April in review

I figured I’d go ahead and do this month’s writeup now–I know there’s still a day left, but honestly, I’m not going to make any progress towards anything tomorrow, between work and teaching and finally getting my car into the shop to get repaired from its fender-bender. I had to get two estimates thanks to the insurance run-around, and then I couldn’t get an appointment at the shop for well over a week after that.

On the plus side, I do get to pick up Bernadette and the unnamed serger from the shop tomorrow. (Christina suggested Sergio, which is a great idea. But I already have a friend who is somewhat “real life”, since I know her from the internet but did meet her in person once, who named her serger that, and I don’t want to steal her thunder. At the moment, I’m considering Molly, after the somewhat temperamental apprentice wizard from The Dresden Files book series.) Oh, and before I forget– turns out that the reason that Bernadette wasn’t doing so well with the newer buttonhole foot was due to the foot itself. I guess it was defective. So I have to get a new one again, but if it means I get my automatic buttonhole feature back, it’s worth it!

So, enough of that….on to the review. This month was a lot less productive than I’d hoped, due to having little to no weekend time to myself. I knew I’d have extra Sunday afternoon rehearsals since I have a concert next Sunday, but I wasn’t expecting to end up having to work a bunch of Saturdays in a row and lose my prime sewing time as a result. But I did get some stuff done. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

#1: Finish the blue corduroy jacket. Check. This also enabled me to check bagged linings on my Check the Technique.

#2: Go through the Jean-ius class that I have from Craftsy. A partial win, as I’ve only gotten through two of the videos so far. But I’m hoping that maybe I can at least start on part 3 this week and get cracking on that pattern.

#3: I’d like to get a quick project in between the jacket and the jeans. Which I did, with the convertible dress. I also cut out and have about halfway sewn the blouse for my Colette Palette Challenge, since I got stuck on the jeans. 

#4: Get my Onyx sweater sorted out so I can continue that. I did at least get an answer on Ravelry for something to try. But I honestly haven’t touched this one in about a month. Fortunately, my KAL buddy has also been busy, so I’m not holding her up.

#5: Cast on my Strafford Tee. I have done this, and have knitted about 2″ so far. See, progress!

#6: Finish putting my fabric swatches in their new notebook. Yeah, I think I did about 2 swatches this entire month. Fail.

#7: Make one scrapbook page. Now this I actually did do! Since they were very simple pages, I actually managed to get three 2-page spreads assembled. Nothing exciting design-wise, but it’s something.

I guess I did better than I thought, but on the sewing front especially, I still feel rather behind. I’m anticipating this month being similarly nuts, since I already know this weekend is shot between rehearsals/concert and having to work before the Saturday practice, I already know I’m going to lose a good chunk of Memorial Day weekend due to having to work yet again on the Saturday, and I’m very much hoping that I will be out of town (and therefore not working) for one of those weekends. (But in that case, the girls I’d be hanging out with are my crocheting buddies, so there’s a fairly decent chance I can get some knitting in between rounds of board games, and it wouldn’t be a total loss of craftiness.) So I’m going to keep things fairly simple this month. Here’s what I’m hoping to get done:

#1. Not flake out on Me-Made-May. If I have limited time to create things, I want to at least enjoy the things I’ve made already. And since I need to add some things to the Handmade Closet page on here, I am going to try to keep up with the daily photos, with the goal of posting those outfit photos a couple of times a week. (Besides, my boyfriend was excited to hear that I’ve taken on something that involves taking lots of pictures of myself that he can steal for himself later!)

On a side note, before I continue, it occurs to me that I never actually posted my pledge on here. So here it is:

I, Becky, of Sew and So, pledge to wear at least one me-made or refashioned piece of clothing a day, and aspire to wear at least one handmade accessory, for the duration of May. I also pledge to aspire to do better with taking photos this time! 

#2: Finish the three pieces of clothing for my Palette Challenge:
      a) the blouse, which as I mentioned, is about halfway done
      b) the jeans, which I need to make the pattern for and then actually make, as per the class instructions
      c) the skirt, which I’ve only started in my head about a dozen times when work gets boring, but haven’t touched in the real world.

