The turkey sandwich of fabric

Ah, leftovers. Aren’t they the best? I had to pop into Fishman’s Fabrics for a few YKK zippers, and while I was there, I snapped up a couple of gorgeous remnants.


There we have two skirt quantities of a very high quality wool gabardine that normally sells for $40 a yard. I got both pieces for less than the cost of a single yard. Win! That blue gabardine wants to be a pencil skirt when it grows up.

I also picked up a bemberg remnant, enough to line a skirt and maybe cut out a few pocket bags.


I usually hate the feel of lining fabrics — they’re slick in a way that feels cheap — but bemberg doesn’t offend my fingers. I was happy to snag this remnant.

But the real score was the cow hide remnant that was only $15 for the entire piece.


I laid the tape measure on the folded piece to give you an idea of the dimensions. Like most leathers, it is an irregular shape, but at its smallest, it’s 23″ by almost 90″ long. It’s definitely enough for a skirt, though there are a couple of marks on the skin that might present some cutting challenges. Even if I don’t get a full skirt out of it, I can make a bag and use the other pieces for trim. It’s a mid weight, verging on heavy weight, and I wouldn’t use it to make sleeves for a t-shirt, for example (a hot trend in leather right now). But collars on a jacket, waistbands, a skirt, a bag — any of these things will be great in this dark gray hide. I’m kind of excited that it was only $15 for this much hide.

Remnants! Love ’em. I didn’t really plan to buy anything but the zippers that day, but really, it would have been penny-wise and pound-foolish not to snag these remnants. I need skirts, and this will give me three top-quality skirts for a mere $50.

I also plan to shop a bit at the Mood holiday sale tomorrow. They hooked me good last year with this same sale, and I’ve been saving a bit of extra scratch to take advantage of it this year. I keep saying I don’t need to buy fabric right now — and I do get to wear the stash halo for skipping the Orginal Sewing & Quilt Expo last week, which is always rife with temptations. But I am a sale shopper, and I just think it makes sense to buy when you can get a bargain. In reality, it’s a splurge because I don’t actually *need* anything right now. But I have my eye on some specific fabrics, and depending on the terms of their sale, we’ll see what ends up in my shopping cart.

Are you a sale shopper? Do you tend to stash for later when you find a great deal?



Warm thing redux: Fit for giants

Okay, so I’m in love with the idea of a giant warm thing with a hood, something like this DKNY shroud-muumuu-burka.

dkny warm thing

It’s snowing today. I had to scrape ice off my car windows. The wind is blowing so hard that when I tried to shoot some wiper fluid at my windshield, it sheared off onto the street without touching the glass. Winter in Chicago = four solid months of wondering why the hell anyone would choose to live here.

But the warm thing is a consolation.

I made a fitted warm thing the other day and showed that one to you. It’s great. I adore it. But it’s not quite roomy enough to fit comfortably over a sweater or sweatshirt, so I decided to make a supersized version, one that would fit over a sweater plus a sweatshirt plus a bathrobe plus all the blankets from my bed plus any small children or dogs seeking refuge from a blizzard.

Mission accomplished.


I can’t stop laughing over how enormous this thing is. Seriously, Look at that. What are we looking at, two feet of wearing ease? GIANT. And so warm. But jeez, look at the fistful of extra fabric here, and that’s not even all the ease.


I can’t tell you the pattern number for this thing. I concocted it from a newspaper tracing of an old raglan hoodie pattern found in a box with some notions, and it came in pretty handy for the supersized warm thing. There aren’t any notations on it to indicate whether it was drafted from an existing garment (I copy garments sometimes) or taken from a sewing pattern. If I had to guess, I’d say it was likely from a garment because I don’t usually buy patterns with raglan sleeves, but I have received a few raglan sweaters as gifts over the years. Actually, now that I’m pondering this question, I almost wonder if this is a tracing of an ex-bf’s sweatshirt. Could be. It’s big enough.

