Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas morning

No pictures yet.
My daughter opened the package that contained the t-neck and fleece pullover I made her.
Her words? "Look, fabwic! Sanks mama." She didn't realize they had been sewn into something.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Great Coat Sew Along not all wool coat

Indecision keeps me from completing many things, so while I have been contemplating design alternatives, I have been working on the "real" GCSA coat instead of the trapunto one.

I purchased a wool blend fabric from Emma One Sock last year. It looked gorgeous and I ordered quickly. As many people know, she who hesitates is lost when ordering from some websites. Small yardages can sell out quickly. It wasn't until I received the piece that I realized two things. That the fabric was not all wool and that there was a metallic fleck to it. I wasn't sure what to think. However the fabric has grown on me and matches a few things I have. OK mainly fabric I have, but a few garments as well. I cut out and began the same pattern as below in the single breasted version, but shortest length. All went swimmingly for a while. I got the pockets done and was working on the side seams when I noticed that one of warp yarns was working it's way out of the fabric. On the not-on-grain side seam and sleeve seams it looked like little caterpillars were growing out of the fabric. The funny thing is that this thread was synthetic, with a metallic yarn through it, so exactly the part that I liked least about the fabric. I tried to ignore it, but I ended up needing to serge the entire coat, which had now been more than half sewn. Retro serging, I call it. I had even double stitched the sleeves in, but I still had to serge them. the seams were really shredding and I was afraid it would fall apart.

Give me all wool anyday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trapunto revisited

The second two photos show the as yet "unstuffed" length of the knotwork. I drew the design on Warm and Natural batting, then sitched the unders and overs in a straight stitch through all the layers, backtacking at each stop. To make the section leading onto the fabric (as opposed to the edge) I used a stitch on my Janome that is straight on one side and a multi width zig zag on the other. I had hoped that the stitching would give enough dimension, but decided to add yarn to create more. I trimmed the rest of the batting away close to the zig zag stitching.
For the trapunto, I opened up the start of each line with a seam ripper and pulled acrylic yarn through to the end of that line. I read somewhere that acrylic is better than wool or cotton. It doesn't pack down like wool and lose dimension, nor is it hard and high to sew through like cotton. I used two strand of a worsted weight.
The result has a few puckers from the amount of shape of the design, but this is such a soft wool I hope to be able to press them out to some degree.
I am making the same style coat in another fabric first and then will get to this one. Practicality won out and I am making the warm one first.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas presents

Using different binding/edging finishes on Simplicity 3802 aprons!
If you look closely you can tell by the chocolate stain that the Christmas tree apron has been worn already. The black print has tiny neon kitty heads on it. I am saving the kitty one for a Christmas present.
Also made: bathrobe, mock t-neck, fleece pullover.
Robe from Kwiksew 3509, top pattern taken from RTW.
To finish: scarf, head wrap and apron for Mum, purse for Mum, apron for DB apron for DSIL, lots of jammies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hats Off for Charity!

There is a local charity that helps out women who live on the streets. It provides them with an occasional meal, a bed to sleep on during the day if needed and clothing. Many street women have a mental illness and really need all the help available.

I have been making hats and scarves to donate to them. Our local chain fabric store used to have a stamp card programme that gave you a gift certificate after you had spent a certain amount of money. I used the stamps to purchase polar fleece fabric and made some basic pillbox style hats with an additional band for warmth. The clips on the three lower ones denote a smaller size. I will need to get some stickers on there.

I also knit a few basic beanie style hats in Paton's Soy Wool Stripe yarn.

This is a hat in boiled wool leftover from a jacket last year and trimmed in faux fur as well as a few velvet and faux fur scarves using B4882. I was at an open house at the weekend to sell some products in order to donate the $, so I made a few other styles also. These are what is leftover and they will also go to the charity.
The hats are a modified version of M3400

Finished Trapunto

I joined the Great Coat Sewalong earlier in the year and am no where near completion on my coat. I have changed my mind about what to do so many times. I finally decided to use some soft black wool twill from stash and put a celtic knotwork design down the centre in trapunto. Well, I have the trapunto stitched with batting and stuffed with acrylic yarn for some more depth.

Now to cut out the coat! It is a OOP Vogue pattern # 2449. I plan to do a long single breasted version, with a bit of flair in the skirt. Fortunately it is a timeless style and will still be wearable in years to come. However it won't match the scarf I knit in the summer.