Monday, 15 September 2014

September make complete

This is my first top for 2014 and hopefully is an improvement on the first version (in a grey and white print below).  I did improve on cutting out the fabric, so that there was no embarrassing, misplaced pattern pieces that had to be re-cut and I had enough fabric to cut out the cowl neck.

I amended the pattern from my previous alterations, by lowering the pattern above the elastic by 2 cms all round and the centre front by a further 2 cms, I lengthened the sleeve, increased the shoulder seam allowance to give more fit wriggly room and added to the front skirt panel the amount I had to patch into the first version because I forgot to make allowance for the full bust adjustment.   My mum helped pin fit the shoulders to eliminate the fabric pulling forward as in the first version.

 I like the colour and print of the fabric, the gathers and stitching on the sleeves are better and it does look like the pattern.  However,  I preferred the way the skirt panel of the first version lay closer to the body.   This version is a bit static and makes me feel big and a bit frumpy plus Mr S is not a fan of the cowl.  I will wear it a few times before I make a final decision as to whether I like it or not.

 I might try a top with set in sleeves next time.


Sunday, 7 September 2014

September make

For the September make a garment a month challenge I am going to make a top.  The first this year.  

I'm using Simplicity 2221, view A.  It has a cowl neck and longer sleeves.  The fabric is a polyester satin, brought a few years ago in an Abakhan sale for the grand price of £2.39 a metre.  I think this fits the September theme of a garment for the new season.

I haven't had much luck making tops due to fitting issues and have been avoiding them but thought it was about time I tried again.

  I have attempted this pattern once before and although it's suppose to be an easy make I had one misshap after another.  I cut the fabric wrong so there was not enough to cut the cowl neck piece on the bias.  I did an an adjustment for a fuller bust but forgot to amend the skirt part and had to add a piece of fabric.  I over adjusted the shoulders and the shoulder seams slide forward when worn. I was so fed up with it that I was careless with the top stitching and it looks clumsy.  

That being said it just about wearable but I know I can do better.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

August make complete

For my August make I have made my second ever pair of trousers.  Using Butterick B5614, the same pattern as my July make, to prove the first pair was not a fluke - these are once again comfie and practical and I'm sure I will make more.   I'm hopeful that this cotton fabric will not attract as much fluff etc as the first black pair do.  

Although I never wear my tops tucked in I thought I should be brave and show you the top of the trousers too.

Once again I added pockets.  The only changes were to include the split at the hem as per the pattern view c and also add shell heart shaped buttons.  I borrowed Sarah Liz's tip for adding a button to stress points and added them at the hem and pocket edge.  Thank you Sarah. 

I'm not sure how much time left there will be to wear these trousers this summer as the weather has turned and it's definitely getting cooler in England - and as you can see from the photos more windy.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lace top - making some progress

I was intending to use a recommended similar yarn rather than the yarn stated in the pattern so knew it was important to check the tension.

Making a tension square identifies the knitting needles that will give the right tension and therefore the best chance of a finished top that looks like the pattern and is the correct size.

The pattern states the tension should be 31 sts and 45 rows to 4 inches over straight stitch using 3.25 mm needles.  So I knit a square 5 inches wide and 50 rows.  My first 4 inch square measurement resulted in 47 stitches and 35 rows so I tried again with 3.5 mm.  This time the number of stitches reduced to 40 and the number of rows to 30.   The yarn itself was uneven almost holely looking in places.  A drastic decision was needed.  This Rowan Lace yarn is never going to work for this pattern so I have brought the correct yarn for the pattern.  I am sure I can find another more suitable project for the Rowan yarn.   This Debbie Biss yarn, from Love knitting, was less than half the price of the original Rowan yarn it's finer and knits much more evenly. 

You can see the difference in texture between the original blue Rowan Lace yarn and the lime Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace below.

I ended up doing a further 3 tension squares before settling on 2.75 mm needles.  Two weeks in and nothing to show except a few tension squares - this project is definitely going to require patience.

I'm pleased to say that progress is being made - I have started the cable neckband.  Trying to cable the first row and twist on the third row using such fine yarn and  such small needles has certainly been challenging.  I spent a whole night trying to get started and kept dropping stitches so had to start again.  However, I did get the hang of it and once a few of the 8 rows of patterns were complete the weight helped to keep the stitches on the needles.   I have threaded a small piece of contrasting yarn through the last stitch of each 8th row so that if I do have to undo it I could always find my place.   

It's slow work using such fine yarn but here is what I have achieved so far - I'm just over half way to completing the neckband.  

Sunday, 3 August 2014

August make

The theme for the August make a garment a month challenge is stash busting.   This caused me a dilemma as although I have some lovely fabric in my stash I am going to have limited sewing time this month and I had already brought fabric and decided to make a second pair of cropped trousers.  After much thought I have decided to carry on with my original plan as the bigger plan for this year is to develop some tried and true patterns.

This pair of cropped trousers will be in a summery blue cotton.  

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Lace knitted top

This is my next knitting project.  After several basic projects to get my confidence back I am feeling the need for something a bit more challenging and this certainly will be. I have never knit a top down pattern and have had mixed experiences in using circular needles.  The yarn will also be a challenge.

The yarn is a Rowan fine lace, so this is unlikely to be a quick project.  Having only used chunky or double knitting wool for the past couple of years this is going to be very different.

  I brought the yarn while on holiday in Cornwall.  Visiting St Ives for the day we took the shuttle bus from the car park to the town centre and at the town bus stop there was a small shopping arcade with some interesting shops.  At the back there was a lovely little wool shop called The House of Bartlett which had an impressive range of wool and very helpful shop assistant.  One advantage of using such fine wool is that it takes only 3 x 50 gram balls to make.  The yarn cost £7.50 per ball, total cost £22.50.  

Luckily I had taken pics of a few patterns and the yarn requirements and stored them on my phone just in case I stumbled on such a shop.

The pattern is from the big booking of knitting by Dorling Kindersley (DK) Ltd.  with over 100 patterns it was a bargain from The Works at  £9.99.  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Success my first pair of trousers

I'm really pleased with how easy these came together.  

My mum had already made the pattern up for me and sorted a lot of the fit issues out.  So this was a straight forward make using Butterick B5614 pattern.  The trousers have a side lapped zip.  

The only additional alterations I made were to add non roll elastic to the waist to eliminate any potential gap at the back and add patch pockets to the front - pockets are a must for walking the dog.

 This is my July make a garment a month challenge.

It's difficult to show the detail but below is over exposed to show one of the two top stitched front patch pockets