Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NEW YEAR's Knitting and Sewing Plans

I have discovered a wonderful new knitware designer this year....Stephen West . He designs wild, asymmetric colorful pieces....many shawls but I like his sweaters best.  Here is my first one:

For you that understand "knit speak", this involved lot of short rows!

So my knitting plans involve as many Stephen West items as I can make, AND in the process using a lot of my yarn stash, since his patterns always use lots of colors.

My sewing plans include making things to go with my new knitted designs and more of those Tilton sisters paterns, which I think will soon be out.....can't wait to see what they have come up with next!

Happy New Year's sewing and/or knitting to you!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I have just finished knitting this most unusual sweater/cape/hoodie and am just amazed at how it all went together!
This is a new pattern designed for the Fiber Factor knit designer contest sponsored by Skacel company. If you are a member of Ravelry you can see the pattern called "bravura". The designer Tracy ha:s just lead a KAL (knit along) to make it and answered questions by the participants while we knitted it.

I wanted to knit this ever since I saw the original since I was mystified how it could be knit all in one piece and have all those layers on the back. As you can see, from the back it looks like a cardigan sweater with a cape over it, finished up with a hood over all. Yes, it was knit all in one piece and is the most amazing pattern design I have ever seen, on the level with all those Issey Miyake patterns I used to sew! Now we need some cold weather so I can wear it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Katherine Tilton Jacket

I am finishing up the last round of the "Tilton sisters" patterns before I start on the 3 new ones by Vogue. This jacket, Butterick 6106, was particularly fun.
B6106, Misses' Jacket
Butterick 6106

 I used pieces of tapestry, suede and decorator fabric from my stash.
The directions called for this jacket to be unlined but since the backs of my fabrics were so unattractive and scratchy I made a "boxy type lining" and tacked it to the inside. I really like the way some of these jacket pieces were put together, in some cases requiring sewing a straight edge to a slightly curved one. This allowed the jacket to have some fit and not just be straight up and down.
Looking forward to going to the Smithsonian Wearable Art show next weekend http://www.craft2wear.smithsonian.org/ .  Anybody out there going?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

ORIGAMI top from Butterick

I have fallen in love with the work of designer Katherine Tilton. I have also loved the patterns of her sister Marcy, who designs for Vogtue and have just about all their patterns.   The 3 new ones by Katherine in the Butterick line are really awesome.
I just finished Butterick 6101 and am amazed at the complicated and good looking top pattern that resulted.
As you can see in the line drawings it is completely asymmetrical and it is very hard to figure out what the pattern pieces looks like.
The only hints I can give for making up this pattern is to read the directions carefully! I just took it one step at a time, not knowing exactly what I was sewing to what, but it all came out perfectly at the end. Katherine is definitely a genius at pattern design and I am starting her other two in this collection right away.

More pics from different angles:
The back is almost "normal"!    Be back soon!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mizono Tunic or Dress?

After making the dress version of  Vogue 1410 in my last blog post I was determined to try the tunic version, where the bottom hem is folded over almost to the armholes:
I had to do LOTS of trial pinning, folding and tucking to keep it from looking like a balloon top, in part because the silk shantung fabric I used was a bit stiff (even after washing and drying a couple times!) Here are some different versions I tried with different folds, tucks and hem lengths:
Luckily, this pattern has buttonholes to temporarily set the hem at different lengths because I still think I prefer the DRESS version......What do you think?
Next up will be some of Katherine Tilton's new patterns for Butterick so stay tuned!

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 it.....so I've been doing SOME sewing too.