Rose Plank in Cormo Cross

finished objects, knitting
a woman wears a hand-knit grey shawl.

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!

A woman wears a hand-knit grey shawl.

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.

a woman holds up a gray fancy cable knit shawl.

I cannot wait to wear this with my winter coat!

A Pendleton Wool Jacket

finished objects, sewing
a woman stands, showing off her Pendleton wool jacket.

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!

a woman shows the inside of a handmade wool jacket.

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 pattern in 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.

the back view of a woman wearing a Pendleton wool jacket.

Weel Riggit

finished objects, knitting

I finished my would-be Rhinebeck sweater (super sad face that this year’s festival is cancelled, but I get it). It’s Kate DaviesWeel 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.

a smiling woman is wearing a gray, green and teal colorwork hand-knit sweater.

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.

The back shoulder of a gray, green and teal colorwork hand-knit 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.

The inside view of a gray, green and teal colorwork hand-knit sweater.

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.

A detail photo of a gray, green and teal colorwork hand-knit sweater.

Clyde Jumpsuit – #ESmadebyme

finished objects, sewing

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.

The Jumpsuit

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.

A woman stands on a city sidewalk, wearing a taupe jumpsuit. #esmadebyme

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.

a cutting layout for the elizabeth suzann clyde jumpsuit
the cutting layout I came up with. 60″ wide fabric. This took ~2.5 yds. I made a medium.

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. 🤷

a woman stands on a sidewalk wearing a handmade Elizabeth Suzann clyde jumpsuit
The downside of jumpsuits is the tush never looks too good.

Construction Notes

a closeup of a woman wearing a homemade elizabeth suzann clyde jumpsuit

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.

a closeup of the pocket on a homemade Elizabeth Suzann Clyde jumpsuit

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.

Stripey

finished objects, sewing
a woman twirls in a striped Wiksten tank top and Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe.

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.

The Skirt

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.

a vector mockup of the fabric.
^ this is not how i ended up cutting out the skirt
progress photos of making a Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe
You can barely tell that I didn’t worry about making the straight stripes perfect. It looks like a 5-panel skirt!

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.

a striped Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe with pretty blue buttons.

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.

A Wiksten tank top and Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe laid on a deck.
a woman stands outside wearing a long striped Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe.

The Tank

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!

a woman stands outside, wearing a striped Wiksten tank.

Blaire Shirtdress

finished objects, sewing
a button-down shirtdress on a hanger.

A friend sent me some awesome woven fabric she found at an estate sale. She asked if I wanted it, describing it as “Emily fabric.” Spoiler alert: I said yes, and when it arrived last week, I immediately got to work. I thought it would look great as a shirtdress, so I gave the Blaire pattern from Style Arc another go. The first time around I made the shirt version, so this time I wanted to make the dress.

To compliment the elaborate woven fabric, I used some bright blue scraps for the pockets. I think they go together pretty nicely. I drafted a hem facing instead of hemming as the pattern suggests. When I made the shirt version of this pattern, the hem was a nightmare because of the X-TREME curves, so I wanted to come up with an alternate solution. I googled “blaire style arc hem facing” and found a particularly helpful post from someone who accomplished this quite nicely, so with my initial instinct validated, I went for it.

I feel too strange to go outside for pictures right now, so instead here are some COVID-style glamor shots of the details:

a close up of the shirtdress collar.
pretty happy with how this collar came out.
a closeup of the shirtdress pocket with a contrasting lining.
closeup of the pocket!
a closeup of the topstitching on the pocket.
a closeup of the hem facing.
the pocket sticks out a teeny bit, very cute detail.

Repairing a Quilt

finished objects, sewing
before: very ratty edges all over.

I’ve had this quilt since I was a kid. This blanket is not my most favorite colors, but its not about the looks, its about the feels. Sitting on the couch with this blanket brings me immense comfort and calm. I love snuggling with it. Unfortunately, over the past few years the edges have become very weak and frayed. A few weeks ago, part of the edging got caught on my foot and ripped away, revealing the batting.

