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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles: my version of striped top

Here it is..... my version of the striped top with the angled panels.
I've gone asymetric to fit things on to my shorter/wider front.
Still needs hemming but here's how its come out.
In between the black stripes, the lighter stripes alternate between white and pale pink, it doesn't show too well on the photo.
Its just sewn on the 'normal' machine, as despite a complete rethreading from scratch the blasted Bernina 800DL won't sew more than an inch before going wrong. I'm fed up with it, it wasn't cheap and it should sew better than that. If I've threaded it wrongly why will it sew an inch before losing the will- surely it wouldn't make the stitches at all?

More new fabric

I was in Leeds with work yesterday so nipped out at lucnhtime and picked up 2 pieces of nice knits from Jack's fabrics on the market. The Market in Leeds is huge and thriving and has several fabric stalls with quite good prices.
These were both £2.50 per metre and I bought 2m of each. This is enough to make a dress or 2 knit tops.

The left side is navy blue and creamy white geometric type print, the right is black and white floral. I like black and white prints becuase they can be mixed with each other and with plain black for interesting looks.

My thoughts on the 'interesting knit tops' is to thread my machines with black thread, leave out fabrics which can be sewn with black thread and let the fabrics and patterns inspire me.

I have a black, white, pink stipe fabric I wanted to use for this top but can't make the pieces fit on my wider and shorter TNT top front. Am thinking (yes that's the whirring noise you can hear).

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Pictures: yes we have pictures

So since I still have not found the cable to connect the digital camera to the PC I went and spent money on a Kodak 72-in-1 Card reader that takes the chip card thingy from pretty much any camera known to man, as well as mobile phone SIMs and other exciting elctronic chip type thingies.

I was very pleased that it worked immediately, and so here are some pictures of things.

First up here's a seagrass stool I made mostly with my dad whilst staying with my parents.
Next is the cake I had for my Housewarming party - a gift from my SIL.
But since this is a sewing blog I thought you might be more interested in the fabric I bought relatively recently - all knits. Bought at Leeds and Retford markets.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles: New Look 6940

I found New Look 6940 whilst hunting through pattersn, and whilst not exactly like any of the inspiration designs I showed I rather like it.
It has a knotted front and an empire line front, along with a choice of sleeve styles.
The reviews on Pattern Review are varied, though they seem to be mostly about sizing and the technique used for stabilsing the neckline.
I'll need to find a couple of my TNT knit top patterns to compare and see which size I need.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Labelling Stuff

I like labelling stuff. I didn't realise this was considered unusual, I label everything, otherwise how can I know what it is? Well maybe not everything, my kitchen and clothing cupboards are not labelled, though the baskets in the bottom of the wardrobe are.
My obsession with labelling came in handy when I moved. All the boxes were labelled with orange flourescent labels saying whats in them. Sadly I did not write - this one has the camera cable - on whichever one it is but hey ho.
My guests endlessly teased me when I labelled the sandwiches at my housewarming party, but hey no-one bit into a tuna sandwich thinking it was ham did they?
In the sewing room I label stuff. Burda Magazines, Knit fabrics, Scizzors, etc, mostly when stuff has gone away into drawers, boxes and magazine racks I find it helps to know what you have got.
Some of this is becuase I have quite a lot of stuff and try to keep it tidied away neatly (bwah hah hah).
My first proper IT job I was in charge of labelling the computers, printers, wall sockets and patch panels in the computer room (I fixed PCs, looked after the email and trained people too, but that didn't involve labelling). For this purpose I had a DYMO machine which printed out dinky little labels with which to label things. The DYMO belonged to the firm so I left it for my successor when I left.I miss the DYMO and it labelling officiousness. I think I might need to buy myself one....
not quite as essential as you know corkscrews or a kitchen timer (new recent purchases) but still it would make me VERY HAPPY!

