Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lark Tee

After reading a pattern review by Cocosloft, I knew I wanted to try out the Lark Tee by Grainline Studios. Coco followed a tutorial from Grainline Studio's blog to convert this simple tee shirt pattern into a wonderful waterfall front cardi. More details are described by Coco here. And the tutorial for converting the Tee into a waterfall cardi is here.

I have seen the name Grainline Studios floating around Pattern Review for a while and was curious, even though this is really quite a simple tee shirt. The pattern contains 4 necklines - crew, scooped, boat, and V - as well as 4 sleeves - long, 3/4, short, and cap. It does seem to be a great TNT to have in the pattern stash. I think it could be converted to a sleeveless tank with a few tweaks to the armscye too.

necklace made from fabric beads

One of my favorite looks is a black-and-white striped Tee, or navy-and-white. I don't know why but it is very appealing to me. About a year ago, I bought this soft rayon knit in Montreal so it contains nice memories too. My first Lark has a crew neckline and long sleeves. Pretty basic stuff.

I made my usual mods - a little extra in the hip area as well as in the upper arm area. I don't think I needed the extra in the upper arm after all. And it is longer than I anticipated. I curved the lower hem using my French curve so that it is shaped more like a man's shirt.  The curve does not look smooth in this picture for some reason.

Now it needs a little breast pocket. This will be a good TNT pattern for all seasons.

Friday, February 12, 2016

More Clothesline Bowls

These are so satisfying to make. Flossie Teacakes got me started. With one 100 foot package from Amazon, and a good bit of thread, you can make many different shapes and sizes. Have lots of thread and bobbins on hand. Turn on some music and begin!

The simplicity of this one is very appealing to me. It took less than half of one package.
The other half of the package went into this one, more shallow, about 12 inches wide.
This time I started by attaching two strands of about 6 inches together before beginning the spiral sewing. I also left spaces in the top row so that I could wind the remaining cord in and out with knots. A fun experiment. There is a tiny scoop that is not visible. It is made from spiraling the end of the cord and pulling tightly to curve it up constantly.

I have been tossing my used tea bags into this one. It takes color beautifully.
After putting colored thread in the bobbin for a few rows, I went back to white which I prefer. The colored threads are hidden under the fold.

The one on the far left is a favorite, about 5 inches in diameter, very simple with straight sides instead of the gradual curve I've used in other bows. It is my thread catcher now. The tiny one in the middle tested some inks I had on hand. Boy, does this stuff take color! I can't wait to try some real dye. The flat platter was an experiment with sashiko (of course!) - hard on my hands and the dark thread is too jarring.

I might have a new hobby. Oh, dear.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vogue 9130 by Marcy Tilton

For about a week now, I have been sewing exclusively with knits, a change for me. I do like knits, at least some of them, but it's not my first choice for a sewing project.

It all started with an ASG class scheduled with Pam Howard, one of my all-time favorite teachers. Over the years, I have learned so much from Pam and this class was no exception. Plus I had a blast sewing with good friends.

After much back and forth in my stash, I settled on two patterns to make, a modified version of the Hudson top from the Sewing Workshop and this relatively new Vogue pattern from Marcy Tilton:

The fabric I chose is a periwinkle medium weight organic cotton jersey from Alabama Chanin. I am still learning how to handle this fabric. It is a pretty stable knit that curls but not excessively. It does not have a lot of stretch, maybe less than 20%. This jersey sews easily with a ball point needle and the recommended polyester thread.

This top has such interesting lines that I decided to highlight them a bit by overlapping the seams rather than sewing them right-sides-together. This took some doing because of the allowed 5/8 inch seam allowances, way too much for overlapping seams. After a little arithmetic and with rotary cutter in hand, I reduced the seams to 1/4 inch providing for a 1/2 inch overlap.

After nearly finishing the top, I decided to adapt view B to use the collar for view C. After much messing around, I abandoned that and now have a basic Stretch-and-Sew collar:

Pam fitted the top to me and I finished at home. Then DH took my picture. Ahem.

DH said, "That is a cute pattern. (pause)" And then "You did a great job making it. (pause)" You can hear the BUT in his assessment from here, I expect. And I agree. It adds pounds to my hips. 

It sure looks cute on the dress form.
Bottom line: cute pattern, fun to make, probably will never be a favorite one to wear.

Since the class I have finished two very basic shells and my Hudson top is still in-progress. The shells are made from Vogue 8793, that classic tee designed by Katherine Tilton for Vogue, the one with zipper teeth trim on the neckline. 

Each shell is made from Alabama Chanin light-weight jersey, one red and one black (which does not photograph well). Although both are labeled light-weight, the black is really more beefy. The red will be a great undershirt. 

The variability in knits is challenging to me.

These were easy to sew and very satisfying. I know I will wear them and enjoy the soft organic knit. 

No doubt I'm still learning about knits.