My Sewing and KnittAntics

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

Monday, October 30, 2006

FO: Echarpe Coquille Phildar #440 Accessoires

Project : Crochet Scarf

Pattern: Phildar #440 Special Accessoires Hiver 05/06

Design: #24 Echarpe Coquille

Yarn: Lang Mille Colori Shade 051 100gms

Needle: Crochet Hook 5mm

Instructions: French , well defined patterns , no charts

Mods& Details
None.Substituted self striping yarn for Frimas
26 shell instead of 36 was obtained with the two balls
Measures 150 cm by 15cm span( original was 190cm by 15cm)
I made a scarf last winter in the original yarn , but found was a bit too long to wrap round neck tastefully.
Great use of self striping single ply yarn
Superfast project for an advanced beginner like moi


Sunday, October 29, 2006

No real progress ( again)

Real life has been tough the past week or so.
And the little matter of some"JuJu" with the sewing machine area( An impermeable invisible barrier)
The Calvin Klein VP raincoat was a sliver away from being trashed.

The parts for Phildar cardi are knitted.Just the fun bits where one knits a zillion rows of ribbing and finishing.At least I'm wanting to get to the covered crochet buttons.

Yummy/Scrummy Yarns?

With gifts boxes and stocking fillers to think about , pulled out some yarn to make accessories.Scarves, mitts, totes , bags, phone cases etc.
I expect I will have to get a knitting machine( even if only the plastic hobby one) to help zip along.

The new Phildar Accessoires book # 461 is out and currently indisponsible( aka sold out on the french site).The book has a great selection of patterns this year.

Hope to get back to speed ASAP.

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Flash: Mighty Chuffed

Just a quick newsflash.

My brother ( the first of my three brothers) was on the blower to me.
He is being featured on telly , in Toronto Canada.A professional profile airing for about a week.
He was very modest protesting it was only on public tv and didnt expect lots of hits.
The day after airing commenced he was promptly recognised in the shops.
Lots of nudging at the school gates too.

I am mighty chuffed.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sewing Progress , New Knitting on needles

New Knitting project underway
Phildar Tendances Hiver # 460 Pattern 12
Yarn: Rowan All Season Cotton as sub for Phildar Quietude.
Love the vintage styling and oversize crochet covered buttons.

A few evenings later, the back is done and front already on needles.Wonder if progress will be sustained?

Vogue Raincoat is stalled.The outer garment is done as is the lining.Welt pockets ( despite having fits) also in place.
The collar and collar band unit is sewn and trimmed and graded.
Need to baste the collar unit and attach the lining.
Then one pass buttonholes, as fabric wont tolerate any ripping.
How difficult is that?????


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

UpClose : Lace Trenchcoat from Burberry

Finally able to find time to post about details as noted on the lace trenchcoat.

First the hype:
I was only able to track down the coat at the New Bond St shop.M'am that collection is so exclusive it is only available there I was told at the Regent Street branch. ( and net.a.porter I mumbled)
Coat is apparently completely sold out, and thiry names on the waiting list .Drat , after all that trudging down NBS narrowly missing going into designer shops.
Okay so there was the model in the shop window..............................was I going to be able to pretend I was the window display artist doing a touch up.I dont think so.
Magically another coat appeared , apparently on hold for a lady( lucky her)

Antique lace .Soft matte finish scallop edged lace.The coat I examined was the pearl , but there were other pieces from the collection in the black lace.
Fiber content: 60% cotton , 20%rayon, 20% polyamide
Lining: Buff Knit jersey 65% Acetate 35% Polyamide.
This had the hand of fine single knit silk jersey

Design and Construction Notes
Double breasted slimline coat.
Fully lined with knit jersey
Front and back princess seams
Diagonal welt pockets
Three piece raglan sleeves
Sleeve vents with five button closure
Round collar with collar band
Brass hook and bar fastening on collar band
Self covered fabric belt and pearl buckle.
Bone logoed buttons in black
Back short shield
Scalloped egde on front closure ,coat hem, collar and cuffs
Chain coat hanger

As the coat was not in my size , and I didnt come pretending to be the alterations lady( wrist pincushion, tape round neck and clippers stuck in my hair) I just blagged it by asking to lpeek inside at the construction details.
The majaor seams were flat felled.The main lace handled separate from the the lining.
The side seams had the lace and knit sewn together , pressed open and hongkong seamed with satin.
No interfacing was discernable, perhaps same colour tulle or organza was used
( it was bad enuff to poke and prod the coat , guess it would have been taking the piss to ask for a seam ripper to navigate any deeper?? yes)
The front facing was a thicker version of the buff knit jersey( or two layers bonded for home sewists)
Clever construction for the lace edges .The raw edges were rolled and sewn out of sight .The outer lace collar was sewn as an applique type effect.
Clean finished all round.
The upper end of the diagonal welt was on top of the princess seam( not recommended to copy at home.Think how many layers of fabric to sew through)

Pattern Possibilities
Burda WOF 8/2006 # 111 Line drawing above was the closest.
Needs collar redraft, welt pockets, back shield and a three piece raglan sleeve with vent conversion.
Vogue #2449 OOP
Great trenchcoat to have in collection
Simplicity for Threads # 4084
Patrones January 2006 has Burberry Prosrum trenchcoat pattern
Burda WOF has in many a back issue trenchcoat patterns offering some of the features noted above.

