September 14, 2011

The Frankenblouse, and other craftiness

Well, here we are--the big 600! I wanted to wait to post it until I actually had a finished project to show. And since I've been working on other stuff in the meantime, this one's going to be a bit pic-heavy. Also, just as a reminder, there's still time to enter my 5-year/600 post giveaway, which is open through Monday! And now, on with the show...

This is the blouse I finished today (about half an hour ago, to be precise.) It has the distinction of being on both my Summer and my Fall Essentials Sew-Along lists, and was kind of a transition between the two. It was also a mash-up between two patterns and my own improvisation. And, well, like the literary monster it's named for, the results are a bit less than pretty. I'm hoping it looks less lopsided on me than it does on Donna! But I did have some issues with this, probably due to the pattern merges I made.

Namely that it ended up huge on me. I had to chop this much off of the sides just to get it anywhere remotely close to fitting! And it still doesn't quite have the look I was hoping for. So this probably would have worked better if I'd worked with two patterns from the same company. Or maybe a more fitted lower half. Oh live and learn.

I'm not entirely convinced about the back either, due to the two lines from the stitched-down pleat. But it'll probably work better when I'm wearing it, because unlike Donna, I'm not blue-skinned.

And there are details I like. Like the button closure, which was the detail from the original RTW blouse that inspired me to do this. It could be a bit neater, and probably would be with skinnier button loops, but it seems like it'll hold the front closed pretty well.

I'm also pleased with the sleeve, which is pretty much straight off of the New Look pattern. Except I cut the band/tie longer so I could actually make a bow out of it, since I'd learned before that it's not long enough to do so otherwise.

So I wouldn't say this is a complete failure, and I'm still planning on wearing it. And it did bust a piece of stash fabric that I've had for well over five years, so that's certainly a good thing.

(While I'm at it, the update on that: I added in about 4 yards for the raincoat fabric, and it probably should have been a bit more for the things I got for the Vogue dress. But since I'm planning on using those up next, I didn't bother to add them in. I did completely use up this metallic stripey fabric, so that leaves me at about 253.5 yards, down from 275 at the beginning of the year. Only about 150 yards to go to reach my target....this is going to take awhile!)

It hasn't been all sewing around here by a long shot. I whipped up a quick necklace last Saturday:
Super-easy, since all I had to do was put a clasp on it, and link the pendant to the pre-made chain.

I just couldn't resist this pendant when I saw it on a more recent Joann's shopping trip, because it's my favorite painting by my favorite artist. There were actually two pendants in the pack, the other one being a small circular one with the moon from this same painting. But I gave that to my sister-in-law (who also loves Van Gogh and this painting in particular), so no picture of that.

And I've been doing a good bit of knitting, too. Back on Labor Day, I finished this:
It's the first of the cable slipper pattern that I found. I had to leave a bigger foot opening than it called for (I was literally sewing it shut while it was on my foot, and well, my feet are wide so I couldn't take it as far), so hopefully they'll stay on all right.

I think the cables turned out really nicely, though, and this really was a perfect beginner cable project.

Though the second one is started, I haven't worked on it since Labor Day, though. Mainly because I'm getting sidetracked....

I finished the first of my two swatches for the Newbie and the Knitter knitalong. As it turns out, since I knit rather tightly, I had to take this up a full two needle sizes from what the pattern called for! This is the pre-blocked swatch...

And here's the post-blocked one. This is going to be a much more open knit than I thought, so I think this one will be another one I'm going to have to wear camisoles under! But it does knit up lovely, very soft and drapey. And the alpaca isn't causing me any allergy-esque trouble except for a slight tingling in my hands when I've been working with it for awhile straight. Since I won't be handling it that long when I'm actually wearing it, I think this means I'll be ok.

I also went ahead and started the hat I want to make for the fall, because the yarn was just demanding to be played with. I have to say, I love this yarn so far--it's a dream to work with on the bamboo needles, with no splitting or shedding. Hands-down the nicest 100% cotton yarn I've worked with so far. (Probably because it's also the most expensive 100% cotton yarn I've worked with so far.) And the color scheme makes me think of a sunset--it's been fun to see how the colors change and blend together as it goes. I've gotten about 2" done so far, and need to knit another 3" of the rib before I get into the main pattern of the hat.


  1. I just found this blog...and, I am so impressed by all of your different skills. Wow...keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing!

  2. From what I can see the blouse looks great, I love the fabric. But I know how it is when you're not happy with something, it becomes all you notice.

    I hope you'll get a lot of wear out of your blouse!

  3. The blouse is really pretty, especially with all the intricate details.

    And what a fun necklace!

  4. I just adore those pretty button loops and the tied sleeve closure is really lovely!

  5. The slippers are really cute, and I love the yarn you're using for the hat!

  6. Wow, you've been busy! I love the bow sleeves on your blouse and the green yarn is so pretty! I'm also in love with your new necklace. Starry Night is a great painting!


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