Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer florals: Finally fulfilling my fabric needs

It's been a rough several days around with the jealous toddler, and not having my normal stress relief outlet available (i.e. ALL of my sewing stuff) has been extra difficult. While knitting helps, there's really not anything like cutting into new fabric and listening to the whir of my sewing machine. I finally decided that enough was enough, so I shoved all the hefty boxes of books aside and dug out a piece of floral cotton from the bottom of another pile of boxes. While this wasn't originally in my plan for Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, I decided it was going to be a quicker and more user friendly pattern than the dress patterns I had on my docket at the get go. It's great for the sweltering Ohio Valley summer, and it's also nursing friendly, on top of being a super quick and easy project.

The fabric is a piece that came from the stash at my mom's, and I pulled it out to go with the linen I used for my grey-green circle skirt (which I will hopefully be able to fit into in the next few weeks). The piece was tiny, so I knew that it was destined to be a sleeveless blouse of some sort, and I really liked New York 1292 after I finished my first version. It was actually barely enough for this pattern even. I had to piece the under collar and there wasn't room for the sleeve facings, so I'm going to finish the armholes with bias strips instead.

I can't really get my machines back out, so I doubt any actual sewing will be accomplished anytime soon, but I think I'll try and get one of my dresses cut out (or maybe two, but I'm not going to hold my breath) in the next couple of weeks. I'm going to be making myself another version of Anne Adams 4811, since it's such a ridiculously comfortable dress. This is the first version I made:

I've got another rayon challis print I'm going to use for it. I bought a bunch of challis on sale a while ago, because I just can't resist it, and while I originally bought a pink floral to make another of these, I decided that print was better suited to another pattern I've been wanting to make, so I'll be using this instead:

It will definitely require a slip, but I think it's going to be really pretty sewn up. I figure if I can get a couple of projects at least cut out, once we're finally moved and settled I'll have all the annoying cutting done and can dive straight back into sewing (between diaper changes and trips to the grocery).
Despite having to work around the child dumping my pins everywhere, and the baby crying because his brother wouldn't leave him alone, it felt really nice to have my scissors in my hand again, even if it was only for 5 minutes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Turtle" to some..."Rough" to others... - Project Progress

Well, since we're STILL waiting on the stupid mortgage lenders to give us an actual closing date, practically everything I own is still packed up in boxes, so despite the incredible urge to sew that I've been having lately I haven't been able to. I've moved on to yet another one of my knitting WIPs, so I'll at least have some new stuff to wear this fall/winter even if I can't get any more of my Vintage Pattern Pledge summer projects (or any modern patterns for that matter) finished for the warmer weather. 

This project is sort of part of my own personal Vintage Pattern Pledge, although it's knitting and not sewing, so I'm at least in keeping with the spirit of my original summer plans. It's a pullover pattern from a knitting magazine that a friend gave me a couple of years ago. The magazine is from 1940, and there are a few really nice sweater patterns in it, as well as patterns for four different skirts, intended to be combined with any of the sweaters to make either a two-piece outfit or a dress. I'd really like to make a couple of the skirts as well, since I've always admired the vintage, knitted suits and dresses that are so popular but so difficult to find.

Anyway, I bought this yarn (Cascade 220 in Irelande) ages ago, with the intention of making a cabled sweater of some sort, but then decided I wanted to do something different. Initially, I thought I'd use it for a pattern in North, but the neckline would prohibit wearing a camisole or anything under it, and the yarn isn't quite soft enough to wear against my skin. So, after much pondering and sifting through all of my knitting patterns and the Ravelry library, I decided on this pullover pattern. It'll be great for winter bundling, because I'll be able to wear a long sleeved shirt or long underwear under it, which will be nice. 

vintage knitting magazine 1940s
I really like the cabled sweater on the front, too. 

