Peacock Gap-tastic Cowl

So, about 6 years ago I found this knit hat/cowl/something and decided that I HAD TO HAVE IT. So, I bought some awesome peacock blue bulky alpaca yarn and tried to replicate the pattern. I was knitting in brioche stitch (which I had to re-learn every time I picked up the project). And it was awful. It never ended up looking like my inspiration. So, I did something that I’m so not good at: I frogged it. Ripped it out and looked for a pattern to start over with. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve done that.

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I finally decided upon the free Gap-tastic Cowl pattern by Jen Geigley. I wanted something that would be a fast knit and make good use of a bulky yarn. This pattern fit the bill perfectly.

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I think this *might* have taken me 2 weeks to finish. It wasn’t long, I just didn’t knit much at any given time. I’m so glad that I took the time to rip out that failed project and re-make it into this. This yarn is so amazing and soft and warm and squishy. I wear it on most chilly days. I think it goes with everything. I usually wear it double wrapped, but it does have enough length to be triple wrapped. I even wore this skiing (triple wrapped!) and it was amazing!

DSC04416vAre you good at ripping out projects and starting over? I think my issue is that I don’t like admitting that I failed. And starting over, you have to admit that you failed. I’m getting better at that. Failing doesn’t mean that *I’m* a failure. :)

 

 

Moss Making Month: Classic Denim Skirt, part 2

It’s DONE!

My first Moss skirt is complete!

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The verdict? I LOVE IT!

I seriously went all out in the construction of this baby. I was going for that classic jeans-style. I flat-felled all the seams I possibly could. The front seam I did a fake flat-felled seam since a correctly constructed one would have made the zipper insertion much more difficult. I top stitched EVERYTHING. I used rivets on the pocket edges. I did French seams on the bottom edge of the pockets. And, I used gimp cord in my button hole (added strength and durability). Now, I’m totally not worried about throwing this skirt in the washing machine.

I used a stretch denim I’ve had in my stash for AGES and probably bought at Joann’s with a coupon once upon a time. I also used some left over Anna Maria Horner Pastry Line cotton voile for the pocket linings.

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Look how pretty it turned out! One of my recent discoveries was my edge stitching foot. It made the flat-felled seams almost mindless. If you’ve never used the edge stitching foot, it’s the one with the rudder in the middle of the foot. You guide your fabric edge, or folded edge in the case of flat-felled seams, down the rudder and it ensures that your stitching is always the same distance from that edge. It also made top stitching the waist band a cinch. Brilliant! Try it some time! Also: thicker top-stitching thread is TOTALLY worth it on denim. Regular sewing thread just doesn’t have enough visual weight, in my opinion.

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If you look closely at the center front seam above and the side seam, you can see the difference in the two. The side seam is a true flat-felled seam, the center front is the fake one. From the outside they look almost identical, the inside is where the difference shows. I love seam finishes and creating the perfect finish on a garment. I’m still annoyed that I don’t really know how to make a fly front without some semi-raw edges. I used my Bernina’s faux-overlock stitch to finish the edges of the fly facing and the fly shield. I went over the raw edges about 3 times each. Those threads don’t stand a chance of coming loose. At one point, when inserting my fly, I did completely stitch through the fly shield. That would have been awkward, there would have been no way to open it. Oops.

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The one thing I’m trying to figure out is what I did wrong with the pockets. Do you see how the bottom edge wants to curl upwards? The second one I’m working on looks like it’s going to have the same issue. It makes the front of the skirt a bit bulky, since it won’t lay flat. I’m curious if I cut out the wrong size of one piece? I can’t figure it out. I don’t want the bulk like that on my next one. The denim disguises it, and with your hands in the pockets, no one can tell.

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I also recently finished a Scout Tee from Grainline Studio in a super light and flow-y chambray. I’ve been wearing one or the other of these two garments just about every day since I completed them. This might be my summer uniform this year. This shirt is so comfortable, I think I need about 100 more garments made from chambray.

