This is the wide-strap maxi dress from Peppermint Magazine. I had considered making it before, but I wasn’t sold on the silhouette or the elasticized back. However, I came across a really beautiful version and decided to give it a go.
This dress is breezy and on-trend. I used a naturally-dyed Khadi cotton from A Verb for Keeping Warm. I had juuust enough fabric, 3 yards, but the fabric is only 38″ wide. I choose size C based on the finished measurements, rather than going off the size guide.
the swish factor is really great, and the finishes are very professional. The stealthy bust dart is doing a lot to make the dress feel more feminine than boxy. I love the pocket details, they’re so easy to stick my hands into. If I make this again, I will interface the bodice facing and straps, I think they could use a bit more structure. I highly recommend this pattern!
One of the most exciting things in our new apartment is a window seat with a great view. The previous owner of the apartment had a cozy-looking cushion on it, and I knew making one would be a fun, productive project.
I found an online foam supplier with straightforward custom ordering, FoamSource. I went for the high-density, medium foam. When the foam arrived, I held my breath as I tested it on the seat… it fit perfectly! I am not a foam expert, but it feels pretty medium to me when I sit on it.
For the fabric, I wanted a pattern that wasn’t too trendy and is easy to pattern mix. I thought ticking would look nice, but I didn’t want it to look too “country.” I also decided that I wanted to go the extra mile to find a yarn dye vs screenprint ticking. After searching through some options, I settled on a teal version. I mocked up the cushion dimensions with seam allowances in Figma, which helped me figure out how much fabric I needed. When I ordered, I forgot about feet vs. yards and got 7 yards of fabric instead of 7 feet (!!). This ended up being a very fortunate mistake because I was able to make self-piping and matching pillows. I originally envisioned a contrast color piping, but my over-order was serendipitous because I can’t imagine a contrast color now, the bias ticking looks perfect to me.
If I make another cushion for this seat, I will use a zipper closure. With this project, I used a 2-yard length of velcro from Pacific Trimming. It works just fine but I think a zipper would look and close better, believe it or not. One thing I’m really glad about is the entire back of the cushion opens up because this long piece of foam is very unwieldy.
The base pillows are unused bed pillows. They were the Wirecutter best pillow recommendation, but after sleeping on them for 1 night, we realized they were not for us. they were sitting in the closet and i decided to try ’em out.
I searched to see at how other people created their cushions, and settled on following this tutorial with piping and a velcro closure. One key part of this technique is that it was, ahem… SEWN. I wanted to create a durable cushion, and at first I found a tutorial that instructs you to secure the fabric to the foam with SAFETY PINS. Uhh, that’s gonna look good for about 5 minutes and then turn into a big mess.
The cushion dimensions are 82″x17″, so I had to make a LOT of piping for this project. Surprisingly, this was easy and meditative to do in batches as I needed it. This video was pretty helpful to learn a fast way to do it. I cut 2″ wide bias strips and folded it around a length of cotton twine from my stash, and as I came to the end of a strip, I added a new one that I folded under. It was very easy to create the piping as I needed it with each pillow and the cushion, and just left it in a half-finished state until I picked it back up to create more as needed.
For the pillows, I created simple piped envelope covers. I have made so many of these that I didn’t use a tutorial, but this is a good one if you haven’t done it before. Note, this tutorial does not show you how to add piping.
We moved! And now that we’re settled and my camera’s unpacked, I’m ready to get back to documenting things I’ve made.
Before moving day, the walls of boxes surrounding us did not put me at ease, so I channeled my anxieties into finishing my Cline sweater. The second I finished it, I knew it would become a staple. What a great pattern. I read some comments on Rav that said this is so “wearable.” I didn’t exactly get what they meant until I put it on. This does not fit or feel like a handmade sweater. It feels like a comfy sweatshirt. I love it.
I knitted it exactly as written, with no modifications. Seaming the sleeves and sides was rather tedious, but the final product is worth the fuss. Nightshades is a perfect match for this pattern.
I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but the second I finished this sweater, I knew I had to make another. I frogged my Niska because I never ever wear it, and am going to use this beautiful red yarn to make a second Cline. Details soon!
After years of watching me knit sweaters for myself, my patient husband quietly asked me to make him a sweater. He doesn’t wear sweaters very often, but it was time, and the final product is lovely.
There aren’t too many man cardigan patterns on Ravelry, but I spent hours looking, trying to find what I had in mind. I finally settled on Wardie from Ysolda. This pattern has two important attributes: its pieced so it will keep its shape and stand up to wear, and it has kangaroo pockets that echo the key style feature of Jacob’s beloved zip-up hoodies.
I’ve eyed Purl Soho’s Linen Quill for years, and this sweater was the perfect match for it. Its very soft, a Jacob requirement for this sweater. I used some stash buttons, I think they are the horn buttons from Fringe Supply Co (RIP). I love the fully fashioned shoulder decreases, and the edging for the pocket and neckband. This was not fast to knit, and it was nearly impossible to gauge the fit before knitting the sleeves, but I’m very happy with the finished product.
