Knit for Victory


I missed the deadline by a month and a half (whoops), but I finally finished my Knit for Victory project. For the knit-along, I made the 1940 Elinor jumper (free on Ravelry). I really liked the pattern, but did have some initial issues with gauge and fit. As a result, there was a lot of ripping out and teeth gnashing. To be frank, I've knit too many garments over the years that I didn't really love because of sizing problems. So with this sweater, I made it my goal to frog as necessary and put in the extra effort so that I'd have a garment that I'd wear again and again. And while it did take longer than I'd hoped for, I've got a sweater that I now honestly adore and will wear until it falls apart.

And sorry about the jeans in the photograph, but it was brutally cold the day I snapped this. I did manage a victory roll, however, so that's got to count for something, right?


Vintage Simplicity 4483

A few weeks back, I unearthed close to seven yards of fabric at Goodwill. What to do with that much fabric? Sew the world's biggest skirt, of course! Okay, so maybe it's not the world's biggest skirt, but it's a pretty substantial garment. Here's the specs:

  • Fabric: Thrifted, 100% cotton
  • Pattern: Simplicity 4483
  • Modifications: The pattern gave a finished waist measurement of 25 inches. Since my waist size is 25 ½ inches, I added an extra inch of ease. This turned out to be way too much (I should have measured the pattern pieces in retrospect, something was up there). I ended up adding a hook and eye to pull the waist together and this seems to have done the trick. It's not visible and everything looks good, but it makes me grit my teeth knowing that it's there. Sigh. Next time.
  • Etc.: I've been wearing this one with a petticoat and I think it helps to keep the shape of the skirt a lot.
  • Next time: Aside from the waist kerfuffle, I'd add interfacing to the waistband for extra strength and possibly belt loops.
In other news, I'm finishing up some very, very late Christmas gifts (skirts for my nieces and a shirt for my nephew) and hard at work on a sweater for Knit for Victory.

And in light of that, I better get back to work.


1930's Beret

For a Tweed Ride earlier this month I decided to knit a beret. I fiddled with a couple patterns, but nothing was quite working. I love the look of lacey tams, but the reality is that once the temperatures drop, you want something a little more substantial. That said, I didn't want to look like I was wearing a woolen bucket on my head. Enter: the 1930's beret (pattern here).

I loved this one. It knits up fast, has a nice shape and stays where it's supposed to stay on your head. AND I'm just discovering the wonders of berets when it comes to hiding a bad hair day. I'll definitely knit this one again, especially as the temperatures drop.

And I also made a skirt for the tweed ride that I've been meaning to post about, but haven't gotten any good photos of lately. That's on the agenda, promise. Speaking of agendas, I've nixed the winter coat pattern I'd been working with. The muslin was a bit of a disappointment. While it fit well enough, the silhouette was boxier than I'd like, so I'm going to hunt around for another pattern. Anyone have any suggestions?


Simplicity 3595

This is the end result of needing some instant satisfaction sewing, bad. This past summer I picked up Simplicity 3595 and have been dying to make it. I decided to do a muslin of the blouse this past weekend, but used a vintage sheet I had in my stash in lieu of scrap fabric (in case it turned out okay). And you know what? It fits perfectly on the first go!

The details:

* I made the size 12 and had no major issues with the pattern as is.

* I skipped on doing the buttons and getting fussy with the cuffs, but would plan to on a more finished version.

*The shirt is a little boxy (it's intended to be worn under a jumper). If I were to make this as a stand alone blouse again, I'd add some length to the hem.

*Kimono sleeves, I love you. But I'm wondering about adding underarm gussets next time around? I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

And here's the pattern. That grey jumper is calling my name.


Operation: Winter Coat

The winter coat I've had for the past three years is beginning to show some serious signs of wear. I've been just kind of, "meh" about everything I've seen in the stores lately, so I'm planning to sew a replacement. Admittedly, this'll be the most complicated project I've undertaken to date and I'm a little nervous. But to borrow an expression from the kids of America, "YOLO"! So it's upwards and onwards with this one, after taking a few deep breaths.

The pattern I'm using is Simplicity #5558 from 1964. I spent yesterday getting my pattern pieces ready to go and did a few basic modifications (shortened the back waist measurement and added length to the sleeves). I also spent some time familiarizing myself with the slightly tricky instructions in the hopes of identifying potential problem areas. Another thing I'm mulling over is adding interlining to the body of the coat because, well, February.

And for fabric, I'm using that gorgeous grey-blue wool above. My grandmother gave it to me, it having been a gift from a family friend. I've hauled that wool around for years, waiting for the exact right garment to use it on and I feel like this is it. That said, I am 110% making a muslin because I feel like the fabric gods would cry out for vengeance if I wrecked that wool. I mean, c'mon, just LOOK AT IT.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. I got a muslin to cut out.



I had a Great Gatsby themed event to attend a few weeks back and decided to make a dress for the occasion. To be honest, I wasn't the biggest '20's fan heading into this, but I'm reassessing my opinion after sewing this.

For a pattern, I used Folkwear's 1927 Tea Frock pattern and made it up in a size 10. The pattern is excellent: clear, step-by-step directions, plenty of customization options and pertinent historical information. Because I was crunched for time, I opted not to do any of the shirring and did the bias tape collar option. That said, were I to do it over again, I'd definitely do the smocking because I really love the look.

For materials, I ended up using a vintage bed sheet because of time and budget. I did take the time to do the accompanying embroidery, though, and had a blast doing that.

Here's a close up of the embroidery. It's just a basic split stitch, all in the same color. There were instructions for cutwork, but I am a chicken, so opted not to start yanking threads. MaƱana, right?

So while I'm still not completely gaga over the roaring '20's, I had a fun time making this and would use this pattern again in a heartbeat.


So over the course of the past year I've gotten back into sewing. A lot.

And I got to thinking about carving out a little space to keep track of what I've been making. I blog regularly over here about illustration, but wanted an area where I could gush about fabric blends, sewing techniques and the patterns I love. Also, I keep seeing all these sew-a-longs I've been dying to participate in and figured a dedicated sewing blog would be dandy for that sort of thing.

Anyhow, I have a few pictures of things I've completed over the course of the past few months I'm planning to post. And I'm starting a muslin for a winter coat this weekend, so stay tuned.

But before I forget, the dress above is McCall's 6696. I made a size 8 and it fits like a dream. The only alteration I made was to shorten the back waist measurement by 3/4 of an inch (I'm just under 5'5 and find I have to make this correction to most shirts). For fabric, I used Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy print, Posie which is pretty much the most perfect autumnal fabric ever. And I finished the collar and button band off with topstitching, which wasn't part of the pattern, but I like the look it gave the garment. So all in all, five stars, McCall's, I am totes making this one again.