My sandals are also one of my favorite pairs of shoes. Piper sandals, they have been handmade in Texas since 1971 by the same family. And, they offer repairs, new straps put on for free, and re-soling (not for free) for as long as they are in business. They are amazingly comfortable, too.

I also realized that when I got home and took off my complete Grainline outfit, I then put on my (as of yet unblogged) Polka Dot Chambray Lakeside Pajamas. ALL GRAINLINE ALL DAY.

It’s pretty much a Grainline love fest around here EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Jen’s patterns are just really great wardrobe basics. I love all of them.

How’s Moss Making Month going for you? Have you made any Moss skirts yet? Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with #grainlinestudio and #mossmakingmonth !

One last shot, from the back:

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Thanks for taking pictures of me, Allie!!

Moss Making Month: Classic Denim Skirt, part 1

20140406-074924.jpg I had planned to start earlier last week, but my inability to even walk in my craft room because of all the crap overflowing onto the floor had me at the point of a nervous break down. I proceeded to organize (and trash) the remnants of everything I’ve ever purchased for craft projects over the past 8 years. Seriously, the amount of CRAP that I held on to because “I might use it, one day!” was staggering. I threw out 4 trash bags of crap, and I have another box of fabric and patterns that are all awesome, but I know I won’t ever use them, my style has shifted away from those styles. So, blog give-a-way soon!!

Now that my craft room is clean and organized, I just want to sleep in there. Relax in there. Drink my morning coffee in there. Just everything.

So, I finally started my first Moss. I just went with a straight size 10. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it fits. But, Stephanie pointed out: slightly too small, just tell everyone that you meant for it to be a high-waisted version. Slightly too big, just tell everyone that it’s supposed to be low-rise and hang on your hips. Brilliant!

20140406-075831.jpg I found my edge-stitching foot while cleaning! I’m sure that it’s one of those things that a few years ago – when it got misplaced doing whatever it was I was doing with it – that I didn’t realize had such magical powers. I’m really good at edge stitching with my regular foot, partly because I’m a perfectionist and I go so slow that I might as well be hand sewing. But, seriously?? This foot is AMAZING. It makes edge stitching (and it’s cousin, top stitching) almost mindless. The blade in the middle just makes the whole seam glide by and my flat felled seams are damn near perfect, if I do say so myself.


I’m inserting my zipper today (fingers crossed!), so I think I’ll have my first one finished tomorrow. It’s too bad that my work wardrobe says I have to have skirts to my knees. Actually, that’s probably a really good thing. I’m just a bit sad I won’t be wearing my mini skirts EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I might try a Moss with the band at the bottom so that I have something I can wear to work. But that’s lower in priority for me.

Oh yeah! What Mosses am I planning?

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1. Classic denim with gold top stitching and a brass zipper and brass jeans-style button. Mine is pretty dark, kind of like this fabric from Mood. I’m considering adding butt pockets because I always use pockets. Always. Oh, and I bought brass rivets for the pocket edges, classic jeans-style.

2. Gold stretch denim with METALLIC THREAD TOP STITCHING (if you’re gonna do gold denim, you might as well DO GOLD ALL THE WAY!). And, I just got a fantastic gold zipper. So, I’m thinking I’ll move the zipper to the back and do an exposed zipper and then have dance parties in my new skirt every single day. I bought this fabric from Joann’s on sale back before the holidays with plans for a NYE party skirt or something. Never happened. And Joann’s doesn’t have it on their website anymore, so I’ll take a photo as best I can later.

3. Random red organic cotton twill/sateen (I bought this fabric at the same time that I bought the fabric for my wedding dress FIVE YEARS AGO. And it’s never been used. It’s super nice, too.) with red top stitching to blend in, maybe a red button if I can find one.

