New Sewing Project

by admin on April 10, 2013

in Uncategorized

IMG_0824I’m kind of taking this sewing thing seriously. So seriously I bought some fabric to make a coat. Eeek! Who makes a coat?! Um, guess I am.

Anyway, the Robson Coat is the newest pattern over at Sewaholic. What’s weird is that I thought to myself that it’s too advanced for me. Then Mood mysteriously sends an email the same day I was contemplating this pattern saying they had Italian Doublefaced Cotton Twill on sale for $5 a yard. And in a pink/purple color. I think the universe was telling me something. So, I ordered the fabric and the pattern.

I haven’t cut into anything yet or even washed the fabric, but damn if that’s not going to be one pretty coat. That is if I don’t royally screw it up. My only other decision I need to make on the construction is the color of the binding. I’m thinking of being boring and going with black. Maybe I can find some polka dots….


Gratuitous Pug photo:




Hey, I know it’s been a bit since I told you all about my new sewing toys, but I have been using them! Seriously.

These pictures are not the best, but they are what I have at the moment. The weather should be improving soon, so I hope to get pictures of me actually in the clothes. And pay no attention to the power tools…

First up is Butterick 5491. It’s an out of print pattern, but I ordered it up from Amazon. Last year I saw all these bill boards with Kate Hudson wearing a yellow dress from Ann Taylor and I decided I wanted to copy it. But you’re thinking, “Amanda, you aren’t really that experienced with sewing. How are you going to copy it? Are you a pattern savant?” Um, no, I’m not a pattern savant or anything of the sort. I decided to find a pattern that would be close enough.

While I was in NY last spring shopping it up for the Pattern Review Weekend in the garment district, I found a lovely yellow knit at Elliot Berman that I knew would work for what I wanted to do. Then the big problem came in – where will I ever find a pattern that will work?! Did I mention that I love the Internet? You can seriously find EVERYTHING. Enter Butterick 5491. Close, no? And I found it on my most loved/hated website – Amazon.

Fast forward a year. The next Pattern Review Weekend is coming up soon (in San Fran), and I haven’t used one bit of what I bought last year. Well, that’s a lie. I used one cut from Mood on a skirt. But that was it! I needed to get sewing so I can bring home some new lovely fabric! So, what did I do? I picked that yellow dress to make. I’ll be really honest about McCall’s, Butterick, VogueIMG_0805 and whatever other patterns come out of that printing house – I hate that they don’t give you FINISHED garment measurements! Even in knitting, I generally choose what size to make based on the finished measurements. So, I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands with the yellow dress – what the hell size do I cut?

After much deliberation, I decided to cut a size 6 on the top and a size 10 for the skirt (pear shape over here!). I figured the knit would be stretchy enough over my bust if it was indeed too small of a cut. Well I’ll tell you folks, it was indeed the right freaking size.  In fact, I probably could have gotten away with cutting a straight 6, but I like the fullness to the skirt.

I also have one more admission – I’m not 100% done with it. This dress has an inivisible zipper in it and I did not have an invisible zipper foot. How the hell could I have not had one?! So, I ordered one and am waiting for it to come. I did try inserting the zipper with a regular foot, and that was not such a great idea. I have a new zipper waiting for the new foot to come so that I can finish this up. Then all I need to do is complete the hem. Easy Peasy. I figure this looks pretty darn nice that I could wear it to a couple weddings I’m going to this spring/summer. They are more on the casual side, so it should work!

Next, while I was on my sewing role, I decided to make Vogue 1224. I bought this pattern because it’s made with a knit and I now am the proud IMG_0811owner of  TONS of knits! I had bought this green and white knit and must have been thinking about St. Patrick’s Day because it looks absolutely perfect for an Irish Celebration Dress. Anyway, I wasn’t in love with the pattern or the fabric, but I still decided to make it. After reading a bunch of reviews on Pattern Review, I decided to add 1.5″ to the bodice and 3″ to the skirt. That’s a lot for a shorty like me, but most people said that’s about what they added. Otherwise, I’m sure the fashion police would show up and arrest me for the length.

