If boys had uteruses, they would be called duderuses.

I’ve been whinging for awhile about my lack of mojo for all thingy crafty, haven’t I? Well, luckily I got a Joann’s flyer chock-full of coupons a couple of weeks ago and decided to buy some patterns and some fabric with my graduation money. I bought 5 patterns, but the one I started with is Simplicity 1878 from the Lisette Line- the Diplomat Dress. I made a short-sleeved version with a length between views B and C.

So- here’s my issue (and please tell me if I’m just being totally mental.) I looked at the outside of the pattern envelope, and there were a certain set of measurements per size listed. On the INSIDE, however, on the actual pattern, there was a TOTALLY DIFFERENT set. So, for size ten, one measurement said it was 38-ish inches, with 3 or 4 inches of ease. I read that as “38 inches +4 inches = 42 inches” . This proved not to be the case, as I discovered to my displeasure when I was sewing up the dress. Question- was this unnecessarily confusing, or am I just completely mental? I found the differences very hard to understand.

As I’d cut a straight size 10 (which I should’ve known would be too small, considering that’s what a someone I follow on Pattern Review cut if I remember correctly, and she looks TINY- not naming her in case she doesn’t want people knowing her size). Rather than throw an epic fit, which is my wont, I simply added a 4 inch strip to each side of the dress, going from the outer edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the dress. Voila, the dress fit! Woot! There were a few more seams, obvs, so the garment is a little “busier” than it would otherwise have been, but I don’t mind.

005It was freaking BRIGHT outside! Thanks to the Hubs for playing Mario Testino for me. I found this cotton sateen as I was trolling the clearance section (50% off red tag, woot!) and I just snapped up three yards of it. Good thing too, since I needed to add those lengthy strips!

011Superwoman pose, wooot! I’m really, really, really happy with this dress. It’s SO comfortable, and I think it’s really cute.

009I was even able to omit the zip in the back (HOLLER) since I added in the strips on the sides. YESSSSSS.

010Here you can see where I added the strips to the sides- I don’t think it looks so bad, and since it means the dress fits, I will TAKE IT. The only “issue” (and it isn’t one, really.) is that sometimes if I lift my arms up, the dress hikes up a little bit over my bumper and hangs out there. This is ridiculous, since my butt is FLAT. Or is it? Have those stairs on my walks/runs everyday finally been giving me a butt with some kind of shape? I’ll check and let you know.

I made this dress over a couple of days whilst my Hubs was fixing his brakes (at his parents’ house, since they have a garage and tools, and we do not. Ugh, apartment living!) My MIL kindly gifted me with this sexy beast. ZOMG.

003MY VERY OWN SERGER, Y’ALLS! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! It’s her old one- she’s got a Pfaff that she uses now, so she’s letting me have/borrow (not sure, but don’t care!) her Riccar R734. I almost lost bladder control. I hugged it immediately. I’ve never serged before this dress, and now I want to serge everything in sight. (I actually used her Pfaff for this dress, but am using Rickie on another. Her name is Rickie.)

012Tidy insides, yay! I’m still working on the confidence to get up-close-and-personal with my actual seam line, but for now, I’m just pleased to have fancy, clean edges.

You see the dark line near the top of the center seam? Yeah, I forgot to put the foot down. Whoops.

015013I also forgot to finish the bottom of the neck facing- meh. I haven’t done the inside of the sleeves yet- not sure what to do there. I’m afraid that if I zip it through the serger, it’ll get bunched up and cut the dress and I’ll be MUY UPSET. So I may just pink the edges at some point.

I’m going to try this Pattern Review Template (with some additions of my own) to help me remember bits and pieces about doing this dress. Copied and pasted from PR:

Pattern Description:
Diplomat Dress- shift style

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a 10- should NOT have done that. Need a 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Sure did, except for the strips on the sides.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, thankfully. I liked that it pointed out specific times to finish the seams- otherwise I never know when to do it!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Not too mentally taxing, lots of fun to wear!

Fabric Used:
cotton sateen

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
4 inch strips down the side to make it fit; length is between the B and C lengths.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely to both! I’ve already started another version!

New Techniques Learned/Attempted:

  • Understitching
  • Serging
  • Using facings
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Keeping my temper

Epic Meltdowns: ZERO!!! Mark it on the calendars, people.

007

I LOVE THIS DRESS SO MUCH!

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I’m hungry for blood, and also candy.

Woot woot! I finally graduated last Friday! The proof can be seen below, in my ridiculous regalia.

farquaadLord Farquaad himself couldn’t ask for a more velvety hat. It was quite silly.