1940 turtleneck pullover sweater

1940 raglan sleeve sweater
My project bag was made by Rochelle. The colors are so cheery, it makes knitting even more fun to carry my projects around in this. (Way better than the medical supply company tote I used to drag them around in.)
It's a raglan sweater, as you can see, knitted top-down in the round, so I don't have to mess with all that tedious seaming once I've got the pieces finished. I'm seriously loving that aspect of this pattern, especially after seaming together all those pieces for my mohair cardigan a few weeks ago.  I've got a fair amount of this finished already, as the straight stockinette goes extremely quickly. I did go back and knit the collar before finishing the rest of the sweater just so I could really see how it was going to work. I just didn't have the patience to wait. I've got about 8 inches to go before starting the waist ribbing I think.  I think I've gotten more knitting done in the past 6 months than I've gotten done in the last couple of years (partially because my machines are packed up), but I'm really looking forward to having some new knitwear this winter. Once I've got this finished, I have a 1940s fair isle vest from A Stitch in Time V.2 up next in my queue, along with another pair of socks, this time with a little color work. 

Finally, although we are still waiting around on house stuff, our second little boy made his debut in this world just about two weeks ago. He's a sweetheart, and we're all pretty fond of him (even the two year old, although he's having a hard time adjusting to sharing the attention). 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Honesty: a 1950s inspired cardigan

Well, not much else has been happening around here. Boxing things up and trying to bounce this baby into being born. I've been using the think system on him, but it doesn't seem to be working. We're still waiting on a closing date, too. No luck with the think system there, either. All this waiting around and having all of my fabric packed up has left me with the time to finish up my latest knitting project though, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. You all saw a little preview of this cardigan in a previous post, but now it's here in all it's fuzzy, mohair glory!

Kim Hargreaves Honesty Cardigan

It still needs a last steaming/blocking now that it's assembled, but I don't have the space to do that right now since so much of my stuff is packed up so it'll have to wait. It's going to be far too warm to wear it for a little while anyway.

I found a few different buttons that matched the yarn color really well, some a little dressier looking than others, but really couldn't decide which ones I liked, so after a quick poll in a knitting group I decided to go with these sort of two-tone 1/2 inch buttons that really matched the color exquisitely well.

undyed mohair

mohair yarn

The skirt is pinned up to fit Tabitha's waist, hence the funny bustle effect.

The very center back of the neckband could use a bit of improvement (although it's really something that only I will ever know about), but it is laying alright, and once it's been pressed again I think it will be just fine. It was the first time I'd done kitchener stitch, so I wasn't super confident in the execution of it.

I have a blue 3/4 sleeve cardigan that my mom made me from an original 1954 (I think) pattern she's had for ages, and it's a wonderful sweater. The waist length on it is just perfect, it's super warm, nice and simple, but it's a crew neck, which is not generally my go to neckline (Now don't get me wrong, I still wear the heck out of that sweater every fall/winter. I love it.) The neckline on this one is really lovely though, and much more akin to my standard styles. It'll be perfect over t-shirts and button downs, and will show off necklaces, scarves, and my lace jabot to perfection. It was a complete accident, but it actually looks really gorgeous with the linen circle skirt I just made (pictured) and the addition of that Irish lace jabot is amazing. The perfect combination of classic shapes, chic palette, and Miss Marple frill :)

v-neck cardigan sweater

Hand knit cardigan

Iv'e really been dying to get some more work done on my coat project, but can't do that until we move, so I'm stuck daydreaming about sewing for some time. I've also been thinking I may swap out one of my Vintage Pattern Pledge dress patterns for a blouse pattern I'll be able to wear sooner, since it's undoubtedly going to be a scorcher this summer. I may pull out my 1940 Roll Neck Pullover project to get back to work on in the meantime, since it's still easily accessible, unless this baby decides to show up (hopefully) in the next couple of days. I have to say, I'm glad that the next few things I've got in my knitting queue are worked in the round because GOOD LORD seaming is the worst. It really didn't take me all that long to do last night, but it's just so tedious. Seamless knitting all the way for me for a while at least.

I haven't actually gotten to try this sweater on yet, being massively pregnant and all, but it fits Tabitha pretty well, so I have high hopes for it on me. The sleeves appear to have ended up just a hair on the long side, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I like to be able to pull sleeves down over my hands some during the cold weather, and it may also be something that rectifies itself slightly when worn over other sleeves, or once I've gotten it properly blocked.

It's not quite Friday yet (at least not in this hemisphere), but have a good weekend! It's back to cleaning and boxing for me now.
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