Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Sewing WIP - Style Arc Alexi

I wanted a fitted, zip-front turtleneck and spent a long time thinking about how to do it. I was super over-complicating it. Finally, it dawned on me that a 1/4 zip fleece is basically the same concept, and I found a pictorial which was exactly what I was thinking. Doh.

I had to search high and low for my printed copy of this pattern. I KNEW I'd printed it, but could not find it anywhere.  I'd given up and went into the spare room I'm using as an office, intending to print another copy. Ah! There's another bin in this closet! It was right on top - YAY! 

I haven't sewn a Style Arc pattern in a long time and was a little disappointed when I saw that the size 14 was printed. I've always used a size 12 on top with them and thought I'd have to reprint it (spoiler alert - the 14 is the right size!). It took FOREVER to assemble it - an entire Dateline episode! - and I was really annoyed that the front and back were full pattern pieces - aka a waste of paper. 

I traced everything off, made a 1" bicep adjustment on the sleeve, and called it a night. And then I couldn't find the traced collar piece! BLEH!

This morning, I got started on cutting everything out. I knew the collar as drafted was too tall for what I wanted. In a softer jersey, it would double fold or puddle around the neck nicely, but I was using this firm ribbed knit and inserting a zipper. I decided on a 3" height and then, for some unknown reason, changed it to 4". Sigh. You know where this is going, right? 3 inches would have been perfect. 

I have a lovely, full stash of zippers and this 11" brass zipper with cream tape was perfect. I only wish I'd double-checked the collar height once I had it cut out because I could have shifted it down an inch, easily. 

I marked the center line on the pattern front and fused a 1 1/8" wide strip of tricot interfacing to the wrong side. Cut it down the center and angled to the corners (like with welt pockets), and used Wonder tape to hold it all in place. The zipper insertion went FLAWLESSLY!

The collar scrunches down because 4" is a tad too tall :( but it's still cute!! I need to topstitch the zipper and then I'll be ready to get the rest sewn up. 

I recently finished a dress from the same fabric and I adore it. This fabric was a Fabric Mart find this spring at $3.99 a yard (I snagged 4 yards). There's easily another top worth - ha! Hopefully I can model them, soon.

Here is my recently finished knit sweater :-D

I've also been knitting some gifts and can't wait to share them. Here is a pair of fingerless mitts I snuck in for myself, using the same yarn from my State Fair socks :-D

I knew it would be a close call and yet I was determined to make foldover cuffs. I knitted the first one completely and started the second one. I got to row 72 (of 104) and ran out of yarn. So I frogged them, counted up the total number of rows knitted (because I needed thumbs, too!) and adjusted my pattern. I would have had *just* enough of the patterned yarn to do them in full, but I like the contrast ribbing too :)

Speaking of those socks...I bought a shadow box to frame the socks and my ribbons. Right now, I'm just checking the layout, but I love it! Can't wait to get this mounted. 

I want to sew my blue pants, but also pants with zippers are a real no-no right now. I'm not sure if it's worth spending my energy there, if I can't fit them properly. Maybe I'll give it a bit longer. I wore real pants today to run a few errands and my incisions were very angry with me. oy!

There are a couple of skirts I'd like to sew and a couple of tops, too. I go back to work on the 19th and those first two weeks back will be 3-day weeks (WHEW!) so, I may be able to eek out a couple more garments before the year ends.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Catch up post...

Before surgery, I sewed this McCall's knit top - M7836. I don't know where I got this ponte from but it is really nice and while I like the top, it wasn't the right choice. I'm not sure how much wear the top will get. 

I don't remember all (any?) of the details, but I am sure I did a swayback adjustment and adjusted for my large bicep. I think I shortened it too :)

I finished the Ottobre jackets for the boys. 
They really turned out amazingly well!!

There were some pre-surgery knitting projects - a vest and some hats that I donated:

Because Lily is me, you can see that the armhole is a bit too wide. 

I suck at poms

This one was better :)

knitting a hat in 45 minutes is very rewarding...
I donated 6 hats total. 

I'm not sure that I'll return to Instagram. I'm just not interested in Reels. If I see one more thing "thrown" at the camera, I'm going to chuck my phone. Plus, all of the sudden movements (jerking, flashing images, etc) is a nightmare for me and sometimes makes me physically ill. So I just stay away most of the time. 

