April 22-24

The days have been sunny but cool, usually hovering  a few degrees above zero in the morning and getting up to 8-12 degrees by the afternoon. At this time of year the high should be in the mid teens.

I have had enough of heavy, dark winter clothes so have been scrounging through my lighter weight clothes for springlike items that will still keep me warm enough for the weather in early spring. I’m wearing my lemon yellow spring coat even though it’s not warm enough for the morning temperatures. I’m lucky I have a short drive to work and even shorter walk across the parking lot to my office. This past weekend there was a mix of people wearing lightweight spring clothes and some still wearing winter coats and boats. Welcome to spring in Canada!

Burdastyle wool polyester pants, linen sweater

April 22: Burdastyle wool polyester pants, linen sweater

Burdastyle dress January 2011. made for me by my mother.  I wish it looked as good on me as it does on the model.  Most loose fitting styles just don't do anything good for me.

April 23: Burdastyle dress January 2011 #108, made for me by my mother. I wish it looked as good on me as it does on the model. Most loose fitting styles just don’t do anything good for me.

Did they make the dress a few sizes smaller or pull all the fullness to the back? Maybe if I had a wide belt it would look like this on me:

BS1101 MF Burda 9 05 029

Miecomb cardigan, Burdastyle lightweight wool pinstripe pants, jersey knit top. Once again a cropped cardigan doesn't hit the wasitband of these pants.

April 24: Miecomb cardigan, Burdastyle lightweight wool pinstripe pants, jersey knit top. Once again a cropped sweater doesn’t hit the waistband of the pants.  Cardigan knit with summer dresses in mind. Always get positive comments when I wear the cardigan.

April 14 – 17

The past week was a prime example of April weather and wardrobe woes.

The weekend was balmy with a high of 20 C on Sunday and same temperature on Monday.  The grass was starting to turn green. So on Monday, I risked wearing a dress that I consider a spring /summer wardrobe item. The dress is made of medium weight cotton:

Burdastyle dress striped cotton

Burdastyle dress striped cotton

The weather changed overnight with freezing rain and snow; here’s the view out side of my window on Tuesday morning, temperature – 5 C in the morning and went up to a high of about 3 C.

April 15

Burdastyle wool gabardine pants and hex rib sweater.

Back to the winter wardrobe: Burdastyle wool gabardine pants and hex rib sweater. Must wear this sweater with higher waisted pants or skirts.  These pants sit below the waist.

Moore wool for another cold day.  Burdastyle wool gabardine slouch pants. I always wear a belt with these pants. The waistband has always been too loose.

More wool for another cold day.  Burdastyle wool gabardine slouchy pants. I always wear a belt with these pants.  The waistband has always been too loose.

Burdastyle hiigh waist secretary skirt, Ottobre knit top

Burdastyle high waist secretary skirt, Ottobre knit top.

Over the Easter weekend, I cut out the pieces for my warm up jacket and worked on the collar and front bands for the orange linen dress.

 

 

 

April 7-11

April 7.  Burdastyle wool poly pants. A

April 7. Burdastyle wool poly pants.

 

New Look 6000. It really does look at fit better than what you see in photo.

New Look 6000. It really does look and fit better than what you see in photo.

 April 9: Burda pinstipe wool pants

April 9: Burda pinstipe wool pants

April 10 (photo from last year MMM2013 as too tired when I got home)  Sewing Workshop Origami skirt basketweave wool

April 10 (photo from last year MMM2013 as too tired  to take photos when I got home) Sewing Workshop Origami skirt basketweave wool. Different necklace and different beige sweater this year.

 

April 11 casual Friday Aleita vest

April 11 casual Friday
Aleita vest

My sit at home weekend wear is not worth photographing.

Yoga top

A sleeveless yoga top was made using Ottobre 2-2014  #9.  As made up in the magazine, it’s a casual top but it’s perfectly suited for a workout top – the pattern includes a shelf bra and a V neck. On me, the bottom of any shelf bra in RTW tops ends several inches below where it’s supposed to sit. The top was shortened by three inches at the hem.  I scooped out the back lining, making a continuous back neck and armhole facing. This meant I had to change the way the shelf bra was attached.  One inch wide plush lingerie elastic was sewn to the bottom of the shelf bra.  The height of the V neck was raised when tracing out the pattern – it’s still lower than I would have liked. The armholes are cut very, very high- this is noticeable by the binding and wrinkles at the model’s underarms.  I cut down the armhole by another 3/8 inch to make it deeper.

The Supplex was very easy to sew using a 75 ballpoint needle and polyester thread. I reduced the presser foot pressure to get even feeding on the top and bottom layers.

The top instructions are missing key sections - it makes no sense on how the lining and main pieces are sewn together and turned right side out. Instead of the half lining in the back I made a continuous facing for the neck and armhole.

Order of sewing for top:

  1. stitch side seams for both lining/facing and front/back
  2. stitch shelf bra lining to front neck and stitch facing to back neck
  3. understitch neckline seams
  4. stitch around armholes leaving open at the shoulder
  5. turn lining to inside
  6. stitch shoulder seams
  7. understitch armholes as far as possible
  8. slip stitch closed the armhole opening at the shoulders
  9. stitch in the ditch for about 1 inch at the side seam at the underarm to secure the lining
  10. (shortened shelf bra lining by 1 inch after trial basting of elastic) attach elastic to bottom of shelf bra lining with narrow zigzag at each edge
  11. stitch sides of shelf bra to side seams
  12. make a decorative V of stitching at centre back neck to keep facing lying flat
  13. Hemming – did two rows of very slight zigzag one inch above hem fold
side view while work in progress

side view while work in progress

 

finished back view

finished back view

inside back

inside shelf bra

inside shelf bra

 

front

Accordion top ready and waiting for summer weather

finished

 

close up

This was such a satisfying make: it fits, it looks good, easy to sew with interesting details and using up a remnant. When I joined the shoulders seams, I should have folded over the facing, so that the front was sandwiched between the facing and the back to stitch everything in one pass. Since I didn’t do that, I had an extra line of stitching at the shoulder to secure the facing.  Just need temperatures in the 20s to wear it.

