February 23, 2015

Donated Shawl

 I work at a big 4 accounting firm.  Every year we do a gianormous United Way Fund drive.  The first year I was there - the OMP's EA (yep, we talk like that at work!) sent an email asking for donations for the United Way Raffle.  I didn't realize it was only for the partners.  That first year - I donated a blanket that I had made to sample circle shawls for The Princess' Wedding Shawl.  It earned $100 for United Way!  I was happy.

This year - I decided to knit a mystery shawl pattern.  This one is Through the Loops Mystery Shawl '14 - I loved the 2013 mystery shawl and figured I couldn't go wrong with this one.

Strange knitting fact about me - sometimes, I only need to knit the object - I don't need to end up with it.  I can count on one hand the number of finished knits I wanted to keep.  This one was half-way there.  I will make one for myself at some point.  

The yarn is Anzula's Nebula.  I think the name is called "Sand".  I actually waited until I found out who won it to make it.  I had bought this colorway, but I was really looking for a light grey.  I ordered some yarn called elephant online and let the winner decide which color they wanted.
Nebula is amazing yarn - it's wool with a lurex thread running through it to add sparkle.  It's soft and easy to knit with and blocks beautifully.  This shawl earned $275 for United Way and the yarn was right around $50 - not too bad.  Most likely - next year I'll donate something to the raffle as well - it's a good thing.  The young lady who won this made a point of showing me she was wearing it to the holiday party.  I think she mostly wears it in that trendy, bunched up, scarf-life way that the young kids do - but it looks great like that as well!

February 19, 2015

Closet of Broken Dreams

It's Done!  I've touched every single piece of fabric in the sewing space and moved it on the new shelves!  I think I love it.  there a 3 of the gorilla type shelves in the closet in what is currently the never used workout room in the basement.  it will be better when the workout equipment is gone!  

There are 4 usable shelves in each unit - the top shelves is too close to the top of the door frame to be able to get to it and store stuff on it.   For the most part - I mixed the tonal prints - striped, polka dots, tonal prints in with the solid colors and sorted by color.  I also mixed the solid knits with the wovens.  There are some exceptions.

On the shelves - from top left to bottom right the fabric is:  White, tan, black, grey, blue, brown,
Top center:  Special fabric, challis, cotton sateen, red, pink green, lining fabrics and yarn
Top Right:  dress weight cotton prints, dress weight knit prints, quilting cottons, sweater yarn stash.

Those are my 'special' fabrics and there are truly only 2 that are too special to use.  a 4 yard length of Liberty and an amazing navy blue lace - I paid more per yard for that fabric than I did for the silk for my MOB dress!  They are special - because they are scary.  Will I sew them up - sure - some day!  Are they replaceable if I muck it up?  Absolutely!  

Are you wondering about the title of this post?  As I was touching and refolding most of this fabric, I was remembering what I bought it for.  The liberty - a shirt dress; the navy lace - a Lily P sheath dress knock off.  I wasn't a vague - oh this will make a lovely dress, but, rather - I remember buying this to make Elisalex, or M6696 or another wrap dress.  and most of them haven't been made.  

I was amazed by the number of skirt lengths of wool I have and how few blouse lengths of anything I have.  

Next up - to move the old fabric cupboards out of the basement and into the garage and rearrange the furniture again - putting the cutting table under the light and the yarn cupboard under the floating shelves.  The ironing board is going under the window and the desk with the machines will jut out into the room facing the tv and sliding glass door.  It will be so much nicer to be able to see what I'm looking for quickly.  I won't need to pull bunches of fabric and put it on top of the cutting table where it overwhelms.  This should work great!  

February 17, 2015

Another Holiday Dress Fail

Last year, I made a dress that I had planned to wear to my office holiday party.  JB (bless him) thought it was too short - so I called it a fail and made a different dress to wear to the party.  

This year's holiday dress is a fail for similar reasons.  When I saw Mrs. Hughes' Jenny Lee Dress back in November - I wanted it hard!  I had the pattern - Simplicity 1459 - in my stash.  In fact, it was in a bag of patterns that I had rotated out to mail away.  I pulled that sucker back out quick.  Within a couple days - I received an email from Fabric.com where there fabrics with metallic were on sale.  Game on!!

I ordered 6 yards of this fantastic red and silver cotton and got the end of the bolt!  I set about to make the dress.  I traced the bodice and made a muslin - I really wanted the long sleeve.  - had bust gaping and couldn't move my arm.  So I made some changes and made muslin #2 - still couldn't move my arm.  HUH?  I've never had this be an issue before.  Did a few more things which still weren't right and then went back to the original pattern (this is why I trace!), traced a new bodice, did a small sway back adjustment and a small full bust adjustment - made one more muslin and I could move my arm in the short sleeve s I carried on!

Working under a bit of a time constraint - trying to get done for Christmas was not my friend.  Especially when I decided that JB needed a new shirt at the same time.  I would put about an hour in the evening working on both projects.  I did not make the self-imposed Christmas deadline - so figured I'd aim for our anniversary (it was 20 this year!) and missed that because of a stupid mistake.

See that lovely collar?  Yea - you need to trace the sewing lines, not just sew around the seamlines following the cut line.  And when you do that - don't go forward trimming and grading and pressing the seams.  And don't carry forward with putting it on the bodice.  It's wrong - stop while you are ahead!  So, when what I really wanted to do was chuck it - I carried it on the bus and ripped the collar from the facing and bodice and fixed it!

Then I set it aside to finish JB's shirt.  When I got back to working on my dress - I was posting photos on InstaGram as I went.  It wasn't until I had made beautiful buttonholes and cut them open that I realized my mistake!  The good news is most people won't notice.  Unless you are Maris who commented on the instagram post of the buttonholes - 'Girls are always "right" and boys are "left" out!'  {I'm totally stitching that and framing it for my sewing space!}

But other than issues caused by user error and timing - this dress is a win!  I love this dress.  I feel fancy wearing it!

The hem looks uneven in these photos - but I swear it's not.  I'm also standing on a slope in the yard.

I think my favorite feature is the pockets I put in.  There is a pocket in front of the side zipper!  The cotton is soft and drapey.  I've worn it twice since I finished it - once to go see Dirty Dancing live and just this past weekend on Valentine's day - I mean when else can you wear a glittery red dress?

I'm hoping next year's Holiday dress won't have any fail in it at all!
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