Archive for July, 2010

More Japanese Sewing: Wrap Skirt and T-Shirt
July 11th, 2010 | Link

Posing on a rock in front of a bunch of bamboo

One thing I love about the morning fog: it diffuses light wonderfully for photography. And it usually burns off by noon.

I’ve been searching for the perfect -shirt pattern and thought I had it with my tweaked version of Jalie 2805, but this basic t-shirt from Overlock Sewing Everyday Clothes might beat it out as my favorite. Like the Jalie pattern, this one comes with several variations on the sleeves and neck, and the book includes patterns for several other top and tunic styles, a couple of skirts, camisoles and leggings. (I love everything about the outfit shown on the right in this picture – I even bought a pair of black patent ballet flats to reproduce it, and I have some deep red silk/cotton poplin earmarked for the skirt) The amazing thing is that the tutorials in the book are so clear–even though I don’t understand Japanese–that I learned more from them than the English-language serger book I have!

Front detail showing the tie

The wrap skirt is from One Day Sewing Winter Clothes (2007). This is less than an evening’s work. It took me a while to figure out how to work with the pattern, as there were only two pieces on the pattern sheet: turns out that those two pieces had a center mark that I needed to mirror to get the front skirt and facing. Also, for some reason I spaced on the facing and was convinced it was a waistband, and couldn’t figure out how the top of the skirt pieces were supposed to match up. Doh.

Back view of wrap skirt

This was going to be a muslin from leftover stretch denim, and then I was going to make it up in a lighter weight gray stretch denim that I bought recently from But it turned out well enough that I’m going to save the gray denim for something else. I love this style though, its simplicity and architectural line, and I kind of want to make another one in black, a little shorter, maybe reversible with a crazy print for the other side…

Work in Progress: Upstairs Shawl
July 6th, 2010 | Link

Shawl and yarn detail

I started this project as plane knitting for my trip to Calgary in May, and now it was also plane knitting for my trip to Las Vegas. It’s the Upstairs Shawl from Ravelry (requires an account to view the pattern, but if you’re a knitter, you need a Ravelry account!), in lace. It’s a simple lace pattern repeating over 11 stitches and 32 rows (with 105 stitches per row, including a garter-stitch border) and I memorized it quickly, but with the lace-weight yarn it’s going very slowly. I’ve knit about 36″ so far, and I’d say I’m a little over half-way through the ball, and that’s probably about 44 hours of knitting time (it takes me about 4 hours for a repeat). Fortunately, not all of that was in airports or on planes. At my current rate, I figure I’ll finish it around September.

This is the same yarn I used for my sister’s Clapotis scarf and the Mockingbird handwoven scarf. Great yardage (850 yards per skein) with saturated colors and lovely subtle shifts in the deep blue. But there are many places where the yarn is so finely spun that it’s little more than a thread, so I’m always afraid that I’m going to break it. That could just be from the Mockingbird experience, when I foolishly used it as a warp thread – I’ve never actually broken it knitting.



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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