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June 29, 2006

not so glamorous lobster pants

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pattern: butterick B4462
difficulty (1-5): 3
pattern size: 8
fabric: 2 yd of linen & rayon blend with lobster applique (55 inches wide), zipper, hook & eye

what was wrong with my lobsters? it was a pair of seemingly normal pants but only from the pictures. i love lobsters to death. sadly though, not on my pants.

first, what i like about the pants: the fabric. i found this fabric early in the spring, when i was just started to sew. pattern, too. originally i had envisioned myself wearing a handmade capri pants, tailored to my desired fit, length and everything so i don't have to get one from lily pulitzer. i still won't get one from lily, but it will be a while before i attempt to make another pair of pants.

honestly, there's nothing wrong with the pattern, it was all me. i was not happy with the waist portion of the pattern and had decided to modify for a low waist, no darts look (instead of finding another pattern). as it turned out, even with the smallest pattern size, the pants was grossly big (a side note: do any of you find butterick's patterns tend to run big? i do. what about other brands?). i eventually had to sew 3 inches worth of darting on both sides at the back. not glamomous at all. in fact, it looks odd.

my second hugest mistake was to blindly cut off the waist without even thinking that maybe using a ruler! i cut the back pieces the same height as the front (big no no)!! it did not seem so weird for you... but, i can definitely tell when wearing them.

i was otherwise pretty happy with my method of sewing the waistband. it looked semi-normal to say the least.

putting in hook & eye was a torture. i hate sewing by hand. absolutely hate it. and it turned out i may have sewn the hook too far off. have to do it again (which has not happened yet).

oh well... live and learn.

June 20, 2006

my growing cornflower

i kept thinking this week is the twelfth, but it is already the nineteenth. june has gone by so fast.

that's great, though. i can't wait for july. why? i'm taking a mini vacation to visit hege. just us girls. we will knit and sew and eat by the sea. i can not wait.

it has been so long since i was in boston. i hope to visit some yarn shops with hege when we are in town. but not after some succulent lobsters and clam chowders.

but most of all, i want to finish my cornflower tunic before the trip. it will look so cute on the beach of cape cod and hege's estate- pine cone lodge!

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it still has a way to go, as you can see from the progress shot. i am thinking of making this a spaghetti strap dress than the original, long sleeve version. what do you think?

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a while back i had purchased some linen blend fabric to make a pair of capri pants. these cute lobsters seem to be so appropriate for cape cod now, don't they? i have actually finished sewing the most part, except the waist portion. i'm just not a pattern-follower when it comes to sewing, still need to modify the waist part before it is ready for debut. pants are tricky to make, that's my conclusion so far.

sewalong top is coming, i am going to make butterick's B4549. pattern and fabric are from stash. barring any mistakes... it should be a cute top!

June 13, 2006

the right kind of yellow

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have you ever been through a phase of obsession? you must. for me, knitting is one, sewing... is another. but i am finding myself obsessing over citrus tones lately. i took hege's advice (you can always, always trust this norwegian girl) and went by intown quilters. the moment i walked in... i was in the fabric heaven! can't help but to curse myself for putting the visit off until last friday.

this softest yellow from kaffe fassett is going to be my first sewing project for a dress. a floaty, banana republic wannabe dress. yellow is so summer, so quaint and friendly. i love yellow so much that i am actually enjoying eating it. succulent oranges, exotic mangos, pina colada, coucous... even the most delicious sauvignon blanc from my adopted homeland. fabulous.

i washed the fabric this weekend, 100% cotton crumbled up pretty nicely... it is wrinkly in a cute way. i love it. the cotton was sheer and just the right thread count. but mostly, it feels soft. i love thie yellow fabric and i think it pairs sooo well with rowan's blue peony print, don't you agree?

i am not sure what the blue floral print is going to be, a wrap dress? a halter top? hmm... i may need to toss a coin.

today, i also came across camila engman's blog. she is an artist to me. an artist who has so fully incorporated her passion into her life, a stage that i aspired to be and can never reach. what do i want to be? with all these obsessions about knitting and sewing? am i just being carry away by the wave of popular culture?

i'm not sure. are you? do you know what you want out of your passion? some have chosen to be a designer, spinner or dyer. some may be just happily doing what others do, some, may precipiate towards the bottom of the lake.

i am still figuring it out. but one thing i can be sure of is that knitting and sewing have given me so much joy, they have the spotlight of my life right now and i'm not ready to give that up.

