Austin 2020: Tanks for the Memories

Pattern: Aurora Tank by Seamwork

I love to travel. Over the last few years, I’ve really made it priority and planning trips has become almost a major hobby. My latest trip was a girl’s trip in Austin, TX with a couple of my closest friends. We planned the trip under the guise of running a race down there, but in reality we were more interested in exploring a new place rather than being competitive. I wanted to have a new piece for my trip so despite it being cold and wintery outside, I decided to sew up a knit tank top inside.

I knew I wanted to make another Aurora Tank, since it’s such a simple pattern and I enjoyed the one I made before. However, I knew my previous tank was not perfect so I decided to do a little reading about twin needle stitching on knits before I attempted another one. I saw some familiar issues with “tunneling” between the stitches and also tension issues which cause the thread to break. There were a few options to try, but I decided to go with using a fusible knit interfacing on the seams where I would need to use my twin needle. I also increased the tension on my machine a little – I had to test out different tensions on my dial before I found one that seemed to be stable enough.

I was able to use my twin stitching on the arm holes and on the hem. Most everything else I used my serger with it being knit and all. I really liked how this tank top came out – and definitely a way better look than my first attempt. The fabric was definitely a great find as well – I bought it and actually cut out a wrap dress that I still haven’t gotten to sewing up yet. I was thinking about this dress and what a shame it was that it wasn’t completed since I loved the way the fabric looked, so I checked my stash to see how much was left. I was pleasantly surprised there was just enough for this tank, thankfully I didn’t mess anything up.

The weather in Austin was a bit all over the place. The first day was actually quite cool, but a few days later it had gotten up to almost 80 degrees. I was glad I got to break out this tank top while exploring shops in the SoCo area, trails near the river and the top of Mount Bonnell. The weather kept getting hotter throughout the day but I stayed cool and comfortable. It’ll be awhile until I can wear this again in Boston, but I’m looking forward to it.

My next trip coming up is in April and I have some sewing plans for that as well. This will be a different trip as I’m going to Florida with my S/O and his family. I just started cutting out a new bathing suit, after my first test attempt failed. I’m hoping I can figure out what went wrong this time around.

Sewing for vacations is my new favorite thing. In a way, it’s become a part of the planning of the trip. It keeps me looking forward to the vacation, but also keeps me on my sewing game which has definitely taken a back seat these last few years.

I think the reason I love travel so much is that I always learn something new where ever I go. Beside learning that Austin is a place for weirdos, impressive street art, secret bars and excellent BBQ, I took away something else extremely important. No matter where you are in life, nothing beats spending time with people who will give you great stories and memories and keep you laughing until you can’t breath. Cheers to my girls who make this life livable.

Oslo sweater

Time for the warm & fuzzies: The Oslo cardigan

Pattern: Oslo Cardigan by SeamworkOslo pattern

It’s been a pretty strange winter, weather-wise. An overly warm fall turned into a very mild November. And then all of a sudden, the snow rolled in by mid-December, after what seemed to be spring-like temperatures. By the time Christmas and New Years hit, we were plummeting into single digit and negative temperatures. January in New England began to feel like Minnesota. Lucky for me that I had already completed this project – a new cardigan that I can wrap myself in on those bitter cold days.

This was my second Seamwork pattern and again I was amazed by how fast I was able to sew this project up. I used a fairly thin sweater knit fabric that I had envisioned would be perfect for a large cardigan just like this one. The pattern lived up to most of my expectations, however I was surprised at how huge it ended up being, even making the XS size. I even tried to take the shoulders in a bit so they didn’t droop down so much, but it still ended up a bit too large in that area.

Elastic installed on shoulders
The only extra notion you need is this clear elastic, which I was lucky to have bought for another project (that I haven’t started yet). It stabilizes the shoulders nicely, especially since this fabric was not too thick.

I did really like the cuff-finish on the sleeves. Since I don’t have a top-stitch machine, Continue reading “Time for the warm & fuzzies: The Oslo cardigan”

Tanks for everything: the Aurora top

Pattern: Aurora tank by Seamwork

Skills acquired: 

  • Double needle for knit
  • Installing a walking foot

Hello sew blog my old friend.

This past summer, running was my life as I was training for my first marathon (as seen in my other blog). It was almost impossible to find time to sew. The good news is that I’ve been sewing quite a lot in the last month, so I’m hoping to be able to carve out some time to write about my projects.

Amidst all the training, I was actually able to complete one project over the summer – the Aurora tank top by Seamwork patterns. On top of everything else, I also got a new job this September, so I never got around to writing about this project. I had picked this particular pattern due to it’s simplicity – only 3 pieces to cut out and Seamwork patterns are known for their quickness to assemble. All are supposed to take under 2 hours. I worked on this in pieces of time that I could find here and there, but I’m pretty sure the 2 hours is accurate.

The walking foot! It was kind of a pain to put on as I had to take a few things apart to install, but worked pretty well in the end.

The only thing that was really challenging was trying to use a double knit needle. I had threaded a double needle before when I was making my corduroy pants and I remember Continue reading “Tanks for everything: the Aurora top”