Also, I finished my sweater today (Rav page)! I have membership on the Knit It Now site and it allows you to create custom patterns on demand. There are base patterns, you enter your desired measurements and stitch gauge, and it creates a pattern:

This is a simple bateau/boatneck so the front and back are basically rectangles, creating a drop shoulder. BUT, with this one, the front neckline is very slightly shaped so it doesn't come all the way up your throat :) I decided to add a little fair isle to the sleeve using the machine electronics. I used one repeat of the pattern, which was 44 rows. On the first sleeve, it popped up 44 and I stopped, I was supposed to knit one more row and forgot that the machine will ping when it has completed a repeat. I got it right on sleeve 2 so they don't match but, who will know besides me and y'all?! :-D

I made one other mistake, I changed the armhole drop. I don't know why I did this. DOH. I made it 8.5" which is a 'normal' drop and this drop shoulder style would have necessitated a lower sleeve drop. Blergh. It's still wearable and I really(!) like it, so I will definitely update it and knit another version in the future. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

McCall's 6436

Lots of stuff happening and most recently, some major surgery. I'm recovering quite well and have a finished object to share! Not on my person because I am not presentable! But, Lily is me so you can see how well the fit is on this shirt. 

I bought this cotton/rayon blend shirting from Fabric Mart in the spring to make a casual shirt (it washed up so nicely, I ordered 4 more yards to make a jumpsuit). I really did intend to make something with a yoke and back pleat for a casual style, but looking through my stash, McCall's 6436 spoke to me.

It has several pocket options, epaulettes, a 2-piece sleeve and cup sizing. It should be labeled a tunic because it is LONG!!!


I cut a size 16 A/B cup. I fit the pattern on my Beatrice form and made the following adjustments:

  • shortened 1.25" between the waist and hip
  • narrowed shoulder 3/8"
  • lowered bust dart 1/2"
  • added 1" to neckline opening and adjusted collar and stand to match (I have a large neck! But this was a tad bit too much. I added 1/4" to front and back. Next time I'll add 1/4" to back and 1/8" to front for a total of 3/4")
  • 3/8" high round back adjustment
  • sewed back seam of sleeve at 3/8" through the bicep

It has vertical back darts and shaped side seams but manages to not be super fitted. 

I usually cut pattern pieces out as I need them, especially if I am not worried about being short on fabric. I chose the inverted pleat pocket with flap and cut out the pocket pieces and front piece. I cut out the button bands and interfaced them. I marked the seam allowance of the inside edge at 5/8" and then trimmed it down before pressing it. (This fabric took every marking tool extremely well! Wax chalk, Frixion pens, my disappearing ink pen, wax was all good. I did use tailors tacks in a few key places.)

The next day, I cut out the back piece and sewed the darts, and shoulder seams. I also started the sleeves by cutting out and interfacing the cuffs.

Next, I cut the sleeve pieces out, and constructed one sleeve. I also sewed the side seams and hemmed it (by serging and doing a double turned 5/8" hem). The following day, I constructed the second sleeve and cut out and sewed the collar. 

The collarstand and collar construction was the last thing I did! LOL!!! It's so tedious but so critical to get it right! 

I made my markings after interfacing the stand to be sure everything matched up - I always draw in the stitching line along the curved edge. I also mark and press up the seam allowance of the interior stand. Another good tip - sometimes less is more when it comes to grading. It is critical not to trim things down too much or it's hard to fold it all up neatly inside. 

Next up was sleeve insertion. This fabric washed well, pressed amazingly well, took markings well, topstitched DID NOT want to be eased! Oy! Now, this sleeve doesn't have a ton of ease which is nice, but the top portion does need easing in and it took a little work and restitching to get them in nicely.

I only had 9 of these buttons but they were really the right I used a different button on the sleeve cuffs. Shhhhh. No one will know!

I am really happy to have this in my wardrobe!! The fabric is fluid enough that it can be tucked, it can be tied, it can be worn open or closed. I'm very happy with it!

My current  knitting WIP is a drop shoulder sweater with a bit of fair isle on the sleeves. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

WIP: Burda 6/2022 Vest

I don't actually have much to show :-p

I have been itching to sew but not motivated enough to do it. I had SO much on my list for summer and didn't get much done. I'm ready to move on to fall sewing considering how slow going things have been. I decided to work on the vest/tabard from Burda 6/2022. I am using a wool suiting that I scored from SR Harris (2 3/4 yard for $8!). It's a medium weight and is perfect for this pattern. I may make a matching pair of shorts from the pattern I'm using for my daughter. 

I have pretty standard Burda pattern adjustments. I tissue fit the pattern to my dressform and so far, the changes I made seem to be working out. 

This weekend I traced, made pattern adjustments and cut the paper pattern out. Today, I started cutting the fabric out -- I cut the fronts, side fronts, back and tabs. I interfaced all the bits that needed interfacing. Then I got ahead of myself and sewed one of the front and side fronts together - I forgot the pocket!!! DOH!

Looking good!! I LOVE this color!

Still have tons to do...but I hope that I can finish the outfit and the jackets for the babies before the end of September. 

In other news...


Y'all! I was too excited! And if you follow my IG, you know this already! LOL!!

I have Blue. Ribbon. Socks.!!