In any case, I took the sweatshirt template, eliminated the cuff at the bottom, and extended the hem down below knee-length. I debated widening it in sort of an A-line below the hips, but it’s big enough already without adding more volume. I did use a side slit on either side seam from just a couple inches above the knee down to the hem.  There’s a turned and stitched sleeve cuff, and I added elastic for a closer fit over the pulse point.

But, much like Goldilocks, I now have all these thoughts about too small, too big, and just right. The first one is close fitted and I love it, the second one is like a cocoon of warm, and I love it. Now I want one that’s sort of in the middle, neither too big nor too small, but just right. I’m thinking maybe about six inches of ease ought to do the trick.

And I just happen to have a third length of cheap big box fleece hanging around the joint — just right!


Sunday status report

I’ve had a good bit of knitting time this week as I cope with this illness. Between naps and blood draws, I’m basically fighting to get my work done and then napping more or knitting. Knitting is a lot slower than sewing, but I was able to finish this hat in just a few days.


This is the Hinagiku hat, a freebie on ravelry (link), made in Heirloom Cashmino DK. I just bought a winter coat, a puffy hooded parka in a black and white plaid, and none of my existing hats look passable with it. They’re all too colorful — stranded brioche, fair isle, variegated, etc. They clash with the plaid. So I had these two little skeins of Cashmino, an incredibly soft cashmere/merino blend, and it seemed perfect for the hat.

The pattern uses two stitches, a standard 1×1 twisted rib and a daisy stitch. The daisy stitch is new to me. You k3tog and don’t remove the stitches from the left needle. Yarn over, then k3tog again through the same stitches — then you can slide the old stitches off the left needle Purl one, then repeat — it’s a 4-stitch pattern, 3 for the daisy and then a purl. There’s a resting row in between rows of this pattern (purl if it’s flat, knit if it’s round like this hat). The result looks a bit like a crocheted shell stitch. Here’s a close-up.


Cute, right? And it really does resemble crochet. It’s a little hand-crampy because that third maneuver in the daisy — the second k3tog after the yo — can be a little fiddly. I would knit a few rounds, then switch to something else to rest my fingers. When I got to the top, where you have to draw the yarn through the live remaining stitches to close the circle at the crown, I decided to thread the yarn several times through the loop of those live stitches to create a slight button effect.


I’ve done this on other brim-up hats before, and I just like this detail. It gives some weight and a cleaner finish to that final circle.

In between turning my fingers into claws with that daisy stitch, I finished a footie and started the second footie. No second-sock-syndrome here! It’s good to have a bit of mindless knitting on hand — I always keep socks-in-progress in my bag, and so luckily, I had these when I was in the hospital for testing earlier this week. I’ve never regretted toting some knitting around with me, but there have been plenty of times I’m glad to have it!


When I was in the hospital earlier this week, the nurses kept commenting on the socks I was wearing. They just happened to be some red variegated Opal socks in my standard 2×2 ribbed leg and foot — the sock pattern I almost always make because the fit is so good. In any case, one of the nurses was impressed enough with the idea of socks that don’t fall down inside your shoes — and that keep your feet warm! imagine! — that she told me she’s going to learn to knit now, too. Some people say they want to learn and you know they don’t mean it. This woman meant it. Another convert to the fold!

I also finished the “skirt” (hip to hem portion), waist shaping, and belt loops on the Montera jacket. I’m nearly finished with the third ball of yarn, out of an estimated 5.5 needed, so we’re past the halfway mark on this project. The skirt portion is so wide, over 60″ hem circumference, that it is difficult to photograph it flat. I had to turn under the portion on the right from the side seam to the front band.


Here’s a close-up of some of the belt loops. You had to knit each section between the loops separately, and that’s a lot of ends to weave.


