Saturday, December 10, 2011

Uh oh - too many projects

And it's not because The Sewing Lawyer's sewing room has been transformed into Santa's workshop this year.  Oh no.  Last year I was busy as the proverbial bee, secretly refashioning all those bits into fun presents for the entire family.  This year, I've got too many ideas on the go, and sorry, they're all for me.  I'm trying to convince myself that doing a bit at a time on them is an overall advance, but it may be well into 2012 before any of these see the light of day.

Project No. 1 - future leather jacket

You've already seen prototype no. 1 for this - my quilted curling jacket.   They say that a "wearable muslin" should be made up in fabric similar in hand and weight to your intended "good" version.  Well, on that theory, this jacket was a big fail as a muslin.  The knitted version is stretchy and puffy while the intended "fabric" - luscious lamb leather - is sleek and firm.  Apart from the too-low armscyes, I couldn't tell if the pattern would turn out well in leather.  And I wasn't certain if the armscyes would really be too low, if made in a fabric that wasn't prone to stretching in the length.

But the curling jacket did pass the "I think I like the style well enough" test.  So I made a real muslin out of some hideous green woven stuff I found a bolt of at a thrift store.

I'm still liking it.  And it turns out that raising the armscyes by about 2cm was a good call.  But this muslin shows the things that still need adjusting.

I over-adjusted at the hip when I graded out to a size 40.  I'm going to remove the extra width at least at the side seams.

The neck seam is about 1cm too high.  I have a forward neck.  This won't matter a bit when the jacket is open, as I'd probably wear it about 98% of the time.  But I'm going to lower the neck, and lengthen the collar accordingly.

The bust darts are too long.  This could be a marking/sewing error.  I'll sew them shorter in my good version.

The sleeves are a tiny bit too short, though I already took out my customary 2.5cm.

As you can see better in this view of the back, the shoulders are a tiny bit too wide.  I am going to think about whether to adjust the pattern, or (easier) fix this with some shoulder structure in the jacket, with minimal padding.

I really like how the seam on the front of the sleeve lines up with the princess seam.

I'm going to plan the zipper placement properly and put a seam in the right side facing and the left jacket front, rather than apply the zipper on top of these pieces.  I have deluxe Riri zippers for this jacket, and even though the front one will be partly hidden, the shorter ones in the front sleeve seams will be on full display.

I am going to retrace this with my adjustments, and 1cm seam allowances.  I will make a pattern piece for every single piece, i.e. one for each of the left and right sides, as taught by Kathryn Brenne.

Project No. 2 - Leather mittens

I've made leather mittens before.  But the ones I've got planned will up the ante, in terms of the complexity of the pattern.  

I recommend Make your own gloves by Gwen Emlyn-Jones. I've had a copy for years but confess to not really having examined it before being challenged to replicate these worn-out mittens.   There are patterns in the back, in several sizes.

I mocked up a pattern, which I enlarged since my material is a little thick.  I then made a muslin out of fleece scraps.  Frankly I had my doubts about the thumb, which looked so much bigger than the hole it was to go into.  But it was absolutely the perfect size, and the muslin turned out pretty well, as you can see here.  

These are sewn together by hand - a simple running stitch - but they go together surprisingly quickly.  I have some quality time with a glover's needle ahead of me.

Project No. 3 - Knitting

I'm well into my version of this great sweater/jacket.  The pattern is available free here (in English) and here (in original Finnish).

I'm making it in a gorgeous teal colour.

Pictures to come.  Or check out my progress on Ravelry.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Introducing Very Cherry Slouchy ... the hat that knit itself

The Sewing Knitting Lawyer has a new problem - in fact it may be an addiction.

This is such a surprise.  As I have mentioned here before, I used to knit.  But that was (most recently) in the 80s!   A few years back I thought I'd make a little sleeveless shell and bought some yarn and started ... and stopped.  Not interesting, too slow.  I figured my knitting career was over.

But now, Wow!  I can't seem to put the darned needles down.  What is happening?

Anyway, I am signed up on Ravelry (as Kayyy) and this is my most recent FO.  The pattern is one of the thousands of free ones, and it is a fast project.  I bought the yarn (Diamond Yarn Merino Superwash Aran) last Sunday afternoon.  By bedtime that night the hat was 6" tall.  I finished it on Thursday and wore it Friday.

Ready to knit the I-Cord
I love the way the pattern spirals up to the pointy top of the slouchy hat, and turns into a perfectly tubular I-Cord.  For someone who had never knit I-Cord before, doing so was ridiculously satisfying.

There is supposed to be a bead on the end of the I-Cord but for now, I've just tied it in a little knot.

My very cherry slouchy hat keeps my ears warm.  And it doesn't look too terrible on either.  The colour is more accurate in the other pictures.

This afternoon I bought some Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian highland wool) to make this sweater. It's a delicious turquoisey-blue colour.

It promises to feed my new addiction for more than a week.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mohair Sweater Refashion - Before


This thrifted sweater is made of lovely stuff - 70% mohair, 30% nylon.  It's a beautiful colour.  But it's gigantic on me, albeit labelled as a medium.

And the details of it are hideous.  (As is this picture of me.  Yikes!)

The body is reverse stockinette stitch, which I do not care for. (The smooth jersey face is hidden and the purl bumps are on the outside.)

The collar, cuffs and lower edge each end in a length of (right-side out) stockinette stitch, which forms a curl, and then a short length of ribbing to cinch the garment in.  Yick.

I considered trying to unravel the sweater but in order to ensure that this turns into something wearable in my lifetime, I have pretty much decided to take it apart and treat it as fabric.

I'd love to turn the sweater into this top from the November, 2011 Burda Magazine.  There is not enough of it, big though it is, to cut the two fronts Burda asks for.  Though, maybe, I could cut a partial inner front?   Hmmmmm.

Any other ideas?