Thursday, November 30, 2006

SWAP, Ready set plan

I started this blog to separate my regular knitting blog from this sewing, and to keep track of my progress on the SWAP contest sponsored by Timmel Fabrics

updates will follow, and I will clean up this entry and add pertinent info that is missing right now.

11 garments

2 Jackets
4 dresses
3 tops
1 skirt
1 pant

Jacket 1: light eggplant boucle from Britex Fabrics purchased July 2005, trims purchased at same time. Lining is silk charmeuse from Calamo silks. Pattern based on Vogue 7975, constructed in couture method as taught by Susan Khalje
Jacket cut out and stitching lines marked by threadbasting approx October 2005.

Jacket 2 and skirt Vogue _ _ _ _
silk tweed purchased from Eunice Farmer Fabrics fall 2004. jacket Lining: silk charmeuse from Calamo silks. Skirt lining china silk from Calamo silks. Jacket and skirt cut summer 2005, fused to sof-knit, then put away.

Dress 1 sheath dress, Butterick _ _ _ _
Chinese Brocade from Britex purchased July 2005, lining: same china silk as tweed skirt. Cut and partially assembled Spring 2006. I am counting this as my "previously made" garment, although construction is only partially complete

Dress 2 Sleeveless sundress OOP Vogue Calvin Klein pattern
print 4ply silk from Habermans (Royal Oak Michigan) purchased Sept 2005. Lining, same china silk as tweed skirt.

Dress 3 dupioni sheath with lace overlay. Vogue _ _ _ _
cross-weave silk dupioni and purple crochet lace from Eunice Farmer Fabrics, spring 05
Lining to be determined

Dress 4 Sleeveless sheath, OOP Vogue _ _ _ _ (subject to change - I may trade this out of the SWAP as it is a little dressier and not necessarily totally compatible with being worn with a jacket, although a lot of the accessories will work and I will make it whatever the case)
Fabric: embroidered silk taffeta from Van's Fabrics, Boston, purchased November 2006

Top 1 qualifying Reversible Garment
adapting Textile Studio Milan Dress pattern to make it a tank top. Pattern purchased from Timmel Fabrics as part of qualifying purchase.
side one silk jacquard print from stash, source not remembered
side two solid yellow silk broadcloth purchased from Timmel Fabrics

Top 2 cowl neck shirred midriff top, Vogue _ _ _ _
purple silk charmeuse, same as lining fabric for boucle jacket

Top 3 classic long sleeve shirt Vogue _ _ _ _
Italian cotton shirting purchased from Woolen House, a Toronto merchant, at the Sewing Expo in Novi, Sept 2005

Pant new Montana pattern Vogue _ _ _ _
stretch wool gabardine from Michaels Fabrics, online

just in today, a totally fabulous silk plisse from EOS in the perfect lavender color. May have to swap out a top.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Weather

The weather? She's going to talk about the weather? You've got to be kidding!
no, really, I am.
See those footprints in the sand. I took that picture last Friday morning, on the beach, on Lake Michigan. Those footprints belong to a toddler who was there playing with his parents standing by.
Unless you've spent many a November in the cold northern hemisphere, you can't appreciate the significance of those bare little toe-prints in the sand.
it was gorgeous.

We had a great time.
now I give you pictures of my 'toddlers'


my babies are well.
today my dad is having surgery. We are all assuming it will go well.

Days end, from the deck.

Monday, November 20, 2006

dropping by to say I miss you, HI

First off, a note to all my knitblogging friends who think I've absconded with the cookies and left to go sew...
this is true to a point, but I Need to sew, as in, I Need clothing to wear. So, I've been busy chained to my sewing machine and sewing table, and haven't been near the computer much.

But the other thing going on is: there just hasn't been any knitting of note to report on. Finally, the Lace cardi by Vittadini is off the needles, and is soaking now. As soon as I'm off here it is going onto the blocking board. Next up is to pick up *cough cough* a thousand or so stitches around the perimeter and knit on the ruffle. This I will do while travelling to Michigan tomorrow. With any luck it'll be done by the time I come home.
The plane knitting going to Boston was the prettiest little scarf for my friend Jacquie. She is a knitter whose life is so overbooked that when I gave her the yarn and pattern, I offered to knit it for her too and she took me up on it...the pattern is so easy and so pretty. It is a Colinette number alternating lace weight mohair with silk ribbon, all in garter stitch with every 4th row a double wrap (creating a YO) on each stitch. I think I mentioned though, no plane knitting on the way back.
Don't get that is bad and I was down nearly a week with it.

most recently off the sewing table:

I wrote a pattern review Here if you want the gory details. They do need a crease pressed in the leg - it'll happen.

