Finished Object: Coline

My last hat of 2009 was Coline.  I saw it on {a black pepper} and the knit combined with her always gorgeous photography made this jump onto my list.  She has such wonderfully intricate sweater patterns that I would love to try but alas my knitting has now been relegated to things I can finish quickly (i.e. not sweaters) so I will have to settle for her rather extensive and lovely hat collection

Yarn: Queensland Llama Seta
Inspiration: Coline (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 176 yards (2 balls)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s Cable Cast On.  Knit 1×1 ribbing using US5 instead of stockinette
Enjoyment Factor: 9

The Good:

  • Yet another stashbusting exercise.  This one was a little less of a stashbust as I had allocated this yarn for sale, but because I loved the yarn as a hat with my slouchy copycat hat I decided to steal a few balls before I put my final count of yarn up.  Good decision on my part 🙂
  • The pattern is very well written and produced a wonderful hat.  I just love how the inside of each bubble is a different pattern

The Bad:

  • I really wanted a slouchy hat and this pattern just seems a bit stiff for the “just keep knitting and it will become slouchy” pattern modification I have been doing to the hats.  Unlike the other hats I blocked this one rather hard to get the slouch and it seems to have worked out…sorta.

The Ugly:

  • I got nothin’

Sorry for the rather concise blog post on this one, but I am super tired and need to get to bed.  This going back to work after semi-retirement (a.k.a. 16 days off) is for the birds 😦

And So it Begins…2010

This is the way the 2010 begins
This is the way the 2010 begins
This is the way the 2010 begins
Not with a bang but a whisper.

-adapted from TS Elliot

That is exactly how I have felt with the coming of 201o. It is just snuck up on me and silently, quietly, peacefully transitioned me from yesteryear to a new decade.  Unlike last year I spent my New Year’s Eve quietly at home celebrating East Cost style with a personal toast at 9 p.m.  Although I can’t say I am going into 2010 with lots of gusto I am trying to go in with commitments to myself.  It is nice to know that 2010 is already looking as though it will make a sizable dent in my 101 in 1001 which is only 10% complete as of today.  It is also nice that I feel as thought I am at peace.  I hope that will stay throughout the next 365 days.

Speaking of 365 or 366 for 2010 I have started up again.  I don’t know if they will all be portraits or just pictures or what but I do miss the chronicalling of the year.  Imagine if I had had the pictures from 10 years ago. WOW!  However, I do have some great memories that I hope to make into a photobook (yet another of my 101 goals).

Oh and since this is a crafty blog afterall.  I also made a DIY Ringlight to get the shot above.  It was quick easy and I absolutely love the look of ring lights.   I do need to make another as the tube circumference was smaller than my lens.

Anyhoo, as is customary at the end of the year here is my 2009 wrap up.  Not much for 365 days worth of crafting but it was all great. My favorite item of 2010 has to be my Burda maxi dress.  I can’t WAIT to make at least two more of those for the warm weather.

1. Gretel, 2. Butterick 6881, 3. Fabric Covered Moleskins, 4. Butterfly Collage, 5. Clapotis, 6. Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-116, 7. Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-118, 8. Peacock Collection ‘09: BWOF 02-2009-112, 9. Sequin Tree, 10. Wallpaper Decorated Ikea Chest, 11. Slouchy Copy Cat Hat, 12. Jane, 13. Stripey Slouchy Glittery Beret, 14. Wallpaper Accent for my Sewing Table, 15. My First Woven Scarf, 16. Sewing Machine Cover, 17. Click Camera Case, 18. Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pots

Here is to more crafting in my future CRAFT ROOM in 2010!

Finished Object: Stripey Slouchy Glittery Beret

This little slouchy beret was totally spur of the moment.  I was combing through my yarn stash and started winding some skeins of miscellaneous yarns that just looked messy.  During my hunt I found some leftover Microspun from at least 2 or 3 years ago and a skein of Glitterspun that I obviously had no idea what to do with.  Definitely part of the “what were you thinking” era of yarn buying.  Anyhoo…I had been wanting a black hat for a while but didn’t want to purchase more yarn.  Alone they were not enough to make a hat…at least so I thought…but together I give you the Stripey Slouchy GLITTERY Beret.

