Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's official - The Sewing Lawyer has hit SABLE

Intellectually, I knew it, but yesterday proved that I have internalized the truth.  I have more than enough fabric in my personal stash to last me the rest of my time here.

What caused this revelation?  The annual Fabric Flea Market.  For past devotees of this blog, you've read about this fabriganza before, in 2010 and 2011.  My camera didn't come along with me yesterday, but the above scene from last year is an accurate rendition, believe me.  Hundreds of happy shoppers, the buzz of conversation, punctuated by squeals of delight and laughter as new finds and old friends are located.

Much of The Sewing Lawyer's extensive stash, including fabric, notions, patterns and miscellaneous tools, was found at this annual event (yesterday was the 19th).  Every year, I spend the Friday before sorting through donations (this is a fundraiser event), which leads to the perk of being in the right place at the right time to scoop those delicious things that, if only I had known it, I had been looking for all those years.

It was different this year.  Not only have my friend G and I graciously and apparently successfully eased out of the role of being "The Organizers", we both left the venue early with (in my case anyway) very little in the way of stash acquisition, and pocketbook mostly intact.  And not exhausted, another very good thing!

The stash remains ample.  I did have to go to a real store to buy some more thread, but NO MORE FABRIC!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meh - a knitting project

Back in late July I mentioned I was swatching for another knitting project, the Vitamin D cardigan.  This is a hugely successful pattern if the  numbers on Ravelry are to be believed.  Then, there were just over 2,300 projects; now another 175 have joined the throng.

 "Look Ma, short rows!"
Including mine.

I'm hoping this grows on me.  I like the drapiness of it (a ColourMart linen and silk blend of unknown proportions) and hope the neutrality of its colour makes it a useful addition to my wardrobe.

Its fibre, shape and style probably make it more a spring to summer garment than a fall to winter one but I'm wearing it now on this sunny and somewhat unseasonably warm October day, but predict it will soon be packed away to be a surprise sometime around next April.

More details on Ravelry.

By the way, that red knitted top featured in my late July post stretched a great deal after I washed it.  It is at least 4" longer than it was in my July photos, and looser widthwise too.  The neckline became impossibly open.  I have prevented it from being completely unwearable by putting a line of crocheted chain stitch behind the neck ribbing to pull it in, which has the effect of supporting the weight of the whole top and keeping it from sagging too terribly.  I may later have to do something similar to keep the armscye from stretching out any more.  This is the last time I will ever knit with rayon yarn!  It's just too heavy for its own good.

I have also, you may be glad to know, been making progress on my latest sewing project.  I'm loving the topstitching!

I'm not following Vogue's instructions, which want you to complete the bodice, the midriff band, and the skirt in the round before sewing them all together (fully lined), with the last step being ... putting in an invisible zipper at CB.  I'd rather sew in the zipper flat, thanks very much.  That means I have assembled the back (a view of one side to the left) and will sew side seams last.

All well and good, but the overlap at CF bodice requires one to have the inner bodice finished (including at least part of the lining) before attaching it to the front midriff band.  I'm currently working on the topology of how to accomplish this.  In my mind I think I can make it work.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

One project finished, another one started

I put on a vaguely matching hat and took a lot of very bad pictures of myself wearing my new cape.  For some reason my camera had a terrible time focusing on it.

Cooler weather is just around the corner.  Even though this is just one layer of wool with one layer of Bemberg lining, it's warm.

I feel bad for not having many wonderful pictures of this subtle garment to show you. Here's one more that wasn't too bad.

In other news, today I cut out a dress!  It's Vogue 1183, a pattern I purchased and muslined three whole years ago (click to see my muslin and read about the first round of pattern adjustments).

Originally, I wasn't satisfied with the fit, and that's why I set it aside.  It was too tight, too short, and (even though I'm hardly busty) the bodice didn't seem big enough.  Plus there was some strange pulling where the bodice front pieces overlap and attach to the midriff piece, and the front skirt was too long and pooched out.  Checking the reviews for this dress on PatternReview, I notice that almost everyone had bodice issues, and many chose to sew through all layers at the bodice overlap to prevent it from gaping open.

Trying on the ancient muslin again today (after losing a few inches in the hips) it fits a lot better and I felt it was time to tackle the structural problems.

I made some more changes to the pattern today, including lengthening the front bodice pieces slightly, taking in the princess seams at the bust, just above the midriff, and narrowing the midriff to match.  I also took some length out of the skirt front below the midriff piece.  And I added 4 cm at the hem because the unhemmed length seemed about where I would want the finished skirt to land.

I'm using some gorgeous light suiting purchased many years ago on a flying trip to The Wool House in Toronto.  If I remember correctly, it's wool and cashmere, and it's light as a feather.  Because I want a bit more weight to this dress without stiffening it even slightly, I'm going to underline the wool with a soft cotton shirting, and I will line the dress with Bemberg.  All from stash.  I even had the right thread colour in my extensive collection.  Stay tuned.