Top-down seamless sweaters are wildly popular, in part because they require very little seaming. Perhaps because I am a sewer, I do not mind seaming, so this advantage is lost on me. In my opinion, the structure seams add to a knitted garment is well worth the effort. Additionally, a seamless sweater gets SO heavy and bulky to transport, and it really slowed down my momentum that I needed to finish. My last gripe with this project was the collar. I thought I was clever with my foldover collar modification, but it looked very bad. I think my yarn did not help the situation, it is a 85/15 cotton/alpaca blend. Luckily my surgery went very well and I was able to salvage it.
Enough of my complaining, I am glad this sweater is finished and Jacob is enjoying wearing it.
We have lived in our apartment for 2 years, and I was pining to put up wallpaper since moving in. After browsing wallpaper for months, I found the perfect print: colorful gold-ink-outlined wildflowers on a black ground. When it arrived, I was too scared to install it: I was afraid of how hard it would be to install, and I didn’t want to regret the placement. I talked to some friends who have wallpapered before and heard mixed recommendations about whether or not to put it up myself. Over a year later, I finally did it.
I contemplated hanging the paper in different parts of our apartment, and I finally settled on behind the tv, wrapping around to the hallway because it has so few “obstacles” to overcome and you can see it from multiple vantage points. I love it.
I took the recommendations of Hygge and West to heart and got their recommended wallpaper paste and supplies. Even though I read over and over that you need to change the knife blade frequently I still didn’t change it enough and it ripped the paper. I went back in with some matte black tempra paint to cover up the rip marks.
How I put it up
The wallpaper I used is “half drop” which means the pattern repeat does not match at the same point, it matches halfway down the repeat. I cant imagine how challenging it is to design the patterns this way!!! I created a Figma mockup to get a sense of how much wallpaper I needed. Each rectangle is one repeat.
The thing I found most surprising about putting up wallpaper is how much you can “MANHANDLE” it. There is a 10 minute period while you’re putting it up that you can pull it back off the wall rather aggressively to reset it. I put this up in 3 2-hour sessions and I was covered in paste by the time I was finished with each session. The paste is a very off-putting consistency and it is extremely sticky (not surprising!).
In addition to following Hygge and West’s instructions, I watched many youtube videos before diving in to this project. Here are some videos I found particularly helpful to watch.
I found this man’s technique very helpful for wrapping the paper around the external corners. I did NOT use heat as he insists, but I emulated his smoothing tool technique and embraced his advice to use a narrow overlap to the new edge. I had one corner that had a large overlap and it was very challenging to complete the turn. I am not sure what you are supposed to do when you face these situations because you want as few seams as possible. So I just dealt with the scenarios as I came to them.
I had one visible outlet to deal with (there were more behind the TV but you can’t see them!), and I decided I wanted to pattern match it. This video was really helpful to watch. Instead of spray adhesive, I used paste.
Overall, a very successful and satisfying home project!
I finished a new coat and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Choosing a quilted jacket pattern
I have been scheming to turn some stashed Pendleton into a quilted jacket for quite awhile, but was pretty nervous to cut into it. I was torn about what pattern to choose and almost went with Hovea from Megan Nielsen, but I didn’t quite like the neckline options. My biggest hesitation of the Tamarak from Grainline Studio was the lack of a collar.
Last year though, Grainline released an expansion pack that includes a collar, and even though I probably could have figured it out on my own, I bought it for the instructions (they are great!).
I’ve had this Pendelton wool in my stash since 2019. I fell in love with it at the Pendleton Factory Store in Portland (Oregon!). I also had some red silk charmeuse discards from a friend-of-a-friend, a talented seamstress in NYC. I was really inspired by this Tamarak, and planned on copying their idea to bind the seams with the charmeuse. It turned out too be incredibly fiddly, and I didn’t have enough of the charmeuse for bias binding anyway, so I went with pre-made black bias tape. I think it looks good!
The snaps were installed by Star Snaps. I do not have any snap tools, and decided to lean on the professionals since they are so closeby.
Before I started cutting, I watched the entire YouTube sewalong which was very helpful. I especially liked all of the quilting tips!