Yarn: Microspun and Glitterspun in Black
Inspiration: Stripey Slouchy Beret (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 100 yards of Microspun and Glitterspun100.8 yards (little less than 1 ball of both)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s Cable Cast On.  Used smaller needles as I have no US7 16″ circulars.  Used a 4×4 alternating stripe pattern
Enjoyment Factor: 8

The Good:


  • The ULTIMATE stash buster.  Two yarns destine to the bottom of the stash bucket find new life in simple beret pattern. Who knew?
  • I finally have a black hat…whoopee.  It has been worn quite a few times already.
  • The glittery yarn gives it a little pizazz without getting too glam.  I specially like how the center ends with the glitterspun
  • Easy pattern….it is stockinette afterall

The Bad:


  • Microspun is not a hearty yarn so I don’t know how long this hat will live.  And OMG is it splitty!
  • It is a little more limp that I might have liked but that leads back to the lack of body in the microspun.  I had to use some shirring elastic doubled to ensure that the ribbing did not lose its elasticity.  However, this is not a bad idea for most hats.
  • I still have a little more of this dang yarn.  It might find its way to the trash rather than back in the stash…gasp!

The Ugly:


  • Black is very hard to photograph…LOL!
  • I dislike stockinette stitch only a little less than garter stitch.  The monotony is almost unbearable.  Too bad it produces such utilitarian garments.  Guess I just have to suck it up 🙂

Finished Object: Jane

This is the second hat in my Mad Hatter Phase.  I absolutely fell in love with the hat when I saw it.  Not necessarily the gorgeous photography or the simplicity of the pattern but THAT HAT!! I had to have it as it was exactly. Low and behold I had a skein of Old Gold in stash.  Bingo!  My copycat Jane was born

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in Old Gold
Inspiration: Jane (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 6 for the ribbing, size 8 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 200 yards (little less than 1 ball)
Modifications: Used smaller needles as I have no 7 or 9 16″ circulars, casted on 90 stitches to compensate
Enjoyment Factor: 10

The Good:


  • Super simple pattern that was made better with the doubled brim.  I loved it in the picture but while I was knitting it I started having reservations.  I even considered cutting it and making it a single thickness brim but once done and on my head it was love!
  • Stash Busting once again!! Hat the exact colorway in stash.  It was meant to be
  • I like sewing/knitting into my caston edge.  I think it is super fun.  Glad I got to do it here.

The Bad:


  • Who likes paying for patterns?!  However, this one is worth it.  Not necessarily because it is complicated rather I just like the entire presentation of it.  Hell, presentation is a huge part of what made Apple so successful 🙂  For that alone this pattern had me at hello (btw I hate that movie and don’t really like renee zellwegerthat much either…lol)
  • The back sticks up a bit but that might have been due to my smaller needles making a stiffer fabric plus not blocking it.  I will get to that as soon as I don’t want to have it on my head…that may be a while 😀

The Ugly:

  • My pictures of my knitting lately.  Kinda creepy sans face…LOL!

Yet another successful hat done.  Two more to show and then on to the WIPS!

Finished Object: Slouchy Copycat Hat

Having loved the slouchy hat my sister bought me from Nordstrom’s last year, I knew that slouchy hats were going to be in my wardrobe for the winter months.  Little did I know that my prophecy was quite an understatement as I am in love with the slouchy hat look.  So much so that I have been in a hat making frenzy as of late.  This is the first  of 4 hats that have come off the needles this season.  This is truly an amazing feat as it nearly DOUBLES my knitted output for the year!! LOL!  Ah well, I will take it where I can get it 🙂

Yarn: Queensland Collection Llama Seta
Inspiration: Slouchy Copy Cat hat (Raverly Link Here)
Needles: Size 5 for the ribbing, size 6 needles for the rest
Yardage: approx. 185 yards (2.1 balls)
Modifications: Used Ysolda’s cable cast on method
Enjoyment Factor: 10

The Good:

  • I absolutely LOVED this pattern.  Quick and easy but with a look that looks a bit more complicated than it truly was.
  • Stashbusting!  Given hats do not make THAT much of a dent when you are a yarn hoarder, but once again I will take what I can get.  Two balls out of stash…hooray!  Especially since they are scratchy against the skin due to the silk strands so it made the perfect hat.

  • The ribbing.  I used Ysolda’s cable cast on and I don’t think that I will ever go back.  This cast-on produces a nice stretchy, neat edge to the hat.  Absolute perfection.

The Bad:

  • I did start this pattern with the cast on and needles called for but once I was into the pattern I noticed that the yarn, although worsted as the pattern called for, was just not working right.  So I tore it out, used the cable cast on, and went down to size 6 needles resulting in perfection!

