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Adventures in amateur sewing

Oslo sweater


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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


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Another day, another knit skirt

Pattern: McCall’s M6966McCalls M6966

I’ve seen so many cute long knit skirts lately worn by people at work.  So I thought, why not make my own!  I had just bought myself a serger – exciting news.  So this was the perfect project to test out my skills.

Not much to say about this one.  I had used this pattern before, but this time I decided to try view C, but with the yoke I had constructed for view D.  It’s pretty basic, with just a back panel and a front panel, and the yoke pieces to form a waistband.

IMG_3010

I did start to sew up the waist incorrectly, sewing where the elastic is supposed to fit in the wrong place.   Continue reading

Striped knit skirt


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Dr. Strange-seam or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bias

Pattern: McCall’s M6966McCalls M6966

gray knit skirtstriped knit skirt

 

These skirts were inspired by the many striped knits skirts I’ve seen people wear at work. I saw this pattern online, and thought my skirt would really stand out having the stripes going in different directions (view D). Those diagonals were intimidating – there seemed to be a lot of room for error if I cut wrong.  But if I did it correctly, I would have a skirt that was not only me-made, but something you would see in stores as well!

My first attempt was a wearable muslin in a charcoal gray knit. I needed to make sure I could actually make this with bias seams before I ruined my striped material.  Turns out cutting out those pattern pieces on the bias was harder than I thought, but not for the reasons I originally thought. I bought 3 yards of fabric, thinking it was a bit excessive but safe. It worked out in the end, but if I make this again I may buy an extra half yard to avoid the cursing and the sweating. Fitting the pattern pieces so the diagonals match up perfectly took some creative adjusting, and every time I thought I had it with one piece, I adjusted for the diagonal and it would overlap another piece. Gah!

Advice: try to fit the two largest pieces first (bottom back and front) and then work your way to the next biggest. Trying to go by the picture for laying out the pattern does not work.

I tried to make sure the pieces were all going to fit before I cut, but its tough when you are cutting two pieces from the same pattern piece. These pieces were so large so I don’t think that folding the fabric would work in this case.  The good news is if you have successfully cut everything out, the hard part is over.

The rest was easy – I used my mom’s serger to sew up all the seams. This pattern is definitely one of the easiest I have attempted Continue reading


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Everyday I’m Serger-ing

Pattern: New Look 6816
Gray striped shirt

Yay!  My mom’s serger is out of the shop and ready to go.  So, time to sew some knits!Serger

For those of you that don’t know what a serger is, it looks like this:

A lot of the clothes that you buy are made with a serger, which makes a certain type of stitch that finishes the edge while it sews.  It was perfect for this cotton stretch knit material I bought and used to make this cute little top with kimono sleeves.

At first this looked like a top I could complete in a few hours, but I don’t have a ton of experience with knits and there were a few unforeseen challenges.

The first thing I realized was that I was going to have to match up the stripes.  The back was two separate pieces so it needed to line up, Continue reading