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!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Machine Knitting Camp

I bought my first knitting machine in February 2020. I had two lessons and just as we were scheduling the next one, the pandemic hit. I did take another virtual class at one point which helped me learn to use the color changer and understand the electronics of my machine a bit better. But I’ve largely been on my own, using You Tube, the MK Ravelry group, and an amazing FB group to get me through. 

But unlike my usual eager self, I’ve been really timid about venturing deeper into machine knitting. Recently, I commented on a cute MK project on Rav and the maker emailed me to let me know that she was in Minneapolis and invited me to join the Midwest Machine Knitting Collaborative (MMKC). Woohoo! 

I was already hooked up with a local mk salesperson and I’d seen frequent mentions to “Purls of Joy”. Honestly, I assumed it was something religion-based (like knitting for church charities or something) and didn’t think much else about it. Turns out, it was a machine knitting seminar and this year, 2022, was to be the final year! So I scrambled to attend the 2-day seminar. I learned a ton and was introduced to a bunch of  new knitters and resources throughout the state. 

I learned about the 3-day class and when I got the email that 1) there was one spot left and 2) that it was very affordable, I jumped on it! 

I drove up to St. Cloud on Thursday morning, ready for the 10 a.m. check in. There were lots of people already set up and knitting and I thought I was late! Turns out, a couple of women had come in from out of state and had taken in-person lessons the day or two before. Good to know!

Back in February (of this year), I hit the mother lode with my trip to WI and one of the machines is a standard gauge Silver Reed Sk360. I’ve been knitting on a Brother standard gauge and figured this would be a good time to learn the new-to-me machine and brand. The bulky I bought is by the Studio/Silver Reed/Singer brand as well. 

But, I hadn’t taken this thing out since bringing it in the house in February! I knew that the woman I got it from hadn’t used it in many years. She was over 90 and said she’d long since stopped using the standard gauge because the stitches are too small to see. Not to mention this machine was manufactured some time in the early 80s, when I would have been a wee little one. I could use a little oil so figured the machine could too! :)

We started out talking about basic machine maintenance. I’d brought a new sponge bar with me because that’s a given - you should always replace the sponge bar in a used machine. We started cleaning it out and it just kept going and going! SO MUCH LINT! Oh my gosh! I swear I ended up with a pile of lint and dust that could fill an 8 oz cup. We oiled it up and I was off and knitting!

Much of the weekend was guided - we all knit:
  • a tuck stitch dishcloth - casting on and off, using punchcards
  • worked up another tuck stitch design in a cowl or wrap - casting on and off, using punchcards with a specific needle arrangement, steaming/blocking, seaming

  • And socks - casting on and off, ribbing, short rowing, Kitchener stitch, seaming

I seamed one of my toes wrong (the seam was on the outside). 
So I undid it, but I couldn’t figure out how to redo it, so I’m just going to rehang the sock and undo the toe shaping, and re-knit.

Lots of skills! We also had “table talk” each day where we discussed different topics, which was super helpful. We learned how to fix things, we did a tour of the yarn shop, there was a bit of marketing too :) Hey, they’ve got a business to run!

I also started a sideways sweater. I tried on a sample in size 44 and it was so cute! I knit the same size, and used the same yarn (different color), but mine is coming up smaller. Recently, there was a discussion about Silver Reed knitting up a little tighter than Brother at the same gauge. But, this is also why, you always make a swatch! I’m still going to finish it because it will *fit*, it just will be a fitted top vs. the intended style.

See? Lily can fit it!

I also shortened mine about an inch or so. I have a couple of dropped stitches that I need to pick up. Then, I’ll seam the other shoulder (I don’t like seaming on the machine and will do the rest with my linker), add the sleeve ribbing, and then the lower ribbing. 

The morning of day 3, we all were in high spirits! Two of us were going to finish our sweaters and start our socks, others were going to finish their socks and start sweaters…And then every single one of us had weird, random issues with our knitting. The two pros spent most of day fixing, undoing, redoing, it was a MESS! 

When I got home, I swatched (haha!) a cotton/cashmere (47%/53%) blend to make another version with some decorative eyelets, inspired by this:

The fabric is so amazing!

The first two nights I ended up with a migraine. On day 2, I took my meds much sooner than I had on day 1. I ended up early in the morning, with my plastic mid gauge out and hooked up to the ironing board :)

I knit the back and the head there, and knit the front when I got back home. I started seaming it together, but have a little ways to go :)

Hotels were SO expensive, especially for St. Cloud(!), but even with the hotel, food, and my shopping at the camp (I bought a couple of MK patterns, sock yarn, the next issue of Machine Knitting Monthly, and some items for my machine), it was well worth it! 

I want to go to the next one, but there’s a high likelihood that a 70 mile drive in February or March may not be an option :-p

I rearranged my room a bit, bringing up the narrow table (18” wide x 60” long). It allows me to hook up a second machine when I want (yes, even with just 18” width!!). The folding table easily clears the space and I can get to the other long edge when needed. 

I definitely notice a difference between the two brands and am happy to be able to switch between the two standard gauge machines as needed. Now, I just need to get my bulky up, cleaned out, and running!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

A Couple of Birthday Dresses!

I almost always make a new dress to wear on my birthday each year. For 2022, I was seeing a musical production of Twelve Angry Men, and I wanted to have a "special" day dress and something for the show. 

I went to a recent make, M7834 for the day dress. When I finished the paisley version, I knew I'd be making it in this cotton clip dot from SR Harris, and leaving it sleeveless. It's such a cute pattern and I loved how the original turned out. 

I made no changes other than narrowing the shoulder as I mentioned in the last post, but I should have! I've said it myself a thousand times, FABRIC CHANGES FIT! The first one was made in a heavier rayon challis with beautiful drape. This cotton one pulls a bit at the bust. 

A woman stopped to tell me I looked very pretty, and that she's inspired to get a white summer dress now. 
yes! yes! yes!!

And the pretty blue purse I treated myself to as an early birthday gift! 

It turned out pretty-ok and I loved wearing it! I started the day with a trip to my favorite bakery for a pastry and a latte, then I went and got the Benz shined up! :) Afterwards, I worked that day until about 2 or 3 and started to get ready for dinner and the show.

For evening, I sewed Burda 7/2022 #106. I know I've gained some weight, it was endo-belly time, and this dress is fitted. So I traced a 42 neckline and armholes and a 44 for the rest. I should have known better but I was short on time. I ended up having to blind stitch the surplice down in front because it was huge and gaping. I am a 42 on top in Burda with the waist graded to a 44. Doh. The ties were tied really tight, too! LOL!

I used this rayon challis that I got when I visited SR Harris back in 2018. I sewed the side seams a little larger through the bust, did not add hem allowance on the skirt but hemmed at 5/8", and tacked down the front as mentioned. 

Since the fabric and lining (cotton voile) are so lightweight, I used the "trick" learned some time ago and trimmed 1/8" from the neckline edges in lieu of understitching. It works well when both fabric are very light and takes a press well. 

I don't know what point the surplice serves though as it has a side zipper. I think it would work fine as a v-neck. 

Speaking of...I've read lots of "fear" type things about side zippers, but it was easy peasy! I tacked the bodice lining to the waist seam by hand.

And it has twirl factor!! Woot! 

I just spent 3 days at a machine knitting camp and it was AWESOME! I'm going to do a separate write-up for that.