The Ugly:

  • None

I will definitely be making this hat again in the future.  Of the 4 hats I have made so far I think this is the MOST perfect, but the others are good too 🙂

The Voodoo/Sequin Tree

When I saw the sequin tree tutorial over on Centsational Girl I knew I had to make one.  How could I resist?!  The colors were the same as my Christmas decor and it had BLING!! I have to say I do love myself some bling…LOL!  Plus I had the cones in my crafty arsenal already and was itching for an instant gratification project.  So during my Black Friday adventures at JoAnn’s (believe me I am not crazy…JoAnn’s is a pretty easy in and out in the wee hours of the morning…20 minutes tops), I remembered about the sequin tree and bought a few packs of sequins and a 350 pack of pins.   Right after I got home I set about making the tree thinking I would have it finished in a day or two.  3 hours later I only had three rows at the bottom.  Hmmm…curious…the picture didn’t look that cumbersome. 5 hours later…what the heck this is taking forever! 6 hours later with a crick in my neck I finally decided to look back at the tutorial.

So first, let’s recap some key things in the tutorial that I did not bother to read or just did not sink in.

“It’s a simple, yet time consuming process..”

“Styrofoam cone or ball – small cones (around 8″ tall)”

“Sequin…8mm”

“Beads…4mm”

“…and you’ll need a ton of pins…”

Next, let’s recap my mindset and my supplies

“…itching for an instant gratification project.”

Styrofoam cone – around 12″ tall

Sequin…5mm

Beads…2.5mm

Pins…550

As you can see the math does not add up to instant gratification.  Instead it added up to sore appendages, assembly line style repetitiveness, and lot and LOTS of patience.  I did get a rhythm going that sped the process and since I had resigned myself to this being a process project I worked in spurts instead of killing myself to get it done.  I did have to make a few runs back to JoAnn’s for pins but all in all the assembly was just as the tutorial had suggested “…simple, yet time consuming…”

So the final supply total was

Styrofoam cone – One around 12″ tall

Sequin – 2 pkgs blue, 2 pkgs green 5mm sequins

Beads – 1 pkg 2.5mm beads

Pins – 2,000!!!!!!!!


Nope, you didn’t read that wrong.  It took me over two THOUSAND pins to finish this tree! TWO THOUSAND!!  This my friends was a labor of love or masochism..you decide.  It took me 1 week of off and on pinning to finish my voodoo/sequin tree.  Meticulously sticking the poor styrofoam cone so that the sequins overlapped juuuussst right.  I even added a dab of quick dry tacky glue because I decided that if I was going to go through the pain it better last FOREVER!  When I got to the top of the cone it became a bit more cumbersome as there were so many pins in such a small area that you had to angle them in juuuust right to find available space.

Now all that said let’s do another recap

Do I love my tree? – Yes, it is all the bling I had hoped for.  Plus you can use it on someone as a massage tool as the pins make it feel nice when grasped or as a bludgeoning tool since it is pretty heavy.

Could I have bought something similar at the store? – Sure…but we all know that crafting is about the activity not the cost or time…OBVIOUSLY!

Would I do it again? – Yes and No.  Would I do THIS size again NO.  But I am obviously a masochist as I have already started another with the RIGHT sized materials.

Call me a glutton for punishment…but look at the BLING! 🙂

Old Lady Update presents…Weaving!

Woven Noro Silk Garden Scarf

  • Yarn:
    • Warp – Noro Silk garden (1 ball)
    • Weft – Noro Silk garden (little less than 1 ball)
  • Length: about 72″ (not counting fringe)
  • Width: 5″
  • Loom: 16″ Ashford Rigid Heddle Knitter’s Loom
  • Dents Per Inch: 7.5

So after my hectic week of travel, work, and team training, I finished the week off with an all day weaving class at the new and wonderful Yarn Lady.

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The class started at 9:30am although the other three students were already there and setting up. I on the other hand had no loom of my own so I was the lucky recipient of the teacher’s attention as an example for the class and received a lot of personalized assistance due to my need to finish the scarf by the end of class.

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Despite all the help it still took me every available minute of the class to finish my scarf. Phew!

Woven Noro Silk Garden Scarf

Our teacher was one of the best I have ever had and she infused the class with a wonderful energy of excitement and creativity. I loved her samples that she brought in and the enthusiasm she had in creating yarn pairing throughout the class to keep us thinking.