This is originally a womens’ pattern, so I made quite a few adjustments:
I removed the waist shaping, and added several inches to the upper back and upper fronts to accommodate Jacob’s broad shoulders.
I swapped the button placement from wearer’s left to wearer’s right
I started the v-neck decreases when I started the armhole bind off
I made a second Farrow dress. It surprised me that I chose this pattern again because I was so disappointed in my first one. For that one, I underlined the bodice and used hot pink bias tape to finish the seams, so it felt really wacky to wear even though no one else could see it. For my latest version. I used a much more subdued petal pink for the facings which makes it much more cohesive and professional-looking.
This pattern is labeled easy, but I think matching the diagonal seams on the front and back is rather challenging, ESPECIALLY if you use a plaid. This flannel is an unusual fabric match for this dress. Its a strange mix of Puritan fabric and modern style lines. BUT, its very cozy and I’ve worn it nonstop since I finished it.
The pattern specifies faced sleeve hems, which inspired me to add a facing to the dress hem. I also extended the neckline facing to the shoulders so it wouldn’t flop around (pet peeve). I spent a long time lining up the plaids on the four front and four back pieces, and it took forever. Once I got to the sleeves, I lost pattern-matching steam and didn’t do as nice of a job. I have a tiny head so I didn’t need to do the back neck slit, although, to be honest I forgot about that design element until after I sewed on the neck facing. I realized what I had done right after I topstitched, then quickly tried it on over my head to check whether I had some serious unpicking to do.
Nothing like perfectly placed pockets, I notice I am constantly resting my hands in them. The joys we find in 2020.
I finished this shawl shortly after the Pando lockdown started, but it was both too scary and too warm for outside pics, so it went away in a sweater bag for the summer. We had a fabulous chilly Saturday today, so I decided it was time to get some photos. This is Rhinebeck weekend, and I am still so sad that its virtual. I am getting together with my knitting group for a socially-distant outdoor knitting session in Prospect Park instead (and I am making apple cider donuts!). As a small consolation, I attended a Zoom lecture by the lovely ladies at Solitude Wool. They covered the basics on how to categorize sheep breeds into 5 distinct groups. Armed with the basics, I’m so excited to explore the world of breed-specific yarn. Before this lecture, I knew there was more out there than Merino (a fine wool), but now I feel like I have a good base understanding to explore Down, Medium, Longwool and Primitive!
Speaking of fine wool, I knitted this Rose Plank shawl with some incredible Cormo Cross from Foxhill Farm (they do not have a website, this is their Rav page). I missed my chance to get this yarn at my first Rhinebeck in 2018, so the first thing I did in 2019 was go straight to their booth. This yarn is SO sumptuous, so I wanted to pick a pattern that would do it justice. After looking for a bit, I settled on Rose Plank by Monika Sirna. I went back and forth on whether or not to do the 2×2 ribbing edging, or the garter edging. I finally landed on the garter and I love the result.
Here’s what I made with the Pendleton fabric I bought in Portland last year. This pricey wool was intimidating to cut into. After mulling it over for a year, I went for it with the Tessuti Tokyo Jacket. I did not have a lot of wiggle room with yardage, so I had to be picky about where I pattern-matched.
I added some length to the jacket so I could add a more generous hem (2″), and omitted the pockets. I hand-sewed the hem and the inner neckband. Because the fabric is so thick and dense, it was easy to hide the stitches on the right side–I can’t see them at all!
I used a bit of this fabric to make my belt bag last year. While sewing it, I noticed this material is prone to unraveling. To ensure the integrity of these jacket seams, I used a combination of french seams and Hong Kong seams. When I sewed this patternin the past, it was very challenging to sew the french underarm seam’s sharp curve. Knowing this fabric is much thicker than silk, I used Hong Kong seams instead. I thought it would be a fun color pop to use the same finish on the center back seam. I went Bold with the bias tape, because 1. that’s what I had and 2. I think the unexpected pop of sea foam green brightens up the dark print.
I finished my would-be Rhinebeck sweater (super sad face that this year’s festival is cancelled, but I get it). It’s Kate Davies‘ Weel Riggit. Kate Davies released it in 2019 via her subscription club, so I had to wait a year before I could buy it. This sweater is very, very warm. It was “sorta-cool” today so I decided it would be bearable to throw it on for a few minutes for some pics.
I knew I wanted to knit this sweater with Green Mountain Spinnery yarn. I knit a hat with their yarn last year and loved it. Fast-forward to 2020 Vogue Knitting Live, and I went straight to their booth to see what would work for this sweater. I settled on Lichen, Spruce and Teal Weekend Wool for the colorwork against a backdrop of gray undyed Vermont Organic. The Weekend Wool is much softer than the Organic, so it was quite fortuitous that the pattern uses the colors at the most itch-prone spots of the sweater.
