Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

You complete me.

July 12, 2009

Dear Colette Patterns,

Thank you for making such beautiful patterns in such beautiful packaging with such clear and thought out instructions and such interesting construction where I learn new things.

Thanks to a great pattern, I was able to make something that one particular coworker of mine (and fellow sewer) did not immediately ask: did you make that?  In fact, she never asked.

All because you made a pattern that (a) looks current and chic and super flattering, (b) allowed me to understand proper tailoring just enough to make a work-appropriate, suit-like garment, and (c) had pattern pieces that just made sense and fit together so perfectly that I did not once swear or intentionally break something during the entire construction.  Not once. At least not once as a result of or directed to the garment, the pattern, or the sewing process.

This skirt was also a success because of my fabric choice, which you had nothing to do with, but thanks for making a pattern that complimented my fabric choice so nicely.

So thank you Colette Patterns.

I’m already scouting for fabrics for your other patterns and am anxiously awaiting new designs.


The proud owner of the newly sewn, Green Beignet.

The fabric is a midweight wool that I bought 50% off from Exquisite Fabrics in DC during their most amazing moving sale.  The buttons are Le Petite.

(The bike is my new baby, a Jamis Sputnik single speed–my first real new bike…I keep it in my bedroom…and look at it from time to time…)

The lining is a grey silk habotai bought on ebay for super cheap–which is also used for some awesome pockets at each hip.  Did I mention I LOVE this pattern?  The paneling is gorgeous, the button front is adorable, and the high waist is right on style.


election year calls for a new dress.

September 13, 2008

I have been obsessed with politics lately.  In a very bad way.  In a way that during one of the party conventions which will remain nameless I found myself screaming out my window how miserable of a human being a former mayor of New York City is.

Seriously insane.  And then a later development in the election really almost killed me…and I rediscovered the meditative, calming wonder that is knitting.  I had known that in preparation for winter I would need some mittens and so I had already decided on Norah Gaughan’s Target Wave mittens from her beautiful Knitting Nature book and some Frog Tree Merino Melange that I ordered from The Yarn Tree in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I love Norah’s book because it speaks to the same dichotomy I have in my own life–love of science (traditionally masculine) and a love of some things VERY domestic (traditionally female), and it blends the two seamlessly (pun completely intended).

The Target Wave mittens “were inspired by the look of traveling chemical waves”.

This was the first time I used Frog Tree yarn, which I decided was more than suitable to use given my social/eco conscious goal since the mission of the company is “to supply meaningful and continuous work to various artisans and non-profit groups. Purchases Made by T & C Imports helps by supporting families and their communities.  Funds from our project are used to support worthy educational causes.”  I mostly like it because they’re a non-profit cooperative.  I used the Merino Melange, which is very soft and lovely and will definitely be using it again (it’s also relatively inexpensive).

After a few days, my insanity over the political goings-on of today (which is hard to escape when you live in Washington, DC) started to thankfully dissipate.  And so the knitting frenzy subsided and I returned to sewing and accomplished an FO that I’m extremely proud of.

I’ll be wearing this to a more casual wedding I’m going to next week.  I’m very excited about it.  It’s a gorgeous, almost silk-like cotton lawn.  I’ve only started using patterns and this was my first time making my own pattern, which I modeled after some clothes I currently own.  The collar was shaped off of a shirt I own with a somewhat similar collar and the shape of the dress from another dress.   I just recently discovered the wonders of elastic and have been really into blouson shapes, so I was excited to try that out, which I think went relatively well.  I also have never done the fabric covered button thing before which I may be overly obsessed with from this point forward. It’s also got other fun details like my first try at faced hems.

The whole idea came from this J.Crew shirt.  But I wasn’t about to pay no $88 for a shirt that I can clearly make for less than $20. And even better, it’s a whole dress. I did use their pictures to guide my own creation…their zoom tool is quite handy.

There’s nothing like that feeling when you realize that there’s so much you can do for yourself…like make your own pretty dresses.

Love me some cables

May 31, 2008

Thanks to a lot of time at the hospital while my man was recovering from possibly the weirdest (and scariest) case of appendicitis ever (his appendix burst a couple of days before he even felt enough pain to go to the hospital, which then resulted in a 3+ hour surgery, some removal, cleaning and replacement of vital organs, and a week of recovery in the hospital) and hours in airports and airplanes to Los Angeles and back for memorial day weekend, I finished my new favorite Cabled Capecho.

As a result of the well-documented, long-standing capecho-fit saga with knitters all over the world, I was able to make mine with the advantage of some pretty effective mods. For those unfamiliar, the capecho is shown on the cover of Vogue Knitting Winter 2007 to fit pretty closely and tightly on the model. But when knitters actually took to the pattern it would turn out quite large and bunchy.

To remedy this and achieve the close-fitting look of the cover, I copied most of this blogger’s mods, which mainly consisted of using DK weight yarn and 6s (instead of 8s), and changing the 8 stitch cables into 6 stitch cables, thus reducing the perimeter of each pentagon by 10 stitches. I didn’t follow the sleeve mods though (which theoretically are important since the pentagon pattern is modified) and just went with the pattern, which seemed to have no effect. The benefit of doing this is you get a smoother transition from the cable pattern to 2×2 rib (this means not doing the final decrease in the pattern). Using these mods, the fit is pretty damn good I think. I was worried before I blocked it because it seemed a little small actually, but it now looks the way I had wanted.

I used 4.5 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Green Line DK in Hope, which is 100% organic merino wool. It’s beautiful and soft, with a lovely slight sheen. I highly recommend it and it’s a pretty decent price for the yardage.

This pattern was actually insanely fun for me. I never got bored with it and was actually kind of sad when it was over. I realized that as long as cables are involved I’m happy. One could say I am in fact *obsessed* with cables.

And so I was a little excited when I happened upon these in a little shop in Silverlake:

I’m getting into the idea of using cable patterns in non-traditional ways, like these ceramics with knit patterns. I’m curious as to how they were done — knit fabrics pressed onto wet ceramics? Wouldn’t that ruin the fabric? How sad! I guess I like fabric more than ceramics…but I did appreciate the incorporation of one medium into another in such an interesting way. It really draws attention to the textural patterns in textiles, which I think often lose out to visual patterns.

Speaking of visual patterns, Norah Gaughan has been putting up sneak previews on Ravelry of her new Volume 3, in which she has some interesting interpretations of the cable, where she’s kind of doing the opposite: taking a textural pattern and turning it into a strictly visual one. I’m speaking mostly of the pattern I found the most interesting, which is her Portrait of a Cable, a fairisle pattern of a cable. I love that she does things like this and it got me thinking about my own interpretations of cables–some of which will hopefully be forthcoming. In the meantime I’ll just dream of knitting more cables.