Here is the Rav page for them: Blue Socks

I ALSO placed for my sweater (3rd place)!
Rav page HERE

I was about to melt trying this on for pics though! LOL!!! 
The wool is toasty warm! Can't wait til December!


Is it possible to correct my posture at this late stage in life? LOL!!!
Also, these jeans are MY FAVORITE and their from American Eagle and I laugh every time someone says a store is "too young". Pfft. Buy what fits/works for you!

The judges commented on the different stripes on the sleeves - they called it very attractive! And they noted how well the stripes were matched :pats back:
I lost points on the marled ribbing - which was not a design choice, it was a mitigation. I'm happy with it though, but was frustrated that it pooled differently on the second half. 
Also, they didn't like my band of light pink on the right sleeve...but I always add some little tweak or detail to things that are just for me. 

I also placed 3rd for the girl's ballet sweater (photo HERE, Rav project page HERE)

I am so grateful for the wins and proud of myself for entering (I almost talked myself out of entering!). I can't wait for our next MK meetup so I can hear all about other's projects and wins. <3

I finally finished up the sideways knit that I'd been blogging and it's CUTE! Woohoo!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

I'm Still Here!

I have an answer to my complete lack of energy - I am anemic. I am not surprised...but it explains so much about why I'm barely functioning at times. 

I really had to push myself to get my project done for the State Fair, and there were tears! But I finished it and dropped it off last Monday. I also entered a pair of socks, the lilac baby sweater I made, and a sewn garment; I entered the top I made for the Rebecca Page tutorial on gathering with the serger. I'll find out on Thursday if I placed with any of the entries!

I used my standard gauge Brother with lambswool yarn from Colourmart. They sell these sets, referred to as "flops", and I paid $30 for this 300g (about 10.5 oz) set. The sweater clocks in below that. I actually mixed two sets of flops - one was reds and pinks, the other varying shades of brown. 

My original plan to was to do the lower ribbing in the light pink and the neckband in a very light tan. The light pink yarn gave me DRAMA AND GRIEF! It had so much more twist in it compared to the other colors. I ended up combining it with the pink and I love how that turned out. I also intended to insert the sleeves the other way - with the sleeve that has a pink cap on the brown side but I messed it up and there was no way I was going to redo it!

I used a custom pattern from the Knit It Now site. I made swatches and washed them up and the fabric that felt the nicest was the tension I went with. You enter your tension, size and dimensions and it spits out a pattern. 

For the front, it suggested 174 stitches. I divided that number in half and added 1 stitch to account for seaming. 

The two pinks pooled differently in the ribbing which is mostly okay but it is very noticeable here!

For the wide stripes, I calculated based on the number of total rows (286) and found the factors and decided on chunky blocks of 22 rows. This meant I had to weave end the start/end of each color change - WHEW! For the narrow stripes, I did the same but wanted to carry the yarn (really, more than 2 or 4 rows becomes a little tough). I included the band of plain pink and wish I'd bordered it with the brown's fine. I did 4 rows of pink and 8 rows of brown. In the sleeve cap, this caused a problem. I didn't have as much give in my cap because of carrying the yarn and could NOT fit the sleeve into the armhole when I was trying to link them together. Lightbulb moment -- I placed the sleeve first and then eased the armhole in. Once I steamed it, it was perfect!

I THEN had some issues with the neckband. I wanted to do a doubled band but I could not understand the backstitch technique. THERE WERE TEARS! I came home from my trip at 1 a.m., woke up that morning, knit the neckband and attached it, seamed it up (I'd weaved in most of the ends on the car ride to/from Chicago) and drove to St. Paul to drop it off at the fair...all to be back home in time for a 2 p.m. meeting. WHEW! LOL! 

Speaking of, I was in Chicago for a bridal shower that had a tea party theme. I had some cute Burda options, but just couldn't muster up the energy to sew anything new. I scored this dress last summer for $40 and it was really fitting for the occasion! It helped that I found a fascinator in a blue that was close enough to work.

I also got more yarn to finish up this sideways knit that I started at knitting camp. I posted a video to my IG grid (@dressmakingdebacles) showing me knitting the lower ribbing. It took about 5 minutes and I said it's my recruiting tool to get people in MK! :) Just need to weave in ends!

Not a new project, but I wore this silk blouse recently (Burda 10/2021) and my goodness, I need ALL the silk tops! It just feels so good on! 

The shorts for my daughter are coming along except, they are just going to be too big for her. She has lost some weight and she is already very thin. I couldn't take them in too much without distorting the features. So I'm going to finish them and we'll see what comes! 

