Monday, April 03, 2017

fba on Darling Ranges Bodice


I'm finally sewing up Darling Ranges from Megan Nielsen Patterns!  I always feel like I'm the last to attempt these popular patterns.  I've been half in love with this one forever, but I'm trying to work from patterns I already own (because I have a lot, and am half in love with most of them too).  Except during Me-Made-May last year, I won a prize through a giveaway (more on that next time) that included this pattern.  It's been on the back of my mind ever since, and as the pattern also came with fabric to sew the dress up in, obviously it was the one I reached for when I was considering a new project!

Except as usual, I knew I had to modify the pattern.  A full bust adjustment was definitely in order.

FBA on Darling Ranges Bodice
The first thing I did was trace the front pattern piece.  Since my body measurements are quite different than the pattern sizes, I used my high bust measurement (38", size M) for the shoulders, graded to size L at the underarm after the arm scythe, then graded to an XL at the waist.  My current waist measurement is actually, erm, a bit larger than the pattern fits to, but I also knew that the fba would add some width, so we're going for it.

Since I was pursuing my Fit For Real People (FFRP) book to refresh my memory on how to do an fba, I decided to tissue fit the pattern.  No pics of that process since I was just in my bra at the time, but it showed that I needed a 2 inches added to the piece (1 inch fba on each side).

FBA on Darling Ranges Bodice
There's a tutorial on Megan Nielsen's blog about how to do an fba for this pattern, but it was based on her previous design, which had a dart on the side, not at the waistline.  I chose to just go with a normal fba based on FFRP, while adding a dart to the side to redistribute some of the dart width. You can see that adjustment above, though I forgot to add some length on the right side of the fba.

FBA on Darling Ranges Bodice
I retraced the adjustments onto a new sheet and tried it on.  (I'm using parchment paper because it's what I have on hand.  I love working with this stuff, but scotch tape doesn't stick to it for very long and that's such a pain, let me tell you).  The fit was better, but the side dart I added was too high.  I chopped that sucker out and shifted it down a bit.

FBA on Darling Ranges Bodice
AND here's the final result.  While tracing this version, I raised the neckline by about 1.25 inches as per Megan's tutorial.  I probably should've rotated some more of that lower dart width to the side dart, but ah well.  I think this'll do, and I'll make any further adjustments on the next dress.  If there's another dress.  I hope there is, because this one seems darling - lets see how it works on me!

FBA on Darling Ranges Bodice
In case you're curious (I always am), this is how the piece stacked up against the original.  I lined up the shoulder and the front centre edge since that hadn't changed much.  You can see the width and length added to the piece (I'm a little worried about that added length, but the tissue fitting seemed to sit fine on me so we're just gonna give'er on that one), and the changes to the dart location and end point.  I forgot to mention, but at some point I lowered the vertical dart a bit since it hit above my apex.

Yeah yeah, boring post.  I haven't even showed you the fabric this'll be made from!  Mostly I just wanted to write out my adjustments here for future reference.  Hopefully I actually get to sewing this dress up, because I think it's going to be a great addition to my wardrobe, and I'm feeling like I need a change to my style.  But more on that another time.

Geez these are a pain to do, but it's worth the time to adjust the pattern.  What annoying-but-worthwhile pattern adjustments do you have to make?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

fo: Birch-Newsprint-Clocks-Whatever Quilt : finally done!

So uh, do any of you remember the quilt I planned out and quickly sewed up back in, oh, March 2015?  The one that I stated in this post that only needed to be bound by the bias binding I'd already completed?

I just finished that sucker last night.  Oops.

fo: Couch Quilt
To be fair, the mostly-finished quilt got tucked away for one reason or another ::coughIhatebiasbindingcough:: and then forgotten until I moved into my new place.  And then I got into a fight ::coughinstigateditinafitoffrustrationandheartachecough:: with the Ex and basically cut him out of my life while I heal before I could claim the blanket I bought in Mexico.  This meant I had no blanket for the couch in my often-chilly basement suite.  AND THEN I started using the unbound quilt, so now my couch is full of wee little threads of yarn that came off the edges of the quilt, and the thing was starting to get a little ratty.

Obviously it was time to bind that sucker.  The moment that the sewing machine was unearthed, I did so.

fo: Couch Quilt
Guys, don't look to closely at the binding.  I vaguely used this tutorial and completely machine-sewed the binding on.  But instead of neatly stitching the final side down, I triple-stitch zigzagged that sucker down.  To reflect the triple-stitch zigzag that I "quilted" the blanket with. Yes.

fo: Couch Quilt
Whatever, I don't care how ugly the edging is, because I now have a cozy and bright couch blanket to snuggle under on my evenings off as I knit and watch unending episodes of Last Week Tonight on youtube and read shoddy Star Trek fanfic.  :D

My life is obviously complete.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Mending Slippers, Mending Hearts

We're nearly a week into March and I still keep thinking it's January; I feel like I've lost February - where did you go February?  Nearly a week into March means that I've been in my new apartment for that long, and while I still feel like I'm couch surfing, it should feel more like mine soon.  I'm hoping to get the majority of my Stuffs packed up and moved to the apartment, and I'm looking forward to getting settled in here.  Some stability will help immensely.

