Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Family

The Cheongsam dress is finished and was delivered today. Bride and Mom were thrilled. I love customers like that.

We've been busy with family things. August 16 was the college graduation/family party for my niece. Big bubbles are big fun. My sister has learned to quilt. She's showing her quilt to quilter daughter.

I was working on a vest for MB's Christmas. I had already discovered that my contrast color ran out before I was ready. I had hoped to keep the edge and change color after that. The contrast in the photo is Ivory Sprinkles WoolEase. I've changed to white WoolEase. The front was up to the armholes when I ran out of yarn. The back is/was finished. It's a size 8 long, so not really large. I may use the Ivory Sprinkles for the younger WB.

I've been working on a cotton jacket. Three colors of seed stitch in dishcloth cotton, following a Vogue sewing pattern. The back is now finished. The variegated yarn is about 25 years old. I'm not sure how far it will go, but I finally found a project for it.

Crystal Palace Yarns is running a mystery sock KAL. I had to redo clue one because I didn't read the instructions carefully. I missed 4 rows of garter stitch at the beginning. I finished clue 3 on the first sock tonight. This is the first time I have knit with beads. Clue 2 is done on the other sock.

Another family gathering tonight. Youngest daughter and husband are in from Florida. They came to a wedding in Ohio and are spending a couple of days with family, staying with her sister.

The lacy sock will be given next weekend at the family Labor Day party. It's a birthday gift that i need to finish. I have a couple of commissions to do ASAP.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More on the dress

Choengsam dress
I have pictures of the Cheongsam dress! I'll start with the top of the dress. The dress form is leaning, due to an old injury. The side to the left of the picture opens and will be closed with snaps. The zipper is already applied.

The pink bias for the trim is cut 1" wide and applied first. the print bias is cut 2" wide and applied second, tracing the previous stitching (yes, upside down so you can see the stitching). This trim is not included in the pattern, but instructions are available online.

I then pressed everything toward the cut, trimmed edge ( trimmed to about 1/8 ") . It gets folded to the back side and hand stitched from this point.

An invisible zipper is inserted on the right side below the trim opening. I am using a factory made dress as a sample, although some of the details are different. I bound the bottom of the zipper with fabric, although I will have to redo it so it is more straight.

The same trim will be applied to the leg slits after I make sure the hips fit. An a-line skirt does not work with this style.

Part of the top usually closes with self fabric frogs. On this dress, there will be fabric flowers instead.

Public Art
What has attacked the parking meters in my town? It looks like a mad crocheter.
Actually it's a group effort by an arts organization, occuring in a number of business areas. Each color is crocheted separately with a large hook, large yarn, and an open stitch. They are they sewn together and sewn onto the parking meters. In this installation, they go for about 3 short blocks and there are at least 20 decorated meters covering both sides of the street.

I hope it makes the drivers feel better about donating $.25 to park for 1/2 hour. Our police force is quite diligent about enforcement. This is a busy street, so the photos were taken early Sunday morning.

I finished another pair of socks for my big foot Son in Law, who will be in town in 2 weeks. His birthday was about a week ago. No good pictures until I figure out what I'm doing with the pattern. The leg is a slip stitch stripe pattern, which stretched the main color yarn to cover size 14 feet. Main color is Meilenweit tweed at 420 plus yards/100 gms.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's County Fair Time

It's that time of year again! Summer is county fair time, and state fairs too. I'm the knitting and crochet judge for two counties. The first one was this morning. Crochet categories were quite good. Nothing was outstanding, but nothing too bad either. Knitting was disappointing. I wish more of my guild members entered the fair. Nothing was terrible this year, but most of it was just mediocre. I've seen soiled items and beginner workmanship, luckily not this year.

There were the usual items entered in the wrong category. A knit sweater entered in the "over 60" crochet category. The "afghan stitch" afghan category is a usual problem. Many crocheters don't know what afghan stitch is. The afghan stitch afghans I saw were entered in the embroidered class, which is ok.

The new one to me was 2 entries in the crocheted pieced afghan class. One entry was one piece and the other was four pieces. What was wanted was whole afghans with pieces seamed together. I forget the exact wording in the book. Both pieces were entered by the same person. (This fair, you can enter up to 3 pieces in each class.

In the hooked rug section, a piece latch hooked with felt strips was entered in the traditional class. It wasn't even good felt. Some of the entries were outstanding. Finishing this year was generally good.

To enter a fair, you need to get the book ahead of time, fill out the entry form, and send in a small amount of money by the deadline. Entries are to be delivered a day or so before judging. For this fair, the deadline was July 20. Entries were delivered Friday after 6:00 pm and on Saturday. Judging is on Sunday. The fair opens on Monday. Food deliveries may be later. The judges get to really inspect the entries. Here's what our building looked like on judging day. When judging is finished, screens are put up to protect the entries, making them harder to see.