Unblocked knitting always looks so raw! The next section of this sweater requires you to track multiple details at once — above-the-waist increases, bust shaping, buttonholes, and cabling. My brain is foggy enough that I don’t want to risk trying that without a chart, so I’ll be charting out these maneuvers before I take this project any further. Better safe than sorry.

I also have several sewing projects on the go, and two of them are near completion. Three, actually, now that I think about it. But I’ll save those for FO reports later this week.

If you knit, what are you knitting now?


Warm Thing, you make my heart sing!

I had thought this garment would be done and blogged Monday or Tuesday, but I ended up in the hospital quite suddenly early this week. No need to worry. I’m going to be fine once we stabilize things, and there aren’t any new problems here, just old symptoms and old problems.  I lost a bit of time this week and am still moving sort of slowly, but I’ll be fine.

And one of the side effects right now is that I am always freezing. Brr! Chicago isn’t exactly tropical this time of year. So when I saw this Warm Thing from DKNY, you can bet I gazed longingly at the picture.

dkny warm thing

I’ll take one in every color, please

Ok, so, yeah, I admit my first thought was that I’ve seen muumuus with more bodycon. This isn’t anyone’s idea of a date dress. Or if it is, I don’t want to know your other ideas about what’s sexy! Yikes. But after I got over the lumpy shapeless sack effect, I knew I had to have this garment.

Actually, after a bit of pondering, I decided to make several variations on this garment. I knew I would want a big, roomy, ankle-length one just like this to throw on over my clothes on a cold day. But then I thought, I might as well make a shorter one with a bit of body shaping, something like a more fitted tunic version of this garment. And guess what new pattern was issued just as I was having that thought?


McCall’s 7061

That’s a nightgown pattern for a knee-length hoodie with some waist shaping and a kangaroo pocket on the front. Some years ago, I made a similar nightgown (shaped hem, pouch pocket) for myself out of some cheap printed sweatshirt fleece bought from the clearance bins at a chain store that doesn’t even exist anymore. Cloth World, you guys. Remember that place? Anyway, I have fond memories of that nightgown and wore it like a sweatshirt over everything on cold days. It was, like the DKNY Warm Thing, definitely not sexy, but I wore it around the house all the time, to the point that family members started to ask me to make the same thing for them. If I wore it that much, it had to be good — that was their thinking, and they were dead right. It was good. Super cozy and warm. I wore it until it was in shreds.

So I figured my first iteration of the DKNY Warm Thing knock-off would be made from this McCall’s pattern. I briefly toyed with the idea of doing side seam pockets instead of the kangaroo pouch, but I wanted this first one to be fitted, and side seam pockets would disrupt the line. So I stuck with the pouch idea and headed to JoAnn’s for some polar fleece. Their fleece isn’t top quality, but it’s cheap and it’s good enough for a garment that I’ll never wear outside the house.

Around this time every year, as people switch to cold-weather sewing, the boards and blogs start talking about how to sew fleece. It’s a surprisingly tricky fabric because of three factors: bulk, curl, and heat intolerance. Bulk — the textile is very thick, and seams can be lofty and unwieldy, particularly at crossing points like crotch/leg joins. Curl — it’s a knit, and like many knits, it curls up along a horizontal raw edge and inward along a vertical raw edge, which can make it a bit hard to control and can prevent the seams from laying flat. Heat intolerance — we might ordinarily use steam pressing to flatten bulk and curl, but this stuff can’t handle an iron hot enough to make steam. The fiber will melt. Some people advocate using the point of the iron to briefly press a seam, but the fabric is so thick that the heat cannot penetrate the inner layers before it has melted the outer layers. I haven’t had good luck using that point pressing technique.

Instead, I use stitched seams to control and flatten the bulk, prevent curl, and create a neat finish. This works for me, but as with any technique I discuss here, you might prefer a different method.