#3: Make some visible progress on my Strafford Tee. This shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to accomplish, since I’m sure I’ll at least have some tv-watching time with my guy on our lower-key hangout nights. (Thankfully, he is completely cool with me keeping my hands busy with crafty stuff while we watch movies or hockey or tv shows. Hey, maybe I’ll do something totally crazy and finish that next step on the Onyx too! We’ll see how it goes.)

#4: Finish weeding out my wardrobe, and get the things I’m getting rid of out of here and to the thrift store so I don’t have a huge pile of laundry lurking just behind my door!

So, yeah, I’m going to just leave it at that. Hopefully once I get past the spring, which is the busiest season at a garden center, I won’t be working 6 days a week anymore and can actually get some of my personal stuff done. If nothing else, I should be able to get some Sunday afternoon craft time in there, once I get through the concert next week.

When I can’t sew….

…I find myself daydreaming about sewing when things get slow at my day job. In my head, that red Beignet skirt has been finished twice by now. My wardrobe also has a perfectly-fitting imaginary pair of jeans, a summery Lonsdale dress that I haven’t even queued to cut out yet, and some nifty new refashions that may or may not ever happen in the real world.

….I also find myself daydreaming that some friendly singing mice and birds will come in and finish all of my mending projects while I’m working, Cinderella-style.

….I took advantage of not having time to do anything with them to take both my machine and my serger to the shop. Bernadette (my sewing machine, which has recently picked up a name after being just “my sewing machine” for years) just needs a little tuning up, because she hasn’t had one since my mom handed her down to me oh, 14-15 years ago. I oil her regularly and do my best to keep her cleaned out, but every so often, it’s probably good to let the professionals at her. I’m also hoping that, since I mentioned it to the repairman, the mystery of why her automatic buttonhole feature no longer works since getting the new foot can be solved.  My as-of-yet nameless serger….well, I’m hoping that when I get it back, the left needle actually makes a good stable row of stitching and I won’t have to have Bernadette finish all of its dirty work when it comes to seaming together my knits.

…I’m culling my wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still wonderfully overstuffed, but I’ve actually managed to create a good-sized pile of clothes to go to the great big thrift shop in the sky. Things I just don’t like anymore, things I’ve been meaning to alter and realized I just don’t care enough to bother, things that don’t fit me right at all, etc. I still have another under-the-bed bin or two to go through before I can actually send them off, but so far, most of my shorts have ended up there, despite the fact that I need some for work. I learned last summer that working outside registers with shorts that are way too big at your waist and a radio dragging them down even further at the pockets is not a fun experience. (I got them to fit my hips, and so even belts didn’t help.)

….I went thrift shopping. In deference to my lack of time, I completely managed to avoid buying anything that was simply for the fabric/refashion potential. Of course, I still ended up with two things that need slight alterations– a strapless red dress that could use at least the option for straps, and a lovely lime green dress that, after bringing it home and taking it out of the bag, I realized that it’s almost an identical color to my convertible dress! Basically, the knit dress is a bluer shade and the thrifted dress is a yellower shade. So I need to mix it up a bit. I have some lace trim that I got for free ages ago that I think might look great with it. I’m debating whether to throw some dye into the mix as well–a little dip-dye ombre effect, perhaps?

….yeah, that’s the other thing I’m daydreaming about. Dyeing things. I already have a small mental list of clothes that could use a little color alteration. And a piece of white gauzey fabric that I want to dye and make into a maxi-skirt. In my head, it’s turning orange and yellow and red and I’m calling it my “Girl On Fire” skirt. Yes, I still have The Hunger Games stuck in my head.

….I want to buy fabric. In fact, I did cave and buy this…though I’m normally not attracted to traditional lace fabrics, I have been liking the lace shirt trend this spring. Plus it’s sunflowers, and that makes it pretty much my Favorite. Lace. EVER. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with it yet. But I’ll find something.

