My Sewing and KnittAntics

Frenzied Sewing and Hand Knitting Antics jazzed along by Machine Knitting.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Phildar Rules( sometimes)

Phildar Automne Tendances #456 really rocks ,the first five designs are from the new book , and there are a few more I really like.Better still about 30% of the designs are suitable for machine knitting.

Okay so one need to remain patriotic , Rowan #40 finally hit the doormat.Better issue than the last two but not quite there.Still the same glitchy pattern format written by monkeys or as quoted on the web "written by ferrets".
Take Dew , sassy design last on second row , imagine lace&cable design repeat worked right to the edge without selvedge stitches.Rowan pretty please talk nicely to your continental pals (Phildar, Lana Grossa, GGH , Filati, Online etc) and ask how to write intuitive patterns.

Sewing up a truck load of wacky print rayon lycra tees/tops.Will post pictures soon


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Silver Reed HK160 Knitting Projects

A couple of fusion knitting projects from this summer( Fusion Knitting a term used to describe combined machine and hand knitting)

Salina from Rowan Vintage Style
Original done in Felted tweed
Sub yarn: Paton Washed Haze DK cotton acrylic yarn
MK on HK160
Moss stitch hem ,cuffs and lapel handknit
Purchased skirt.

Cardigan from OOP Jaeger DK book
Yarn: Queensland Cotolino( cotton linen blend) absolutely yummy yarn to wear.Light and drapey.Knitting this yarn by hand was a toughie akin to knitting parcel twine
MK on HK160 a 6mm plastic bed knitting machine with 18 stitch punchcard patterning.This is the flatbed version of the covet worthy MK70 KM .Ideal for those DK Dale of Norway type fairisle knits
Garter edging on hems picked up from provisional cast /border picked and hand knit

The machine knit portions were done in no time at all. Imagine knitting a pair of sleeves in under one hour*********fabby

I must do my little blog piece on me , my knitting machines and my views about the current state of machine knitting as a craft.

I am still oogling my recent haul of magazines, amid sewing up tees/skirts to bridge the seasons.
Not making any firm plans for autumn sewing and knitting yet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bumper Package of crafting goodies

A very big thank you and loads of cyberhugs to Tini for sending me the treasure trove of fabby sewing and knitting magazines.
and a tinsy winsycheer for deutsche poste and royal mail for not fluffing it the second time around( dont wanna know)

These make up for Blogger messing me about , tried a couple of days running to post and upload pictures.
Off to enjoy the haul.Still waiting for Rowan #40 and Vogue Knitting magazines ......................pssshhhhhhhhh and the next Phildar.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Swallowtail Shawl Interweave Knits Fall 2006

Swallowtail Shawl
Designer: Evelyn Clark
Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Shetland 2/8 wool( 250 metres/50gms)
Colour : Natural
Needles: Inox Bamboo 4mm
Weight: 100gms
Width span 163 cm( 64 inches)
Length 73 cm( 29 inches)

No pattern modifications at all. The nupps were a bit tricky for the first row ,imagine yanking 4ply yarn with a fine 0.6mm crochet hook.Had I carried on like that it would have made for painful knitting.
Found the P5tog was easier to do by knitting the nupps with slack ,the rest of the charts ala nupps went smoothly .It was the pesky yarn over after the P5tog that tortured me ( guess she always wanted to be the sixth strand..............silly)

Excellent pattern , fully charted , would make a great beginner lace knitting project.
Knitted within a week , despite my plans to just nibble along.
The finished dimension is just perfect for wearing with suits , compact and still has the scrunchability factor.

Monday, August 14, 2006

sshhhhh finished project

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Delicious Delights:Burda WOF Lingerie Patterns

When in between seasons or having project downtimel , I tend to sew or knit easy and fast items.
Like scarves, shawls or gloves and now delicious lingerie delights.
Last year I bought loads of end pieces , fabrics , lingerie findings from a major lingerie manufacturer's sample room , to make shapewear.There was a lot of soft stretch satin ( also known as mirror satin) in optic white but snags readily.Whilst it isnt decadent stretch silk satin/georgette/charmeuse indicated in the Burda patterns.( Clearly the designers haus Burda have no concept of cost) it will just have to do.

