Rocquaine/Gifts

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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!

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

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Dove/Salt and Pepper.

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

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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?

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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.

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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!

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Thank you to Jacob for taking these beautiful pics!

 

Autumn.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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back.
front view of archer button up shirt
messing around with the grass behind me…
closeup of archer button up shirt, wooden buttons
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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 😦

Summer dreams

I made Stylish Dress Book Dress I with some beautiful Anna Marie Horner Loominious fabric. I made it before we went to NZ as a summer weight, shapeless dress for those super hot days when nothing that is form fitting is bearable to wear. It was lovely for the trip, and now that its 90 degrees out and very very humid at home, it is getting the job done now. I lined the front and back bodice with some of my leftover owl-print voile, and made a contrast neck band with that blue silk that keeps on sneaking its way into projects. I added inseam pockets, although they are too low to comfortably put my hands in them. Oh, well. It is nice how forgiving these Japanese dresses are to make, but it spoils me because each one I make turns into a workhorse of a dress, and I don’t even have to work that hard to make it fit nicely.

Thank you, Anna Salamon for snapping some pics during our picnic today.

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Stylish Dress Book, dress I from above.

 

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side shot of the dress. note the saucy pose.
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accidental stripe matching on point.
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I used the wrong side of the fabric for the waistband.

one more dress…

one more dress before we leave for France. I got this fabric when I visited A Verb for Keeping Warm with a beautifully talented friend. It’s a voile, and I lined it with some of that Britex muslin that I used with that Wiksten tank dress. The pattern is from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, and I really like how basic yet fitted it is. I want to make more of this pattern. I made a muslin for this dress bodice, and I had a lot of fitting tweaks. I wish i would have paid closer attention to the back of the neck, because the final dress has a lot of gaping there. Overall, though, I am really happy with how this turned out. Très Parisen!

Currently reading: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Currently listening: How The Louvre Works Stuff You Should Know Podcast (France in 9 days!)

underlining.

so i learned about underlining. its sort of like lining, but it lays against the shell fabric and is seamed in with it, so the two pieces act as one. its supposed to add body to the shell fabric (depending on what you use for underlining).

i got some gorgeous blue linen and some cotton muslin at the remnants section of britex in san francisco. i was really struggling with what to make with the fabric, since i didnt have much. i settled on a wiksten dress, but made the small (last time i made the medium). i added pockets and cut the chest pocket on the bias. the side pockets were sort of wonky at first and hung very weirdly inside the dress and made it uncomfortable, so i decided to topstich them on the front of the dress. i really like how they turned out. i also added some back darts but im unsure of how i like them so far (ive only basted them in). as i was finishing the blind hem (which is so worth it no matter what… a machine straight-stitched hem really doesn’t cut it for me at this point), i wondered if the dress looked too “Puritan,” but i got a lot of compliments on it when i wore it yesterday, so im won’t heed that voice in my head.

i will say i don’t love the wiksten pattern, it is very shapeless and has weird gaping issues at the armpits, but i think this could be solved with front darts (although i was too nervous to improv them). but overall, im very happy with the dress result, and i cant wait to wear it when we go to FRANCE next month. please ignore the wrinkles– ITS LINEN, PEOPLE.

 Thank you, Leah for the pics

i really love this water bottle, btw