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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Big herringbone cowl from Purl Soho

Finally!
It started like this, on Tim's gorgeous houseboat in Seattle.. 
Then there were some rainy evenings while I was volunteering in Cozumel.. 
 After which we went to gorgeous Tulum!
 And I finally got to wear it (unblocked) in Italy :)
 And now it's blocked and I'm home in gloomy Rotterdam..
Sorry for the dark pic, there is no sunlight whatsoever here this week..
I've been wanting to knit the Big Herringbone Cowl from Purl Soho for a really long time now. Two years ago we travelled to Patagonia, Chili and stayed in an old sheep slaughterhouse (it had been renovated into a gorgeous hotel, so don't worry!). There I bought wool to make this cowl, but since I was just getting into knitting again, I had no idea about wool weights and stuff.. After some research I figured out that if I held the yarn double it would be about the same weight as the worsted suggested yarn. Let me tell you that knitting with yarn held double is not a good idea for a herringbone stitch. I just couldn't figure it out! 

So 2 years later when I spotted the Shibui Knits merino alpaca at Knit Purl in Portland I knew I had found my perfect yarn!

I love that this yarn is really squishy and soft, but still firm enough to keep its texture. It also really shows off the stitches. I cast on the same nr of stitches as suggested, I knit it on size 15/10 mm needles, so a bit smaller then suggested. Therefore my cowl is about 3-4 inches shorter then the one from Purl Soho, but for me that's long enough! It is 10 inches wide and I used about 3.5 skeins for it. 
Just for an idea of the length
I changed one thing from the pattern, following the suggestions on Ravelry (don't know where I found it excactly..) which is if you want to keep the seam straight (yes please) that you have to place the stitch marker after the last stitch on every knit through back loop row and before the last stitch on every knit row. 
Nice and straight
I was able to correct small mistakes (quite difficult with the stitch pattern) but one evening I made a large mistake after drinking some red wine/watching lotr/just not paying attention. 
Aargh! 
I tried to fix it, but ended up ripping back about 6 rows after putting in a lifeline. I think it has something to do with all the stitches being knit twice, that you can't get a smooth transition (with the old stitches) once you've re-knitted them. 
Fixing it didn't work
This cowl really benefits from a blocking, before blocking it was really curly and almost completely bunched up. After blocking it feels softer and it doesn't really have the curling tendency anymore, yay!
Milo felt like he should help with the blocking, so one morning I came downstairs to find this.. 
Thanks Milo!
Luckily it wasn't super bad so I could gently ease them back in their normal place..

Our trip was amazing, Burning Man was really special, Mexico was awesome and I especially liked all the cool yarn shops in Portland! I bought myself some presents for in my new sewing room from Fringe Association and they're being framed right now :)

There was also lots of shopping in The Fabric Store in Los Angeles, but I'll save that for another post..
Yay!
I loved reading all of the new blogposts during our trip, although commenting was quite difficult without a laptop.  So I'm sorry for the silence, but I have been posting on Instagram quite often! And I'm hoping to comment more now that everything is back to normal.. 

Are you knitting/sewing a lot for the christmas deadline? I know I am, just started a silk kimono for my granddad yesterday, wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Purl Soho tunic

Wow this was a quick make!

I picked this cotton to join Oonapalooza, but then a nasty food poisoning bug kicked in and I couldn't get out of bed for pictures (or anything else that is).

The pattern is the free (and simple) Wear Anywhere Tunic from Purl Soho. It's a great tunic pattern! I cut a size 28 (smallest size) and added about 2 inches of length to the bodice part. Since my fabric is pretty see through I doubled the skirt fabric and that worked perfectly.
The back looks funny here, but I think it's the way I'm standing..
I've already worn it out to lunch and I'm thinking this will become a staple in my travel wardrobe for the coming months!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A silk/linen Victoria Blazer

After making my first Victoria Blazer I knew I would like to make another one, the full length version this time. I actually finished this the first week of april *shame on me for being such a lazy blogger*.. 
 
