The first ever Cashmerette pattern I saw and purchased was the Washington Dress. This combines a knit with a woven which is really unusual and I have never seen a pattern like it. The bodice is a knit and the skirt is a woven, so really it is the best of both worlds!
I worked on it a the first Cashmerette retreat I went to. Working with the combination of fabrics sounded a bit tricky so I thought making it with the designer Jenny who created the pattern whilst I had the chance would be my best option so I could pick up any tips and tricks. I was really surprised with myself I was smaller than I realised and was able to make the bodice a smaller size than I originally I thought I would need. We graded between 3 sizes for the bodice, yoke and the skirt so this is a mix of size 18, 24 and 22.
At the retreat I got it all finished except for the hems on the arms. I tried to finish it at home but my dear sewing machine who doesn’t like knit fabric ate the fabric on my first attempt… I was devastated. The dress looked good but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the arm hems. The dress then lived on my lounge chair for about 6 months. I would pick it up every now and then but still unsure how to fix it back I placed it. After doing some of the patterns in A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing Knitted Fabrics I discovered a technique to do the hems where you use a three step zig zag stitch. I did it on a couple of patterns from the book and it worked on lightweight knitted fabrics which my machine normal ate the fabric on but using this stitch it didn’t. I bit the bullet and pulled out this dress and within 15 mins my dress was finished.
The knit fabric was something I got about 2 years ago but just lived in my stash waiting to be made into something. The woven I think I got from Pitt Trading, again it was living in my stash waiting to be made into something. The pattern suggests you use a scuba fabric for the yoke but all the scuba I can find is synthetic which I hate wearing so I used the same fabric I used for the rest of the skirt. The fabric has a slight stretch to it. I am really happy with my choice.
This dress ticks all my points when considering items to make
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky √
- Natural Fibres √
It is really comfortable and I have actually worn it heaps. Style wise it is a nice simple fitted dress. The combination of fabrics makes it a bit quirky and certainly is a creative way to use them. Both the fabrics used are cotton, the skirt is more a rigid cotton but it is cool to wear on the skin even on the waist which is slightly more fitted than I am used too wearing.
Now I will be honest when I first saw this pattern I wasn’t really taken by the fabrics used in the pictures for it. The models in it looked great in the dresses but the colour combinations used in them weren’t drawing me in to making it. The pattern sketch diagram was what made me really want to make this dress. Seeing this dress made in colours that were to my taste has just made me really fall in love with this dress. If I find colour combinations I like I will make this dress again.
I love my dress. It is a shame it took me most of the year to finish it but saying that I have learnt so much clothing making wise this year that I am proud that I was able to work out how to finish it after learning techniques from other projects.
This top is another from A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics. I made this a couple of months ago and have made nearly all the patterns in the book now so I can’t remember which order I made it in.
This top is incredibly simple to make. It is a basic front, back, bands around the neck / arms and bottom hem. If you were a super speedy sewing master you could get this easily done in a couple of hours if that. If you were a beginner and wanting to pick a pattern to start on from the book I would recommend this top.
Fit wise I am pretty happy with it. I did make the largest size as I need to with all the top patterns in this book. The back is gaping a little but not enough to bother me. Perhaps I may take out some from the back next time but the fabric is a cotton knit so it more forgiving and less noticeable than other recent top patterns where I have had that issue. My sewing is a little bit dodgy around the bands on the neckline and one arm. I didn’t hand tack my fabric before attaching the bands on the overlocker so I did have to go over them in parts to correct bits I missed and my machine ate some of the bands in the process. I am lucky due to the nature of this fabric I can get away with as the print is busy.
This is a great essential little top. You could wear it under jackets or layer it under dresses, in summer this would look cute under a York Pinafore. I think it would make a great gym top, the neckline is high so you’re not exposing yourself as you bend forward. The side of top goes up nice and high under the arm so again you don’t have any side expose. It is not too high under the arms or around the neck that you feel uncomfortable or that it is choking you. I am very tempted to now make one in a black cotton lycra for summer gym sessions with my trainer when I am finding the peak t-shirt I made earlier this year and have been wearing to the gym to be a little bit hot and boxy in the warmer weather. I have no problem wearing a fitted top the gym as I am there to work out and not be a fashion show so as long as I am comfortable I don’t care what I wear.
