Saturday, April 5, 2014

Black Wool Circle Skirt

"A wool circle skirt in April?  That seems weird," one might say.  Well, when I took these photos last week it was 30 degrees.  And it snowed like four days ago.  And I finished this skirt in December, so it was seasonally relevant when I made it, unlike my summer 2013 knitting bonanza.  And my Draping class final project, which was also finished in December, but it still hasn't been warm enough to actually wear it outdoors to take a picture.


In Tailoring class last semester we hand sewed a jacket and a companion piece.  Both the jacket and companion piece had to be made out of 100% wool.  We couldn't use fusible interfacing, machine stitched hems, or that sort of thing.  So for my companion piece I made this circle skirt out of a wool suiting from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Total Cost: $14.12
  • Fabric: $11.98
  • Interfacing: $0.89
  • Zipper: $1.25

I like the length of this skirt.  (I'm 5'3" and this skirt is 17" long.)  It's a little longer than I usually go, but I am very happy with it.


I used a light pink invisible zipper as a nod to my Tailoring coat (which is light pink).  And because zippers that don't match my garments are sort of my thing.


Regarding my Tailoring coat...It's finished but there are some fit issues that developed somewhere between the muslin and the finished product.  The shoulders are way too wide and the bust is a little too big.  I spoke with one of my professors, and she says I can fix both issues by taking off the sleeves and re-cutting the armscye.  Which isn't too difficult, except I have to unpick my lining hem to get to the armscye.  I'm planning to fix it once this semester is over.  Here is a little sneak peek of the partially completed coat:

Red wine and Dunkin' Donuts...Whatever it takes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Floral Skater Dress

This dress is the first "sewing for fun" thing I've made in almost a year since starting fashion school. My sewing mojo was MIA for a while, but my burning desire for another winter dress motivated me to overcome my emotional sewing issues.  I used a cotton jersey I bought online from Girl Charlee.  I'm always on the hunt for the perfect floral fabric.  When I found this one I knew I had to buy it.  I love the colors and the scale of the print.  (I swear my shoes match the coral perfectly in real life - they are not as pink as they look in the photos.)


I used an ivory Jet-Set knit from Jo-Ann Fabrics to line the skirt.  It is lightweight and has a similar stretch as the floral jersey.  But if it stretches too much it starts to run, sort of like pantyhose.  So I used an interlock knit from Jo-Ann Fabrics for the neckline bias tape.  I didn't want to do a visible binding with the floral fabric because I just wasn't feeling it.  And when I pinned a narrow hem around the neckline it pulled the dress too tight.  And I will take any excuse to use bias tape because I love it.


Total Cost: $16.12
  • Fabric: $11
  • Skirt Lining: $4.49
  • Neckline Bias Tape: 63 cents


I bought a long sleeve t-shirt from Old Navy (for like $2 - I love Old Navy) because their t-shirts fit me the best.  I took it apart and used it as the basis for the bodice of this dress.  The skirt took some more work.  I made many a muslin.  Half circle skirts cut on different grainlines, full circle skirts, three-quarter circle skirts...But they didn't look right.  So I traced the skirt off of a dress I got from Express and used that.  Pretty sure it's just an A-line skirt and I was over thinking the whole thing.


I'm very happy with this dress.  It fits great and will be a colorful addition to my winter wardrobe. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Domain Name + Knitted Mint Aiken Sweater

So I finally bought myself a real domain name - no more of this blogspot.com nonsense. I think going to alisonweare.blogspot.com will still bring you to my blog, but if anyone wants to update their blog readers, my new domain name is www.alisonesther.com. Very exciting! (I contacted Bloglovin to move my followers for me, so if you use Bloglovin don't do anything.)

I plan to go through and re-take some of my older project photos; the MacBook Photobooth pictures  just don't cut it. I don't know why I used my laptop to take my blog photos for so long when my dad had a real camera in the house the whole time...Anyway, I plan to step it up a notch with the blogging, and getting a legit domain name seemed like the first step.

In other news, I have yet another knitted project to post. I am sorry to everyone who DGAFs about my knitted stuff, but I SWEAR my next two posts will be sewing projects. I was planning to post a sewing project before this sweater and I was going to take photos yesterday after I got home from work - I took a shower and everything - but then it kind of started raining and then I felt lazy and then it just didn't happen.


I used Knit Picks Brava worsted yarn in Mint.

Total Cost: $10.46


I was desperate for a warm wintertime sweater to go with my black and white skirts, and this sweater is exactly what I needed. It's cropped, the proportions are perfect, and I am obsessed with mint and it looks great with black and white. This sweater knitted up very quickly - it only took me four days. Andi Satterlund designs the cutest patterns.


The details are on my Ravelry Project Page.


And here is Soxy sitting on my sweater:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Some More Winter Accessories

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been busy crafting, but I have been terrible about blogging.  My boyfriend left for Navy bootcamp last week, so I was spending a lot of time with him.

I knitted and crocheted some more accessories over my winter break between semesters.


I crocheted this earflap hat for my boyfriend for Christmas using one strand of black yarn and one strand of gray yarn.  When I first learned how to crochet at snowboard school ten years ago (my God, I'm old) my friends taught me how to make basic beanies using two strands of yarn.  There is no official pattern or anything, although I am considering writing one up.

Doesn't he look cute?
I also made another hat for myself using yarn left over from my Mint Slouch Hat.  The pattern is available for free on Ravelry.


Total Cost: $11.98
  • 1 skein of mint: $5.99
  • 1 skein of white: $5.99


This hat took less than an hour to knit up and I think it's wicked cute.  Details on my Ravelry Project Page.


