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The Endpaper mitts are nearing the end. I love how they are so swishy and warm from the stranded knitting. I will probably have them completed by Sunday. The only problem is that instead of wanting to go back to the Cable-Down Raglan, I want to start on the Anemoi mittens next. Needless to say, two color knitting is highly addictive!

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Other distractions include tracing my first Burda magazine pattern. It will be making skirt 129 from the August 2007 Burda Magazine ( click on it for bigger view).

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I have some left over red plaid from my tailored jacket so I thought I would make a skirt to match. I am normally not a matchy matchy person with my wardrobe but this just might work out. The jacket won’t be done for a while, but when it gets to a presentable point I will post some update pictures.

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Another distraction, or inspiration, came in the mail last week. A full size ham, tailor board, and tailor clapper. I won them on e-bay after losing out on all the point pressers. I was so much happier having won this set for $26 bucks!! I am playing in the big leagues now!

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So as I have mentioned before, I am taking a women’s tailoring class. This class is pretty intense! Unlike my intermediate class which is all about learning the basic techniques and moving on, this one is about making the best alterations and changes to a pattern to get a “tailored” fit to the garment. Hence I will be focusing on the McCall’s Jacket above for 10 weeks.

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From this class I am learning so much about how to create more professional looking garments than the basic instructions of a pattern would yield. For this jacket, we did a paper fitting to get the closest match to my body, we had to add 1″ to the side seams to aid in easy alteration (see the white paper? That would be my bum area plus the extra 1″ for my hind parts which is a little bigger than the fabric tissue…eek!), I also shortened the sleeves to accommodate my personal length, we will also be using wool hymo and wigan interfacing instead of the Pellon easily found at Jo Ann’s. These are techniques that I just wouldn’t have known otherwise.

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One of the other big challenges was matching plaids! I got this great worsted cashmere plaid for a Scottish Fabric importer who came to our class on the first day and thought it was so pretty. Little did I know that matching plaids would be that fabric and time consuming. Since I am a borderline perfectionist I would move around the pattern pieces for hours to get maximum fabric leftovers. Why?? Because I have a problem people!! The other part of it was matching plaids on the bias. That is not any worse necessarily than just the plaid itself and actually looks kinda cool.

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Anyhoo, I have some sewing to do and tailor basting of interfacing to complete before my next class if I am going to be able to finish this in the 10 week allotment. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Have a great weekend everyone!

“Lately I have been obsessed with the idea of fashion collections. Now I am not the type to follow the fashion scene at all, but ever since I have begun sewing I have been looking at the cohesiveness of designer collections and how every piece tends to work together for a common theme and vision of the artist. When it has come to my knitting and sewing it has pretty much been about the one piece, not how it fits into the overall scheme of my wardrobe or my fashion style (not that there really is one).

Therefore, I have decided to take the Fall season and plan an actual collection to knit and sew. Sure there will be deviants from the cohesive style, but ultimately I want the colors and designs to work together. By the end of the season, lets say March 2008, I want to create a slide show of my finished collection.”

I wrote this part of the post about two weeks ago. I didn’t publish it due to lack of direction on how to begin, resulting in a lack of commitment to doing it. So I find it to be fortuitous that I would wait to publish the post because yesterday I stumbled across fibermom who is participating in a sewing a long called SWAP – Sewing with a Plan. How ingenious!!!

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GROUPIE!!!

Although I am not participating in the group, because it started on August 1 and ends December 1, I loved all the details and ideas they compiled for designing a cohesive collection. I guess in essence I will be a groupie 🙂

I have read through all the details and think I will follow the guidelines of SWAP, but just go it alone to reduce the pressure (yes, I know crafting is fun, but I tend to stress out quite a bit about the little things). Also, I think I will rename the acronym to Stitches with a Plan because I am both a knitter and seamstress so the two may combine in this venture. I posted links below to some of the really good information the ladies of SWAP collected, just in case anyone else was interested.

My first step for SWAP, which I encourage everyone to do, is go to My Shape, and get to know all your measurements. It is such an indication that you need to diet and the scale isn’t just lying to you enlightening tool and makes sewing and finding the right pattern that much easier. According to my measurements I am a type A body shape. After reading through the recommendations from the site, I definitely think it hits my style preferences on the mark.

Some coming attractions at the Lint Knitter: Cutting my jacket for my tailoring class, progress on my shirt for my intermediate sewing class, and my finished Bradshaw sweater! Woo Hoo!!!

