Dress No. 2, #3

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I got the neck facing and hemming done on my third tunic made with the Dress No. 2 pattern and have already worn it to work at the library, where I ran around making everyone admire the book checkout card fabric.  We all agreed that finding such a specific fabric was a sign – though a sign of what is still a little iffy.  Maybe that it is OK that I’m going to keep making the same pattern over and over?

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I made all the same modifications, but I think I didn’t take it in quite enough with the tucks – it feels roomier than the other two, to an excess.  Easily solved with a few minutes at the sewing machine.

I did get another pattern in the mail this week, so there may be some variation in the clothes sewing in the near future.

Another tunic-to-be, so not a huge change, but a slightly more complex pattern.

Although I still have two more Dress No. 2s already in the works that just need the finishing details, so I’m not moving on yet.

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Getting away

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Another fiber friends weekend has flashed past.  This time we met up halfway between the northern people and the southern people, at an Air BnB house in Olympia.  Tucked into a quiet little neighborhood we sewed and spun and knit and played with fiber.  Also, there was wine.  🙂

I cut out and sewed most of three more tunics based on the Dress No. 2 pattern.  I got as far as the neck bands before I broke the sewing machine needle on a misplaced pin and had to stop.  But look at this book card fabric I found!  Perfect for my job as a high school librarian.

Leslie 1 (50% of the group is named Leslie) brought her blending board and showed us how to make rolags, which you need if you want to spin in true woolen fashion.  And it makes it really easy to mix up colors and fiber types.  There is cotton, wool, angora, and alpaca in those sample rolls.

I added another big chunk to my 1×1 ribbed stash-eating scarf.  I’m holding three strands together for a marled effect.

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There was knitting in public, which greatly intrigued the wait staff at the Three Magnets Brewing Co. when we ventured out of the house in search of cold drinks on a very hot day.

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Look at all the handspun my friend Paige has created and accumulated! This is just the fraction I could fit in the photo.

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I tremendously enjoy each of these weekend getaways.  Like minded people laughing together, plus fiber.  How can that not be great?

 

Dress no. 2, 1 & 2

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It was a weekend of alphabet sewing.  The pattern for Dress no. 2 from 100 Acts of Sewing came and I started in immediately with two alphabet covered fabrics I bought while waiting out the mail.

I want a bunch of tunics to wear to work, and this simple pattern – there are only three pattern pieces – means I can whip out a lot of tops without a lot of sewing trauma.

I traced and cut out my size, and then started modifying.  I wanted a tunic rather than a dress (although this would be a pretty short dress) so I left off some length.  When I tried on the body it was much too full in the front for the look I was going for, so I added some waist shaping and tucks.  I left off the pockets as well.  Other than all that, I sewed the pattern as is.  🙂

And I only had to bring out the seam ripper once, when I sewed the neck bias tape to the wrong side because I wasn’t paying attention.

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It fits, is comfortable, and will be great for work.

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I immediately started the second one.

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Exact same modifications, even quicker finish, and I love them both.

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I’m already planning the next two.

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Napkins

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A very quick sewing project during a spare moment.  I’ve been wanting some cloth napkins, so I found a couple of blue fabrics and sewed four two-sided napkins.

It is a quilting cotton, so not the heaviest, but doubling it up gives it a nice weight.  They were cut at 18″ square, which let me get four squares from each yard of fabric with a bit left over.

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It was about the quickest project possible.  Just a matter of sewing around the edges, turning them right side out, and then top stitching to keep the hems flat and close the hole.

I’ve already picked out some more fabrics to make more.

Update – 3/29 – Here is the next batch, folded to show the two fabric choices.

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Flannel pants and rug progress

I’m trying hard to complete long languishing projects to clear out some space in my craft storage.

I had two lengths of flannel, bought on sale for something minimal like $2 a yard, that I prewashed and folded away and forgot about.  Time for lounging pants!

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These are about the world’s simplest sewing project.  I spread out  a pair of knit pants I wear to the gym and cut around one leg, adding in a half inch seam allowance and a little extra fabric because the flannel doesn’t have the stretch of the knit pants.  I cut the front down a little lower as fronts don’t need as much fabric as backsides.

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Then it is just a matter of sewing up the legs, attaching them to each other, and adding an elastic waist band.

I do my waist elastic a little differently than most patterns would call for.  It drives me crazy when elastic twists or rolls or folds, and it always seems to.  So I sew the elastic band together in my waist size, stretch it out and pin it around the flannel waist and sew the elastic down in a rollercoaster of curves to keep it in place.  Then I fold under the raw edge at the top of the pants a quarter inch and fold the whole thing over and top stitch the edge down.  The extra elastic stitching is hidden inside the pants – it is a little messy but hey, these are $5 homemade pants to sit on the couch in.  No one is going to be judging my inside waist band.  And the elastic doesn’t roll!