The fabric used was leftover in my stash from when I made my skirt a couple of years ago, at the time I thought I would like to make a simple top with it so I could have entire outfit but in my cupboard it went and I forgot about it until I was “playing” in my stash one day and found it. I had just enough fabric left to squeeze this top out and that was with making the largest size. I really did fall in love with the print of this fabric when I first saw it. To be honest I haven’t really worn my skirt since I made it. No particular reason I just put it in my drawer and forget what I have made. Now that I have a matching top I think I will wear it more this summer. I can wear it to work as an outfit even though I will be wearing my work jumper over it because you will see a peak of the neckline under my jumper.
Looking at my points to consider when making clothes
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky √
- Natural Fibres √
It is super comfortable due to the fabric so ticking the comfort and natural fibre points. The style is very much a classic tank top that can go with any skirt so ticking that point. The fabric is a little different, pretty but in a non girly pink way so I think it ticks the creative/quirky point.
I am super happy with this top. Not only did I make another pattern from the book which I aim to sew my way through but I also made a top from fabric I had set aside waiting for the perfect pattern (ok and forgetting about) Sewing and decluttering working as one and giving me a fantastic outfit.
I have a finished pair of ankle socks!!!
After all the trials and tribulations I went through starting these last week I finished my socks. Once I got over sock 1 I easily breezed through sock 2 knitting it within a matter of days I think or over a short period of time anyway. Writing my notes after sock 1 really helped. For sock 2 the only time I needed to consult YouTube was doing the kitchener stitch at the end. For sock 1 I did it from written instructions and got a little bit lost but there was only 4 stitches on each needle so not many to do. Looking at this picture I can’t tell which is sock 1 or 2 but for the 2nd one I decided to sit and watch YouTube, more to just familiarise myself with it again in visual terms as I am a visual learner.
Before I took this photo I did actually give my socks a good “testing” wearing them on a 35 deg day walking to gym then walking around a shopping centre. Now normally in regular socks by the end of all that I would be racing to get home to tear the socks off my feet as I get heat trigged eczema on the tops of my feet and my feet would be red and itchy. I wore these without any problem, not an itch. The yarn I used is by Twilleys of Stamford called Gorgeous DK and yes just my luck it is now discontinued. I found this out earlier this year and purchased most of the remaining stock that my yarn shop had of it so I know I will get a few pairs made. It is a bamboo / nylon mix. They have survived their first wash well although I haven’t put them back on. I must admit they look bulky but in my sneakers they were really comfortable. The yarn is a sport weight so a 5ply and gave a little bit of padding under my feet.
I have started a 2nd pair over the last couple of days but today had to take them off my needles this morning to start again as on the instep decreases I decreased too much on one side and my stitch count was off (this will teach me for knitting socks after only 3hrs sleep) They had a couple of gaps in other sections where I didn’t pick up the stitch fully so I am not too worried about starting them again. They are a quick make so I know once I get started and actually watch what I am doing I will get another pair done in no time.
My sock knitting bug has bitten again!
To be honest when the York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet first came out I wasn’t one of the many people who instantly wanted to make it. After seeing many people on Instagram make it I became a convert and purchased the pattern.
After reading the pattern it did scare me a little, it is designed for a B cup and I am clearly not. There are instructions on how to adjust the upper front bodice to accommodate for the larger busts but I was a bit confused as my cup size varies in different bras. In the end I just took the plunge and tried out the pattern adding 2″ to the bodice and hoped for the best. After I traced out the pattern onto trace and toile I did actually pin the pattern together to check the fit, it seemed ok so I pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut away.
Ok so I was a little naughty and didn’t follow full instructions. I skipped the stay stitching bit around the neckline/armholes and made my pocket a little differently. I think the term is bagging it out – I cut the pocket a double thickness with right sides facing and stitched around the outside leaving a turning gap at the bottom then turned it out. This way I didn’t need to attach bias binding to the curves on the pocket, I just did some top stitching on them before stitching to pocket to the front. I also raised the pocket up higher than the pattern suggests.
To bind the edges of the neck and armholes I made my own continuous binding instead of cotton tape. I followed the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt company. I marked out my strips 1.75″ wide. I had heaps of binding left over so I used it on the hem at bottom too. I didn’t want to lose much length at the bottom so this was a good solution.