I thought that would pretty much scratch the fabric itch, but noooo, I still want to buy more fabric. Which is just bad, because if I can manage to find enough sewing time to get through my Colette Palette challenge, I think that just might make me finally crack that 200-yard mark on my fabric stash! I’m even justifying it in my head. I do need a few pairs of pants, and I don’t have all of the colors I need in my stash in sufficient quantities. And Fabric.com currently has a sale running on organic cotton bottomweight twill, which only lasts until Monday. And I also have a 13% off coupon code, which does not say that it doesn’t work on sale items. So I could totally justify this. And possibly this, since my trouser jeans get a lot of use despite being obviously too short for me–I would love to replace them with a better-fitting (and especially longer!) self-stitched pair.

Solid colored neutral pants are basics, and I will need to make those happen at some point. What I’m having a little more trouble justifying is my desire for this. I saw it, and it’s screaming at me that it wants to be a sweater dress based on the Renfrew top pattern. Especially since my one thrifted sweater dress (more of a sweater tunic, since I only ever wore it over jeans) has ended up in my “to donate” pile….I still love it, but it’s time to acknowledge that it was always too small for me and therefore too tight all over and I need to let it go. But then there’s still the problem of “I have barely any sewing time right now.”

I did get through the first two videos of the jeans class, and my jeans are all thread-basted up and ready to go for lesson 3. I think. I may have to re-do the last line or something, I’m not sure if it’s right and I haven’t gotten an answer on the messageboard for that lesson yet.

Tie me up! Untie me!

Going with the random song inspiration for this post title…one band that my brother really likes that he introduced me to is called mewithoutYou, and while the song isn’t a happy one at all (which is why I’m not linking to it), the title certainly fits this dress. I finished it on Saturday, but didn’t have a chance to do the final pressing until today. And since I also didn’t have a chance to clean anything and I’m feeling a little under the weather, everything will be modeled by Donna for now. Hopefully I can break this one out for MMM, provided we get some nice warm days.

It doesn’t really look like much here. Just a basic tank of a dress. Those funny little protrusions around the hips are the side sashes, which are super loooooooong and drag quite a ways on the floor when standing like this.

And this is all of the various ways of wearing it that I’ve come up with so far. Going from left-to-right, then top-to-bottom, the first 6 pictures are options that were given in the pattern, minus the second one is off-the-shoulder in the pattern and I can’t simulate that too well on an armless dummy. The second half of the pictures were me playing around with other options–row 2 to the right is the front and back of a more asymmetric look, while the last 3 of the bottommost row were me experimenting with another wrap look and doing some different things in the back. I guess I’ll have to wait and see how these various looks work on me, but I’m curious to hear what your favorites are!

I didn’t have a whole lot of work left to do on this, so I also did some minor reconstruction projects while I was watching tv with my boyfriend that day.

I made this shirt back in college, and it’s served me well. But the sleeves were a bit too short to be comfortable for me, since I was constantly having to tug it down over my wrists. I’ve been thinking for at least a year that I should just hem them shorter, so I finally bit the bullet and did it.

I also had this dress, which I purchased from ModCloth nearly 2 1/2 years ago. I wore it to a friend’s wedding, and haven’t worn it since. It ended up being shorter on me than I’m comfortable wearing on a regular basis, especially to church (which is where most of my dresses tend to come into play.) But I still liked the style and especially the color.

So, though I felt slightly bad because it was also a bit pricier than I usually go for, I re-hemmed it to a shirt length. And I think I’ll get much more use out of it this way. The first picture is as is. For the second, I took the part of the skirt that I’d hemmed off and turned it into a sash, so I have that tied around the waist. And for the lower two pictures, I was experimenting with my elastic belts, both of which were (appropriately enough) also purchased at ModCloth. I think I like the self-tie and brown belt looks the most so far.

As for my Palette Challenge, I haven’t really started the jeans yet (saving the handwork for my usual Thursday night dinner/tv time with the boyfriend, since he doesn’t mind me doing crafty things while we watch shows), but I did get the blouse traced out of the BurdaStyle book last night. And I did get part of the blouse cut out today. It’s just stripe-ish enough of a fabric to slow things down. So hopefully I can find some time to finish that off before the weekend starts.

Meet my favorite jeans.

