Apparel: June 2011 Archives
I cannot seem to say enough good things about Hot Patterns so I won't disappoint with the All Wrapped Up Tank and will keep to my ways. First, I was very surprised with how fast this tank went together. I was expecting something this interested to take much longer than the 4ish hours it took me to assemble the pattern, layout and cut the pattern pieces and stitch it up. It was pretty easy considering it looks so edgy in the picture and other twisty, tied projects I have researched have complicated reviews and challenging patterns. The All Wrapped Up Tank is a nice tank pattern that comes with ties that you wrap around your waist to give it a cinched look (even though the tank is fitted). The ties and wrap give texture and add detail. You can wear this tank many ways, with jeans and sandals for a Fourth of July Picnic, under a fitted, cropped jacket for work wear or after hours, or with my linen version of the equally fun Bossa Nova Skirt for a girls lunch/shopping trip (though why you would be shopping when you can make such cute clothes, I don't know). The only suggestion I would make is that there should be a mark on the front wrap pattern piece to indicate where to pin it to the tank around the neckline so it will be secured under the neck binding. I had to guess and rip back a few times to get it right. I will also make the wrap pieces extend down 2-3 in. further next time to accommodate a larger bust but that is not a pattern suggestion, just a fitting detail.
I made my All Wrapped Up Tank in ITY (Interlock Twist Yarn) Stretch Jersey Knit and it is soft, kinda slinky with great drape. It is hard to distinguish wrong side from right side so you really can't go wrong- this is especially helpful with wrapping since you don't have to worry about the wrong side showing). There is also a slight sheen and did I mention the awesome drape (I think I may have). I used a self binding for the armholes and neckline to give it a monochrome look that really helped the wrap detail to stand out. I really like that the ties are not bulky which makes it possible to wear this tank under a cardi, jacket or shawl. The ties can also be placed to help cinch in your tummy so you can wear this when you want to look good but also do some serious eating. Lastly the basic tank pattern without the wrap is also a great wardrobe staple that I would recommend for your printed knits.
Doilies-My initial mental picture is a plastic covered living room bedecked with coarse cotton doilies on every available flat surface, Oh and shag carpet. But that is just a stereotype perpetuated by Hollywood and is no longer the true reputation associated with Doilies. Doilies are cool now- no seriously, cool!
Just check out what Jared Flood has done to help the Doily
on its way up the social ladder with his Hemlock
Ring Blanket. Doilies do not have to be just doilies either. You can knit
or crochet them up to be just about anything these days, blankets (as above),
shawls, bowls (with some setting spray) or adornments. You can control the size
of your doilies by using different size yarn, needles and altering the
patterns. I choose to make some different doilies to embellish a plain tank
top. I choose several doily patterns
and some worsted
weight yarn. However, no matter how small I tried to make the doilies, they
still came out too big to embellish my tank. So I just knit the centers of the
doilies and cast off once I had the size I liked. Some of the edges curled and some
didn't and I like that. I used a 100%
cotton yarn to make it washable and durable as I am a big tank top wearer
in summer and these will get lots of wash time since Potty training is set to
start soon in my house. I originally tried to glue each flower on with fabric
glue but that didn't work for several reasons:
1) the fabric glue ruined the stretch of the rib knit under each flower
2) The fabric glue darkened the tank top under each flower so the glue had to be applied perfectly
3) My little girl could easily pull off the flowers
So I hand sewed each flower which was better in the long run than the glue because I could keep the shape better by hand tacking each doily in place and in the shape I liked.
What I really like about most doilies is the openness of the design which really makes it perfect for summer time projects. You could work up a bunch together for a hem detail or even some to adorn a matching headband. The options are endless and they only take a few minutes for each.
I used to make a yearly trek to Savannah, Ga every year and stroll along River Street with a drink in my hand and the breeze in my hair. Watching the Sunset down there is my favorite activity; still wearing my sundress from the hot summer day, as the sun crept down toward the horizon I would begin to shiver. No one to take my husband's oversized jacket, lest it cover my pretty dress, I set out to make a "little something" to cover my shoulders and add some detail in the back. My River Street Shrug fits the bill with a lovely Star motif radiating out from the center of the back to mesh lace that sweeps around your shoulders in caps sleeves. The River Street Shrug is the perfect complement to any sundress, summer top or bathing suit. Knit in Amy Butler Belle Organic Cotton it is as good for the earth as it is to your wardrobe. The River Street Shrug can easily be converted into a long sleeve cardi by continuing the oval for several more inches and extending the sleeves to your elbow or wrist. The pattern is easy to extend.
A small and medium only need 2 skeins of yarn as pictured and a large only a smidge more with 3 skeins. Grab your US 7 cable needles and this makes an excellent KIP project (Knit in Public). The techniques are easy and the River Street Shrug is a great beginner's lace piece. You will need to know how to knit in the round, decrease, and pick up stitches for the sleeves. This is best wet blocked with lace wires.
Subtitle: Where I recreate my wedding dress.
I love a June wedding and I am not the only one. June is a lovely time to marry; flowers in bloom, cloudless skies and warm summer breezes. A good wedding dress is just what you need to make the perfect wedding. But what makes the perfect wedding dress? Something beautiful to make the bride look even more beautiful, ethereal, with silk and that moves with grace. This was just what I was looking for in a dress and luckily I found it. Years later I am still in love with my dress and wish that there was some occasion to wear it again. Happily, I am not getting married again soon so I really have no need for a wedding dress, but if it were in a different color or length then...yes, perhaps... I could wear it to many occasions. This is a wonderful dress that can be worked up in many different fabrics to give a different look. You can recreate the wedding dress for your own wedding or in a different color for a bridesmaid dress or to wear to a summer wedding or any special occasion. The green dress has a hem at knee length or 30 in from underarm; the white dress is floor length. Here's how to make your own:
2 yds of Cotton Bubble Gauze in Grass (or any semi sheer/sheer fabric like chiffon, organza or georgette)
To make the slip you will be combining the Cupid top with the lower skirt potion of the Nancy dress. Cut out your size in the cupid top and the same in the Nancy dress lower skirt then tap the cupid top to the Nancy dress lower skirt lining them up where they meet.
