Monday, August 24, 2015

Adelaide Dress

I've been working on my clothes making skills lately. It is long overdue!

Have you heard of Seamwork? It's a sewing e-magazine put out by the people behind Colette patterns. Every month there is a new issue with a bunch of articles from sewing techniques to fashion history to sewing resources online or in a particular city. That part of the magazine is free, but if you want all the patterns, it's $6/month. You can also buy each pattern on it's own for $7.

Anyway, that's where this pattern came from. I like button down dresses a lot and I thought this one would be a good place to start.

chambray seamwork adelaide dress front

The only alterations I made to the pattern was to grade down a size on top, which is something I have to do fairly often. Three cheers for pear shapes! There is a little bagginess along the neckline still, though, so I might take a bit out next time and see if that fixes it. Still, I love how it turned out! I had to wait for my chartreuse snaps to come in (I got them from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy), but it was so worth it to get something fun instead of just the boring white they sell at Joann...

chambray  seamwork adelaide dress back

Bit of an awkward pose. I was trying to listen for the sound of the camera. I can't find my remote so I've been having to use the self timer... :( Not nearly as convenient. Anyway, as you can see the back fits really quite well! The fabric is a chambray I picked up at Imagine Gnats. It wrinkles a bit, but that's expected. I still really like the way this fabric looks and feels.

seamwork adelaide dress chambray snaps close up

Close up of the snaps! I picked up a pair of snap/eyelet pliers at an estate sale for like $3- score! I hadn't really used it until now. But it works! It's a little annoying to get all the pieces lined up in the right spot on the fabric, but by the end I was starting to get the hang of it. In the end I only ruined one snap! And it was a backing piece, not a pretty front piece, so it was fine. I would definitely use them again :)

I'm pretty proud of this dress. It fits well and I took my time and followed the directions, no shortcuts. It's also the first dress I used my new serger on! Did I mention I bought a serger? Well, I did. It's very exciting. I'll have to take some pictures for you ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Healed and back in action!

Technically, I've been okay since about the last week of July. Technically. But there was so much knitting and sewing to catch up on that I've only just sat down now to tell you about it!

Let's see. First, I finished my blocks for Sarah of Sew What Sherlock. You *may* remember we started a bee a loooong time ago. But life got in the way for several of our members and so things fell by the wayside for a bit. But we're gathering momentum once again that will hopefully see us through to the end!

sew what sherlock paper pieced arrows close

Sarah's quilt is going to have a bunch of paper pieced arrows (the pattern is her own design and available for purchase) with low volume background blocks with a variety of shapes and patterns.

low volume quilt background

The whole this is very scrappy. It's going to be so lovely when it's all put together! Above are my background contributions.

sew what sherlock paper pieced arrows full

 A shot of the arrows in their entirety. Please excuse the feet ;)

low volume pinwheel block

And a sort of close up of my favorite block. I just love pinwheels.

I've been working on other stuff, too. Photos to come soooon! :D It feels so good to have 2 working arms again, I can't tell you...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dead Stop

Last week I pulled the right trapezius muscle in my shoulder while walking my dogs. The smaller one saw a quail family and wanted to eat it and jerked my arm harder than I thought possible. This has rendered me basically useless. I haven't been able to knit, sew, or really use the computer at all. I missed a couple of days of work because most of what I do all day involves the use of the computer and it just hurt too much. I'm still not 100%, but the muscle relaxants prescribed by the doctor along with heat packs and pain killers have been slowly helping me heal.

This has been driving me absolutely insane, of course. I hate not doing things. I don't even like watching TV usually unless I'm also working on something. But that's been my week. When I take the muscle relaxant I can't even read much because I just fall asleep. In other words, I have been soooo bored and all I want is for my shoulder to get better so I can do things that I like to do again!

But in the meantime... Here is a picture of the shawl I'm working on. Or will be working on again once my shoulder heals.

The pattern in Zilver and it's free on Ravelry. It's a fairly simple pattern and easy to memorize, which I like. It's a nice project to work on when I just want to relax. I love it so far! I might even be finished if it weren't for my shoulder! I chose a free pattern for my first shawl just in case I didn't like knitting it. But! I've found I like knitting shawls so far. I definitely see more in my future.

You may be wondering how I managed to type all this out if typing is agony. ONE HANDED. Yes, this was all painstakingly and slowly typed out with my left hand. Here's hoping there's only a few more days of this and then I can get back to doing thing with both hands. That will be a wonderful day...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Knitting, knitting, knitting...

Craft-wise, that's all I've been doing lately. But I've also been reading a lot of books. And thinking about trying to find balance between all the things I like to do instead of obsessively doing just one and neglecting all the others for large chunks of time. Not that I've actually figured out how to do that, but I've been thinking about it...

I'm making a sweater for Mario. I don't know if he'll like it or wear it, but he picked out the pattern and the color. I chose an acrylic yarn to make him more likely to wear it. Things I know about Mario: (1) if an article of clothing is too expensive, he won't want to wear it for fear of ruining it and (2) if he has to hand wash it, it won't get washed. So acrylic seemed the best way to go. If anyone is curious, it's Lion Brand Heartland in Black Canyon. The pictures aren't great (it's really hard to photograph black, I'm finding). It's really just black with some gray flecks in it. It looks much better in person, trust me!

knits men want henley black

The pattern is from Knits Men Want. I think the title of the book is cheesey, but it was one of the few patterns I found that he actually liked. I showed him so many pictures of Ravelry! But this was THE ONE. So I bought the book and went to work.

I'm just about to put split the sleeves off on some scrap yarn and continue the torso. Exciting! The miles and miles of stockinette may not be incredibly entertaining, but it is meditative. Very enjoyable at the end of a long day. And it's helping me get faster with my continental knitting.

knits men want henley black

Other things that are difficult about sweater photography... I can't spread it out because my cable is too short :(

My goal is to have this be a wearable sweater by the end of the summer. The end of the summer in Tucson, of course, is pretty much mid-October, though, so I have plenty of time. I've made really good progress so far, so I'm very optimistic!

I'm also knitting a shawl, which is more interesting to look at. But I'll save that for another post :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Finished Quilt!

Yes, you read that right! I finished a quilt!

I made this on commission for a customer through my Etsy store. I don't really sell quilts there anymore- I'd like to focus on knitting/crochet accessories- but this customer bought a quilt from me last year and asked if I would be willing to make another. So of course I said yes!

Rainbow star quilt front

I really love how this quilt turned out. I drew up the pattern myself, but it's fairly simple. I star in the center with flying geese radiating out from it on a background of low volume squares. It measures about 60" x 60" and I quilted it with an all over meander (for speed, mostly, but I just love the way this quilting pattern crinkles after it's washed!). I love it so much I'm just a little sad it's already sold. Maybe I'll have to make one for myself?

Rainbow star quilt back

As much as I love this quilt and as much fun that I had making it, I am glad that it's done! I have a couple of plans for more bags and maybe even a needle case and hook case for the shop that I want to get working on. Now I can start focusing on those :)

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!