So my points to consider for making clothes
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky ∫
- Natural Fibres Χ
Ok so it only ticks half the points. It is certainly comfortable although a bit short, the style is classic I think. As for creative/quirky I think that point is a bit iffy, I certainly like the pocket which is what drew me to this pattern as it is very useful and holds a lot. The fabric I used was some suiting fabric I brought from Pitt Trading when it was on sale for about $5 or $10 per metre and is a synthetic but as it isn’t directly close fitting to the skin I can easily wear it.
You have 2 options with this pattern, I chose view B which is a bit shorter and has the kangaroo pocket. I have since made a 2nd pinafore with even more plans to make more so I am glad I decided to step outside my comfort zone and try the pattern. Sewing wise it was fairly quick to make, binding all the edges takes the most time but it isn’t tricky to do.
Once I cut out my basket weave skirt I had some fabric leftover from it. The piece was an odd size, not really large enough to do anything with but too much to just throw out. As the fabric was really unusual in texture it was very hard to add it to another piece of fabric and use it as a trim.
I decided to make just a simple scarf and I do mean simple. All I did was fold it across the width of the fabric and trim the sides with my rotary cutter and ruler so they were both even. As my overlocker still had brown thread on it from making the skirt I ran each side of the scarf through my overlocker. As the ends were the selvage and were finished I didn’t have to worry about those. I made sure that I went in the same direction on both sides so that my overlocker stitches would be the same on both sides. After both sides were done I just weaved in all 4 overlocker tails like I do with whenever I have end tails. It maybe took 2 minutes to cut, 5 minutes to sew and finally 10 mins to do all my tails.
The final piece is 8″ x 48.5″ It isn’t a large scarf but enough to be a matching accessory with my skirt. I never wear accessories but it is something I would like to do more of. I’m really happy with this leftover scarf. It is making me think about accessories more and what I could make. I used to wear a lot necklaces and jewelry but these days I don’t. I think I need to start making more things for me… and not just make them but wear them too.
I have been going through my fabric stash a lot lately trying to match up patterns and fabrics that I already have together. Until recently most of my fabric and pattern purchases have just been “for the stash” and I haven’t really had a purpose or project in mind for them.
On a fabric shopping trip I think at the start of last year or maybe it was even the year before I purchased some brown fabric that caught my eye due to unusual texture of it. It feels like chenille so it has a cozy feel to it but it is very light and drapey. It just went in my stash. I have patted it a few times but never really thought of making anything with it. Earlier this month I was wanting a really simple mindless sewing project so I pulled it out of my stash and thought I would make a cape out of it using Burda 7313 like I made for Frocktails this year. When I was washing my mind kept thinking I already have a couple of capes including a brown one which I am currently knitting.
In my pattern stash I came across New Look 6287. I originally brought this pattern to make view A as I have some other fabric which is perfect for it. Needless to say I still haven’t made that perfect skirt but I was reading the fabric suggestions for the other skirts in the pattern and decided that I would have enough fabric to make view B. This pattern calls for a woven fabric and not a knit. I liked the picture of view B as it had a nice flow to it and I thought it would sit well with the fabric. As it is a little longer I thought it would be a good winter skirt.
I have never made a New Look pattern so I wasn’t sure how their sizing is, I had heard they were on the smaller size of patterns. I did my measurements and went with the largest size as I needed it for my hips. Looking back now the waist is a little big so perhaps I should have graded down at the waist one size. I’m not too worried at how it looks with the largish waist, I never wear crop tops so you never see my waistband. It isn’t too big that it is falling off my either.
I was worried it may be a bit snug at the hips but it has enough ease in the pattern to swish comfortably around me and not feel tight. I love the feel of the fabric it feels squishy. Even though it is a synthetic it doesn’t feel hot but I couldn’t wear this in summer unless I was in air conditioning the entire time but spring, autumn, winter I should be fine.
Sewing wise it was a really simple sew. I made it in a day tracing and cutting it out in the morning and then sewing it in the afternoon. To be honest once I had cut it out I wasn’t sure if I was even in the mood for sewing it that day but it was a really relaxing make that didn’t have a lot of steps so I easily finished it. I decided to be a bit rebellious with the hem. I just overlocked the hem and didn’t turn it up. Because of the basket weave texture I think I can get away with something funky at the bottom and it doesn’t look odd. The skirt moved so fluid I was worried if I turned up the hem it might make it feel too structured. One extra thing I did different to the pattern was I had to piece my waistband as my fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut it in one piece.