Next up on the sewing table:
I've joined the Timmel SWAP [sewing with a plan] which starts Dec 1. This one has some teeth. The 1st prize is a gift certificate for $300. I'd like to win, but lord we all know I don't need a certificate for more fabric, and the real win will be getting all of these garments made up. There are a total of 14 garments here, ready to be made. 11 are required for the SWAP, so I'll have to see what it whittles itself to. In any case, I plan to make all. Best thing, all of this fabric was in my stash. (well, one pc was added to stash last week while I was in Boston...)
we've talked about that right? That my fabric stash makes my yarn stash look like childs play. And my yarn stash is nothing to sneeze at.
Spring SWAP
So I will try very hard not to bore you with too many details of the sewing, but it will be front and center for awhile.

Meanwhile, it is Thanksgiving week here, and we will be travelling to Michigan tomorrow. Both of my boys, with their respective girlfriends, my dsd, her father and I, and my dad and his wife will be celebrating in Pentwater MI.
so, see you later. Thanks for visiting.

PS, I'm taking Liz with me to Michigan too. Liz is feeling very neglected of late. oh, and Marina, I forgot how to count again. Second sleeve is nearly done on Liz, and I realized my first sleeve was wrong. I'm contemplating ripping back most of my first sleeve. So then I'll have 3rd sleeve syndrome! ;)

ETA: I love those boots I posted last entry, but none of you really thought I was so extravagant that I would spend nearly $900 on a pair of boots did you? I just looked at them and drooled, and lusted, and then went back to work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

random shopping

Are these not just To-Die-For?
They have a medieval tapestry look to them...surely there is a Starmore design suitable to wear with these ;)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Half a SWAP

Completed before leaving for Boston:
A Jacket, a pair of pants and a skirt. 3 of the 6 items required for the Sewing with A Plan contest at PatternReview...which I decided to join with less than 4 weeks to go because I need to complete some clothes to wear, and it just seemed like a good idea.
Jacket Remember This? This is the finished product. I removed the patch pockets, assembled the lining with the facings that were all cut out, then hung the completed lining unit on the hanging rack where I store half finished projects....and then completely forgot that I had done that. Left it alone for two weeks, then decided to finish it up. I finished up the interfacing of the back piece, made up the sleeves, put in the bound buttonholes (must get a pic, they look really nice) , found the large rectangular stained wood buttons I originally purchased for this jacket in my button stash...then began looking for the lining. After wasting several hours, I gave up, dug through my stash and ended up finding and using a beautiful light jacket weight twill lining I had earmarked for another project. After it was all cut and assembled - I also had to cut up the remaining piece of wool I had leftover from the jacket, enough to make a skirt - for the facings....after all was assembled, I happened to look over at my hanging rack, and saw the previously assembled lining hanging there. ARGH! oh well, Onward. I finished up the jacket Tuesday night, after taking an interlude out to make the pants, leaving barely enough time to cut and make a skirt.

Particulars: Fabric, wool flannel
Pattern: Vintage Vogue (was current when this was cut out) in the "wedge" shape popularized by Linda Evans in the 80s'
Lining: Acetate twill
Interfacing: lightweight hair canvas
Extras: I used old fashioned tailoring techniques to pad stitch the collar at the roll line, undercollar is cut on bias with CB seam, applied a sleeve header of Armo Rite, made bound buttonholes, interfaced hem with wiggan, topstitched with Mettler Topstitching thread.
The style is a tad dated, but I'm tall and can carry that big-shouldered Dynasty look well, and I'm really pleased with this one.

Next up, the Pencil skirt.
Pattern: Vogue 2770. I altered this design significantly by cutting the CF on the fold and moving the walking slit to the back. This is truly a pencil skirt. The Hem is a full 4" narrower than the hip. Contour waistband, center back invisible zipper.
Fabric: Double woven wool crepe pique. Wonderful stuff that has been in my stash only about a year or so. Originally came from Eunice Farmer Fabrics in St Louis. There is quite a bit of stretch inherent in the weave here, so I Lined it with a poly tricot knit.
In order to control the stretch at the waist I interfaced the waistband with silk organza. Worked nicely.
I will make this again.

Center back slit, narrow hem.
Last Up: Pant
Pattern Vogue 2759
Contour waistband, unlined straight leg pant with side invisible zipper.
These are actually flattering, however next time I make them I will drop the waistband so that it sits below the waist about 1 1/2"
Fabric: Wool/Rayon blend gabardine with a crimped yarn which also has a degree of inherent stretch without the addition of lycra.

Lots to say about Boston. I had a gloriously fun time...however, I came back with either a very bad cold or the flu, so you'll have to wait for next post for details.
I did go fabric shopping
I did get some plane knitting done on the way there (including the 4 hour delay in Detroit). No knitting on the way back, I was feeling lousy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

listmania, progress, and benevolent bloggers

First up: Benevolent bloggers
This past week I came home to my mailbox, to a delightful surprise package from Kim in Athens GA. We were in Athens just a couple of weeks ago yet it was such a fly by trip that I didn't get to meet Kim. Anyway, I came home and opened up this package, and found the book
Classic Knitted Vests. I decided to photograph it on my knitting tray on my table, in front of the chart that I'm working right now on the vest-turned-into-lace cardi for H. Kim knew that I would have benefitted from having at my fingertips some vest patterns when asked. Also included was a listmaking pad - love those long format pads. As will be discussed later in this installment, I've become, in the last month, a real advocate of lists.
Thank you truly Kim, for a wonderful surprise.