Measure down from the underarm to your desired length (mine is 30 in.)
Place a piece of paper under the neckline of your cupid top and draw a new, V-neck line. Tape this new neck line to the Cupid top and cut the new neck line.
Follow the instructions for the Cupid top to cut, sew and complete your slip (I used a 1 in. wide edging tape and cut the length of the tape across the direction of stretch because you want the edging tape to stretch across the width). I also made my straps 14 in. long and eliminated the tie.
To make the dress you will be modifying the Cover-up pattern. I used the front pattern pieces for both the front and back, to make a v neck on front and back. You will be left with no skirt and just the top pieces. Next you want to draw a new arm hole. I started right at the under arm and drew a diagonal line to the shoulder. You want to be left with about 4-6 in across the shoulder to gather up later. You have just drawn up your bodice pieces; you will cut 4 bodice pieces from the gauze. Your waist band is 4 in. wide by your waist measurement plus 1 in. Cut 2 of the waist bands (one is the facing). The skirt piece will be approx 20 in wider of your waist band (my waist band was 30in. so the skirt was 50in. wide or the width of your fabric) by your desired length plus 1 in. for a double turned hem (I cut my skirt to 25 in.).
(All seams are ½ in. unless otherwise noted) First with right sides together sew your band pieces along the length leaving the short ends open for turning. Press seams open, turn right sides out and press again. Put aside. Press ¼ in. hems along the arm holes and neck edges (you can topstitch in place if desired). With right sides together, sew front and back bodices piece together at underarms. Press seams open. With right sides together sew front bodice pieces together from raw edges up 1 in. (this will create a deep V in the front). Do Not sew back bodices pieces together. Baste along the bottom edge of the bodice and pull bobbin thread to gather to length of waist band. With wrong side of bodice facing right side of the waist band, pin bodice to waist band, overlapping by ½ in. Stitch in place (bodice raw edges will show). Baste and gather shoulders of each bodice piece, pulling bobbin thread to gather up as much as possible. With right sides together, baste front bodice to back bodice pieces at shoulder, stitch in place.
Baste along top of skirt and pull bobbin thread to gather skirt to match the length of your waist band. With wrong side of the skirt facing the right side of the waist band, pin together, over lapping by ½ in. Stitch in place (raw edges will show). Insert invisible zipper lining up the top of the zipper with the bottom of the V of the back bodice pieces. Finish sewing skirt seam with ½ in. seam. Hem with a ½ in. double turned hem.
P.S It should be noted that I did not make the long white dress. I purchased it at a shop much loved my our First Lady. I only recreated the look using the modified patterns above.
Everyone is different; I know I am preaching to the converted but this can become very evident when it comes to knitted sweaters. It is such a bummer to put all your time and yarn into a sweater that is just a bit off, or worse, a lot off. Every knitter wants a perfect fit and why not! After so much effort and evenings spent half-watching movies, you should have a perfect fit. With a little math you can and every time. You can use my Custom Fit Knitwear Worksheet to create custom fit sweaters just for you and your family or use it to alter awesome knitting patterns. We'll start out with a custom fit pattern and then discuss alterations.
To start pick a shirt that you love. It fits just right and makes you feel good. It should be something simple, like a t-shirt or sweater. A basic shape will make it easier to measure. If it is too complicated (like a twisty top or billowy tunic, you won't be able to pin down the measurements as well. Make sure your shirt (we'll call it a muslin) is washed, ironed and rested. Ironing can stretch your fabric, so lay it out on a flat surface for about 30 min for it to recover. Now we measure. You will want to note all the areas on the illustration below and write down all the measurements that correspond. The neckline will be your cast on edge, the shoulder length and armhole length will determine where and how many increases, the bust measurement will tell you when to stop increasing and the waist length will determine how long your sweater will be. We will cover this more in depth as we go along; for now just measure and note. You will also want to note which shirt you are measuring in case you want to come back later and measure for a different neckline or arm.
Next, you will want to choose your yarn and knit a good sized swatch in the stitch you will use for your sweater. Knit a 4 x 4 in. or even bigger if your stitch requires many stitches. Measure your gauge. You will need to know how many sts per in. (we'll call this X) and how many rows per in. (we'll call this Y). Download your Custom Fit Knitwear Worksheet to record your measurements and to help with the math. Below are the instructions:
Step 1: This step determines how many stitches to cast on to match the fit of your muslin. You can adjust this by adding or subtracting sts to match your stitch pattern (if it is a cable pattern add sts, if it is lace subtract).
Step 2: Knit for this many rows to achieve the shoulder length you need.
Step 3: This will tell you where to place you markers for the arm; place 2 for each arm. You will increase inside these markers for the arm and outside these markers for the chest.
Step 4: (X * C) you will need to add this many sts for your arm. (Y * C) This is the number of rows you will need to knit to achieve the arm hole length you need. Evenly distribute your increases over the number of rows you need.
Step 5 (AT THE SAME TIME as Step 4): You can increase on both sides of the arm markers. Inside the markers, you will increase for the arm (see step 4 above) and outside the markers for the chest. You will use Step 5 on the worksheet to determine how much to increase and you will distribute these increases over the same number of rows as in Step 4.
Step 6: This will tell you how many rows you will knit to create your desired length.
We will continue later this week in Part 2. Stay Tuned!!!