It amazes me that I have had Grainline Studio’s Archer shirt pattern printed, taped and cut for over 2 years! I faltered at the step of pairing it with a fabric. Still better late than never. I finally used it for my December MCBN make. When I opened the package with the fabric, it immediately clicked for me that the twill weave cotton would be an Archer. I am mildly irritated with myself for taking so long to make this pattern but that’s something I want to tackle in 2019.
The thing I was most scared of sewing was smart work trousers for my husband. I have sewn him T shirts, jeans, hoodie tops, shorts, shirts, a coat; but trousers for work? That felt like out of my league. As the year has progressed I have been trying to push myself out of my comfort zones. I had to try it before the year was out. And here I am – feeling like I can finally call myself an advanced seamstress because not only have a made him trousers for work – they are the best fitting pair of trousers he has owned. Ever! Thats my November Minerva project. I am calling it my levelling up project (any World of Warcraft players here?) :-).
This is the fifth garment that I made for the SWAP2017 capsule – an endeavour which started in 2016! I did finish this in time for the April 2017 deadline but for some reason its taken its time to get to the blog.
The capsule plan was to have one statement-y dress.
There was a limit on how many patterns you could use – the max was 8 patterns for 11 garments. I used the Anna dress because it could be easily modified.
The trick was to find a fabric that I loved but that could go with all the other pieces. After much searching, I eventually landed on the Frida y Catarina fabric in a blue background on EBay. To say I fell for this fabric is an understatement. I freaking love this fabric and consequently the dress.
I have made the Anna dress three times before. I have not made it using a medium weight quilting cotton like this Alexander Henry fabric. Ruth’s Core Couture tutorial was a godsend. She shows with well-detailed instruction and rationale how to prevent neckline gaping that can be an issue with wide V necklines. You can check out the tutorial here – a must-read for anyone who has ever been exasperated with a neckline that won’t lay flat.
The results more than speak for themselves. I have since used that same approach on many more projects with great results.
When we went to the US last year for my FIL’s 70th birthday celebrations I took it along. Its one of what I like to call “The Magnificent 3” dresses. Whenever I wear any of those 3, I get a lot of compliments. I will probably write up a post about them and why I think they get so many compliments – advance spoiler – it is not about the dress per se. Anyway, I digress pictures.
The fabric is a border print and I was not keen to cut into the print. I cut the bodice on the cross grain so that the Frida print was only at the hem. The skirt pieces are rectangles with darts added. The darts matched up with the bodice darts. That created the A line shape of the skirt. I contemplated adding pockets but decided that the design lines were more important. My problem is that I do actually use my pockets heavily and there are some styles that look and feel odd to me when the pocket is in use.
The hem is exactly at the selvedge edge. I wanted the maximum length I could get. It used 3 meters of fabric with very little scraps. The benefit of quilting cottons like the Alexander Henry ones is that they do wash and keep the colours well. I imagine that in time, with more washes, the fabric will get softer. The thought brings a smile to my face as I hope to be wearing this dress for decades.
Last week on Saturday I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit in London – I believe that’s what prompted me to finally write about this dress on the blog. I am still processing my thoughts on the experience and will be writing a post about it soon.
Back to the SWAP2017 – I still have more of the garments to write about and those posts should be ready…..soonish :-).
In the meantime, I do have a video on my YouTube channel if you’d like to see this dress in motion.
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.
I have been feeling like I am in a rut of late. Though I love sewing, it’s been feeling a bit episodic. I felt a longing to shake things up and realised that I was seeking adventure in my sewing life. Enter adventure sewing. Here is an excerpt from my September post
I came across the term “sensation seeking” the other day. Sensation seeking is a trait we all have and includes the search for complex and new experiences; this month’s project is a perfect example of my sensation seeking trait. I have decided to call this “adventure sewing”. Let me start from the beginning….
This heatwave has been so good for our allotment. Berries have never sweeter, pumpkins have never grown as large, our bounty from the allotment is the best we have yet had in the 5 years of allotmenteering! It seemed only fitting that this would be the year that I finally made my OH some coveralls to protect his clothes when he does all the outdoor work. Here are some pictures from the allotment taken on Saturday and…..