I’m not going to hem them until they’ve been washed a couple times, in case they shrink a bit more.  If my new gym membership pays off, I may add a drawstring later as well.  All in all, each pair took about 20 minutes to sew, and the fabric is gone from the stash, so I’m pleased.  Plus they are comfy!

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My rug knitting project is also progressing rapidly.  Ten big skeins almost gone from the stash!  I have about ten inches to go, which won’t take long on these size 15 needles.  The steek where the tube will be cut open is really obvious now.  And the true joy of steeks is that the color changes happen there, so no ends have to be sewn in.

I’m wondering now why I didn’t put a checkerboard on the ends as well.  Though I suppose most of it will be cut away anyway.

It really is using up this yarn.  Here’s all that was left of one color at the end of the last color change.52A12280-F921-4995-B7F8-8DE74C08F8EA

 

Two finishes and a fail

Despite all the remodeling construction and Thanksgiving, I did manage to finish a couple of projects recently.

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The first is a cowl I made from a yarn kit ordered from Craftsy, using the Toolbox Cowl pattern.   The yarn kit came with five colors, so I added a few extra rows to make each stripe wider, as the original pattern called for six colors. However, I didn’t calculate that extra rows in the garter/slip stitch section wasn’t going to really add much height.  So before I got to the mustard yellow, I dug out some cream yarn and added that in as well. I’m really pleased with the way it ended up. It’s a very comfortable, soft cowl.  And there should be enough yarn left to make the matching hat!

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The next finish was my Noro scarf-turned-cowl.  This is the one that I ripped back four or five times and changed my mind repeatedly about how to knit it.  Then I had to graft together ribbing, which isn’t a smooth process when you are connecting top to bottom.  The stitches end up off by a half stitch which really complicates grafting even without adding in knits and purls.  There was more ripping out, and I learned not to graft on a light color row as every wonky bit shows more, but it is a circle now, and when it is doubled up around a neck the grafting isn’t going to show unless someone really looks for it.

If I’d had the yarn I would have immediately started another one, I was so happy with the results after all that ripping and indecision.  I think it would have been too short as a scarf, but it is perfect as a double wrapped cowl.

After that came a really quick fun knit that I can’t show yet as it is a Christmas present.  My mom sometimes reads this blog. . .

Then the fail.  More of a mechanical problem than anything I did, but it still meant I didn’t get the finish I was hoping for.  Sewing has really been on the back burner as we worked on the house, so I was really excited to start working on a quilt again.  And it is a simple brick pattern, already pinned in a sandwich, so I thought I could get it fully quilted and maybe even bound in one day.

I should have known it wasn’t going to go smoothly when it took 40 minutes of intense searching to find my walking foot in the one craft related box that somehow didn’t get unpacked and was hidden away in the rec room closet.

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And then my sewing machine came apart!  I had stopped in mid-line to change a bobbin, and it wouldn’t start back up.  When I checked, the power cord had fallen out of the machine.  When I put it back in, it just fell right back out.  Further investigation showed that there was nothing to plug into – the internal prongs were gone.

I unscrewed the panel and found that the plastic housing for the plug had broken in two, dropping the prongs into the casing.

I probably should have stopped working and taken it in for repair, but I didn’t want to give up, so I grabbed the gorilla glue and some pins to poke things with and dropped glue in to put the pieces back together.  After it dried overnight, it seems to be holding, so I will use it very carefully until I can find a period of time where I am willing to live without it and take it in to have the part repaired.

But the quilt didn’t get finished as the next day I had to clear out the dining room because we were having company.  Sigh.  It has been a long time since I finished a quilt and I really thought it was going to happen this time.  The list of sewing WIPs is not getting any shorter.

At least I’m having more success with the knitting.  A new start with some handspun is coming along really quickly.

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Yak and silk – yum!

 

 

 

Patchwork foot stool

I finished knitting the Thanksgiving scarf, and while I ponder the terrors of trying to graft 1×1 ribbing to turn it into a cowl, I moved on to a small sewing project that was less intimidating.

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I recently bought a small square foot stool to go with my new bedroom chair.  It didn’t match, but it was inexpensive, which was my main criteria.  I need to be able to put my feet up as I sit reading and knitting.

I rummaged through the box of upholstery scraps I used to make the family room pouf and made a simple patchwork slipcover.

I then ransacked the garage in a futile search for my staple gun before giving up and buying a new one.  Maybe it was left behind in the move?  Did I lend it to my sister?

My corner folding and stapling could use some work, but overall it was a success.  I just need to get some dark brown spray paint for the legs.

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It is kid and dog approved anyway.

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