This week I have been working on my Kleio shawl. I came very close to leaving off the last braid. The main reason was because I was afraid I would run out of the variegated yarn before I finished the braid. Maybe a little part of me just hates knitting the braids. They look good, but they take forever and are super fussy. Well, I went ahead and knit it, and finished with just feet of the yarn to spare!
Now I just need to knit the lace edge in the cream color. I got a little discouraged last night as I started, and the instructions say "repeat rows 3-6 289 times"! Uh I think I might be here a while.
Last week I ordered a set of 32 generic presser feet to fit my new machine.
I was counting on being able to use the map pictured above to tell what the different feet were. I was not counting on the map being labelled in Chinese! I spent an evening recently googling the feet names from the original Amazon listing, and putting names to feet, then finding videos to show how to use the feet.
I really want to try out most of these feet, and hopefully talk about them some on the blog.
The first foot I tried was the quarter inch foot. I am working on a baby quilt, so I really needed a quarter inch seam for piecing. The foot is pictured below:
As you can see, there is just the one small hole in the center, so it can only be used with a straight stitch. It must be a centered straight stitch, too, which on my machine means moving the needle from the far left default position.
I sewed a sample, the first row was with the width set at 3.5, which moved the needle over too far and the seam was too narrow. Setting the width to 3.0 worked perfectly!
I feel like the foot made it super easy to get a perfect quarter inch seam. The large area of the foot held the pieces firmly so that there was not any wiggle as I sewed. I sometimes veer a bit to one side or the other, and I did not have this problem. I sewed the entire first set of seams for the baby quilt quickly.
I can't wait to see what else I can do with these feet!
I finished the lining of stripey mitten number one!
I love it so much! The pattern is Michelle's Mittens. The yarn is Trailing Clouds Nimbus self Striping sock, in a colorway called Mind the Gap. The lining is Cascade 220 superwash. I can't believe the thrill this mitten gives me. Now I need to finish its mate so I can wear them when winter comes.
Also, I have been working on my Kleio. My friend Paula gave me a shawl pin for my birthday, and I think they will be a match made in heaven...
It was knit in Cascade Quattro yarn. I love the way the colors are in this yarn!
Yesterday I pulled my Kleio out of the WIP bag. I want to finish it (mostly so I can start another shawl. LOL!)
The main body of my Kleio is Three Irish Girls McClellan Fingering in a colorway called Maura. The lace edge will be in Kramer Yarns Sterling Silk and Silver, which is a cream color with real flecks of silver in it. These yarns were bought during two different Metro Yarn Crawls.
Way back when I was finishing up my SWAP sewing at the end of April, I decided to sew a new to me pattern on the last sewing day! I had some time ago bought Butterick 5222, which is a Connie Crawford pattern up to 6x. I had a piece of a grey mystery fabric from our trip to the Goodville Fabric Outlet.
My hip measurement put me into a size 4x. My waist is bigger, but I measured the pattern paper and it seemed like the waist would fit ok. I added an inch to the crotch length front and back. I added many inches to the leg length. I sewed up this version without the pockets, because I wanted to be able to easily alter the side seams.
They started out huge! This photo is after much fabric has been removed from the side seams! Also, they are way too long in the crotch. I cut off part of my waist darts as well as the fly in order to lower the waistband some. They are reasonable wearable, definitely not brag worthy.
I made version 2 last week, as part of my entry into the Pattern Review Plus Size contest. I used a brown cotton twill from JoAnn's. I took all of the length I had added to the crotch back out. I also folded out about an inch down the center of both the front and back pattern pieces. (This meant I had to redraw one of the darts on the front piece.) I made them capri length.
I planned to add the pockets, so I basted this pair together. What I discovered was that because the waist was hitting closer to my actual waist, where I am bigger, I had removed too much ease. To make sure the capris fit at the waist, I added a gusset to each of the side front pieces, tapering to nothing at the hip. This supplied the ease I needed, and as an added bonus, looked a bit like a design feature associated with the pockets!
On both the first and second versions, I made an elasticized waistband as explained in Pants for Real People. I finished all of the exposed seams with my sewing machine's overcast stitch.
I think this version turned out much better!
For my next attempt, I will add back the waist ease, but taper to nothing by the hips, and keep the leg ease folded out.
For the contest I also made a pink and cream textured striped knit boat neck top, using my PMB pattern. I also made a hairband to match!
Once I solved my shoulder and sleeve issues, I was excited to try a different neckline in the Wild Ginger software. I decided to go for a scoop neck tee. I made my first version in some black bamboo knit, which Fabric.com sent me to apologize for the huge numbers painted onto my Pearl Jacket fabric. This fabric was thinner than I imagined, so I feel like this top needs to be a layering piece.
The scoop neck was a little deeper than I like, and my slip is showing. It is comfortable though, and I think that I will wear it.
Then I made a version in some teal cotton jersey knit. I love this one, and I am even going to make a skirt to go with it for the summer. I made the scoop a bit more shallow, and also made the neck binding a little skinnier.
I mentioned in a few previous posts that I purchased Wild Ginger PatternMaster Boutique Software (PMB). I decided to try to use the software to try to generate some top patterns for SWAP. I will add a disclaimer at this point- the instructions tell you that the first thing you are to do is make two fitting garments- pants and a dress. I have yet to make these garments. So I really am not complaining about the fact that I am finding all the "tweaks" that I need the hard way. I also could have saved myself some trouble by comparing the patterns I generated to the tshirt pattern I had been using.
So the first shirt pattern I generated was a sweetheart neckline tee. I chose the "tshirt" option under type of blouse. This turned out to be a problem. To me it seems that tshirt in this software means huge amounts of ease. Essentially I took about 4 inches out of each side by resewing the entire underarm seam from the hem of the sleeve to the hem of the shirt. I ended up with a wearable shirt, but I just tossed the pattern afterwards. (and the neckline is slightly wide, I think I will add some loops to keep my bra straps from showing!)
At that point I decided that I would try a boat neck top. I had some nice pink cotton jersey from Stylish Fabrics. This shirt had some major issues. The sleeve cap seemed way too high, and the shoulder seems were very narrow. I definitely have broad shoulders, and I needed to correct for that. So I regenerated the pattern with wider shoulder seams, and took out some of the height in the sleeve cap. I had enough fabric to make part of the shirt, so what I did was cut off the bottom of the old shirt, remake the shirt from the unused fabric, but only to just below the bust. Then I sewed the new top piece to the old bottom, and topstitched with my twin needle. (This top was my first time using twin needles!)
Once I had the pattern worked out, I made another version, in this floral knit from the Goodville Fabric outlet. When I bought it I thought it was grey, now I am pretty sure it is more blue. Anyway, I have no idea what this stuff is, but the top fits great and feels wonderful.