Friday, August 15, 2014

Mizono for Fall

 I am so anxious to do some fall sewing....was getting so tired of summer clothes that I put them all away and found this "transitional" brown linen that will be cool to wear but looks a little fall-ish.  I chose this pattern, 1410,  from the new batch from Vogue.

A very simple pattern, just a front and back,  with the skirt cut in a huge bell shape. The directions say to turn in and stitch around the neck and arm openings but I made bias binding, which I think looks much better.

There are some small tucks on the front that really give the draped look that I like so much, though I did not make mine as deep as the pattern and also didn't add the tie and button which gives the design very sharp angles.

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The really fun part of this pattern is that it has a series of buttons on the inside side seams so that one can  put the hem at different lengthens.  I preferred the longer length on this but am making another version that I will try wearing the tunic length so stay tuned!  Yeah for autumn!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

(HAND) Knit Lace Dress

I haven't been sewing much in the last months but have been working on a complex knitting project which I finally have finished and photographed.  This dress was in the spring edition of Vogue Knitting and involved over 50 different sized pieces with different lace patterns on each of them. 

Here are pictures of my progress and the original model from the pattern magazine:

I used a cut out template of my TNT dress pattern as I completed the pieces to make sure it would fit.
I used free-form crochet to put the pieces together and fill out areas where I needed more lace.


I sewed a dress out of knit fabric to go underneathe and give the lace some much needed support.


The only fitting item I didn't take into account was the fact that most of the lace pieces are on the bias and it became quite long, thus the belt in some of the pics!

I am getting back in the sewing mood with the fall season approaching and will be back soon with some of the new Vogue patterns I want to make!

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!