Why bother?
I have always looked at original garments.Started when Vogue Patterns had original design from collection in season.Great way to learn about fabrics, design to fabric marriage , clever and often subtle designer details, and upgrade somewhat humdrum pattern instructions.

It is educational , takes one beyond what is possibly offered in the current sewing journals.
From this coat
1.I need to find out how to draft a three piece raglan sleeve.
2.I need to read on Sewing with lace, and try and work out the inner construction
( Threads magazine #88 # 124, the fabric sewing guides, Bridal couture et al)
3. Dealing with scallop edges

Actually usually because I felt like.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

FO: Ene Scarf from Scarf Style

Pattern: Ene Scarf

Source: Interweave Press Scarf Style book

Yarn: Coned 2/20( finer than 2ply lace weight) Cashmere , Mohair & Nylon blend.

Needles: Circular Addi 4 mm

Original details
It was a relatively quick knit.Completed the scarf/shawl in two or so weeks but then got caught up with stuff .

Double yarn cast on with 375 stitches.Both sides of the central spine and garter edge was knitted at the same time.The stitches quickly tumbled down with the decreases in the various charts.
Great pattern with well annotated charts.
Great Intermediate lace project.
Would I knit again? Probably if there are thirty or so hours in the day

More pictures of project in progress here

There is a french Knitalong with great( IMHO stunning finished versions)
Ene Ensemble


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Spooks: Series 5 Episode 5 YIKES

BBC Spooks ( also known as MI5)
Possibly one of the best TV Drama series.
Just finished watching the current series 5 episode 5 from last night.

Yikes , Double Yikes, and then Triple Yikes.

Wont/cant say more least I spoil it for the BBC America viewers or friends from Europe.

Phildar Website English Version

Knit in English? or
Knit in French?
( there are great designs in all the books , just being silly)

Phildar website now has English version.
Spent a lil time navigating this morning and my observations are:
Great for non French speaking knitters, now able to navigate site with ease.
The Knitting Tips section is especially good .Phildar often uses slightly different techniques as opposed to UK/USA knitting instructions and they create a more RTW look to the knits .
They are traditionally in the pattern section of the books.Now online with great illustrations.

Great yarn catalogue with fiber content , metrage and tension swatches.

There is a metric to imperial needles and hooks conversion

There are only a few of the pattern books translated to English .This A/W four books so far out of the nine seasonal offerings.

The English version books cost twice as much as the French.

I have some older Phildar books with English pattern sections or English translation inserts and they are wide off the mark.
The best features and strength of Phildar French patterns were lost

The modular pattern instructions.
The shaping (decreases/increases) are altered.I dont want anyone to write out total number of stitches row by row for me.Just give me the Japanese type format please.
Cable stitch patterns reduced to gibberish ( what is Tw 4F?????)

The instructions for machine knitting appropriate designs were omitted.
I have learnt a lot about MK full fashioned shaping from Phildar patterns
Lace/Fairisle/Intarsia instructions for MK also absent.

Would be interested to know what the newer English version pattern books are like.But not by buying one in a hurry.

I will continue to knit in French , Dutch, German, Japanese

Parlez vous francais?


Monday, October 09, 2006

Sewing and Knitting AWOL

Every member of my family here in London with me for few weeks now.
We are usually separated by three continents and seven cities.
No real sewing /knitting chez moi and no aplologies offered.

Normal blogging should resume soon( like this week)

Phildar France parlez Anglais
English content website offering some translated pattern books.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Septembr Crafting Slump??

September went with very little crafting done.

I have finished the shaded squares bag sans lining.
Ene scarf is still in a crumbled heap waiting to be block.
Fabrics and notions enhancement.
Two knitting books .RYC and Debbie Bliss
Fabrics and notions enhancement.

Am I bothered??? Of course not.I have a whimsical attitude to my sewing , knitting etc.

I have snoop shopped the burberry lace trenchcoat .When you go with a brother who had just dropped a few thousand pounds ala Burberry , one suddenly finds the retail assistants very pliant.
Will write about this week from notes/illustrations scribbled in the exit taxi.
Have a great week