This fabric looks quite special, it is a silk/linen blend and it has a lot of different colour tones and textures. It is a bit scratchy in places, so I lined the sleeves with a small bit of the very soft fabric I won in Aleksandra's blogiversary give-away :) No scratchy arms for me!
Excuse my hair, don't know what happened there.. 

The Victoria Blazer is quite a fast make, I think I made it in about two days of lazy sewing in between other things.. I only had one big issue, when my serger ate my sleeve fabric and I hardly had enough to cut out another one on the same grainline.. AARGHH! Luckily I was able to get away with it by removing about 1 inch from the sleeve length.. I also stole a bit of length from the seam allowances on both sides, which made it work :)

I hand stitched the hem, just as the BHL girls tell you to do, and I really like the result. I think it looks super clean and it gave me something productive to do during my nightshifts :)

The only thing is that I'm not really a blazer kinda girl, I'm just not used to wearing them.. So I really need to make an effort to think about my blazers and make sure I start wearing them on regularly.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sparkly Rigel Bomber

After the love story that was my first Rigel Bomber I've made a second one!

I found some awesome sparkly neoprene fabric in Rotterdam. Since this fabric feels nice on the inside as well I decided I didn't have to line it. When I also decided to ditch the welt pockets it became a super fast project!

I followed the instructions and made the same alterations as I did with my first bomber.

The only issue I had was that my ribbing wasn't wide enough to cut my pieces, super annoying! I fixed it by cutting the ribbing pieces in two pieces and stitching them together. Not the prettiest, but for Burning Man it will work :)

I acted a bit stupid when I inserted my zipper into my stretch fabric. I didn't stabilize the edge first and now I have a super wonky zipper :( Its not too noticeable when I close my jacket though so I can live with it.. But next time, I'm stabilizing it! Lesson learned.
wonky zipper..
Also the bottom isn't equal, which my boyfriend pointed out to me, I think this might also have something to do with the fabric stretching a bit.. Ahh well, let's hope no one will notice in the dark!
Hmmpfh
Have you learned any sewing lessons the hard way? Would you leave it as it is, or unpick 4 seams and redo it?




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ready for cold Burning Man nights, my Malu fake fur coat

For Burning Man I wanted to make a fake fur coat. I had the Malu pattern from Schnittchen on my mind, since it has no darts etc.
It was quite a big cutting/taping project, the pdf has about 60 pages, so quite a lot of work.. But so worth it! I cut a size 36 chest and then graded down to a size 34 at the hips. In hindsight a 36 all around would have worked perfectly, since there is just a hint of tightness around my hips..
I added pockets to the side seam using the same tutorial I used for my Minoru from Amy at Sew Well. I choose to line my jacket using a knit fabric, since I had enough of that one in my stash and I really like the print. This did give some strechting issues, but nothing a little creative cutting couldn't fix.
Yay, pockets!
I underlined the pieces that needed interfacing with a thin cotton muslin fabric, since I was afraid ironing would melt the fake fur.

To close my jacket I opted for toggles, which reminded me a bit of animal teeth :) For the loop part I sandwiched those in between the front facing and the outer fabric. The button part of the loop I actually just stitched onto my coat, sewing underneath the toggle bit, to hide it a bit..

I'm super happy with my coat! It is an amazingly soft fake fur fabric, which actually reminds me a bit of an owl :)
After Burning Man (which I might have already bored you with) me and my sister will be travelling for about 2 months :)  We'll be visiting Portland, Seattle and maybe Vancouver, before we fly to Mexico. I'll be volunteering there and afterwards we'll spend some time in Tulum. Then we'll go back to The States to visit Los Angeles and Las Vegas. 

If you have any tips or want to meet, please let me know! Either in the comments or just send me an email, would love to meet up with fellow sewists! You can follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates :) it's: @revesmecanique


Have you ever sewn fake fur? Do you think this coat would be wearable in the real world? I'd love to wear it in the winter, but I'm not sure if everyone else might think I'm crazy.. My boyfriend did look at me weird when I mentioned it..