So, first, I just sew a standard 5/8 seam, except I try to keep the fabric just a mite inside that 5/8 marking on my sewing machine template. This is because the loft and curl along that cut edge can mask the actual dimensions of the seam allowance. Yes, commercial sewing patterns are designed with a 1/8″ tolerance in the seams, but I’ve just learned through past fleece adventures that this tolerance is not enough with a very bulky fabric. So 5/8 minus just a smidgen is what I am for, like so.


The raw edge isn’t quite flush with the 5/8 line

Then, I trim one of the seam allowances — just one — to about half its width. This smaller seam allowance will be hidden under its partner soon. Trimming reduces bulk in the seam, and that’s the sole purpose of this particular step.


Then, I fold both seam allowances to one side so that the trimmed seam allowance is sandwiched between the untrimmed seam allowance and the garment fabric. On the right side, I topstitch the seam allowances to the garment fabric, using my presser foot as a gauge. The right side of the presser foot is aligned with the seam itself.


This can be tricky on sleeves and other tight tubes!

And that’s it. This second line of stitching/topstitching flattens the bulk and holds the fabric so that it won’t curl. This is what it looks like from the right side.


And this is what it looks like from the wrong side. Notice that you only see one raw edge. This is because the second raw edge is encased inside the stitching rows.


Also, on the kangaroo pouch, I used two lines of stitching everywhere the pattern called for one line. I’ve just found that two lines of stitching cuts down on the fabric’s tendency to curl, and it compresses the fabric to reduce bulk, and it substitutes for a pressing by holding the fabric in place. It doesn’t seem to matter if the two lines of stitches are very close (a scant 1/8″) or relatively far apart (a generous 3/8″). But I don’t use a twin needle for this — I sew each line separately — because the underside of a twin needle stitch can bubble a bit and add bulk right where we’re trying to reduce bulk. It can also encourage the fabric to curl if the twin needle stitching is parallel to the fabric’s natural curl direction.

This is a close up of part of the pouch pocket showing the stitching.


This picture really shows how the stitching compresses the fabric. Just look at either side of the stitching lines, and you can see how the fabric puffs up away from the stitches. But along those lines, at least, the fabric is compressed enough that the bulk won’t be uncomfortable.

Here’s the final garment. It’s definitely shapelier than the DKNY Warm Thing, but it’s still not exactly bodycon. But for something to wear around the house in the cold dark winter? It’s just what I need.


I’m already at work on a giant, roomy, raglan-sleeved version of the DKNY Warm Thing and should have it done in the next day or two. And I had enough of the dark gray stuff from this first version to make a pair of matching pants in a pattern designed specifically for this textile, so we’ll see how that goes!

How do you wrangle your fleece into submission?



A new flannel nightshirt

I live in a place with an extreme climate. Our heat index climbs over 100F in the summer and can easily dip as low as -25F or below with wind chills in the winter. My house gets cold in the winter. It’s inevitable. And this means warm textiles sewn into warm garments.

Like this nightshirt. This is a garment with a purpose more than it is a garment with a fashion point of view. Or wait. Maybe the point of view consists of, “Even with flannel sheets and down comforters, this bed is effing freezing.” Is that a fashion point of view, you guys? Does that count for style points?


Fashion point of view: Brrr!

Yeah, probably not. The entire virtue of this garment is that it is warm. It’s a heavyweight flannel, very good quality stuff from The Needle Shop (link*). One touch of this flannel on the bolt, and I bought a length of it without a care for the print. It’s that good. The weight and weave are top quality, and it has become increasingly difficult to find flannel of this quality in sewing stores. If I do happen upon some, I buy it. Worst case scenario, it can be used to interline a jacket for an extra layer of warmth. Or it can be used to line jeans. Or, as here, it can be used to wear to sleep. I’ll have my eyes closed. It won’t matter what I think of the print.

Truthfully, I’m not a big fan of prints in general. I think they add volume to a figure. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a fitted flannel shirt out of this print, but that thought was fleeting. The pattern scale is all wrong, too oversized for my petite frame, even if I do like the color palette. And it is a good color palette. The little flashes of red really wake up the gray, enough so that I decided to use red shirt buttons, too.

