Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Craft Attack

Work has slowed down a little, and it's been hot/humid, so I've spent a lot of time inside, working on craft projects.

I traced the image of a marigold from an art book and hand embroidered it.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out and now it's framed in my office!  Marigolds are one of my favorite flowers.

I finished knitting myself a pair of vintage-style Scandinavian mittens.

I have small hands, but these mittens are still very slim-fitting.  I really like this traditional feather-and-fan pattern.

I've been trying to practice both precision and color-matching in sewing, so I tried this sample block.  The blue is a little bright, but it exactly matches the flecks of blue in the white fabric.  There's still room for improvement, but with practice comes more precise points! 

I bought a new dress pattern that's modeled on traditional German dirndls, with a laced-up midsection.

Here's a sketch showing more detail:

Really looking forward to making this!  Speaking of garment making, I had a real breakthrough this week.  I'd picked up a pattern on clearance, forgetting that pattern dress sizes have no relation to actual clothing size.  So, the size 6 - 14 pattern I bought actually went no larger than 28" for the waist. 

I studied the schematic and figured that I could measure the space between sizes and increase it until I found my own size.  I used a big roll of thrift store paper tablecloth to trace on...

...and then made my toile, or practice garment, out of some old sheets. 

It's just pinned or basted together with large stitches, but it seemed to fit well enough.  I used my enlarged pattern pieces and cut my fabric...

It all came together in one rushed afternoon and IT FIT PERFECTLY!

I learned so much by making this.  More practice at putting in zippers, and my first time doing gathers (those tiny pleated folds beneath the waistband).  First time making a toile and enlarging a pattern, too.  I also learned to pay attention to fabric type:  I dutifully cut, sewed, and hemmed a wide piece of fabric on the bottom, but since it doesn't contrast with the original fabric, it's not even noticeable on the skirt. 

I love the fabric and the skirt looks pretty, but I won't be wearing it.  Another great learning experience:  learning what does and does not work for my body type.  This design is just not a flattering fit.  The wide top panel accentuates the waist and stomach, and a set of gathers starts just above the widest part of the hips, accentuating THAT part too.  So I'll just chalk this up to a great learning experience, recycle the fabric, and try again! 

I finished a baby cardigan for a friend.

It's really more like a little coat, and the first time I've put a lining in a knitted garment.

I was torn over which fabric to use...

...but in the end, I went with the plaid.  It was so easy.  I just cut a big rectangle out of an old plaid shirt of Todd's (cut on the bias, or diagonal, to give more stretch), pinned it into the proper shape, and whip-stitched the edges.  It didn't take any time at all!

I will definitely be lining more cardigans!  It was good to get my rubber stamps out again, too.  I've been feeling a little guilty for my vast supply of card-making tools that I haven't used lately.

Tabitha was a huge help, as usual!

I can always count on her to lend a helping hand or "supervise" the job.

Hope you've had some time to craft lately...have a good week! 

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