Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DPN Roll

A couple of weekends ago I wanted to make a pair of mittens so I had to go through my cup of unsorted (gasp) DPNs (double pointed needles for any non-knitters) to find the needles I needed. I thought "I really should make a needle holder for these" which is what I thought every single time I needed anything out of that cup.

So I finally just got off my butt and made one.


The outer fabric was leftover pieced scraps from a previous project and the inner fabrics were an assortment from stash.


I consulted a variety of tutorials but in the end just winged it based on the measurements of the outer fabric and the number of sets I had.


I feel so much better now, having all the DPNs in their homes, sorted and ready to be used.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Another muslin that turned out wearable! And, oh boy did I ever learn a lot making this one.

I don't remember what put the idea in my head to make myself a winter coat but once it was there it wasn't budging. I searched online for coat patterns and came across Simplicity 2508 ("inspired by Project Runway"). I started to fixate on a mid-thigh length coat in corduroy, but I knew I'd be making a muslin first. I've never made anything this complicated before and there was no way I was going to risk ruining that much fabric.

The issues (or "interesting" complications) I had with this pattern were numerous and started from the moment I had the pattern envelope in my hand.

In order to make you feel like a "designer" the pattern envelope doesn't tell you how much fabric you need for each of the views. Instead it has the fabric requirement for each component of each view listed separately. Oh, and the pictures aren't labelled "A, B, C" etc but the parts listed under the fabric requirements are labelled this way, so there was a fair bit of "I think this is the right one..." going on. So, to my math-addled brain this was already a nightmare. For jacket with front "A" you need 1 7/8 yard. Then for collar A you need 3/8 yard. Then for the long sleeve you need 1 yard, the pockets are another 1/2 yard etc. Here, in the comfort of my home (with a calculator and spreadsheet) I can figure that out no problem. In the crowded fabric store when I was hungry it was like every horrible school nightmare you've ever had rolled into one.

In the end I just got what I thought was right and ignored the pattern envelope altogether. The fabric I used for the muslin was "unknown fiber" from the clearance section. There was only 3 1/2 meters left on the bolt so I was hoping I'd have enough for the jacket. After I laid everything out I ended up only needing about 2 1/2 meters.

The next issue was in the less than complete instructions. If I had ever made a tailored jacket before it wouldn't have been a problem at all, but there were a number of things I had to figure out for myself (thank you internet). One problem I had was especially stupid/hilarious and would have been avoided by a note in the instructions:

When I had everything cut out and was starting to sew the front & side front I was horrified to find that the front pieces were about an inch & a half shorter than the side front pieces! I have made this kind of weird mistake before when cutting out pieces but I had been so careful! I finished sewing the outer jacket and decided I needed to just cut the other pieces to match the mis-cut short front pieces.

(If you've ever made a coat before you're probably cringing)

It wasn't until I had the lining sewn into the coat that I realized that I hadn't made a mistake with cutting and the front pieces were supposed to be shorter to allow for the hem. Say it with me: "D'OH"

Okay, enough going on about it. On to the pictures!

Pattern: Simplicity 2508 ("Inspired by Project Runway")
Fabric: clearance section unknown fiber herringbone tweed
Mods: unintentionally shortened the length. Oops.


I forgot to add length to the sleeves so I won't be reaching for anything while wearing this jacket.



The fabric is a tweed herringbone but I'm not sure what the fiber content is. It's a bit thin so I wanted a warmer lining. I didn't want to spend too much (*cough* anything *cough*) on this beyond the $18 for the outer fabric (score!) so I made my own quilted lining using a sateen sheet & a flannel sheet. It worked out pretty well actually.


I think I should have moved this back tab (what is the name for this thing?) down about 2 inches at least. It lands in the middle of my back which is a bit odd.

In keeping with my cheap/thrifty/"I can just make that" ways I ended up making buttons using polymer clay. I really like how they turned out. I'm not completely sure the square buttons were the best choice though. They may end up getting swapped out if I get too frustrated with them.


All together I really am pleased with the jacket and I will be able to wear the muslin.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tunic top

I'm finally understanding the benefit of making a muslin when trying a new pattern. It helps me figure out what size to make, what changes to make to the pattern. It helps me catch issues or learn new techniques before cutting into the "real" fabric. If the muslin turns out to be wearable, well that's just gravy, as they say.

This top was technically a muslin in that I wasn't too attached to the fabric and I wasn't sure if this top would really work for me. When I bought the fabric a few years ago (? not sure when I obtained it) I really liked it and must have had some project in mind for it. Whatever that plan was the fabric sat un-cut for a couple of years. I couldn't ever find something I wanted to do with it.

(probably could have ironed before taking the pictures)

Pattern: Simplicity 2365 view A
Fabric: cotton stripe (unknown manufacturer)
Mods: none, technically. Originally I cut & sewed the long tunic length but, to be blunt, it looked like an old-timey nightshirt on me. I think it was the stripes. So I cut it off to shirt length and hemmed it and now I really like the shirt. It fits just right and is very comfortable.


This was my first time sewing pin tucks. I really like the subtle shaping and texture they give to the fabric. I wasn't sure how they would look with the stripe but I do like it. I feel kind of conspicuous in any pattern so I am open to opinion on the stripes. I don't wear stripes (or any pattern really) that often but this is growing on me.

I really do like when my muslin turns out to be wearable and I'll definitely be making another one (or more) of this top.