April 26, 2018

Just Another Bowling Shirt

I really have to come up with some way to spice up these shirts for JB.  Honestly - I'm getting bored with sewing them and I'm sure you're tired of reading about them.  Honestly, there is nothing new to say.  I'm still using McCalls 4399 and just changing up the fabrics, buttons and how I sew the hems and button bands - as in accents with the thread. 

This fabric was a quilting cotton that I purchased at the craft store probably 5 years ago.  I liked the print.  I bought 4 yards - which is honestly about 1/2 yard too much, but I like knowing I can match the print across the button bands.  Once I got fussy about matching the pattern across the button bands, I started cutting the shirt out from a single layer of fabric.  I have a full back pattern piece and only 1 front pattern, 1 sleeve and 1 collar.  Oh and the pocket pattern which I trace off several.  I did a blog post back in October about how I match the pattern - you can read it here.  So far, I haven't been too worried about matching the print up across the side seams, but I imagine that's coming next.  

In this photo - JB is showing you the barn door he installed over the panty opening in the B&B.  He did a great job.  That door gets so many comments.  

Nobody know what's he's doing here.  But he was ready for me to snap the photo so he could breathe!  Doesn't this fabric scream tropical vacation?  

In this photo, you can see I nailed the print matching!  Also - can you spot the pocket?  This shirt has one.  In fact, all of his recent shirts have a pocket - he needs someplace to keep his glasses!  The buttons were in a baggie of shirt buttons I either added from a FabricMart purchase or from Fashion Sewing Supply - I can't remember which.  They were perfect for this shirt.  I always add 7 buttons, so they are spaced a little closer than the pattern indicates.  I use my simflex for positioning the buttons evenly up the placket and start the first one at the bottom, the same distance as the side slits.  

April 20, 2018

An Oldie

So this morning when I was getting dressed, I grabbed a fun trapeze dress and some tights.  As you are aware - my personal blog has suffered a little bit with the move to B&B ownership.  I try really, really hard to blog over at the B&B every week - but lots of things that I've made don't make it to my blog these days. 

I'm getting dressed and I think - I'm sure I've blogged this.  I made it forever ago!  In fact, I made it before we moved in anticipation of making The Princess some maternity dresses.  But kids these days don't want lose flowing maternity clothes, they want to rock the bump!  Oh, and I never even offered this dress to the Princess - although she would have looked much cuter wearing this that I do - even with her baby bump.

The pattern is McCalls 7348 a learn to sew for fun pattern.  I made view A - scooped neck, short sleeves and straight hem.  I feel like the dress is a bit short for me - so I only wear it with tights - no bare legs on me with this one.  The fabric was from a FabricMart bundle and I loved it! 

If I remember correctly - this was a quick easy sew done completely on the sewing machine.  I used my duck bill scissors to trim the extra seam allowances away from the neck band and hems. 

What I'd do next time:

  • add about 3" in length
  • scoop out the neckline a bit more  
You can see from the side view here that it's a bit short for me.  Today was very, very windy and I was a bit worried about flashing people in the Lowe's parking lot - but I made it through without inflicting permanent damage on anyone.  

While this maybe isn't the best silhouette for me to wear, I don't really care.  It's a comfortable t-shirt dress that I feel confident throwing on and heading into the kitchen in the morning.  I also don't worry about cleaning bedrooms, bathrooms or doing laundry in this dress - it's that's comfortable.  And I feel put together.   
The booties are from Clarks from several years ago.  They are super comfortable and I finally found some new leather laces to replace the one broken lace so they are back in rotation again. 

Oh, and check out the arbor that JB built in front of our side of the house.  It's a huge beast of a thing - there are 4 sets of posts and three arbor tops.  There are berry bushes and climbing roses at each of the sets of posts.  I can't wait until I can send him out in the morning to pick fresh berries to serve at breakfast - that time is coming and I'm excited for it! 

So - do you have anything you know may not be the most flattering on you but you wear it anyway? 

Oh - and look how long my hair is getting!  And can you tell I'm letting the gray just come in?  I'm not sure JB is thrilled - but I don't mind it.

March 31, 2018

Similar But Different

Every year since I can't remember when, I have knit JB and the girls a new pair of socks for Christmas.  Historically, they are the first things I knit each year - because I like knowing they are done.  

Sometime last Summer, Wendy at Lancaster Yarn Shop {which is also my LYS} got a pretty new color of Crazy Zauberball Malerwinkel and thought - wouldn't it be fun to make the girls socks out of the same yarn?  

So, I bought 2 balls, 1 ball is enough for a pair of socks, and then promptly put it away.  The one rule to #christmassocksforall is that they have to be knit in the year they are gifted.  

At some point between purchasing the yarn and starting knitting, Wendy and I had a conversation about knitting socks with zauberball and she mentioned a striped pair she had made.  Well, that planted a seed, but in 2018 I'm not spending my money on silly little things like patterns - not when I know how to knit a pair of socks AND have stitch dictionaries on my shelves.  

So - first things first - I caked my 2 matching dye lot balls of Malerwinkel into pretty yarn cakes.  Next, I pulled out the stitch dictionaries because there is absolutely nothing that will bore me faster than a plain stockinette sock, except maybe 1x1 rib.  UGH.  

Because I was using both yarn cakes on each sock, I didn't want to knit 2 at a time, but I still did them on my circular needles, and toe up.  To keep the stripes uninterrupted and balance out the yarn cake usage, I used cake A for the toe, heel, and ribbing of socks 1 & 3 and cake B in the same places on socks 2 & 4.  

With lots of numbers in my head, I grabbed US1 {2.25mm} circular needles and got started.  I started with a 72 stitch sock and worked 2 repeats of the stitch pattern on either side of the foot.  Put the heels on waste yarn, worked up the leg, then did 3 repeats of the pattern all around for a cuff.  Finished with a tiny, tiny bit of ribbing and bound off.  Quickly knit an afterthought heel and sock 1 was done in 3 days!  There are very, very detailed notes on my ravelry project page so that I could repeat for sock 2.  

First Pair Done!
I forgot how quick it is to knit single socks.  It took me about 3 days per sock to knit these.  Back in my bus commute days it would take 2 weeks to knit a pair of socks.  I'm also happy to report that these socks are the same size - there were no gauge changes between sock 1 and 2.  

Second Pair - Similar, but Different
With the first pair complete it was time to start the second.  I knew that a 72 stitch sock would be too big, so this time I only did a 60 stitch sock.  I tried something new when starting the second pair.  There is a technique I learned from knitting top down socks where the decreases go all around the toe.  I wanted to try recreating that from the top up and it worked!  
It Worked!
This time, I worked the ribbed lace up the entirety of the leg as well as along the edges of the foot.  
Side By Side
Pile of Socks
With the leftover malerwinkel I've been knitting "similar but different" socks Eleanor.  Sadly there is a gauge issue between her first and second sock, but I don't care - she's a baby and won't wear them for long - that is if they aren't lost first ;)

It feels good to have these done and in the Christmas Box reading for gifting already.  
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