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These are two bags that I made for my trip to Hawaii. They were done pretty last minute so I had no time to blog about them before I left. The green one was given as a present to my friend for her birthday, hence the lack of pictures, and I liked it so much that I made the orange one as a last minute addition for me to use. Here they are modeled on location in the picture above.

Main Fabrics: Amy Butler Poppy Fields, Joel Dewberry Aviary
Inspiration: Amy Butler Frenchy Bags
Modifications: Only one set of pockets on one side, shrunk pocket size
Difficulty: 4
Enjoyment Factor: 9
Sewing Time:
Probably 5 hours each

The Good:

  • The design of this bag is very unique. It catches everyones attention when wore because it is so different.
  • The pattern was pretty easy and, as always, Amy does a wonderful job detailing out every step.
  • I changed the pattern bags to have just one side of pockets instead of both sides, I split the pocket into three, which would have probably been better as two, and shrunk the height of the pocket so that it was not as deep. Next time I might put pockets on both sides with the split, because they were not as intrusive as I thought when sewn to the side panels
  • I really liked the poppy fabric as that was a heavyweight fabric and didn’t need any interfacing, which made for less cutting. I also think it flows a little nicer than the fully interfaced orange one, but that is just my opinion (then again, so is this whole post 😛 )
  • LOVE those pleats. I gotta say that they really make this bag.
  • Joel Dewberry is a genius!! I love his fabric, especially the Aviary collection. I bought quite a few yards of this at the Purl Soho warehouse, which I normally do not do without a specific project in mind.
  • LOVE the wood paneling on my orange bag. I just like the idea of saying that my bag is wood paneled 🙂 . The stripes (not shown) on the green one are pretty cool too. I have to say my favorite combo is the green one, but the orange one is a very close second.

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The Bad:

  • I didn’t like how you had to top stitch the connection between the top and the bottom panels and do it again when the product was finished. I know it was probably for a good reason and I didn’t do that bad of a job, but I think it starts to make the stitching look sloppy due to the excessive passes.

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  • I am not a “hold my bag in hand” kinda girl so that green one is a little small for me. It actually proved a little small for my friend as well. I would definitely lengthen the handles next time to make it a little more practicle.

The Ugly:

  • The second pass of top stitching definitely takes attention and care so that you do not bunch up the lining fabric while trying to keep your stitch lines straight. Definitely the biggest pain of the entire project, which sours the ending a little. That is until you use the bag and magically forget about this little bit of irritation.
  • That stupid magnetic snap cost me$4.00 at Michael’s because Jo Ann’s was all out of the 3 for $1.49 pack. Did I stock up the next time I saw them, hell yeah!!

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This is the week of finished objects cause I have a lot of them that have gone unblogged for quite some time….cough…butterfly. You may also notice that my blogging of said finished objects is going to be a little out of order over the next week because getting the pictures of these things is hard work. My mother was my personal photographer for the modelled shots and she is not so savvy with the digital camera so even these pictures were a lot of work. Can’t say I love them, but you will get the idea. Too bad I don’t have a personal trainer and a fabulous air brush artist like most models because I did quite a bit of editing to keep my self esteem in tack after seeing some of these pictures. Must get chub back to the gym…yesh!

Fabric: Amy Butler French Wallpaper in Mustard from the Belle Collection
Inspiration: Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts – Layered Version
Modifications: None
Difficulty: 7
Enjoyment Factor: 8
Sewing Time:
Probably 6 hours over two days

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The Good:

  • Amy Butler Pattern + Time = Professional looking outcome. This always seems to be the right equation for her patterns. And this pattern doesn’t miss. I used bleached permanent press muslin for my lining. The lined skirt feels like I bought it at the store. In fact, this is my first lined skirt ever so I am feeling pretty FABULOUS!

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  • Amy Butler + Interfacing = Blood + Lots of Time also seems to hold true. Good thing these skirts don’t have any interfacing…phew!
  • Me likey the invisible zipper. My advice…get the invisible zipper foot, it is worth the lack of heartache and yields a very professional look.

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The Bad:

  • Matching up the layered front and back pieces was kinda tricky. All those seams, if not done carefully, can lead to some cussing when you get to this part so all pay close attention cause it pays off in the end. I was not so careful on the last layer of my front pieces and had to rip and resew.

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  • All those damn pieces to cut and resew. Kinda made me long for the simple A-line, non-layered version which only have about 4 pieces instead of the 10 pieces for the layered version.
  • Hems. I don’t like hems. I really need to follow Blossoms advise over at Whispering Pine and get me some more sewing machine feet, especially that narrow hem foot. I love her blog, so much inspiration to be had. For me, Whispering Pine is to sewing as Brooklyntweed is to knitting. I just love them!

