Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Knit for Victory

I'm finally getting to participate in something! I have wanted to join in so many of the wonderful sew-alongs and knit-alongs that are always happening in the blogging world, but have never been able to get myself organized enough to do them. First it was school, then it was moving, and now the baby, but when I read that Tasha was going to be hosting a Knit for Victory knit-along I was determined to figure out some way to take part. I've got a zillion and one 1940s patterns I'd love to work through, but since most of them are sweaters I knew there was no way I'd be able to get an entire project finished by January 31st. I've got to finish up the cardigan and pant set that I've been working on for the peanut (which I'm very nearly finished with at this point), and I've also got a couple of sewing projects in the works. I'm trying very hard to finish one thing before starting another because that has been a bad habit of mine for some time. Since I've got a major deadline for completing the baby sweater (It's 6-9 month size and he's only got a couple of months left that he'll sit in that size; i.e.
 Mom needs to get it finished ASAP!), I've been working diligently on that so I can cast on my next project for the knit-along. 

Now, as I said, everything I wanted to make was too large an undertaking for my busy schedule if I actually wanted to be finished by the deadline, but lo and behold Tasha has just released her first knitting pattern! It's a beautiful, 1940s style, fair isle tam called Victory

Image via Tasha Moss, modeled by Rochelle
It's a small enough project that I shouldn't have too much trouble getting through it in the allotted time, and I absolutely LOVE fair isle. I've never actually done any color work this complex before, but it's long been on my to-do list when it comes to expanding my knitting skills. It's an adorable hat, it's a small enough project to finally participate in a knit-along, and it's a good sized project to serve as an introduction to fair isle! I can't lose! I had some yarn left from the 1940s pullover I finished several months ago, and I ordered a few more skeins of the same yarn in different color ways to fill out my palette. 

It will coordinate perfectly with my pullover, since it will use some of the same blue, and I'm really excited about the combination of colors on the whole. The orange and red are great for fall, and the green, blue and ecru really round the palette out nicely I think. I've super excited about seeing what everyone else makes for the knit-along, and maybe next time around I'll be able to make one of the sweaters on my list! If you're interested in participating, or just seeing everyone's projects, the knit-along info can all be found here.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Skirt

Progress on this skirt has been slow, but I tried to keep whittling away at it little by little. I finished my seams, then interfaced and attached the waistband before moving back down to the inset. The decorative band for the top of the inset gave me some fits. I measured everything out carefully (or at least thought I had), but when I got it all stitched, turned, and pressed I was not satisfied. One end came out perfectly. The other, however, was a different story. Somehow I managed to let the band taper in across the length and then wound up with a thinner, shorter and less crisp point at the opposite end. I cut another one, made sure to REALLY measure that one carefully as I marked my stitching lines out with chalk, and once it was all pressed I was greeted by a much more uniform, attractive button band.

I put the finishing touches on the skirt last night, after adding the inset and turning up the hem yesterday afternoon. I'm very happy with how the final product turned out. I still need to drop a few more pounds (as anticipated) before it really fits perfectly, but I love the shape of the skirt and the way the pleats hang at the back. I did much of the finishing by hand, particularly around the inset itself in order to keep everything looking clean. I usually do most finishing work by hand, but I was a bit more careful with this than I often am (especially if I'm trying to finish something quickly so I can wear it). Since I can't remember exactly what the fabric content is (a burn test only confirmed that it was a blend of some sort) I had to err on the side of caution and use a slightly lower setting on the iron than I would have if I were working with a pure wool suiting; and the fact that my interim iron is a lightweight p.o.s. that was left in our house by the previous owner didn't make perfect pressing any easier. So far the pleats are holding nicely, though, and I may get a better press when I hit them again with a heavier duty iron.

And a few more details of the pleated inset and button band...
(You can see the slightly pegged hem of the skirt in the first photo a bit better).

I finished the hem with an olive green hem tape I had in my stash (and admittedly could have been a little more meticulous about my hem stitches, but it was late, I'd been alone with a sick baby for three days, and I was tired). I've got a decent stash of hem tape that I picked up on super-clearance at a Ben Franklin's a few years ago. I really enjoy the little bit of contrast on the inside of my hems, and it does help minimize bulk as well.

As you can see in the above photo, after I had cut my fabric I discovered blue manufacturer stamps of some sort all over one side of the fabric. I was really mad at first, but since I only paid a few dollars a yard for it, and online fabric shopping is always a bit of a gamble I did make my peace with it. Fortunately they were all placed in a way that they were easy to hide on the inside of the skirt. Now that I've finished the skirt I can get started on the vest. I've got everything cut, I just need to finish marking everything before I can start sewing.

I hope everyone has had a good week and is enjoying their weekend!


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