general adventures in craftiness

Monday, December 31, 2007

Pinned Up

I finished my sleeves last night and just pinned all my pieces for blocking this morning. I ran out of room for the second sleeve, so I'll have to overlap it on top of some of the other pieces. I should be ready to knit on the hood tomorrow!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Up Front

Onto the sleeves!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

CPH Back

Just finished the back of the hoodie!

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Holiday Break Projects

After work on Friday, I headed over to Bolt to check out fabric and then to next door neighbor Close Knit to look for yarn for the Central Park Hoodie. Here are the great things I came away with. I got one of Amy Butler's new dress patterns, Lotus. I also wanted the Anna pattern, but the store didn't have it in stock yet. I plan to make the cami top with cap sleeves, with the main bodice in purple and the contrasting parts in orange. The fabric is the Loft 1800 Urban from Moda. I got some Cascade 220 in silver spruce heather. Since I'd been working on that plaid wool dress for a while, I decided to start with knitting first and cast on for the back of the CPH Friday night.

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Friday, December 21, 2007


I've spent the last several days working on the finishing for the plaid dress. I decided to only put the bias trim on the neckline and hand sew all the hems at the sleeves and the bottom edge. I think this dress out pretty true to the original pattern, though I did make some modifications: shortened the length by four and a half inches and took in almost an inch on the side seams. It fits me pretty well, though in retrospect, I think I should have added two back darts instead of taking in the extra width at the side seams. I thought the addition of darts would have made the dress more fitted than I wanted. Oh well, I still like it anyway!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Update

After finishing the fez on Friday night, I finally starting working on the wool dress. I think I was procrastinating because I didn't want to deal with both the lining and the dress, but once I got started it all went quickly. I sewed the lining together first and then proceeded with the dress. The thing that took the most time was the inseam pockets. The original pattern does not have a lining, so I had to figure out how to situate the pockets with it and the dress. I had the pockets sewn into the lining, but was not happy with how they looked after topstitching the edges of the pockets to the dress. It was a little messy and the edges weren't too clean. So, I scrapped the pockets and ripped them out. I'm still thinking about maybe adding some patch pockets to the front, but I'm not sure. I've still got to sew in the bias trim on the neckline and hem the sleeves and the bottom edge. I was thinking about adding bias trim to those edges as well.

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It Is a Hat!

The pattern below was for a fez. A friend that collects fezzes asked if I would make one with the Joel Dewberry woodgrain fabric. I had plenty leftover in my fabric stash, so why not? The top is actually a solid brown fabric and the inside is lined with green felt. I actually had to cut the body of the pattern into three sections, so the woodgrain was vertical all around. My stitching is a little wonky on the bias trim at the bottom edge because it wasn't very wide, but I still think it looks fine.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

What Is It?

Work has been crazy this week and I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on the plaid wool dress. However, I did have time to draft this pattern. Any guesses as to what it is?


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me!

I got this new dress form in the mail yesterday! I'm pretty excited because now I can do actual pattern draping. These are the same forms we used in draping class. The shoulders are collapsible, the height is adjustable, and it's on casters. I have an older dress form, but it's really a mannequin; I can pin on it, but it doesn't have all the proper seam lines and such, so I decided that I needed to invest in a real dress form. I also got the arm for free as part of my purchase. I was looking to buy my form from Rox Studio, which has extremely reasonable prices for these kinds of forms, but then I found their eBay store. There were a couple of forms for sale and I made an offer and got it for a little less than the retail price on their website.

PS Here's a great post on Fashion-Incubator regarding dress forms.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Time for a Hoodie

My next knitting project is going to be the Central Park Hoodie. This pattern first appeared in the fall 2006 issue of Knitscene, which has since sold out on the Interweave Knits site, but is still available at other online stores. You can now buy the CPH pattern individually from the new Knitting Daily Pattern Store. Knitting Daily is a newsletter from the folks at Interweave and their shop has lots of other individual patterns that have appeared in Interweave or other sister publications.

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Monday, December 10, 2007


I knit up this hat on Saturday from a free Berroco pattern. I used the leftover Elsebeth Lavold ClassicAL that I had from the Rebecca striped sweater. I lightly steam blocked the hat to even out the stitches and it was good to go. I've already worn it several times.

I also finally managed to get my fabric cut out for the Machiko plaid wool dress. I think I was hesitant to actually do this because of matching the plaid on the side seams and the back, but it didn't take too terribly long. I'll start sewing tonight!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007


Aside from sewing up the muslin of the Machiko Kayaki dress pattern, I haven't had much time for crafting this past week. I have been busy baking holiday cookies that I took to Mariko's for a cookie party. I used two recipes from the December 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine: Double-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies and Cinnamon Palmiers. I baked the palmiers on Monday and they were delicious. However, I think I should have recrisped them in the oven last night before the party. Oh well. The sandwich cookies were yummy. The filling was white chocolate ganache. It was basically a fancy Oreo. These are on their way to becoming a holiday favorite.

Before I sew up another muslin of the dress tonight using the revised pattern, I need to include another revision: drop the side bust dart since it's a bit high. Once that's done, I'll do a final fitting and then cut out my fabric and lining.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mad About Plaid

I stopped by Fabric Depot this weekend to search for some plaid wool. I found this grey plaid and chose an olive green lining. I knew I wanted to make a dress, but wasn't sure of the pattern. I found Simplicity pattern 3620, but they were out of my size. I really liked the cute V-neck jumper with the belt and pockets. After looking through some more patterns at home, I decided on this Machiko Kayaki short-sleeved dress from Sewing Talk. It's a simple four-piece pattern and the dress has inset seam pockets and raglan sleeves. I've had some fit issues with these Machiko patterns in the past, so I made the dress out of muslin to check the fit. It fit great but I took in about three-eighths of an inch on both sides of the back and shortened it about four and a half inches. I just altered my paper pattern and will cut out fabric tomorrow.

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