I have tried Kwik Sew knickers patterns in the past ............the results just too nasty to describe, I traced yet another KS pattern from the Sewing Lingerie book master patterns, with pretty similar results.It need so much to fix that buying RTW remains a more sensible option.
However n the last five or so years Burda WOF( there are bodysuits , swimwear and lingerie in my older Burda but they werent dug out for this exercise) has come out with lingerie ensemble pattern , so I pulled the last three issues with these patterns and traced off a trio.

A few sessions later , on my Husqvarna Orchidea

Burda 12/2005 #127 & #128
Burda 12/2004 #136

They all look and fit like high end RTW undies(unlike the KS old granny type ............)
The undergusset( cr..t..c..h) on any of them has no elastic making for more comfortable wear.

#136 the boyshort pattern is a major scoop , the pattern pieces are shaped as modified rectangles with a slit made in the centre front and back to attach the gusset like the keyhole sleeve placket.
The fit is exceptional , and although I dont wear trousers they can be modified to fit like brazilian hipster right up to high cut boyshorts.
The elastic is sewn and look unobtrusive making it a good choice for eliminating the dreaded VPL
Closest pattern to this style is the discontinued Jalie #2329 but much nicer.
Only minus is that although the elastic width and length is listed in the notions , one has to deduce the type and length for each component part.

Design modification:
Line gusset with cotton( not self fabric as pattern indicated)
Omit the lace top edging and use just lingerie elastic
Work in lightweight satin powerstretch for shape and control.
Tactel microfibre for no cling effect with close fitting garments.

The blue print one in the picture is the wretched KS one.
Need to locate some jacquard dye and make a few more in different colours


Project:Ecru Linen Jacket & Skirt

Ecru /Stone Linen Ensemble
Jacket Pattern: Burda 8905
Fitted unlined denim style jacket with centre back seam , yoke and forward shoulder seam.Two piece sleeve and chest pockets with tabs.
Skirt Pattern: Vogue DKNY #2895
Bias panelled flared skirt with side pockets,invisible back zipper closure and edgestitched and topstitched design trim
Knit Top Pattern: New Look #6149 view B
V neck knit top with two piece raglan sleeves
Design Mods/Commentary

The jacket came out better than I had thought .Forget the klutzy pictures , the fit is perfect ( okay so I forgot to decrease the extra in the waist from doing a FBA ) which I discovered after finishing , not an issue for a casual jacket.
My usual alterations were made( too boring to list and design needed a straight forward princess seam FBA).I omitted the pockets and tabs, left out the lower hip bands and extended the length by 3 inches.
The sleeves are really well drafted , unlike most unlined jackets/tops with one piece sleeve that feels sloppy.Sleeve head eased in effortlessly.
Burda Easy Sewing from circa 2004 has an almost identical jacket done in Felted wool in a neat deconstructed way.
The pattern unfortunately is OOP but Burda WOF has variations in back issues.
Excellent version of the Jeans Jacket that is less boxy and a more fitted sleek look
Interesting tidbits , whilst waiting for ******Blogger to upload the pictures , I surfed to check reviews on the said jacket .Different outcomes , confirms my views about reviews.

Used brass antique type buttons , dumped the idea of jean style poppa buttons , would have been too heavy

The skirt had been completed a couple of weeks ago.Great low rise waist style.Skirt sits about 3 inches below my waist .If one fluctuates in the weight/waist department , this style may not be a good choice, the risk of the waist sliding down to give the urban version of brickie's rear is high.
Left out the side pockets , fudged the side pocket section to the front skirt piece to maintain the style lines .I dont do curvy hips in bias skirt with pocket gaposis.( The best clue to an ill fitting skirt)
Loads of edgestitching and topstitching.Machine edgestitching foot was very handy.
Tried a few topstitching threads, but poor match for the fabric.Used matching thread with the triple straight stitch.
Top is done in print rayon lycra blend.This is one of the few patterns I have made almost very season since I bought it. Curvy fitted with a not too low V neck ( great style for the curvier/ and not so curvy lady)It is still in the books
Once tweaked and customised it is good to go.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

sssssshhhhhh.....New Knitting WIP


Monday, August 07, 2006

Stretch Lining for Louis Vuitton skirt?

I am on a roll making some early transeasonal skirts( going somewhere hot in September so cottons , linens are still on the menu)
Tha above skirt from Patrones #241 February 2006 calls for linen with lycra elasthane cut on the bias(?overkill) and has a lining to which the tulle fringe is attached.
Have cut out the pattern in black linen with lycra, on the straight grain as my fabric has the most stretch on that grain , no sausage effect thank you very much.