New projects are in the works: the orange linen has been cut out, so I can start the marking it this week and I’m prepping to make a workout outfit.

April 2-4

On the warmest day this week it got up to 6 C, most mornings about 2 C.

Burdastyle pants ponte knit Burdastyle jacket wool gauze

Burdastyle pants ponte knit Burdastyle jacket wool gauze

The jacket is blogged on one of my earliest posts and here.  Wish I had made the collar not so deep- with the soft fabric it sits neatly around the neck only with a lot of fussing.

Butdastyle wool gabardine pants

Burdastyle wool gabardine pants

Wool double knit skirt

Wool double knit skirt

You can see Lewis in each photo – to avoid lingering hand pain, I only knit 4-6 rows per day.

April fool

If this dress looks as bad in real life as it does in this photo it needs to stay in the closet! It was my very frustrating recent make. Here the poor fit at the neck and shoulder is very obvious – look at all those wrinkles where it should lie flat.   I deliberately cropped my head out of the photo – I had a truly awful expression due to the headache I had when I took this photo.

DSCF3080 - Copy

More All About April postings will be once a week. The rest of the month can only get better!

Weather: 4 C in the morning, 7 C this afternoon; overcast and cloudy changing to sun in the afternoon.

All About April 2014

 

Hepatica makes its brief appearance in April or May.

Hepatica makes its annual brief appearance in the forest surrounding my cottage in April or May.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatica

I don’t know if there will be a Me-Made May 2014 on the blogosphere, but I’m doing an All About April 2014 to document my wardrobe.  April and October are the trickiest months for dressing where I live.  The calender may say April (or October) but the temperatures change radically from one day to the next or from morning to afternoon going from chilly to balmy. I’ll post photos of each day’s outfit once a week.  I’m hoping it will help me figure out my wardrobe gaps or gaffs.

Accordion top and more swatching

I was itching to sew this weekend, so I traced out #15, the Accordion top, from the most recent issue of Ottobre Woman. At first, I wasn’t attracted to this top, because of the loose fit at the waist, though it looks close fitting across the bust, and the back has vertical  darts for shaping. Flat pattern measurements at the high hip weren’t enormous, so I started cutting and sewing and hoped I wouldn’t have a maternity top look. I’m using up the remnant from my Lyn Mizono dress.  There was enough fabric to do horizontal pattern alignment, but not vertical alignment at the shoulders.

front details

 

The front neck edge has a narrow hem while the back neck has a facing. It took three tries on one shoulder to get the neck edges aligned, on the other one it was perfect the first time:

neck shoulder seamback

Here the shoulder seams and neck seams are finished; the bust darst and side seams are basted.  The shadow plaid weave obscures some of the details. I stitched the tucks about 1/2″ higher than marked at the top and extended them slightly in a shallow V starting at the 2 centre tucks to take away a bit of fullness below the bust.

 

front side seams basted

I have enough fabric that I should be able to more or less match the pattern on the short sleeves. Lots of fun sewing today and the outcome will be better than I expected.

Over the past few days, I’ve been swatching for the next sweater once Lewis is finished. I used to subscribe to Vogue Knitting in the late 80s and 90s and still have some of them. They had a feature where an old pattern was re-interpreted for modern times.  I like these patterns for the classic-vintage-modern look. It’s shocking to see a knitting magazine with the instructions printed in large font with large format charts!

Vogue Knitting Then & Now  1952 & Fall1996

Vogue Knitting Then & Now 1952 & Fall1996

Cascade 220 superwash

Cascade 220 superwash

The blocked swatch is spot on for gauge.  When I get to the real thing, waist shaping will be added and knit in one piece to the armholes if the pattern aligns for my size when knit in one, no belt. Might do seed stitch edges instead of the crotchet edging.

Liesl has an updated version of the Portfolio dress under her own line.  I will have to pull out my original pattern and see if I can redraft it with a V neck and find fabric for a new version.

Orange crush

I can’t decide what pattern to use for this orange linen, since Vogue 1350 doesn’t suggest linen.

orange linen

I’ve searched my pattern stash. Both these patterns suggest linen: Vogue 7897, long out of print or McCalls 4769, listed as out of print on the McCalls website. The Vogue dress is still a regular part of my summer wardrobe but starting to show its age.  I have an enduring fondness for shirtdresses and both patterns have pockets.  I’m frustrated when I wear clothing without pockets.  There’s always something that needs to be stashed in a pocket, like my office keys.  I often lock myself out of my office when I have no pockets and have to put my keys and ID on a lanyard. The lanyard comes off my neck when I sit down at my desk.

Without a sewing project on the go, I’ve been working on a few knitting projects.  Lewis is slowly progressing  - I’m working on the front and back to get all those inches of plain stocking stitch out of the way.  To give my hands a break from the linen yarn, I started socks to use up the last bits of my grandmother’s 30 year old sock yarn.

DSCF3041 - Copy

DSCF3038 - Copy