Tag Archives: McCalls M5929

Journal: 12 May 2014

Since my last post, I finished two sewing projects, made another potholder, and made a little bit of progress on my new knitting project. I also did a fair bit of tatting design/drafting, most of which has shown up as pattern posts here, and a bunch of fruitless drafting for another knitting project.

ruffle_detail

Ruffly shirt detail

First, sewing: I finished the blue shirt I mentioned last time. I followed McCall’s M5929 with Mandarin collar and single ruffle options. I ended up having to modify the sleeves on the fly, changing from a banded sleeve to a hemmed sleeve with a pleat, because my arms have gotten a bit chubby in the last year and the bands wouldn’t fit. I was extremely short on fabric—I fit a 3 yard pattern into 2 yards, with the ruffle and plackets cut diagonally—and had thrown out the tiny scraps by the time I noticed this, so I couldn’t go back and extend or cut new bands. I’m reasonably pleased with what I ended up doing, which was to pleat the sleeves at the center of the hem and sew a button over the pleat. I was lucky with the buttons; they’re black with bits of blue in the middle, matching the shade of the fabric well, and I found 9 for a dollar, meaning I could space them closer together on the plackets and still have leftovers. More pictures (click for larger):ruffle_front ruffle_floor2 ruffle_floor

drape_front

Drape-neck shirt

More sewing: This was a ludicrously quick project; I believe it took me only two days including a bit of pattern drafting/alteration, cutting, and seaming and hemming by hand. It also didn’t take much fabric—I had about a yard and a half of this gray flecked stuff hanging around, and it fit the pattern easily. The pattern started as New Look 6483, which is one of my old standbys, and I made considerable alterations. I’ve been thinking about making a knit, drape-neck shell out of my Harlequin colorway sock yarn (teal, green, purple and gold stripes), so I’d already traced the front and sleeve of the pattern onto newsprint, removed the seam allowances, and slashed and extended the neckband and drape_shouldersleeves. drape_neckThe pattern has no main darts, only a bust dart to the side seam, which I flipped into the neckline, and then I put two more slashes from the neckline to the armhole. drape_backAnyway, when I decided to put the knitting on hold and do a sewing project instead, I taped these pieces to more newsprint, added the seam allowance back in, cut them out, and cut my fabric. Six seams and four hems later, it was done, and I’m pretty pleased—not my favorite shirt ever, and the fabric was not the best choice for drapeyness, but it’s certainly wearable and even a little dare-I-say glamorous.

I’m glad I made this shirt primarily because I spent an entire day just drafting and doing arithmetic for a knit shirt, only to decide my first idea was impossible and my first fallback looked terrible. At least the manual part—tracing the pattern, rearranging the darts and slashing the sleeves—were good for something, as it wasn’t much work to add the seam allowances back on and turn it back into a sewing project. The idea, for the curious, was to attempt a fitted, drape-neck shell worked diagonally. I still think it should work, but I can’t keep everything in my head to work out the details. My first fallback was to switch from knit to crochet, which I’ve been doing longer and thus find easier, but it looked absolutely terrible so I just got disheartened. I think at some point soon I will pull out the drafting and work out a worked-horizontally version, which should be a lot easier, and leave the diagonals for when I am a much better drafter.

potholder_finishedCrochet: I made another square potholder; ’nuff said really, but I have a pretty picture. This one I put a hanging loop on, just because I had some extra yarn left. I enjoy the fact that the colorway lined up to make nearly vertical/horizontal stripes, in a diagonally-worked piece, without my having to put too much effort into making it happen.

Knit shawl: Again, not much to say, but I’ve added a few rows to my new knit shawl project. It’s now got a full repeat of the colorway, so here are some pictures:

surf_1 surf_2

I never thought I’d be a fan of pink mixed in with pale blues and greens, but I think it works quite well in this yarn. I also, while I was at the store for buttons for the blue blouse and some other odds and ends, picked up a skein of the “soft white” color of the same yarn, with which I plan to edge the shawl.