4. Robert Kaufman railroad denim stripe with navy top stitching and brass hardware.

5. Mochi Dot (by Momo for Moda) cotton/linen polka dot – black & natural dots - with black top stitching and probably brass or just black hardware

6. [bonus work-appropriate round] I’ve got a couple of suit-weight wools in my stash that I might break out for this. A navy pin stripe and a grey and blue plaid. I’d like a lining of some sort with the wools so I can wear tights in the winter.

Don’t forget, you can grab your copy of the Moss Mini Skirt from Grainline Studio and if you’re on Instagram follow along with the #mossmakingmonth and #grainlinestudio tags!

Aaaand…. 1-2-3 GO!

Moss Making Month – Mini Skirt Sew-A-Long!

 

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Stephanie from makesthethings & Native Clutter and I have declared April to be Moss Making Month!

We are planning on making as many Moss skirts as we possibly can in one month to get ready for summer.

I might end up wearing Mosses, slouchy shirts, and sandals aaaaalllllllllllll summer long. I need to be ready!

You can see sneak peaks all month long on our Instagram accounts, too (look up #mossmakingmonth and #ssmmm to follow our progress):

Sara’s Instagram     Stephanie’s Instagram

Stephanie will even be diving into making a leather Moss! I’m super excited to see it!

Join us, if you want! Even one Moss is enough!

Grab your copy of the Moss skirt PDF pattern from Grainline Studio and let’s get this party started!

Orange Plantain

A few weeks back, I was getting ready to teach my first ever sewing class (the Bicyclette Bag! There is one more class, on February 16th!) at Fancy Tiger Crafts. While I was tracing off copies of my pattern for the class, Jamie asked if I wanted to stick around and sew with them. They had the new Deer & Doe free pattern, Plantain.DSC04422v[check out my super cute Native Clutter necklace! I <3 Stephanie's stuff!]

Obviously, I said YES! And went to pick out fabric. I’m a sucker for elbow patches and wouldn’t mind if all of my sweaters had them. Fancy Tiger had this awesome orange and tan striped fabric and a matching orange solid! I wanted the accents in orange and the main shirt in stripes. But, there wasn’t enough stripe. But I don’t even mind!

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I cut a straight size 42 based on my bust size. I was kind of in between a 40 and 42 and went with 42. I’m trying to be better about choosing the appropriate size for my body when I sew. I don’t need a wardrobe of poorly fitting clothes. It’s a bit hard sometimes to own up to my own body measurements when I’m not 100% happy with them.

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But, you know what? This shirt fits PERFECTLY. And I like how I look in it. So, let this be a lesson to me: things that fit correctly look better on your body, no matter the size. DSC04419v

Elbow patches! I love them.

My modifications:

I went with long sleeves because I realized I don’t have any long sleeved shirts that I actually like right now.

I made the elbow patches and neck trim out of contrasting fabric and added a pocket. I just folded the top of the elbow patch over for a pocket-shaped pattern piece and used that for the pocket.

I hemmed the sleeves but left the bottom of the shirt unhemmed because I liked how it was rolling up. I think I’m going to leave it like this.

I think the sizing chart is pretty accurate, depending on the weight and drape of the jersey you pick. It’s designed to be a looser, flow-ier kind of shirt. This version uses a jersey with more structure, I’ve made a second version in a jersey with more drape and the fit is definitely different. I made the same size (same paper pattern pieces and everything!) and the shirt with more drape has – gasp – more drape. This means that the hem hangs a bit longer, the neck line seems to sit a bit lower. I might actually go down a size if I make another one in a less structured jersey. Just my two cents.

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But, what’s not to love about this one?! I definitely have been getting a lot of wear out of it lately. I don’t think  I would have picked this fabric and this pattern on purpose, but it is perfect. And, I bought fabric this past weekend and cut out 3 more to add to the two I already have. It’s a pleasing plethora of perfect Plantains, if I do say so myself!20140117-192535.jpg(shamelessly stolen from the Fancy Tiger blog!)