Saturday, November 9, 2013

Knit Big Bow Sweater

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

The pattern is the Toulouse Pullover originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of Knitscene Magazine.

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

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Knitted Owl Sweater

When I first discovered Ravelry, this was the first pattern I stumbled across.

I have loved this sweater since the day I saw it over a year and a half ago, which is weird because I HATE birds.  Like really.  Terrified.  I won't buy anything with a bird on it and I've been known to cry on the subway when a bird comes too close.  But this owl sweater just spoke to me, for whatever reason.  I tried to fight it, but in the end I had to make it.

Total Cost: $32.16
  • Yarn: $27.45
  • Buttons: $4.71

I used Cascade 128 Tweed bulky weight yarn.  I used a lighter colored yarn so that the owls would pop.  I chose Cascade 128 yarn for this project for it's great stitch definition.  I decided to use a tweed yarn because I knew it wouldn’t distract from the owls but it would add some visual interest to the rest of the sweater.

It's the same yarn I used for my Pike Place sweater but in a different color (obviously).  I love tweed yarn and I'm always on the lookout for it, but it's usually so expensive.  I got this yarn pretty cheap - probably because it has been discontinued - in three different colors from Webs, a yarn store in Northampton, MA.  (Side note: If you are at all interested in yarn, you must check out their website or visit the store.  They have sooooo much yarn!  I mean, their URL is

The details are all on my Ravelry Project Page.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Knitted Embroidered Floral Cardigan

I drafted my first knitting pattern!  It's a basic cardigan with some embroidered flowers on the front.

I used Caron Simply Soft worsted weight yarn for the body of the sweater and bits and pieces of yarn I had laying around for the embroidery.

Total Cost: $6.64
  • Yarn: $4.64
  • Buttons: $2

It was inspired by this cardigan I found on Pinterest:

The sweater itself came together very quickly, but I underestimated how long the embroidery would take and how little I would actually want to do it.  I made my mom do all the French knots and sew on the buttons because I couldn't face it...thanks Mom!

This cardigan is by no means perfect.  I think I picked up too many stitches around the neckline because it lies kind of weird.  And I wouldn't mind if the sleeves were like an inch longer.  And I suspect I made the waist too small but I'm not sure because it doesn't button because I made the buttonholes too big.  When I tried to use satin stitch to make them smaller it just sort of made the front button band look sloppy.  At least it looks good open.

I used little pearl buttons from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I think they give the cardigan a vintage feel.

I used two books to help me design this cardigan: Knitwear Design Workshop and Knitting Pattern Essentials.  If anyone is interested in reading more about my experience drafting my own pattern I would be happy to write another more in-depth post about it.  So leave me a comment or something.

This is my Turquoise Striped Dress.  It's one of the very first things I ever made.  (It's actually made pretty well except for the zipper, which is sort of a mess.)  It is somehow appropriate for every occasion and looks good with all of my shoes.  What else can a girl ask for in a dress?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Colette Sorbetto

I finally have a sewing project to post about!  I started this three months ago - ew - and I finally picked it back up and finished it.

I used the extra yard of fabric leftover from my Turquoise Polka Dot Dress.  Ya know, using the whole cow or whatever.

Total Cost: $3.78

This started out as a Colette Sorbetto, but I made a lot of changes.  There is a seam down the back because I didn't have enough fabric.  Also, the armscye didn't fit right so I let out the shoulder seams and when that didn't work I let out the back seam and when that didn't work I just chopped off the fabric under my armpit.  I probably should've just drafted my own pattern, but I was feeling lazy.

At first I thought this top was too short, but I think the length is perfect.  And I like how it kicks out at the bottom.

I am all about rick rack and I've been itching to use some.  I used almost a whole 2.5 yard package on the hem and the armholes so I had to buy another package for the neck, which was a bummer.  I wasn't totally sure what to do with the raw edges of the rick rack so I dabbed on some Fray Check and hid them the best I could.  If anyone has any experience working with rick rack and knows of a better way to do this, I would love some input.

I used WashAway Wonder Tape to hold the rick rack in place.  I don't think I could have done it without this stuff.  For the armholes and the neckline, I finished the edges with single fold bias tape then I stuck the rick rack in place with the Wonder Tape and I sewed it on.

I hand stitched the hem, stuck the rick rack on with Wonder Tape, and hand stitched it on.

I won't lie, the rick rack under my armpits isn't super comfortable.  But I DGAF because I love this top.  Beauty is pain, my friends.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Knitted Diamond Lace Sweater

For those of you sick of reading about my knitting are S.O.L.  I was going to include all the fashion-related deets of my trip to England but then I got lazy.  I didn't actually buy any fabric while I was there, but I went to two fashion museums and a fashion exhibit at Kensington Palace featuring dresses worn by the Queen, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana.  It was all pretty awesome.  I will post pictures at some point.

Anyway, I knitted my first real full-length pullover!  How exciting.  All the details are on my Ravelry Project Page.

Total Cost: $23.92

The sleeves don't look so long and sloppy in real life.  They're a teensy bit longer than they need to be, but not as crazily long as they look in these pictures.

I used Knit Picks Shine Sport sportweight yarn in Pistachio.  I'm really into mint right now.  And I'm hopping on the oversized sweater train.  I like to think I'm pretttttty on trend.

Sox also digs this sweater.  He slept on it all day while it was blocking.

He also flopped all over it.

Andddd he tried to eat it while I was knitting it.  What a turd.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Simone's Kelly Skirt

I made my dear friend Simone a Kelly Skirt for her birthday....a year ago.  I kept forgetting to blog about it.  I wish I had a picture of her wearing it.

I bought the fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics (of course).  My favorite part of this project was picking out the fabric.  Simone and I have different taste, so it was fun to choose something that she would like.  (I understand that not everyone loves turquoise, polka dots, and pink floral prints as much as I do.)

I used green thread for the topstitching, which I think is a really cute detail, if I do say so myself.

I pre-washed this fabric before I sewed it and I ran it through the wash again after I finished the skirt to get off all the markings and what not, and the colors ran.  There are red splotches all over place.  I don't know what would cause that to happen.  It made me pretty mad and it makes me pretty mad to think about it now, actually.

On a happier note, I'm going to England with my family!  My father is from there and we are going to London and then going to visit his sisters in Dorset.  My mother and I have some big fashion and fabric related plans, which I am wicked excited about.

In regards to recently finished projects, I finished a knitted cardigan weeks ago but got lazy about taking a picture and then my father left for England with his camera, so no pictures of that until after the trip.  I also have a crocheted cardigan in the works but ran out of yarn with a half of a sleeve left to go and I'm waiting for someone on Ravelry to send me some more.  Here's a little sneak peek of the crocheted cardigan:

 For those of you who are sick of reading about knitted and crocheted projects, I'm sorry.  Warm weather brings out the knitter in me, I guess.  I am hoping to finish two partially completed sewing projects this summer before school begins, so I promise there will be some sewing posts soonish.