Saturday, 31 August 2019

Follow my Arrow shawl

Looks like I never posted about my pretty grey shawl:

This is from the Follow My Arrow 2 pattern by Ysolda Teague.  It offers two patterns for each of five sections of this shawl. So there are 25 different ways of knitting this.

I really enjoyed it!

I loved the edging a lot - this is what attracted my attention to this pattern in the first place. That one was a must. I think that the other four sections go realy well with the edging, it was almost like they picked themselves and I just had to listen to what they were telling me: pick me, pick me!

Monday, 26 August 2019

The owls mittens!

I forgot to post this. It happens.

Written at end of October 2017 when I didn't want to post this too early in case the recipient saw this before Christmas, and then...  Oh well.

~ ~ ~

Shhh, Christmas is not far away so let's not tell secrets...

Here is my current knitting project and I am really pleased about the colourwork:

I also discovered the photo editor Polarr, it can do so much more than I realised photo editors can do. It was a blessing in disguise that the default programme on this Windows 10 machine didn't even do brightening let alone sharpening. I discovered a new passion!

I can see myself slaving away over photos from now on. I just hope I figure out how to best use it. At the moment it's a case of sliding around any which lever to see what it does.


The ribbing looks really nice: the purl stitches are in black and the knit stitches in aubergine. I also like the pattern on the other side, and I love the owls.

It was a relatively quick project though not quite as quick as I would have liked. Still it was quick enough for me to start the second pair of mittens with fairly high confidence that I can get them done by Christmas. Also a present.

What I don't like about these: my sister only has small hands and the thumb placement is too low. They came out massively too long when the ribbing could have sat a bit lower. Darn. If she likes them I'll just have to knit them a second time.

And the other side as well as the mini owl on the thumb!

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Getting to a super-duper adjusted pattern

My first toile

Warning: this got stuck in my Drafts for too long. I'm posting it now because I want to refer to this project. So here goes, you've been warned!

I did a one-on-one fitting session with a lovely sewing teacher in February 2018 (Fit2Sew). Mandy uses the Palmer Pletsch method of first tissue fitting followed by adjustments to the paper pattern.

It was fantastic!

I learned so much and I am so grateful.

My FBA was okay with darted tops but I didn't know the last step for a princess line pattern: you make the FBA adjustment only in the side piece (got it) and slashing towards the centre you close the dart you opened. The slash allows more space on the side towards the centre front where it is needed. Makes total sense.  Now I really don't know what I was trying to do instead. This shall remain a mystery.

I also found that my shape requires a horizontal slash and spread for my rounded upper back instead of the vertical adjustment attempts that I was monkeying around with (yikes!). At least I had a fairly good idea how to do the swayback adjustment but it was still pretty great to go over this adjustment...

Best of all, because I had no idea: I need to rotate the shoulder seam forward by a good centimentre which is completely obvious when it finally dawned on me that carrying my shoulders forward has a heck of a lot to do with my rounded upper back. Oh right! Yes those two things do seem connected, don't they?  I don't seem capable of an upright posture where you keep your shoulders back - just wishing for something doesn't make it true so I better go with what I'm dealing with.
Yep: there needs to be more fabric in the back pattern piece at the shoulder and a little less in front - and the answer is: Rotate shoulder seam forward!  Well darn it, that was obvious!  Better late than never methinks.

The session really brought home a decisive principle of pattern drafting.

Whenever you make any adjustment: you have to look at whether this pattern piece gets stitched to another. When you make one edge longer, the joining piece will be too short. You may be able to ease some pieces in, sleeves into armholes are a good example, but that only works for small differences and with some fabrics. It is better to adjust the edge of the other piece as well. They won't sew up well if not!  Whatever change you make on one side of a seam you need to make on the other side too. Undeniable logic.

McCall's Palmer Pletsch pattern M7352

So I have my lovely flare dress pattern all adjusted (I hadn't consciously planned to bring the Palmer Pletsch pattern M7352 for this class, but I had it so that felt like divine sewing intervention!).

After soaking up so much information on all the different adjustments I sank onto the sofa at home utterly exhausted - so knackered that I was only able to cut out the main pieces in a turquoise stash fabric the following weekend, and I've only got round to sewing it up this week (remember, this was all back in 2018).

I still need to do the neck facing, the hem and also cut out and sew in the sleeves. I want to do short sleeves (this cotton fabric wouldn't be great for long sleeves) but I haven't completely made my mind up if I'll go with the pattern piece from this design or do something else.

I considered a tulip sleeve that I fancied for ages but this stiff fabric isn't ideal for overlapped layers.  I could also slash and spread the piece for a flutter-type sleeve or one that could have an inverted pleat at the lower edge. May not be good ideas, I need to take the fabric into account.

I have yet another idea: a split short sleeve with the normal seam at the underarm position but also slashed vertically in half (adding seam allowances) for an open slit that runs from the shoulder seam at the top of the sleeve all the way down to the hem. Decide later if I want to leave the two pieces loose or sew together at the very bottom. I came up with this idea because I think it would make the sleeves easier to iron.  I might go for that.

It would be a nice challenge and if it doesn't work out I could still swap it with a standard sleeve. I have enough fabric for two lots of short sleeves.

Watch this space!

PS: The split sleeve idea didn't turn out well. Wrong fabric. Blog post to come.