The Ugly:

  • Ok, don’t know if this will or will not be an ugly in the future, but looking at my skirt it is already fraying without being washed. I know you are saying, “Duh!! What did you expect would happen?” .  And I know this was the intentional design of Amy Butler, however, when I think about this a little more is it going to fray to the point of being unusable in the future?  I don’t worry about this so much because I rarely wear skirts so this one may last a lifetime based on my past history of skirt wearing 😛 It was just a question I had and a thought for future layered skirt sewer, but nothing to get in a tissy over.
    • Update: Valdorsha gave some good observations to my question over at Craftster where I also posted about the skirt for anyone interested.

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Thank you gals for all the wonderful compliments on my Weekender Bag. For all those waiting for the courage to begin, I say just go for it! Once you do you will not regret it (although you may need a transfusion due to the loss of blood from pin pricks 🙂 )

So now that my grand pièce de résistance is complete, I have moved on to the Amy Butler Blue Sky Sun hat.

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I actually moved on last week and just completed it yesterday. It is in the queue for a photoshoot, hopefully this weekend.

In the meantime, I will work on finishing up the Orangina shell, which I am now on to the 6″ of ribbing, and start working on the next Amy Butler tribute item for Hawaii.


Fabric: Etsuko Furuya Echino
Inspiration: Amy Butler Patchwork Bag from In Stitches
New Tech/Modifications: I did the bag in all one fabric instead of doing the patchwork Cost: Approximately $15.00
Enjoyment Factor:
8

The Good:

  • I love this fabric! I have been eyeing various Etsuko fabrics and didn’t want to buy them due to the growing stash and expense, cause this fabric aighn’t cheap.
  • I love the way I was able to almost perfectly match the bird on the top of the bag.

  • The instructions were fabulous. I have to give it to Amy Butler, she does a wonderful job with instructions.
  • I found the internal fabric at IKEA. There was a silky pillowcase in the “as is” section that matched the color perfectly. In addition to using nearly every scrap of this fabric, I also recycled the zipper for a future matching zip bag for my notions.

  • I like the durable feeling of the bag. The home decor weight fabric along with the quilting makes this thing feel really professional. Especially the little stop tab at the end

  • This bag works well for it’s intended purpose as a medium size knitting bag. The final straw was when someone mistook my white Apple shopping bag for a diaper and nearly threw it away. It fits about two medium size projects and a few notions. Because of the zipper it also adds some good resistance when you need to pull the yarn out of the bag. By the way, that is the left front of the Butterfly sweater making a guest appearance.

  • It also makes a good home for my knitting charm, given to me by a very crafty friend. It makes a wonderful zipper pull.

The Bad:

  • This thing required a lot of strategic cutting because I only had 3/4 yards of fabric instead of the 1 yard specified AND I only wanted to use one fabric instead of the patchwork, so I had to really plan it so that I had enough.
  • I had limited inside fabric from the pillow case. I actually ran out and had to back the bottom cardboard stabilizer piece with a different fabric, but you would never know.
  • The slip stitching in the lining. Once again this was just a time suck for me. When I am this close to completion having to move this slow was killing me. But it did come out nicely.

The Ugly:

  • There is just one corner of the bag that I wish had gone better. You would never know it unless I told you so I won’t 🙂
  • I love the Etsuko Fabrics and want yards and yards of the all. But the cost is way over my current fabric stashing budget. Don’t get me wrong. It is well worth it to get such a wonderful home decor weight fabric, but at $18+ dollars a yard, you have to plan carefully.

Sewing Time: 10 hours over 2 days

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This is the second time I have worn my new skirt. This was my outfit to my sister’s graduation. I got quite a few compliments and was very happy when I was able to say that I made both the skirt AND the sweater. Hee hee, I am such a sucker for a compliment but too embarrassed and self conscious to fish for them. That is probably why I blog.