After a little deliberation, I’ve decided that I am going to go ahead and give this Colette Palette Challenge a shot. I saw a post on the Coletterie this morning where one of the editors had decided she’d just focus on three pieces, and it was a lightbulb moment for me….I can actually make this work without completely derailing my plan to work through those “kits” I’ve made from my stash, and without overwhelming myself with an overly ambitious plan that I just can’t get through while I’m in my busy season at work. (I hope. Given that I don’t have a day off for at least the next 13 days after today, I might not get to sew much at all!)

So I’m going to use this challenge to focus on three of those pieces, with a rather basic palette of black, white, dark blue and red. The dark blue will be my jeans, which I’d already planned to do this month while working through the Jean-ius class on Craftsy. I’m also going to aim to work on the blouse from the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook, using a black and white print I finally caved on after about a month of deliberation back in December, and the Beignet in a red organic cotton twill that I’ve had sitting around for awhile to make a skirt out of. That seems like a manageable amount for the 6ish weeks that the challenge goes on, and if I can manage to finish all three pieces, I’ll have two complete outfits, since the top can easily pair with both bottoms.

So, to kick things off and to gear myself up for starting the Jean-ius class, since I’m this close to finishing the convertible dress and will most likely finish it up this evening, this is me taking a look at the jeans I’m going to be basing this class on.

I bought these jeans a few years ago at Goodwill. The brand is Southpole, which is not one I would have ever picked up new since it’s more of an urban style type shop and that just isn’t me. (Also, their website now says it basically focuses on kids’ and juniors’ clothes.) But they fit me amazingly well.

They don’t gap in the back at all. And the rise is absolutely perfect–low enough to be comfortable and stylish, but high enough that I don’t have to worry about flashing my undies at people.

Even the length is perfect–they’re long enough that they work with my heeled boots, but short enough that I can wear them with flats without stepping on the hem.

These are the jeans I go to pretty much every time I go hang out with friends, when I want to be comfortable but still look good. And they’ve been washed and worn so many times that the fly is starting to pull back and expose the zipper, the fabric around the button is beginning to fray and I’m getting worried that one of these days it’ll just completely fall out, and the pocket stitching is beginning to come undone. And so it’s definitely time to clone them before they fall apart completely, because I haven’t found a pair of jeans that fit as well since.

All sorts of random

Because it’s Wednesday, I wanted to answer some comments anyway, and I have all sorts of craft-related thoughts floating through my head. Comment replies first:

Kelly asked me how many pairs of pants I’ve made so far. If you don’t count pajama pants, I’ve had two pairs of pants that I would consider successful. Yes, one of them was the Anthropologie greatness of last summer, And the black pants I made for my pantsuit turned out pretty decently, though I would like them better if the waistband had been a tiny bit longer and the fly had turned out nicer. As it is, they fit me so absolutely perfectly that if I gained a pound or two, they probably wouldn’t fit anymore. (Good thing that my weight doesn’t seem to fluctuate much.) I’ve also had a few failures, like the jeans I made a few years ago that tore in a bad place pretty quickly.

Carolyn, Donna and Mary all suggested that maybe I drew the pants a little short in the croquis and that adding shoes might help. I haven’t had a chance to play around with that yet, but I’ll keep you posted!

Ginger suggested the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank as a potential solution for my yardish of lining fabric that’s left over and screaming to be made into a top. It’s a cute pattern, but I’m not sure it would work for me–I’ve found that tops/dresses with little to no shaping at the waist just don’t quite work on me. I may have something in my pattern stash that will work, so I’ll have to pull that out and see. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

Now, on to the random thoughts….