Blue skies, bright shining sun, birdsong. I love summer, the light grants bright vibrant colours. This July we have been out at dawn and dusk to catch the perfect light for photographs. I love how the linen shirt I made for my July Minerva make is in harmony with the current beautiful weather we are experiencing here in the North of England. Its almost as if when I ordered the fabric 3 months ago, I also ordered the perfect weather to wear it in once finished!
June is quite possibly one of my favourite months of the year! All the plants in my garden and at our allotment are green, verdant and lush. If nature did a dance every month, June would be the crescendo of the dance executed with energy, aplomb and passion. This months project inspires such feeling in me – especially with the green jersey that we selected for the raglan sleeve tees I sewed up for Mr. SNS and junior. I also learnt a few interesting things about the heritage of the raglan sleeve which you might find interesting too…..
I made jeans for Mr SNS! So ridiculously proud of these as they have been a long time in my head. I think I overthink things sometimes because these were not as hard to make as I had made out in my head (SMH). Anyhow they are a big hit with the wearer so much so he did his own happy jump pose 🙂
Once I had selected the pattern the next challenge was finding the bright red yarn colour. Someone on Ravelry recommended Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton DK yarn. The yarn has a lovely lustre to it and it had a lipstick red shade that looked promising. I ordered several balls of different reds from various brands but this was the one that nailed it. Luckily they also had the black and white of the same yarn.
The next challenge was how to prevent bleeding. From the many posts that I read where people had knitted with red and white or black and white – there was a bleeding issue when the garment was washed. After ruminating on the issue for a while I thought that maybe I could try pre-washing the yarn before knitting to reduce any bleeding potential in the same way we prewash fabric for sewing.
Luckily the yarn comes in skeins. My first attempt was a bit of a travesty because I didnt do anything to prevent the yarn from tangling. On my second attempt, I loosely tied the skein at 4 different points so that I could easily reconstitute the skein.
The prewashing process involved filling the sink with hot water and soaking for about an hour, gently wringing the water out and repeating until the water ran clear. For the red this took approximately 4 soakings, the black took 6 soakings to run clear. I also did the white twice because I needed it to have a similar texture to the black and red.
After drying out the skeins I then had to wind them into yarn balls. There were a lot of online tutorials to help. I used a kitchen roll tube and spent several hours balling up the skein. It was tedious but I think it was worth it in the end.
I swatched with 3.75, then 3,5 but it was 3,25 that got the correct stitch gauge. I should have done some mods since the pattern calls for fingering 4 ply but my yarn was DK. However, I still do not understand these things so I went on ahead with the proviso that I would be trying it along the way to see what I need to change. On the whole this worked, I think I managed to get away with it :-).
This pattern knits up quite quick since it all stokinette stitch. It was also a great opportunity for me improve my Portuguese knitting skills. I think the fit is quite good. Yarn feels comfy against my skin.
The prewashing seems to have worked. When I washed this there was no bleeding.
And here I am wearing it last year.
The pattern instructions were very clear and well written. I learnt some new techniques like the saddle stitch for the raglan sleeve. It may not be the best but I had a great time knitting this. I’d have liked to do add in a HILA motif on the white section but my skills are not yet there. I am still very happy with this jumper.
Finally, I used just under 5 skeins of red and less than 1 skein each of black and white. The total cost of the yarn was £50.48. Not bad considering the inspiration retails at £300. Win!
Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internets. Until next time, happy knitting!
Peace and love,
Thanks for stopping by this corner of the interwebs.
I made another Burda 6602 T-shirt for my husband and he loves it! Its a fabric that he chose himself on the Minerva website. Unlike the first one I made ( Trekkie Tee Shirt), I didn’t use a contrast ribbing for the neckline. I quite like the look of all over same print. I am quite envious of this T-shirt and I suspect it will occasionally make its way to my side of the closet :-).