Friday, April 22, 2011

Citron in the Works

I cast on yesterday, and am two rows shy of finishing the first section. I love this pattern! It's simple enough to do on the bus, but the sections of plain and ruching keep it interesting enough to make me want to keep knitting. Perfect.

I was a little iffy on the yarn when I bought it (a single ply lace weight), but the Malabrigo Lace is actually wonderful to work with. The loose structure adds a subtle halo to the work that really softens the stitches. I wouldn't use it for anything that's going to get heavy wear, but it's great and snuggly for a shawl/scarf. In fact, it grew on me so much I ended up getting another ball when I wandered into Lettuce Knit yesterday...

I know I promised some sewing to be done around here, but I've decided the sewing machine tune up can't wait any longer. I'm going to download my manual (again), get a can of compressed air and some oil and have a go at it. Being able to maintain my own machine is definitely a skill I want. Though if it goes badly, I'm not going to hesitate to bringing it into the shop.

 The swimsuit plans are progressing however. I was lucky enough to find the Threads book Fit and Fabric from the local thrift store a couple weeks ago. It has articles on both sewing swimsuits and working with Spandex. Now I just need to source some material and see what I can do with it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

That was harder than expected...

But it's over! My grades have started coming in, and so far I'm doing better than I'd hoped. I'm going to miss being constantly among such a great community of artists (and equipment), but it feels really wonderful to have completed what I started. I now have a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial Practice! I also completed all the requirements of a print minor, but they won't give me that unless I do two more credits of random electives (it could be creative writing for all they care) and it all seems expensive and silly. I know I did it, and I'm happy with that.

So what now? I've cast on a frivolous, spring hued project,

and now I'm going to drink some tea. And run to school to clear out my locker before they do it for me. Eek.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crunch Time Hiatus

Yesterday was a bit of a dud, due to a terrible headache. The couple days before I was finishing an essay. Now I've got two days to finish three prints... Yikes! I'm going to be taking a blog break while I race to finish my printmaking class by Tuesday. After that I should have a bunch of new art and a shirt to show!

Now I better make like that lady up there, except with some gloves, an apron, ink and a roller... And more knives? Seriously, printmaking is awesome.

Friday, April 8, 2011

See & Sew 5157

I know I said I'd show you after I finished the blouse, but I couldn't wait. It's just too awful not to share ;)

I cut out the shirt on Wednesday, and I'm hoping to get a chance to sew it up tomorrow. The pattern's sitting on the fabric I used. It's a light weight cotton with a big watercolour print that sadly was not 100% colour fast. I managed to cut around most of the dye leaks though. Hideous styling aside, I actually do think this is a really cute shirt. Try just focusing on the top portion:

Better, right? I think it would look best with a nipped waist, full skirt. I don't actually have one of those right now, mind you. If the shirt works out, I guess we know what my next project is?

So I handed in my final essay for one class today. I've got two classes finished, two to go. Almost there!

In Which I Bought a Pattern

Grey: Um... Green? I don't think she's writing her essay.
Green: No, Dear. She went shopping at Out of the Ashes Collectibles instead.
Grey: Do you think that was terribly wise?
Green: Well, Sheila IS having a 20% off sale until midnight...
Grey: OOoh! I guess that's alright then. She did buy us after all.
Green: She's planning on making me though.
Grey: There's no accounting for taste.

And now back to my essay. After today I'll have two classes down, two to go. The day count is a little wonky now, since my class got an extension on one thing. I'm aiming for next Thursday though. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Have You Seen This?

Because it is ADORABLE. Tutorial on the Sew Weekly blog for your own pincushion (go see what it is if you haven't already, it's a surprise!). There are pincushions to be won all month too, and you know how I love a giveaway.

Speaking of which, there's just a couple days left to enter to win the two copies of Interweave.

Sadly, I miscounted. Now I have six days left.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adventures in Vintage Shopping

I may not be able to get much crafting done right now, but that doesn't seem to have stopped me shopping! I recently went on one of my favourite thrifting/vintage runs and picked up some lovely loot.

This fabric is actually an old house dress I'm going to take apart and make into a little spring top. I love that it says "it's spring tra la la"! I might use See & Sew 5157 which I picked up at the same time and I think could have a 50's vibe when tucked into a nipped waist skirt. If you just looked up this pattern, let's not talk about the styling. Or the shorts pattern. Yikes. I'll show you the original after I show you my finished one ;)

Beyond some 70s patterns I picked up at the thrift store I also got an amazing Vogue pattern from 1957 and a couple of late 50s or 60s Advance patterns at 69 Vintage Collective. The Advance ones are sadly tiny, about 10 inches smaller than I need, but I absolutely love them. I actually have a mail order pattern very similar to the Loretta Young's Choice pattern in a 44 bust. Maybe I'll give it a go?