I thought I would be able to wear it to Easter, but then I decided to bring the monsters and thought that a dress with two crazy pugs would not be a good idea. But I did finish this in time for Easter, just so you know.

What I did wear for Easter was the pretty Bayside Pullover. I actually finished it! I really like it, but I had a few, ehm, roadblocks along the way. I used Knit Pick Cotton yarn, which they apparently are discontinuing the line. This color was on deep sale and I thought I bought enough according to sizes, pattern, all that good stuff. And I guess I did, except I did not take into account shrinkage of the cotton. Because I use it so damn often. (I’m a wool girl all the way)

IMG_0818What did you do, you might be wondering. I improvised. When I was working on the body and it was becoming clear to me that I may not have enough yarn, I panicked for a minute. Then I decided that I should work on the color and arms before completing the body. I actually eeked it all out and got the sweater done. Then I washed it. My full length sleeves turned into 3/4 sleeves. The body luckily is still good – not so much a tunic and not so much a belly shirt.

You know, I did do a swatch. And I washed it. And it shrunk. But it was too late to order more yarn as it was ALL GONE. Makes me wonder why I even bothered with the swatch. But I’m still happy with this sweater. I planned on it being more of a spring/summer item and all those elements fit into that plan. But I’ll be damned if I use cotton again for another sweater. Sheesh!

Spring Knitting

February 20, 2013 Bayside Pullover

It might be 10 degrees Fahrenheit (or -2 with windchill) today, but I’m thinking about spring! Warm weather, pretty flowers, hands don’t feel like bricks of ice…You know, spring.  I’ve been working on the Bayside Pullover from Coastal Knits in a nice purple cotton. Cotton = warm weather. I’ve already divided the sleeves from the […]

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A Little Sewing

February 19, 2013 Embroidery

As you all know, I do some sewing from time to time. Well, I decided to invest in a new (to me) machine. I looked around and found a Viking Designer SE LE for a little more than the price of a new standard Viking machine. So what does this kind of expensive new machine […]

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The Seamless Artemisia Sweater

January 7, 2013 Craftsy

Since I completed the Icelandic Craftsy Class, I decided to try another knitting one. So, I started The Seamless Artemisia Sweater. This is a sweater knit from the top down with set-in sleeves. It’s actually quite interesting since it’s a set-in sleeve technique I have never done before! This sleeve utilizes increases and decreases to […]

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What I did on my Christmas Vacation

January 2, 2013 Chic Knits

Since I was super busy this year, I wasn’t able to take full advantage of all the vacation I have accrued for the year, so since it’s a use or lose it kind of thing I took the last 2 weeks of the year off. That gave me plenty of time to get some stuff […]

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Craftsy Iceland Sweater

November 27, 2012 Craftsy

You all know my growing obsession with Craftsy by now. I have to say that there are very few knitting techniques or styles I haven’t tried. I decided to try out the Top Down Icelandic Sweater class because I have not done the following before: Round Yolk Sweaters Stranded Knitting Steeks (!) I’ve taken classes […]

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Happy Thanksgiving…

November 20, 2012 Uncategorized

OMG! It’s been months! I have been so busy with work and everything else that I totally haven’t found time to blog. But I have been knitting and sewing it up! Without further ado, please say hi to the Gramps Cardigan. I bought this pattern during my quick trip to Stitches Midwest. I even brought […]

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Happy Fall?

September 6, 2012 Custom Knits - Tang

Now that Labor Day has passed, summer is over right? Ha! I wish. I think we are still looking at 90 degree F days ahead here in Chicago. I’m not really looking forward to that. I love cooler weather that requires a sweater and nothing else – no heavy coats, God forbid no boots, etc. […]

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It’s only been 5 years…

September 5, 2012 Chic Knits

Since I decided to start the Ribby Pulli. You have all heard about it incessantly. IT’S FINALLY DONE! Really, it is. See the picture over there on the left? So, I decided to go with the scoop neck. I do think I need to rip out the ribbing and go down several size needles to […]

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