Lekala 4017 & More Thurlows


I stitched up Lekala 4017 blouse and two more pairs of Sewaholic Thurlow shorts and more funky photos – this time I have the lovely sunset glow despite being 1 pm! Haha! Yay fake tan! I messed up from the … Continue reading

Chevron Dress & Bonus Camisole

I’ve gotten my sewjo back and I’ve been cranking out projects. Unfortunately the 2 year old grabbed my camera off my desk and messed with some settings so you’ll have to forgive a whole lot of funky photos as I slowly mess with settings trying to fix what she’s done!

Anyway… this quick little summer dress was just what I needed to get the sewing machine’s motor roaring again.


This is New Look 6096, view A in the short length. I chose this pattern because I have several old, cheap RTW dresses that are exactly this style that I’ve worn to death so it’s time for some new (ethically!) made replacements.


The fabric is a drapey chevron knit from the mill ends bin at my local fabric store. It seems that the best knits are always hiding in there because they come from factory remnants or seconds and they’re fabrics people actually use to make clothing rather than a store full of quilting cottons and terrible sparkly denim. I snapped up this piece the second I saw it with this exact pattern in mind. You’ll just have to believe me that this print has black, white, tan and brown because you certainly can’t tell there’s any tan or brown, thanks to the terrible pic.

Straight out of the envelope, major pattern companies tend to add way too much ease so I always check the finished measurements to the sizes, especially when I use a knit for a woven pattern like this one. I was actually shocked, however, to find that this dress includes 11.5″ of ease above the body measurement. WHAT!? Who needs an extra 1/3 of their body width added to a dress bodice? It’s not like I picked up a mumu pattern. I’ll nearly guarantee that those models in the photograph don’t have 11.5″ of ease in those dresses. They were certainly pinned up in the back to make them look more fitted. In any case, I chose the smallest size 4 for a 30″ bust when with a 37″ bust I should have been a 10 or 12. That meant I had a finished garment measurement of 41″ still! Oh well. That’s supposed to be “blousy,” right?

I also hacked off about 4″ from the bottom of the smallest size to suit me. Other than that, I didn’t have to adjust anything.

I stitched much of it on the serger which meant it was super quick and easy.  I will definitely be stitching up a few more of this bad girls in the near future.

Thanks to a hasty decision to snatch this fabric from the bin and the simplicity of the pieces in the dress, I had plenty left for a bonus camisole without even having to use any creative cutting layouts.


I cut it out at the same time as the dress using Butterick B4989 as a base but in the end it’s not even recognizable as this pattern. The camisole that comes with this pattern is intended to have fabric straps, bust darts, and use a woven fabric. I cut the smallest XS size for my knit and omitted the straps. I swapped them out for fold over elastic from my stash. I finished the entire upper edge with the elastic and extended it up to create the straps. I’m not thrilled with the place where I chose to join the elastic on the back but I’ve figured out a better way to do it next time.

To give a little better fit through the waist, I added waist shaping darts on the front and back, cleverly disguised along the chevron lines. You really have to search to find them.

I’m quite pleased with the changes I made to this and have plans for a few more of these camisoles as well.

A Fresh Start

It’s been far too long since I wrote a blog post! I’ve spent the past three months plagued with medical issues from shingles to plantar faciitis so bad I couldn’t walk for weeks to a lovely spring cold with nagging cough and then a concussion.

I’m FINALLY back to feeling well again but the mean time, I haven’t been totally useless. Not even a major contagious disease or minor brain damage could zap the creativity out of me. I’ve basically sat on my butt for three months knitting. It would take me ages to write a proper blog post for each so I’ll just give you an overview. If you want some scant details, click through to the Ravelry links.



Red Brick: another of my fave Brick sweaters. This one’s yarn is reclaimed from a thrift store sweater that was three sizes too big. Unfortunately I accidentally snipped many of the plies of yarn while deconstructing it so I have lots of little ends that poke through. Its a comfy slouchy cotton sweater that’s perfect for bumming around the house though.




