Hysope Top

finished objects, sewing

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!

Richmond Coat

finished objects, sewing

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.

Materials

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.

awkward pose so you can see the lining

Construction

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.

finally starting to look a bit like a coat

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.

before I bagged the lining

Modifications

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*.

Cline II

finished objects, knitting

Here’s my most recent FO, a second Cline sweater. its pretty rare for me to knit something more than once, but as soon as I finished my first Cline I decided to cast on another. I frogged my Niska sweater because I just didn’t like how it fit, and the Cinnabar Shelter is so so beautiful (and BT RETIRED IT!!!).

i knew i wouldn’t have enough of the Cinnabar to make the whole Cline, so I took a shot in the dark and ordered 2 skeins of BT Shelter in Postcard to make it colorblocked. I am quite happy with how the ratios turned out, it looks exactly as I pictured it in my head. I referenced @beautifulshell‘s lovely version to get a rough idea of where to switch colors.

The NYC Marathon goes right past our apartment, so we used this rare opportunity to take some middle-of-the-street photos before we checked out the race.

Lucky Pieces

finished objects, knitting
a colorful hand-knitted sweater
leaning in to the ombre

I finished one of my most challenging projects (rav link) ever! Its the from PomPom Magazine’s spring 2021 issue, a sweater-vest called Lucky Pieces.

After I decided to knit this, I saw that A Verb for Keeping Warm created a kit for this pattern, utilizing small quantities of their beautiful naturally dyed yarn. How fortuitous!! I had always wanted to try out their yarn, and this seemed like a great pattern for it. I asked if they would be willing to create a “warm colors” version of the kit, and they graciously acquiesced!

a woman wears a hand-knitted sweater in a park.
sun shines on a woman wearing a hand-knitted sweater vest.

This project was my first time doing entrelac. The pattern instructions were rather bare-bones, so it was very challenging to get the hang of how entrelac works. Getting through the initial rows was frustrating, but after checking Ravelry, I discovered other knitters were also having trouble. A few knitters helped me, and I ended up making a diagram to attempt to contribute to the community. PomPom ended up using it in a blog post to augment the pattern’s instructions, so I think it ended up being pretty helpful!

This pattern took me a long time to complete. I had to take a break over the summer because I was so sick of it. The amount of color changes and weaving in ends was frustrating and time-consuming. I want to wear this to Rhinebeck, so I picked it back up last month. I was not sure I would like it, but after completing the edging, I think it looks much better than I was anticipating. I ran out of the yellow-colored yarns at the very end of the back, but I don’t think its noticeable. Instead of creating the ties to finish this, I opted for 2 buttons and i-cord loops. I eye-balled the position of the buttons and the loops, and sewed them on with a backing button for stability.

a colorful hand-knitted sweater
so many ends to weave in….

See y’all at Rhinebeck!

Rocquaine/Gifts

finished objects, knitting, sewing

rocquaine_sweater_5

I made the Rocquaine sweater (rav link) from PomPom Quarterly’s Fall 2016 collection. I wanted to make something a little out of my comfort zone– it has a semi-cropped fit, and I had never made a gansey before. It seemed like a great learning project. This went very quickly, and I love how BT’s Arbor knits up, very spongy and light. I haven’t knit with BT yarns before, but it seems like this is a heavier yarn for them than the rest! I will have to give Shelter a try soon.

I messed up a little bit on the front gansey panel, I didn’t start the rig and furrow motif soon enough, so it starts a little late. Its very unnoticeable, though, so I am okay with it. I like the texture so much!

rocquaine_sweater_6rocquaine_sweater_4rocquaine_sweater_3Jacob is killin’ it with the photos!

