Monday, 8 June 2015

Red and black skirt - using up stash fabric!

Oh yes, I am using up stash fabric. I can feel the relief coursing through my veins at saying this: I am actually using up material that I've had in my stash for ages! Fantastic.

I have this beautiful true red and black patterned fat quarter, a quilting cotton.  It has these lovely rope or thread motifs on it that somehow remind me of bamboo (I don't know what my thought process is there) - but I have no other fabric that this goes with if I want to use it in a quilt.

So repurposing is the order of the day.

What can I make with one fat quarter? Not a heck of a lot.  But I can if combined with a plain black fabric, like for example a skirt. Marvellous idea!  But the fabric isn't long enough to run down the length of the skirt - therefore I need to sew two separate sections together.

Then I had a sudden vision of a wavy panel, snaking its way down the skirt. I got on really well with putting this together, so here are some progress shots:

What I love about designing something yourself: you get to decide what you want to do if there is an issue - like the seamline between my two sections of the red fabric.

I did try to pattern match this as pernickety and detail obsessed as I could but it wasn't perfect. And I would always know that it doesn't quite fit together. But what if I turn this around and make a feature out of a bug? (That's my absolutely favourite design process and objective!)

Why not hide that seam in a way that becomes a defining design feature? Why not sew a sort of tab across?

I didn't want a straight piece of fabric stuck on top, that would have looked silly.  But picking up the wave theme and going with a satisfyingly curved piece of applique: It looks just right!

I did sew the side seam together to attach the tab on the right hand side, now I have to adjust the width for the second side seam because the pattern pieces are way too big. Very odd.

And it isn't because I pulled the black fabric apart to insert the red panel: I actually removed the middle bit that I cut out - I will post lots of photos of what I did in another blog post soon.

Isn't sewing just so much fun?

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Turquoise jumper

I completely forgot to post this draft, oops! I finished this jumper a few months back.  I just want to stitch down some excess fabric at the front of the neck, to stop it pushing forward.  But then it'll be completely done. I wonder if that's what stopped me from posting this?

Well, here goes for now:

I am so very happy, relieved and delighted: I finally got my turquoise jumper done! Yes, actually finished. After I had marked it complete already on Ravelry, and then decided that the rolling down funnel neck looked a bit like the tightly rolled lip of a balloon, the bit that you blow into if you know what I mean?  It looked exceedingly odd around the base of my neck - as if it was trying to squeeze my head out of the jumper. Not a good look any way you consider it. At all.

I went from this - i.e. just having to knit a bit of a facing down from the cast-off stitches:

To this - the finished product: 18 months!  What the hell took me so long?  I just don't get it.

I mean, look at it, it was almost completed, finished, done:

An almost completed jumper - in limbo for about 18 months, or so
I had to go back a bit further than I realised because the neck opening was too tight to get the jumper over my head. Such a common mistake, a bit of a rookie mistake to make. Just goes to show.  So I picked up lots of stitches every here and there - and if I remember correctly, I also opened the shoulder seams a bit and picked up stitches in that area too.

It worked well.

It is just that the front of the jumper at the top, in front of the neck, - it's a bit loose sitting and baggy.  The Alpaca yarn is quite springy and holds the shape more than merino would. The eyelet funnel pattern is just a bit too stiff to relax into a better fit.  I'll have to look at that and see if I want to make some post-completion change there. I'll see.