MacIntosh Dress:  This is a design prototype I was working on to publish but it has too many issues. The gauge is off too far compared to the yarn. It’s a bit too see-through and will have to be worn with a full slip. I’m going to have to start from scratch but I do like the panel in the front. This feature will certainly make it into a future design.





Announcing The Lineweaver Hat! This was finished with testing and went live while I was in the midst of my being in agony so it’s not getting it’s own proper post, either. There it is. The second pattern from Vint Hill Knits. My Southern Hemisphere friends, indulge in a lovely, quick winter knit. Northern Hemisphere friends, go ahead and queue it up on Ravelry so you won’t forget how much you totally want to make this come September.



Test knit for the Phryne Pullover: This is a test knit I did for Taiga Hilliard Designs. Basically, it’s awesome. I highly recommend it. You should see all the beautiful pieces that have been made with this pattern already! The big release for the pattern is sometime in the next few weeks so you should go ahead and queue it up now. I’ve worn this thing about 700 times in the past 2 months!




90th Birthday Sweater: My dear Grandmama turned 90 in April so to celebrate, I made a trek to NC to visit and brought along a handful of cardigan patterns for her to choose from. Then I asked her to pick the yarn color. I made a little stop at the local yarn shop there and started the pattern while I was visiting her so she could see it in progress. Then I mailed the finished sweater to her two weeks later. I had to make a little embroidered tag for the inside because her assisted living staff requires that all garments be labeled with the resident’s name and care instructions. Grandmama didn’t mention it but I’m sure she was ashamed of the poor embroidery job I did, as she was the one who taught me to embroider at age 6!



Purple Socks: I don’t know where I went wrong here. I started this pair of socks shortly after I finished my 12 in 12 challenge back in January. Then I lost the little project bag. 4 months later I found it had fallen behind the TV. I whipped up the rest of the first sock and then its mate, not paying much attention to the project as I went along. After all, it’s pair number 9 (?) of this pattern. I wove in the ends and slipped it on my foot and went AHHHH!!! They’re HUGE! My gauge somehow became waaaay too loose in the 4 months that the bag was MIA. I tried washing and drying them to no avail. I think I’ll frog them but it makes me cry to think about it. For now they’re just sitting in my laundry room taunting me, making me a bit afraid to try again since this was already on size 0 needles!



Baby Butterfly Cardigan: A gift for a friend who is expecting. I used the pattern’s “6 month” size and it ended up big enough to fit my 4 year old! It meets the gauge and measurements stated in the pattern. Not sure who thinks a 6 month old needs a 23″ chest sweater! Guess I should pay more careful attention to finished garment measurements before beginning something. Forgot to photograph this before I gave it away so I’ll have to suffice with her cell phone snap.



Baby Flower Cardigan: After the giant Butterfly Cardigan I sized it down another one to actually fit a 6 month old. Ahh. That’s better. :) Forgot to photograph this one, too, obviously.



Minty Baby Cardigan: A gift for another expectant friend. This time I tried steeking for the first time in hopes that it would all go faster. The steeking worked out very nicely. Then I tried picking up all the trim in the round and working mitered outside corners. That went fine as well, except I was so focused on the mitered corners that I accidentally picked up every stitch along the front and didn’t realize my error until I cast off. The result was a slightly frilly front band. My friend didn’t know if she’s having a boy or girl so I felt this was a little too girly and not gender neutral enough. Turns out she had a boy but the week before he was born, it was still a mystery, so….


White Baby Cardigan: I made her another one in white, this time working the bands flat and NOT picking up too many stitches. Forgot to photograph this one, too. Gah! Unfortunately there’s still no photo because my friend was busy giving birth and all that important stuff.

