general adventures in craftiness

Monday, August 31, 2009

Give Me Liberty

I started a project using the Small Susanna Liberty fabric that I bought a couple of weekends ago. I swapped the ruffle-collared shirt pattern that I originally chose for this loose-fitting shirt that is the cover project from Machiko Kayaki's My Favorite Shirt book. I am making the smallest size and even that is huge. I altered the pattern by taking the width of the front in two inches and the width of the back one inch. I also took off about five inches from the length.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Some New Sewing Projects

I got some great fabric at the Bolt sale this past weekend. Amy gave me this Japanese pattern book a while back and I bookmarked this shirt and dress that I want to make. I bought the Liberty fabric, a print called Small Susanna, for the shirt and the cotton pinstripe and black linen is for the dress. But I'm not sold on the shirt pattern. I'm looking through my other patterns and books to see if something else jumps out at me. Maybe I should design something instead?

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aran Waistcoat is Complete

Originally uploaded by actionhero

I finally steam blocked the edgings on this vest this afternoon and tested out some button closures. I ended up crocheting some button loops on the inner edge of the placket. I just didn't want to cut buttonholes into the finished garment. It seems to be a pretty good solution for now, and easy enough to change if I don't like it later on. I don't know if I'll wear it that often completely buttoned up, but it works!

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Happy Socks

Happy Socks
Originally uploaded by actionhero

Just looking at all these great colors and patterns makes me happy!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Liberty to be Targeted

I have three dresses that I've made from Liberty fabric, which is a nice lightweight cotton lawn. With the first dress, I remember being extremely apprehensive about cutting into the fabric because it was expensive and I didn't want to screw it up. However, the more I worked with Liberty, the more I realized how durable it was. I haven't found any other inexpensive cotton lawns at the fabric store, but in my opinion, nothing can match the fantastic Liberty prints. So, imagine my excitement when I read that Liberty may be set to collaborate on a collection with Target. Yay!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spaced Out

I finished knitting the seed stitch neckline tonight. Now I just need to sew on the buttons and do a final steam blocking on all the edgings. As I was arranging the leather buttons that I will use, I looked at the vest and realized I completely forgot to knit in the buttonholes! The directions don't mention anything about buttonholes and I was too engrossed in paying attention to the diagonal rib and cable charts that I didn't even notice. So now I must problem solve. I'm contemplating two options. Do I crochet button loops to the edge of the placket or create buttonholes with my sewing machine? Opinions?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Making Muslins

Kelli left a comment regarding making muslins and asked me these questions: Do I always make muslins when trying new patterns? If so, what do I do with the muslins after I've made them?

I only tend to make muslins if I've had experience with a designer's patterns and know the fit will be weird. This situation most often happens with Japanese pattern books. My measurements seem to be standard enough that I use the same size across commercial pattern companies. I make all my muslins, or draft patterns, from actual muslin fabric that I bought in a bolt. I will sew up a muslin using only the basic pieces, enough to let me get a sense of the fit. I will mark changes on the muslin, but I do not use the muslin as my pattern. I transfer the changes to the commercial pattern or to the pattern paper if I traced it. After I've made the muslin and my alterations, I will keep it if I can reuse it. Otherwise, I will just throw it out.

Muslin Resources
Sew, Mama, Sew! Blog: Making a Muslin
Video from Taunton Press: Making a Muslin

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Machiko Kayaki Tunic

I started sewing this tunic up on Friday afternoon and couldn't stop until I was done about seven hours later. I really like how this shirt turned out. The pattern is from Machiko Kayaki's latest book My Favorite Shirt. I ended up using this home dec weight fabric from Alexander Henry, so I did not use any interfacing at all. The half-inch I added to the armhole depth was just enough to make the fit more comfortable. The only other mod I made was to cut the top part of the pockets on the bias, so there was a little bit of contrast. The sleeves are a touch too long, but I can always roll them up. This will be a great shirt to wear with leggings.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bargain Hunting 101

Sunday, Aug. 16
12-5 p.m.
Crystal Ballroom

Shop for discounted merchandise from 50 local boutiques and designers. You're sure to find great deals on fashion, art, accessories, and home items.

Click here to see a vendor list.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tunic Muslin

Here's a muslin of the tunic that I sewed up on Sunday. Most of the Machiko Kayaki patterns that I've sewn up have been small in the armholes, so I wanted to see if this pattern had the same problem. It did. So, I ended up altering the pattern a bit and added some depth to the armholes. Hopefully, that will create a better fit!

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Sunday, August 02, 2009


Here's my next sewing project: a tunic from the new Machiko Kayaki book My Favorite Shirt. I'm using a home dec fabric, Heath, from Alexander Henry. I'll need to trace the pattern pieces tomorrow.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2587

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2587
Originally uploaded by actionhero

I finished this dress last night. It was a really quick project and it turned out a lot better than I expected. I had made a muslin of this pattern and I was worried because there was too much ease. I thought I would have to make a dress that was two sizes smaller than I normally would make, but I ended up only going down one size and it was a perfect fit! Aside from the size issue, I didn't make any modifications to the pattern.

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