Knitting: A Doggie Sweater for Guinness

posted in Past Projects

I knit Guinness a sweater!

my mom is crazy!

my mom is crazy.

I took a beginners knitting class at JoAnn Fabrics over the winter and have been trying to learn more ever since. I knit a couple of scarves and dish clothes but then got bored. I wanted to actually make something fun! So I went out and found this book:

this has to be the corniest title ever!

this has to be the corniest title ever!

I needed detailed pictures to help me figure things out. Besides the awful name, this book is great. The pictures are very easy to understand and the patterns are too – kinda. Since I’m still so new I got confused a couple of times. But overall I didn’t do too bad for my first “real” knitting project!

i get treats during forced photoshoots

i get treats during forced photoshoots

I did screw up the armholes and purled when I should have knit, or vice versa… something went wonky.

front and back

front and back

Guinness says he doesn’t mind…

insides

insides

… probably because he has no choice ;)

this is puppy torture

this is puppy torture

I dropped a couple of stitches here and there too. I am not ashamed of all of the things I screwed up – because one day I’ll look back and think how cute I was trying to make a doggie sweater!

you know this is too long and i can pee without peeing on it

you know this is too long and i can’t pee without peeing on it and myself

I am proud of how it came out. I think it looks good and it fits him around his body. It is kinda (okay, very) long – but at least his little bum will be warm!

i look like a freaking pea pod

i look like a freaking pea pod

Guinness and I had fun taking pictures. Don’t let him fool you, he’s a vain little doggie who loves getting his picture taken!

seriously mom, i think i'm officially blind now

seriously mom, i think i’m officially blind now

I highly recommend this book. The detailed pictures help out so much and it teaches you the techniques very well. It’s a great book to keep on hand as a reminder and guide. There are about 8 patterns too. Doggie sweater, socks, sweater, scarves, dish clothes and blankets.

How many of you out there knit? What all have you made?

great, now my dad is in on the torture.

great, now my dad is in on the torture.

Minerva Crafts Meet-Up!

posted in General

Attention all you sewists, crafters and everyone else! Minerva Crafts is having a meet-up on June 14, 2014. I’m crazy jealous of everyone who gets to attend. I won’t be able to go since it’s over the pond and a bit far for me in Lancashire (United Kingdom). BUT – if you are close enough to go, you should!

I’ve been a part of their Blogger Network for 6 months now – wow time flies! And I have no plans of stopping. Minerva Crafts just won for Best Sewing blog in the British Sewing Awards – Congratulations! I’m so excited that I could be part of making that happen :)

If you are planning on attending and you’re not from that area, Minerva Crafts has collected a list of attractions, transportation and accommodations. Check it out here.

Okay, enough of my ramblings – here is all the information. Let me know if you are planning on going!

minerva-crafts-meet-up

Minerva Crafts Blogger Network – McCalls 6796

posted in Past Projects

For April’s Minerva Crafts Blogger Network project I just wanted to do something simple. I’ve realized that I have a bad habit of never sewing any basics. I’m going to try to rectify this and every few projects make sure I sew something I can match with any other garment. So I bring you my basic black shirt (with a fancy collar): McCalls 6796.

man i look short

man i look short

I love the collar on this pattern and the button detail. I went with a black stretch jersey for the fabric. I did pick out some really cute buttons to go along with it but once I finished the top I thought the buttons would get lost in the slinky fabric.

sassy pants

sassy pants

I didn’t realize just how “slinky” slinky really was. This fabric is hard to cut because it moves around so much and a bit hard to sew. But I can say it’s very comfortable to wear and worth it in the end. I’m used to sewing with 100% cotton, which is a DREAM to sew with. This was just a new challenge for me. I want to broaden my fabric choices and venture out of my comfort zone.

