Saturday, September 21, 2013

Miette Number Two

Since finishing my first Miette Cardigan a little under a year ago it has been in heavy rotation in my wardrobe. It was an incredibly successful knit and very quickly I knew that I wanted to make another version of the pattern. Thank you to everybody that chipped in with an opinion of which colour yarn to use when I asked, I ended up choosing the "Flourite" colour.

Most of the cardigan was knit while I was on my holiday in Europe. I cast on while we were waiting to leave Melbourne Airport, and had got quite a lot done before we even got on the plane due to a 4 hour delay. I was impressed how much I was getting done and started worrying that I hadn't packed enough yarn in my carry on bag, only to find that my stopping factor was that I had packed my extra cables in my checked luggage, so when I got to the point where you have to split for the armholes I was forced to stop.

I made some alterations to the pattern, based on my last version. The first alteration was to start the bust decreases about an inch lower than the pattern states, so that the 'dart' starts just below my bust, rather than higher up (similar to the principle you would have with darts on a sewn garment).

I also lengthened the cardigan by one pattern repeat This was so that it would finish slightly below the waist rather than right on it, allowing me to wear the cardigan with skirts that sit on the waist without getting a gap between the top of the skirt and the bottom of the cardigan.

However, as this would mean that the ribbing would sit below my waist, and as the ribbing was quite tight on my first version, I added some increases in at the side to bring the lacework around the bottom of the cardigan and the ribbing up to the next size in the pattern so that it wouldn't ride up or be too tight. These increases aren't ideal as they actually start slightly above my waist, but that was necessary to get them in before the lace and ribbing started, as I didn't know how to do the increases once I got to that point.

The last change that I made to the pattern was to lengthen the sleeves to be full length rather than 3/4, as I thought that this change would make the cardigan more wearable as it would be that little bit warmer. To do this I just kept knitting, and trying it on intermittantly kept decreasing the sleeve as I thought I needed it, making sure that I ended up with a number of stitches that worked with the lace repeat.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again; this pattern is really well written and it yields a fantastic cardigan! I really want to knit some more of Andi's patterns, the problem comes with choosing one! Have you seen her newest pattern, the Hetty, it's just as gorgeous as all the rest, making the decision even harder.

Anyway, now I have stopped cheating on my Parcel Sweater with this Miette, I need to get that finished too! So much for getting it finished before winter is over. I don't think I'm cut out for having more than one knit on the go at a time... but then I think I used to say that about sewing too...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thurlow Shorts Revisited

I am pleased to inform you that I have managed to use one of the pieces of fabric that came home with me from London, a scrap of lovely suiting type fabric that I picked up in the swap. I don't know who donated it to the swap, but whoever you are - thank you! I love it!! (Please own up if it was you!)


As soon as I saw this fabric (which was a little less than a metre, plus a bit due to the cutting done by the previous owner) I knew that it just needed to become a pair of thurlow shorts. And I was incredibly happy when I managed to fit all the pattern pieces onto the fabric with very little difficulty:

I didn't make any further alterations to the pattern, as per the pair I made for the pattern testing these are a straight size 10, with a 6cm increase in length to make the cuffed version the same length as the uncuffed version. I had marked on how far in I'd taken the centre back seam last time, so I just cut that out ready to go as I knew the other pair are spot on in fit (which saved a little fabric). The only difference between this pair and my first pair is the addition of the back pocket facing that is in the final pattern but wasn't in the pattern testing version (the only tissue piece in the above picture!).

I managed to find some solid brown fabric in my stash to use for the pockets and facings that matches the dark brown fibres in the weave of the fabric, I had a button and slide in my stash to use, and cut down a larger zip to size, so that I could make the whole thing from the stash, which was good!

Another quick thing, the t-shirt that I'm wearing in these photos is one of the many t-shirts I've made and haven't blogged. This particular one is made from some absolutely lovely merino jersey that I got at The Fabric Store. I love my merino t-shirts so much, they're great in cold weather, great in warm weather, and they get less smelly. Win, win, win really.