Woven Noro Silk Garden Scarf

The new store was wonderfully decorated in a more contemporary fiber arts direction which definitely appealed to me.  Their selection has also improved greatly.  It has been a long time since I have wanted to buy yarn but this store struck a cord with me.  Resistance may be futile!

Woven Noro Silk Garden Scarf

Through all of this I came away with a new fiber love. I haven’t been this excited about a new hobby since I learned how to knit. I fought the urge to buy a loom but kept checking patterns and sites for potential deals. It was obviously kismet because I found a great deal on eBay for the loom and stand. It came on Tuesday, oct 26 th but it took me until Saturday to summon up the time and courage to get it warped.  The warping had some issues because I picked the wrong dent reed which kept catching the slubs on one of my warping yarns.  After I finally got going, with only 24″ left, one of my warp strings broke and I cannot wrap my head around fixing it.  Guess I will have to wait for this Fridays social weaving to get some info from the ladies.  Until then I leave you with a picture of my first warping.

My First Warping

Talk to you soon!

Peacock Apron & CathrineHolm Pots

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

My obsession with Cathrineholm has finally been satisfied to a sufficient enough level for me to refocus my obsessive nature back to decorating. However, the amazing colors have now saturated all areas of my creative mind and are popping up all over.  One direct result of this infusion of color is my new peacock apron. This apron is a combination of the McCall’s Vintage Apron 3979 and the waistband directions from the apron in In Stitches.

Peacock Apron

The fabric was one I have had in my stash for some time.  I loved it and wanted to make it into a skirt, but with just a little over a yard I knew that I was never going to fly.  So I waited for inspiration which came via my CathrineHolm pots and their combination of blue, green, and orange.  Through them I finally decided that my future fancy kitchen would need a fancy apron to don while making my culinary masterpieces.

Peacock Apron & Cathrine Holm Pot

Now I have already shown you my green and yellow pots but these are my latest and potentially the last additions to my set.

Cathrine Holm Pots - Blue Three pot set

The blue set was an ebay buy.  I was lusting after a yellow set, but that went by the wayside.  Fueled with ebay adrenaline I spotted these and bid.  I am so glad I won these even though they were not my first choice.  I love the depth of color and the fact that they are helping me to expand into other areas of color.

Cathrine Holm Fondue Pot

I found this fondue pot at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market in NY.  I bought it for 5 bucks!! There was a yellow pot there too but it was pretty beat up.  This find was the highlight of my NYC shopping trip!  It has a chip on the other side but for 5 bucks I was not going to get all indignant about it 🙂

BTW…thank you all for your wonderful suggestions for NYC! I didn’t have much time so a lot of sights went unseen but I will give you the lowdown via a future post.

Week in Chic: 10/9

Heh, just realized I jumped into the future last week as it actually said 10/9 in the title before I changed it 🙂

Anticipating… A great time in New Jersey/New York due to all the wonderful ideas!!  Thank goodness for blogs too because I just found out that I am going to NY on the first Yarn Crawl of the City!  I hope to visit a few while I am there but neither my mom or my aunt are knitters so I don’t want to bore them.  Between Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, Housing works thrift stores (various locations), Purl Soho, and Mood that is a pretty busy schedule for only 1.5 days of shopping in NY.  The rest will be quality time with the extended family.

Oh and I still need some help with can’t miss NJ/NY food choices too.

If you know of any good places to eat near any of the locations I stated above please do tell.  If you have an eatery suggestion that is not near any of these locations but is so good I need to make the journey, please share that too as the schedule is still pretty flexible.

Loving… My new Cathrineholm pot…soon to be POTS!! I got my first one and the quality of this pot is fantastic!! So the fact that it looks gorgeous is just icing on the cake.    These are not show piece pots though so I will be scoping some recipes that call for dutch ovens so I can giggle to myself now that I actually have one.

Savoring… the new Fall-ish weather.  I love it when it is chilly but not bitterly cold and that time is now.  I am dreaming of stews, crusty bread, and knitting.  LOVE the fall.