Lining options
I am sure the issue of lining material for stretch woven fabrics is oft topical , there are lots of views and opinions , my choices are based on 10 yrs of sewing suits/skirts in woven with lycra fabrics.
1. Acetate/Cupro elasthane blend.
The best option if one is able to locate it.Usually used by the high end RTW designer outfits
John Lewis plc Oxford Street/MaCulloch&Wallis have stocked it in the past.Cost around 7-8GBPounds/metre
Comes in limited colours( neutral) unless from a jobber.
Can be hand and machine washed as well as drycleaned , doesnt tolerate hot iron.I have used regularly for the last 8 years without any major mishap.
Softens with wear but doesnt shred or disintergrate
2.Polyester Elasthane.
I have no personal experience
3.Stretch Silk Satin/Charmeuse/Chiffon
Depending on the weight of the outer garment
Can be expensive but well worth it for a major project.Often able to source rayon or poly stretch fabrics as sub
4. Stretch Tricot
Hot , clingy and yucky???
5.Anti static stretch microfibre/ Tactel
Great if you can source it.Excellent choice also for body conscious knits
6.Regular( Acetate/Ambiance)lining cut slightly bigger
Swishy , uncomfortable and lining often disintegrate before skirt/trousers.May work for jackets.I have only tried this methods on skirts and wasnt happy at all.
7.Regular( Acetate/ Ambiance) lining cut on the bias.
Stumbled on this option a few yrs ago when I made a Donna Karan or DKNY Vogue pattern.(OOP pattern in loft , would pull out if requested)
The jacket was cut on the bias from wool garbadine and acetate twill lining also cut on that grain.Great jacket fit and comfortable to wear, as a result I have used this options repeatedly since.
Clearly if one used Ambiance /Bemberg lining , the costs may well escalate sharply

What is not an option by me is using regular woven lining as is.The argument often given is that garments made in woven lycra shouldnt be made too tight and have to use the stretch factor for ease and fit.
Woven lycra fabrics are best suited for close fitting ( not TIGHT) clothes.The stretch contributes nothing to the ease but make the garment more comfortable to wear .Like the fitted tapered skirt or the sheath dress , for the oh so yummy shimmy effect

Ok, what did I do ?I have got acetate/cupro lycra lining ( dwindling supply) but as the skirt is whimsical and may not get all that much wear I decided to use Ambiance lining cut on the bias.
Disclaimer: It came from a designer factory closing down sale , so cost me less than going out to buy twill/acetate lining.

I wonder what other sewers use?


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Project:Phildar Printemps Tendances #443 Style 33

Project Details
Pattern:Phildar Printemp Tendances 2006 Style 33
Veste cintree col tailleur( Tailored Jacket)
Yarn: Original Phildar Aviso 50% Coton 50% Acrylic
Substitute used: Online Linie Cora 50% Wool 50% Acrylic
Needles:Machine Knit on Brother Chunky Knitting Machine 9mm except front lower curved ribbing, which was hand knit at end with sz 5mm needles.

Knitted from original French instructions.
Since French Phildar( not the English lost in translation) are written in a modular way it is easy to change gauge and make design alterations.
The schematic also makes charting for the Knit Leader/Knit Radar easy.
Phildar patterns are also written for the Knitting machines , either standard gauge up to 5mm (QuicPhil or Mini Maille) or their Chunky 9mm( Big Phil or MaxiMaille).Some of the chunky knits work on Japanese Knitting machines with the ribber.
Matched the gauge , machine shortrow done at bust region to add to front waist length .The sleeves were shortened.
Crochet button loops and horn buttons used.

The lapel consist of 1x1 rib with a stitch being transformed and the rib reestablished each row.This is a great way of shaping shawl collars /lapels.Oft used by Kim Hargreaves in Rowan patterns and there are good explanations in the Vogue Knitting Book as well as Katherina Buss As per normal Phildar style , there were written instructions as well a fully annotated chart.Machine Knitter will realise I must be a newbie since the stitches have to be hand manipulated for every single row.So what if it was for about 50 rows? It was well worth the hassle , took an hour of concentration , but since the rest of the jacket took no more than 3 hours total knitting time.............there was no contest.
The jacket would have taken at least 3-4 weeks to hand knit

Great style , but since it was done in aran weight knitted to a tighter tension I felt it would be too warm for summer only , and would serve me better as a transeasonal garment hence the yarn sub( okay and the busload of Linie yarn in the closet.