On another note, I made my mom and sister some mitered-corner Essex linen napkins for Christmas. After making 16 napkins, I have discovered a trick to help make a more professional finish. At first, after sewing the miters and pressing, I had so much excess fabric in the middle of each side, and couldn’t figure out where I went wrong. After going back to double-check my measurements, I found that pressing from the middle of each side before pressing the corners made a huge difference and eliminated the excess ease. I think the miters can be deceiving when pressing them first, and they can throw a lot of slack to the long sides instead of sucking some up themselves. After adopting this method, sewing the hem became a breeze. Anyway, totally recommend these napkins, I love them and the fabric is perfect for an everyday napkin. I might make some more for me!

dsc_1699dsc_1704dsc_1714

Bonus: Jacob snapped a pic of the silver dollar patch after some rain. I love how moody this is.silver_dollar

Dove/Salt and Pepper.

finished objects, knitting, sewing

I had some leftover linen from Joann’s and I decided to use it to make a trial Dove top. I really would like to make the bell sleeve version, I just haven’t found enough of the right fabric yet. The shape of the top is very “modern” and its loose in a way that makes me feel like I am trying with my outfit. I took a page out of Elizabeth Suzann’s book and am considering linen a year-round fabric, instead of just for summer, and I am trying to embrace the wrinkles.dsc_1827dsc_1828

dsc_1798

Totally embracing the wrinkles here.

I used some leftover Liberty of London for the facings, and I used the beautiful selvedge edges where I could, like in the center front seam. Why are linen selvedges always so whimsical?

dsc_1790dsc_1806

While we were on our family beach walk, I found some awesome silver dollar plants growing in the brush. I snuck in to get some.

dsc_1841dsc_1845

The cowl is based on Purl Soho’s Salt and Pepper cowl. I sort of just followed the spirit of the cowl, the idea of two yarns, alternating rows, and using one yarn for the ribbing. I used some hand spun alpaca yarn from my friend’s mom’s farm, and the white is some luxurious cashmere I’ve been saving. I made a pair of mittens from the alpaca last year, and I wanted this to match them. In the past, I think I’ve gone crazy with colors, and want to make more neutrals so I don’t look so wacky when I wear my hand knits.

Yay for family beach walks!

dsc_1787

Thank you to Jacob for taking these beautiful pics!

 

Autumn.

knitting, sewing

A few weeks ago, Grainline posted Sarah’s “fall wardrobe inspiration” and I was quite smitten with the Steven Alan dress she featured. I decided to hack the Archer shirt into a homage to that dress with some vintage plaid I’ve been saving. I added a very slight a-line shape to the dress, and made a shirttail hem. I planned to put in the patch pockets, but just never got around to it. I could hack apart the side seams and do it, if I really want to. I thought it looked a little blah when I was done, especially in the waist, so I added a bias-cut channel and created a drawstring waist. Its a teeny bit short but I am really happy with how it turned out; I think it will be great for autumn. Buttons are blackened brass from Fringe Supply Co. archer shirtdressarcher shirtdressarcher shirtdress

Also finally got around to photographing my Stonecutters cardigan by Amy Christoffers. I finished this in late winter last year and didn’t have much of a chance to wear it before it warmed up. I LOVE it and I am so happy with the Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia yarn.stonecutters cardiganstonecutters cardiganstonecutters cardigan

Two New Dresses

sewing

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns

I really want to like this. Its a very very fussy pattern, it uses a ton of fabric, and it took a surprising amount of time to make. Full disclosure, I did not focus enough on the match points– if you decide to make this, BE SURE TO BE VERY PRECISE HERE. The pattern says this and I fault no one but myself here. I think I am going to rip out the placket and replace with a more tunic-like finish I ripped out the placket and replaced it with a more open v-neck(à la Hello Bear ). I like it much better this way, the original placket kept flopping around and was too stiff.

hannah dress by victory patterns

I underlined the white seersucker with some Bemberg lining, which I am glad I did because this fabric is pretty see-through. The pockets are great, the perfect depth to just rest your hands in. I do not know if I will make it again. One note if I do is the high bust/shoulders are quite tight, perhaps I should grade that part of the pattern up a size– it fits well everywhere else and would not want the rest any bigger.

Will get some more on-body pics soon!!!!

Next: Tea House Dress by Sew House 7.

tea house dress by sew house 7tea house dress by sew house 7I almost made this from a vintagey plaid I found at the Center for Creative Reuse, but I have my heart set on making that into another Archer or an Alder instead. I laid out the pattern pieces on the plaid and took pause. I remembered that I had almost 3 yards of that wax-print leftover from the Inari Tee. I set to work finagling around the pattern pieces, but I just didn’t have enough. I had to patch the front shoulder on one of the pieces to have enough fabric. I went to Loom Morningside to see if they had any fabric that would work. I thought of using black fabric for the yokes and ties, but that just seemed so BORING. One of the lovely ladies at Loom helped me find a hand-printed cotton that was similar in drape (read: none) to what I was already using. Back at home, halfway through making it I was having serious doubts about whether or not it would work, but I kept on going. I put it on when it was finished and showed my husband and he LOVED it (huge confidence boost, he is very honest with me about these things), so I think I do, too.

