Monday, November 23, 2015

Grainline Goodness

As you know I love Grainline Studio designs. I have sewn up many of the designs using woven fabric and only this month have ventured into knits. I am so glad I finally got there as I love these. In no particular order of preference, I present to you, two Linden sweatshirts, a Hemlock tee and another Lark tee. (...and a patridge and a pear tree!...getting into the Holiday mood.)

This is my first attempt at the long sleeve Linden. I loved it right away. The fabric I used is a lovely light sweatshirt like fabric from Birch Organics. After wearing it for a day or so, I knew I needed to change up one thing. It's cold and the neckline leaves me a bit more exposed than I'd like so a tee shirt under would be required, or a big scarf.
So, for my second one, I added 2 cm around the neckline of all the pieces and that narrowed the neckline enough for me. I was happy with that.

The fabrics I used...well, to me, the star was this charcoal and grey jaguar polka dot from Echino. I bought a bit of it locally just for the front piece as it was pricey.  (You can see this at Fancy Tiger Crafts.) The solid charcoal is a knit with very fine ribbing that I purchased last Fall at a close-out sale locally. I really lucked out on this fabric as it's just super comfy and soft. The combination of the two works perfectly together.  I've been wearing this one a lot!
Next up is the wonderful Hemlock tee. I've made woven versions of this and now making this in a soft knit is a treat. The knit itself is a remnant I picked up with stripes on one side and tiny polka dots on the other. Perfect!
The last one is the Lark tee. You can see I used the remaining bit of my striped knit for the sleeves. The solid black is a Robert Kaufman laguna jersey.  I have to say I am not crazy about that jersey as it is stiffer and feels a bit at odds with the super soft knit of the sleeve fabric!
I think that's it for my sewing with knits for awhile. You're probably getting sick of seeing these. It's been a great confidence booster to tackle something I was avoiding!

I am planning to do some reorganizing of my sewing space before I dive into my next projects. I am hoping to start the Tamarack Jacket soon and go slow with it as Christmas frenzy is picking up. Also I started a beginner's knitting class to refresh my then beginner's skills from 10 years ago. And what do beginners knit? Why, scarves and hats! My son has already put in an order!

Are you feeling the Christmas pressure? 

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Learning to sew with Knit fabric

Up until now, I've only ever made one knit garment. That was a year ago, and the end result was not so wearable. It was due entirely to myself, my impatience to figure out where things went wrong sewing with knits, and finally, the fact that I had all those lovely patterns using woven fabrics waiting for me.

So now, a year later, with more sewing experience under my belt as well as spending the time to research and understand what I need to do to sew successfully with knits, I was chomping at the bit. I had stashed up a few pieces of knit fabric that I got on sale through the year so I decided to dive in and had 4 projects cut out. Here are the results:

The first one is the Lark Tee by Grainline Studio.  This is the boatneck version. This was definitely a good first knit garment to attempt - no neck binding! You just turn it over and stitch it down. It fits well and I wore it for two days straight after making it. (I'm wearing it now as I type this!)

The second is another Lark tee but with a scoop neck.  The neckband binding came into play here and it turned out OK! It looks good on the outside. I'm still trying to figure out how to neaten it up more on the inside. 
The third one is the Linden sweatshirt (View B) from Grainline Studio as well. 
All three tops fit really well. I can always trust Jen to get it right!  The only thing I changed for the Lark tees was to shorten the length of the body by about 4 inches.  I just like my tee shirts on the shorter side.

The last one is the Weekend Doris Dress by Jeanette of the Lazy Seamstress.  It is a very mod-ish style and really cute and comfy.

The width at the elbows is tight so I will probably end up making it into a short sleeve, without the cuff. I'll make it wider next time as well as lengthening the dress by a few inches. Right now it's more a tunic. I really like it though.

Overall, I am really pleased how things turned out this time and am somewhat in love with how comfy knits are! The knit fabrics I am using are all Art Gallery knits and they are quite yummy.

Here are the things I learned that helped me this time around sewing with knits:
  • I used an overlocker/serger to do all the seaming except for anything in the round (e.g. neckline). I found I needed to adjust the differential feed in order to get a seam that would lie flat instead of wavy. (I didn't do this last time.)
  • I used the sewing machine to do the neckband. I don't know how to sew "in the round" on the serger. Also, the sewing machine gives me more control in smaller areas. I played with different specialty stitches but at the end of the day, a narrow zig zag seemed to do the job just fine.
  • I used all-purpose thread this time for my sewing machine when sewing with knits.
  • [edited to add] Almost forgot - most important is the walking foot attachment for my sewing machine!
I have a few more knit garments I want to sew, a long sleeve Linden sweatshirt being one of them! It's getting chilly here!

If you have any additional tips for sewing with knits, I would love to hear about them. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gallery Tunic, Fen dress, and a book that makes me happy

Hello! It's a very wet, soggy Saturday here and a good time to do a blog post. I have two finishes to show, both a first time endeavour.

First up is the Gallery Tunic by Liesl + Co. 

The cotton I used is from Merchant & Mills. I see from the photos that I should've used a stiffer interfacing on the collar as it's a nice collar but on mine it just flops about, unevenly at that!  The pattern is really nice. I did the tunic version and added 2 inches in length just so it will cover my butt. Next time I think I will make the dress version. Liesl's instructions are excellent.

Next up is the Fen pattern from Fancy Tiger Crafts
The cotton I used for the Fen dress is a very light cotton. It'll be very enjoyable in the summer but right now, even with a scarf around my neck the dress just feels too light.  You may see the next one in a brushed cotton or flannel. It's a very nice pattern with a few variations so a good value!
A couple of books I ordered arrived this week.  Stylish Party Dresses has been reviewed by many sewists so I need not talk about it here. I was so happy with both of them but in particular the one on the right - Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style, which was just released this week.
Lotta's style is very simple but happy with a touch of whimsy. There are patterns included to build a wardrobe. 
I really like this two piece outfit. 
This orange-red linen dress has my name written all over it. It's not for our season right now but I am sure I will be making it for next summer. 
I just love this book, including the footwear! The book is organized by season and full of stories. There are patterns for clothing but also for bags.  Bottom line, the book is just my style and it makes me happy browsing through it. I haven't made anything out of it yet so I can't comment on how the patterns will work out.

Lastly, I discovered today that Republique du Chiffon's A/W 2015 patterns are out! They are lovely too. They are working on translating them to English, I understand. I have my eye on the wrap dress, and the coat.

Go and have a look. You know you want to! 

Thanks for stopping by!