Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, I was away from my parents, but my boyfriends family was more than welcoming and I had a great time. How about you?

The happy couple loved(!) their blanket and I'm so so happy for that. They said the colors and stitch were perfect and I don't think they were faking, so SCORE! That makes me really really happy. Totally worth it. I'm fairly sure within a short amount of time I'll be making a baby blanket to accompany it.

More stuff up soon!

The over-100 lb giant Schnauzer I spent Thanksgiving with. She grew up with a chihuahua and thinks she is one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pattern Review: Tuck Stitch Lap Throw

I finally finished the wedding present for my future brother-in-law and his lovely wife. Its only over three months late, that's ok right?

Its enormous! That's a queen bed to give you an idea of the size.

I used Cascade 220 in coral and bright blue, the couples favorite colors, but the coral is a bit redder than what it looked like online and the contrast from the blue makes even redder. So I guess I made a red and blue blanket. I used 5 skeins of each color for the body and 1.5 skeins of coral for the border.

Oh the border. The pattern calls for a an entwined, I-cord border. I knit about one-half of the border and HATED it. Completely and utterly. The busy stitch of the body needs a simple border to highlight it, not compete. So instead, after knitting the body I picked up stitches and knitted up a simple garter stitch border. If I were to knit this again (I'm not!) I would knit a garter stitch border at the same time as the body.

I kind of hate this blanket :(
It took way too long, the colors aren't right, the border doesn't look quite right with the picked up stitches. I'm going to hand it to the happy couple and say, 'Here's your wedding present, I'm sorry, let's go burn it together'.

In other news, knitting takes FOR-FRICKIN-EVER! Nearly all of my knitting plans for 2012 have been cancelled, damnit!

Passed the happy paw test.
Previous post about this project

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pattern Review: Hot Patterns Biker Babe Jacket HP 1037

Its done, its done, its done! I could scream it from the rooftops! I have never been so proud of something that I've made in my life. That's about 20 sewing years, countless culottes (hey, I started when I was 7), and more seams ripped than stars in the sky.


My new jacket. The main fabric is made out of the softest camelhair ever (from Gorgeous Fabrics, no longer available) and the lining is a pretty medallion print poly (also from Gorgeous Fabrics, also no longer available but there are other colors, this one is so pretty!). One thing to note about the lining though, in really really tiny letters is the name of the designer Elie Tahari, but its only noticeable if you are about 1" from the fabric.

Now this pattern. Oh boy, this pattern. I had a lot of issues with it. Noted in these posts:
Update #1
Update #2
Update #3 Warning Hot Patterns rant in this post

To paraphrase these, the changes/problems I had/made were:
Jacket way too short, lengthened by 2" all over, would probably add 1.5" on to that in the future for a total of 3.5".
Sleeves way too short, also lengthened 2".
Armhole too low and raised by 3/4" (I think).
Ease in arm (even after adjusting for the raised armhole) way too much.
Back too tight, broadened by about 3/4".
Waist way too big, added a 1.5" seam taking about 6 total inches of fabric out of the waist. This seam allowance was gradually reduced to the pattern seam allowance just below the arm.
Comically huge collar decreased by about 1.5".
Added a back pleat to the lining.
Added a simple inner patch pocket.
Did not add the belt or boob pockets.

Some details added to the lining are visible in these pictures, as well as which lining pieces I chose to make in the lining fabric and which I chose to make in the camelhair. Ignore the puckering please.


Lining was easy. I bagged it, then handstitched the sleeves and a small part of the bottom band (through which I bagged it). I also didn't interface anything except the upper collar, really took a risk there, but the lower collars have the perfect 'stiffness' with the two layers of camelhair. Whew.

Checkout the fit in the back!

I'm going to make this again, twice more in fact. One in olive green twill with a poly sherpa lining and the other in a tweed with no upper collar. I'm not sure that I would recommend this pattern as a LOT went into making this workable, moreso than I think should be expected using a pattern. If you really want this style jacket, well, it was all worth it for me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pattern Review (kinda): McCalls 5803

So I've had this pattern for a million years and I've had this fabric for a million years and somewhere in those million years I totally lost my mind because I combined said fabric and pattern. See for your self.

What the HELL was I thinking? I even added pockets! I should be ashamed of myself!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Belated Halloween

I totally forgot that yesterday was Halloween because we celebrated Halloween early last Friday at a colleague's annual par-tay. I went as a burglar.

A cat burglar to be precise.

I made the mask, oh what a feat a sewing wonder, right? It was cheap (free), it was easy, and it had a mask and I've always wanted to wear a mask on Halloween. It was all-in-all a good Halloween.

Now another reason we had Halloween on Friday was because a vicious storm was supposed to tear through on Monday and Tuesday. Fortunately for Massachusetts, there was minimal damage as the hurricane turned away from us on hitting land. We have some mild water damage in our apartment (hey, its over 100 years old), but we had power the entire time and the tree outside stayed standing despite seeming to bend in half from those winds. We were very very lucky. Our southern neighbors, my heart goes out to you. Please continue to stay safe and strong.

This pic was before the game. After, I was a sweaty, 10th inning mess!