Sunday, September 4, 2016

Heather Blue Duster Cardigan, Blogiversary, & More!


I have several small projects to share, including another pattern from the recent Butterick release.

TOC


Heather Blue Duster Cardigan

I reviewed this duster pattern in the last release of Butterick patterns. I liked that the neckline had some interest—it's not merely a jewel neckline—it's more of an abbreviated shawl collar. The pattern that I really wanted to make went missing so I ordered another on-sale copy and, meanwhile, gave this pattern a try.

The fabric, a heather blue sweater knit, is a drapey, lightweight, single knit. The pattern calls for a moderate stretch knit: jersey, ponte, or sweater knit. This fabric was fairly lightweight, but I decided to forge ahead. (Note to self: pay attention to your gut instinct.)

My alterations were fairly typical: I started with a size 18 and added a bust dart, made a forward shoulder adjustment and narrowed the shoulder by about 1". All of these are typical for me. I also decided to create a deep slit in the side seams (all the way to the waist) but, otherwise, I made the pattern as designed. Because of the slits, I finished the hem with 4 mitered corners.

It was a straightforward sew, but it's a lackluster garment. I finished the duster last Monday night and wore it to work on Tuesday. I felt very "meh" wearing it. In analyzing my reaction, I think there are two reasons. First, I think I'd prefer this pattern in a less droopy knit. The neckline just sort of lays there, defeated. I think it would be nicer in a ponte or another doubleknit with some drape. Also, the front band feels very wide—if I make this again I might narrow the front band a bit. Maybe.

Neatly finished seams

I'll probably try wearing this garment again—give it another chance—but I am very likely to send it on to a new owner. It's too bad because I quite like this knit, but I should have saved it for a different project.

Butterick 6368 (See & Sew)


Blue Knotted Scarf

I first made a red knotted scarf using a rayon jersey using a pattern from Sewing Workshop. I didn't love that scarf, but that was mostly because I was a little over-enthusiastic when stretching the strips—I ended up with Angel Hair when I should have aimed for Spaghetti.

I had a half yard of the heather blue sweater knit left over from the duster, so I decided to give it another try.

This time I didn't go quite as nuts when stretching the strips. I made this one quickly, in just a couple sessions, instead of the 1+ years it took me to finish the red one.

I LOVE this one!

Persistence pays!


Teal Presto

Last week Savage Coco asked, on Instagram, how many Prestos have you made? So I had to count and it was give (not counting a failed attempt that was operator error), but I already had #6 cut out. I decided I needed a teal Presto for Paris. I'm not sure where this fabric came from because I now have several similar teal jersey fabrics purchased from different sources!

I like it with my new knotted scarf!

I had dinner with Coco and a few other bloggers last week. Much fun!
Left to right: Coco, Meg, Beth, me, Laura, and Jillian (who is now more active on Instagram than her blog)
Photo credit: A stranger, taken with my camera phone.


Seventh Blogiversary!

I actually forgot my blogiversary this year! It has been 7 hears of blogging as of last Thursday, August 25th. I usually do my annual recap on my blogiversary post, but I wasn't feeling it last week. I will likely come back and do it later—it was a good year and I like to do a bit of reflection before looking forward.


Munich

I've talked about going to Paris this fall with the Tilton sisters, but I'm also spending some time in Munich. I'll mostly be working, but I have a little time allotted to play tourist. I won't be able to go to far afield, and I've started compiling a list of things to try and see, but do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear about it!


Misc

I went to Seattle a couple weeks ago for work. This is becoming a regular trip for me, though I only rarely have time to play. For this trip, Kathy and I worked on chemo caps! She has updated her pattern to use fair isle to spell "f*ck cancer" in Morse code. She hasn't posted a pattern yet but, when she does, I will share it. We make these for Knots of Love and they love them, as you can see in this tweet:

We cast on, sharing the same two balls of yarn, in the Oakland airport

Waiting for our flight in the Seattle airport

We finished just before landing. We took this pic on our laps before de-planing

On our return we went in on an order for more yarn! Berroco Comfort is on the approved yarn list for Knots of Love, though the first two hats were knit with Red Heart Heartland


As it's now September, DD2 is back at university! She attended Gustavus Adolphus for one year, two years back. She did well, and it's a wonderful school, but it wasn't the right fit for her. She spent the last year working multiple jobs in San Francisco, socking away money, and now she's off to a new university in British Columbia. Her sister and I made two shopping trips with her before she left. Hey, for those of you who ship packages from the U.S. to Canada, any tips on how to do that economically?

Trip #1. By this time her sister had already done some solo shopping with her.

Trip #2. DD2 was never much of a shopper (unlike her older sis), so she's been learning new skills!


For those of you in the U.S., enjoy your Labor Day weekend! I actually have 2 more Paris projects almost done. One, a coat, is in timeout for misbehaving. For the other I need to run to JoAnn's today to buy invisible zippers. I have a huge zipper stash, but my stash doesn't extend to the invisible variety!