thoughtfully looking down

thoughtfully looking down

My measurements were 28 1/2 waist and 38 hips, so I went with a size 14. Looking back I could have probably went with a 12 since the fabric is stretchy. I like how loose it is though, makes it so comfortable. I paired it with a skinny belt at my waist. The shirt is just long enough to wear with tights. The only alteration I made was for rounded shoulders.

kinda covers my bum

kinda covers my bum

I like this pattern, it’s super simple to sew and looks good. I did have the 3/4 sleeves cut and ready to sew but when I test fitted I didn’t really care for them. I liked sleeveless better. This pattern has so many different options for sleeves and collars.

close up

close up

It was difficult to get clear pictures of the details, so I tried to manipulate the photos a bit. This is a shirt I’ll be wearing again and again.

Guinness says this top is delicious

Guinness says this top is delicious

Another close up to show the collar:

yay for basics!

yay for basics!

If you want to make this same shirt you can buy my kit at Minerva Crafts!

McCalls 6559 Maxi Dress Fail

posted in Past Projects

Sometimes things just don’t turn out how you envisioned them. This is an example of that: McCalls 6559.

I had high hopes

I had high hopes

As I’ve mentioned many times before I love all things Gwen Stefani. This includes her fashion line L.A.M.B.. I really liked the relaxed look of this maxi tank dress and wanted to recreate it. Randomly while at JoAnn Fabric I found a print that reminded me of the dress, so I bought a few yards and went searching for a simliar pattern.

comfy, lazy day dress

comfy, lazy day dress

Turns out that I actually had M6559 in my stash because I loved view E:

star and stripes ftw!

star and stripes ftw!

I ended up making View D, which is just a long basic knit tank dress. The suggested fabrics were: Moderate Stretch Knits: Jerseys, Cotton Knit, Double Knit, Interlock. I didn’t really think much of my fabric since it was stretchy. I’ve come to realize (of course after making it) that the fabric I had must have been all wrong and that’s why this ended up as a failure. I don’t exactly know what kind of fabric it is but it’s a polyester type super stretchy heavier fabric. It reminds me of 90′s dresses, if that makes any sense. So all this means that the fabric is heavy and hangs weird. It makes me look shapeless.

i look like a sweaty mess

i look like a sweaty mess

Keep in mind I made this in July, so that’s why I look sweaty! HAHA.. Anyways… If you look at the above picture you can see how it doesn’t really hug my figure or do anything positive for it. It really just makes me look blah.

good thing i shaved my pits

good thing i shaved my pits

I was so disappointed in the outcome that I didn’t even bother with binding the seams or even hemming. I figured why even bother because I kinda hate this dress. Although, it actually looks better in pictures than it does in person.

cutest photobomber ever

cutest photobomber ever

I have another yard of this fabric and am trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve thought about burning it and I’ve thought about giving it away. But in the end I don’t want it to defeat me.

blah

blah

The pattern itself is SUPER simple though. It’s just 2 pieces that you sew together, bind and hem. You could make a dress in just a few hours.

trying to look enthused - but it just isn't going to happen.

trying to look enthused – but it just isn’t going to happen.

I’m wondering if maybe it’s just this type of maxi dress? That it’s just not very flattering in general? I can see why the pattern comes with a jacket, that way you can tie it around your waist and get some kind of definition.

guinness makes it look better

guinness just threw up a little in his mouth because of boring dress

What’s your opinion on this style of dress? What do you think I should do with leftover fabric? Should I just give it away or make something? What should I make? I hate being such a Debbie Downer in this post but I can’t help it. I’ve debated on even posting the failure but figured it’s good to post garments that either turned out bad or just plain sucked. We all have this happen to us and it’s good to share the experience.

mommy stop making daddy take pictures of me!

mommy stop making daddy take pictures of me!

Guinness wants to make this post a bit more cheerful!

