Hello! This is a project dump post, where instead of trying to make 1 blog post per finished make, I’ll just put it all here in one long condensed format. I’ve 20+ different finished things to talk about, but if I were to give each object their own blog post, that’d be quite annoying as well as create an endless trap because in the time it takes to blog them individually, I’ll have finished yet another 20 different things, which if they also needed 20 posts… so I’ve decided to group them all here. Also, most of the time I don’t really have a lot of useful things to say about a pattern.
I’ll start with Simplicity 2246, the Lisette Traveler dress. As I stated earlier this year, my goal has been to get rid of all my fabric from West Africa. As much as I love them, my tastes are changing and I realize the longer they sit in bins the more likely I will never touch them. I’m more of a solids person now and no longer purchase prints, but I still have a soft spot for fabrics purchased from that point in my life.
This pattern is a great introduction to collars since you don’t actually make one. All you do is fold it over! There’s no collar stand to fuss about. So I recommend this pattern for those who would like to have a collar but don’t want to make a collar. If that makes sense.
I made a size 16 for view A, and while the bodice (sort of, there are those bust lines, I’ll work on it…) and skirt fit well, my upper arms are too flabby for the sleeves. They fit, but as you can see they also squeeze my arms and are uncomfortable. I also have to peel this dress off of me since the sleeves are so tight. I’ve run out of the contrast solid, so remaking the sleeves isn’t possible. I’ve thought about “releasing” the gathers at the sleeve hem as they are just bias bound and re-binding them. Or, removing the sleeves completely. Or, remaking the sleeves in the busy print. Or, work out a lot and slim my arms down.
The dress is currently “in limbo” as I can’t make up my mind about what to do with the sleeves. Sometimes that is what it takes for me – a few months of hanging in the closet before I make a final decision. By the way, if you’re wondering why I have not muslined anything, it’s because these fabrics are “wearable muslin fabrics” for me now. I like them, but not enough to make a muslin for them. So I’m not torn if something doesn’t work out, but I won’t go the extra mile for these fabrics.
Victory Ava was sewn with my precious Vlisco fabric. I really love this print, but knew I needed to use it up quickly before I fell out of love with it.
Not much to say here as it was a straightforward make with nothing tricky or difficult. Maybe the pivoting for the sweetheart neckline worried me a bit, but it worked out. I also added pockets since you can’t go wrong with those.
A Sewaholic Renfrew, which I’ve made numerous times and don’t have anything new to say. Except that I made it in March and now that it is 90F outside here in Texas, I’m not putting it on for a photo shoot. Time to make some short sleeved Renfrews I think.
Still trying to use up West African fabric with Butterick B6019, The Alfred Shaheen inspired Gertie dress. I originally had six yards of this fabric, but split it into two yard pieces with Susan and Miss Lulu.
I made a size 16 for view A. The pattern comes with separate A/B, C, and D cup sized pattern pieces, and I used the A/B… which was still too big, so I had to trim those down further to avoid having excess fabric around my bust. To be honest I did not like this make. The contrast fabric really bothered me, as well as my inexperience with working with shirring and boning. I learned a lot, but as many of the techniques and materials used in this dress were new to me, of course it wasn’t going to come out flawless. Also, I felt the neck band was too thin and visually looked off, especially compared to the diagonal band. There’s also too much skin showing for me to be comfortable wearing this. It’s definitely not my style, but I was still curious about trying it out.
Also, I had to sew on the buttons twice. The first time I sewed them near the top edge, but then the top part of the buttonhole on the band peeked out. I had to lower the buttons to avoid it showing through.
Once finished, I knew I would never wear that dress… so I cut off the top and made an elastic skirt instead. I also added pockets. Yeah, all that work went into the scrap bin, but either way it wasn’t going to be worn so better to let the skirt free on its own.
I also pattern tested for the very first time for Kate and Rose! This is the Mariska skirt. I used fabric from my Taiwan stash, which I’m also working hard on cutting down. The top is my purple Sewaholic Renfrew from ages ago.
