(Thank you guys so much for your comments on the last post! It always makes me so happy when my creation is liked by others )
For someone who sews and tries to dress up as much as she can, I own a ridiculous amount of woot T-shirts. Woot shirts really know what they are doing – I just cant resist their shirts when it involves firefly, Arrested Development, cute animals, mario cart, and binary jokes. Recently I decided to not check wootshirt & ignore any wootshirt link from my husband, because I just dont wear Tshirts. They are too casual for my usual outfits and too stuffy for working out. (On the other hand, they are practically uniform for my husband).
But, I started running again recently, and husband had been bugging me to do this. So I finally got the courage to cut through my precious woot shirts that I never wear! I spent about 10 minutes modding my shirt before I headed out for a run. Now its a lot cooler and I wear them for running. I love it!
After doing knitted project quite a bit, I was ready to do some “real” sewing again. I want to try to use up my stash this year. I wont be so ambitious and promise to not buy any fabric until I’ve busted my stash, since really, I just dont have that kind of self control when I have a specific project in mind and need fabric (yes *need*). I had this pink silk from fabricmart.com for a few years, bought because its silk and cheap with an interesting texture. I actually never knew what I wanted to do with it. So I searched through my pattern library and found a pattern that I think should be suitable for this fabric (2009-03-101A).
I have to clarify that in real life, the dress is not THAT see through. Hubby used flash and sexed me up a little. However I would not be wearing this to the office without some pants and an under layer But for casual purposes, I am very happy with it.
I had a pretty difficult time with the colar construction, and I accidentally sewed in too much when connecting the front pleat with the collar, resulting in the skirt front being pulled a little higher than the back. I only realized this issue because I was watching an episode of Great British Sewing Bee (AWESOME SHOW!!) in which the judge pointed out the same issue with a contestant’s dress. Side remark: its such a cool show – made interesting for the beginners yet someone like myself who have sewn for almost 6 years still learned a load of new things! I can rave on and on but really, just go watch it, if you haven’t already!!
Back to my dress. I also spent a LOT of time making the inside look nice. Everything is encased in French seam, or bias tape made from the silk fabric itself. I even bias taped seams you cannot see from the inside, such as the seam below the collar, sandwiched between the back york and facing.
The beeeeautiful inside:
The bottom hem was made from a wide stripe of beautiful silk charmeuse salvaged from a failed project. I was having a hard time discarding the remains of the failed dress – being able to use part of that dress in this design made me feel so much better about letting it go! Also, the weight of the bottom charmeuse is very heavy comparing to the top, so it actually pulls the dress down and make it less likely to be blown up by wind.
The lightness and airy-ness makes it perfect for summer!
This picture had been in my pinterest for forever, and I’ve been very eager to make it. So as soon as I feel that I’ve mastered the skill to make up my own pattern on the bond knitting machine, I gave it a go!
My version (doh, i forgot the sunglasses):
I used up a little over 1 ball of the really big sugar& cream (or maybe it was Lions) cotton yarns. I know that you are not suppose to use cotton for sweater projects, as cotton sweaters are not drapery, and heavier. However, I cant really see myself wearing something wool or polyester during the summer, as it would just be way too hot. I cant bring myself to invest in bamboo/rayon yarn for a pattern I havent tried out either. But the cotton yarn turned out OKAY. I was able to wash it in the washer without it shrinking much. Its comfortable and seems to shape decently against my body after wearing it a few hours. Its just not as drapery as the simply soft polyester yarn I used in all my previous machine knit sweater though.
Here’s the pattern I made up:
Tension information: 2.5 tension plate, 2 out of 4 rods inserted at all times
- cast on 82 stitches with WY, knit 6 rows
- K 100 rows, mark arm holes
- K 36 more rows
- put center 30 stitches on waste yarn – this makes the neck band on the back
- each shoulder will have 26 stitches
- knitting 6 rows with WY on each shoulder, then take them off the machine
- cast on 60 with WY, knit 6 rows
- knit 36 rows, mark pocket,
- on the next 2 row, bind off 16 stitches every other, now you have 44 stitches
- on the next 18 rows, bind off 1 stitches every row, now you have 26 stitches
- k 44 rows
- mark arm holes
- K 36 more rows
- of course, when you make the other front piece, make sure the binding off is from the opposite side so you have two symmetrical pieces
Front neckband+pocket edging:
- join one shoulder and join the other shoulder
- pick up 114 stitches from each front, 16 on the horizontal, 18 on the decreasing, and 80 for the vertical. hand knit the edges
- bring out 50 stitches, and hook on between the markers
- knit 100 time
- sew the underside of sleeves and also sides of the bodice together. Make sure that you sew the edge of pocket into the body side seam.
- hand knit the bottom, knit the two sides together to form the bottom of the pocket for the two front pieces while doing so
- I chose to do I-cord finish with 3 stitches, but you can really do anything you want!
