Sunday, November 02, 2014

enhancements with the potential for feature creep

El has been wearing a series of hand me down dresses that she loves.  They are cotton (t-shirt material), long enough to wear shorts under them, somewhat twirly and not overly pink.  We are thankful to our neighbors for their delightful hand-me-downs.  Recently I did some online shopping to supplement her set of pretty dresses and found a one that fit all of the criteria (plus it was pretty cheap).  It was good, except it was plain.  So, I hit the big box fabric and craft store for some appliques and found some ribbon in the stash.  Today I unearthed the sewing machine and this happened:

first the ribbon -
embellishing a plain dress.

Then the applique flowers -  (the whole package, natch.)
pretty flowers

Here's the whole bodice.  The original plan had dragonfly appliques too.  That's where the potential feature creep comes in.  I felt like we needed to edit.

And here's the whole thing all together.  Yay - she still likes it.  That is the moment of triumph.
embellished dress - the whole thing

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Socks!

After I finished my most recent pair of socks, which I photographed in January, I just haven't felt like making socks.  I've been wearing sneakers to work, not shoes that accommodate knit socks.  I just didn't feel compelled to make socks or even wear the socks I had already made.

All of a sudden the weather turned and October kicked in and I felt like making socks.  It was like magic.  So, I wound up some Cascade Heritage Quatro and started the Sunday Swing Socks that I've been looking at for so long.

They are working up pretty fast - I even went for the three repeats on the leg.  I did one repeat of the pattern across from the gusset and now, the home stretch of stockinette.

As I've been knitting it, I have been not that impressed with how the eyelets look as you knit them, but when you try the socks on, it looks like the picture.  So, these are socks that take faith.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Three Whistles!

Apparently I started this at the end of July.  Here's the ravelry link.  It doesn't seem like I've been working on this for that long.  It was easy and delightful.  The yarn is Tosh Sock in the Nebula colorway.  It still needs to have the ends woven in and to be washed, etc.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The most challenging thing I've ever sewn.

I don't even know where to start with this story.  Do you watch Dr. Who?

A friend was looking for a coat like the 10th doctor wears for a kid.  Apparently, this is an under-served market.  The choices are bespoke and expensive or licensed and expensive.  If the person who is wearing the coat is age 7, they will probably grow out of it (hopefully), so neither looked like great options.

I said yes to the challenge and began doing research online.  Steve Ricks was a great resource.  This blog post from a mom who made Dr Who costumes for her four kids was inspirational.

The first step was finding a pattern.  Looking at the lines of the coat, I considered lengthening a Miami Vice style double breasted coat.  Or scaling down (and lengthening) a 3 button single breasted men's sport coat.  But then I found this, probably at Lanetz Living.


Tell me Honest Abe isn't the spitting image of the 10th doctor?  You know, with a little imagination.
Especially if the coat was a little longer and brown.  As a side note, my mom made my sister an Uncle Sam costume for Halloween when she was in 4th or 5th grade.  It was pretty impressive and all through this project I kept thinking of it and how impressed I am with my mom's skillz.  She also made our chorus circle skirts without a pattern (gored, with a waist band)- just newspaper, a pencil and string (and probably some math).  Also, as I was taking out the pattern pieces, I kept texting the mom to see if she was sure they wanted 10th doctor and not Lady Liberty.

My problems with working neatly seem like they are well documented here.  So, I made a muslin out of genuine muslin.  I even washed and ironed the muslin first.  Totally out of character.  And then I was reminded once again with how important maintaining a consistent seam allowance is.  The muslin is totally not ready for prime time, but it was good practice for figuring out what the instructions meant and which pieces were actually necessary.

I got the muslin to my person and he tried it on and it was fab.  Twirly is not often in the feature set of clothes for boys, but this was twirly and awesome.

We already had some brown fabric at home that would work for the final draft.  My husband has been asking me for a Jedi robe for like since I've had a sewing machine.  It turned out to be nice 10th doctor material.  But then summer got kind of crazy.  And the muslin really was the hardest thing I've made and cutting in to the fabric seemed like such a commitment.

Eventually, I realized that the worst case scenario was that I would have to buy new material and start it over.  Not anything high stakes, just a little inconvenient.  Finally I had a break from work and I got the bulk of the work done one day while everyone else was at school or work.  Do you ever ride a roller coaster and then the next time you ride it, you know that there is a scary part coming up, but you don't remember exactly where/how/what?  That's what most of sewing this was like.  Once the sleeves were attached, I could breathe again.

My friend tried on the coat and we could see how long the sleeves should be, where was his waist.  The hand sewn hem was super wonky, but generally the coat was good.

Now, we are at the point where I'm hoping the sleeves are the right length (I cut the fabric!) the hem is good and the buttons are in the right place.  Hooray!