Since this was a pattern test, my skirt is slightly different from the final released version. It was fun being behind the scenes and giving input to the designer. I haven’t yet had time to make the final version, but I do enjoy my testing version.
With the scraps from the Mariska Skirt and Ava dress I made the Grainline Scout Tee and the Grainline Maritime Shorts. This was my first time making the tee and the second time making the shorts. I went down a size for the shorts, and the fit is much better now. I also clipped the pocket lining and pocket before stitching them together. That did the trick as originally I stitched them together and then clipped, which did not work. I also take back my comment about the pockets being shaded incorrectly in the instructions as they make sense if you want the folded over part on the wrong side, but I originally thought the folded over part was part of the right side. Working with a fabric that has an obvious right/wrong side (unlike my first attempt) helped me understand the illustrations better.
The only downside to taking in the sides was that it created some minor upper back poof. But I’ll take it. I also think my fabric wasn’t drapey enough, so I plan on remaking this one with a different fabric to see how it fits.
From the solid contrast of the Ava Dress yoke I made a pair of Simplicity 1808 shorts. I really loved the pleats in the front as well as the elastic in the back. And since summer was coming, the more shorts in my closet the merrier!
I also made the Straight Stitch Society Forget-me-not Jewelry pouch. It has eight little dividers inside to keep things organized.
And then it pulls itself closed to form a little flower! I’ve actually made this numerous times, but it’s a “go to” project with scraps because it uses very small pieces and they make perfect gifts when you randomly want to let someone know that you love them.
Using more Taiwan stash fabric, I made the Sewaholic Saltspring dress. Spaghetti straps aren’t my thing, but I’ve never made them before, so I felt the need to try them before abandoning them.
The blousing on this dress is indeed genius. I loved looking perfect all the time and never having to readjust or retuck the dress. No matter how I moved or sat or jumped, the dress always looked picture perfect.
I had some trouble with the spaghetti straps as they liked to slide off my shoulder throughout the day. When I tied them tighter it was uncomfortable for my armpit. This is why I don’t wear spaghetti straps – it’s so hard to get them to sit on the shoulder. I plan on attempting to make this dress more of a tank top style than a spaghetti strap style next time.
Not going to model this, but I made a set of the Colette Nutmeg bralette and knickers. This time from the Taiwan stash/scrap pile – these were leftovers from the Airelle blouses I made earlier this year.
Here’s the wrong side, all nicely serged and faced. I wish I had better ribbon, but I used the Offray stuff you find at Joann’s. One day I’ll stock up on fancy ribbon. But until then, this stuff does the trick.
The knickers were straightforward. The waistband was finished with picot elastic again, stitched and folded over. The crotch lining was simply top stitched into place. Yes it’s black but I had no white scraps of jersey around, so black it was. I’d rate this as one of my most uncomplicated makes – absolutely no headaches to be found here since there isn’t a waistband and everything comes together easily.
Now… this deserves it’s own post, so I’m just going to post a tease here. It’s a Madeleine Vionnet dress from around 1918. This is easily my favorite thing from the last few months as well as the one I am most enthusiastic about!
First up is the Giftie Slouchie Beanie by Tanis Gray made from yarn leftover from my cowl. However, it is not at all slouchy or loose, so keep that in mind if you make it. The yarn I used is Classic Elite Yarns MountainTop Chalet.
My Mom went to Tuesday Morning, a shop that sells overstock. She found the yarn box… but she doesn’t knit. So guess who knitted up her stash for her? First up, full on mittens. No more fingerless gloveshere. I made the Simple Chunky Mittens by Marla Holt. Chosen because this was my first time making mittens, so the simpler, the better. This was my first time picking up stitches (for the thumb). The yarn I used was Kutama by Mirasol Yarn in the color rose.
