I recently finished knitting this brown wool vest. The pattern, called Splitstone by designer Alicia Plummer. is available on Ravelry. I used Rowan’s pure worsted wool made in England that I purchased at Fibre Space – a Yarn Universe in Alexandria, Virginia. If you haven’t been to this wonderful indie store yet, you need to make a trip. It is just a short Metro trip from Washington DC or any of the surrounding area if you are visiting. If you are a knitter, you will find yourself in paradise at Fibre Space!
This vest is knit bottom-to-top in the round. I used US 6, 29″ needles for the ribbing and US 7, 29″ needles for the body, to obtain the 20 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches gauge. The torso is shaped starting where the bottom ribbing ends.
After I was finished knitting, I washed and blocked my vest. I purchased these blocking mats and pins at Fibre Space.
What I love about this vest is that it is a fitted pattern, knit to fit my curves and it extends to my hips. It fits me so well, it adds just the right amount of warmth for a cool autumn day or evening. The deep chocolate brown goes with so many pieces in my fall wardrobe. It matches my favorite food, chocolate, perfectly. So I do not have to worry about staining my new vest. Of course, if any food gets on my wool vest, I wash it immediately with Soak wash. This is the best rinse-free laundry soap for delicate items, like woolens and lingerie. I buy Soak at Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia.
I wore this vest often as an extra layer during windy days in Provence. I love it over the bodysuits I’ve been sewing using Madalynne’s bodysuit, Simplicity 8435. More about these in an upcoming post. Here I am in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in my natural habitat, which is…you guessed it, eating and drinking chocolate in a tea salon.
And now it is lunchtime in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. If it wasn’t for my husband, you would find me at a patisserie or boulangerie indulging in another round of sweets, but instead we are eating pates au saumon fume, which I also love. Apparently, per my husband, the four food groups are not cake, candy, ice cream and cookies.
Yes, another dessert… mousse au chocolat…this matches my vest!
The courtyard of the stone house, Les Deux Cypres, in Sanilhac, near Uzes.
From the back.
As always, thank you for visiting my blog! Merci et au revoir!
Bonjour from southern France! I just finished sewing this tailored shirt using Simplicity 1538, view B. This was the first time that I’ve made a shirt from this pattern and I am so pleased with the results. This is a great pattern for a fitted shirt. I’ve already purchased fabric to make it again!
The fabric I used was from my stash; I purchased it last year at Fabric Outlet (or online at Califabrics) in San Francisco. I like this all-cotton fabric because it goes well with wool vest that I was knitting, as well as other pieces in my wardrobe. I just finished knitting this wool vest and I love how it looks with my new shirt.
I started out by making a muslin. The only alteration I made was to shorten the arms by two inches. Making a muslin takes extra time, but what I love about the process, besides the fact that the final product fits perfectly, is that the muslin fabric pattern pieces will last forever and I can use them over and over again to make a custom-fit garment.
Below is the muslin piece for the front of the shirt. I always cut the perimeter of my muslin pieces wide, about 2 – 3 inches, to allow for any modifications to the fit. Once I determine the sewing lines, I use a compass to draw a 5/8″ seam allowance and then I cut along that line.
This is the sleeve piece, modified by shortening.
All of the seams are flat-felled seams. I think the inside of this shirt looks as nice inside as it does on the public-facing side.
The flat-felled seam attaching the sleeve to the body was the most difficult and lots of pins enabled me to make a nice seam on the first pass.
The collar and collar stand were easy to attach.
The collar, yoke, front plackets, and cuffs are all top stitched.
I used buttons that I bought at a tag sale.
Here’s the back of the shirt. There is just a bit of gather in the middle.
Have you tried this pattern? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
Thank you for visiting my blog! Merci et au revoir!