SWAP Stages

There was some discussion on the SWAP section on Stitchers Guild about the later stages, so I thought I'd report them here:-

To make sure that your formula works, choose 2 basic colours,
add a third complementary colour, and make sure the print has the two basic colours in it

Stage 1
2 Pants, in your basic solid colors
2 Skirts, 1 print/check*, 1 solid complementary color,
2 Blouses,
1 solid, 1 print/check*
4 Tops, in coordinating colors,spice it up
Cardigan jacket, basic color

Stage Two
Stage two, you can introduce some new colours here to spice things up,
which in turn leads to more combinations.
Cardigan jacket, 2nd basic color
3 long sleeve tops, coordinating colors
2 skirts, 1 solid, knee length,
1 long print*
1 blouse, print*
2 pants, coordinating colors

Stage Three
all new colors, lighter shades of the contrast colors in stage 1 & 2
2 Skirts, 1 print, 1 dots
2 blouses, same fabrics as skirts above
1 Big Shirt
1 Blazer
1 Pants

I have to say thats it too light on dresses, ie there are none, and a few are worth having.
Also print skirts - I'm a bit unsure about these days, they tend to look old fashioned.
And when a print skirt is OK, somehow when its put with a matching print blouse its very grandmother of the groom to me.
I am probably biased by the fact that I am heavy round the hips/thighs and avoid wearing print/colour on my bottom half, instead going for plain or striped dark skirts/trousers.

Interesting knit top styles: fabric selection, first pass

Since I moved I have been looking out for a church to join. I missed the first few weeks due to sheer disorinetation of being in a new place, then went to stay with friends one weekend and went to church with them (not local). Last week I went to an independant charismatic church with the longest and most rambling service ever. This week with a friend to the village church in her village. The people there were absolutely lovely but they had a very traditional service with the old language which isn't very me. A little bit of a 3 bears porridge problem, I need to find something in between and will be off hunting in the locality.
A plus of going to church with my friend is I got lunch afterwards, and its much nicer than going in on your own.

On a fabric front I went through my other fabric as well and now have 12 knits put to one side that I really like - 4 striped fabrics, one plain bright red and 7 interesting prints.

Yesterday I went back to the old house to collect the old Flymo lawnmower, some china, a mini trampoline and my wellies. I had better clean the grass off the mower and try it out as my lawn has grown rather in the wet weather we've had the last few weeks and I'm going to be bringing the neighbourhood down a notch.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles: Fabric unpacking

First up here's the 5 styles I'm exploring in a single slide.
This is because its too hard for me to keep all 5 images in my head at once.
I see from this that they (or perhaps I?) are a bit stripe obsessed.
Today I got the two boxes of knit fabric and emptied them into the sewing room - literally.
It makes quite a pile, though they vary a lot in how much I love them.
I shall go through and refold them and put them away in the cupboard (if they'll fit), leaving out any that made me smile.
Jenni (YorshireLass) is convinced this'll be an enormous pile, and since she's been shopping in fabric places quite a bit with me, and hence seen me in action with fabric, is frankly probably right.
I've still NO idea where the camera cable is so pictures of anything my end is fairly unlikely.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles: SG thread

I've started a thread on Stitcher's Guild for this based on my previous 2 posts.

Topic on Stitcher's Guild

My initial thoughts had been just to challenge myself, but I would love for it to be a wider challenge and for people to sew along, hence the thread.
The challenge as I see it, would be to sew a knit top with styling beyond that of a plain knit top and post a picture on the SG thread.
Ideas on patterns etc can also be posted there and people can gain inspiration from each other.

Personally I plan on doing all 5 of those I showed using fabrics from my stash but that is just becuase I love knit tops.

My inspiration pieces are all from CCFashion main page and also from the Sale Section.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles: 1

This top reminds me of something from Burda magazine I am sure, and has the mock cami added already which would help address the Burda neckline issues.
It wasn't in the 5 or 6 issues I checked in last night, does anyone recognise it from the last year or two?
My Burdas are not all unpacked yet.