  • Why am I suddenly having a slew of ideas for things to do with my fabric stash now that I have a whole bunch of projects queued and very little time to actually execute them?
  • I did have about an hour to sew today, and got the 4 seams needed to assemble the knit dress stitched up. Though I’ll have to take it in a bit because it’s gapping pretty badly under the arms. Then it’s just hemming and finishing the arm/neck holes, and it’s done.
  • I think I am going to have to see about getting my serger repaired. Again. Said 4 seams are also going to be reinforced with my regular Bernina.
  • To try the Colette Palette Challenge, or not to try the Colette Palette Challenge? That is the question. Particularly since I don’t want to get too far off-track as far as dealing with all of those fabric/pattern pairings I already have goes. So if I did this, it looks like my palette would have to be rather limited, like black and white and maybe one of the other more-or-less solid pieces I have queued. (I’m not sure how well red and sky-ish blue will go together.) And I’m not sure how fun that would be, to go so neutral.
  • I’m suddenly finding myself in the mood to do some weeding in my wardrobe, and figure out where the holes really are. I’ve managed to pull several things out so far, including a few things from my mending pile that were there more for refashioning purposes and I’ve decided that I just don’t care enough.
  • I’m also finding myself with a rather strong urge to buy some fabric, even though I’m still sitting on about 208 yards. I think a large part of it has to do with the aforementioned weeding/the realization that nearly all of my store-bought pants are too short for me, and a large part of it has to do with Tasia’s recent post about sewing frosting vs. cake. Let’s be honest here: as fun as sewing dresses and skirts can be, realistically speaking, when it comes to my working wardrobe, pants and jeans are my “cake”. For well over half of the year, when I’m looking for things to wear for my teaching, I’ll reach for those too-short pants because I’m too cold to contemplate a skirt, even with tights. I’ve been trying to branch out there, and in the summer, I am more likely to reach for a skirt or dress than a pair of shorts. But I’m overall more of a pants person. Other than church, I more or less live in jeans all weekend long. And that’s ok if that’s my style. Except I need more pants, and most of those store-bought ones just aren’t cutting it in terms of holding up and being an ok length. (I’m pretty sure they shrank in the wash, if they were even long enough to begin with. That’s what I get for also wearing boots a lot.) The point is, I think I only have one, maybe two pieces of fabric that could make a good pair of work pants both in terms of weight and yardage. And I know of at least 3 different colors that I need as neutrals to make all of my great tops work. So I’m very strongly tempted to go ahead and get some bottomweight fabrics in those colors. But part of me is thinking that maybe I should knock some more of these things off the queue first. Like, you know, the pair of jeans and the pair of pants that I already have queued. And then I’d have a better idea of what sort of yardage I really need anyway.
  • I’m getting some help on my Onyx sweater via Ravelry. I’m still trying to figure out if that means I need to rip the entire thing out and start over, again. One of these days, I hope to make a sweater that I don’t have to start 3 times. That happened with the Cadence too.
  • I went ahead and cast on a new project anyway, and am pondering the odds of things turning out ok if I deviate from the pattern to add some shaping in the waist area. I’ve seen multiple comments on Ravelry stating that the pattern would have benefited from such. Thank goodness I live in the internet age, where how-tos are only a few mouse clicks away!

another finished jacket

This is the jacket #120 from the 3/11 issue of BurdaStyle (one of the last magazines I got from them.)I finished this up on Thursday night, and I’ve worn it twice already! This pic was from yesterday afternoon, courtesy of my boyfriend–we went to his place to hang out and watch a movie after a late lunch (or early dinner) with his family. The furball is one of his two dogs–this one has absolutely loved me from day 1, and likes to hang out close by whenever I’m around!

I’m happy with the fit, and since the color is pretty close to a dark denim, I think it will be fairly versatile in my wardrobe! Here’s some more detail shots:

My one detail that I’m not entirely sure I like is the collar. I think that it pressed out fairly well for corduroy that I was afraid of crushing, and I like the shape of the upper collar and the lapel width. I guess I just wish it didn’t have that huge gap where the collar stand is…the brown cord jacket had that same feature, and I’m undecided about whether it just looks weird or not.

I am very satisfied with the interior finishing job! I went ahead and serged all of the lining insides to keep it from fraying and weakening the seams. This is done with a modified bagged lining–I didn’t want to leave the seam between the jacket and the peplum just kind of billowing out, so I used that seam as my handstitching one instead of leaving a gap in a side seam. I used some instructions from a Sew Stylish magazine I had lying around, and they worked brilliantly! So consider that technique checked.

