general adventures in craftiness

Friday, September 04, 2009

Loose Shirt

Loose Shirt
Originally uploaded by actionhero

After staying up late the last couple of nights working on this shirt project, I finally finished it this morning. I just had to sew the buttonholes and buttons on, but there were only five, so it didn't take too long. I like how the shirt turned out, but it is very loose-fitting, even though I made the smallest size. And since I took off a bunch of the length, it looks a bit boxy to me, especially with the dropped shoulders. I do like that I can easily pull it on. I think I'll still get a lot of wear out of it.

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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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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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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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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've Got Mail

I came home to find this package of yarn from KnitPicks waiting for me. I ordered six hanks of Bare Merino Wool DK for the Aran Waistcoat project. I thought about dying the yarn, but then decided against it. I rather like the natural color. I hope to do some swatching before the week is over.

The other night I was looking through that Japanese skirt pattern book I just bought and I couldn't remember why I purchased it. I couldn't find one pattern in it that I absolutely loved, so I exchanged it for the newest Machiko Kayaki book, My Favorite Shirt. There are some really cute shirt and shirtdress patterns that will be fun to make.

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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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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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