Fangirl thoughts

Butterick finally put up their first spring 2016 pattern releases. Being a Lisette fangirl, I was happy to see her two new patterns:

Butterick Lisettte 6331 is a retro feel, fitted bodice, A-line skirt dress with shaped hem – flaps on the upper bodice and square neckline in the back and front.  With the small scale floral print and wide, low square neckline , it looks a bit too cute and casual for (my) workwear, but would be wonderful as a summer party dress.


Then there is Butterick Lisette 6331 jacket and pants; love the look and cut of this loose fitting, raglan sleeve trenchcoat style jacket – double breasted, back rain flap and belted.


Images from

My recently stashed medium brown poplin would be perfect and would showcase great buttons.

Based on how her patterns were released since she moved to Butterick, there will be two more with the next pattern release in a few months.

What are your thoughts on these patterns?

My weekend will be spent reconstructing the Concerto dress.  I didn’t follow the instructions and attached the lining the wrong way, making it impossible to turn the lining to the inside.


Arts or sports

Back in October I was thinking about my weekend wardrobe.  I made my winter version of Burdastyle 7078. Now, I  made up the Art Teacher/Miss Sporty dress from Ottobre Woman 5/2014.  The sporty version #11, also the cover model, is made from two contrasting colours of interlock knit and ribbon trim up the sleeve, while the arty version #12 is in linen and lined. My version is more arty than sporty to suit my creative personality. My sports activities are more leisure than hardcore athletics.

The thick and spongy black and red double knit is a polyester, rayon and lycra blend. It was labelled as a “jacquard” knit – the right side has a bit of texture compared to the wrong side – the black stitches stand out a bit more than the red.


I did lots of flat pattern measuring.  I considered cutting out one size smaller than usual on top to reduce some of the width, but decided to trace out my usual sizes for the top and bottom.  The neckline is large enough (about 21 inches) to make the short invisible zipper in the centre back seam unnecessary, so I cut the back on a fold.  Ivy Arch made her corduroy version without a zipper too. My only other alteration was adding to the length of the sleeves. Love that it has pockets.  With the extended shoulders the sleeves can put in flat. Quick and easy to sew as no seam finishes needed with the double knit.




I really like it – soft, cozy and comfortable.  Would look stunning with dark red leggings or opaque tights.


More fitting and thoughts of spring sewing

The concerto dress was previewed for my mother to get a fit opinion –  bagginess across my back side and wrinkling below the back shoulders because of my uneven shoulder heights. So the back darts were extended lower by one inch, made a narrower shoulder seam allowance for my higher shoulder, one inch seam allowance from the waist down to get rid of extra width.

I woke up last night and got up after restless tossing and turning; fell down the internet rabbit hole and stumbled upon the new Burdastyle releases. With new pattern releases, I’m planning spring and summer sewing.

New release Burda 6685 line drawing looks suspiciously identical to Burda 7798, an empire seam dress with a bias skirt and pleated neckline.  The new release may not have the bias skirt.  This might work for my black and cream polka dot cotton satin, though with the bias cut skirt with centre front and back seams, this details works better with a small scale print.

Burda 6633 top/tunic looks like just the right pattern for the coral cotton satin.

Burda pants 6689 would work with recently stashed cotton poplin.

The local fabric store had Burdastyle for 50% this weekend – of course, no new patterns in the drawers and no sight of the new catalogue.


Concerto dress fitting

I’m making a “just in case” dress for those times when I need something beyond a workwear outfit.

I picked the Concerto wide funnel neck dress and used purple and black paisley-like print stretch sateen.

The zipper area, neckline and curved cap sleeve armhole (not shown in the photo) are interfaced with lightweight fusible interfacing. The neck facing was fused with weft interfacing.  Because of the stretch fabric, I will use knit lining.

interfaced back

I spent the afternoon putting in the invisible zipper and basting everything – darts and seams – for a trial fit.

It’s hard to tell with the bad lighting and busy print but the front fisheye darts need to go up a bit higher and I can probably take in the side seams a little bit.

I was careful in centering a dominant vertical line of the design when I cut out the front pattern piece.  Almost have headlights. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to seeing myself in a print, or maybe it’s because of the design of the print, but feel as if I’m wearing dramatic wallpaper.

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The armhole is binding a bit and front neck line is rubbing against my neck- I hope this disappears once the neck facing is attached and armholes are finished.

close up front

back view

Will have to try it on again in the next few days and have a closer look next weekend when I’m home during daylight.

Winter wear

I’ve added to my weekend wear by finishing a winter version of Burdastyle 7078.  I used 100% cotton pinwale corduroy.

front view

Once again in it was a mix up of both views: the buttoned bodice of view B, the box pleated front skirt of view B with view A waist ties, though I folded the pleats the wrong way, the back bodice darts of view A. I lengthened the sleeves by two inches at the band seam, cut the bands as is and turned them up to my liking.

side view


I basted the side seams together to see if it can be put on without the side seam zipper.  It’s possible, but with the slim sleeves and close fit at the shoulders taking off the dress requires it to be peeled off, so I put in the zipper to make it a bit easier.

back view


More swatching

During my time off over the holidays, I produced several more swatches for my next pullover.  Deborah Newton’s Good Measure was an informative read and provided some inspiration for my swatching and final choice of stitch pattern.  She is very knowledgeable about designing knits and getting them to fit and flatter your shape. While none of the sweater designs in the book are to my liking – they are a bit fussy and busy for my runs-to-plain style, the book inspired some of my swatches.  It’s unfortunate there are several copy editing mistakes in the book.  Unless I’m missing something, the eyelet pattern in the lace yoke pullover is only a 6 row repeat and not 12.  A page reference to sleeve alterations has letters instead of the correct page numbers. Otherwise it is a very good book on understanding and perfecting the fit of hand knitted sweaters.

openwork rib III

lace yoke eyelet pattern and 1 border repeat

4 stitch eyelet column

I’ve decided on the stitch pattern; 5 stitches of stocking stitch between the eyelet columns and amenable to knitting in the round. I need to work on a schematic drawing and find a pattern with a similar gauge and fit  to what I have in mind so I can borrow sleeve cap and armhole shaping.