Also, this last month I joined two of the KAL's going on. I'm keeping with my pledge not to join KAL's for projects that weren't on my radar already, but this fits with what I knit, and I love cables. In fact, I have [cough cough] several cable projects on needles right now, slated to be finished by end of year. One of the hostesses is Jennifer (whose link really should be on my sidebar, I didn't realize until just now that it isn't). Jennifer hosted the Vacay swap last Spring, and regularly visits here. Hi Jennifer!. Anyway, She and Christie, the other hostess, are running contests - and I WON! the first. I received an email from Janet Szabo herself saying that she was sending me a copy of her book. This is abook I've been contemplating and wanting. I've heard nothing but great things about it. Janet is the guru who hosted the FLAK last year, and moderates the Aran knitlist on yahoo that I read everyday. I am thrilled. Thank you all.

On to Progress Reports
Just to prove to everyone that all this talk about knitting lace is not just talk...I bring you pictures.
Unblocked, but it is coming along nicely. I met with H last Friday and we did a pin-fitting and it is perfect. I'm really pleased with the way this is turning out. Only caveat: I would not have chosen fuzzy mohair as the best yarn to show off this lace pattern. The color is a deep brick red. I've got the remainder of the second sleeve and the ruffle yet to go. H left for England and Paris, and I'd like to have this done by the time she returns at the end of the month. Very do-able

From the Sewing Room
I'm working on wardrobe enhancement. Two reasons:

1. I have nothing, nada, in fall clothes, that fit me. I've been a slug and gained a significant amount of weight since last winter, and it shows. So I'm judiciously choosing fabrics that I don't mind cutting up and making into clothing that will fit me now that I will either have to take in or store in several months when this weight is gone (And it WILL be gone).

1a. we are going to Boston tomorrow and wearing jeans isn't going to cut it. I need something to take with me.

2. I have committed to finishing up some of my vintage projects and using up at least a fraction of my extensive fabric stash before boarding a boat and all of the stash must magically disappear.

In light of the fact that I'm supposed to be making clothing for me, you might be wondering what this is a picture of.

It is the dustruffle that I completed Saturday, after we got home from going out for coffee in the AM. On leaving Kaldi's we stopped at a mattress store and bought a new mattress. Oh my aching back. Our old mattress was very bad on my back, and it was literally hurting everyday just to get up in the morning and move. dh got heartily sick of hearing me mattress. It is heaven to wake up and be able to move.
So, wardrobe sewing interruptus. I told dh when we bought the mattress that I would go home and stitch up the silk plaid dust ruffle that I cut out months ago, and that is exactly what I did. Before going to the Symphony Saturday night.
Today I have the day off of altering bridemaids clothing, so as soon as I am finished writing here, I am back downstairs finishing up the jacket, pants, skirt and dress combo that I am taking to Boston tomorrow AM. Look for pics later for evidence of completion.

almost forgot I planned to write about lists....and I'm out of time, so lists will have to wait.
I need to start treating my own work as if it were client work - I would get lots more done. So, as if I were my own client, I'm on the clock, and the sewing room beckons.
later friends, thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

She's alive and kicking

Fear Not, the Fiberartist who's landlocked is well and busy...Thank you all for your emails and concern.
It is November 1st, the Vittadini Lace cardi has a back and two fronts, as well as one partial sleeve, however when the project changed so much in scope "H" let me off the hook for the Nov 1 deadline. If this were to be a simple vest, it would be done! (is not the vest portion finished?) Anyway, I had to lay off knitting for almost a full week due to a rather overambitious stint of knitting in the car on the way to and returning from Georgia a week and a half ago - I even went and got a massage on forearms last Sunday - was able to knit again Monday. oh, several of you have asked - the Vittadini cardi is being knit holding two strands of a lightweight 100% mohair together - def not for the feint of heart - this one is a bear.
I've also been sewing 8 hours a day for Isabelle, leaving little time left for my own work (ah, but there has been a little work done).

Question of the Day for those who pop on by: Have you ever seen a really pretty mother-of-the-bride / mother-of-the-groom dress? (note: this question is not prompted by any impending weddings, but by the fact that the sewing I'm doing lately are alterations [the bane of the sewists world] on bridesmaids and mother-0f dresses.) If so, what do they look like?
this is a pic of the one that I worked on yesterday
- these dresses never fit, and they are not meant to be taken apart - and the bodice on this one is heavily beaded, with boning - but it is pretty - the color of the one I'm working on is champagne.

Thanks for hanging in - I'll be back soon, I promise

Look for an update with pictures by Friday AM.