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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Wrap skirt with tutorial on: July 27, 2007 09:28:20 AM


Conceived, drafted, and sewn by yours truely!! 

Since it's a pretty basic alteration from an a-line skirt, I thought I'd try to put together a tutorial while I was at it... (although bright blue does not show the sewing well - good for me, not so good for you!)

Step 1: find or draft a plain a-line skirt to fit you, lengthen/shorten as you wish

Note: the front piece is free to hang how it wants, which means the effective bottom hem circumference is bigger than a regular a-line skirt would be - don't make it too wide at the bottom!

Step 2: cut out one back on the fold, one front on the fold, and two front pieces NOT on the fold (basically cutting the front in half):


Cut out two straight pieces to bind the top and create the ties: 2" wide, one piece long enough to bind the waist of the front of the skirt, one long enough for the whole waist + length of ties (I did 80" for this one).

Step 3: sew all darts


Step 4: sew the cut-in-half front pieces to the back on the side seams, press the side seams TOWARDS THE FRONT.


Step 5: hem the bottoms of both the on-the-fold front piece, and the back-with-wrap piece you just finished

Step 6: using a double-hem (turn a small hem in, then turn again so that all the raw edges are hidden), hem the edges of the two pieces



Step 7: bind the tops
7a: take your strips, fold them in half, press, fold each edge inside and press again (1/2" binding)

7b: for the front piece, tuck 1/2" in on the end of the short binding strip, sew it over the top of the piece until you get close to the end, cut off the binding strip 1/2" past the end, tuck that 1/2" in and finish sewing.

7c: for the back-and-wrap piece, find the center of the long binding strip and match it to the center of the back waist.  Pin the binding along the top in either direction.  Once the binding is off the skirt waist it becomes the ties - simply tuck in the end to cover the raw edges, sew the binding to itself for the tie, and keep going along the skirt waist the same way as you did for the front, continue along for the second tie and tuck in the final end as you come to it.  Make sure your side seams are still lying towards the front.

8: add buttons to the inside of the back-and-wrap piece, attaching them to the side seam allowances (note that I did french seams here, it really is the wrong side Wink )


9: add buttonholes to the sides of the front piece to match the buttons - this is how the front of the skirt gets held onto the back-and-wrap piece!

10: button up one side, put the skirt on, button up the other side, tie the ties!  Voila!

Note that you can end up showing a lot of leg this way - the front panel doesn't play modest Wink.  If you'd like more coverage, add more buttons down the side seam to keep the front attached to the back.

Enjoy!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / lace cami with tut! on: June 29, 2007 09:26:14 AM
This started out as a remake of a Honeymoon Cami that I had made a couple of years ago in a silk-angora mix yarn (which then proceeded to grow well beyond the rhelm of decency).  Then I thought of changing a bit here... and ended up with something that bore no relation to the HC except the triangle pieces at the top!





*******************

For anyone who happens to have a bust size in the 35-36" range, and a yarn and needle combo to give them 7.5 sts/inch (non-springy yarn like cotton or silk) or ~6.5 sts/inch (springy - gives a final measurement 2" smaller for a body-hugging tank), I can give you an exact pattern (for everyone else, a generic tutorial follows the *****):

CO 216 sts on a circular needle, join being careful not to twist, place marker for beginning of round.  Knit one row.

Feather and fan lace pattern repeat:  row 1: [k2tog] 4 times, [YO, k1] 8 times, [SSK] 4 times (repeat until you've hit the beginning of the round again)
row 2: knit
row 3: knit
row 4: knit

Repeat 4 rows of F&F lace for 10" of length.  Note that the lace gives a tighter gauge than the stockinette, but it stretches.

Switch to stockinette (knit all rounds) for 4".

Shape underarms and V at the same time (the number of stitches is different, and the fact that I do the V neck at the same time as the underarms, but the method is the same as the honeymoon cami, which most certainly has better directions!):

Starting 4 stitches away from the beginning of the round, bind off 8 stitches (first underarm).  K1, K2tog, K44, SSK, K1 (have reached centre front, 48 sts from underarm bind off) - TURN (working first triangle).  Purl all stitches back to underarm.
Continue decreasing one stitch on each side of triangle, on each right side, purling wrong sides, until down to 4 stitches.  Put remaining 4 stitches on a holder.

Go back to the remaining body stitches, start new yarn at the centre front, K1, K2tog, K44, SSK, K1, and continue in the same way as with the previous triangle.

Go back to the remaining body stitches, bind off 8 for the other under arm.  Continue as before for third triangle, but when you reach the last 4 stitches, keep going with a 4 stitch I-cord - try about 8" at first.