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Knitting… The Heathered Hoodie Vest.  I know I said that before but now I have proof!!  The yarn is so yummy.  I am loving this knit.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side in Cabinet

Sewing… some quicky projects such as my new reversible sewing machine cover.  I used some Orla Kiely tea towels I found at GW Consignment for $1.99, some fusible fleece, and some leftover ribbon I had from a gift.  Process: I fused fleece to orange side, trimmed everything up, sewed the sides with ribbon in seam, turned inside out, sewed bottoms together.  A few hours later and I had a quick cover for my machine that lives in the cabinet.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Back Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Side with ties Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Recyling the tag to spruce up the solid side

(Click for larger view)

I plan on making another fully enclosed cover for my portable machine and serger.

I am also feeling another Weekender Bag.  I have this great upholstery weight fabric from JoAnn’s that is just screaming to be a Weekender.  Better get out my oyster shucking gloves to fend off all the pin pricks.

Dreaming… about work and my co-workers which is a sign that I am really stressed out.  Hope this vacation gets me back into restful sleep.

Planning… some wallpaper DIY projects.  I got some wallpaper samples from Hygge and West.  One will be to decorate the inside of my sewing cabinet.

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Here is what it SHOULD look like…kinda.

table brown tweet

Also I got this great bird print sample that fits perfectly on a future jewelry box project.

Alright so it is time to get packing I will talk to you all soon!! Have a great weekend

Peacock Collection ‘09: BWOF 02-2009-112

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Pattern: BWOF 02-2009-112

Pattern Description: This shaped jacket with contrasting print is as classy as a fitted jacket and as sporty as a trench coat. The sewing pattern comes in petite/half sizes because this style is particularly suitable for shorter women.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 17-21.  Increased to a 23

Fabric Used: Canary Yellow Stretch Cotton Sateen from Downtown LA

Notions Used: Buttons!

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 23. Eliminated the buttons and buttonholes for the neck area.  Did not add belt loops.

The Good:

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  • I really love the color.  I am afraid of it much like I am afraid of white but I love it …LOL 🙂  Can’t wait till it cools down some to wear it.

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  • I had just enough of the main fabric to finish this jacket.  I had to use lining fabric underneath the flaps but it worked out well as it would have been pretty bulky otherwise.
  • I like that it came in petite sizing already as that is one less step in my pattern adjustment checkoff list.

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  • Leaving out the buttonholes at the top.  This was yet another sewing pals suggestion as I will probably never wear the jacket like that.  However, if for some reason I did want to rock that style the flaps pretty much stay in place when they are tucked in anyway so it was a win all around.

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  • My buttons were super inexpensive!! Normally for me buttons cost more than the whole damn project…LOL…but for this one I found them at Joann’s and they cost me all of $7.00 for the lot.  Love it!
  • Finally posting this jackets after it has been finished for AGES!!! LOL!

The Bad:

  • Holy Cow is there a lot of topstitching!  That is what kept me from getting this done quicker.  What made it worse is I am quite OCD about my topstitching so it is slow and tedious and will be ripped if it looks crappy.  Thank goodness for the adjustable blindhem foot.

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  • Although I made a muslin, I was focused more on the sewing technique and should have looked a bit closer at the overall fit (and this picture! especially since I look hunchbacked, short, and wide.  I am not hunchbacked.  The rest…well…LOL!).    Although I have finally come to terms with some of my major adjustments like petiting patterns, I need to now focus on other details like back width, swayback, etc.  The back has some extra fabric floating around that should have been remedied since there are back seams and I could have petited further.  I also think I need to adjust for the width of my back as the sleeves seem ample length but pull a little when I stick both of my arms out.  Or maybe that is just the way it should be since only zombies walk around with both arms straight out all the time.  mmmm…braaaaiiinnnssss 😯
  • I used a knit interfacing due to the stretch in the fabric but should have used more stable woven interfacing as this did not NEED the stretch in the areas that had interfacing.  I just wanted the interfacing to be lightweight and not too stiff.  Must find proper substitute for this in the future.

The Ugly:

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  • I am really upset at how the front facing and jacket meet in the front.  Per Burda’s instruction I snipped the fabric where requested but it is exactly at the breakline for the facing.  I should have snipped a little inside to give it some stability and maybe even added some interfacing to give it some structure there.  It peeves me to no end as this was one of the last steps before the jacket was complete, but I will get over it…I hope.
  • What is with the super tiny pockets?!  I was gonna redraft them but I was afraid they would be too close to the bottom of the jacket and might hang too low.  I often think of just cutting them off and having them be mock pockets and sew them closed.  I do like the flaps so i wouldn’t get rid of those.