Sewaholic – Minoru Jacket

posted in Past Projects

This was my very first Sewaholic pattern. What’s sad is that I have 5 of their patterns but have only made this one so far. I can’t wait to make the others though!

minoru jacket cover

minoru jacket cover

I wanted to make a jacket for spring and fall. The Minoru Jacket had so many great reviews that I was instantly drawn to it. I love the detail it has, the big collar and large hood. The hardest part about the pattern was figuring out what colors I wanted.

damn polar vortex makes me feel like I'm in Eastern Europe.

damn polar vortex makes me feel like I’m in Eastern Europe.

I decided on black. If you haven’t caught on by now I always pick black and white for everything. I think I may have to venture out into other colors as I’m sure it’s getting predictable for you guys! The coat is made from canvas from Hobby Lobby and the lining is snuggle flannel from Jo-Ann. I was dead set on having the lining be flannel. I know most coats are supposed to have a slippery lining so you can get your clothed arms into the sleeves, but I hate how cold that can feel when you’re wearing a t-shirt. So I went with flannel and boy does it feel nice and warm inside!

i look like a dork.

i look like a dork. yay for popcorn.

When I started making this my measurements were 33-28-38 which meant I should be size 6. I looked at the ease of the garment and a few other ladies who have made this and they went down a size for a more fitted jacket. So I did the same and made a size 4. For the future I’ll either make a size 6 or or add width to the back because it’s a little bit snug across my shoulders. Other than the snug part when I put my arms forward, it fits great. I have to say though, it looks perfect on. I LOVE IT!

we may want to paint that barn.

we may want to paint that barn.

The collar on this jacket is perfect, I love being able to have the front up over my mouth to block out the cold. On the day we took these pictures it was freezing cold and snowing. My version of the coat is not for this kind of weather, it’s more for 40 degrees to 60 degrees.

i'm a secret spy

i’m a secret spy


Next thing to gush about: The Hood. I have a giraffe neck and large head so a huge hood makes me beyond happy! This thing is a beast and will not disappoint. The design is so smart that you can tuck away the hood into the collar and hide it away when you don’t need it.

i'm going to hide out in the hood

i’m going to hide out in the hood.

The jacket has elastic at the waist and on the sleeves. Don’t be intimidated by this because it’s super simple and the directions are very clear. Overall the instructions for this pattern are great, and even better? Tasia has a Sew-Along to help! I love that she does this because it really helps if you are stuck or just want to verify at any point. It was great, thanks Tasia!

so black you can't see anything

so black you can’t see anything

There are two pockets on the inner lining but no pockets on the outside. I did put in side seam pockets without any hassle though. In Tasia’s sew-along she gives a link to how you can do this. While it’s great having the extra pockets I find that they aren’t in the most comfortable spot. Next time I may add some welted pockets an inch or two from the seam.

inner hidden pockets and flannel cuddles

inner hidden pockets and flannel cuddles

seam pockets in flannel to keep your hands toasty

seam pockets in flannel to keep your hands toasty

Since my jacket is black and my thread is black you can’t really see the detail of the top-stitching, but I can tell you it looks great! It really takes things up a notch and makes the jacket look very professional. It wasn’t really hard to do but I would highly recommend to take it slow and steady.

Coats and jackets are always intimidating and this was my second one. The first one I didn’t really understand how Vogue wanted me to tuck in the lining but Sewaholic’s directions and sew-along made everything so much easier. I’m proud of how well constructed and great this coat looks.

black flannel fuzzies are roaming about

black flannel fuzzies are roaming about

The only adjustment I did was adding 1″ to the sleeve length. I have monkey arms, so this is a must on any long sleeve garment I make. Speaking of adjustments, check out what Katy did with her Minoru – Fuzzy Hood!!

I hope I didn’t leave anything out because I really do love this pattern and if the other Sewaholic patterns are this awesome I’ll buy each and every one of them… oh wait, I halfway have… time to get to sewing!

i had to crop Guinness out of most pictures because he was peeing on the barn the whole time.

i had to crop Guinness out of most pictures because he was peeing on the barn the whole time.

P.S. Thank you to my friend Heather for freezing her butt off taking pictures for me :)