Sewing + Knitting = New Clothes!

by admin on April 4, 2013

in Bayside Pullover, Coastal Knits, Pattern Review, sewing, Uncategorized

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!

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