So looking my tick list of things to consider when making clothes
- Comfort √
- Classic √
- Creative / Quirky √
- Natural Fibres Χ
So it fails the natural fibre content but it ticks all the rest of the points. It is a simple skirt that is super comfortable and is made from an unusual fabric. By using the fabric in this skirt I know I will get more wear out of it rather than had I made a cape. I will wear a skirt most days to work in winter so I am in need of warmer ones if I don’t want to repeat my skirts in the same week.
I mentioned in my Rose City Rollers post that I was going away last week and wanted to take socks to work on. I searched Ravelry and came across the Super Stretchy Sport Socks by River City Yarns. The pattern looked perfect, it was using exact same ply that I was using, the design looked just like what I was after. In my mind I thought I could easily get ankle socks made in a weekend so I packed up all the supplies I needed included a darning needle and written instructions on how to do the kitchener stitch. Well things didn’t go to plan….
I cast on my first sock knitting the cuff without issue. I knit socks magic loop when I started my heel flap I knitted on the wrong needle so my heel flap stitches were on the outside of my sock not on the inside. Ok start again this time I managed the cuff, heel flap and even turned the heel then it came to picking up stitches. The pattern is written for both DPN’s (double pointed needles) and magic loop but when it came to picking up stitches I got a bit confused in the pattern as to when I was meant to pull my cord through and pick up the next needle. I had way too many stitches on my needle and then I got confused as to where to place my stitch markers. I was frustrated because I have a very long sock “To Knit” list yet I can’t manage to knit a pair of ankle socks even though I have knitted a full pair of socks within 2 weeks before when I made my Pumpkin socks. I pulled the sock off my needles and then worked on another yarn project for the weekend, luckily I had packed 2 projects so I wasn’t left with idle hands.
Ok so I think I am on attempt 3 of these particular socks. I have done a 2″ cuff as I want a longer sock that sits high on my ankle, on one of my other attempts I only did 1.5″ and I don’t think that will be high enough. When it came to the gusset I watched Very Pink Knits Learn To Knit Socks Magic Loop Part 4 tutorial. I love watching Stacie’s knitting tutorials, she explains things very clearly. Whenever I search YouTube for knitting tutorial I always check to see if she has done one first. After watching the clip I knew where to pull my cord through for the magic loop and where to place my stitch markers. She has her needles set up differently to what the pattern for these socks say (well that’s at least how I interpreted the pattern to say) Once you pick up your gusset stitches you rearrange your stitches to effectively split your heel and cuff in half so the stitch markers for your decreases are in the centre of your needles, this is how I have knitted socks before and I am comfortable with the set up. I can go on autopilot now knowing depending on what row I am on if I have to decrease when I come to a stitch marker or not.
I have gone a step further than what Stacie or the pattern says and have placed extra stitch markers so I know when to stop decreasing for my gusset. I read the pattern to see at what stitch count I needed to stop the decreases and counted them out on my needles so I know when I get to the green stitch markers it is time to stop the decreases and just knit until I get to the toe section. Just had a quick look at this picture and my knitting and have readjusted my stop stitch markers as they were wrong in this picture. Also just discovered I am down a stitch on one side so when it comes to doing my decreases the side that has 2 orange stitch markers I’ll skip a decrease on that side to get my stitch count even. The extra decrease stitch markers will help with my autopilot knitting which I like to do. I am actually enjoying knitting the sock now. When I get to the toe section I will watch the clip in Stacie’s clip on how to set up my needles for that.
I have been making myself notes along the way. Sometimes I need to write things in my own words for them to make sense to me. On this page I have my notes about the stitch markers, on the first page I have notes on how long I have made each section so when it comes to making my 2nd sock I make them the same. In my notes I have even reminded myself I took a picture for Instagram of my set up so I can refer back to it and of course now I will have this blog post too.
To recap for myself for sock 2
- To measure for long tail cast on wrap yarn around the needle 8 times then measure that fold 7 times + tail yarn to cast on 56 stitches
- Knit 2″ cuff (16 rows in total)
- For gusset stitch markers need to be near cuff and not heel
- Place first stitch marker after 1st set of picked up stitches
- Place second stitch maker at start 2nd set picked up stitches
- Divide sock in half from toe and cuff to knit magic loop
- On row counter odd rows are decrease rows, even rows are knit stitches
Ok back to my knitting hopefully I will have sock 1 finished soon!
Update: Instead of skipping a decrease stitch on one side I did KFB in the cuff section on that needle to get my stitch count correct in that section