Thursday, September 16, 2010

I cabeled!

First off, let me tell you a little about myself to set the scene. I love just about any craft and I've tried tons. I have a ton more on my "to try someday" list, but generally I'm a dabbler. That means that I don't really spend a lot of time on any one thing so I'm good at a fair number but not great at much of anything. In a lot of crafts I would say I'm above a beginner, but not by much; like knitting.
I know how to knit, I can knit and purl with no problem and I even know some of the terminology but I've never knit a sweater, I've never made full sized socks (did some mini ones once for Christmas) and I've never done anything fancy. (Unless you count the simple lace scarf I made a couple of weeks ago but I wouldn't!)

That being said, I love to try new things and I love to have something to do with my hands while I watch TV (it keeps me from snacking and I've lost 20 lbs doing crafting instead of eating!) so last week I picked up Creative Knitting's new Accessorize with Style. It has lots of easy looking patterns for some cute stuff so I thought I'd give it a try.

As I was reading through the magazine I noticed they had two patterns for scarves (I love to make scarves!) with cables and the patterns were labeled "easy". What?!?!? Cables can be easy? Surely not! I love cables but I've never even thought of making something with cables because they're hard....aren't they?

So I read the pattern and ...well it looked easy. I could even visualize myself doing it.  Last night I tried it out with some yarn I spun last year and sure enough; all these years of being scared of cables was silly, they're really not that hard! So far I've got a whooping 2 cross overs done and I'm sure to make some mistakes but I have to say; I'm liking knitting cables.

[little update - before I got a chance to finish this post, get a picture taken and get it posted I discovered ....I'm addicted to cables! See?]

(I kind of made up my own pattern to play with so my scarf will not look like the one in the magazine but I give full credit to Creative Knitting for getting me over my fear of cables!)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Decision Time

Alrighty! I've made a decision folks and the winner is..............

I've chosen to go with the shorter jacket paired with (I hope) a long skirt. I think this look offers more versatility and I really want to use the new purple wool I got a little while ago. I'm not sure if I'd have enough for the long robe in the purple so it's plan A. It's also the design most people preferred.

If I like the look of the jacket I may well go on to do the long robe in the future. To be honest I was also seeing that in a velvet or a velveteen, not a wool so I don't think making it from the wool would have made me happy.
Plus, wearing the long robe would be a lot like just wearing my old cape that I've worn for years and that is soooooo last year! LOL

Now all I need to do is figure out a top. Hmmmmm Anyone know of a place to buy t-shirt type material with Hallowe'en motifs?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mt Baker

On the 3rd my girls and I along with my BFF and her daughter went on the long drive (up a scary road!) to Artist's Point to see Mt Baker.

L'il Miss C is only 4 years old and was going through a bad case of "are we there yet"s on the drive. Soon to told her to watch for snow and that would tell her if we were close. The squeal from her when she spotted the first snow was delightful.

Here are some gorgeous pictures the elder Miss C took. Ta!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The good and the bad news

The good news is that the Howarts robe is done! (well unless I add the pockets that C wants added. I told her after everything else was done I'd think about it. I hate seam ripping!)

The bad news is that the weather is cold and dreary here and due to stay that way for the week. So no pictures. Hopefully the weather will clear up for the weekend.

In other news the jacket and skirt combo seem to be winning the great design debate. Now if only I can actually get it sewn in time for Hallowe'en.

That's it for today - I still have a pair of jeans that need to be hemmed for the start of school and that's tomorrow. I don't know which is harder to take - start of school or the end of my summer sewing break....definitely the end of my sewing break for me!! LOL


Sunday, September 5, 2010

I couldn't resist.

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't be working on my costume until the girls' were done but......I couldn't help myself!

Here are the two concept designs I came up with. Both are based off of Butterick's Retro 1948 jacket pattern #B5144

In the design on the left I would keep the coat the original length and make a black skirt with a godet at the centre back for some visual interest. Since the jacket will be in a wool, I think I'd make the skirt is something shinier.

The design to the right would be the jacket extended to the floor in the back and just be a basic robe.

For material I'm looking at a lovely wool I bought recently for the jacket with black velveteen for the collar and cuffs.

Oh and in case you're wondering what's up with the hat - I already have that hat in it has a veil in the front. It's my favorite hat so far! 