Hot off my sewing machine! I just finished a partial-band bra and pantie set made from black stretch galloon lace and fushia powernet that I purchased a few months ago at the Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. I love the way these two fabrics look together and both are easy to sew. The plush strap and picot elastics, hook and eye closures and the rings and sliders are from the Tailor Made Shop. This is shop always provides the highest quality products. I love how this new bra and panties set look!
I made the bra first. I drafted this partial-band bra pattern starting with a Pin-up Full Band Bra pattern by Beverly Johnson, aka The Fairy Bra Mother, that fits me well. Next I modified this pattern specifically for using scalloped lace.
The key to success with a lace bra is in getting the lace placed just right on the cups, bands and bridge. Lace placement is critical so that the bra looks symmetrical; the lace on one side of the bra should mirror the other. When sewing lace on to a lining, it tends to shift around and therefore the lace and lining need to be sewn together before the piece is cut. To start, I cut the pattern pieces from the lining, which is powernet in this case, and use these pieces as the pattern for the lace. Next, I pin the powernet pieces over the galloon lace so that they are in just the right position. I roughly cut out the lace, sew 1/4″ around the powernet pattern, attaching the lace to the powernet. Once I confirm that the placement of the lace and powernet are attached correctly, I cut the lace around the powernet pattern.
It’s a bit of work to get the lace around the top of the bra, consistently of the upper cups, bridge and strap attachments, to line up perfectly. The lace on the top of the bridge has to line up perfectly with the lace on the upper cups, as does the lace on the strap attachment pieces. Keep in mind that there are also 1/4″ seam allowances to account for. Again, the trick to getting the lace placed just right on the bridge is to place the bridge pattern piece on a larger piece of lace to get it in the right position. Then use the “stitch and flip” method to attach a similar dimension of the powernet. Sew both sides of the bridge, and then cut out bridge piece. This process keeps the pieces stable and in exactly the right placement, prior to cutting. I have more pictures detailing lace layout for the upper cup in a previous post on making a lace bra .
I used the same method for cutting out the lace band pieces.
I used the same method to cut the lace and line the strap attachment piece as I did for the bridge piece. The lace along the top of the bra lines up nicely.
The inside of the bra looks clean and neat. Yes, that is a paw. Kitty, Sophie, does a quality assurance inspection of the bra as each step is finished.
Next I made the panties. I used Kwik Sew K2325, view A, for pattern.
I cut a XS pantie, view A, for the pantie. I did a bit of design modification to create an illusion of one piece of the scalloped edge of the galloon lace across the top of the pantie.
I created the lace portions of the panties in the same method as for the bra. I cut the powernet pattern pieces and then determined the correct placement on the lace, sewed the powernet pieces onto larger lace pieces and then cut the lace and powernet pattern piece.
This is the back of the pantie where I used the scalloped edge of the galloon lace to create a border at the top to match the front of the pantie.
I used cotton knit for the crotch lining, exactly the same color as the powernet. I used the “burrito method” to attach the crotch lining, and this is described in the pattern instructions.
And finally, a back view of the bra and pantie set.
Thank you for reading through my review of these patterns and descriptions of how I made this bra and pantie set. Now on to garment sewing! I’ll be making a few bodysuits and a blouse before we head off on our trip to France!
Here is kitty Sophie, taking a break from her QA duties!
After a summer of sewing for other people and for our new home, I decided it was time to make a dress for myself. I love gingham and I thought that Butterick B6446, a dress with a large sash tied in a bow in the front, would be the perfect match for this lovely light blue gingham fabric that I bought recently at the Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.
I made view B. I made a muslin first and I am really glad I did because I made some enhancements to the fit. I shortened the left panel of the bodice, lengthened the bodice and added curve to the bodice sides. The muslin dress ensured fit before I cut the gingham and began construction. The result is a dress that fits me really well and is very comfortable. An added bonus to making a muslin is that I now I have fabric pattern pieces that I can use to make this dress again and they will hold up well for years. Making the muslin took time and thankfully I really enjoyed the process and the end result.