Conclusion: Although I have quite a bit in the bad and ugly categories, I really do like this jacket.  Now I just need to get a years supply of Scotch Guard 🙂

Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-118

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Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-118 Dress

Pattern Description:A shirred bust section, a wide hem flounce, a halter-neck strap plaited from cotton tape – this dress of lovely printed batiste is irresistable and you will be too when you wear it!

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42.  Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50.

Fabric Used: Lightweight cotton and silk from Downtown LA

Notions Used: 1/2″ Bias Tape

Pattern Alterations: Increased to a 46 and again in hips to a 50. Eliminated the bottom hem flounce.  Added 7 more rows of shirring from 9 to 16.  Used elastic thread instead of zigzagging over elastic.

The Good:

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  • Loved the Fabric.  I found this fabric in Downtown LA at one of the shops I frequent (name escapes me).  I had seen this fabric last season and wanted it then, but resisted.  When I went earlier this season I had seen a woman buying it and decided that I had waiting long enough.  Luckily for me he have a little over 2.5 yards left.  PHEW!!  This is definitely one of those fabrics I would have regretted NOT buying.  It is lightweight and so soft…I wish we had feel-o-vision as I would love for all of you to touch it.  It also have a lovely sheen that makes all the vibrant colors pop just that much more.

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  • Easy to make.  I had never done shirring before with elastic in the bobbin but it was quite easy.  I even wound my bobbin using the machine…shhhh don’t tell.  Actually the key was to skip the tensioning disc and instead go from the spool, through the first step as if to thread the machine and then to the bobbin.  This will give just the slightest tension and the machine will do the rest.  This is hard to explain but I will show a picture if anyone needs it.   The hardest part was braiding the straps, which was not that hard,  but did make my OCD flare up.  I have not braided in years, even then I only braided hair, and now we know just one more reason why I wear my hair o’ natural…LOL!

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  • Strapless bra again.  I mentioned with my last dress the strapless bra phenomenon at Chez Chic.  This dress was actually my first foray outside sans bra straps.  It was totally fine but I would have never worn this style without the backup safety plan of the halter straps.  The shirring was tight enough, but not for my liking.  Given my liking would have probably produce suffocation so halter straps prevented such a fashion faux pas 🙂

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  • Shirring.  Once again, easy and quick with great results.  I have some other garments in mind in with shirring involved.  Especially because I bought two spools of elastic and barely scratched the surface on the first spool.

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  • Straps.  Despite the fact that this drove me a little batty and finally required me to have a “good enough” attitude, I love the straps.  They are made out of folded 1/2″ single fold bias tape that you then make into 1/4″ by folding.  At first I was kinda mad as I was thinking “why didn’t Burda just say buy 1/4″ double fold bias tape?  But then I thought about the uneven folding of the tape and recanted…a little.  If you are not as OCD maybe trying the 1/4” double fold bias tape would not be so bad.  After braiding I gave it a good steam to flatten them a little.  They turned out very nice and sturdy

The Bad:

  • Not having a size A bra cup required the addition of shirring lines.  The pattern only called for 9 lines but that barely made it to the middle of my bust.  In the end I ended up with 16 lines of shirring but could have probably gotten away with 12-14 lines.  Either way, make sure to compare the front AND back lengths of the shirring to make sure it fits your bust.  Mine was a little too long in the back with the shirring that is why I say 12-14 would have been optimal.

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  • One of the main reasons I liked this pattern was for the front panel detail.  It is a little panel of the unshirred fabric with a piece of the braided strapping tacked down at the top and bottom.  Afterwards I realized a few things… The inside of the flat panel edges are unfinished and the braid piece likes to shift.  To solve this dilemma I tacked down the strap to the fabric panel and then did a loose slip stitch to tack the flat panel to the shirred bodice.  I think Burda should have told you this, but then again they don’t tell you to finish your edges either so I guess they thought we would figure it out.

The Ugly:

  • I had originally intended for this dress to be a maxi dress as well.  However, while cutting I didn’t quite measure the length right.  Given I made the pattern exactly the same length as the 116 without flounce but it would have been nice to have yet another maxi.  I love this fabric so much that I saved the cut off portion and will be using it to line a little purse I plan to make.  Waste not Want not.