(PS: Thanks to Mel for snapping these photos for me)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Social Sewing - Reminder for September and dates for 2014

Just a quick reminder that our next social sewing is this coming Saturday, the 21st of September. If you're in the area and don't have other plans then you should come along, it's lots of fun! I believe this month has a somewhat unofficial theme of 'swimwear', as a few of us are going to dive in to bathers sewing and give each other some moral support. Of course, you don't have to sew bathers to come along, as always bring whatever you want to work on.

We have sorted out our dates for 2014, so make sure to visit the social sewing page and mark down the dates in your diary:
Or, if you use Google calendars and want invites to all of the social sewing dates, let me know and I can add you as an attendee so they're automatically added to your diary.

Looking forward to hopefully seeing you next weekend!

Monday, September 2, 2013

One Pattern Seven Bloggers - Revisited - The Reveal

Welcome back everyone. Today is an exciting day, as today we are sharing with you our finished Macarons for the 1pattern7bloggers project. We showed you out inspiration and fabric last week, and today, the dress! (Apologies in advance for how picture heavy this post is)

I am really happy with the way my dress turned out. I could have picked an easier lace to work with, but at the time I couldn't find any other laces that I liked (although have seen some since). The lace is quick a thick (and heavy) guipure lace so it was quite tricky to (wo)manhandle the seams into place.

To make the dress the way I wanted to, I had to change up the construction slightly because I'd changed the bodice. I changed the pieces so that the lace for the bodice was all one piece, and then I had the green satin underneath in the style lines of the macaron (although changed slightly, as they were a bit low on me as drafted).

I stitched along the top of the satin underlining and the lining to finish that edge, and then hand basted the satin underlining to the lace (shown above).

After that I stitched up the darts and then treated it just like a normal bodice piece.

The bodice underwent some quite substantial changes to get it to fit. What I ended up doing was actually basically the same as my last 1pattern7bloggers dress and a few dresses since, kind of merging the pattern with my bodice block. I then made up a muslin of the bodice and altered the sweetheart style-lines so that sat in the right spot (ie they covered my bra). This last bit was done with the highly technical technique of drawing on the muslin with a biro while I was wearing it.

The last change I made was to alter the sleeves so that they had a straight hem and I could use the edge of the lace at the sleeve hem, along with using it along the hem of the dress.

I included the skirt as drafted... including the pockets inside one of the pleats, not that you'd know by looking at it...


Isn't that just really clever!! It's a sneaky trick I think I'll be using on future projects, that's for sure.

I finished off the hem of the underlining with my new rolled hem foot, isn't it just perfect?? Such a revelation, I can't believe I took so long to get the foot.

I'm still not entirely convinced by the shape of the skirt on me though, I'm not completely sure it's the most flattering silhouette.

Although partly I think that's because I could have nipped the waist in a little more than I did. However that was a deliberate decision not to, as I'm planning on wearing this to Frocktails next weekend, and since we're going out for a delicious dinner I thought a tight waistband would be a rookie mistake!

I finished the seam allowances of the lace and the neckline with black silk organza to try and make the lace that bit neater. It's the first time I've actually used silk organza and I'm very happy with how well it turned out.

And the last construction detail I wanted to share is the hand-picked zip that I added. It's definitely not the best I've ever done. But it's heaps better than a machine stitched zip would have been. It was a bit too tricky for me to try doing a lapped zip with the lace (as I've had less experience with them), so I stuck with a centred zip. It's a little gapey in spots, but it's down the side so it's less visible anyway, right?

I'd like to say thank you to Sarah for taking these photos for me, and wanted to make sure to include this shot of the back of the dress, as she wanted me to share it so you could see the perfectly symmetrical top edge of the underlining...

Anyway, I'm sure you're all just waiting for the announcement of the winners of the massive combined giveaway!

Firstly, another enormous thank you to all the generous sponsors of the giveaway:


The winners are:

The winners should receive an email from one of the 7 of us in the very near future to organise getting contact details for your prizes.

I hope you've enjoyed our revisiting of this project, and remember to head on over to see how the Macarons of the other 6 talented ladies turned out, I know I can't wait to see them:

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