Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sewing for sweater weather

I am in dire need of a new winter wardrobe. Where I live, it doesn't really get cold until December, so I usually don't have any motivation to sew wintry stuff until well into November. By that time, of course, I am frantically making Christmas presents and up to my eyeballs in all the usual holiday stuff. After Christmas, I'm usually looking forward hopefully to spring. So, the winter stuff just never gets sewn.

This year, I decided to change all that, in large part because the average age of the garments in my winter wardrobe is approximately 8.5 years. Drastic measures have to be taken. So, despite the fact that it was hovering around 100 degrees for much of last week, I pulled out a few of my sweater knits and started sewing.

The first fabric I picked up was this amazingly soft sweater knit that I got on a recent fabric shopping excursion. Apparently it was a leftover from a local fashion designer, and I snagged all I could. Wanting something  a little unusual, I turned to Butterick 5564, which bills itself as being Fast & Easy. Snort! No, it is not fast nor easy. I suppose it could be if the instructions for the sleeves made sense, but they don't, so you are left to flounder, swear, or break out in a cold sweat (I did all 3). Thank heavens someone had written how to do the sleeves on, so I didn't need to go completely crazy.

After struggling with those sleeves, I wanted to do something that was truly fast and easy, so I turned to Jalie 2911 for a shawl collar hoodie. I love Jalie instructions - so simple! And the patterns don't have a lot of fuss to them, which is much appreciated by someone who is coming to despise fussy patterns. (Just don't ask about the Jalie button down men's shirt I recently had to throw into the garbage midway through. Sore subject.) For this hoodie, I used some of my yarn dyed hemp/organic cotton jersey from Bamblue Fabrics. I love this stuff! I bought every colorway available. This will be a staple in my winter wardrobe, I think. It's roomy enough that I can wear a shirt underneath on the coldest days, but still doesn't look like a tent.

Pattern: Jalie 2911
Fabric: Hemp/organic cotton jersey from Bamblue Fabrics

And now for a little bamboo sweater knit. I have three colors of this amazing fabric in stock at Bamblue at the moment. I'm totally in love with the stuff - the softness is just incredible. If it were realistic, I would make my entire winter wardrobe from it! But for now, I just have this:

Pattern: Burda 7866
Fabric: Bamboo sweater knit from Bamblue Fabrics

While I love, love, love how this turned out, I was annoyed by the instructions for how to do the neckline. It looked simple, but turned out to be a fussy mess. Nope, don't like it at all. Next time, I will do something completely different. What, I don't know. But it certainly won't involve any hand sewing, I can tell you that right now.

Having sewn a bunch of stuff for myself, I was starting to feel a little guilty about not sewing anything for my kids. As I had promised myself that I would make at least one Halloween costume this year, my daughter's witch costume was next on the list. I have never actually made a Halloween costume before, despite my best intentions, because whenever the costumes come out at Target, my kids fall in love with one and I hand over my $20 and everybody is happy. Not this year! This year, I really wanted to struggle with gathering yards and yards of tulle and slippery costume satin that unraveled all over everything! Who wouldn't?

I do love the end result, and my little witch is quite pleased with her costume too.

Pattern:  Simplicity 2569

I also made a raincoat. How I hated sewing this. I will never use laminated cotton again. It is ghastly. So stiff and unforgiving! But it had been sitting in my stash for two years, and my daughter kept asking over and over when I was going to use it, so I finally broke down. I hated every second of this project, but at least my daughter has a new raincoat. It's not totally waterproof because I didn't treat the seams, but at least she can go out in a light rain. Also, the sewing is just atrocious because about midway through I had given up the will to live. But it is done, and I can move on with my life.

Pattern: McCall's 6392

1 comment:

  1. You are totally cracking me up! I am glad that you regained the will to live! : )