Archive | August, 2010

Finished the Ponte Knit Pieces

12 Aug

My travel wardrobe is moving right along.  I just finished the ponte knit pieces.  I was a little worried about how they would turn out, especially the pants since I had previously made some ponte knit pants and didn’t like them, but these ponte pieces turned out great! They are comfortable, and I think they will be perfect for traveling.  Here they are:

I’ll start with the pants.  They are Loes Hinse Oxford pants, which I have made three times now.  This is the first time I’ve made them in a knit, though, so I decided to make them a little smaller by using the same size pattern (small) and adding a 5/8 inch seam allowance instead of Loes’ usual 3/8 inch.  They turned out perfectly doing it this way.  I was a little concerned that the crotch would end up too short, but I realize now that a knit really does need to be that much smaller.  It was good practice for me to convert a woven pattern into a knit.

The cardigan is Onion 1029:

This cardigan has two large darts on the front and back at the waistline.  It gives the cardigan a lovely shape and I didn’t want to ruin that shape by taking the darts out to fit my non-existent waist.  So I used the smallest size (34) at the neck and shoulders, and moved to a size 40 at the bottom of the armscye, and then out even more at the waist (to a size 42), and then back to a size 40 down to the hemline.  Those adjustments kept the shape and ease of the cardigan, while accommodating my waistless shape.  I need to take a picture of the cardigan buttoned up, so you can see the shape.

I’m still considering making the sleeves 3/4 length, just because I think that’s a more attractive look on me.

Finally, the top is Vogue 8565:

I made it in a tie dye rayon knit.  The color is really outside my comfort zone (kinda wild for me), but I like the way it turned out.  The tucks in this top were a testament to the wonderfulness of my new Pfaff 2170 and it’s IDT.  I didn’t have to use any kind of stabilizer to sew the tucks at all.  It was so easy!

The pattern called for bias binding, but I just used a self binding.  Next time, I will make the top a little larger through the bust, and maybe lengthen the bodice, but I’m pretty pleased with the results.

So, I have six pieces now.  I need to make some more tops, but I’m feeling good about where I’m at with the travel wardrobe right now.  I actually think I may finish by October 1st.  Yay!

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Marvin Minsky Was Here

7 Aug

If you’ve been reading my blog awhile, you may have noticed the quote on the side bar from Marvin Minsky, “You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way”. When I first saw this quote, I thought it was applicable to so many areas of my life: sewing, teaching, fitness, cooking, relationships…I could go on and on.

Marvin Minsky is a philosopher and scientist at MIT.  He is considered one of the leading authorities in the field of artificial intelligence.  Amazingly, he was the one who built the SNARC, the first neural network simulator.  I think this is code for “artificial brain” (my term).

One of the reasons I wanted to tell you about Dr. Minsky’s visit to ye old sewing blog was because he shared with me/us that he has done some sewing, but mainly likes to crochet lengths of rope together.  Here is a picture of a tie he made at the last-minute in order to be appropriately dressed at a conference:

I thought this was wonderful, and wanted to share it with you.  I hope Dr. Minsky doesn’t mind. Here is his original comment.

Thanks for dropping by, Dr. Minsky!

Update on October Travel Wardrobe

4 Aug

I’m sewing away on my travel wardrobe for Italy.  I’ve had some failures, of course.  One was a Loes Hinse Ascot jacket that I didn’t like.  Really, nothing else was wrong with it, except that I just didn’t like it.

One thing I don’t like about Loes Hinse jackets is the fact that they aren’t lined, but you have to put shoulder pads in them.  They don’t have interfacing, they are supposed to have a cardigan look, but you have to put shoulder pads in them.  All of that just doesn’t work for me.  If I’m wearing a cardigan, I don’t want shoulder pads.  If I’m wearing a jacket, I want it a little more structured.  And if  a jacket has shoulder pads, I want lining.  Suffice it to say, these jackets aren’t working for me.

The next failure was a sweater-type cardigan I made with some Emma One Sock fabric.  I’m usually pretty happy with EOS fabrics, but this one was described as a “sweater knit”, and it was.  However, it was heavier than I thought it would be and it was felted, which was a surprise.  I should have just put it away until winter, but once I get something in my head, it’s hard to turn back.  I tried to make a cardigan I had made before with a very thin sweater knit, and it just didn’t work.  Moving on :).

Here is an updated view of the plan:

I’ve added lots of knit tops to the wardrobe, and changed some other things around.  So far, I’ve made a skirt and pants in the black rayon, and the Onion cardigan and Silhouette pants in the taupe ponte knit. Also, I’ve made the white Hearts A’Flutter shell.

It’s August 4th and I have about two months to go.  Better get sewing!

My New Machine

1 Aug

Here it is, folks!  Direct from an eBay auction.  It’s a Pfaff 2170 with that fabulous IDT.  Yessss!!!!!  It is three years old and rarely used because it was a back-up machine in a custom sewing business.

Now, I will have to learn how to use the fabulous embroidery feature, but that will be after I just plain learn to sew on it.

Thanks ever so much to Karen Roth for helping me identify my dream machine:). You can bet there will be many happy years of sewing on this baby!

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