The pattern is McCall’s 6249 (link*), which I’ve used several times now to make pajama pants. View C, the nightshirt, comes with bust sizing, so that spared me from having to make a muslin. Normally, for anything that has to go over my shoulders and bust, I would make a muslin first. But for a nightshirt where fitting doesn’t have to be perfect, and one that came scaled to a D cup, I figured I could make it work. If this had been a regular shirt pattern, I still would have made a muslin, and I likely would have increased the bust just slightly and narrowed the shoulders just slightly. But for a nightshirt, the fit is acceptable as it is.


View C, center right

This pattern is rated easy, and with good reason. The sleeve is in one piece with no plackets or cuffs, just a turned and stitched hem. The collar is in one piece — the pattern drawings almost make it look like a two-piece stand collar, but it’s not. It’s one piece. The hardest part, if it can be called hard, were the buttonholes. The automatic buttonholer on my machine is not very user-friendly, so I considered making hand-stitched buttonholes. This is the difference between a nightshirt for private wear and a regular shirt for public wear — I skipped the work of a hand-stitched buttonhole and ended up with some rather Becky Home-Ecky machine made buttonholes, but that’s okay. I don’t mind a shortcut like this for something that very few people will ever see up close.

So, that’s one warm flannel nightshirt just as the temperatures start to fall. That will help me stay a bit warmer on a cold night. Hey, I should tell you my favorite trick for winter bedtimes — use the blow dryer to warm the sheets. You just lift the sheets and comforter, aim the blow dryer between them for a few seconds (not too long, and keep it moving — you don’t want to ignite anything), and then the bed will be warm when you get into it. I love this trick. I learned it from my Minnesota cousins who lived in a house with no heating on the second floor where all the bedrooms were located. Think about that. Minnesota. No heating on the second floor. If anybody knew how to beat the cold bed syndrome, it was those cousins.

I have some other “OMG my house is freezing” sewing in progress right now. Utilitarian stuff, but I’m in wardrobe-building mode, and these kinds of garments are needful things.

What is your favorite trick for staying warm in winter?


*By the way, I am using parenthetical links right now because this wordpress theme doesn’t really distinguish hyperlinked text from plain text. Someday I will fix this theme, you know, when my abundant free time allows it.*

Another type of skirt waistband alteration

A few weeks back, I showed you a method I use to reduce the waist on a simple straight skirt (link). Today I’ll show you how I made that same alteration on a skirt with a fitted yoke waist.

I recently sewed Vogue 8837 (link), a knit skirt with a shaped yoke and shirt-tail hem. When I was cutting this skirt, I was primarily concerned with the finished length of 33″ — as drafted, it would have come nearly to my ankles. I shortened it eight inches (link), and I could have sworn I checked the finished waist measurements on the pattern tissue before cutting.

Apparently not.


How does it even stay up? GIANT!

So, okay, I made a mistake and didn’t measure the waistband, sigh, bummer, etc. This is easy to fix, though. I I didn’t even have to remove the yoke to reshape it. This yoke is one large piece, folded over at the top so that the fabric is doubled. You can see the seam across the hips where the yoke joins the rest of the skirt. That’s almost exactly at the true hip, which on my petite frame is 7″ below true waist. So I started by detaching the folded-over portion of the yoke from the skirt (that’s the facing portion, the “private” side that touches the skin, not the “public” side that faces outward). I left the public side stitched in place.


Skirt waistband interior

You can see the stitching and seam allowances running horizontally on this picture. You can also see that the side seam of the yoke curves inward a bit — not nearly enough for someone with my hourglass, but it isn’t straight from hip to waist. What I needed to do was increase the shaping there to make it smaller through the waist. So I started by marking the point where I wanted the new waist curve to end up. It’s a little hard to see on that picture because the dressmaker’s ruler is clear with red markings, but the white chalk mark is 1.5″ in from the original waist point. It’s smack in the vertical middle of the waistband because when we fold the waist back over to stitch it down, that’s where the fold will be.

