Thursday, December 31, 2015

Knitting took over!

I have been absent from the blogging world since my flurry of sewing last summer. Thanks to you that have asked what happened!
Well, I joined a group on (THE website for knitters and crocheters) that took the challenge to make 12 new sweaters this year. I met my goal just today when I finished my 12th item--
This first picture which is a sweater dress I planned to wear to a New Year's dinner tonight.

Here are all 12 of this year's projects, mostly knitted with some crochet and other techniques. In most cases I did sew the outfits to go with each new sweater. This was such a fun yearlong project that I plan to take the same challenge in 2016, maybe even going to the next level of completing 16 projects. I Will be starting my first project after midnight! Happy New Year and hope to be showing you my knitting this year (and probably some sewing too)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I chose this new pattern designed by Marcy Tilton for this week's new dress.
Marcy has written a very helpful post on her blog on different aspects of this pattern, including how to add sleeves, which I will probably do on my next version.Marcy's blog

 The big change I made when cutting out the pattern was to add 4 inches in the body length. I did this by taping all the upper bodice pattern pieces together and then cutting a horizontal line through the whole front and back in the usual manner of lengthening. This meant that both the front and back would be cut all in one piece, which was okay with me as I knew there would be lots of contrast on the bottom

I ended up piecing some of the bottom pieces as I didn't have enough fabric other wise. I really like the contrast and complexity this caused on the bottom owf the dress.
This is one of my favorite dresses that I have made and I definitely plan on making it usual, WELL DONE MARCY!

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Continuing  with my "skirted items for summer series" I decided I needed a basic denim-colored skirt to go with the many red, white and blue tops I have in my closet. Even "basic" items for me need to be somewhat different and preferably asymmetric so I chose this Marcy Tilton pattern..
It has 3 unusually shaped pieces and makes up very quickly. I added a little length and didn't make the contrasting waistband since I planned to wear one of my rectangular poncho-type overtops.
The skirt can be worn with any area as the front. I had fun turning it to different angles and found that each view was slightly different.

Even though the pattern says this skirt should be made from moderate stretch fabric I believe a soft woven would be fine and I am looking forward to making it again when I need a "basic skirt"

I have just a few more things to make in the red, white and blue color scheme and am meanwhile knitting on a summer linen shawl type scarf designed by Maggi Jackson that will actually have strips of  fabric woven through it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Katherine Tilton's new top

I am taking a break this week from my "summer skirts and dresses" series to show the new top by Katherine Tilton for Butterick. It just came out and I wanted it so much I didn't even wait for it to be on sale. I just love all the designs by Katherine and her sister Marcy who designs for Vogue.

This pattern has so much potential for different looks. I went with coordinating stripes I had in my collection and made version A. I cut out my usual XL size with the only changes being making it 3 inches longer. It went together quickly and I love the look and feel.

The pants are Vogue 9114 which I showed the skirt for in my last post...really love these too....loose without looking "baggish". Next week I will be getting back to "skirted items"!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer of Dresses Part 3

I made a skirt and top this week so will count it as another dress. Couldn't wait to try this pattern as it reminds me a lot of some of the "boutique" type looks I see in linen.
The folds in the skirt look so complicated but are actually made with 4 inside ties on each side that can be tied for different looks.
The skirt can be worn in different positions, depending on where you want the folds to be.
Hope this doesn't look like the skirt is caught in my underwear! This has been so much fun to wear that I have already cut out the pants and hope to be showing them soon.

 The top is made by cutting a square from a slinky knit and sewing the shoulders and sides of my favorite loose-fitting looks.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Summer of Dresses Part 2

 I decided to try this Vogue pattern designed by Marcy Tilton for this week's "skirted" project. Have to say I am getting lots of wear out of my new skirts and dresses and they are so much more comfortable than pants now that the weather is getting warmer. Can't wait to have a closet full!
I realized as I was cutting out the pattern that I only had 2 different sizes of striped fabric rather than the three called for in the pattern but decided to make do, putting the larger stripes on the bottom and center front.
I purposely mismatched the large horizontal stripes at the seam between the side and front. Usually I don't mind horizontal stripes because of my height but these make me look quite large! I thought the break between the two pieces might give a vertical line that would help slim me down on the bottom!
Not sure if it worked but is is more interesting I think. If I had matched the stripes it would have looked like one piece of fabric.
I added some tucks in the back so those horizontal lines wouldn't be quite so "widening"
This dress was labelled "easy" and made up very quickly. I like the easy fit and would like to make it again in something besides stripes!
I have already started the "skirted" project for next week using one of the new Vogue summer patterns so be sure to check back and keep sewing!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Summer of Dresses (and skirts)

