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!

Dawn Jeans II

finished objects, sewing

I’ve been wearing my first pair of Dawn jeans to death, and they have developed some holes! I’ve patched them but I needed a second pair in my rotation (once it cools down, right now i cannot imagine wearing tight jeans in this heat). Inspiration struck and I decided to sew another pair from my stash using some made-in-the-USA Cone Mills denim from Threadbare fabrics.

obligatory butt shot. i sewed on a patch I got in Indonesia!

I didn’t do anything to this denim before sewing it, they are truly RAW. we’ll see if i regret this. I basted the inseam and the side seams, tried them on, and was shocked by how well they fit. when i finished the waistband and belt loops, i put them on and i couldn’t close them. my last pair started out pretty good but stretched out, so i decided to wear them around the apartment for a few hours. after 1 day of wearing them around the house i went to get the buttons installed and i was able to close the jeans! they are still quite tight and are going to take some more breaking in to be comfortable.

after I finished constructing the jeans, I went to Star Snaps NYC to have rivets and buttons installed. I installed the rivets and buttons myself for my last pair, and doing this without the right equipment or access to space where its okay to make hammering noises was really challenging. They did a fab job and I totally recommend their services.

can you tell these are a wee bit tight??
I’ll leave you with one more tush shot.

Denim Maritime Shorts

finished objects, sewing

It appears that it is the Summer of Denim, because I made these shorts right after I made a pair of jeans. I haven’t posted about the jeans yet because its been too damn hot to wear them and get some photos. Instead, here are the shorts.

the back view of a pair of jean shorts.

I used the Grainline Maritime shorts pattern, I have made them a few times and I liked the fit. They aren’t high rise, just a regular old medium rise, and there are no belt loops. They were a very quick sew. After I finished the pockets, I happened to see Debbie’s version with bias-finished pocket linings, so I went back in and applied bias tape I had lying around for a prettier interior finish. I like the print mixing result.

the interior of a pair of jean shorts.
a woman poses, wearing a half-tucked button down and homemade jean shorts.

Not too much else to say about these, but I am glad I have a pair of JORTS again.

a closeup of a pair of homemade denim shorts.

Maxi Dress

finished objects, sewing
a woman looks down, wearing a brown and white striped dress with a red pocket.

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.

the back view of a brown and white striped dress.

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.

a detail view of the side slit on a brown and white striped dress.

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!

a woman makes a silly face. Her husband told her she had a "bat in the cave" to get her to smile!

Olya Dress

sewing

Oh, this dress. What a mess it was to make. I like the idea of the pattern, the Olya Dress by Paper Theory. The main problem I had with the pattern was very small seam allowances for tricky parts of the garment. Had I not paired this pattern with unravel-y linen from Merchant and Mills, it may have turned out better. I still love the style lines, but this linen was a very poor choice for this pattern. The fabric began to fray after I cut it, and it affected the chest, button-band and collar seams pretty badly.

a woman wearing a striped dress, standing in the trees. The pattern is the Olya dress from Paper theory.

After I finished it two years, ago, it tore at the button band during its first wear. I was so disappointed that I put it away and didn’t consider looking at it for a year. This spring, I dug it out of the “to fix” pile as it had languished for long enough. I ripped apart the button band, reinforce the edging with zigzag, and re-sewed it together. It had some other problems with the collar attachment that I addressed, too.

a woman wearing a striped dress, standing on a path in the trees. The pattern is the Olya dress from Paper theory.

This dress has serious “battle scars” and I am disappointed with it, but at least its out of the mending pile! I will consider giving this pattern another try with a more densely-woven fabric.

a woman wearing a striped dress, standing in the trees. The pattern is the Olya dress from Paper theory.
a woman wearing a striped dress, spinning around in the trees. The pattern is the Olya dress from Paper theory.

Man Cardigan

finished objects, knitting

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:

  1. I removed the waist shaping, and added several inches to the upper back and upper fronts to accommodate Jacob’s broad shoulders.
  2. I swapped the button placement from wearer’s left to wearer’s right
  3. I started the v-neck decreases when I started the armhole bind off

Farrow Dress II

finished objects, sewing

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.

here are the guts of the dress.

Nothing like perfectly placed pockets, I notice I am constantly resting my hands in them. The joys we find in 2020.