Monday, December 8, 2014

Oh...That Darn Vest!

I'm glad that my last post were of beautiful knitted garments by Louisa Harding. It's a great way to leave one's blog for nearly three months.  Who's going to be sick of looking at Ms. Harding's handiwork?  Not me.  Speaking of her patterns, remember that vest I've been knitting?  Well I finally finished it. It is mostly the same as the pattern, except I decided to make it longer, but I forgot to buy more yarn. I ran out of yarn for the neck and armholes and substituted it with some scrap ivory cashmere I had lying around. The knitted the neckline, but then I started to run out of my scrap yarn, and decided that crocheting a trim into the armhole would use less yarn. EXCEPT, I don't really know how to crochet. So I just made something up based on what little I do know, and came up with this final product. (It's amazing how my brain works when I'm desperate to finish something.)

I wore this yesterday to lunch with a turtleneck, and it actually looked better on me than the dressform. Now, that's a first. It is a bit potato-sacky-like I know. I did have a lot of problems with sizing from the pattern, requiring me to restart the pattern several times. Argh!

I think the crochet turned out okay, but it's not stiff enough to keep the armhole from turning in. Sigh.
I'm still self-reflecting when it comes to all my crafting, and I'll probably never stop. I've learned a few things about myself this past month:
  • I don't like making muslins out of muslin. I'd rather use an inexpensive fabric, and if it turns out, I already have something finished! (But if I have to do major marking, I still use standard muslin.)
  • I love bias taping garments, and have considered dyeing my own silk bias tape, especially now that I discovered Dharma Trading Company.  But did you sewists who are not quilters know that Liberty of London has its own line of bias tape? But sadly, buying a strip of Liberty London is just as expensive at about $8-10 a yard. So I've decided to pass for now.
  • I have always loved rayon challis, and to my surprise, it's mostly I bought some really inexpensive challis from Denver Fabrics, almost at the price of muslin, and I'm just going to make things out of that yardage for a while (but be warned that Rayon Challis is much stretchy and slippery). Also, polyester is much more sophisticated than back in the 70s, and a polyester charmeuse is a decent substitute for silk when making a muslin, and drapes a whole heck of a lot better. 
  • I have never liked wearing skirts with waistbands, which is why I love bias tape, and my new goal is to make waistbands out of the grosgrain ribbon I bought in Hong Kong. 
  • I have always loved Sashiko quilting, and I'm not even a quilter
So what else have I been doing with my time? If you've read this far down on my blog, I might as well share that I've been setting up my acupuncture clinic, and putting my sewing skills to good use. For the past year I've been studying to take the board exam, and passed in September, and then my life got super busy, and my fashion sewing was put on the back burner.

I did made reversible flannel blankets for my treatment table with matching pillowcases. I couldn't find exactly what I needed at the store, and flannel sheets were too big and too thin, so I made them myself. I quilted the two pieces of flannel together to add weight, and just serged the edges. I didn't bother to bind them to save time and money. I picked two balanced colors but made one side more girly, and the other more generic...but I don't think my patients really care about which side they're using. I just prefer the contrast. I really like these blankets, and might make some for myself and use them on the couch.

All the fabric was on sale at Joann's.

I also made two curtains for a section of the bookshelf (sorry no photos). The curtains hide all my gear and keeps the room looking tidy. I love spring curtain rods for this purpose.  Then there was a trip to Michael's to purchase actual craft supplies, for a custom sign for my treatment room door (the other side is identical, and reads: "Healing in Session." The fabric were scraps from FABM

Happy crafting!