Fabric: Flat Folds from M&L
Inspiration: McCall’s M5053 Skirt
New Tech: This was my first time making a sewn article of clothing for a real person, so all tech was new tech
Cost: Approximately $10.00
Enjoyment Factor:
9

The Good:

  • This was my first skirt ever. It was one of the three projects I am doing for my sewing class. I think it came out pretty good construction wise
  • The fabric was extremely inexpensive since I got it from the flat folds at my favorite fabric store M&L. The flat folds are the lower quality fabric areas of the store. It does not mean bad quality, but just not the heirloom quality you use for quilting. There is an area for those fabrics and they are still less expensive than the quilt stores. If you are ever in So Cal and just want to get tons of fabric, go to M&L. It is not a pretty store, but you definitely get a HUGE selection.
  • This skirt cost me about $8 bucks in fabric, the rest was the zipper and thread
  • I put in my first zipper, which should allow me to use my zipper foot with confidence for a knitting bag I want to make
  • It matches my new Apricot Jacket!!!

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The Bad:

  • The fit on the skirt is a little big. I always second guess my body measurements, with knitting I only have the deal with the bust. With this skirt I had to measure my hips and waist for the first time. Dear God!! This is my womanly self conscious area so I normally deal with the lower body with the adage “ignorance is bliss”. Well, I made the right size but just thought it might be too big because I kinda wrapped it around my body with clothes on it class. So I opened the yoke a little more. I should have left it as it would have fit better.
  • My bottom hem is a little wonky because it was a huge curved surface with a “neat hem” meaning it was rolled twice. My teacher gave me a technique to make it easier, but even then it took forever.
  • I had to hand stitch the yoke facing. It looks good, but it took the entire viewing of “Blood Diamond” to finish it.

The Ugly:

  • Nothing on the outside, but man the inside finishing is not all that great. My zigzag stitches for the clean edges is quite a bit away from the edge, so it will fray a little with washing.

Sewing Time: 12 hours – Not hard, but I only did it in class and had to learn all sorts of new techiques.

Ok…I am awake after my two nights of late night crafting. Yes…I do have bags under my eyes and a half functioning brain all in the pursuit of craftiness. Addictive craft of choice? Sewing. Given my primary addiction lies with knitting but for a quick fix sewing scratches my itch.

Now I have been wanting to make the Scrap Wrap from the Denise Schmidt Quilts book that I purchased a few months ago but never had the time nor the guts to try. Well, with my new 1/4″ quilting foot and the techniques from the quilting class under my belt, I pumped out two of these babies in two nights.

First one is for my friend V who I will be meeting up with in Santa Fe for our 30th birthdays. Since we leave on Wednesday, her birthday, I had to pump hers out quick

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I love the white accents and the colored plaids. These are very V colors so I hope she likes it

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The second one was for me, because we are going to Santa Fe where it is set to be pretty cold while we are there. I have wanted a black scarf for some time but couldn’t bring myself to knit one up. There are just certain colors that just don’t sit with me well when knitting them up, black is one of them. But I am all over black when it comes to sewing. So here is my Japanese version for myself. I love the red accents.

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I will try to get some action shots this weekend. We are coming back on Sunday…WHICH IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!! 5 more days to 30th Birthday too

Happy Birthday to me…Happy Birthday to me…. ok guess I am jumping the gun a little…


 

No real WIP Weekend Update this weekend as the knitting was not that exciting. I finished the two sides of the Doctor’s Bag after getting my shipment from WEBS and I am now reknitting the bottom. Should be seeming next week. The apricot sweater is progressing nicely as well.

What I will distract you with are my new purchases. Now this has been over the course of a few weeks I just neglected to blog about them. So here they are:

Weekend Knitting I have wanted for a while and got for 40% off at Michaels, The Interweave magazine which I have to make the Half Dollar Sweater, and the Fast Quilts for Fat Quarters Book because I am taking a quilting class so I might as well start the hoarding and collecting early.

The highlights of my recent purchases were the Phildar Magazines which I got for 40% off and were received really quickly after placing the order. Items I plan to knit are:

I also got Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters which I think is an excellent resource. I have other finishing books but each one has their own unique perspective on things. I figure if I get two or three new ideas from it, it is worth being in my collection. This one has a section on lining jackets, zippers and taking care of garments. Yeah you can get this on the internet or from a variety of other finishing books but I like the presentation in this one.

Confession time…I have very little news to share on knitting because I have been doing this:


Amy Butler Clutch from In Stitches

My excuse is that I started my 16 week beginning sewing class this weekend. I temporarily have to bug for sewing. I think it may go back into hibernation come Monday but for now, I hope to finish this bag this weekend.

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On the Needles


Kusha Kusha Scarf CO: 8/22
Turtleneck Tube Vest CO: 9/30
Knitty Shimmer CO: 9/8
Cable Down Raglan CO: 10/26

Under the Needle

McCall's M5478 Jacket
Started 8/07, 45% Complete

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