Underneath all this nonsense I DID finally get to wear the dress I’d been working on for so long! It’s Simplicity’s 2588, the version that is sleevless, uses a neckband, and has the flared skirt.

Y’all, it did NOT go altogether smoothly (as noted from my zipper misadventures.) I still think I’m going to go back and re-do the zipper, but I left it as my MIL finished it, so that it was at least wearable. I learned a bit about fitting with this project- namely, that I don’t know how to do it. I made a muslin and everything, and I still had to take in some bits at the sides and upper-bust. The neckband is also a little too large. If I were to make it again, I’d make a smaller size of neckband and  bust, and grade out to the waist (assuming I can figure out how to do that- I think one uses a french curve for that?) The pleats don’t make the perfect “V” where they’re supposed to meet in the front, but I don’t mind. I think it looks fine, and uh…unique!

I just re-took my measurements right this minute, and I’m a 34 Bust, 30.5 waist (ish- My waist is a little hard to find because I’m kind of straight-up-and-down) and about 38 hips. I think. If I measured them in the right place. I feel like I don’t have that classical hourglass figure that’s marked on the backs of all the pattern envelopes, so picking the right size is a little tricky for me. I’m sure it is for everyone though; I mean, how many of us really have the exact shape on the envelope?

MegansGraduation 190Here I am outside my school; it was in the 50s (F) so I didn’t hang out long. I’m hoping to get better, close-up photos after I re-do the zipper. The wind and drizzle-y weather did a number on my sponge-rolled hair, too. Grumble!

The Hubs picked out the fabric for this, and I’m SO happy with it. It’s a lawn or poplin (can’t remember) Lisette fabric from Joann’s. So lovely. Wrinkles like crazy, but it’s alright- it’s a little harder to see with all the swirly colors. I totes wore my leopard print heels. In retrospect, not a comfortable choice by a LONG shot, but I loved how they looked.

MegansGraduation 185I clearly need to work on my posing for photos- my right arm just hangs there as if I’d had a stroke. Nice. But I needed a wider view so you could see the pretty flowers!

Other than this dress, I haven’t done squat lately. My mojo is just GONE. I cut out a muslin Sorbetto a few days ago, but I haven’t sewn it up yet. The Hubs and I are still house-hunting, I’ve started packing (mostly stuff we don’t use) but the apartment is full of tote bins. I’m in kind of a grumpy place mentally and I just can’t get off my duff to even re-thread my machine. It’s very grumbly-making, because I’ve FINALLY got the time, but not the will.

How do you guys restore your crafty mojo?

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It’s like a party in my mouth, and everyone’s throwing up.

Hiiiiiii everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!)

This last weekend was a good friend’s wedding, as I mentioned in my last post. I made a flowery-fascinator-thing. It seemed appropriate since it’s FINALLY acting like spring. I just used a couple of purple flowers I picked out at Joann’s, some felt for the base, and a barrette with grippies on the clip (for my fine, slippery hair.) Here’s how it turned out.

006 008I was really happy with how it turned out. It was easy as hell to put together- I used hot glue and it only took about 20 minutes. I used these tutorials for some ideas on how to put it together. I didn’t use any feathers because I was going for a more garden, spring-like thing, I guess.

009Please ignore the state of our apartment- we’re house-hunting, and I’ve basically given up the ghost on trying to keep this place organized.

010I got a few compliments on my fascinator, which is always nice when people don’t know in advance that it’s me-made. 🙂 On the bargain-hunting side of things (and I know many of my readers are thrifty shoppers!)- this dress is one my MIL bought on clearance but didn’t like, so it went to me. Woot! It’s by HHHHennifer Lopeth (South Park again, anyone? Bueller?) and looks good with purple fleurs.

I’ve been (slowly, per usual) working on the dress in little fits and starts.  I sewed down the lining of the bodice, and now I just have to hem in order to wear it. I’ll be doing that soon since I’ve only got 9 days till graduation, eek! I’m hoping my MIL will teach me to use her serger so I can do the seams- I’ve never done it and I’d like to learn.

How are YOUR projects going? Or are you spending lots of lovely time outside (for northern hemisphere folks) now that it’s finally nice outside?

Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 7

Finaly post of Knit and Crochet Blog Week! It’s been fun (though a bit harder to fit into my suddenly-busy househunting schedule that I’d originally thought) and gotten me really to think about my knitting in ways I haven’t done before. Thanks to EskimimiMakes for putting such a lot of work into this event!

4kcbwday7 Looking Forward One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

I kind of had to have a think on this one, as normally I just decide on the fly what my next project/s will be.

