August 10, 2009

Sewing Frenzy

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 9:13 pm by merknits

For me, two projects is pretty much a frenzy, anyway.

spring top

Pattern: Spring Ruffle Top Tutorial
Fabric: Some cotton from Joann
Notes: This fabric actually started out as the Mendocino Sundress, but since I cut it way too small, I was able to re-use the fabric to make a top instead. The tutorial is very well written – I omitted the pleats since I didn’t quite have enough fabric and the ruffles because I didn’t feel like doing them. ūüôā

mini dress

mini dress back

Pattern: Mini Dress, Tunic and Top pattern from Amy Butler, size medium of the dress
Fabric: Legacy Studio Kimono Collection Cotton Print – Large Mums from Joann
Notes: In all, an easy to follow pattern and a pretty cute result. I made a muslin of the size small and decided it was too tight, so I ended up making a size medium. I think that a size in between would have been best, but I’m happy with the way the medium fits. This was a good learning project for me – I did my first invisible zipper, which was not as invisible as I would have liked, but ok considering I didn’t have an invisible zipper foot. I also should have thought a bit more about the placement of the fabric on the back panels as well.¬† Well, now I know for next time!


July 13, 2009

Hooray for summer!*

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 4:13 pm by merknits

It took me a little while, but I have a finished Mendocino Sundress:

mendocino sundress

mendocino sundress back

While the sewing wasn’t too hard overall, I had some issues with this one. First of all, I couldn’t get the pattern to print correctly from the pdf. Someone left a comment on Heather Ross’ blog about pasting the pdf as an object in an Excel spreadsheet, which ended up working out for me.

I started out sewing the smaller size and got through the first few rows of elastic when I decided to try it on. I couldn’t even get it over my shoulders! Either I put together and cut out the pattern pages incorrectly or the sizing is way off. It didn’t seem like others who made the pattern had sizing issues, so I’m thinking it may have been user error. So, I decided I really should have made a muslin anyway and set to work making a larger size with an old sheet. After figuring out the size I really should have made, I tried again with this cute green and brown printed cotton from Joann Fabrics. I’m quite happy with the final version, and am looking forward to wearing it during this gorgeous weather that we’ve been having!

*I can say this now that I’m not in Houston where it’s been a million degrees every day.

July 5, 2009

Not much knitting

Posted in In Progress, Sewing at 2:21 pm by merknits

I had thought that with the limited amount of time I’ve been working (around 2 hours a day, and from home) I would have plenty of time to finish knitting projects. Somehow, that hasn’t really happened. I did cast on for the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan from IK Spring 2008 using Vermont Organic Fiber Company O-Wool Balance and am about halfway done:

flutter sleeve back

I also set up the sewing machine and spent a while making a new purse for my sister. Luckily, I ordered extra fabric because the first purse I made ended up being a “test” version after I cut the fabric the wrong way (oops). The final version turned out pretty well though, I think:

flea market bag

flea market bag2

The pattern is the Flea Market Bag by Tanya Whelan (one of her Grand Revival patterns). I think it is a good, basic bag pattern for novice sewers like myself, and there are several sizes and strap options included. This is the small bag with the regular shoulder strap. I modified it by adding a magnetic snap and using heavy home decor fabric to hopefully make it a bit more durable.

I’ve got a bunch of summery cotton fabric from a trip to the fabric store with my mother-in-law, so hopefully I can finish a couple fun sundresses before the summer is over!

August 6, 2008

Taking the Easy Way Out

Posted in Sewing at 8:18 pm by merknits

I decided that this fabric that I had originally bought to make a dress didn’t want to be a garment.¬†¬†Made it a whole lot easier to cut the stuff straight (and it didn’t matter so much if I messed up).

tokyo tie bag

tokyo tie bag 2

This is the Tokyo Tie Bag from Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp.¬† I just got this book and absolutely love it!¬† It’s a great beginner sewing book with clear directions and some really cute patterns!¬† Like this:


So cute!¬† I’ve also cast on for Catriona¬† but I couldn’t get a good picture, so you’ll just have to wait until later to see the fun cables!

**Ooh, I had chosen the name for this post about¬†five minutes before the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” came up on my MP3 player.¬† Freaky!


July 1, 2008

Yay for Easy Sewing

Posted in Sewing at 7:22 pm by merknits

I decided last weekend to head to JoAnns and find some cheap fabric for pillows to spice up my dark couch.  50% off already-reduced fabric and 50% off of the pillow forms got me this:


There’s actually one more small¬†pillow that you can’t see.¬† And¬†they’re Phoebe-approved!

While I had the sewing machine out of hiding, I decided to try the dress version of Simplicity 3835.  I had cut the fabric out a while ago and was sewing along until I noticed a big problem:
See how the pattern is off center?  Grrr!  I was so careful with all of the other pieces, but somehow I forgot to double check the all-important front before cutting.  But I think that I can salvage the fabric and give it new life as a skirt!


June 7, 2008

Unfinished Business

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 6:15 pm by merknits

Remember my Rene purse?¬† Probably not.¬† I started it so long ago, and although the knitting didn’t take long, I put off sewing the lining until today.¬†

Pattern:Rene from Rowan Big Just Got Bigger (I got my pattern from an insert in a UK knitting magazine) hand-spun bulky in Polar Morn
Notes: The pattern itself was fine–it went quickly because of the bulky yarn.¬† I thought it was a bit odd that the pattern had a different number of reverse stockinette stitches on the sides of each piece, making the bobbles not really centered on the purse.¬† Of course it’s not noticeable without really scrutinizing it, so no big deal!¬† I absolutely love the color of the yarn!¬† It’s so gorgeous.
What actually inspired me to finish this was my class at Sew Crafty Houston (and the leftover fabric that I had from the class).  It was great!  Sarah is a fabulous teacher and I am so proud of my pretty tote bag:
Even though I’ve sewed a few things before, I never really felt like I knew what I was doing.¬† It’s so much easier having someone walk you through all of the steps!¬† Otherwise I tend to cut corners, and that makes for some not-so-nice projects.¬† Hopefully this will give me the confidence to finally use some of the sewing patterns I’ve been buying!

There are also a few other projects that haven’t been blogged about because they were secrets until recently.¬† In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to:

  • Our Stitch n’ Bitch knit squares for a baby blanket for Sharron!¬† Isn’t it pretty?¬† Credit goes to Kelly for all of the seaming and edging.
  • More secret baby knits for another Sharon are here!


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