Saturday, July 18, 2009

Simplicity Pattern 2777

I made myself a new pair of bloomers from the Simplicity Pattern 2777 by Archivestry. These are the mid-length version in size 10. Since I have an overflowing stash of cotton quilting fabrics left over from my days as a quilter, I delved into it for my first try at a Simplicity pattern since I was in college. There's nothing easier to sew with than cotton quilting fabric, so I thought it a good place to start. Most of the pieces I have are small cuts, often under a quarter yard, so I had to mix and match pieces to get enough for the whole project. I ended up combining 6 different fabrics including leafy green and off white for the main panels. The lightest one has feather plumes and the tan one has bumble bees. The hems are trimmed with a golden brown cork print and burnt orange ruffles with dandilion seeds flying in the wind. Then I died the rayon lace at the hems to match the ruffle and the greens.

The pants sit low rise, and there's a long ribbon that ties in the back. They're very comfortable and fit just as I hoped.

I'm going to make the next pair longer and in orange silk. You can see the orange fabric I'm going to use in the background of this photo. Click on it to make it big.

What I learned: This was a very easy pattern, and I finally learned how to make a waistband. I learned that when gathering fabric to make a ruffle, use two parallel lines of basting stitches. It's much easier to control the distribution of the gathering because you have more friction with two threads than with one. It also helps the fabric lie flatter at the gathers, so sewing the ruffle to the hem is easier. I learned that these pants fit me great, and I can't wait to make another pair.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Green Necklace and Striped Sock

I got a commission from my mom's cousin for an emerald green necklace with a Time Machine beaded bead in the center. Here's what I came up with. It took me 3 tries to get the beaded bead just the way I wanted it. I think it has a fanciful, whimsical look about it while still being formal enough to wear with a nice dress. It's the black and green alternating design that gives it that look. I hope she likes it as much as I do. What I learned: When using glass beads, it looks nice if different colors have the same general intensity, that is, the same amount of gray or brown. In my first try for the beaded beads, I used some really dull olive colored beads and I didn't like them at all with the emerald and peridot colored beads. I also learned something new about my camera. When I turn up the ISO (to 400 from 100), I can shoot with a shorter shutter speed while still maintaining depth (with a high f-stop of 8.0), but I loose sharpness as a result. In other words, High ISO gives a more grainy photo. If you click on the photos of this green necklace, notice how grainy they are. Look at the shadows and see how the color separates into little dots.

I finally finished my first knee high striped sock. Really, I finished my first sock ever. I took it under good advisement that the charted knitting I showed earlier is not a very good design choice. I learned that charted work doesn't really belong at the top of a sock where you need stretch, so I removed it and replaced it with plain stripes. I also have the first three stripes done of the second sock. That's the little toe piece below the completed sock. The socks will be nice and thick and warm, but not too thick to make them uncomfortable inside shoes. I can't wait to wear them! What I learned: Charted knitting is for pieces that don't need to stretch. The second sock is faster than the first because I'm not making very many mistakes. And lastly, knee highs take twice as much time and yarn to make as regular short socks.
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