Item the First: I’d like to make a cardigan using a steek. It’s something I’ve never tried, but Tasha of ByGumByGolly.com uses them for her fair isle cardigans, and her work is just lovely. Did you click that link? Can you even BELIEVE how amazeballs that is?

Item the Second: I’d like to knit socks. I’ve never tried it, in large part because you have to use insanely tiny needles to do it. Another part is that I’ve got these giant monster feet, and I don’t want to put effort into a sock that I can’t wear. BUT Bek does a magic loop, two at a time, toe up thingy that I’m willing to learn, so that would hopefully compensate for being BigFoot. I’ll just have to find some tutorials or books.

Conference knitting

Conference knitting (Photo credit: looseends)

Item the Third: I want to learn to spin my own wool.  I have a cousin who does it using a hand-spinner, and I’ve seen bloggers who use a wheel. No idea which way I’ll go, but I think it’d be a really fun thing to learn- make the yarn, then knit it up! The only way it’d be better would be if I had my own sheep to shear- but yeah. No.

Have you tried spinning? Which method?

Raffle Spinning Wheel

Raffle Spinning Wheel (Photo credit: polyartgirl)

Candy Cane Yarn : First attempt at hand spinning

Candy Cane Yarn : First attempt at hand spinning (Photo credit: Andrea Black (Lacuna))

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to get these accomplished, but if not, I’m not going to worry about it. It’s supposed to be a FUN hobby and if I get stressed out, what’s the point?

 

 

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Knit and Crochet Blog Week, Day 6

Well, once again I’m a bit late. The Hubs and I were looking at houses yesterday, then we ran some errands and went out to eat, and then I felt really nauseous for several hours (which was awesome.) So I fell asleep early and didn’t do Day 6. Whoops.

4KCBWDAY6 – A Tool To Covet Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed using my Knit Counter Lite app on my Miette cardigan.

knit counter01It’s available on iTunes, and it’s FREE. It only tracks one project at a time (it’s the lite version), but I’m usually only knitting one thing at a time so that’s fine. The regular version (which tracks multiple projects) is $3.99. I may buy it at some point, but I’m good with this for now.

It’s a pretty simple thing, but I really like it. I don’t have to worry about the numbers getting all janked up on me in my knitting bag, which has happened before with a regular stitch counter. I also prefer to have fewer doo-dads hanging off my projects, so this works pretty well! Plus, it makes me feel like my knitting is all high-tech and fancy- FUTURE SPACE KNITTING.

What are your favorite tools for yarn-work?

Knit and Crochet Blog Week- Day 5

Day 5- something a little different for blogging. I’d have liked to try a podcast or a video, but…

no timePlus, you don’t want to hear my voice. I have allergies and it’s pretty nasal! So in lieu of videos, I give you haiku.

1)

Oh House Manatee

Therein Dwells My Spirit Beast

Let’s Craft Together

2)

Trying to Knit Well

Can Really Drive Me Crazy

Time to Have a Drink

3)

Ravelry, You Jerk.

So Many Patterns to Choose

So Little Time. Gr.

4)

Scratchy Acrylic

Why Are You So Damn Cheap, Yet

So Flippin’ Fugly.

I could go on for days, but Hey, it’s Friday. Time for a glass of vino! 😀

Knit and Crochet Blog Week Day 4- Color Review

Colour Review: What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

Well, I don’t have an awful lot of completed projects (at least, not on ravelry.) I’ve made my fair share of scarves and hats. Thinking back on them, I seem to be drawn to bold colors (that aren’t necessarily flattering to my skin tone, eeps!) When looking for yarns, I love mustard yellow, raspberry, teal/peacock, and deep blues and purples.

Peacock

Peacock (Photo credit: stewartmorris)

English: Raspberry

English: Raspberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to say that I’m drawn to colors from nature, but I’m not that deep. They’re just pretty.
Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?
_01
When I look at what I’ve got on ravelry, I don’t seem to be all too far off. I’ve also made scarf/hat sets (wayyyyy pre-ravelry) in bold, variegated colors. Looking at my stash, I seem to have quite a rainbow of crappy acrylic- mostly bold and bright, some more muted and calming.
Now think back to your house animal – do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway – if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?
Nope- I seem to just like bright and bold colors for certain projects. Hard to see much relation to the schlumpy gray of a manatee with some of my project colors! But I do have some gray acrylic pleading to be made into little amigurumi manatees…
Do you find that your House reflects the colors you choose?
p.s. Big Ups to CGCoutoure for recommending Picasa for photo editing. It’s super sweet!