Sorry for the mispellings, grammatical errors, or rushed thoughts as I am babysitting today.  To anyone who knows me is looking incredulously at the screen right now and wondering if I have gone insane, however, I am still and auntie of 10 neices and nephews so I can babysit when in a pinch.  However, my family knows they need to mark their calendars as this is a truly rare and special day…LOL  🙂

Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-116

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Summer is here and I have been itching to make some summer dresses, especially a Maxi Dress.  Enter Burda with the July issue and I was off and running.  With fabric in stash, this pattern was cut and sewn almost immediately upon receipt of the issue.  Although some BWOF devotees did not find the July issue inspirational, I am in LOVE!

Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-116 Maxi Dress

Pattern Description:The perfect dress for your dream vacation. It‘s long, flowing, sun-backed and colorful. Contrasting straps trim the plunging V-neckline, creating a pretty décolléte.

Pattern Sizing: Burda petite/half sizes 17-21.  I made a 23.

Fabric Used: Knit fabric found at M&L in the discount section.

Notions Used: None

Pattern Alterations: I increased the size to a 23 and then again at my hips to a 25. Took in the top portion of the bodice by 1″ and took off 5″ of length at the bottom. Did not use the suggested zipper in the side seam

The Good:

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  • Burda patterns are made for me.  They only takes minor adjustments unlike the Big Four patterns.  Although I had to take in the top portion of the bust area by an inch and flaring back out to the size 46 at the skirt connection point and shorten the pattern by 5″, I still call this a winner.   Just wait until I actually get GOOD at making these adjustments.  Then there will be no stopping my rampage through my Burda magazine collection.
  • I love the fabric although the colors have been hard to match jewelry wise.  I got this in at M&L fabric in the discount bin.  The colors did not sing to be at first because Black is not really a color I love, but the border print was fantastic.  I wish I would have done a better job cutting the pattern out with the print in mind, but originally this was supposed to be a muslin.
  • Maxi stylings.  Ok, I know that some fashionistas do not like  Maxi’s and especially dislike them on petite women.  However, I absolutely love the style and had to have it.   It just feels so comfy to me.  Probably because it is only a step or two away from being a nightgown…LOL!  Anyhoo,  I am hoping the abundance of  skin up top balances out all the fabric on the bottom half.  I tried to get the suggested day wear ankle length for my maxi but after 3 adjustments with the hem, I gave up so it is not quite as short as they suggest.

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  • Strapless Bra.  Ok people.  I am 32 and this is my first time sporting a strapless…LOL!! I just have a major fear of wardrobe malfunctions and the girls, if let loose, are probably liable to hurt somebody…LOL! However, this dress called for it and it is one of my 101 in 1001 goals so here I am!  I actually wore another dress out already with strapless stylings (soon to be posted).  This dress is particularly good because essentially the bust area works as a second bra of sorts.  SCORE!

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  • Super comfy.  Did I say that already?  That is because it is so true!

The Bad:

  • Excessive Length.  I have already told you about the 5″ that I cut off, but I reiterate because this is a petite sized pattern made for 5’3″ women.  I am 5’3″ and 1/4 inch and the original length was dragging the floor.  I was especially sad because I cut the pattern with some really cute details at the hemline that had to be hacked off in order to make the dress wearable.  Ah well, still cute 🙂

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  • A little maternity in the side view.  Yup, kinda looks like I am a stubby stick from the side.  I probably could have adjusted the bust more at the bottom to have it cinch in the front a bit more, but then I think I would have needed the zipper to get in and out of it.  Laziness won over fit this time.

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  • The strap thickness is thinner than what is shown in picture.  I actually thought I made a mistake and kept looking closer and closer at the picture.  The models straps just look much wider than mine.  Once again, still cute, but not what I expected.
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The Ugly

  • While making this dress I decided to google “sewing with twin needles” where I came across an excerpt from Power Sewing.  While perusing the advice my eyes fell on a passage regarding sewing knit fabric with the blue banded twin needle instead of the red to prevent skipped stitches.  WHAT?  There is a difference?  Why yes!  So I went out and bought one at my local sewing shop, as Joann’s did not have them and/or I have never seen them there, and it sewed like a dream.  All inspired by the ease of it all I decided to attach my straps with the same needle.  One spool located thread snarl later and SNAP!  No more twin needle 😦
  • I adjusted the gathering in the front to be a little more gathered in the middle.  The original design was just a little bit of gathering and evenly dispersed.  I ended up getting a little bit of a weird gathering where the middle black part starts.  Nothing big, just a little personal pet peeve.

