Chandelier Cardigan

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Two months gone by! May is always terribly busy at work, and I’m glad to see a little rest in the coming weeks. I finished this cardigan quite some time ago, but needed to sew on buttons. Of course, when I finally forced myself to do it, these were the best looking buttons I had in my stash! I intend to replace them at some point.

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I absolutely loved knitting this pattern up, and the finished cardigan is really great too. Better than these photos suggest, and much lighter. (Sidebar: the photos look lighter on my phone too, so hopefully anyone reading can actually see the detail! Someday I’ll take good photos. Someday.) It really might be my most enjoyed knitting project yet! The lace pattern is not hard and it’s easy to see where you are. I meant to put in lifelines, but decided I didn’t need to early on (and luckily I was right!). This pattern is in the bookΒ The Art of Seamless Knitting, which I got on eBay for $4, including shipping. The other patterns look nice, but I don’t think I like them enough to actually make them. Too many amazing patterns out there!

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I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in sport weight, because I still feel like too much of a sweater novice to spring for nicer yarn. It’s fine, easy to knit, and the finished item is okay. The sapphire color is amazing, and I think it makes the yarn look nicer than it actually is! I knit the second size, and it came out perfect. Then I put it in the washing machine on delicate before blocking, and it shrunk just enough that I could use a size bigger. It’s not unwearable, just a tad snug in the arms.

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There are so many patterns in my Ravelry favorites that I can’t really imagine knitting this one again, but I probably should! Definitely a winner of a pattern!

Ogdens 2 and 3

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My dream camisole collection is growing! I did a small FBA on the True Bias Ogden and the fit is much better. I’m still seeing a little pulling in the upper chest, though it feels fine to wear. For the next one I may just try going up a size without the FBA.

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This top is made from remnants of another silk-cotton voile. I made a long sleeved top out of this fabric in October, but I messed up in construction and took an inch out of the bodice, making it unwearable. I really kicked myself. Burda patterns have fit me so consistently that I got complacent with using small seam allowances, and there was no room for adjustment. Luckily, the Ogden takes so little fabric, I was able to get a top out of the leftovers and salvaged sleeves! I love the fabric, and have worn this top almost weekly since finishing it a month ago.

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Next up is my first 100% silk camisole. I’ve dreamed of having a collection of silk camisoles form the base of my wardrobe for many years, and it’s finally happening! I feel so elegant and put together wearing it under cardigans and jackets, even when I know I don’t quite look it. It sounds so shallow, but feeling good or bad in clothes can really impact my mood. This is a step in the right direction!

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I intended for the matte side of this rosy charmeuse to be shown, but I couldn’t help it. The fabric has more of a luster than a shine, and it’s just so pretty. I pre-washed and dried the fabric in the machine, and serged every raw edge. The silk probably deserves more caring techniques, but this cami will be worn a ton and I want it to hold up, even when inevitably thrown into the dryer by accident. I did hand roll the hem, though, at least there’s that! I go back and forth about pressing the rolled hem flat. I left it for now. I kind of like the soft waviness in person, but it is bothering me in these photos!

I have a few more single yards of silk waiting. I can’t wait to make the next one!

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February shirt in April

IMG_6669Making that motorcycle jacket kind of threw off my monthly Burda project. I might catch up, or not. I haven’t been thrilled with this year’s March and April issues, but last year’s both have a number of designs I would love to make. At any rate, here’s a February design! I’ve been hankering to make a button down shirt, and decided on Burda 2/2016 #108, minus the pockets and sleeve tabs.

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I used a navy silk cotton voile that’s been in my stash for years. It’s absolutely dreamy to wear, like a cloud. I love this shirt and have worn it just about every week since making it. IΒ hope the shirt is stylishly oversize, and not just frumpy. I feel great in it, but it’s hard to tell how it really looks when I’m so biased.

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Eeek, need to iron that collar!Β 

I did as instructed and made a covered button band, only I’m sure I did not do it right because it’s nearly impossible to button. Luckily, I can slip the shirt on and off without unbuttoning! I’m going to need to find real instructions before attempting this feature again. I hand rolled the hem, which is one of my very favorite techniques. I love the soft roll and wave, not to mention the perfectly narrow hem, especially on such a soft, floaty shirt.

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Green Suede Jacket!

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It’s finished! This jacket is one of my favorite projects of all time. Despite often sewing projects requiring more skills than I possessed since 2009, I never made a real jacket (not counting Grainline’s Morris). I was intimidated, and also thought I didn’t really like wearing jackets. Well, lately I’ve been gravitating to the jackets in my closet, and when nothing else called to me in the January 2017 Burda issue, I decided to give it a go.

 

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What really sold me on this design was the top stitched elbow patches and back panel. What almost stopped me was the thought of sourcing all those zippers. I ended up just buying the one zipper for the front and leaving the rest off. It’s made in a sage green faux suede that has been in my stash for some time. I’m glad to see it go!

