Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ginger Skirt, Take Three

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, and made me feel so much better about ditching (at least for now) the work-in-progress I was wrestling with - you were all absolutely right! A week of knitting instead has been just what I needed; my tunic is almost done done AND I'm getting excited about sewing again. :) I have a couple of refashions planned that I'm hoping to get done over the school holiday's hoping, anyhow!

In the meanwhile, I thought I'd post my third version of Colette Patterns' Ginger Skirt. This is the chevron stripe version, view 3 I think. I really meant this to be a muslin, just to get some practice in working with stripes, but commandeered it into service during MMM simply because my options were so limited. And as it happened, this skirt was one of the most commented on / favourited of all my Flickr posts. Go figure!

Here 'tis:

It's quite a heavy cotton (I want to say twill, but I'm not sure...), but very soft, and not stiff at all. It's hard to tell from the above photos, but the stripes are fairly intricate; red, white, yellow and aqua, in varying widths - very good practice for stripe-matching! And I'm pretty happy with the job I did on that score:

I added pockets to the side seams, using a navy poplin - nothing fancy or exciting. One thing I should have done was sew some stay tape or similar into the pocket section - because the side seams are already cut on the diagonal I have a feeling that over time that part is going to stretch out of shape. Especially since I can't seem to keep my hands out of pockets if I have them. I'll know that for next time!

But there is one other thing I'd love some advice on - the side seams. Now, I thought I'd cut the fabric out according to the pattern piece directions, and the stripes on the front and back seams align very nicely. But why (why??) do the side seams look like this??

It didn't matter how I pinned or manipulated those pieces, they simply wouldn't match up. Is this normal? Should the side seams align properly also? Or does the angle of the A line skirt make that impossible? I'm stumped and I can't work it out!

Does anyone know of an online tutorial on this? The ones I looked at (and admittedly, I didn't look very hard...) were all focused on matching up the front or back seams. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! I can't fix this one, being out of fabric, but I'd really like any future versions to be better than this.

In the meanwhile, have a wonderful week :)

Danielle oxo

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It All Depends On How You Look At It....

It's been a longer time between posts than I intended - I think after all the documenting of MMM I was ready to take it easy on that front for a bit. Plus life got very busy for a few weeks there, nothing dire or crisis-ish, just one of those times where it seems like everything's happening at once.

As a result, I've either been extremely lazy, or rather productive, depending on how you look at it. Sewing-wise I think I've lost my mojo a bit. I have three things cut out (the worst part!) and ready to go, but the last two makes have left me a bit despondent, and so I've been avoiding my sewing machine. When I actually think about it, I shouldn't really feel so blah - they weren't complete fails. But does anyone else ever have something turn out not quite right, and then, even though you know it's only going to take a bit of concerted tweaking, still feel like it's all a bit too much effort? It's not admirable, I know, but I'm not the only one, surely??

I'm curious - what do you do? Do you set it aside and go on with something else? Or do you grit your teeth and wrestle that thing into submission?

Me, I found something else to do. I always feel like breaking out the knitting needles once the weather turns wintry. There's something cozy and comforting about curling up in front of the fire with some woolly goodness. Plus, it lends itself to company better than a sewing machine.

So, here's what I've been up to lately. Mind you, my camera hasn't caught the colour of any of them all that well...

 First up, a little Korrigan cardigan for a friend's baby girl.

The actual colour of this is a lovely soft yellow - the camera's made it look bleached! This is a really sweet little pattern, knitted all in one piece from the top down. I used Bendigo Woollen Mills 4 ply cotton, which worked nicely for a Spring weight cardi, but if I ever knit it again, I think I'd use a wool with a bit of a halo (is that the right term? It sounds more impressive than "fuzziness", anyhow) - some of the increases around the cables look a little bit 'holey'. I think that would be avoided by using wool. Must remember that. This was the last of the four queued projects I pledged to finish for MMM.

Next up, another Merlia scarf, this time in Cleckheatons Country wool. (See previous one here.) I knew this wouldn't photograph well, being at night, but this was a 'true' red, without orange or blue tones to it. This was for my son's teacher, who is as lovely and gifted a teacher as you'd ever meet. She pours so much love, time and effort in her class - way over and above the call of duty - and I wanted to do something for her that reflected that. I think it's the first time I've repeated a knitting pattern - it's so much quicker the second time!

This one could backfire on me. It's the Regular Guy Beanie, done in Cleckheaton Country Naturals. This is for my brother-in-law's birthday, who is extremely hard to buy for. He also says exactly what he thinks, so if he thinks this is rubbish, I'll hear about it! Once I got home from the yarn shop I realised I'd actually bought the wrong kind of wool for this, (8 ply instead of 10) so I had a wander through some other people's Ravelry project notes, and found someone who'd re-written the pattern for 8 ply. There seems to be a lot more fullness in the crown than I expected, but I'm hoping that'll stretch out on his head. Well see!

The actual colour is a bit duller than this, with a bit of a natural fleck to it. Nice for a guy, anyway.

And finally, something for me! This is the Roam Tunic, by Amy Christoffers:

One thing I noticed during MMM was how much I depended on my only knitted jumper, my Beatnik. I've decided I definitely want at least one more before next May, and this is the first. So far I've done the back and about a third of the front, and I LOVE it!. I've wanted a longer light grey jumper for a while, and this is taking the place of my previous, tragic effort. I actually think this would be a really good first cable project; it's just an 8 row repeat with no shaping within the cabled panel at all. Being a thick yarn - 12 ply/bulky - means it's quick, too. Win-win, frankly!

So that's been the last month for me. I think once I get my tunic done I'll go back and try to finish those last two semi-fail sewing makes. (Need that ego-boosting win first!). One of those makes is a pair of slim-fitting trousers, and I'm finding it hard to know exactly how fitted to make them. They're almost there... In the meantime, I'm stalking successful makes by other bloggers. I especially like Fabric Tragic's latest pair of Clovers. 

In the meantime, I'll be in front of the fire clicking my needles...blissful!

Have a wonderful week :)

Danielle oxo