Reviews: September 2011 Archives
Blazers are back big time this fall and I am on the band wagon. I love a good blazer but find that they can be a little confining after a few hours. Don't get me wrong, I love the trim fit and smooth lines they provide to a regular jeans and blouse outfit but the trimness can be wearing at the end of the day. But if you make your blazer out of double knit fabric (like our great selection) you can get the trim, clean lines look of a blazer but the feel of a cozy sweater (like pajama jeans for the top half). Knit blazers are hitting the shelves hard this season but they also carry a hefty price tag. Most of the stores featuring knit blazers don't offer them in the colors or details I want. So I made my own, to fit me and my wardrobe.
I used the Kwik Sew Knit blazer pattern (available at Kwik Sew in Misses and at Fabric.com in Plus size). I cut view B but did a pin fitting to make the jacket less boxy and more fitted. The pin fitting took a while, I had to keep going back and adjusting each piece to get the fit right and recut a few pieces (like the back neck) to keep the drape and shape true. It was fun because I have not had the opportunity to fit front panel seams before or to adjust the fit of a project so much. I ended up taking in the jacket a significant amount because the original is so boxy but the stretch of the fabric and the soft hand still make this a comfy (almost loungy) jacket to wear.
I added an additional button (the original features one) and added a bold cream knit trim to just the pockets. I considered trimming the lapel but when I put on the jacket for a final fitting with just the pockets, I fell in love as is. Just the hint of trim, coupled with the cream buttons, was perfect so I decided to stay my trimming urges. Lastly I hemmed the sleeves a little bit longer than suggested because either I have long arms or I like my sleeves a little longer.
Overall I am very surprised by how structured and not knit-like this blazer looks. I am also surprised by how comfy it truly is. My wardrobe has really taken a step up since I introduced this. Now I can continue with my t-shirt and jeans but look like a million bucks and not feel any different.
Check out these other great fabrics perfect for knit blazers:
How does a Twitter party work you may ask? Well, I'm here to explain the details.
Fabric.com and The Crafty Charlestonian Twitter Party
When: Tuesday, October 4th from 7pm-8pm EST
Where: #Fabric on Twitter
How: Participate by using the hashtag during the party hour and following host @TCCElizabeth and sponsor @Fabricdotcom
Prizes: What's a party without prizes, right?! We'll be giving away FIVE Fabric.com gift cards throughout the party!
Want to attend? Here's how to RSVP:
- Follow @TCCElizabeth and @Fabricdotcom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your twitter handle.
- RSVP to the event on Facebook
Want to earn extra entries?
- Follow this blog publicly using Google Friend Connect.
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Wow! HotPatterns Bijoux Baby Jewelry Roll is just plain cool. I have long wanted a jewelry roll but have never found one worth the money at any of the big box stores. The fabric was never bold enough and the insides just didn't fit my needs. Boutique stores had a great selection but the prices were budget busting. I was floored when this pattern hit my inbox. I could not wait to get started and the hardest part was picking the fabric. I ended up going with a medium weight patterned linen (like the Timeless Treasures collection) and a textured medium weight home dec solid all pulled together with a light weight cotton in a tonal pattern. I was very pleased with the color play but more pleased with the finish project overall.
#1) The ring holder is just NEAT-O! I love it and don't think I have seen anything like it. I also love the button closure because I am a big fan of buttons. I don't have many rings (Only the cocktail rings displayed here) but maybe I will get some more just to keep on my ring holder.
#2) I am also a big fan of colored zippers so I loved adding even more color by using different colored 7 in. zippers here. The pockets are very roomy and perfect for some of my bigger pieces (large hoop earring are no problem)
#3) Since I prefer 1/2 in. seams, that is what I used and when it came time to fit the lining to the exterior, I added opposing pleats to the center section of the lining. I use these pleats to keep my earring backings from disappearing. They are also good for general keeping stuff in place should you find the need to dress on the go (in the car, bus, subway or a quick change after class).
The HotPatterns Bijoux Baby Jewelry Roll is a fast project and a GREAT gift idea for any of the ladies in your life. You could even swap the ribbon tie for a snap and expand the ring holder to fit watches and give it to the guys in your life as well.
I am really picking up crochet and with it my appetite increases for projects. I can't remember how I stumbled upon Olivia's Butterfly crochet hat pattern by Valerie Whitten but am I glad I did. I thought I loved knitting hats but crocheting them is right up there. I am still fascinated by the difference in construction between knitting and crochet that each project is even more fun than the previous. This hat was simple but with a detail that really sets it apart. The effortless butterfly detail placed as it is right above the final row takes this hat from basic to amazing. I love how the chains coupled with a single SC add a visual and textural facet that makes this hat just the thing for a precious little girl. It was quick to make as well as fun.