Look how nice and clean that machine-finished sleeve hem looks. (And in this case, I an all in favor of as little hand-sewing as possible!)

Incidentally, I have about a yard of this floral fabric left, so I need to figure out what to do with it. I’m thinking maybe a simple sleeveless top, but I’ll have to figure out what pattern since the Sorbetto doesn’t really suit me, and I’m a little afraid to use the Pendrell again after what happened with the leftover raincoat lining!

On a more positive note, I think the buttons may be one of my favorite things about this jacket. I cannot believe how absolutely perfectly they go with the lining! And though I had to unpick one that got crazy long, I did get some good practice on all-manual all-the-time buttonholes on my machine.

I’ve sort of started my knit dress, though that’s really a technicality. So far, all of my sewing time on it has been spent wasting using the scraps to try and get my serger to make a nice seam. The front looks basically perfect, but the back side isn’t quite working and the seam does tend to pull apart and show the stitches when any pressure is put on a seam. So I basically have to go over it a second time with the regular sewing machine. According to the book I was looking at, I need to tighten the tension on the left-hand needle, because the stitches are pulled too much in the back. But if I do even a little, those stitches just don’t catch at all and it looks worse on both sides. I know it’s not the needle, because I changed it to a fresh one, and I’m pretty sure it’s not the thread this time, since I’ve got my nice sewing machine thread in the needles right now. The other thing is that part of the threading for that particular needle just won’t stay in place, so I’m not sure that doesn’t have something to do with it. I guess my plan of action is to next call the repair/retail shop where I got the darned thing from in the first place, and see what they suggest. (And if I have to get it fixed AGAIN, ugh.)

in between

I seem to find myself at an in-between point on several projects.

  • I’m actually pretty close to finishing up the blue jacket! I got a nice chunk of sewing time yesterday, and so all I have left is one hand-stitched seam and 3 buttons to sew on. No pictures, because at this point I’d rather wait until it’s done.
  • Regarding the Onyx sweater: I still don’t know what I did wrong. I spent a good chunk of the evening chatting online with my KAL-partner-in-crime tonight, and the solution we came up with involved cutting the yarn and treating the wrong side like it was the right side. Which worked really well in that it put the mistake stitches on the wrong side, and I was able to just knit an extra row to get back on track. Only problem is that once I got caught up, we went on to the first row of the next section, and where the instructions say to knit the reserved stitches for the back in the same row as the front, the back section is doing that exact same thing! So far, we’re both having that issue. At this point, I might just purl all of that section instead, since I can’t make heads or tails of it otherwise.
  • I cut out the Butterick convertible dress today. I had to do a last-minute change of plans on this one. My mom gave me two pieces of fabric for my birthday specifically for this pattern, since I had no stashed pieces of knit that it would be ok to show the wrong side of. I was originally planning to go with the blue hemp jersey, but it was cut so crookedly that I basically lost a quarter-yard of fabric once I got the fold to lie flat. And since two of the three pieces were cut on the fold, that part was kind of important! So I went with the green rayon instead, and I’ll have to come up with a fun top to make out of the hemp. Maybe some kind of Anthro-inspired embellished Renfrew… The dress should sew up pretty quickly, though, given that it’s basically 4 seams, 3 edge finishes and a hem. The drape itself is left completely raw-edged, so other than getting it in the side seams, I don’t even have to mess with that. It’ll probably take me more time to get the serger rethreaded and the tension right than to sew the actual dress!
  • I am reknititng my swatch for the knitted tee, purposely forcing myself to knit less tightly. It’s a little early in the swatch to tell, but I think that the width may be good now. (So maybe what I can do is just knit more tightly on purpose when I hit around the waist, to give it some shaping!)

 I did also decide to go ahead and rework the dress I wore on Saturday a bit, which is essentially resulting in my taking a dart out of the bodice seam. I realized pretty quickly that it would actually be a lot easier for me to stitch the new side seam by hand than for me to undo the entire lining in order to get to it by machine. So I’m taking the opportunity to practice a couple of the stitches from my Couture Sewing Techniques book. The bottom row of stitching is my backstitch, since that’s supposed to work the best for a strong, permanent seam….how am I doing?