 

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Journal: 24 April 2014

Since my last journal post, I finished my green dress and my knitting, and then spent a while blocked and not really wanting to start anything new. Now I’ve recovered, partly thanks to getting a big box o’ yarn in the mail, and have way too many things on needles again, just the way I like it.

SerenityThing 1: During the dead period, I did still want to do some crafting, so I got out my needlepoint. Some backstory: around April of last year, I got myself a printed needlepoint kit from the store because I felt like learning a new craft. I rather enjoyed it, and finished the 5″x5″ piece in good time. I wanted to get a new kit and continue needlepointing, but I had a problem: the needlepoint kits you can buy in your average craft store are desperately twee—much too cute and often more religious than I am happy with. So I thought to myself, self, how hard can it be to design my own? Just take a photo, tweak it a
little bit, and……and many, many hours later I had a couple hundred lines of image-100_1437 (1024x768)processing Matlab code, a map for a counted needlepoint project, and a printout of the colors of floss I would need. Because I am a giant dork, my starting image was the thing painted on the side of the ship in the movie Serenity, pictured above at right. As of today, most of a year after this project began, it looks like the photo at left; the whitish areas are still to be filled in. This project has been agonizing. Largely in a way that is a source of lessons learned, and I’ve already tweaked my Matlab (actually, Octave, as I lost access to my matlab license in August) program to make the next project much, much easier. Still, I hate to waste all the effort I’ve put in so far and start a new needlepoint before finishing this one, so on I slog.

100_1445 (1024x768)Thing 2: I did a bunch of experimental tatting. This has already resulted in four pattern posts, so ’nuff said, but here’s a picture of a bunch of tatted scraps. There’s Cluny leaves, one nested ring, a bunch of Josephine rings, hearts, split rings, spiral chains, and some plain old ring and chain drafting in there.

100_1439 (913x1024)Thing 3: I started on a pair of slacks that I’ve been planning since before I started this blog. They’re in a heavy black material that is the best match I could find to the suit jacket I have, but the material is heavier than I really bargained for so it’s slow going. I’m even contemplating breaking out the sewing machine to finish it. Anyway, I’m using Simplicity 2860, modified to have a side zipper and in-seam pocket.

100_1443 (1024x768)Thing 4: I decided what to do with some of the pretty fabric I got last time I went to the store: I’m making a ruffle-front blouse from McCall’s M5929. I’ve used this pattern before to make a linen blouse that is roughly the dressiest thing I own, as well as reasonably comfortable, so I am rather fond of the pattern. We’ll see how it does in the floppier cotton. I’ve done the major seams, but have yet to do all the fiddly bits, which is the majority of this pattern.

100_1435 (1024x768)Thing 4: My huge box o’ yarn arrived, and I immediately set to work: the majority of the yarn is worsted-weight cotton with which I intend to make a number of potholders/trivets/dishcloths, as well as to use for skill-share parties to teach my friends to knit and crochet. The pattern I have for potholders does well with multiple, coordinated colors, so I’ve separated the yarn into bunches:100_1425 (1024x768) 100_1428 (1024x768) 100_1430 (1024x768) 100_1432 (1024x768)with some left over skeins that don’t really go with anything else.

100_1421 (1024x769)Thing 5: Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to cast on a new shawl in sock yarn. I got a bag of 10 skeins of random colors of the Serenity sock weight yarn that I love so much, and am still thinking about what to do with all of it, but two of the skeins in the same colorway are just begging to be a shawl. It’s the “surf” colorway, and I am making Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl rather than drafting my own pattern this time. I am a little short from the amount of yarn it calls for, and don’t see an easy way to reduce the pattern, so I am planning to do the edging in white sock yarn, depending where I run out. Right now I am about 15 rows in and liking the pattern pretty well.