And finally, I knitted myself a cowl.  I make myself one scarf/cowl each year.  I should really make more because I wear them every day in the winter, but I just love making hats.


I used Plymouth Encore Chunky yarn in Natural - also the same yarn I used in my ribbed hat and my slouch hat.  The pattern originally called for worsted weight yarn, but I figured I wanted a warm cozy cowl so I went with bulky weight yarn and made some adjustments to the pattern.  This cowl was a quick knit and I enjoyed making it.

Total Cost: $11.98


This pattern is also available for free on Ravelry.  And here is the link to my Ravelry Project Page.

I should be posting more regularly now, and I have quite a few knitted, crocheted, and sewn garments to post about.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Couple of Knitted Hats

So I've been kind of MIA - I haven't posted in two months.  (Exactly two months to the day.  That's weird.)  It's not that I don't have any finished projects to post, but I was busy finishing up my semester of fashion school and now I'm way too lazy and it's way too cold to take pictures.

Over my winter break I've knitted three hats and crocheted one.  Here are two of them:

The first is a cabled hat.  I have been searching for the perfect cabled hat pattern and I finally found it.  Here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry.


I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Tweed worsted weight yarn in Oatmeal fleck.  I've had it in my stash for about two years, so I'm glad I finally found a use for it.


This hat was a lot of work and took a long time to knit, but it was fun and I am very happy with the result.


There are more pictures and details on my Ravelry Project Page.

I also knitted another cable hat:


Total Cost: 
$6.74


  • Yarn: $5.99
  • Buttons: $0.75

I used Plymouth Encore Chunky yarn in Mint.  I bought it online at Webs.  The buttons are from Jo-Ann Fabrics.


This hat knitted up wicked fast and was fun to make.  There are more details on my Ravelry Project Page.

I still have two more hats to post about as well as a couple of sewn garments and a self-designed crocheted cardigan.  While I have been quiet on the blogging front, Sox I have been very busy crafting.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Knitted Big Bow Sweater

I finished this sweater a month and a half ago during my summer knitting bonanza and got lazy about taking pictures.


I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice worsted weight yarn in Patchwork Grey.

Total Cost: $23.95


I chose a colorful yarn since the sweater itself is so basic.  I bought this yarn a million years ago and I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but once I knitted up a swatch I fell in love.


I made a lot of changes to the original pattern.  The details are on my Ravelry Project Page.  This was really an exercise in fit since I have plans to draft my own pullover.  If I ever have time.  Which I don't.  Fashion school is taking over my life.



And how cute are my booties?  I got them online at Shoedazzle.  I'm addicted to that site.  They have the best boots.


I am working on a coat for my Tailoring class and I'm about to begin my final project for my Draping class, so there will be some sewing-related posts soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Design Wars/Project Pink Competition

I just had my first competitive runway experience!  I didn't win, but my dress came out exactly how I wanted and I am very proud of it.

Four fashion design students from Framingham State University and four students from Lasell College were chosen to compete against each other in a Design Wars/Project Pink runway show.  The show was affiliated with the Ellie Fund, a non-profit organization for breast cancer, so the garments all had to be pink.  We had a runway show at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, MA and our garments were displayed on dress forms at the mall for two weeks so people could text to vote for their favorite.


Our models were selected for us by the Ellie Fund.  I really lucked out.  My model, Anne, is beautiful, young, thin, and tall (5'9"!!).  She was so great about meeting with me like a thousand times for fittings.  And she looked absolutely gorgeous walking down the runway.  She can work it.


Each designer was given $100 to spend on fabric and notions.

Total Cost: $41.98
  • Brocade: $7.27
  • Tulle: $14.90
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Zipper: $2.63
  • Thread: $1.44
  • Quilting Thread: $2.99
  • Hair Ribbon: $1.59
  • Bias Tape: $3.18
  • Bows: $1.99

I used 20 yards of 54" wide tulle, doubled.  There are two layers of 7 yards and a layer of 6 yards.  The tulle actually wasn't as terrible to work with as I expected.  I only ran into issues when all the tulle was sewed onto the bodice and I had to try to sew in a lining and a zipper.  (I gathered 1.5 yards of taffeta into a dirndl skirt for the lining.)  I had to hand sew the lining to the tulle in the seam allowance and I had to sew in the zipper by hand.  I'm usually pretty good at sewing invisible zippers, but this one was not my best.


For the bodice I used a brocade from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I thought it would be terrible to cut out since the fabric seemed so shifty, but I had no problems.  I cut the pieces out with pinking shears so fraying wasn't too much of a problem until the very end when I finished the neckline.  I barely had any seam allowance left.


We had three weeks to make our garments.  I spent 2 weeks and 5 days fitting the bodice - I made four muslins.  I originally draped (I'm taking a draping class right now and it's awesome) a two-dart bodice and as things progressed it became clear that the bodice wanted to be princess seamed.  So I sewed this whole thing together in two days and finished it the morning of the runway show.  It was worth it, though - the dress fit my model perfectly.  Like really truly beautifully.




We had to do a little interview after the show, which was really traumatic for me.  I do not like public speaking.  I tend to sweat and cry and stutter.  But I kept my composure and I don't think I embarrassed myself too badly.


 I used single fold bias tape to finish the neckline and armscyes.  I folded the bias tape in half after I sewed it into the bodice so that the stitching line would be narrower.


 I found little pink bows at Jo-Ann Fabrics and thought they were a cute detail.


Here were all the entires.  The silver dress in the left picture is the dress from Framingham State University that won second place.  The first dress in the right picture is the winning look from Lasell College.

Framingham State University
Lasell College