Burda WOF August 2006 Crochet Bag Prototype

The bag muslin/prototype is done.
I wasn't planning to make the bag yet , just an enlarged swatch to understand the shell stitch pattern and get back to crochet .A few sessions later and a smaller version was made.

Yarn: King Cole Fashion Casual 50%Viscose 50% Acrylic
Crochet Hook: 4mm
Tension: ?????
Lining : Silk Linen Home Dec weight fabric
Findings: Fabric as above used for straps bands and strap covers.D rings, metal slides( saving my nice buckles for the next bag) and electrical cable for bag handle.

Easy project using just double crochet(US single crochet) for body piece and shell pattern for bag band.The resulting fabric is dense and quite substantial.
Since I didnt use the right yarn weight the bag is about 8cm narrower but the same finished height as quoted .As a result I didnt fold at lower sides to create the gusset and used only one instead of two tucks at top of bag piece.
The bag is lined to the level of the bag band seam.
Sewers online raised the point that there was yarn strain at the seamline on the Burda WOF photographed version.

The good news is that no sexy or clever fix is required.The original was probably seamed with a crochet hook.Using a tapestry needle and backstitch seaming give a secure and stable join.
The Burda instructions were excellent and complete , going carefully through the handle/buckle and loop construction.
I especially loved the use of electrical cable as a finding for the bag handle.Gives a more substantial feel to them than cording would.Please remember to cover the cut ends with masking electrical tape.
The bag handle straps were fluted.If using woven , best to cut them on the bias.
It was a little tricky sewing the tabs on strechy metchy crochet portion.I didnt want to place small tabs on the wrong side.An option for further renditions would be to line the bag band shy of the shell edging and that will enclose any reinforcing tabs.Would also enable use of magnetic snaps instead of sew on snaps if desired

I dont have bag making books and looked up two articles.
Taunton Threads Number 124.
May 2006.Unhelpful article which just listed various bag hardware and list of US suppliers.Great blown up pictures but no technical information on any group of hardware listed.So what???????I have issues with current Threads offering , but not here to whine.
Vogue Patterns Magazine June 2005.
Excellent synopsis on Handbags.Great for someone like me with bulging sewing bookcase and not sure about making loads of bags.Great pictures of the cording method for leather as in the Burda pattern.Also good and clear info on adding inner pockets, internal zipper and mobile phone holder.The magazine sold as Sewing Today featuring Vogue Patterns for UK/Europe.

I have started collecting all the bits for the first keeper bag( Incidentally the prototype has been stolen/napped by a younger niece)
Using a wool/cashmere /nylon aran weight yarn.Lining will be silk twill or some coveted Aquascutum spot proof lining.I need to locate some leather/pleather/ultrasuede for straps and handle ( Brick Lane beckons).But will hold off until September.
Great project that makes it easier to reproduce other designer crochet/knitted bags.
Next on my list is the Valentino Cable cashmere bag( when I can settle down to chart the cables)

Style Options:
Rowan/Elan Denim yarn with tan leather with topstitching
Denim type yarn with print /plain denim fabrics
Preferred choice of wool/cotton/metallic yarns
Ribbon Yarn/Leather Thonging( Marita we know you have expensive taste)
Nylon Crochet cord ( Sac bags)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Burda WOF Crochet Bag Project( Fauxgamo Bag)

I spied a bag when the Burda WOF /2006 went up and quickly put the crochet bag on my to do list
Original post

Then Marita K , fashiondivista (Fashionista/Diva) extraordinaire unearthed the above picture.Bag in the picture above is by Salvatore Ferragamo from a previous season.I have searched online for other images but lucked out , but that is no biggie as the Burda WOF bag has all the elements to make a homage version painlessly.
Got some el cheapo acrylic and viscose blend yarn and set to swatch .Knitting I am confident with my skills by with Crochet I am still a "baby hooker" so to speak.A little while later I had the bag main piece and the band done.Since my yarn was not doubled the width came out narrower but was able to compensate for length.This sample will be smaller
I will complete the bag and use as a prototype.Got some lining , metal findings , even electrical cable for straps, need some D rings and a quiet spell to decode the sewing portion of instructions Project Details
Designer Lined Crochet Bag
Pattern: Burda WOF August 2006 #138
Designer Homage:Salvatore Ferragamo Crochet bag circa 2004/2005
Original yarn: Junghans Harmonie
Notes: On completion