I have decided I want to wear more dresses and skirts this summer, even though I lead a casual life. In looking through the new patterns by some of my favorite designers I see that they too are thinking along the "skirted" line!

With the new Vogue patterns I picked up at the recent JoAnne's sale (which I believe goes all weekend), I have enough patterns AND fabric to make a new outfit each week this summer, a project that seems obtainable.

My first out fit is from an older t&t pattern which I love (Simplicity 3881), a long skirt with either one or two wide ruffles around the bottom.

The only change I made, besides lengthening, was to make an elastic waistband. In fact I cut the top of the skirt longer by almost a skirt's length, folded it under and put the elastic casing in that fold. That actually gives me a self-lining slip but without the extra at the waist that a separate half slip would entail (I have learned the hard way that no matter how opaque a skirt is I ALWAYS need a slip).
This picture shows the underskirt laid out and the elastic waist.

I knitted the purple top with some cotton/linen yarn which is cool for summer and made the necklace out of cut-up flip flops.

So stay tuned for hopefully another skirt or dress this summer. Here are some of the new and old patterns I will be choosing from.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Vogue Knitting Live" Show in Pasadena

Since I enjoyed the Vogue Knitting Live convention so much in New York in January I decided to attend the event in Calfornia this month and had a wonderful time. Vogue Knitting (and sewing) patterns have always been my favorite and it is so much fun to see the actual samples from their magazine in their many fashion shows. They also offer great classes, lectures and many vendors.

Of course I had to wear something knitted from one of their recent magazines so chose this one from the winter 2015 issue.

And of course I had to sew an outfit to go with it.....

Because this event was in sunny California, the yarns carried by the vendors were different than the heavy wools I found in wintry New York. I was able to see some lovely lighter weight yarns in cotton, hemp, silk, bamboo and linen....and of course some found their way into my suitcase to take home.

I have just finished my first warm weather sweater for the year. This pattern is from the spring Interweave magazine ( my second favorite for knitting patterns) and is made from a linen cotton blend yarn.  I found some fabric to make a skirt in a mixture of the same colors with a pattern from the new Vogue sewing catalog, which I hope to show soon.    Oh VOGUE, how I love thee for sewing  AND knitting!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Knitting Star tour stop #2

After seeing my favorite knit wear designer STEPHEN WEST last weekend in New York I decided to go to his next tour stop in Baltimore yesterday, at Woolstock yarn shop. He and knit designer StevenB will be touring the East Coast for 4-5 weeks, and I am trying to hit as many venues as possible, wearing a sweater he designed at each. Going to these "fashion shows" is great fun, and one of the best parts is meeting other Knitters who like his unusual designs!

Here I am in his newly knitted "Royally Striped" vest. It was so challenging and fun to knit, with stripes going all which ways, like a puzzle!
Here  I am with Stephen himself!

And here he is with his fellow designer Steven Berg (thus the "Stephen and Steven Tour)
He is wearing the sweater design in this one that I am working on for his next tour stop!

Strangely, I had more comments from other knitters there on the rest of my outfit and questions as to how I found things to coordinate.  Of course you readers that are sewers will realize that I sewed all the other items I am wearing.  I took my yarns to FABRIC MART (the actual store, not the website) and was able to find all these great knits.....the 3 tops are just basic tee shirts, each cut a little longer than the next (an idea from a Marcy Tilton pattern) and the pants are Vogue 8859, a Marcy design. Purse is from Icon and the blue streak in my hair is temporary!

Back to my knitting so I can turn up at their next stop in Alexandria, VA  at Fiber Space Yarn shop for their Saturday trunk "Show and Tell" and meet more knitters who love challenging and wild designs.....hope to see some of you there!