Friday, August 30, 2013

Fabric Mart Fashion Contest

Have you heard about the Fabric Mart "Fabricista" Challenge?  It will be sort of a "Project Runway" type setup with 10 chosen designers and one being "sent home" each week. Voting on their blog will determine the winner.   Here is the information  Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge
I just sent in my entry to be a contestant but plan to have lots of fun sewing each challenge whether I am chosen as an actual contestant or not!  What a great way to use up some of my stash and I can always put the results here on my blog.

I may not progress very far because my "funky" style doesn't appeal to all tastes but if I can convince just one "older" lady that being in your 60's (or older) doesn't mean you can't enjoy making and wearing great clothes, it will fulfill my goal.   That's really why I write this blog and what I have learned from many of YOUR blogs!         So you all rush to sign up too-----can't wait to see some of the results!

(I put some of my older fall and winter clothes here to give a sample of my "funky and arty" aesthetic)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yippee--I won!

I was just contacted by the Fiber Factor company to let me know I have been chosen as a co-winner in their latest challenge in the "watchers" category for this sweater. You can see it and others in the group at Fiber Factor Challenge #3.

They requested I give them my shipping address so they can send me a prize! I am hoping it's some of those wonderful Addi knitting needles made by the Skacel company that is sponsoring the contest---will let you know when it arrives.

You can read more about my design philosophy when making it at My Fiber Factor Entry

Monday, August 19, 2013

#12--Most Difficult Pattern EVER!

In my blogging challenge to make 31 knitted/crochet items and sewing an outfits to go with them, the yarn project is usual by far the most time-consuming and difficult, but not in this case.  Because the dress was the biggest challenge to me I'll write about it first.

  It is the Donna Karan pattern  #1361 from the new Vogue fall collection. I could tell the pattern would be a challenge when I saw that it was marked "Advanced" and all those outside darts on the front and back!
Little did I realize that it would turn out to be the most confusing pattern I've put together in more than 50 years of sewing!

Cutting out the pattern was the first trial. No body piece is cut double. Each side is different and none of the pieces LOOKS like part of a dress!

I marked the many body darts with tailor tacks and pressed them before sewing. They actually came out pretty good and I was on to the collar portion. This is what was really confusing as some of the body parts flow into becoming the collar.  In addition, instead of sewing on the facings in the normal way, the pattern instructions have you lap one edge over the other to sew. I did this on the collar piece but since it is underneathe and doesn't even show I sewed the other facings the normal way.

Actually, once the darts and collar are all put together most of the hard work is done. The right sleeve was a little tricky to put in because there were several large darts and seams in the body seam allowance.
Amazing, but when I was finally able to put it on it actually fit pretty well, I did not make the attached lining and chose to close it with hidden snaps rather than sewing it closed.
Most of all I was proud of myself for continuing to follow the directions though at times they made no sense!

Now on to the scarf. It is a crocheted circle mobius made from a fine mohair yarn doubled. It can be worn long or short:
This actually turned out to be a comfortable outfit---now on to the next one.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

31 Outfit Challenge--#11

Here is the latest outfit in my knitted/crochet items challenge.

This project was my most time-comsuming and challenging yet, and I loved making it.  It is actually my entry as a "swatcher" into the knitting design contest called being held by Skacel Yarn company. There are 12 actual designers who are contestants in the 6 month contest and they are given a different design challenge each month. Followers who are not actual contestants but want to complete the challenges are called "Swatchers" and there is even a section on their web page for us!(and some sort of prize)

They are now on Challenge 3 which is called "Blank Slate". They were sent 15 skeins of the beautiful yarn called KENZIE by HIKOO and could make anything they want. You can read more about what the entries will be judged on at their website.

I was able to get some of the same yarn, but in a different colorway (the actual contestants had to use a beige color). My colorway is called "Bayberry" and is a wonderful rich tweedy orange.

Since I wanted a complete outfit I immediately went shopping for this soft challis in fall colors to go with it.

I decided to do a "sampler" sort of sweater and started with a simple form made out of rectangles for the back, sides and arms. I divided those up into smaller rectangles and made those with over 25 different lace and texture patterns with diagonal lines. I have recently begun experimenting with joining crochet and knitting in the same piece and did so on this. The body is done with knit motifs and the arms and front band with crochet.

Here are some of the crochet and knit pattern books I used to research and find diagonal designs:

Here are some close up pictures of the diagonal lace blocks in my sweater:

I wanted to stay with the diagonal line motif so chose this pattern for my skirt (the version with all the points at the bottom)

Here is a "caught in the wind" shot where you can really see those diagonal points!
I am definitely ready to start my fall knitting and sewing.  More later!