Next, I extended that dot into a dash of about 1″, or a half-inch extending on either side of the dot. The purpose of this little flat line portion is to smooth out the curve on the waistband. You know how some waistbands are rectangles and some are curved? I wanted the rectangular effect at the very top bit of the waistband, but I wanted the rest of it to curve.


Marking the flat/rectangular portion of the waistband

Then I used the curved portion of the ruler to extend this line to the hip seam and the top raw edge. This isn’t precise engineering. All you really have to do is find an angle that looks right — pay attention to the way the angle changes over the length of the ruler, because the curve will be steeper at one end than the other. I wanted it steeper as it approached the flat rectangle portion, so I flipped the curve around and positioned it until it looked about right, aiming for the point where the seam allowances at the side seam and the hem seam would cross.


Yeah, okay, that should do it

Then I flipped it around and used the same points on the ruler to draw the same arc from the waist to the stitched hem end. This is what the line looked like.


New stitching line marked in chalk

That sweet little line represents a 6″ reduction in the waist size — or, 1.5″ times four. Do you understand why it’s times four? There are two side seams, and each side seam consists of two pieces. So if we make this 1.5″ reduction on each of two pieces and two seams, that’s four reductions. We don’t have to do it this way. If we have a big belly or an extremely tiny back waist, we can shape the back and front waist yoke pieces in different ways to accommodate those body shapes. But in my case, this symmetrical shaping usually works pretty well.

While I’m thinking of different ways we can shape these yokes, I should mention that I considered adding darts instead of altering the side seams this dramatically. I thought I could trim the side seams a half inch and then do some half inch darts in the front and back and achieve the same reduction. With a different fabric, I might have done exactly this. But this particular ponte (from Mood — link) is heavy enough to be made into coats, and so I wanted to keep the seaming to a minimum. Thicker fabrics work better with fewer of these fine shaping details. In another fabric, though, I might have used darts to distribute the reduction around the circumference of the waist.

Next, I stitched on the chalk lines and trimmed away the extra fabric.


Hunka hunka burning red ponte knit

One thing that might be apparent from this picture is that the angle of that curve is pretty steep along the waist to the hip. And the angle from hip seam to hem is about as straight as any skirt gets. This meant that we shifted from steep angle to straight side seam right at that hip seam, and it made the crossing bit — where the side seam crosses the hip seam — want to stick out a little bit. So I ended up stitching a bit of an angle below the hip seam, too, just to smooth out the transition. It was only a tiny bit of stitching, but it made a big difference in the smoothness of the fit over the hips. That stitching line started about 1/2″ above the hip seam and extended down about a half inch below it.

After all the stitching was done, and the yoke was folded back over and restitched at the hip seam, this is the fit. I’m standing a little twisty to take the photo, but when I stand normally, that side seam does hang at the proper angle. I wanted to take a side view shot so you can see the shirt-tail hem effect at the knee, which was what drew me to this pattern in the first place.


The fit at the waist is ever so much better now! It will even stay up if I don’t hold it in place, much to the disappointment of the neighborhood perverts. I’ll trim the seam allowances to remove some of the bulk and give it one more intensive pressing, but this thing is basically ready to wear. It’s a heavy enough fabric to wear with some fleece tights and boots even on a cold day.

But can you imagine what it would look like if I hadn’t shortened it eight inches? Yikes. That would be bad.

These are the two main alterations (length and waist reduction) I have to make in about every skirt or pants pattern. Do you have standard alterations, too? Or is your fitting done on a project-by-project basis?


Staples and splurges

The Vogue Fabrics location at Roosevelt Road is going out of business. Sunday is their last day. The only remaining locations will be in Evanston.