This week I decided to repair it. I chatted with my fastidious quilter friend, Lizzie, who is immensely talented in this area. She thought repairing was do-able and suggested the french-fold binding technique. The original quilt didn’t have any binding, and its state shows why a binding is so key to longevity! Its condition is fine everywhere else, but the edges are torn and frayed all the way around.

I needed a fairly wide strip of fabric to create the binding to make the finished repair look as natural as possible. As I was contemplating what fabric to use, I remembered my sad attempt at a 9″ block linen quilt from years ago. I wondered if I could use the cut-but-not-sewn squares to make the binding. Once I dug them out, it felt like fate. The block colors blend wonderfully with the quilt. I got to work and sewed several blocks together to create a long binding. Then, I pinned it to the quilt and machine-hemmed it, and then folded it over to hand sew it to the wrong side. By the way, these two lovely ladies have a fabulous tutorial with tips to hand-stitch the miters down on both right and wrong sides at once.


Now my favorite quilt has a personal touch! I’ve had it on my lap all day, and its been heavenly! By the way, this was from a department store and I am pretty impressed that its hand-quilted. I don’t think you’d find something like this in department stores today! I’m so happy I am able to give it some more life.

COVID FO #2 and #3: Kabuki Tee

finished objects, sewing

Friday night, I cleared off my makeshift work desk to reveal my sewing machine, because I thought sewing would help me relax and feel like things are temporarily “normal.” I’ve had the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory on my to-make list for a long time, so I decided to give it a go. I decided to use this extremely soft vintage cotton/poly blend from my stash, so I got to cutting.

a blue and green plaid top on a hanger.

This is the most comfortable woven top I’ve ever made. The body has great shaping, but still has a boxy look. The fabric certainly adds to its comfort, but the unique arm drafting makes it so easy to move around in.

So, I couldn’t let it go at that, and immediately decided to cut out another version in some eyelet. I spent some serious time figuring out how to arrange the pattern pieces to make the small amount of leftovers I had work. I didn’t have anything that I thought would look nice underneath the eyelet, so I went with silk organza. I hand-basted the organza to the eyelet and used it as an underlining, and used french seams througout. One exception: I bound the armhole seams with bias tape. I decided to blindstitch the armhole and waist hems to make it feel a little more fancy. The organza helps “diffuse” whats happening underneath, and works very well as a modesty layer.

a white eyelet top on a hanger.
an inside-out eyelet top on a hanger.
pretty insides!

COVID FO #1

finished objects, knitting

When The Virus hit NYC hard last week, I needed an easy, mindless knitting project to help calm my nerves. Zooming around on Ravelry, I spotted a friend’s beautiful blue hat. Ysolda to the rescue! Musselburgh is a very of-the-moment silhouette, with miles of stockinette at a tiny gauge. Hit it!

a hand-knitted pink hat.

I went “shopping” in my stash and found some odds and ends, and started knitting a striped version, but I didn’t like it. A single-color version was much more in line with what I envisioned. The only suitable yarn in my stash was a leftover skein of Manos del Uruguay Fino from my wedding shawl. I wasn’t sure about the color, but got to work! I ended up knitting 17.5″ before decreasing. The last few inches felt like forever, as they do. But a week later, I have a new hat! Not that I needed one, but its really comfy and I think I’ll wear it a lot.

a side view of a hand-knitted pink hat.
“indoor pics only”

MORE TO COME! I’m now on a mission to finish knitting something that’s already in progress.

Little bagg-o

finished objects, sewing

I had this post queued up last week and never hit publish. Obviously we are in a crazy, unprecedented time rn and things are murky and unclear. I’m trying to power through and focus on making progress on my knitting and sewing. Anyway, here’s this thing I made two weekends ago…

a black and white zipper pouch.

Last weekend I saw a Making Mag post about how to sew up this little bag. I decided to create my own based on the post’s photos. I included the darts at the bottom, and I think it its a nice touch to help the bag stand up on its own.

a peek inside the black and white zipper pouch.

A quick, cute lil’ scrap guy! The black and white hemp/wool blend is leftover from an old dress, and the lining is Liberty Tana Lawn from Purl Soho. I love this combo, plus the bright orange zipper pull I made from unraveled baker’s twine.