I have decided to start sewing for myself again—after about 20 years! For a while I thought I needed a dress form first, or to lose a few pounds…but really, that’s silly, isn’t it? I’m pretty satisfied with the way this basic top turned out. I have
wondered if it looks at tad too small/tight, but it’s really quite
comfortable the way it is. Comments and suggestions on fit welcome. Simplicity 2599.
A few things I changed—or will change next time:
Lengthened the sleeves to 3/4 length.
The bust darts need to be about 1/2 inch lower. Maybe more. (Although it looks like I was trying to stick out my chest in this photo, I assure you, I was only trying to stand up straight).
I added a long curve to the back seam in an attempt to reduce the bunching up of fabric in the back. Not sure it worked out the way I wanted it to. Also, I will make the keyhole opening at the top a bit smaller. It gapes. (See top photo).
I love the name of this fabric from Alexander Henry. It cracks me up. Will wanted a button-front shirt and picked out this fabric at Bolt last fall. The pattern is, again, from this book—a winner. I wish I would have thought more about the placement of pattern pieces before I cut them, so as to avoid the symmetry on the two fronts, but oh well… I was more focused on the back placement.
Update: Look what I found here on Flickr! Fantastic.
All credit for this project goes to my mom, who made these precious clothes for Lauren’s Götz doll, Jessica. Her new wardrobe builders include a dress, a pair of pajamas, and a top and shorts set. Yeah, Grandma!
[A note about the pajamas/buttonholes. These were made with flannel from my stash after my mom’s arrival here. I finished the buttonholes on the front and promptly began crying (on Christmas Eve, no less) because I am so frustrated with the buttonhole maker on my machine. My mom soothed me, as all good mothers do, by reminding me that buttonholes don’t have to be perfect on doll’s clothes. But really it’s the principle—and she had to agree. I have a somewhat expensive machine and I shouldn’t have to hold my breath every time I make a buttonhole. I’d say for every ten buttonholes I make, I get four good ones. That’s just not right. I am thinking of trading it in for something different. Any suggestions? My machine is a Pfaff 2038 that Kirk bought me for my birthday two years ago and I like everything else about it but this is just driving me crazy. If anyone has the same machine and a similar—or different—experience, I'd like to hear about it.]
And finally, I made a set of festive oven mitts for my mom, using the pattern from Denyse Schmidt’s book. They turned out pretty cute. However I didn’t finish binding the bottom edges so they went home with mom sans binding and she will finish that part. How’s that for a kick in the pants? All I can say is, thank goodness for mothers who understand.
I can barely contain my excitement about these gorgeous new fabrics by Moda and French General. I like the stripes. They are like silky cotton ticking and the colors are absolutely perfect—the red is not too cool and the natural color (don’t know what to call it, which is sort of the best thing about it) is just right with the red. They are so fine and so soft. Like shirting only with a bit more drape. I could buy bolts of the stripes and be happy for a long while. This might well be my “stranded on a desert island” fabric—for now anyway. Check it out if you can.
Sadly, my honey has not—until now—been the recipient of a gift made
by me. He has asked for many handmade items over the years but I’ve
been reluctant to invest a lot of time and money in anything for him
because he can be a little…well, picky. (Sorry babe!) These socks were
the perfect thing though. I barely managed to finish them on Christmas
eve and wrapped them up (their tails were still not woven in but in
knitting I consider a gift finished if you can give it without its
needles still attached). He loves them.
only two weeks they are showing gentle signs of wear. I had not made
socks in a while, two years actually, since I made a pair each for my
parents for Christmas. My own first pair wore out prematurely and the
memory of this still smarts—they were so beautiful. In hopes of saving
these socks from a similar fate, I reinforced the heel and ankle with this thread. I hope it will work. The pattern is Knitting Pure and Simple’s Men’s Heavyweight Boot Sock—a good basic pattern. The yarn is Louet Gems worsted—my
most recent favorite. It’s so nice to work with and has superb stitch
definition. I am planning to have a pair on needles for him at all
I tried to make a pair of gloves for Will but it did not work out. I really screwed up the fingers—there were large gaps in between each one. So I unraveled them and cast off to make a fingerless glove. It’s okay. Not sure if I will make the mate or not. Again, Louet Gems worsted.
Although I had greater ambitions for my handmade gifts this year, I was ultimately pretty satisfied with those projects I was able to finish.
This was sort of a special project for me because when I was a girl, my mother made a doll for me each year for Christmas. (Perhaps you remember this post?) I decided it was a tradition worth carrying on and so proceeded with a little faith, a lot of excitement and Hillary Lang’s excellent Wee Wonderfuls pattern, Kit, Chloe and Louise. My girl likes her dolls with a bit more sophistication so I designed and embroidered a slightly more “glamorous” face (inspired by these gorgeous girls). In this photo, the braids have not yet been secured to the head—you can see the tell-tale pin head on her right side. I have also not yet finished her shoes (the first one I made looked a little wonky) and I think she’s almost cuter barefoot so the shoes have moved way down the priority list. I think she’s pretty cute and so does my girl. We are still working on a name for her. Her name is Lisa.
It was good. I ran around like crazy before the big day, lamented
the unfinished tasks and projects, (no cards this year!?), yearned for
naps, then relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful sights and sounds. There were grandparents, games,
puzzles, friends, music, books, yarn, embroidery thread, treats,
welcoming of the new year, and even a bit of snow to finish off with. I
will follow up with some handmade and gift reports in the next days or so. Until then…