Feel free to comment folks! Now I'm off to finish some hand sewing on the Hogwarts robe.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hallowe'en Progress

I know, I know! It's barely September and here I am talking about Hallowe'en, crazy huh? But I have a confession to make....I'm a costume crazy/snob. I LOVE making my kids wonderful artistic cool Hallowe'en costumes. I think I realized how crazy I was the year I took time off work and made C a Sleeping Beauty costume that took something insane like 5 metres of material. To this day I regret giving that away.
The good news is I made S another one ..3? years ago and we still have that. My girls made me swear to never give that one away. I have promised to never give away another costume although I have loaned out a couple. But I implicitly trust the grandma I loaned it too so it's not a problem (Plus I know where she lives Mwahahahahah)

Anyway, the rule in our house is that Hallowe'en costumes have to be decided on by August because they're usually a bit elaborate and I DO NOT sew quickly! Nope, not at all. I'm hoping that might change with my sewing room out of the basement (C and I traded space...sort of - long story) but we shall see.
This year we have gone for a rather literary Hallowe'en (yes that's right, I plan on a costume for myself this year!).
C and I are going as a Hogwart's student (C) and a witch with style (which is what makes it Harry Potter-ish). I have a collection of witch hats and I usually wear one of those with an old cape that I have (made in high school....and that's a LONG time ago!) but I'm getting tired of something that simple and I wanted to step it up.
S is going to go as Annabeth from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. She's a fiend for them! The nice thing about her costume is that it's not very fancy and most of it will be purchased rather than made. Hopefully that will leave me enough time to up my witch look.

So for C it will be a Hogwart's robe (make) , a white dress shirt (already have), a sweater with Gryffindor colours (re-fashion), A skirt (make) and socks or tight with Mary Jane shoes (buy - she needs nice shoes anyway).

S's costume will be the fast and easy one this year; jeans (have), Jean jacket (bought at thrift store), orange t-shirt (bought ages ago) with Camp Half-Blood logo (will stencil that on), Yankees hat (bought in WA yesterday), a necklace with special beads (S is making that). Basically all I have to do it figure out the design and stencil on the camp logo. Sweeeeet!

For mine - well, I'm going to wait on that for a bit before I share it with you just in case I run out of time.

So first up and my plan for this week I've had off, if the Hogwarts robe. I started with Simplicity 5840. Now this isn't the perfect pattern but it's pretty darn close. The first change is to make the yoke into a front and back shoulder part. Pretty easy to do; cut along the shoulder line, add seam allowances to the shoulder and take away the seam allowances where it joins the body. I didn't take any pictures of that but if anyone asks me; I can recreate it.
Then it was on to take out some length. Now I don't know who they intended this pattern for but C is over 5'4" and after taking out 9.5's only just up to her ankle bone! If I had left that 9.5 inches in....well, I'm sure you can all do the math. LOL
Here's how the pattern looked when I evenly took out the inches.
See, the trick to taking out that much length is to make lots of small adjustments. If you just took it off the bottom the robe would be shorter but it wouldn't be as wide on the bottom either. And you usually don't want that.
Of course once you've done that you can see that you get a really rough edge. To fix that you draw a line from the top edge just before the changes to the bottom edge.
Then you fold over on the line and tape it. Voila! A smooth cutting/sewing edge.

After this adjustment was done next came some pattern creation. C wanted her robe to look like the ones first seen in Prisoner of Azkaban. that means with the hood and sleeves lined with colour and with a coloured facing. In her case with a red/burgundy to match Gryffindor. The hood and sleeves are easy but the facing pattern had to be drafted by me.
To start, take the front and trace off the edges - front, shoulder, armhole (more for reference) and neck, and mark the bottom as well.

 Then measure out from those lines how wide you want the facing to be. I chose 6" so it would be nice and wide. Join all your marks and make a smooth line.
Since 6" ended up coming out very close to the armhole line I decided to extend the facing out that far.

Make sure your lines are nice and smooth for easy sewing and voila! you have a whole new pattern piece you didn't have before.

After all that (it actually only took about 10 minutes) came cutting out and let me tell you this pattern is a bear to cut. For one thing it has a huge bottom edge so you have to fold your fabric in half width-wise instead of length wise. That means that the fabric is now wider than my cutting table. Ack!

But it got done, regular sewing then ensued and as of almost completed Hogwarts robe! One big heavy WARM Hogwarts robe; it's interlined with flannel; October is not usually all that warm around here.

Today I have to finish up the tacking down of the facing and sewing on the Gryfinndor patch.
Tomorrow....hopefully pictures!