Continue as before for the last triangle, making I-cord at the end of this one too.  Try on the cami and figure out the best length for the I-cord straps.  Graft the straps to the back triangles.

**********************

Generic Tutorial!

1. Pick your yarn, test your gauge.

2. For a springy yarn (ie wool blends and acrylic) take your bust measurement, subtract ~2" and figure out how many stitches you need at your gauge.  For non-springy yarns, subtract 5".

3. I used a 24 stitch repeat feather and fan lace pattern (8x3).  F&F can be done with any even number X3, but smaller repeats will give narrower columns.  Find the number of repeats you need to get close to the number of stitches you came up with in point (2) (In the above case, 9 repeats of a 24 stitch pattern gave me 216 stitches, which was about 6" smaller than my bust - since I knew my yarn would grow, I was fine with that!  Larger gauge yarn will have fewer repeats and much less stitches).

4. CO the # stitches you determined in (3).  Knit one row.  Knit in lace pattern (for example  row 1: [k2tog] 4 times, [yo, k1] 8 times, [ssk] 4 times, row 2-4: knit)  (you can do [k2tog] 3 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [ssk] 3 times, instead, etc) for 10"

5. Knit every row for 4"

6. Sort out the division of stitches for underarms and triangles.  Your underarm bind off should be around 1", and the number of stitches in each triangle should be even.  Therefore the number of cast-on stitches, subtract 2" of stitches, divided by 4 should be an even number - if it's not, fudge the underarm bind-off numbers until it is Wink

7. Proceed around the body, starting with binding off the underarm stitches for one side, and knitting each triangle by decreasing one stitch one each side, each right side row until you get down to 4 stitches.   Bind off second underarm, and make other side the same.  Add I-cord straps to the ends of the front two triangles, try on the cami for strap length, and graft straps to back.  (more detailed explanation above, even more detailed explanation over on Knitty for the Honeymoon Cami!).

Let me know if you want more clarification - I've just rediscovered that simple things in your head are really difficult to explain in writing!!

Enjoy!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Well, it did start out as a second hand dress... on: June 13, 2007 10:44:25 AM
but it ended up being used as yardage to make a top and a skirt (not without a few tangles along the way!).

This linen dress:


Became:

and


Together:


Details:
The skirt is Simplicity 4753, view D.  The bottom flare of the skirt is a rayon fabric that I had in my stash (I'm going to make a tunic top out of it too, to match the skirt).
The halter top is Simplicity 4998 (whichever view is the top!!), which I did take in quite a bit at the top because they put in too much ease (but then had to let out at the waist and hips, 'cos you know, I've got them Tongue).  The play-by-play is in my blog (link in signature), if you really, really want it Wink.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / comfy knit waistband on: May 21, 2007 12:37:55 PM
I thought that the post on craftster about making jeans into maternity pants by adding a knit waistband was genius.  Don't need maternity pants, but wait - there's a pair of black pants that I cut down to low waist, and got a little too overzealous with the scissors...


(I lightened up the image quite a bit to be able to see anything in the blackness - the band is pretty close to the colour of the pants IRL)

I took a folded piece of the knit fabric, pulled it as tight as I could around my hips (so I knew I could get it on), then cut it that length and 9" deep (4" deep doubled waistband with 1/2" seam allowances).  Sewed the short ends together, folded it wrong sides together, then sewed it to the top of the pants in a continuous loop.  I unzip the zipper when pulling them up, but they are basically pull on pants now.

Sooooooo comfy!
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / next yellow mohair quandry... on: April 26, 2007 01:12:30 PM
Thanks again all who weighed in on the "what do I do with this bright yellow mohair" debate  Grin.  I was in the midst of swatching out some ideas when I ran across a thread on another site about the Quinn Bag, and tried out the stitch pattern... never expected cables to work out in mohair, but it did!


(note that the yarn is actually much brighter than this  Wink)

So I'm up against the next quandry:  the strap.  I wear my bags messanger-style across the chest (my shoulders slope so much that I can't keep the bag on otherwise), and I'm not enamoured with the idea of a swath of bright yellow mohair across the front of me... Any more grand ideas out there?
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / what to do with deep yellow mohair? on: January 03, 2007 01:55:23 PM
My FIL has been wonderful about finding yarn for me - just sometimes his discoveries cause a lot of creativity to happen  Cheesy.  Last month it was a bag full of intense yellow mohair (deeper than plain yellow, but not much, very vibrant) - which is not a colour I can wear, nor anyone I normally gift to.  Also a little scratchy.  Other than the occasional shot in a fair isle, what can I make out of this?
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