Slipper Mending
I've been plugging away on some projects, but the best one of late was mending a pair of slippers.  Guys, my new apartment - while awesome! - has cold floors, and the slippers I have with me had a couple of holes in the left slipper.  :(  Last night, I grabbed some spare wool yarn and a needle, and fixed that sucker right up while listening to my favourite audiobook (World War Z).

Slipper Mending
I've never mended socks or slippers or anything in this way before - in a cross-hatched woven technique.  I've duplicate stitched a lot of small holes in knitting before, but these were too big to get away with that.  It's a bit rough and probably should've been woven tighter, but I'm proud of how they turned out.  I have a set of leather patches to add to the bottom of theses slippers...somewhere, so I'm not overly concerned about how these will hold up since they'll be covered.

Slipper Mending
The mended patch works for now though, and my feet are snuggly warm in my newly fixed slippers!

Slipper Mending
I don't think I've blogged about these before.  They're a cute pair of bunny slippers from this pattern here, knitted and felted a few years back (my Ravelry project page with no pictures tells me summer 2014).  I never got around to finishing them - the poor left-footed bunny never even got a nose on her.  Maybe once my Stuffs are here, I'll dig up that pink yarn and fix her right up.  Maybe give them both some eyes.

Slipper Mending
It's a little thing, but it's nice to have these in use again.  It's one of the few personal items that I have at the apartment that I haven't had to go out and purchase nor moved around with me from couch to couch these last 6 weeks or so.  A little touch of home in my new one, and it's amazing how much better that makes me feel.  :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sneak Peaks at (some of) the wips

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my last post (and those who didn't but thought about it or contacted me elsewhere).  You all are wonderful - I've forgotten how supportive this community has been, and I hope to start finding my way back into it in the coming months.  I suspect a lot of my feelings are going to be channeled into more creative pursuits, because that's my jam apparently.

Also, I have about 10 projects that I'm actively working on right now, never mind everything that's in storage.  Yeesh.  Here's a sneak peak at 5 of them.

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Sneak Peaks
The Lonely Shawl is finished, I just need to get some good pictures of it.  Guys, the hugs it gives me are wonderfully warm and cozy, and I'm so glad I chose it as my coping project.  Also, I think I'm hooked on triangle shawls now.  I'm already plotting more, though I've told myself I have to finish a project before I can start one.

Ugh.  Stupid rules.

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Sneak Peaks
This is my latest weaving project.  No, I haven't shown you my first one.  More on that later, when I've made a bit more progress on this one and get a pic of the other.  I want to tell you all about weaving!  This tapestry is for me - it'll be my housewarming gift to myself. 

Oh hey yeah, I found a place to live!  Great basement apartment with lots of light and a few awesome features I'm not telling you about until I give you a tour when I move in.  :)  I'm so happy to have found a place so quickly - the instability of not having a place to live has been eating away at my mental state big-time, despite all of the wonderful people who have welcomed me into their homes.  It's not the same as having your own space.

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Sneak Peaks
I've also got a few sweaters on the go.  This one is my second Marion sweater (the first is a god-awful shade of green and a bit too short) and is knit from the most scrumptious merino/cashmere blend in the world!  Though I kind of wish I'd picked the burgundy shade after all.  The light brown shade isn't talking to me right now - which is probably why I'm not that far into it despite starting it back in November...

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Sneak Peaks
This sweater is a wee one for my employee's brand-spankin' new baby!  Well, once he's aged a bit - making a larger size because Sproggy's Grandmum knit him approximately 10 bajillion sweaters up to about 9 months old.  He'll be cold once he outgrows them all, so this one should come in handy.

Granted, that's only if I actually finish the darn thing.  I made a big mistake on the collar and now it's in the wip timeout corner until I'm willing to undo the whole bind off.

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Sneak Peaks
And this last one is just a hint at the colourwork sweater I mentioned in my last post!  I couldn't resist starting to swatch the colourwork section - though I suspect I've got the wrong needle size here.

SO MANY BROWN SWEATERS OMG.

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The final wip is, of course, me.  No pic right now though.  Though I think we're all wips - you never really finish you until you're dead!  But ah, I have my good days and bad days, but everyday gets higher up on the slope to doing better.  If today's progress was a little shallow, the steep incline that finding an apartment more than makes up for it.

Thank you again for your support.  I can't tell you how much it means to me.  <3

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

wip: A Lonely Shawl

wip: Lonely Tree Shawl
I started writing this blog post a few weeks ago, but things took a sad turn in my life soon after, and now the subject of this post has come to mean something else to me.

Back in January, I hosted a pop-up shop for Megan Samms, a textile artist out of Atlin, BC who weaves fabric and dyes yarn from Custom Woolen Mills (a wee mill in Alberta, Canada) using natural dyes.  Her stuff is just lovely, and I have all the yarn I need to knit this gorgeous colourwork sweater.  (Keep an eye out for more on this project - I'm desperate to start it.)