I’ve also been playing around in the last couple of weeks with my croquis. And, well, I’m not sure how helpful this is! I was sketching out the pants and blouse combinations from two different Vogue patterns that I have, in order to help myself decide what to make with the charcoal denim and coordinating silky print I was given for Christmas. And, well, the pants on both just look awful in my sketch! So either this means that I took the picture at an oddball angle which apparently gives me more of the little teapot look (i.e. shorter and stouter), or maybe pants just don’t work on me. At least the straight-legged ones. Isn’t that supposed to be the cut that looks good on everyone? So I’m wondering if maybe I should ditch that idea altogether and go bootcut or something. (I am still kind of inclined to like the top in the middle sketch better out of the two options.)

At least it appears that my Beignet will look good.

Anyway, I’m hoping that maybe I’ll have time to squeeze in that regular pair of pants shortly after the convertible dress and jeans, because I did sign up for Me-Made-May this year. Hopefully I won’t totally flake like I did last March. I’ll have been back to work longer, so hopefully that means I’ll be more adjusted to the schedule and can squeeze in some photo-taking!

March in review

Since I’m doing the monthly round-up thing now, figured I’d start the new month off right! So here’s how I did on my goals for March, as stated here….

#1: The Renfrew top–done, great pattern, will definitely use that again sometime.

#2: Finish knitting the Camille shrug–check. And since I had a request from my Onyx sweater partner-in-crime, I did get an action shot of it with the dress at the wedding (this was at the reception, in a side room of the church.) Overall, it worked very well with this dress that I’d originally envisioned it with. (Aside from some fitting issues in the dress bodice itself, which I’m now in the process of resolving since I was apparently too lazy to do it right the first time. Basically, I’m taking in the side seams above the black waistband, stitching it by hand because I have to take apart less of the lining than I would by machine. I need practice on handstitching anyway, right?)

p.s. The sleeves are actually full-length, I just had them pushed up in this picture since it ended up being a bit warmer than I’d anticipated.

#3: Reconstruct that brown suedecloth skirt. Check, although I still need to do something with the lining.

#4: The next step of the Onyx sweater. See previous post for the reason I didn’t finish this. (I have a phone date with my KAL partner tomorrow to see if she can help me figure out what on earth I did wrong.)

#5: Blue corduroy jacket. It’s not quite done, but it’s getting close.

#6: Swatch for my Strafford Tee. I did actually do one earlier this week, and am now debating what to do–according to the swatch, I had about a stitch more per inch than I was supposed to. Which honestly doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, and I might just go with it since I was trying to figure out how to incorporate some more fitting into it anyway. It looks like it’s pretty loose at the waist.  So I guess this confirms that I am a too-tight knitter.Maybe I should just re-knit the swatch and try to relax a bit, since I’m actually using the right yarn for once…

Essentially, though, I got 4 out of 6 done, and the Onyx was pretty much due to circumstances beyond my control. Not too shabby at all!

So here are my goals for this month:

#1: Finish the blue corduroy jacket.

#2: Go through the Jean-ius class that I have from Craftsy. Which will hopefully result in a new, well-fitting pair of jeans!

#3: I’d like to get a quick project in between the jacket and the jeans, since they’re both pretty detail-heavy projects (and that’s been on my mind since reading Tasia’s post last week about how long sewing projects should take.) I’m not entirely sure which one yet, but I’m thinking either Butterick 5606 or a reconstruction project. (I’ve decided to hold off on the knit shirt I already have cut out, since that’s long-sleeved and it’s increasingly unlikely that I’ll get any use out of it in the next several months, by the time I finish. So I may just knock that one out later in the summer when my brain turns to thoughts of preparing for fall.)

#4: Get my Onyx sweater sorted out so I can continue that.

#5: Cast on my Strafford Tee.

#6: Finish putting my fabric swatches in their new notebook.

#7: Make one scrapbook page. Gotta start somewhere if I’m serious about getting myself back into this.

One last note: The patterns have all been claimed. Sarah and Muireann, I’ll get those to you asap.