There are some stuff I wish I did differently. I think the shoulders should really be wider, or rather, the neck band at the back should be shorter. I would probably make the neck band in the back 20 stitches instead of 30 next time, and each shoulder 31 stitches instead of 26. I also think I might have picked up a few too many stitches in the vertical area of the front edging, the front piece curls in a little bit. Also, next time I might make the back longer than the front. This is because I put so much stuff in the pockets that the front piece gets stretched more than the back.
Anyways, I hope someone out here have a machine and want to make this! I know I will probably be making it again in another yarn and making it looser like the inspiration Having huge pockets like that is seriously awesome when you got a little one that asks for crackers and snacks all the time.
Lastly, I am so proud of little K. Just 1.5 years old and she can pose like a band member:
I thrift most of K’s dress because its so much cheaper and pre-shrunk too! One day I bought this cute skirt and thought she would look very adorable in it. But when I put it on her, the band snaps onto her tummy and doesnt look too comfortable. Then the front would slide below her big round tummy (she eats a lot) and the skirt would sit much higher on the back. The ensamble would make me laugh since she looked like a little sheep walking on her hind legs.
So I took the elastic out, made a knit top out of left over fabric from this top, and tada! instant cuteness. There was actually a third layer of skirt ruffle, but I cut it off since she’s so active and a longer skirt often hinders her climbing activities.
She got the same cute patch pocket as my top, and for the edges, I actually took the edges of the fabric (whats that called? sleeves?), cut out some stripes and sewed them onto the neck and sleeve openings. I really like the raw edge it created!
(K: come on cat, you know what I am talking about, right?
S: get away from me with those sticky hands, you!)
(K: yay, negotiation complete!)
Lastly, this top happen to fit her to a T. That was not intended – I wanted it bigger so she can grow into it through summer. kids grow fast, eh?
I know, she’s pretty pro at posing for cameras
Who says shorties cant wear skirts below the knee? Its alllll about proportions. I decided that I want a long pencil skirt. The kind that makes your butt look nice and round. The kind that makes your lower half look long and slim. So once again I tweaked my self drafted skirt pattern and made this pencil skirt in a shimmery green twill fabric. Its a little more dressier than I usually wear for work but I dont care! I loooove it! I think I will be wearing it none stop with my nude pump and flowy blouse for summer.
(yaiks, the hand placement created some folder there. Skirt fits better than it looks here!)
This is one instance when I am really glad I can sew. I doubt I can ever find store bought long-sh pencil skirt that wont just swallow me up, without some major surgery anyways.
The fabric has some scratches and folds when it was shipped to me. I tried ironing it out but it seems permanent. I still like the skirt a lot and maybe I will just try to scratch it up more.
Alright, nothing much to say about the construction really, its possibly the easiest thing I’ve made in the past few years. cheers for those delicious low hanging fruits!
Remember this dress that I made for her when I was still preggos? I almost didnt make her wear it because I didnt think it would fit. Turned out right now is the perfect time for her to wear it. Shoulder and neck fits pretty decently and armhole is comfortable. I just need to alter the sleeve opening since thats a little tight. She is a LOT taller than I thought she would be, but she actually looks quite adorable in the short, short dress!
Its pretty hard for my husband to get a picture of her in anything now since she moves crazy fast.
(Her favorite thing to do in the morning is to help us unload the dishwasher. i know, we hit the jackpot in this gene pool mixing business.)
Of course, 5 minutes into wearing the dress she proceeded to staining it with some lovely strawberry juice. I am just glad I got some pictures right before it happened!
I finished knitting a sweater! I started this sweater last year, before I went back to work, so it basically took an entire year! I learned a lot from knitting this sweater though – how to knit a cardigan top down, how to make waves, how to make button holes. It really shouldnt have taken that long but I only knitted in the car or 1 to 2 rows before sleeping until the last month of it when I was very motivated to finished it before it gets too warm. I’ve been wearing it almost every day since then – it goes very well with cropped pants or an A line skirt!
I used a little over 5 balls of ecocloud wool from Cascade that I found in Green Yarn Planet, so it wasnt the cheapest sweater. But the yard is spun in a pretty special manner such that its all interwoved, so I hope it will last a long time! It is also very very elastic – this sweater can stretch quite a bit if I try, but bounces back right away! Now I see why people say that wool is much easier on your hands than cotton, which is not as stretchy and more tiring for your hands to knit.
I used Levenwick pattern that I found on Ravelry. The instructions were very clear and the only changes I made was to skip a few rows to make the sweater slightly shorter for myself. It still turned out longer than I thought it would though!
Excess fabric in the back means I didnt make the hip wie enough and waist small enough? or is it excess vertical fabric? oh well, its not too much!
The buttons are salvaged from the very first jacket/coat I made back in 2007. I have been better at letting go my past creations that are just learning mistakes now!
I wear it buttoned up, except the first button or the last, depending on my mood
This pattern uses the “wrong” side of stockinette stitch, which means the sweater curls in a little at the ends, despite the i-cord finish. I love the texture of the wrong side, but the curl in is a bit annoying, perhaps it will go away with wear.
I hope you like this sweater as much as I do! I am thrilled to have my first hand knit sweater that I’ve worn out of the house for more than 10 times!