I just need to stitch in the ditch, secure the belt carriers and add a hook & eye. I also have to decide how I'm going to hem them. The pattern includes separate pieces for the turn-up cuffs, but I'm not sure I have enough fabric for that. And, I tried to just do a deep hem that I'd fold back, but there is a lot more fabric at the stitching area compared to the cut edge. But I don't think a regular hem will look good with this length. 

Next up, another pair of Burda 2/2013 pants (HERE) that will transition into fall well. And I'm going to make the boys some matching jackets using this Ottobre 4/2022 pattern:

I'm looking forward to them! I ordered fabric from Mood in 2 colors and plan to colorblock them and hope to incorporate some of the leftovers from theirs into my Style Arc Kennedy jacket :) I also ordered some swatches for lining choices for my fall blazer plan. 

I should get the shorts finished, but there may not be any other sewing this month. I have a BUSY workweek ahead, a doctors appointment on Thursday that may take me out for the rest of the day, grandson's birthday on Friday, friends coming to town that day too and a visit to the State Fair on Saturday, and my husband's birthday on the 31st. 

As always, more later!

Monday, August 1, 2022

July Wrap Up and August Plans

 My July plans were:

  • Burda 7/2022 birthday dress
  • Socks at knitting camp
  • MK summer cardigan
  • Butterick 6640
  • NL6692

I made my birthday dress and socks. Woohoo! :) I did not get to my summer cardigan, but I do have two machine knit tops as WIPs (I need more yarn for both). 

I also cut out a pair of shorts from Burda 8/2014 for my daughter and made a couple of Cricut projects.

WIP: sideways knit sweater with hand manipulated lacy sleeve

MK socks with Paton's Kroy

MK socks with Wisdom Angora Lace
So soft, warm, and snuggly!! This yarn has been discontinued. I bought 4 skeins (all solids, boo, but Yay!)

I got really excited about these pleated shorts...then she balked at the length. sighhhhh.
We'll see what she thinks once they're ready to fit.

July turned out a little different than I anticipated. I ended up taking a trip to the ER last weekend turning the entire next week into a wash. I just wasn't able to do much of anything. Bonus though was time with the babies.

B is in FULL toddler mode and it is hilarious (well, at least to grandma it is! haha!)
At one point, I asked him to come get changed and he shook his head and said, No, while walking away. Then he came to "help" while I was making dinner. He repeatedly started the dishwasher and kept pulling all these strainers and bowls out of the cabinet.

F is obsessed with B and never wants to stop going. I kept trying to put him down for a nap, but now, he just fights til he passes out. 

I broke out the Cricut this past weekend to make a birthday present for my sister. She loves Scrabble and I've been meaning to make these coasters for her for ages. I finally got it done and I love the way they turned out! 

The wood blanks are 4x4 inches and I wanted them to fill the space as much as possible. I tried to very closely match the orientation of the point value with the letter. I then did 3 coats of Modge Podge with about 10-15 minutes between coats. Did you know that it takes 3-4 weeks for it to fully cure?!? I did NOT know that! Whew! Once fully cured, no sealant is needed. However, I would like a glossy finish so I'm going to get something to spray over top.

I cut out 3.5x3.5 inch squares of felt and adhered them to the back with the Modge Podge. The felt is adhesive, but I wanted to ensure a really good seal. 

Lastly, Beyonce's 7th studio album was released on Friday. It is full of fun-upbeat dance music but Thique has  heavy baselines, and THAT is right up my alley! :) I’ve been bumping the song all weekend. 

Someone posted that merch was available for 7 days only so I go to the site. $45 for a T-shirt?!? Beyoncé or not, there's just no way I'm paying that much for a tee, so I made my own! I really wanted to use this silver holographic vinyl that I had on hand, but I could not get it to weed cleanly around the curves (Cricut vinyl in general, sucks). I pulled out this Siser glittler vinyl in gold and made quick work of finishing the tee. It's a men's medium and fits well through the body, but it was long. I chopped off 9 inches, folded up 3/4" and hemmed it on my coverstitch machine. Woohoo!

August's plans? eh.

I am going back up to St. Cloud on Saturday for monthly  machine knitting meetup. Mainly because I had stuff I forgot to buy when I was there for camp, but I am also interested in the meeting topic for the month. 

The following weekend I am in Chicago for a bridal shower. Then, in the last 5 days of August, I have grandson F's 1st Birthday, out of town friends visiting so we can go to the MN State Fair, and my husband's birthday. 

Oh, plus I'm trying to knit a sweater to enter into the fair and that has to be completed and dropped off by August 15th. 

And I have several medical appointments as I try to figure out these health issues.

So what are my August plans? TO SURVIVE THE MONTH! haha!

I plan to finish the shorts and a top for my daughter and hopefully the Butterick shirt dress. I also hope to finish the 2 WIP machine knits once I get more yarn, knit the sweater for the fair, and finish the teddy bear I knit for the babies. 

As always, more later!