For those of you on Instagram, the #sewphotohop started last Thursday and runs through September. It's been fun learning about new Instagrammers! You can also check out my Instagram feed.

And, finally, join me on Patti's Visible Monday!

54 comments:

  1. Shams, I love the blue duster, wonderful color! Perhaps if you shortened it, it would feel less blah?

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    1. That's a thought! Though I really don't think I like it well enough to bother.

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    2. What if you shortened by fringing. Maybe a knot at the end of each 'rope'?

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    3. OK, wow, Kathy. Now THAT is an idea I will seriously consider! Even though it means ripping out all of that hand sewing and four beautiful mitered corners. ;)

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  2. If we were built the same, I would tell you to send it to me because it's exactly the type of duster I want to add to my fall wardrobe! Can't wait to see the new Paris pieces!

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    1. I still like the idea of it! But in a different fabric. :)

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  3. I can answer question about shipping.
    1. Is she close to the border? Most canadians set up a PO Box in Blaine, WA (for BC). Then you pay domestic. She carries the items across the border.
    2. Most packages going to Canada from Oregon seem to go to East coast first, then over the border and then back to BC. Plan on 1 1/2 weeks (unless Canada Post tries to strike again (twice this summer).
    3. Up to 4#'s can go First Class. No insurance. Customs number but no true tracking.
    4. Flat rate packages aren't really your friend (or anyplace internationally. Priority (in your own box) is the next option which you can insure. Still takes about 1 1/2 weeks.
    5. Express (god bless the canada post) takes at least a week - it comes with $200 insurance, true tracking and a signature, but still takes a week.
    6. Fed-ex is a great option as well. They seem to cross the border for me collecting the least amount of value added taxes along the way (god bless those canadians).
    7. Be careful of value. Canadian customs wants its taxes and there is very little rhyme or reason on when they will pounce.

    I want to make that rope scarf. I've been sewing rope bowls like crazy (clothesline) but this has really perked my interest.

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    1. Kathy, thanks for this intel! She is close to Seattle but she is without car and it's not easy to get to Seattle from her remote location. (She's pretty far outside of Vancouver.) There's a particular brand of shampoo and conditioner she likes. On U.S. Amazon is't $8 a bottle. On Canadian Amazon it's $33 a bottle, so I ordered it in the U.S. and had it shipped to my home. I guess I'll wait until she comes home for Christmas to give it to her!

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    2. Yeah - that's #8. Fill her suitcase.

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    3. I guess she'll have to "make do" with local shampoo and conditioners. ;) She has very challenging hair, so products matter more to her than to some of us!

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    4. She may want to try well.ca for her shampoo. They have a lot of things I can't get elsewhere, and the prices are reasonable. And since they're a Canadian site, no customs or duty.

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    5. Thanks, E! And, of course, I can order and send it to her. :)

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  4. Going to Munich to work! Lucky you! Trollys (above ground) easy to use to get to museums, while seeing the neighborhoods/shops. Alta and Neue Pinkothak museums have vast collections, a room of Titians, and one of my favorites -- Neptune's Horses by Crane (coming out of the sea).

    Sorry the blue knit is not what you anticipated. It looks very nice. Love the knot scarf. The teal top will be just right in Paris! Fits you like a dream too. Inspiring.

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    1. I know, Judy! I feel pretty lucky! Though I've never been to Germany so I'm sure it will be a bit frustrating to trot off to work rather than tour around! Thanks for that info on the museums!

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    2. My son was in Germany briefly for work and loved it. Of course after years of traveling to India and China he loved how clean it is in Germany and how accommodating his hosts were. He and a colleague had to drive about and hour and a half to get to their destination from the airport. They love driving on the autobahn in a rented BMW upgraded with points. Any boys dream.

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    3. Yes, the Autobahn is legendary! When I was young I mostly focused on "exotic" travel and figured I'd leave Europe until I was older. Now it's time! :)

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  5. My husband and I spent some time in Munich last November. We enjoyed walking in the Englischer Garten. We stayed near the Augustiner Brewery (near Landsberger Strasse) and enjoyed some beer and meals there.
    I did find some fabric in Karstadt, a huge department store near the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). The store is huge and they actually have a small fabric / sewing department, I found a few remnants to purchase there.
    I can also recommend spending some time around Marienplatz, where you can see the famous glockenspiel and Rathaus and churches.
    Enjoy! Munich is a fun and beautiful city.

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    1. Thanks, Bernice, for your ideas! Marienplatz was on my list, but these others are news to me!

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  6. I can understand why you are unhappy with this duster, but the shape and fit are really wonderful on you. I love the scarf and the teal Preto top. Whose pattern is the Presto?

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! The Presto is a Savage Coco pattern: http://savagecocopatterns.blogspot.com/2015/07/presto-popover-top.html I LOVE this pattern!