I found these great cups hanging in the bagged housewares section at the local Value Village. Brian's always telling me it pays to check the bags, and I'm trying to make a habit of it. It paid off this time! The red mug is a made in Canada Melmac piece. I'm a casual collector of Melmac right now. The colours are just so wonderful. The two pink cups are Harmony House Town & Country by Simpsons-Sears & Simpson's. They aren't quite as nice, less hefty and the handles are a bit sharp, but still make a striking pair. I like how the three look together and I'll have to think of a neat way to display them, since I won't be using them for tea (I don't like the idea of hot liquid in plastic).

And now back to homework... Just six more days!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My mom is an awesome lady

Beyond being fun, supportive and generally pretty great, she owns a vintage jewellery store and finds me the neatest things in her travels. This was a recent gift from her:

I love the little dog pin! Hes entirely hand stitched out of felt and has the cutest little safety pin sewn onto his back. I like that whoever made it chose black thread on the white felt. I think it gives it such a charming handmade craft look. And his little bow! And eyelashes! Okay, I need to go calm down from the cuteness. Look at this a minute:

The buckle is Bakelite, and just amazing. Its about 3” wide, which is great since I have a few 1” buckles but they just look dwarfed on my frame. It’s even in one of my Spring colours (it's kind of a golden orange in person)!

Thanks, Mom!

In other news, one class down, three to go! I'm almost done my BFA!

In which I am a bit behind, but still hopeful...

And that applies to so many things. I still need to put the finishing touches on a web-based paper about vintage sewing due tonight, which I may post here if it turns out well.

In sewing news, I'm both very behind, and shifting things around a bit. You may remember that I carefully muslined the bodice for my Crepe dress, then it ended up on the back burner. One issue I had was fabric choice. The vintage cotton print I chose was a little too firm, and I'm worried it won't drape very well.

So I'm going to do some fabric searching in the stash for something appropriate. I have 4.5 yards of some nice green/gold/brown rayon that would make it a very cute fall dress. It's only a 43" width though. Maybe something in a lighter print? Crepe just needs so much yardage! Did you make it, and did you find you used as much yardage as called for? I'm a shorter gal who likes a knee-length skirt, so I often find I can get away with a little less...

As for the awesome fabric, I think it might do better as this. The pattern is simplicity 6194 from 1965 in a rare 44" bust. It might be the only vintage pattern I have in my actual size. I'm thinking of giving it a go for Pattern Review's upcoming vintage contest. You're allowed to muslin before the contest starts, so that'll give me a chance to see if this is even feasible. I keep hearing that vintage patterns are too small in the waist, but that doesn't look like it's going to be a problem. I'm more concerned about the bust darts pointing about 3 inches above my actual one. Eek.

I can totally see myself wearing that dress all the time. I can be pretty period specific too, since my fabric is vintage (though I'm not sure from when), I have vintage buttons and zipper, and I'm going to construct it using my 1964 home-ec textbook! The only thing not-vintage will be my trusty Kenmore sewing machine, which desperately needs a cleaning and oiling.

Just one more week, dear readers, and my life is mine again!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Finished Charlie Tote

 I popped into the Workroom yesterday for a break from school and spotted this fantastic fabric from the David Textiles Victoria & Albert Museum line. We're seeing Brian's family tonight to celebrate his mom's birthday, and both his parents are big on wine...

 So I thought I'd whip up a birthday tote bag! I used the free Charlie pattern from BurdaStyle, and made a second bag for the other side out of some vintage poly/cotton blend I picked up at the thrift store. It's a cute blue/green floral print, and I'm sure you'll be seeing it again since I have about 7 yards of it. This bias tape is also thrifted. Hurrah! Here's a peek at both sides:

If you want to make your own reversible Charlie bag, just cut the bag body piece twice each from two different fabrics. Sew up the side and bottom seams, and join the handle tops on both bags. You can either sew the two bags most of the way around with the right sides facing, then turn the bag right side out and stitch up the leftover hole, or you can do what I did. I put one bag inside the other, wrong sides facing, then machine basted the top seams together. I then trimmed the seam allowances away, and sized the edges for double fold bias tape. I stitched the tape together to make three loops, pinned it on, then sewed it. I used almost a whole package of 2.75m for the edges, with about 1.5" to spare. I left out the pocket to fold the bag up into.

I think it's a pretty good basic tote pattern, and I'm definitely going to make some more for gifts out of all the IKEA upholstery fabric I have in my stash. I hope she likes it!

Friday, April 1, 2011


There's only one week left to enter to win both the Winter 2010 and Spring 2011 issues of Interweave.

At the same time, Grosgrain has a great giveaway for Shabby Apple swimsuit. You can check out the Shabby Apple Amalfi Coast Swimsuit Giveaway for details.

Any other giveaways floating around you'd like to share? It's always so much fun :)