5 stitch eyelet column

I haven’t given up sewing.  Although I cut out the Lisette Continental blouse weeks ago I haven’t done work on it since discovering that I cut the two center back pieces off grain and  it’s obvious with the rectangular print that the print and grain is skewed!  I might be able to recut the pieces from the fabric leftovers.  However, I’ve started working on a winter version of Burdastyle 7078 in dark blue pinwale cord, since I love my Kino dress so much.


North-south or east-west?

I swatched knitting patterns using my leftovers of  Butterfly Super 10 mercerized cotton to try out ideas for when I rip open and re-use the yarn from my Petrie pullover.

This week, I reverse engineered and modified the Tess Stitch pattern to my liking:

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This swatch was made a few months ago – the lace column is a modification of a stitch pattern in my Mon Tricot stitch dictonary:

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The horizontal pattern isn’t the best for creating the illusion of more height compared to the lace column pattern. But I think the horizontal pattern looks more modern.  I want an eyelet/lace component to whatever pullover the yarn will become to lighten it up, literally, as cotton is a lot heavier than wool yarn of a similar thickness.  Whether it is a horizontal east-west pattern or a vertical north-south pattern, the pullover design will be cobbled together based on my swatch and desired finished measurements  and details.


  • high scoop neck or v neck
  • zero or slight positive bust ease
  • waist shaping
  • high hip length, about 22-23 inches
  • elbow length or 3/4 length sleeves

I requested Good Measure: knit a perfect fit every time from the library.  It has arrived just in time to plan this pullover when I have some time off over the holidays.

The seduction of Noro yarn

Last week I said I would knit up my Noro Tanabata. Later that day I spent a long time trolling through Ravelry to see what other knitters had made up with it: mostly scarves with a few vests, sleeveless tops and a sweater made up with many more balls that what I have (four). Then I came upon the version made using the One Row Lace scarf pattern – I knew this would  be it.

Regular readers of Ravelry know that there is either a love it or hate it relationship with Noro yarns.  The colour combinations are so seductive when you see the hank or skein on the yarn store shelf. Then there is the ongoing delight in seeing the colours play out as the knitted article grows. As you can tell I lean toward the love it side, though I have only used Noro yarn to make scarves.

Knitting this scarf was no exception to the excitement of seeing what colour comes next.  I used two 6.5 mm bamboo double pointed needles as straight needles to have better control over the loosely spun yarn. I stuck small pieces of plastic plumbing tubing on one end to keep the 24 stitches from falling off the short needles. Used about 3 of my 4 hanks.

Fun, fun knitting – it coordinates with my winter coat and it’s soft and squishy in a good cozy way.

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Arrow pullover and more knitting

Here’s Arrow.  It’s soft and cozy. It grew about 2 inches in length and maybe one inch in width after wet blocking.  Too scared to put it in the dryer for a minutes to cure the growth after felting and shrinking another sweater made from Zara to an unwearable for me size (previous brief trips in the dryer hadn’t felted it!!). The growth made the armholes more comfortable. The sleeves are a bit longer than I would like now; they are at an odd length – looks ‘short’, not bracelet length/ three-quarter-ish like pre-blocking.

arrow front 2

When I purchased Winter 2012 Interweave Knits this sweater didn’t interest me at all. It took seeing other versions of it to grow on me.  I like the contiguous method of sleeve construction much better than the short row sleeve construction on Tarian.

arrow back

Last weekend I grafted together the 1232 cowl.  It was fun to knit but I have no idea if it will be worn.  I thought it might coordinate with this T shirt- not!

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Of course I’m thinking of my next knitting project.


  1. reverse engineer the stitch pattern to make a summer pullover like Tess, using the mercerized cotton from my too big and sloppy looking Petrie. I need to frog it: dscf1622_medium2

Tess; image from Berroco.

2. make the Couturier Jacket; use merino aran weight yarn from this oversized 20+ year old sweater; sweater frogged and yarn in balled state.

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Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran


Couturier jacket; image from Knitscene.

3. eventually make something  wearable and that I like from Noro Tanabatanoro_tanabata_medium2

Everything I’ve tried so far gets frogged because I hate the look!  I was seduced by colours and texture of it while in the yarn store. I have four 80 m balls, so what I make from it will be small.

One-two-three-two Cowl

I started playing with and knitting the lone ball of olive green 100% Lino earlier this year, doing a few rows of the  Tanner Cowl, left it for months and then ripped it open.  I was eager to knit something sequence-like following my fascination with the Sequence Knitting concept.

The one-two-three-two ribbing pattern seemed to fit the concept so I cast on for it – 40 stitches/ 5 repeats.

The knitted fabric has a crunchy, crispy yet smooth and waxy feel in the hand when squeezed.  One ball took me to 26 inches with a width of 3 3/4 inches. For now I’m not wet blocking it.  The texture of those ribbed ridges is so interesting.  I know it will be transformed into a much smoother, drapey fabric once it gets wet. Grafting the ends together, after a half turn to make a moebius cowl, will wait until the weekend when there is daylight and I’m well rested.

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As I knit it one-two-three-two and two-three-two-one (on the ‘wrong’ side) was my mantra to stay on pattern.