June 08, 2006

lemon tree sock .5

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this is my lemon tree socks half way to a pair. that was few weeks ago actually. my focus has since been shifted to sewing... thanks for all the suggestions on cotton fabrics. i will embark on a quest for the most appropriate form of cotton for my summer dress. one more thing, if you are also in atlanta and know of a good quilt/fabric store that is not joann nor hancock fabrics, please tell me, m'kay!

lemon tree sock was knit with meilenweit cotton/wool blend yarn. machine washable and actually quite comfortable to wear. i think self striping yarn looks best in stockinette stitches, ribbing sort of takes away the crispness of the stripes. anyway. it is after all just a pair of socks. i will wear it often and i'm sure it is going to be comfortable enough to forget about the boring process this sock pattern has given me.

well, of course i'll need to finish the second sock. i hope my second sock will also give me this tiniest bit of yellow when grafting off. i love having symmetry in my socks. very unnecessarily anal but sadly that's just how things are around here.

June 06, 2006

cotton lawn, anyone?

wow. so glad to see you guys digging my pj. this is a truly satisfying project! i am going to make another one for my sister and it will be in shorts. i will re-use the pattern butl probably need to be creative on making it the next size up. an imaginary line will have to be created. it should work.

now i'm moving on to something else. i want a flowy summer dress. bad. and i see some gorgeous ones on banana republic with price tags i don't like. however, they should not be so hard to make, right? i love love love the yellow dress, but, it may be a little bit out of my skill level right now. the other two white dresses, however, look somewhat simple and i just so happened to find a similar pattern here a similar pattern here. now we are on to something...

summer and cotton go hand in hand. but do you know how many kinds of cotton fabrics there are? so freaking complicated. if you had happened to physically touch the yellow banana republic dress i liked, you would know that that "light cotton" is really, truly, light. and airy. which i think it belongs to something called organdy? or, lawn? or, gauze? see, i'm not so sure.

anyone knows a good place to get light weight, floaty cotton fabrics? this time, i'm searching for just plain white. no amy butler, vintage cherries or apples. i just want a ruffling white summer dress in light cotton fabric.

anyone?

i have some knitting to share... not overly exciting but knitting nonetheless. stay tuned.

June 04, 2006

sunday

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pattern: butterick B3314
difficulty (1-5): 1.5
pattern size: XS
fabric: 2 yd of alexander henry's bright light in green, 3/4" wide elastic band

it is difficult not to feel chic in a sleepy, grungy sort of way when putting on this pair of pajama pants (when the color also matches the coffee mug). i have been wanting to make a pair of pants like this to lounge around forever! and it turned out so well i may just have to make a few more. say bye bye to victoria secret pink jammy as well as abercrombie's overpriced version.

again, this is another on the whim project for this weekend after i got tired of knitting my cornflower tunic. the pattern was rated "fast and easy" which i think was quite true. when i looked at the pattern pieces initially, they looked really, really big, even by taking the seam allowance into consideration, there was no way i would need that much room for comfort. so, i made the smallest version, which turned out just right (size comparable to my own pajama pants). next time though, i'd probably make it longer.

i modified the pants again to sit low, and added matching fabrics as drawstring ties. elastic band was sewn to the ties and i used buttonhole feature for the drawstring, like this. the idea as stolen from my abercrombie pants. i may add a small pocket later, but, would i ever need a pocket?

thanks to hege for the loveliest fabric! i had initially expressed my intent to make this fabric into jammy pants, she thought the fabric may be too luxurious for it. i agreed. but i may be more likely to wear this on a regular basis than if i had made this into a dress, or a skirt. alexander's fabric is really wonderful to wear and not to mention the whimsical design. i think they are perfect for sunday.