I also managed to sew a few things…



Refashioned Men’s Shirt using McCall’s 2213 from 1969. I picked up an XL men’s dress shirt from the Salvation Army Store and basically used it for fabric. I did, however, use the front button band by placing my pattern pieces appropriately to keep the button band attached. I did the same for the sleeve placket and curved bottom hem. The rest of it was fresh new cuts and seams. It looked fabulous and I really loved it but when I wore it to court (I was on the right side of the law!) I couldn’t raise my right hand very far for the swearing-in because the dang shirt was too tight across the shoulders. I guess that’s what I get for using a 34″ bust pattern even though there was plenty of ease in it to accomodate my 37″ chest. It was also incredibly tough to drive while wearing it. I grudgingly gave it away to a friend with the same chest size but narrower shoulders. Will certainly have to have another go at this refashion, though.



IMG_0031 zebra 2

Zebra toy using Simplicity 4915 from 1954. I gave this to the 4 year old birthday girl and forgot to photograph it. That seems to be a running theme with my illness makes. :*( Imagine that cute little horse made using that awesome zebra fur leftover from my son’s zebra costume. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern. The first was to make a kitty cat for my niece’s 1st birthday. I love this pattern and will keep it around for last minute gifts for many years to come. The pattern is carefully sized so that they can be made using scraps but it’s not too tough to turn tiny corners. They all finish 7.5-9″ tall. Perfect for cuddling with kiddos.



Twisting Tilly Top from Style Arc. I made this one up in a flash – just a few hours to cut and sew. I was really, really happy with it and wore it the same day I completed it. Then I cooked lunch and splattered grease from the pan all over the front of it. It won’t come out. WAH! :*( Anyone know how to get beef grease out of a rayon jersey? I will definitely be remaking this one. I want to try a lace panel stitched to the side seams in lieu of a camisole underneath because that neckline plunges waaaay too low for me.



Mother’s Day skirt from New Look 6899. Just realized I don’t have a full length picture of it. I picked up this fabric on a road trip to NC a couple years ago with the intent to make a skirt for myself. I fell madly out of love with it as it sat in the bottom of my stash. As I was cleaning my stash, searching for the above mentioned zebra fabric, I found it and thought, “This looks like something my mom would wear,” and BAM! It was my mom’s Mother’s Day skirt.

Well.. I wish it had been that easy. I measured my mom, not telling her exactly what I was making for her. I compared measurements and decided on a size. Then I very carefully cut and sewed the whole thing except the bottom hem, as I wanted her to decide how long it should be. I presented it to her on Mother’s Day and much to my dismay, it was so loose it hung down past her hips.

I had a damn near perfect zipper insertion that I was not about to mess with so I took all the excess on the right side seam. I painstakingly picked out the hand sewn waistband facing and the french side seam, took it in about two inches and reattached the waistband. I finally hemmed it after it hung on the dress form for weeks waiting for the hem while I nursed the cough and cold my kids gave me for Mother’s Day. Then a few weeks after that while it waited for me to frantically finish Mom’s birthday knit top to match the skirt.

Speaking of… that top of which you see a tiny sneak peek is the next big thing from Vint Hill Knits. It’s out for testing now with my lovely group of Sit N Knitters from my LYS, so stay tuned for the big release (and my other two tops from this pattern!) in the next few weeks.






I’m Still Alive…

Sorry for the radio silence lately. I have been down and out with stress-induced shingles since the end of March. The only blog post that went up was already written and scheduled.

I’ve been hurting too much to move more than my elbows down. All of my sewing machines have been sitting silent. My TMS March challenge Miss Bossy Patterns is almost done – it’s been hanging on the dress form waiting for the hem, buttons & button holes, and belt since March 24.

All that I’ve accomplished is a whole lot of sitting and knitting. I’ve knitted a sweater, a hat, a short sleeve top, and a long sleeve dress plus I have one more sweater on my needles. All waiting until I feel (and look) better to photograph!

I promise as soon as I don’t look like a medical mystery photo, I’ll get back to pinning, posing, and posting.



Completed: My First Fair Isle & a DK beanie


How do you welcome the first week of spring in Virginia? With about 4″ of snow and making a pair of the warmest hats on the planet, of course! All winter long I’ve been picking up this double knit beanie … Continue reading