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Part of the joy of this project was all the topstitching. Having an edgestitching foot makes all the difference! So easy and SO satisfying.

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The color is nearly impossible to photograph, and ugh, photography. I have finally figured out a good set up to take my own photos, but they turn out terrible. I’m not sure if my phone isn’t focusing right, or light is bad, or what it is. When I take the photos on my dress form they turn out okay. When I take them with a remote they are grainy and out of focus. Sigh.

Photos aside, I’m so pleased with this jacket and the process of making it! There will be more jackets in my future, I’m sure!

The perfect work dress

Well, I’m still working on that jacket, with just the hems to finish! I swear I’ll finish this weekend. In the meantime, I finally wore this dress, which has been almost finished since August and finished since December. I knew it would make its debut at a board meeting, and it finally had its chance in February.

 

I love this dress. The fabric is interesting but subtle, the fit is spot on, and it has stretch so it’s also quite comfortable. The pattern is Burda 9/15 #116. I caught my breath when I first saw it in the magazine, and knew I had to make it. Now I have to make it again in a fabric that actually shows the seaming! This fabric is by Halston, via Fabric Mart, a stretch poly suiting with an interesting pebbly texture.

 

Okay, after all that praise, there is one thing I don’t like, and one thing I acknowledge isn’t perfect but I don’t care about. I flat out dislike the flare in the skirt back. I had a RTW dress with this shaping years ago, and didn’t like it then either. Totally forgot about that! If/when I make this again, I will change the back to a plain straight silhouette with a vent. The other quibble is that the color isn’t the most flattering, but it’s not too terrible.

In the end, it doesn’t matter and I love the dress anyway. It’s sure to be a go-to for quite some time!

February Plans

The month is half over and I’m still working on that motorcycle jacket! I swear I’ll finish this weekend. I’ve said that the last three weekends, but I mean it this time. Of course, we do have other things going on, like making this beautiful Ikea-hacked light fixture!

On to February plans. The February Burda was only okay, unfortunately. The only piece that grabbed me was this beautiful coat! I don’t have much need for a knee length coat in SF, though, and I don’t like the shorter versions. This one is destined for my Someday list. I may try to make the boucle jacket if I can find suitable fabric in my stash. I’ve been enjoying wearing casual zip-up jackets to work quite a bit lately and this has lovely, classic lines. If not, maybe the skirt. Meh.
I also took a look at my Someday list to see if anything grabs me in the moment:
Lots of buttons! I’m leaning most toward the DKNY dress upper right. It’s been on my to-sew list for ages!
Finally, knitting. I’m almost finished with the front of my Stonecutter, and need a break. I’m weary of cables, and am definitely not knitting a complex design in black yarn again, ever. Mark my words. I wanted something easy mindless, but instead cast this on earlier this week:
It is easier, though certainly not mindless, and the bright blue yarn is a welcome change. I love knitting again, which was really the goal!
Happy February!

A Cape to Match Aster

Here it is, the December Burda Cape! The cape that may have pushed me too far into crazy pet lady territory. I made Aster’s rain jacket first, in desperation, last winter after we brought him home and life was endless puppy walks in the rain. I used a coated cotton that had been in the stash a long time, and had enough left to make me something as originally planned.
I debated making the long version of the cape, but ultimately thought it would be too much lightweight fabric blowing around. I think that was the right choice, but I do wish I had added a few inches.

I left off the patch pockets and did not seam the arms, though I think I may go back and do it. I envisioned wearing this to work with my bag tucked up dry inside, but it’s really too short (my sweaters poke out!). If I’m not wearing it to work, a bit of anchoring would help–it’s windy up here on the coast! The other major design flaw is that the roomy hood blows off in the slightest breeze. I’ve put another snap right under the chin, which keeps it on pretty well.

This was my first time sewing with a plaid. I didn’t do so well. The pattern did include helpful match lines, but even then I wasn’t careful enough and there is some unfortunate seaming at the back and front bands. I hated it at first, but now barely notice!

I lined Aster’s jacket with a cheerful floral, and added a bit of bias at the cape neckline for a little more subtle matching. But the matching. I love it in theory, but was pretty self-conscious outside the house. It’s a little crazy, right? I think it will work, though. Aster doesn’t like his jacket so I only use it if it’s pouring, and in that case I would probably wear something heavier.

All together, I think it will be a great cover up for dog walking and running, particularly during the foggy days of summer. The fog can be so thick that you can’t really tell if it’s raining or just foggy, but with temps in the 60s it’s too warm for a jacket when exercising.

Side note: The amount of beige in these photos is alarming. This appears to be my photo spot, so I’d better figure something out! Curtains instead of closet doors, perhaps. The cat would like that, too!