This is a pretty easy to follow pattern. I love the pockets! Only thing I changed was I hemmed it 3″, which I am glad I did, I really love deep hems, and now the dress hits above my knee. It does feel similar to my other “Japanese style” dresses I’ve made, but the waist ties help it feel more feminine. I think I will make it again, probably in a more subtle fabric next time.

 

Dueling Brumbys/Inaris

sewing

Here are two Brumby/Inari tee duos I made recently. I don’t have that many high-waisted bottoms, and it has been so hot that I can barely stand any tight clothing right now, but this combo is working pretty well for me. I am looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear the tees with jeans.

First up: Inari tee. Wow, I had no idea how much I would love this. I have a couple of simple tank patterns in my stash already, so I was hesitant to purchase another simple tee pattern, but this is great. I have not really explored the world of CROP TOPS too much, but I think I will be making more of these. The fit is swingy and forgiving, and if I wear high-waisted bottoms, no midriff shows. I remember when shirts got really long so many years ago, and I have been used to that, so this is a very big change for me. From cutting out the PDF to finishing this shirt, I think it took 2.5 hours to make. SO SATISFYING.

Brumby Skirt Notes: I have made 4 of these so far, and I love them all. Its also a quick sew, and I am surprised by how easy it is to wear such a high-waisted skirt. I wear them all the time! Totally recommend this pattern.

colorful wax print inari tee

colorful wax print inari tee

colorful wax print inari tee

brumby_skirt_inari_tee

brumby_skirt_inari_tee

brumby_skirt_inari_tee

The white linen Inari was originally going to be the dress version, but the bottom hem was hanging so weird and I was very disappointed with it, so I cut it to be the tee. The bodice front and back are underlined with a slippery white lining fabric.

This Brumby has Hong Kong finished seams, and I used lace tape to finish the hand-sewed blind hem. I love this skirt. I also finished the waist with rick rack so it pokes out a teeny bit when I tuck a shirt into it. I also made a serious effort to match the plaids. I cut the pocket and waistband on the bias.

brumby_hem_tape_hongkong_seams   rick_rack_brumby

Credits:
Brumby 1: black linen from Joann
Inari 1: wax print cotton from Tissus Regent in Montreal
Brumby 2: madras from a street vendor in Lyon, France
Inari 2: white linen gauze from Tessuti Fabrics in Surrey Hills, Sydney.

Another Archer.

sewing, Uncategorized

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetI made another archer. What a versatile, well-written pattern. I really like making button ups because its the right mix of technical sewing, but pretty quick to make, and very very satisfying. The finished shirt blends right in with my RTW wardrobe. …Well, this one might not because its very very loud. I was at a loss for what color thread to use, but I think I should have used a darker blue to blend in. Those topstitching lines really stand out, I had to rip things out quite a few times to make sure it looked great. Overall I am very proud of this one.

back view of archer button up shirt

back.

front view of archer button up shirt

messing around with the grass behind me…

closeup of archer button up shirt, wooden buttons

wooden buttons

back view of shirt

Popping the collar to show the polkas

Things to remember for next time:

  • I didn’t pay attention to right vs wrong sides for the left and right front (I cut 2 left fronts with the idea that I’d trim down the 1 for the right front) along with the rest of my pieces with the fabric folded) and ended up having to switch the side that the button band goes on, so it looks a little bit odd.
  • I hemmed the shirt with single-fold bias tape, which is super fast and easy, but I don’t think it looks as professional as a baby hem. I might rip it out and redo it..

 

Details/Credits:

Floral shirting from Blackbird Fabrics. Polka dots were scraps from my stash

Buttons are from All Buttons Great and Small in Enmore, Sydney

Photos by Leah Vautar, who is about to set out on her journey west to CA 😦