Thursday, February 14, 2019

I started this in 2016!

As promised, my Woodfords sweater was very close to completion and it is now DONE! Finally!

The only problem is that it's a bit on the too-long side. It really stretched out with wet blocking. I was able to tame the extra length somewhat by tossing it recklessly into the tumble dryer for a few minutes to finish the drying, and then steaming the heck out of it. However it is about 3cm (1.5") longer than the pattern schematic - mostly (to my surprise) above the waist braid. I'm not sure how that happened. I may shorten it, but I can tell you I won't be ripping back to that point. I'd just make the ribbed skirt portion shorter.

But otherwise I really like it.

Lisette skirt - needs work to work for me

I bought the Jalie Lisette skirt pattern while at PR Weekend, during which I also acquired a skirt length of an extremely stretchy reversible woven fabric. It had the required stretch factor and I threw caution to the winds.

Well, not completely. I realized that the skirt was going to be too tight as designed so I sized up by two sizes based on my hip measurement.

Initially I figured I would make the colour blocked version, using the white side for the CF panel.

I basted it together and tried it on, only to be disappointed by how extremely snug the skirt was, even after sizing up, and how much I disliked the white and black.

So it sat for several months. Eventually I realized I should sew it with the recommended seam allowances (6mm instead of 1cm) and that I should make it all-black. (FYI the extra 1.6cm did not make an appreciable difference to the fit.)

I finished it this week, but it's destined for my son's girlfriend. I hope she likes it!

I will try this pattern again but will definitely size up

Still catching up - brown Audrey dress

I made this dress a while ago - revisiting the Audrey pattern from MariaDenmark, which I first made in June. This dress looks very different from my first one due to the very sombre deep brown wool doubleknit I used.

I need a belt to cinch it in at the waist. I think I sewed the side seams of my first one in a bit.

Non-sewers would never guess these are the same dress.

Most people would never guess that this is really pajamas for work. SO COMFY!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What's happening in my sewing room?

On the sewing side, I am immersed in fitting experiments.

Just before Christmas, someone posted about ZOZO - a company whose slogan seems to be "custom-fit clothing for a size-free world". Now, The Sewing Lawyer does her own custom-fit clothing thanks very much and does not need to send away for custom fitted T shirts (???) on the internet. However, she figured the ZOZOSUIT was very much worth checking out.

This is a 2 piece set (footed leggings and long sleeved top) made from a thin black lycra fabric and printed all over with these strange dots. The website explains:

ZOZO output - 2019

Each ZOZOSUIT has more than 350 white dots, each of which is unique. These dots serve as fiducial markers, which are essential to our measuring process.

As you measure, the ZOZO app will take 12 photos of you (as you stand facing each our on a clock) and capture where each unique dot is located in space.

The App is free and I was able to get it to measure me successfully first try. I did two sets of measurements to see how accurate/consistent the system is. Once the app has finished it produces a cute diagram of your body which you can rotate on your phone screen. 

I think it needs supervision, because my arms are not so wildly different in circumference and length as ZOZO thought. If I was actually going to order clothes I would have to redo the process until I figured the measurements were perfect. 

CAESAR output - 1999
ZOZO is an up to date and much more accessible version of a measuring process I participated in 20 years ago. CAESAR (poster at right) was a survey of thousands of volunteers in North America and Europe done in the late 1990s. I cannot remember how I found out that the project was coming to my city but do remember being pretty keen to participate because I would get professionally done measurements and a picture of my 3D body scan. 

I made a spreadsheet of the data from the CAESAR scan and ZOZO - noting where things matched and where they did not. I also incorporated measurements that were done when I was using Pattern Master Boutique, a computer pattern drafting program. In part the non-matching is explained by years of body changes but it's also due to different undergarments (CAESAR measured over a compressing sports bra, for example) and variations in the measurement system. 

Pinned-together to check
the pattern-matching
Between the three sources of information I figured I had enough accurate data to finally order the Bootstrap Patterns dress form pattern that I won at Pattern Review weekend. 

Stash diving produced long strips of a beefy home-dec fabric (cotton I think, might have been a duvet cover project) which once fused is extremely stable. It will be an eye-catching dress form when it is done. I am amusing myself by trying to match the design as much as possible. 

So far I think the dress form is a little more buxom than my reality but I'll reassess as I sew, and adjust accordingly. 

I will be demolishing my ancient duct-tape double so I can reuse the stuffing and stand for my new dress form. It has served me well for many, many years. 

Oh yeah, I'm also testing some of the new patterns for Jalie again. So much fun! 

So far behind! Knitting edition

As usual I have a number of projects on the go, but little time to blog about them. Gotta rectify that!

I finished that machine knitted hat I was working on last time I blogged. It is the same concept as the lizard hat, but with improvements.

I found a better way to attach the two layers by machine.  For the lizard hat I grafted the stitches by hand, as per the original hand-knitting pattern, and the lower edge was a band of ribbing. The lower edge is a little indeterminate since it's just wherever the ribbing is folded. And it isn't very firm.

My improvement was to knit the two layers together using an 8 stitch wide strip knitted in the red yarn. Because stockinette rolls it creates an attractive round binding all by itself. The edge is firm and it make the hat very secure and easy to put on.

The outside is wool sock yarn and the inner lining is Woolease (acrylic from Michael's). The hat is super warm.

I had to put my machine away (visitors) and haven't had the energy to get it out again. But one of these days I'm going to knit matching mittens.

I've also resurrected a hand knitting project that I started (ahem) more than two years ago. It got sidelined by my broken wrist in 2017. However I made myself pick it up in the last six months to finish the sleeves and it is now ridiculously close to being done.

The pattern is Woodfords by Elizabeth Doherty. As I said before, this is a very complicated knit - no seams, top down, plenty of short rows. It's one of those patterns where you simply have to follow along because there is no overview. Despite my frustration at feeling I'm not in charge of my own project, I love many things about this project: the texture of the broken rib stitch and the fact that the ribbed skirt is the same pattern minus the purl rows; the corrugation of that ribbing, especially around the back neck; the braid rows at the back; the dropped shoulders and narrow sleeves. And the colour!

I've only got about 2cm left to knit at the lower edge and then all that will be left is to weave in the many ends generated by the complicated instructions, and block it.