Custom Woolen Mills 1 Ply
I also bought a skein of her handdyed 1 ply yarn in this greenish-grey shade dyed from the South American Quebracho tree.  See, I've been itching to add a triangle shawl to my wardrobe, and while black would've been far more practical, I couldn't put this pretty yarn down.

I balled the yarn up (by hand because this yarn breaks like a mofo if you put too much pressure on it, hense vetoing my ball winder set up), and found the pattern I wanted.  But, I've been under a lot of stress lately, between the store, our busy schedules and no time to spend with the boyfriend, financial concerns, and some health issues that are rearing their heads of late.  A tiny spat that got blown out of proportion showed that the boyfriend and I were obviously bottling crap up and lead to a talk that evening.  I wanted us to work on drifting back together after so much time drifting apart.  He didn't want to try.

Custom Woolen Mills 1 Ply
So uh, I went into the talk expecting to making plans to work on our relationship, and basically left it homeless and alone.  More alone, I guess.  I was already near the breaking point, and this ratcheted my stress levels well beyond it.

But I've learned that I have an amazingly supportive group of friends here in the Yukon, and I'm so thankful for that.  I'm not good at reaching out for help when I need it, but they've all rallied and are giving me the support I so desperately need right now.  I don't have a home, but I'm not without places to stay.  I'm overwhelmed with the store, but they're covering shifts for me so I can pack up my stuff.  I'm so hurt and lonely, but they're pulling me out of my head and giving me strength.

wip: Lonely Treens Shawl
This is more personal than I ever wanted to get on this blog, but I need another outlet, a place where I can reach out without having to ask, a place where I can write down the good things, but still look at the hard bits without downplaying it to the friends who worry about me.  I'm going to be fine.  I'm a strong and independent woman and I've survived much worse.  This one just pulled the rug out from under me unexpectedly and it's going to take me more time to get my feet under me again, I think.

All of this leads back to my triangle shawl.  I started it a week and a half ago because I needed a more complicated project to keep my brain distracted and my hands busy, but nothing too complicated that I couldn't figure it out with the on-average 4 hours sleep/night I'd been getting.  And this shawl was the perfect project.

wip: Lonely Tree Shawl
It only recently occurred to me that the pattern name, the Lonely Tree Shawl, was probably somewhat apt.  It's become my coping project - the thing I pick up when I need to not think about stuff anymore.  Sad name and what it represents aside, it also doesn't escape my notice that, once finished, I'm going to have this lovely item that will literally hug me when I wear it.

And while the shawl will probably always represent a sad point in my life, I very much appreciate the symbolism here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

fo: Foxes and Fireweed - My First Handspun Project!

In November, a friend of mine taught a class at my shop.  Only one person had signed up and, despite having a list of things to do during the class approximately 1.6 km long, I abandoned it all to join the class.

What class was it, you ask?

First Handspun Project
A drop spindle yarn spinning class!  I had so much fun learning a new skill, and I got a bit obsessive with it.  I wound up spending extra time at the shop - long after I should've gone home, spinning away on my little drop spindle.

First Handspun Project
It didn't take long before I'd gotten the whole roving braid spun up into a single ply ball.  I'd considered plying it into a 2ply ball, but the yarn changed a lot from start to finish, from short colour changes, over-spun sections, and rapid extremes in yarn thickness, to long consistent colour lengths and generally more consistent yarn thickness (though I still had some really fat sections in it).

First Handspun Project
The yarn ranged from lace weight to super bulky everywhere - it was hilarious to knit up!  And yes, I knit it up immediately.  I wanted to spin some more, but I was itching to see how it knit up.

First Handspun Project
I decided on a simple cowl design and, pairing it with some Briggs and Little Lite n' Fancy in cream to ground the wackidoodle handspun, I knit a striped cowl with seed-stitch edges.  Here's the Ravelry project page, if you're curious. Folks, while my Northman Mittens are my absolute favourite knit of 2016, this cowl comes close to following it.  Probably because I'm seriously in love with my cooky handspun yarn and the lovely Briggs and Little yarn I paired it with.  I wear this thing almost daily - it's nice and warm on our freezing winter mornings, and the combination of yarns are super soft against even the most sensitive skin!  :D  SO DAMN PROUD OF MYSELF.

First Handspun Project
In case you're wondering, I named the yarn (and thus the cowl) Foxes and Fireweed because of the colours in the roving braid itself.  It was dyed by a local artist, and it just makes me think of foxes darting around a roadside teaming with fireweed on a sunny summer day.  Ridiculous imagery, maybe, but a common one here in the Yukon.  :)

First Handspun Project
Now that I'm finished with this project though, my fingers are itching to spin some more.  Though I'm taking another class tomorrow with this same instructor - this time on frame loom weaving - so it might be a while before I do so.

When was the last time you learned a truly new skill?  I feel like it's been yonks for me.