I lengthened the jacket by 2″ and I wanted to adjust the pocket placement to be on an angle, but I ended up sticking with the pattern’s placement because I was nervous that I’d get the welts wrong.
This fabric was challenging to sew with my machine. Because the charmeuse is so slippery and the wool is so toothy, it was a nightmare to keep them aligned while I quilted (YES I used a walking foot). The back piece was so big and the lining shifted so much that I had to patch it in parts. Just before I quilted the last pattern piece, my extremely talented friend suggested that I cut the lining bigger than the pattern piece to add some wiggle room in case of slipping. This proved to be a very great idea, please take this advice if you are making one for yourself!
Putting these struggles aside, this jacket rules. I lined it with wool batting from Purl Soho. I was a bit concerned with how to tackle the binding, because with something this thick I was really worried about sewing the second side of the binding and making it look professional. The solution was to hand sew all of the binding. The fronts and collar took an extremely long time to hand sew, but the result was absolutely worth it.
The Turia Dungarees pattern was released 10 years ago, and this summer I decided make my first two pairs. How did it take me so long to realize how great overall shorts are in summer?
Because this pattern has been out for so long, many people have made them and have some great suggestions on how to go further to make these even better. I finished the raw edges w regular width bias tape and extended the pockets to tuck into the waist seam and side seams.I can remember when I first started sewing bias tape was so hard for me to get right. This time, I used the regular-width bias tape and I didn’t mess it up at all!
For this pair, I used leftover canvas from making my Field bag. I made my first pair from some Sally Fox twill, and immediately afterwards I saw the canvas sticking out of my fabric pile and thought, why not! The canvas is very stiff, so I was very nervous these would be extremely uncomfortable. They are very comfy, believe it or not.
I didn’t have enough fabric to cut 4x straps, so I cut 2 and turned the edges under. I wish I would have used bias tape to finish the raw edges, but by the time I realized this it was way too late. The contrast chest pocket (some leftover hand-woven cloth from Verb) was another consequence of too little fabric, but I love how it turned out.
Star snaps did an excellent job with the rivets, they did a better job than I could have. Great pattern! If you haven’t tried overall shorts, I highly recommend them.
You may be thinking, oh boy, another sundress. When I first saw the Sauvie Sundress pattern I thought the same thing. But I kept thinking about it. I had some linen/rayon stripey fabric from The Fabric Store sitting in my stash, and I knew this fabric wanted to become something summery. I bet you can guess what happened.
This fabric is perfect for this dress. It drapes beautifully, and its very soft. I used muslin from my stash as the lining. I wanted to use a blue fabric for a pop of color at the pockets, but I didn’t want it to show through the slightly sheer fabric.
The midi length is perfect, and the mitered corner finish on the hem is delightful to look at. Sew House Seven considered every detail, I am so happy with how it turned out. I never thought I would describe bust darts as graceful, but they are!
After wearing this a few times, I added the bra keeper snaps. I love the roominess in the dress, but my bra kept slipping into view. I never made them before, the instructions for these were great.
I’m not a tik-tocker but I am hip to the Coastal Grandma fad. After I made this Olya shirt in Vintage Finish linen from the Fabric store, Jacob’s immediate reaction was “that’s a coastal grandma shirt.” So, it is. But its a white linen collared shirt, and I am confident it will become a keeper.
After my epic seam-finishing fail with my Olya dress,* I thought I would not ever make this pattern again. But, time heals all wounds, and I was inspired to give it another try. Without further ado, photos.
*I used a really expensive Merchant and Mills striped linen to make my first Olya, but the weave is too loose for a structured shirt dress and the seams disintegrated. Someday I will take it apart to reuse the fabric for something else, but the overwhelming disappointment of that dress is too raw to think about now.
I was not in the market for another tank top pattern, but I saw Deer and Doe’s new summer collection and inspiration immediately struck to make the Hysope top.
