Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sewaholic Patterns || Minoru Jacket

Fun in black and white!
Winter is gross! It's time to make a spring raincoat!

Minoru Pattern Description:
The Minoru Jacket is a zip-front weekend jacket with a secret hood hidden inside the wide collar! If you prefer, skip the hood and let the dramatic collar be the focus. Flattering raglan sleeves are comfortable and easy-to-sew, and the elastic waistline creates a slim, curve-hugging silhouette.

Pattern Sizing:
0-16 (all sizes are included in one pattern!) Mine is a 14.

So versatile and stylish! Fun!
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does! My fabric is a little crazy, tho, so you don't see all of the fabulous details that Tasia included in this pattern. It fits like a dream with enough room inside for a sweater if it gets cold.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The written pattern directions were vetted by eleventy-hundred pattern testers before publication, so if you can read, you can do this! Tasia also provided a sew-a-long (which I participated in), and I felt that even though it took more time, I got a lot of great tips that I'll be using again!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the hidden hood inside the collar. The inside pockets and nipped waist make this a favourite pattern. I've got a smallish head, tho, so next time I'll draft the hood a little smaller.

Fabric Used: I'm stashbustin' again. This 100% cotton home dec fabric is from Ikea that I've been holding onto it for more than two years. I'm glad I finally used it but its heaviness made gathering the neckline a real PITA.
I also used Scotchguard to weatherize it. The inside is a peacock-coloured static-free acetate lining. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No pattern alterations (a rare treat!), but I added hidden side-seam pockets (a first!). Next time, I'll use this tutorial and add front pockets. I just can't get enough pockets! I'll also use a different zipper. This one was marked for a parka and has a little joiner at the bottom that makes it a little fiddly to zip up.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I absolutely will make this pattern again. I'm seeing a red jacket in my future...

Conclusion: I love this coat. LOVE it! It was worth all the time and effort I put into it! Thank you, Tasia!

Friday, March 23, 2012

V8151 || CAbi Wrap Top Knockoff

Spring/Summer 2012 CAbi Abstract Wide V-Tee, $69.
Who doesn't adore a good wrap top? CAbi has been throwing this cute top into the mix for the past five years in some form or another. I've always loved this style of top, so it was time to make my own... just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

V8151 Pattern Description: Pullover tops with set in sleeves. Wrapped front, band, shirred sides and long sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: A-J. Mine is a C with modifications (below). 

It's totally easy being green!
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does! Although, after seeing this picture, I may take in the sides even further. Since I'm an addict, I want even more rusching!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Sandra Betzina directions are always easy to read and follow. Love her!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's really easy and quick to make. After adding 1" to the neckline, it's STILL lower than I'm comfortable with, so I'll have to either wear a tank under this or grab my trusty safety pin. I'll fix that next time.

Fabric Used: Something new! I've been searching for a good kelly green fabric since I made this top awhile ago. I found this tissue-weight silk and lycra jersey at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup this year. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I removed .5" from the shoulder, added .5" high round back, 1.5" to the sleeve length, 2" to the front and back length and opted out on the bust darts in favour of gathering that section instead. I'll def. do that again. Bust darts in shifty fabric are tricky! Next time, I'll add an additional 2" to the hem. I like my tops a little longer.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would! I'd love one in every colour of the rainbow.

Conclusion: This is a great, versatile style that is sure to be in heavy rotation. LOVE it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Basic Cable Hat (from "Stitch and Bitch Nation")

Did you know I can knit? 

I started knitting back in early 2002 and made a boatload of scarves, a couple of wraps, a beer cozy, an ill-fated sweater (frogged!) and an unfinished pair of socks and then promptly quit knitting. I think it was the socks that ended my knitting career at the time. You can only take stabbing yourself under the fingernails with 00 sized bamboo double-pointed needles so many times before laying the sticks down. Plus, knitting was KILLING my wrists. The English method (throwing) that they teach here in the US is horrible for folks who work at any sort of desk job as it employs bending your wrists constantly. The fear of carpal tunnel was too great for me. I knew that there had to be a better way, but I was sideswiped by the desire to learn to sew clothes for myself in 2004 and set my sticks aside for the love of a good machine (and another expensive hobby!).

Fast-forward to 2008 and knitting entered my life again. This time, instead of taking a class, I decided to teach myself the Continental (picking) method. Boy, was I awful at it! My scarves were all loopy sorts of messes, but I got good enough to knit another ill-fated sweater (Frogged again! Will I ever learn?) and set the sticks aside yet again.

Like any other hobby, knitting called my name again this year, when I decided that I needed to learn cabling while watching all sorts of terrible TV during our sloggishly cold and wet winter. Plus, I've got this super hot guy in my life now who likes to wear hats. What better incentive does a girl need? With sticks in hand, I found a good pattern from this book, some delicious yarn to work with (in Mermaid), and set to making my fella a hat!

Isn't he handsome? That's my guy!
Get a load of those cables!
I enjoyed cabling so much, I'm currently making a pair of arm warmers. I hear spring is around the corner in my neck of the Pacific Northwest, but I'll probably be wearing them until July (sigh).