Archive for January, 2011

Holy f-ing idea!

Finishing.
Brilliant.
I’m so terrible at it.
And then my brain also gets cluttered. It feels so good to complete things, and even better when they work and you actually want to wear them.

Of all the join-ups out there right now, this is the project I want to hop onto.

Then again, so’s this one.

I think I can combine the two, by actually finishing the clothing I’ve begun and using the patternsĀ  and fabrics I’ve hoarded this fall and winter. Think there’ll be some refashioning involved, too, not just scratch sewing.

Now to get down to business…

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How to cut a top from a sweater

I cut a cute knit top out of a boxy cashmere sweater using a pattern for the bodice, and pinning the sleeves.

To cut the pattern (here from McCall’s 6164) I marked the center of the sweater front with chalk, and traced each side, instead of folding the sweater and doing both at the same time. Got more precision that way.

sweater purple cashmere pattern

Did the same for the back. Marked the line with chalk.

sweater purple cashmere traced

The sleeves were trickier. The important part was the armhole part. I used the 6164 sleeve pattern piece to trim the top of the existing sweater sleeves into the right shape, first one side, and then the other.

Pinned the sleeves into place. Stitched. They were still baggy – the wrong shape for such a fitted bodice, so I pinned them tighter and stiched along the pins. Finished the seams, then trimmed the excess carefully.

This proved important because it gave me fabric to use for the neck’s binding.

sweater purple cashmere binding

sweater purple cashmere neck detail

I admit, this wasn’t a perfect science. The binding strips kept rolling up so it was hard to keep them even. And the back of the sweater started with a raglan detail in the knit, which carried over to the final cut.

Hope it looks like a detail rather than a flaw…

sweater purple cashmere back

All I want to wear anymore is cashmere

So maybe I shall.

sweater purple cashmere

High on the success of the T-shirt in random white stuff, I used the same McCall’s 6164 to cut into a boxy purple cashmere baby originally made by like Lands End or some other purveyor of quality, albeit square merch.

Here’s what it looked like before (ps- I bought it on half price day).

sweater-purple-cashmere

And the tag

sweater-purple-cashmere-tag

I guess the ladies of Markham aren’t so into the cashmere, because there’s typically
tons of it on the cheap.

Finished it this morning. Am trying so hard this year to finish what I start.

sweater purple cashmere neck

I love it.

Am well on my way to living this winter in cashmere.

How to…widen sleeveless shoulders into cap sleeves

You know, for when you don’t want to be that naked. Which for me is almost always. I turned this bodice into cap sleeves with a few little lines. I’ve done this a few times now (once for this dress), and it’s really not hard. So you trace the front and back bodice pieces as you would, skipping the armhole curve. You mark the underarm, you know, where you’d cut it for sleeveless. Can you see the purple marker dots at the top and under the arm? McCall's 6164 making sleeve Then you basically draw a line out from the shoulder, extending it straight. And you draw another line up from the outermost point of the underarm, where you’d start the side seam. (This picture shows the other side.) McCall's 6164 making sleeve Sew the shoulder seam as directed in the pattern instructions. Sew the side seam also as directed, leaving the sleeve hole open. Hem that however you like to hem sleeves. Since this is knit, I basted 5/8″ along the raw edge, folded over on the basting, and stitched. Left the seam allowance as is. Knits won’t unravel. McCall's 6164 T Voila— cap sleeves.

McCall’s t-shirt in white stuff

McCall's 6164 fabric close up

Turns out there wasn’t quite enough fabric in a flecked white knit remnant to make this whole top, A, (pink) with the very gathered sleeves, or even shorter gathered sleeves.

But. The fit of this top is amazing. So’s the scoop neck.

I wondered, could I lengthen the sleeveless shoulders into cap sleeves, and skip the added sleeve?

Yes.

McCall's 6164 T

I made a few other alterations. Added several inches to the bottom, taking the length as far as the fabric would go. And instead of trying a narrow hem at the top, I took a lesson from this McCall’s tunic neck and cut a band with a raw edge to attach.

McCall's 6164 neck inside

Sewed it in, finished the seam, pressed in place, topstitched on the right side.

McCall's 6164 neck

Fabric’s from the Vogue Fabrics warehouse sale in December 2010. Don’t know what I paid for the chunk by itself since I walked out with a pile @$3.00/pound.

Alas, I don’t think this bit had a tag. So I don’t know what it is, where it’s from or how to get more.

TV to sew (T-shirts) by: She-Ra

Yup. On the old digital Qubo channel, late at night, long after my usual Svengoolie ended.

Made important decisions regarding this magical little piece of white knit I got at the Vogue warehouse sale in December, paying by the pound. Flipped through the pile of T-shirt patterns to find the right one.

I recognized the cartoon style, but couldn’t remember these dudes’ names.

She-Ra dudes

Then this villainess turned up, with robots and a purring voice.

She-Ra villainess

And a cat headdress.

She-Ra villainess

Ah, there she is! It’s She-Ra, Princess of Power.
She-Ra transformation

Mmm hmm.

She-Ra sword

Wait, that heroine is crosseyed!

Fun at estate sales

Fun indeed. Look at this ad.

Headed up to Chicago’s Wildwood community this weekend, a neighborhood I’d never been to, to see the treasures in a house that looked as if it hadn’t been updated since the late 1960s, though also as if it had been beautifully tended.

I escaped narrowly, $7 later. Bought up a stack of greeting cards and these treasures.

No, I am not an Aquarius. I don’t care.
pearly earrings $.25

No, I’m not a Pisces, either.

pendant $4

I *was* born in 1976.

pin $1

My lady friend, with whom I’m trying hard to cultivate a real friendship since she’s an absolutely smarty-pants gem, made off with a giant brooch that has a watchface in it.

There are plans to go out again, to stick out nosy noses into real estate open houses and then hit the thrifts.

Alas, not in the western burbs. One of my best Salvation Army stores is no more. Its strip mall got knocked down.

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