I followed Kate Davies’ pattern to the T, except for the collar bind off. I used the same crocheted bind-off technique that Emily Greene specifies for Tectonic. I love how this finish compliments the raglan CDDs.
Working with 4 colors at once was a big pain. Every few rows I had to untangle all the skeins so I didn’t drive myself nuts with the twisted yarns. I do love the look of the sweater, but WOW was it a lot of work. I understand now why most colorwork is limited to yokes.
Important note: This past April, Elizabeth Suzann decided to close her clothing business. Afterwards, Liz shared some of her most popular patterns in their original form. The internet fulfilled a crowdfunding campaign to convert these patterns to copy-shop PDFs for public download. Here’s a blog post from Yay Stitch that tells the full story and gives credit to the humans who made this happen. Unfortunately, as of last week, the patterns have been taken down and aren’t available right now. I downloaded the files last month while they were still available.
In exchange for downloading these patterns, the organizers ask that if you are able, make a donation to a Black-led organization. I made a donation and encourage you to do the same if you accessed these patterns.
5/6/2021 update: Elizabeth Suzann has relaunched as Elizabeth Suzann Studio, and she has released some sewing patterns for sale. As of now, the Clyde Jumpsuit is not for sale yet.
My last jumpsuit adventure, Roberts Collection, was a bust–it was so bad I didn’t blog about it. I concluded that jumpsuits aren’t for me. Well, when I downloaded these ES patterns in July, the Clyde jumpsuit called to me. I decided to wait a few weeks to see if I still wanted to make it.
So, as you can see, I ended up making the jumpsuit. This weekend, I took a pandemic walk to Mood and found some taupe, drape-y linen. Mood got new carpeting, BTW! I was so pumped to get started that I washed, air-dried and sewed it up in one day.
The Clyde jumpsuit was very straightforward to make. I referenced Not A Primary Color’s tutorial, which was enough for me to get going. I began sewing around 2pm, and finished at 7pm. I immediately put it on, and wore it the rest of the evening. I noticed that it pulled in the crotch when I was sitting on the couch, so I decided to try it on “backwards.” I must admit it fits MUCH better that way. 🤷
For the 2 front and 2 back “center” seams, I used a mock flat felled seam. I finished the raw edges with zig-zag then topstitched them at 3/8″. I considered doing a real flat felled seam, but I had flashbacks to the challenges from my jean jacket and decided against it. If I make this again, I would use french seams and topstitch.
For the crotch and inseam, I used french seams and didn’t topstitch. For the arm and neck binding, I sewed the final seam at 1/2″. For the hem, I turned up 1/2″ then 5/8″. I made a skinny belt out of some scraps, a la What Katie Sews.
We escaped upstate for a long weekend. And, me being me, I made sure we had a few moments to squeeze in a photoshoot of this new skirt/top combo. After quarantining in the city for 3 months, it was amazing to be somewhere else. We went on 2 fire tower hikes and spotted some small snakes (eep!). Upstate New York is glorious in June.
Anyway, here’s the story of these garments. I had some Merchant and Mills linen in my stash since last summer. I wanted to make something special with it, and earmarked it for a dress. Then, I thought of making a summery Fumeterre skirt instead. I hesitated because the thought of matching those stripes seemed overwheliming. After deliberating, I decided to give it a try. I re-created the fabric pattern in Figma, since this fabric has one-way stripes. I decided to focus on matching the angled mitres. I labeled 8 pieces of washi tape with each panel name (left front, left side front, right front, right side front, etc). I worked in groups of two so I could ensure the stripes matched at each mitre. I cut out 1 piece, then took its matching pattern piece, flipped it over, and matched the already cut stripes to it. I stuck the labels on each panel and sewed the angled seam. This labeling and batching system helped me keep everything straight.
The skirt buttons are from Haulin’ Hoof Farm Store. I bought them at Vogue Knitting Live this year (crazy to think about going to an event like that with SO MANY PEOPLE). I was dumb and skipped the interfacing for the placket, and you can tell. I added an “inside button” between the first and second buttons below the waistband to help with gaping. I shortened the skirt by several inches because the length of my first Fumeterre makes it very hard to walk. I am very fond of the midi skirt length.
For the waistband and skirt hem facing, I used some leftover Spectrum Cotton from Purl Soho. I had so little fabric that I pieced the facing, but I can’t tell. I love how the facing and the waistband lining contrast with the linen stripes. The spectrum cotton is pricey but its so nice and soft. I will definitely use it again.
I had very few scraps after cutting the skirt. But, I did have enough to eek this modified Wiksten tank out of the leftovers. I had so little left that I had to cut 2 pieces for the bodice front.
I cropped the tank by several inches and removed almost all the A-line shaping and hem curve. I also added a hand-stitched deep hem facing. There’s something about the armholes/strap drafting of this tank that I don’t love. The back gapes at the neck and the arms don’t lay nicely. The linen stripes are carrying this top, for sure. Overall, though, its a great summer top!