is still a little big, but I think it’s fine. There’s some leeway in this style of dress, since you can pull things somewhat tighter with the wrap.

 

Please ignore my ubiquitous ponytail!

My only real gripe is that I don’t particularly like the seam down the front. With such a tiny, busy print, I didn’t both to try to match, but with a bigger print, you would almost have to, and it would be tough since the skirt front pieces are so big. Also, the bow in the back, although super cute, is a little painful when you lean back in your chair, like I tend do. It’s also a little too high up for the cardigan I’m wearing with it, which is not a terribly long sweater. I guess I’ll need to knit a shrug to go with it if I want to keep wearing it in winter!

 

This is the first piece of clothing on which I serged all of the edges before doing anything else, and oh my goodness, it’s so much easier. I’ll be doing that in the future!

Bottom line: it’s a super cute dress with good instructions. I’m thinking of making the other view in black as a little black dress, probably with the bodice seems taken in a bit.

 

I had to take this picture twice to get the bow close to right. ๐Ÿ™‚