This one seems to be a standard tee with a slightly cowled neckline which is then secured off to one side with a booch or similar. So that would be pretty easy to emulate. The brooch could even be pinned on (depending on the weight) and removed for laundering.

This one is a standard tee other than the seamed front. So I could probably recreate this one by making a full front pattern for a favourite tee and then cutting it up, adding the seam allowances back onto resulting pieces with stripe lines, then just sew up a the front, trim to fit the original front again and make up as normal. Could be a great way to use up strange shaped bits left from another project!

This is a knot front, only with the knot in a different place. This would require some drafting and messing about, but I have several knit knit top patterns already which could be a conceptual starting point.

This one is a fairly standard empire line pattern with some additional bodice overlays. Again would need a BIT of FIDDLING but I think could be done.

Would you like to see a challenge to make one or all of these 5 tops? It might be a good way of getting my sewing creative juices flowing again.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Interesting knit top styles

I really like the quality knit tops in the mid/high end RTW stores, and am able to sometimes pick up viscose knits (rayon) which I could use in the same sorts of styles. I have a serger and a coverhem machine, and yet I seem to not have access to the same range of interesting knit top patterns as the RTW designs. Sadly I am not clever enough to work out how to emulate these designs myself.

I wear a lot of the knit tops I make, and are a way of cheering up my frankly boring suits so I can see its worth while getting some more interesting top patterns. I probably do need a gallop though my existing large pattern stash to see what I can find.

Here are some examples of the sort of thing I mean.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Clothing purging (or not)

I've now unpacked all my clothes, shoes, boots, bags, scarves and other accessories into my new house. I've had to overflow into the coat cupboard in the hall to get everything in which is not ideal.

I'm aware I've got too much but at least its all in the cupboards now, and its fairly sensibly categorised as well, though the tee shirts/ knit tops will need further sorting out as I don't want the high round necked long sleeved winter ones jumbled in with the scoop necked short sleeved summer ones, or the 'bumming-about-on-a-Saturday' ones mixed in with the 'smart-enough-to-wear-with-a-suit-for-work' ones.

I am obviously going to need to do one of those closet purge activities, but I think you need to be able to get into the right mental place for that and I'm not there at the moment. I really need to cut down on my shopping so making good use of what I have is going to be a great starting place.
I also seem to have stabilised at a reasonably constant size (no idea on my weight as I've not currently got any scales) so looking sensibly at the too large and too small items makes a lot of sense.

For the moment I shall just breathe a sigh of relief that I am unpacked in the wardrobe arena, and look for my red nail polish so I can do myself a sandal wearing pedicure!

Any tips on wardrobe purging would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Desks moved to utilise the view

I worked from home today to test out the newly connected broadband and realised despite having a view of green hills and trees n stuff out my window both the sewing table and the computer desk were helpfully constructed by dad to face blank white walls.
They have now been moved by yours truly to both be partly under the window. This has proved btw that dad was right (as they mostly are) when he said the desk was not fit for purpose and needed to be replaced, as its now held upright by being sandwhiched by the filing cabinet but hey ho.
Of course by the time I'd finished moving the furniture it was dark and now there isn't any view at all.
I'm also about to go away for the weekend, but it does mean that in the longer term scheme of things I can look out of the window and see greenery when sewing or using the computer. This is a good thing.
I've still no idea where the cable for the camera is so no photos yet - sorry about that - but they'll hopefully be good when they arrive.
Time for bed, but I am getting there :-)

I think I shall actually buy myself another white table (or two) when I decide to bin the desk, and have a gleaming row of them under the window for sewing and computer use. They are not really the right thing for office work due to the shiny surface.

I have however made the happy discovery that the small rotary cutting mat sits neatly on top of the filing cabinet (its a 2 drawer one, so only table height) which slightly extends the teeny sewing area.
Cutting out is on a board on the bed, which is quite high for a bed but a bit low for a cutting table, but we live in the real world with non-ideal sewing situations and still mange to do stuff creatively and be happy.