Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sweaters for everyone!

The final gifts (yes, plural) I made were cowlneck sweaters for me and my sister. The fabric, which unfortunately with my lack of photography skill, comes across as flat in these photos. It is not! It's a delicious, textured, shimmery Japanese silk novelty knit from Gorgeous Fabrics that when I saw it knew it had to become this sweater. I've been wanting to make this design up since I saw the pattern in the October 2005 issue of Burda. One for me, and one sized up for my sister. It's lightweight and oh so snuggly warm.

You can play around with the neck.

This is also the first time that I've sewn with a twin needle. There's a dearth of good advice on the internet regarding how to sew with a twin needle. That said, this tutorial demystified the intimidating twin needle. Maybe that's why there isn't much more written about twin needles...

A rainhat for my mommy

Last week was a rush of finishing gifts, and trying to wrap up some work projects before the end of the year. I was successful at the gift finishing... the work projects, not so much. At least I'll have something to do in January when I go back!

Have you ever bought an album for one song? Well, I bought this book for one hat, and it turns out the pattern wasn't in the book!

That said, it's a fun book even if some of the hat instructions are, "buy a hat, put a ribbon on it like this."

The last time I was home, my mother who is of a certain age pulled out a little rain bonnet to cover her hair in the rain. I understand wanting to look a little older than you are (people always think I'm at least 5 years younger than I really am) but this is too much! A cute rainhat was in order.

I had some rainwear microfiber left over from an attempt at making a raincoat (funny I didn't have that on my list of no-sew, because I have no plans to ever sew any rubberized fabric after this! The hat went together very quickly. I used a microtex needle and lined it with a lightweight stretch cotton from my stash. There was a slight smell of burnt rubber when I was done -- all finished in less than 2 hours!

For the record, I have a small head, as does my mom.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Burda 10/2005 #133: What to wear to get thrown out of a Cavs game

Last year, Lee and his roommate went to Cleveland during the playoffs to watch the Celtics-Cavaliers game. Now, Lee has a special sense of style and is one of those people who can pull off almost anything. Crazy plaid mohair suit? Yes. Giant rabbit fur hat with earflaps? Yes. Sharkskin silk suit? Yes.

So, naturally, the thing he wanted for the game was a kelly green suit.

I'm not about to try out whatever suit making mojo I might imagine to have, so this is what he got for Christmas... a Celtics shirt! Kelly green with bright orange buttons. The fabric looks like nasty quilting cotton, but surprisingly it's a stretch poly/cotton blend.

The collar stand has an interesting pointy detail.

I drafted the sleeve vent bands by enlarging a pattern piece from a Vogue shirt pattern in my stash.

The shirt is a little on the large side. I didn't have any of Lee's shirts at hand, and was going from his telling me that he'd just bought a size 40 jacket. It's so much easier to sew a men's shirt than a women's shirt... there's so much more space to make a flat felled seam in the sleeve! Lee is happy with his shirt and I might make more in less obnoxious fabric and smaller size.

Leopard robe

You know how they say that you should consider the cost-per-wear of a pair of shoes, jeans, coat, etc. when you're buying it? Because, like, if it's pennies per wear then it's totally worth it? I'm really optimizing my cost-per-sew with this pattern. I've now made 5 robes and 1 pair of boxer shorts with it. I have 2 of those robes, my ex has 1 robe and the boxer shorts, my dad is about to get a robe for Christmas, and now I've made a robe for Lee.

He's been talking about this robe ever since he went to a meeting in DC last year where they put him up in a fancy hotel where he had his choice of leopard print or zebra print bath robes. And now he has one of his own! The fleece is from FFC, and I was afraid it wasn't going to arrive on time. We won't be spending the holidays together, so when the fabric arrived last Wednesday I was under the gun to complete it in time for our visit this weekend... at this point, it takes me only 6 hours from the time I lay out the fabric to the time I have a robe... so this pattern is a total win for me!

I didn't skimp on the fabric because if my dad is shorter than the Butterick Man, Lee is probably taller... otherwise, there are no changes this time around.

Now, on to the pictures... When I asked Lee if I could take photos, he was like, "what for? your blog? I don't want anyone to see me!" So you get to see that the robe fits well, but only I get to see his handsome face. I hope you can settle for that! ;p

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things I don't sew.

I'm traveling again for work which means in the evenings, after my meetings, I think about all the things I could be doing at home. Sounds glamorous, eh? My job is neither that nor lucrative. It takes me to places like exotic Columbus, Ohio and thrilling Long Island, New York.

Wah, wah, wah, I know.

This blog is not about whining, it's about sewing! And in this case, not sewing!

I've sewn most of my clothes, but there are a few things that i just won't sew. They can be categorized into the fabric scares me or it's cheaper to buy than to make, or it looks bad. This post is inspired by the current Patagonia fabrics sale at Fashion Fabrics Club. I run and climb, and Patagucci makes the best active clothing ever. You can sweat like a pig but your shirt will magically stay dry and stink-free. Their clothing is worth every penny, and they are not paying me to say that. However, buying their fabric to make my own t-shirts? File that under the fabric scares me.

so without further ado, here are my lists:
this fabric scares me
technical knit
technical woven
multi ply silk
slinky (it just sounds like a nightmare)

cheaper to buy than to make

t shirts

it looks bad
corduroy pants*
small floral print

Of course, these lists are subject to change. Up until 3 years ago, jeans were on the list of cheaper to buy than to make. And then I figured out how to make them fit and haven't looked back. How about you? Anything you think I've left out?

*I plead guilty to having made, worn, and loved corduroy pants but after seeing this photo of myself from the back in black corduroy, I don't see the need to wear something that gets all poochy, nappy, and faded on my butt and knees. No more corduroy pants! From now on, corduroy will only be worn above the waist!