I impulse-purchased this beautiful jacquard fabric while looking in the denim and twill section at Mood last year. Obviously this busy pattern stood out among the solid denims and canvas. I am not sure why they decided to put it there, but I am so glad they did! Before cutting into this fabric, I made a toile first. I used a silk taffeta-esque remnant from PCCR and got sewing. My machine did not like making button holes with this silky fabric, so I went without. Overall the fit was pretty good, but the length was a little bit too short for me. For my jaquard version, I lengthened the pattern by 2″ and I am very happy with this adjustment. One reviewer of this pattern observed that the side buttons really elevate this garment, which I agree with. Mine are horn buttons from Fringe Supply Co (RIP) from my stash.
This top comes together very quickly, this took less than 3 hours to sew. I see more Hysopes in my future!
I tore through this Toni Cardigan in less than a month! This was my first top-down seamless cardigan. It went very fast and was addictive to knit. I got this beautiful Thelma and Louise from Wing and a Prayer Farm at Rhinebeck last year, and it is so dreamy to knit with. The luster of the wool is really quite nice, which makes sense because this yarn is partly made of Cotswold, a longwool. I alternated skeins throughout to make sure I didn’t have any pooling. For the pockets and the back collar I used some Postcard Shelter scraps.
This sweater uses “The Cocoknits Method” and recommended the Sweater Workshop book as a companion, but I had no trouble figuring this out using the KAL blog posts and videos. At the end, I used tubular bind off with 2 setup rows for the hem and sleeves, and I think it looks really nice! Buttons are from Pacific Trimming, as always they helped me out after I spent many minutes overwhelmed by their enormous selection.
Here’s an itarsia pullover for ya: Judd by Alexis Winslow. This was a test knit that took me much longer than I intended. Today was a balmy 28°, so I utilized this March cold snap to grab photos (thanks Jacob). I used ridiculously soft Flax Down from Purl Soho for this sweater, and the drape is so so nice. I hope it doesn’t pill.
Alexis included a coloring page with her sweater pattern, and I used it to test out many color combinations of Flax Down colors before settling on Grey Fig, Vintage Celadon and Cobalt Blue. I am particularly fond of the solid blue and solid brown sleeve, it gives the sweater a striking look. I ended up swapping the colors on the bottom octagon from sketch to sweater, but you probably already noticed that!
This was my first time with intarsia, and it took a few rows to get the hang of it, but after that it was very straightforward. The Vikkel braid around the neckline and setup rows for tubular bind off turned out beautifully, and make this garment look so professional. Seaming the sides took awhile, but seeing the colors line up perfectly was so satisfying. This was also my first time with a drop-shoulder sweater, and I have to say, its pretty comfy!
Here’s a Big Project for ya. This thing started because I didn’t have a winter coat that easily fit over bulky sweaters. I considered purchasing a coat, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I was boppin’ through the Tessuti pattern catalog and found the Richmond Coat and thought, wow this is perfect. Many, many hours later, here it is.
I bought some salt and pepper wool coating from Blackbird Fabrics over a year ago, intending to make Jacob a coat (sorry, Jacob… you’ll get a coat soon). It has a super-cool 80s-looking vibe, and as soon as I saw the Richmond coat pattern I knew it was a perfect match. I envisioned a vermillion lining, but this rust color is the closest thing I could find at Mood. I used too-heavy interfacing and the collar is a bit crunchy. I hope it breaks in.
Johnathan Embroidery did a stellar and super-quick job on the buttonholes, and the kind staff at Pacific Trimmings helped me pick out buttons. I sewed the buttons with “backer buttons” on the facing side, I don’t know what they are actually called. They look pretty professional!
After deliberating, I made the second size. My hip measurements suggested I should make the third size, but I didn’t want this oversized coat to be TOO big. It fits perfectly.
The most overwhelming part of making this coat was cutting out the pattern pieces and then manipulating such an unwieldy garment as it came together. The welt pockets were a beast– the first one took me more than 2 hours. I admit they look pretty good, though.
Instead of cutting the back pattern piece on the fold, I added seam allowance and cut it as a pair. As drafted, the back was such a huge piece of fabric, so I thought it could use a little extra structure.
I also added a hanging loop, but I would much prefer to use a hanger as the coat looks particularly upset when it hangs by the loop.
I planned on adding an interior breast pocket, but I couldn’t bear to do another welt pocket, and a patch pocket would have ruined the nice lines of the jacket interior. So this jacket only has 2 handwarmer pockets *shrug*.