I used this as my excuse to go to their 2-day warehouse sale in Evanston. I know, logic, right? The near location is closing, so let’s go to the far one! Um… Yeah. I have no real explanation, except that I’ve never once managed to make it to one of their warehouse sales. I’ve been to the Evanston Main Street location a bunch of times, but never to the warehouse. It’s always on a bad weekend — too broke, too busy, too whatever to be able to go.

So I went this time, determined to know if it is worth the drive. Well, I’m not sorry I went, but I’m not sure I’ll go all that often. I bought a full bolt (50 yards) of muslin and a full bolt (25 yards) of Armo fusible interfacing in gray. Fifty yards of muslin — that’s a lot! But I usually buy it ten yards at a time, and it seems I’m forever running out, so I thought I might as well buy the full bolt. The way I run through both these utility fabrics, it made sense to buy them while they were on sale. The warehouse was surprisingly clean — much cleaner than the Roosevelt Road location, which is always in need of a good sweeping. But the better fabrics weren’t part of the big sale, and I didn’t like any of the low-end fabrics that were on sale, so that pretty much took care of that.

And then I stopped at the Roosevelt Road location on the way through the city, because why not. Between their regular store sale and the end-of-bolt discounts for the clearance sale, I was able to score some excellent wools for not a whole lot of cash.


The full bolts from the warehouse are in the back, still shrink-wrapped. The gray fabric center front is a nudge over six yards of menswear wool, a very fine woolen, actually — tightly spun fibers, smooth weaving, and a lovely hand. This was an end-of-bolt score so I ended up with plenty for pants, skirt, jacket, etc. The paler gray is a 2-yard cut of the same fabric for pants, and behind that is 6 yards of a gorgeous wool crepe that manages to be fluid enough for dresses but firm enough for tailoring. I’ll probably make pants and a long jacket out of that, maybe a skirt, too.

So that was time well spent, and money well spent on things that will mix well into my plans. I’m glad I went. I doubt I’ll be buying much fabric for a while as I work on sewing what I’ve got. There’s plenty to keep me out of trouble for a while. I might need some bits and dabs — I know I need some shirting to match a plaid wool I bought for a skirt, for example. But other than some odd bits like that, I’m pretty content with my stash right now and look forward to sewing a bunch of it up.

The same can be said for my yarn stash, which is exponentially larger than my fabric stash. This week, after finishing the Kyoto turtleneck, I cast on for the Montera jacket, a Knitty pattern. How adorable is this?

montera knitty

Photo from

I love the asymmetrical front band, the flare from waist to hem, and the placement of the cables. And the belt. And the hem. Oh, heck, I love everything about this pattern, and I have to say, now that I’m knitting it, I love it even more. The details such as placement of decreases are thoughtful and well-designed, and I know I’ll get a good result. It might take a while, though. This is a pretty big project. Here’s the current status, just started on the second ball of Glenfiddich Wool Aran.


Not a bad start. The hem is over 60″ around — that’s a 47″ cable needle, you guys! I think that will be lovely to wear, warm and almost blanket-like below the hips, fitted and smooth through the torso. The wool is a very appealing jade green with flecks of blue and white — my camera is making it look a bit more blue than it actually is. I really like the fabric this wool is making at this gauge, and so far, so good, knock wood.

Speaking of muslin, I think I finally figured out how to do a FBA on that Ralph Rucci coat for the sew-along — I’ve cut yet another muslin piece, and if this one works, I’ll post about it in a few days. Tomorrow I’ll show you another fitting trick on a yoked skirt. Because I’ve been sick for two weeks now, my blogging (and my sewing and knitting) have been unpredictable, but there is some progress to report. Some! It’s funny, but one of the women at Sewing Pattern Review was saying she got loads of sewing done because she was sick, and I was so impressed by that! My progress is sputtering, at best, when I’m not feeling well.

Do you tend to sew/knit/create more or less when you’re down for the count?