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  7. From Creative Hormone Rush: I love this denim color on you, even though the duster isn't as bright and jazzy as your other creations. The color makes your face and hair pop, which is always one of the goals, and sometimes a neutral is a nice switch. The fabric not having enough body after all that work is a real bummer, but the suggestion above to cut strips on the bottom and knot them sounds like a plausible way to alter it (and perhaps even redeem it). Plus, that added styling detail might match that spectacular scarf/necklace, creating an interesting balance (or, alternativey, an overdone mess, but hey you never know). It's definitely worth a shot -- do you ever back away from a challenge? Where's that ol' Tim Gunn "make it work" spirit?

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    1. Hi Unknown! I like the color, and I've been adding it to my wardrobe. I'm just not fond of how the knit clings in this particular design. I would have been much happier if I'd sewn this fabric into a Presto!

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    2. Well, the Presto top is pretty much
      just a shorter version of this with a front seam in it. Why not make it into that? You've already got the shoulder and sleeve fit nailed, not that much more to do. I double dog dare you. CHR

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  8. Loving that scarf! So many talents, you have them. xo

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  9. Presto looks a lot like tea garden.....no wonder you like it

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    1. Eva, it is similar, but it's more fitted through the bust. I think it is more flattering and also more on trend with current styles.

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  10. Are those Trippen boots? Love them!

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    1. Yes, they are, kushami! You have such an eye!!

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  11. The cheapest way is to just pay for an extra piece of luggage on your next flight to Canada! On Air Canada it is $35 Canadian. Only 25 USD! Make sure you fill it up to the weight.

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    1. LOL. But, but, but, Neufy, I have no plans to go to Canada in the near future! I'd love to, but I'm MORE than maxed out on vacation! I have to take some of my time in Paris as unpaid...

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  12. Maybe the next time I am in Vancouver to visit my son we can connect. I can get you to all the best places! Ps. We met in Puyallup 2 years ago and sat next to each other in a class.

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    1. I remember you, Neufy! You and Carolyn were hanging out. :D I'd love to connect but I have no immediate plans to visit Vancouver! I am so out of vacation that I have to take some of Paris as unpaid AND I'll have to work through Christmas!

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  13. The cardigan looks good to me but if you're not feeling it you're not! It's an excellent colour so I hope you find a way to repurpose it . The chemo caps are cute and I like the hidden message.

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  14. Hi. Shams. I like the duster, but understand your feeling meh. Did you try it with a white top? It might be the lack of contrast? I thought I was late to the Presto party, but I've made five of them this summer! One in white silk jersey that drove me nuts trying to keep track of the right side. It might not have made any difference, but I wasn't about to take a chance. Paris awaits you. (I think you and your friend might be the best-dressed in town!)

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    1. Wow, you've also been on a Presto binge, 365! I'll try a white top. And thanks!

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  15. I like the look of the cardigan but it's you that needs to. I agree that it might look good shorter and lie better in that too fine fabric.
    I love the hidden morse code message! Last year in my sewing bee, one of the ladies developed a sewing pattern for chemo caps and made quite a few, no message but colourful and inspiring.

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    1. Hey, Anne! Yes, we've been knitting chemo caps for Knots of Love for several years now. I'd like to have a variety ready for next June, including some of the Morse code caps.

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  16. Bummer about the weight of the knit...looks good, but I hear you on the meh. I like some of the fixes suggested, but your sewing time is limited. The scarf, though, THAT is a winner!

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  17. I love the presto top, I'm going to download that and make it! The duster would look great cut just above your knees, I think. Maybe an asym hem, shorter in the back or front?
    Thanks for the tip on the presto top!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle! I do think I'd like it better shorter, but the fabric is still too limp for the pattern. And thanks!

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  18. Commiserations and congratulations! The scarf looks like you, practical and also stylish. I like the cardigan but you are the one who has to enjoy it...and move it along if you don't. I don't usually understand people's fear about knits but yes, there are some projects where I don't like the weight and the pattern choice so I understand your decision. I just took about ten garments to my sewing retreat and felt a little sad that one was a silk-organza underlined silk shirt/jacket that I only wore once...but it too just wasn't me. It's th benefit of sewing our own clothes...and the bugaboo too. Meanwhile I am enjoying your trip prep garments and will be enjoying your travels vicariously.

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    1. Yes, Jane! We can't tell ourselves to like something if our gut knows there's an issue with it. It sounds like you really dress up for your retreats! And thanks. :)

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  19. Re: Munich -- Check out the Bavarian National Museum, particularly the Bavarian painted furniture and the multiple nativity sets. I think it is a little more accessible (read fun) than the other museums.

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    1. Thanks for that info, Sue! I'll add this to my list.

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  20. I love your cardigan. It looks quite nice on you. I'd not seen a scarf like this one before. Nice.
    Marciae

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  21. Long-line cardigans are really underrated as wardrobe builders. Your fabric is great, colour but fairly neutral. Bet your pleased with it!

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  22. Your teal Presto looks lovely. You talked me into it, I just bought the Presto top. Now to dig through my stash for fabric. Looking forward to sewing this top. Thanks.

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  23. Thanks, Ginger! I made another one in a lightweight sweater knit last week! A great pattern!

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