Monday, July 21, 2014

Fizz Test Knit

Those of you who read lots of sewing blogs have no doubt heard of Andi Satterlund and her knitting patterns. I have knitted two of her patterns myself. (Mint Aiken SweaterNavy Agatha Cardigan) They were both delightful to knit and Fizz was no exception.


This top is knit bottom-up in the round.  There is elastic under the bust, and then you knit the bottom band casing.  The button placket and halter straps are picked up along the bodice edges, so there is no seaming.  The pattern itself is pretty cool; you enter your measurements and a pattern is generated for you.


This is a great pattern for using up stashed yarn, since it doesn't require very much yardage.  It was also quick to knit; not including the bottom band and i-cord edging, the bodice took me about 3 hours to knit up.


I used Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn in Flamingo and White.  (The same yarn I used for my Crocheted Curlicue Top.)  The bow buttons are from Deramores and the back neck button is from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Total Cost: $13.36
  • Pink Yarn: $2.99
  • White Yarn: $2.99
  • Bow Buttons: $5.50 (including shipping)
  • Neck Button: $0.52
  • Elastic: $1.36


All my construction and fit notes are on my Ravelry Project Page.


If one wanted more coverage, I think this top would look wicked cute with a crochet border picked up along the bottom band. Something like this:


I am so honored and thankful that Andi chose me as a test knitter for this project.  It makes me feel like she has faith in my taste and knitting skills to represent her project in a positive way, ya know?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Crocheted Curlicue Top

My first self-drafted crochet top! I've been very into warm weather crocheting and knitting lately. I don't know why, seeing as how it's pretty much never warm in Massachusetts.


I used Knit Picks Comfy sport weight yarn in Lilac Mist and White. It's the lightweight version of the yarn I used for my Crocheted Scalloped Top.

Total Cost: $14.95
  • Purple Yarn: $11.96
  • White Yarn: $2.99
 The curlicue detail around the neckline was inspired by this patternI used a different stitch pattern, a different yarn weight, and made a different size than the original pattern, so I had to draft the pattern for this top myself. By the time my top was done the only common factor between my sweater and the original is the curlicue around the neckline, which I knitted as a 3-stitch i-cord instead of crocheted. The details are all on my Ravelry Project Page.


I finished this top except for the curlicue neckline in February but I had a hard time pinning the curlicue in a way that I liked and all of a sudden it was the end of May and I knew I just had to commit to something. The curlicues aren't perfect, but I kind of like it. Not in an "I'm too lazy to care about how this looks" kind of way, but I think it makes this top look handmade in a good way, ya know?


It was hard to get a good picture of this top. It fits well and is very comfortable and is not as boxy as it looks in the photos. The nice thing about crochet is that the stitches often drape nicely without any waist shaping.  I think the sleeve length, the way the sleeve fits into the armscye, the body length, and the back width are perfect.


Drafting the pattern for the body of this top wasn't hard because there wasn't any waist shaping to worry about. I referenced some pattern drafting books for knitting regarding shaping the armscye and the set-in sleeve. I thought the sleeve would require a bit of finesse would cause me problems, but it came out beautifully the first time. 


And of course Sox was there to help me get things blocked into shape.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Colorblocked Shift Dress

This dress was my final project in Draping class last semester.  Last spring I posted about the collection I designed for Kate Spade in my Fashion Sketching class.  This is one of the dresses from the collection.  My God, I'm terrible at drawing.  Wait until I post my drawings from the Fashion Illustration class I took this spring...

The coral fabric is a Casa Collection satin from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  (It's not as hot pink as it looks in the pictures; it's a deep coral.)  I used the wrong side because I didn't want this dress to be all satiny - I don't even like satin.  (I don't think anyone does.)  But it was the perfect color and had the body I needed for this dress.  That also makes this dress a little harder to wear.  I had originally envisioned a very casual summer dress in a cotton.  But since I used the wrong side of the satin maybe it doesn't look wicked fancy and I'm just overthinking it.


The white fabric is a Kona quilting cotton from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I read online that the best fabric to use for scallops is a tightly woven one made of natural fibers.  And the whole thing is lined with white rayon challis I ordered online from Hancock Fabrics.

Total Cost: $17.73
  • Coral Fabric: $3.99
  • White Fabric: $6
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Zipper: $1.75

I originally had a different white fabric.  It was some sort of satiny thing with a crazy name I've never even heard of.  So I had the whole dress sewn together and I had just understitched the lining and somehow I ended up with a run - like you get in pantyhose - all the way down the front of the bodice contrast.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown.  So I had to unpick everything and pull the whole dress apart and re-sew it.  It was traumatic.


It was impossible to get a good picture of this dress.  Even though I used the wrong side of the satin, it still reflected light like woah and made this dress look all wrinkly in the photos.  I tried to take a picture of the back and it looked so terrible that I can't even post it.  (There's an invisible zipper down center back.)  Also, these pictures don't do justice to the silhouette.  The best picture I could get where I feel like you can really "see" the dress is in my bedroom mirror:


So let's talk about fit issues.  This dress is a little tight across the hips.  By "a little tight" I mean the hips could probably be taken out an inch.  And the armscye feels tight, too.  Maybe it's cut too high or needs to be shaved off a bit.  But maybe it's because I am wicked sensitive to the way an armhole feels because that has always been my thing.  I am very disappointed that I ended up with these fit problems because I made a muslin and agonized over every detail for days with my Draping professor and everything was fine.  I would like the opportunity to make this again with some coral cotton I have in my stash.


Drafting the pattern for the scalloped hem was sort of complicated.  It involved math and drawing halves of scallops and tracing them onto paper.  My professor helped me and it was six months ago, so I can't remember all of the details.  But that means it will be hard to take out the hips because I will have to re-draft the scalloped situation which will not be fun.


There hasn't been a picture of Sox lately, but he was very much involved in the construction of this dress:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Crocheted Scalloped Top

And another month has passed since my last post.  I hate that.  I have six projects done and ready to be photographed.  Things have been busy at fashion school.  I showed four pieces in the fashion show at school this year and entered another competition. There is a sneak peek fashion show photo at the end of this post.


I finished this top at the beginning of February, but it was too cold to wear it until like last week.  The pattern is available online for free.  This top was easy and worked up very quickly.  The stitch pattern was fun to crochet.  This is the first warm weather top I have knitted/crocheted and I am excited to have a knitted/crocheted garment to wear when it's not negative 30 degrees.


I used Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight yarn in Rosehip.  The pattern calls for 100% acrylic yarn, but I decided to use a cotton/acrylic blend instead of 100% acrylic since this is a warm weather top and acrylic yarn would be too warm.

Total Cost: $14.95


I made some modifications to the pattern.  The pattern was for a 40" bust, but that just seemed excessively large. My gauge was a little small so I followed the directions for the 40" bust and ended up with a 36" bust.  You can check out my Ravelry Project Page here.


So this year was my Junior Year Fashion Show at school.  It was fun, but very stressful.  I have already posted about the two dresses on the right; the Design Wars/Project Pink Competition Entry and the Floral Skater Dress.  My fabulous friend/Jo-Ann Fabrics co-worker and the author of the blog Crash Into Common Time was kind enough to model my pink dress. The dress on the hanger was my final project for Draping class last semester (it's been too cold to take photos!) and I'm wearing a romper I whipped up for the show.


So in the near future there will be posts about the two fashion show garments and the competition I entered (I won Most Wearable, by the way!).

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: