Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Sweater for New York

I am going to Vogue Knitting Live in NY this weekend. It is a huge convention type gathering sponsored by my favorite magazine. I decided I just had to have this sweater featured in a recent edition. It was designed by Japan's Sanae Gunji and won first place in the contest sponsored by Vogue.
Here is the diagram of the front and back pieces. It is knitted like a big rectange and then the waist and sleeve bands and collar are added later. The whole thing is completely asymmetric, as you can see in this photo.

I was afraid that it would not be long or wide enough so made a mockup of the pattern pieces out of a knit fabric, tried it on and was able to see where I needed to add inches (done in knitting with short rows and gauge changes).  I am SO glad I was able to SEW a version first  to get a good fit!

It took me 2 weeks, working quite a few hours every day to finish it but I feel that it was well worth the effort and am looking forward to wearing it to the show.

As you can see, I made a hat, fingerless mitts, turtleneck and purse to wear with I've been doing SOME sewing too.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

8 FOOT SCARF/ Trip Wardrobe

I have finally finished my knitted scarf by designer Stephen West and am quite pleased with the asymmetrical colorful look.
I made Vogue coat pattern 8930 to go under it. This pattern worked great and is cut so the collar can be worn two different ways. It does not have any fastenings and I found that it actually stays overlapped in the front quite well without.
I am going on a trip next week and decided to have this be the basis of my trip wardrobe. I added 2 pair of black stretch knit black pants from Vogue pattern 8859. One is out of a heavy ski-pant type stretch knit, and the other is much lighter and softer to wear inside or even under the other pair for extra warmth (it will be cold where I am going!) 
I made several tunics with cowls or turtlenecks in the different scarf colors, using Vogue 8952
The scarf can be worn several different ways, some wound so it doesn't look so big and can be worn over the tunics too.
I am still hoping to finish my self-challenge to finish 31 knitted or crochet items that fit in an outfit by next May. I added 5 to my previous count bringing it to 19---only 12 more to go in the New Year!

So here we have, in addition to the scarf, a crocheted hat, knitted fingerless mittens, and 2 pair of hand knit socks. The red and green socks are knitted using just one yarn---it is made to change colors so the knitter doesn't have to!
The snowman purse was reconstructed from a thrifted sweater so doesn't count for my challenge.

I will be changing planes tomorrow mid-morning in Chicago so shout out if you see me!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Need Closing Suggestions!

Vogue 8954---The wonderful vest in the latest Vogue patterns designed by Marcy Tilton. Marcy gives a great tutorial for making the vest on her blog and has just completed another one in leather---yum!

I made mine in a good quality polar tech and left the serged seams on the outside. I used some grommet and studs belting around the bottom and now am trying to decide how to close it. I would like to have something silver or black and industrial looking but that is as far as I have gone, and am hoping some of you readers can help me with ideas.  Do I want to use buttons, pin(s), chains, ties ????

If you read Sham's Blog you might have noticed in her last post that she went to the Hardware Store for her next project and I can't wait to see what that looks like! I know she likes this vest and wonder if she is closing it with hardware???    Show, Shams, Show!

Anyway, here are some pictures of me wearing it different ways to help you picture what kind of closing I want:
This is actually the first piece in a "Travel Wardrobe" I am making for a trip in a couple weeks. The whole wardrobe is planned around this scarf/wrap/shawl that I made from a pattern from Stephen West. He is to knit designs what the Tilton sisters are to sewing----always something different and unusual. If you are a member of Raveltry you can look up the many versions under the pattern name "Color Craving" ( is worth joining even if you aren't a yarnie)
This "Wrap" is over 6 feet long and the "short" side of the triangle is almost a yard wide! I am making a coat to wear under it as part of my wardrobe.  Stay tuned for more later and please let me know how you think I should close my vest!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

#3 LBD and a crocheted Wrap

           Vogue 8593---This pattern has been discontinued but there is a designer dress that has the same pleated neckline. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to use up some more of my black knit fabric stash and try it out. The neckline was the only distinguishing feature and it definitely isn't my favorite LBD! The pleats spread out to a general fullness in the bust, without much shape or control.
Since I wasn't that crazy about the upper part of the dress it seemed the perfect opportunity to wear it with my new crocheted shawl. I wanted something to go with any of my black outfits that would look fairly dressy.  I combined 4 different yarns with the properties of shiny metallic and fuzzy mohair.
I love combining yarns in this method as they look just like some of the very expensive variegated yarns now produced. I just made a simple rectangle and can wear it several ways---as a shrug, a shawl, or a cowl:

It works much better for me to crochet something like this with a huge (P or Q) hook. I use a simple V stitch so the large stitches imitate a knitted look.