You can see how I planned ahead to get a picture of the welcoming inflatable. It's hard when you're making a left turn from a busy road. Here's the exit picture. I have 2 passes to the fair. If I go when it's open I'll try to get a better picture. No promises though, I live at the other side of the county.

Knitting continues. I'll soon finish another pair of socks. I'm working on a jacket of dishcloth cotton. I'll show that when I finish the back.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More sewing pattern frustration

Today's job was not the Cheongsam dress. It's a long story, but by the time the bride got enough fabric to me, it was late afternoon. I'll work on it Monday, and probably finish it. There are only three pattern pieces, front, back including shoulders and sleeves, and collar. There are facing pieces, but I won't be using them.

Instead, today I made a pair of pants for myself. I hate the ease in big three commercial patterns! I did check the finished measurements and still had to take in 3/4" on each side of the pants. The good news is that they are comfortable and I wore them most of the day. There were a few more pattern tweaks that showed up in the wearing, but I have a usable pattern. I can use this as a sloper for other pants patterns.

It's been a long time since I bought a pattern, but they were on sale and I needed something in my present size. I bought two patterns. I knew that I would have to make adjustments, and for the most part they worked. Unlike anything I can buy, the waist fits, the hips fit, the crotch is in the right place and the length is right.

These pants are super simple. Darts and side zipper, but no waistband. The pattern called for twill tape inside the waist. I used grosgrain ribbon. An invisible zipper was used instead of a regular one. It only took twice as long as the next pair will take! I may even add facings on that pair.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Rescue the Garment Week

Last post I wrote about my black linen jacket ease problem. It's been a week of "rescue this garment". Upsize a bridesmaid dress by 6" in the bust. I used fabric from the hem. Each inserted piece had a seam in the middle. Now it fits! The customer is happy! I still need to finish the hem and shorten the straps a little.

A bride and her mom brought in a Hong Kong Cheongsam dress started by bride's sister. Sister has left town and the dress has a few problems besides finishing. This is a Folkwear pattern. It was sloppily sewn and made to fit with 2" seams. I disassembled the dress and recut the front piece, using the original front and making it a size smaller. The back will take new fabric. The neckline was cut too big and uneven. Bride is buying more fabric for delivery tomorrow.

The front piece now has darts that are evenly spaced and bias trim on the top edge. The first trim is cut 1" wide, pressed with a fold, and applied with the fold on the seam line. The trim is opened, sewn on the fold line, and folded again toward the edge of the fabric. The second bias strip is cut 2" wide, folded in half, and sewn with the edges even with trim #1. This sewing is 1/16" closer to the edge of the garment. Seams are trimmed near the stitching and trim #2 is hand stitched to the back, covering all raw edges. No pictures today, but I have more trim to sew in the next day or so.

Today I got to rescue a bridesmaid. She's 6 mo pregnant and lives elsewhere. Mom made her a dress to wear to a wedding tomorrow. The top of the dress is tooooo small. 6" too small. At least there was fabric left from the construction. Two hours later, the dress zips. It isn't perfect, but her sister c ould see where I had added the pieces.

My knitting guild had a picnic on Sunday. Weather was iffy and attendance was low, but we had a good time. I could show pictures of people eating and stuff, but I won't. Nora was spinning lace weight cashmere. She started indoors before lunch. The deck had some nice shade, but wasn't very warm this day. Work moved poolside. No One went swimming this day. It's a great location, a house and pool on about 5 acres, owned by one of our members.

I worked on a stealth project for Christmas and got a lot done. This is a project that I work on every day off. Socks are my take along project for most occasions. I started knitting a pair for each birthday. I'm now a little behind, becuase of lots of July birthdays. There are no sock birthdays in August and I have one September pair done. Wish me luck and fast knitting.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It doesn't fit!!

My black linen jacket is too big. If all else fails, read everything! I made the size for my measurements, made the usual needed adjustments for a round back, worked slowly and carefully. I have great buttons and am happy with the button loops. The loop is made from vintage soutache braid. It looks like a hand me down from a fat lady. (My mother was smaller than I am).

What went wrong? I didn't check the finished measurements. If I had i would have known it would be bigger than I wanted. Way too9 much ease!! It might have worked in the suggested fabric, duipioni silk, but not in linen. Luckily all is not lost.

I have taken off the bottom band in the back. It has a center back seam and I'll move the pleats. I opened the side seams and removed the sleeves. All the hand sewing is intact. All pieces have been cut down to the next smaller size.

Today's job is to replace the sleeves, resew the side seam, which goes from waist to cuff, and replace the bottom band. I plan to make this jacket again, and will make the smaller size.

It now fits much better. I am happy!!