I used a smaller yarn and hook than recommended in the pattern. I have been jonesing to work with our Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere (72% Superwash Merino Wool, 15% Nylon, 13% Cashmere). This yarn was a dream. It was just as soft worked up as it was in the skein (this is not always the case with soft yarns). It did not irritate my fingers while working it up either (something else I have noticed with some blends, they are not so soft when rubbing your skin). The texture and stitch definition were excellent with just a bit of fuzz so you can see how soft it is. The color, Green Tea, is just right for my little one. It was light enough to allow the hat design to be the main focus, not the color, and will compliment many of her jackets since it is not loud. She has been wearing it all weekend and I haven't noticed any itching or irritation from the wool. She really loves it. With the pattern written as it, the hat can fit an adult just by adding more rows. But to fit a child smaller then 2-3, you will want to reduce the increases and rows and reduce the chains in the butterfly too if the child is very small. Since the hat is worked from the top down it is easy to see how big it is and adjust as you go instead of ripping back. This hat will make great gifts for your own children, friends and friends' children. It is a great pattern that can be worked up with ease and speed.
So our costume is complete and a huge hit but it was a tricky week of sewing, readjusting and hiding from curious eyes that once they have spotted a Lion Costume can't wait to wear said lion costume. I made my little girls Kwik Sew Lion Costume from dark and light purple fleece and it is so soft and delicious. The fleece was a pleasure to sew with my walking foot. Of course, I did have to stop every half hour of sewing and de-lint my machine but it was sooo worth it. Now for the breakdown:
The pattern went together very easily for the most part but I did have trouble with the paws. My work around was to trace the paw pattern piece onto another piece of paper and then cut out the paw pieces from the fleece, not using the sew-on method recommended in the pattern. Then cut out the paw pieces from the traced paper and use it as a stencil/placement guide and with fabric glue (or you can use a glue stick), tack down the pattern pieces. Then zig zag around the edges of paw pieces. This eliminated the paper mess with little bits of tear-able paper under every stitch and made it much easier to cut out the paw pieces since you are doing it before hand instead of afterward. I also hemmed the bottom of each leg so I could let them down further down the road instead of the elastic. This also makes it easier for my little one to get into the costume herself. I added a zipper in a contrasting color to make it easier for her to find and zip up. Lastly, I assembled the fringe on the tail and sewed it on after I sewed and turned the tail. The fringe was too bulky using the pattern assembly. I hand sewed it in place which made it much easier, no broken needles and the finish was just as neat as the original. I am going to go back and lightly stuff the tail and add some pipe cleaners so I can shape the tail for Trick or Treating so keep it off the ground and give it some life.
Some other modifications I considered were adding the bow from the bunny variation and some flat piping around the chest piece. The reason I decided against them was that the costume was so stinking cute that I didn't think it needed them and would have been lost on the costume.
Stay tuned for Parts 3 & 4 which will feature easy shoe covers to make your costume flawless and a great Pumpkin Pail Cover to match your costume and complete your Halloween Look. Find Part 1 of our Child Costume series here and check out our great Fleece section for your kid's color combination dreams-come-true!
Last week, I set aside some time to sit down with one of our Rosewood Crochet Hooks so I could review it. But then I forgot and sat daydreaming for a few hours. It was only later when I looked down and saw that instead of relaxing and day dreaming (which I quite contentedly thought I was doing) I had actually been crocheting. My Rosewood Hook was that soft and warm in my hand that I was able to forget it for a little while, and at the same time, forget about everything else for a time as well. Since then I have consciously used the Rosewood Crochet Hook and it is just as fun, soft, smooth and warm as my previous Zen experience.
I would start off, first, by recommended it to advanced beginners for several reasons. 1) The wood is soft so the hard tension that beginners can adopt may snap the beautiful hook. 2) It is more slick and faster than the Aluminum and Soft Touch hooks which might be frustrating for a beginner. 3) The price while not a show stopper is something to consider if you are not sure crochet is for you. However, if Crochet is for you than so are the Rosewood Hooks. They are gorgeous to the point that I spent as much time looking at my hands as I did my work (I even gave myself a manicure because my hands were shaming the hook). A few hooks or even a full set would make a dream gift for the crocheter on your list. Even just one tucked in with a few balls of alpaca or cashmere would be a thoughtful and endearing gift. I love my one Rosewood hook but you can rest assured it will not be lonely for long.