Have you seen that Fabric Mart has announced their latest sewing challenge for the contest?    This time it is something with a vintage look and the remaining contestants have an extra week to complete it.   I have a vintage pattern in my stash that I have been wanting to use so plan to make it this week along with them.   Is anybody else out there sewing as a "shadow" contestant?
It's fun to do it this way with no stress.   Good luck to all those remaining in the contest and I am looking forward to seeing your projects.   I see SHAMS has already blogged about her "vintage" sewing project and MEG has commented too.  It's really interesting to know their thoughts while they sew so keep informing us, contestants!

Monday, October 7, 2013

LBD #2---- "KNOT" Dress


                                                            VOGUE 1359

This is the day that the Fabric Mart entries with a "Little Black Dress" theme are due and there have already been some awesome ones put up on the different contestants' blogs.  Can't wait to see them all either later today or tomorrow!

Though eliminated from the contest last week, I am continuing to sew and really enjoying it more without the time crunch (maybe I'm too old to take the stress!).   In fact I am sewing up several different LBD's with fabric and patterns in my stash.

This is my version of Vogue 1359 which I call the "Knot" dress, because it actually has a knot tied with the 2 front skirt pieces after they are partially sewn to the bodice front.  What a difference it makes in an otherwise pretty plain dress!

Luckily I had attempted a WAISTLINE in one of the other contest challenges so knew exactly how to alter the pattern so the KNOT would hit me at the waist and not on the ribs!  The pattern instructions suggest you "adjust the fullness of the knot", which I followed with plenty to hand-tacking.

I had decided when I was chosen as a contestant that I would try to really "up" my sewing and finishing techniques in an attempt to make the inside look as finished as the outside. I am continuing to strive for this and added a full lining and Hong Kong seam finishes with China silk.
This dress was really quite simple to make once I figured out how to tie the knot.   I have a couple more LBD's waiting in the wings so Stay Tuned!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Contest NON-entry----LBD #1

Vogue 1341

I see that Fabric Mart has just released the next pattern challenge to their readers---a Little Black Dress!

More about that in a minute but first I want to give a huge thanks to the many of you who have written and spoke to me about your regrets at my being "sent home" from the FM contest. Your comments have really overwhelmed me with your kindness.

I should explain to you that the winners and losers are picked not just by popular vote but by their own team of judges (it says so right on their site).  They indicated to me that my loss was because of using so much extra fabric in addition to the 3 pieces in their "bundle".   I DO think this is completely fair since the other contestants made such smashing outfits using just the fabrics that were in their bundle.   I knew I was taking a huge chance when I did it, but after the vision came to me of adding black and making a dress and coat, I couldn't NOT do it.  I wouldn't change a thing if we had "do-overs" because once I had it pictured in my head it wouldn't go away! Probably many of you know the kind of "vision" I am talking about.

Also, Fabric Mart gave me my "Go Home" notice in a completely CLASSY way---adding many compliments about my creativity, style and attitude.   You that are bosses know how much better rejections go down with the rejectee when a little sweetner is added in!

When I first learned of the LBD challenge on Monday I was elated because I really need dresses and have some great Vogue patterns that I wanted to use before the new ones come out. So I went to my stash and pulled out 5 or 6 black or navy fabrics and chose some untried patterns to go with each.   At the time I wished I had time to make all of them------well, guess what: NOW I DO!!!

So I will be blogging about several different "LBD"s as I make them up. The first is Vogue 1341 which is an amazing pattern. It has one humongous piece and 3 smaller ones, none of which look like a dress! It was a challenging puzzle to get it all together and who knows how to go about changing the fitting. What fun it was when I finally got it all together and it looked like a dress!  Best of all, now that I'm not doing it for the contest I could take the time to crochet just the right scarf to go with it. Yes, I am still doing to self-challenge to make 30 knit or crocheted items and sew outfits to go with them---this is #12.


So stay tuned for more "Little Black Dresses"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who is OUT?? ME!!!!

Just got word that I got the lowest score and am out of the Fabric Mart contest. I am not nearly as upset as I thought I might be and am so glad I entered.  Thanks for all the nice comments from you all and to Fabric Mart for sponsoring this fun challenge.   It has been a ball and best of all I came out of it with 4 finished outfits that are really "me" and I will wear.      So if you are ever debating about entering a contest like this I say "Go for It"----I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

One other fortunate thing for me----I am an avid knitter, which has been put on hold for the contest and it is turning into sweater weather here in a hurry.  Just got some wonderful new yarn so there will be the clacking of knitting needles around here soon---hope to be back and show you my new sweater when it's done.

                                                               Thanks Again to all---