All in all, highly recommended so you better get started so you don’t miss the summer heat 😀

Finished Object: Clapotis

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Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Amber Heather (yarn held double)
Inspiration: The Infamous Clapotis
Needles: Size 6 needles
Yardage: 4 hanks (approx. 1760 yards)
Modifications: Added about 4 more straight section repeats, added fringe
Enjoyment Factor:
8
Knit Time: 4.5 months!!!  That is an all time slowest..LOL!

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The Good:

  • This is my second Clapotis ever.  The first one was a bust because the yarn was just wrong Wrong WRONG!  I don’t even know if I blogged about it.  This one is perfect!  The yarns is a great color, super soft and warm.  I also like that the yarn is a little sticky from the fibers so the stole holds in place when you are wearing it.

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  • The yarn was part of a yarn swap that we did last year.  I was so happy to get it.  I then found out it was my buddy Skylar’s yarn from the year before so it is nice to know it “stayed in the family” and brings good yarn karma

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  • It came out to be a very nice size.  The goal was to use all the yarn and I almost made it.  I could have done two more repeats probably but ultimately the left over was minimal enough for me to…hold your breath…throw it away! 😯

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  • I love the fringe!  I made the same fringe as on my Lady Eleanor because I like it so much.  It also weighs the edges and helps keep the scarf in place.  Plus I like the swish swish swish of it all.

The Bad:

  • The fringe took hours.  I knew it would be long but DANG!  It took even longer than the one on my Lady E because I used 4 strand of yarn 40″ long, the twisted them a bit as I tied them.  Afterward I blocked them to set the twist.  Good thing I like fringe 🙂

The Ugly:

  • How long it took to make.  4.5 months people!! That use to be a lifetime for me but now it is just par for the course.  Too much to do, too little time.
  • I hope you were not expecting much here.  I mean there are at least 11,738 finished Clapotis in the world and counting…how much ugly could there be?!

Finished Object: Recycled Magazine Butterfly Collage

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I love magazines.  LOVE THEM!! I go the bookstore on a regular basis to find new ones that peak my interest.  Don’t let me start another hobby because I will have acquired every magazine about the subject in order to saturate myself with information.

Last year I signed up for 4 magazine subscriptions in an effort to curtail my investment in individual magazines  and curb my visits to the bookstore.  Now, I said I love magazines but I have to admit I HATE magazine subscriptions.  They stress me OUT!!  I just think of all the room they take up and trees that sacrificed their lives so that I could have a quick read especially if they are not tutorial or pattern based giving me no reason to keep them.  So in my throws of guilt…I keep them.

However, when I saw the The Butterfly Project at LollyChop via Craftzine I knew that at least a small part of my magazine collection (read: very small) would find new life via a pretty display of color.

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I bought the frame from JoAnn’s and my BFF allowed me to use here Martha Stewart punches that she bought from Micheal’s  so I did not have to buy a set of my own only to use one time which would have negated the whole reuse effort.

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The project actually took me a few days to complete.  The time spent was divided between cutting the tiny foam square into smaller squares, stacking the in variable height towers…

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…and agonizing over proper placement and color combinations…LOL.

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All in all a fun, quick, crafty reuse project.  For all the juicy details for this tutorial and other creative goodies, go over to LollyChop!

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See ya later!

Finished Object: Butterick 6881

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Here is a quicky project that I finally whipped up.

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Pattern: Butterick 6881, view E

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, A-line or slightly flared robe, hood, front zipper, side pockets, long sleeves and stitched hems. 

Pattern Sizing: XL

Fabric Used: cheapy fleece from Joann’s

Notions Used: Zipper

Pattern Alterations: None

The Good:

  • Working with Fleece is so fun and forgiving! This project was very easy and it came out so well.  It is amazing how fleece looks so nice even though you are just cutting the fabric and leaving the ends raw.
  • I highly recommend this pattern for a cosy robe.  I plan to make another in fleece, probably view B, when it gets colder
  • I love the hood!  It is perfect for keeping my neck warm and toasty.  And although you can’t see it, this robe reaches all the way down to the tops of my feet.  The Snuggie aign’t got nothin’ on this!

The Bad:

  • I made this between 8 to 10 weeks ago so the construction details have all but faded away in my mind.  Looking at the picture tells me its been a while because my hair has grown quite a bit since then 🙂
  • For some reason the installation of the zipper was a challenge and didn’t come out quite as nicely as I wanted it it absolutely works

The Ugly:

  • I won’t get to use it again for quite a few months, but it will be waiting when the time comes.