Archive for January, 2008

Five, Six, Seven, Eight
January 27th, 2008 | Link

Apologies in advance for the terrible photography; it’s been raining for days here, so not much opportunity for outdoor shots. Great weather for sewing, though, so I’ve been doing quite a bit. I turned back to my perfect skirt pattern from Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe. And the results are in!

Sew U skirts number five and six are made from dark gray wool flannel worsted and light gray wool suiting, respectively. (Sense a theme?) They’re identical otherwise to the third skirt, fully lined and hemmed shortly above the knee.

Skirt number five, in dark gray wool flannel worsted
Skirt number six, in light gray wool suiting.

Skirt number seven is a longer skirt, like skirt number four, but an inch or so longer. This is a fun print from Prints Charming Fabrics—not my usual style, but with all this dreary weather it was cheery to work with and it will be a great spring skirt. It’s fully lined with white cotton. I didn’t think of changing the pattern into a side zip (and bypassing the need to try to match the fabric on the back) until after I’d already purchased extra fabric to do the matching and cut it out, but I’m happy with the results.

Skirt number seven, full view
Skirt number seven, back seam and zip detail

Skirt number eight is a departure from the others. I used the Sew U skirt pattern for the waist darts, but modified it from the hip down to be a straight, ankle-length skirt. It has a side zip (after my previous revelation) and a slit up to the knee on the same side. Very evening wear.

Skirt number eight, in a black and red floral print

Here’s what I learned about putting in a side zipper: sew the side seam with the zipper first. Duh, right? Well, duh. Here’s something else I learned about putting in a zipper in general, from a great photo tutorial for making a change purse: when you sew in the zipper and you near the top, pull the head down past the needle so you don’t have to try to sew around it. So obvious, when you think about it, and yet it’s made the zippers on these last four skirts much easier and neater.

Now that I have a whole wardrobe’s worth of skirts, it’s time to turn my attention to tops…

Blocking Without Wires
January 17th, 2008 | Link

Close up of blocking scarf with yarn holding the edges taut

Somewhere I read a suggestion for blocking lace without wires, where yarn was threaded through the yarn-overs along the edges of the piece and then pulled taut. So I tried it for the long edges of the Rabbit Tracks scarf, using some leftover cotton yarn from another project. I think it would have been easier to thread the yarn through the yarn-overs if I had done so before I soaked the scarf, but aside from that, I’m impressed with how much straighter and lacier the edges are than the edge rows on the Bias Shawl. I’m almost tempted to block the shawl again using this method.

Bias Shawl in Handmaiden Rumple Silk
January 6th, 2008 | Link

Shawl photo

Yesterday I finished and blocked my Bias Shawl. I was worried when I finished the knitting part that the shawl would not be long enough, as I only had about 52 inches of length (a few other people on Ravelry said they had similar problems). But I blocked it to the width in the pattern (14 inches) with pins, and then stretched it as much as I dared as I blocked the length—I winced every time I pulled it—and the finished length is about 73 inches, which is only three inches short of the pattern’s stated length.

I thought it would be purely decorative, given the open lace work, but I was testing the length earlier today after removing all the pins and it does lend a bit of warmth. It drapes nicely over the shoulders, but it also crunches up to a good scarf width (as in the photo above), so I think it could be worn either way.



My name is Shannon Hale. This blog is on indefinite hiatus, but it contains archives of the last 10 years of posts about bookbinding, knitting, sewing. and other random things in my life.


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