I lined the entire dress with a white cotton, also from the Fabric Outlet. I followed the instructions to line the bodice. This skirt is unlined, however it seemed odd to line just the bodice and not the skirt. So I matched the pattern for the skirt lining exactly to that for gingham skirt. Other sewists used the skirt pattern for view A (no pleats in the skirt of this version) to cut the skirt lining. I may try this when I make this dress again. In order to perfectly match the gingham at back zipper, I sewed in the zipper in by hand using a prickstitch.
At the same time that I was making this dress, I bought a new camera! Thanks to Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow I learned that some sewing bloggers actually take their own pictures! I don’t know why this was such an “ah ha” moment for me, but it was. So I decided one day to play around with the camera and take a few pictures of my new dress. Gillian has tons of great information on photography for sewists. Visit her blog posts on photography at Better Pictures Project.
It was a beautiful day yesterday, perfect for visiting a local park.
This is a great dress pattern and one I will definitely make again. But now it is time to focus on my next project.
I went out to Omaha a few months ago to help my twin sister as she recovered in the hospital and at home from surgery. While I was there, she mentioned that she was not able to find a nice bathrobe to replace the kimono-style silk robe that her husband bought her years ago. This was a perfect opportunity for me to make her a new robe! So I took her old silk robe back to my sewing studio in California and used it to draft a pattern. At the same time, the Fabric Outlet was having one of their awesome sales and I picked up some fabulous cotton fabric made in Japan! If you are not in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can order fabric from Fabric Outlet’s Cali Fabric site. One hint, when you see something you like at the Fabric Outlet, buy it, as it may not be there the next time you visit.
Making these kimono robes was a win-win for both me and my twin – she has a new robe and I have a great pattern, in two lengths and two chest widths, that I’m sewing again and again. They are perfect for both women and men. Once I finished drafting the pattern, I made a mock-up of the kimono robe, documented the steps to sew the robe, and incorporated continuous process improvements as I make each robe. I’ve sewn four kimono robes so far. I love them all! Here is a picture of me wearing one made from a substantial cotton seersucker fabric with purple and white stripes, from the Fabric Outlet.
I finished the edges with bias tape, except on the pockets where I used my overlocker. I think these robes looks just as nice on the inside as they do on the outside.
This is the shorter version. One thing I love about this pattern is the shorter sleeves. They don’t get in the way when I am cooking breakfast the way longer full sleeves do, which are common on RTW kimono robes.
The longer version is nice, too.
Next, I’ll make a kimono robe from silk, and also more from Japanese cottons. The Fabric Outlet has lots of beautiful silks and cottons and they are always getting interesting fabrics in from various parts of the world. I can’t wait until my next fabric-buying trip!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this pattern and these kimono robes. What improvements would you suggest? Thank you for visiting and reading about my latest makes!
Nothing says summer like peach cobbler made from fresh peaches, warm from the oven and served with vanilla bean ice cream! I make this cobbler many times each summer when peaches are in season – it is so simple to make and the results are delicious.
Fresh Peach Cobbler with Cinnamon
Hands-on Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees F
Ingredients for Filling
4 cups of fresh peaches, sliced (about 5 large peaches)
1/3 cups of sugar
1 T. cornstarch
Ingredients for Biscuit Topping
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
3 T. cold butter
1 egg, beaten
3 T. milk
3 T. turbinado or white sugar, for sprinkling
Cobbler can be made in an 8″x8″x2″ glass pan or a shallow glass dish of the same size, such as a pie dish.
Start by making the filling. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch peaches and water. Stir and cook until thickened and bubbly. Keep the filling warm while preparing the topping.
For the topping, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk. Cut the butter into small cubes and add on top of the dry mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mixture until the butter is incorporated and resembles crumbs. Mix the egg and milk together in a cup and add to the flour mixture. Stir until the dough is just moist.
Transfer the peaches to the baking dish. Spoon the topping in six mounds atop the hot filling. Sprinkle with turbinado or white sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.