Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ribbed open cardigan

I'm so excited with how this turned out! It's the first item of clothing I've made with knits (ribbing actually) that I will wear.


(forgive the terrible quality of the photos. My camera has been on its last legs for a while.)

I altered the crew-neck t-shirt pattern from Sew U: The Home Stretch to copy a jersey cardigan I bought last winter.

It's not perfect, the sleeves are a bit too wide at the top and I'm not happy with my sewing in spots but BUT... it's a wearable garment. And it's almost exactly what I had pictured when I was working on it.


I serged the seams (love my new baby!) and sewed the hems with a double needle on my regular machine to mimic coverlock. (I think that's the right terminology) I found the ribbing harder to work with than I expected as it pulled out of shape in places when I was cutting but didn't realize until I went to sew it up. I managed to work it out but lesson learned there.

(the most accurate picture of the color)

I'm not a big fan of off white/white clothing for myself. I have a tendency to spill like a 2 year old with a plate of spaghetti. I am thinking about dyeing the cardigan but I'll see how I feel about it going forward. I have enough of this fabric left to make another one I think so maybe I'll dye the leftover instead.

Next up: the hoodie from Sew U and a pair of pants. I find it fascinating that the craft-center of my brain turns almost exclusively to sewing/fabric when spring comes around. Anyone else?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wrist rest cover

So... Every day at work I get annoyed at the vinyl covered wrist cushion I have on my keyboard tray. The vinyl cracked at one point and was scratching my wrist so I covered the spot with electrical tape. Then the electrical tape started annoying me as much as the crack in the vinyl and... You see where this is going.


(i also need to make a new ironing board cover it appears)

For weeks I wished I had a different cover on it. I finally had enough the other day and brought the wrist rests (hard to say) home.

Muuuuch better. The long rest is covered with scraps from a thrifted sheet so it's very smooth & soft to the touch. The mouse rest is covered with scraps from one of Amy Butler's (I think) prints -- I don't remember the line or anything. It was from a bag I made my friend (which, now that I think of it I'm not sure if I ever blogged - I'll have to see if I have any pictures).

Hope you all have a nice weekend. I think the spring/summer sewing bug has set in rather solidly so I imagine I'll end up sewing at least part of the time. Hopefully I'll have something to show for it at the end!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

(nearly) Wordless Wednesday: Embroidery

this is (obviously) not the wordless part.

I keep seeing "Wordless Wednesday" posts on blogs I read/stalk and I love them. This morning it occured to me this might be a good way for me to post when I have pictures but nothing much to say about them. (am brilliant, no?) I'll see how frequently this happens but I kind of like the idea.

okay, after this is the wordless part.




Monday, May 02, 2011

My new baby

I took the day off today. I haven't had many extra days off over the past year so I wanted to make it worthwhile. So I slept in (slightly. woke up at 7:30 for no particular reason), cleaned out the closet of doom, cleaned up my patio area, went to vote and then did what I was really really excited about.

I went to the sewing machine store where I ended up talking to a really great salesperson who explained the machines (and didn't talk down to me! Refreshing! It's kind of sad that I've gotten so used to bad service, lack of interest, or condescension from sales people that I almost expect it. Is that just me?) It was so nice to talk to someone who knew what she was talking about and helped me figure out what I needed that fit my budget. Yay!

Meet my new baby:


I brought her home, set her up (by which I mean I took her out of the box and plugged her in. She was pre-threaded!) and started to serge a big pile of scraps - so much fun!

After about a half hour of scrap-serging I started thinking that I would like to try making a t-shirt. I pulled out Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch and started flipping through it. I thought maybe I should wait a bit until I feel more comfortable with the machine, but then I realized: I feel more comfortable than I expected already and what better way to learn to do something than by just doing it? (well, other than brain surgery or something like that).

So I dug out a t-shirt sheet I had in my stash (I've bought a few sets of t-shirt sheets when I find them on sale. The fabric is probably not the finest quality but it's a LOT of yardage for not a lot of cash). An hour and a half later (with pauses to get supper started) I had a very simple roll-edged t-shirt.


I'm not going to model it for you, it's not super flattering. But it does fit and it was excellent practice. I think I'll dye it and probably end up just wearing it around home or maybe as a sleep shirt.


The seams are so fascinating to me. I just cant get over how well this machine works. I kept thinking "is this really how easy it is? Am I really almost done making this?" Next time I'm going to attempt a more complicated construction with a hem & neck band.

Thank you ALL for your advice on the machine. I wrote a list of features based on your comments and brought it with me to the store. It made me feel just a little bit more prepared and I think helped make this such a positive buying experience for me. I chose the Janome for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it was about half the price of the cheapest Babylock (which was my original first choice).

Now I need to find good sources for knits. I can see myself making a lot of t-shirts in the future. I wear them a lot (every day) and would love to fine-tune and tweak the pattern I used. I don't know if there are any places locally where I could find good knits for not a lot of cash. Fabricland has some stock but it's never very appealing. Anyone local have any ideas? Or online (preferably Canadian so I don't have to deal with customs fees)?