Next up is the Palindrome scarf by Kristin Bellehumeur. It looks awfully similar to the Irish Hiking Scarf, don’t you think? That’s because it is the same scarf, with one difference: Palindrome is reversible!
I’d never made reversible cables before and felt compelled to try it out. Reversible cables are just as easy as non reversible cables, and I was very pleased and amazed by the finished scarf since both sides were mirror images of each other.
For my first mohair lace project, I chose the most popular design on Ravelry: the Feather and Fan scarf by Kelly Faller. The pattern itself was easy, but the yarn takes some adjusting too because it’s lace weight. This is where I learned that needles are super important, because this stuff would just grip and stick to my rosewood or bamboo needles – I found metal needles to work better for me. Also, tips! TIPS! SHARP TIPS are a must for me. I learned that when it comes to lace, I need to be better prepared with my knitting needles.
She didn’t buy 1 skein that day – she bought 2. I chose the Jeweled Cowl by Sachiko Uemura for my second lace project. Without the beads. And narrower as I had only 330 yards instead of the required 470 yards.
The cowl is knit lengthwise and the pattern repeats one stitch over to make it the rhombus shape. However I will admit to losing count as well as being cross eyed from the fuzzy and airy nature of the yarn, so my rhombus isn’t perfect. But thankfully mothers don’t mind and love all projects regardless of mistakes contained.
However, I still had a skein leftover. This yarn never ends! I wanted to make socks but was advised by my LYS that the Alpaca had no structure and would not be ideal for socks. So I decided to make another hat, the Eno hat by Brooklyn Tweed. I’m in love with their aesthetic and couldn’t wait to try one of their patterns.
I was not disappointed. The pattern came with a schematic drawing, written instructions, charts, and detailed instructions for doing a tubular cast on. I try to pick patterns where I learn something new each time, and while I already knew how to cable, the tubular cast on was really something else. This pattern is categorized under menswear but I think it’s pretty unisex.
See? See it mocking my iron? See how pressing does nothing as the stripes just squeeze closer and closer together? Anyway, this was from the .99 cent scrap bin at Golden D’or, so I don’t care. Moving on!
Vogue Vintage Reissue V1044 was the original recipient of the Ava dress fabric from Benin. I mean, it looks so nice in the drawing right?
After making this muslin, I was so discouraged that I abandoned all efforts. I also decided that this pattern needed a solid fabric and would not work well at all with prints, which is why I made the Ava once I realized that what I sketched was never going to be a reality.
Time to talk in progress projects. First up is this cross body bag I love so much I found for a whopping 1$ in the Malian secondhand market (AKA the stuff rich countries throw away) that has been by go to purse for the past few years. Until the snap button ripped through the leather and it all went downhill from there. So I’ve purchased some scrap leather and am working on undoing the seams on this purse, studying the construction, and remaking it.
Using Taiwan stash fabric, I’m trying to make a mix of version A and B of Mccall’s M6959. Except I underestimated how much fabric I had so will need to purchase a contrast solid for the bodice. So much for stash busting.
I started making undies in February, but put this project on hold because I didn’t have any foldover or picot elastic. The elastic has since been purchased, but I’ve been too lazy to come back to this project. Maybe soon. Maybe not.
Knitting wise, I’m working on my first pair of socks using the Beginner Socks for Magic Loop pattern by KnitFreedom. I made one sock with magic loop, and am trying the second with double pointed needles to see which method I prefer.
Whew! If you actually read all of that (or scrolled through the photos)… thank you! And I’ll end with another tease of the Vionnet muslin. It’s all I can think about and all that I really want to write about. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, alongside soul searching and career searching and other life things, and honestly I’ve not enjoyed blogging about sewing lately. Part of it was that while I was abroad, sewing was a bonus, because what I actually loved talking about were the cultural differences between the USA and Benin. Now that the West African landscape is gone, blogging about only sewing has been a bit, well, boring for me. It’s all a part of reintegrating to the USA and figuring out my “sewing voice”, so please pardon my rambles.