Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Knit Sweaters for Penguins

Penguins in New Zealand need sweaters while they recover from the oil spill!  It prevents them from preening the toxic oil off of their feathers.  Plus, really, could they be any cuter?

Penguin Jumper in 8ply  - Must be 100% Wool Yarn1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.K1, P1 to end of row. Repeat this row 7 times.  Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)
Continue until work measures 15 cms.
Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
Leave on needle.
Make second side the same.
Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.
Cast off.
Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed). Flat elastic OK.
Send to:

PO Box 3123, Onekawa, Napier, New Zealand
5 Husheer Place, Onekawa, Napier,
P  06  843 3174       F  06  843 3090   M 021 899 396  or
Skeinz - Knit for Penguins

Shawl Collared Vest continued - R

Why is it that you cut material out of the same pattern piece and they are radically different? Because one is slippery stuff and the other isn't, that's why.  So the slippery stuff (stretch polyester charmeuse) ended up shorter in length by at least an inch, so I added a strip at the bottom.  This came out so backwards that I'm just going to hand stitch a lot of the finishing work (you can finagle a lot more with hand stitching than you can with machine stitching) but I had to press it first to get an idea of just where I needed to add material. I stitched the armholes to check and it looks good. The back needs better pressing.  I can't get a tailor's ham in there to press open the seam properly so I'll be looking for some wooden thing to put in there to help press it.  I'm going to tack the lining to the interlining on the inside, then fold the top collar into the facing, thus hand rolling the collar.  Then I'll top-stitch all around by machine.
I'd kept the downstairs setup from our sewing bee.  I actually like working in this enlarged space rather than in my cramped office, but the stuff has to go upstairs today because of a dinner party on Saturday. Waaah!  I liked my little factory.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Shawl Collared Vest - R

Someone slap me when I think "I can whip this out in a day" again. I struggled with the welt pocket with flap and finally ditched the pattern instructions and did my own thing.  I didn't like the lining showing, it wasn't a true welt pocket and I had to make a top flap instead of a bottom flap to cover my mistakes, but here's where it's at so far.   Seems we had a discussion about this....and yes, I am refering to not waiting to start in case it's more difficult than you expect.....

I'm having a bit of a problem melding the two materials together because I bought STRETCH charmeuse instead of regular charmeuse.  I'm making it work.  I also bought a new sewing machine.  My old one had been acting up during  this entire process and needs to go into the shop, but with all the sewing I've got on my plate, I didn't want to give it up for a week.  Besides, I never really liked the way it "plain 'ole sewed" as opposed to the embroidery functions.  It really was designed more for embroidery and less for sewing.  Lisa found me a Janome Magnolia 7318 on sale on Amazon and I bit.  It was delivered on Saturday and I'm in love with it already. Now I'll be able to babysit the embroidery machine while I sew something else. Or have a different color of thread in each machine.  Or two different needles, or.......

The shawl collar came together pretty well.  I only put it on upside down once and caught that before I stitched.  What is with me lately, putting things on backwards or upside down?  It's as if I can't recognize geometry in space anymore.  Weird.

We found a shirt for Roger at a "vintage" store in Berkeley, got it home, washed it, then found a tear in it.  The vest will cover it and I'll put some fabric glue on it.  The cuffs are French, which isn't period, but I don't have time to make him a period correct shirt right now. It is slightly large on him, which I like.

So, here's where I stand: Waiting for dye for bonnet ribbon, working on vest, cutting out Frock Coat this week and taking the machine in to be fixed and maybe finish the corset?. Oh, yeah, and get some exercise in, while I'm at it.  No problem!

I couldn't resist playing with Esmerelda as she stood in the living room.  All the decoration is just pinned on as a first draft of how she could end up.

My daughter's dress - Lisa

We are not done yet, but we're close!  Our due date has been moved up since she plans to wear the dress to various Halloween events. Here's a rough idea of the finished outfit.  She needs to add the buttons in front and finish and trim the sleeves, bottom of the bodice and the bustle and apron.

I'm really pleased with my first experiment working without a complete pattern.  The bodice used parts of two patterns, the bustle part pattern, part me, and the apron was all me.  It has been a great learning experience. 

In addition, recall that I had to accommodate flute playing!  There are gussets in the armscye, a zipper in front (covered by buttons) and the bustle and apron are separate from the bodice so she wouldn't have the additional weight when she
lifted her arms to play.  And just for fun, here is the picture she sent me as guidance, and here she is.  Again, her outfit is still not complete, but the silhouette is awfully close.

Completely separate from my personal costuming, my son participated in our local haunted house where the theme was (again this year) Pirates!

He brought home a red velvet woman's jacket as part of his costume (no, he didn't know it was a woman's jacket) and a tricorn hat.  He wasn't excited about having a great costume, but his choices were limited.  I made some non-permanent alterations adding black cuffs, a placket in the back, and some shiny gold trim.  He liked the results, and ended up sharing the jacket with friends because it was just that cool.

Sharing his jacket with his pirate friend