Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watching American Idol

American Idol has never been on our tv watching agenda until now when we actually know one of the contestants.  Jen Hirsh is my nephew's girlfriend who we met  in California last summer.   We are so excited that she made the semi finals last week.  My sister has been sending out mass e mails telling everyone she knows to watch.  I thought I'd do my part and introduce my readers to a great singer in hopes that you will like her as much as we do and vote for her tomorrow night.  Here's a video clip of her appearances so far.

Friday, February 17, 2012


My jeans obsession has taken up a lot of my time, that and the muslins for my leather jacket as well, and I need some clothing!  To that end I have been making tops based on my tnt t shirt pattern.   My jeans actually only need a hem and button to be finished and I'll have some new tops to wear with them.

First  in the lineup is actually not from my tnt pattern but the Pamela's draped cardigan I mentioned a while ago.  I did use my tnt t shirt to make a short sleeve t to go with it.  You can just see the French dart that I made by rotating the bust dart.  It fits better on me than on my form. I really like how it slims the middle without being too revealing.  To refresh your memory, this is a wool blend  knit from Elliot Berman.  It's pretty stable with almost no stretch in the length, so easy to sew.  This type of knit, without lycra, is perfect for first time knit sewers.  I used my favorite method from Lynn Maynard for the neck binding.

There are a lot of draped front cardigan patterns out there and I have my fair share of them!  But in the end I decided that most of them have too much fabric for my figure and this one is designed with an older woman in mind I think.  I did have to chop off my usual 3/4" from the shoulder but I didn't have to make a forward shoulder adjustment as it's built into the pattern.  There is a separate front pattern piece  for larger busts.  There is no dart, but extra room at the bust that you are supposed to stretch the back to fit.  This knit has little stretch in the length so I ended up ease stitching the front bust area.  It's clearly notched for matching to the back piece.  The instructions are excellent but if you are confused there are several videos on You Tube to clarify matters.  Pamela writes that she designed the pattern  to fit a pear shaped figure and that most people wouldn't need to add to the hips.  I had to add to the hip area.  But, not  a lot and my 1" in case seam allowances took care of the extra I needed.

My second variaton is this wool blend sweater knit from Emmaonesock.  It has almost no stretch to it so I had to add quite a bit of ease to make it work, especially in the biceps.  Because there was little stretch I bound the neck, hem and sleeves with a black wool knit that I had in my stash.  Nothing really to say about it except that it too has a French dart.  I really do like them and have Peggy Sagers to thank. She talks about it on several of her webcasts and they are on many of her patterns.  If you have Fit for Real People there is an excellent explanation on how to convert a bust dart into a French dart.  You do have to pin it up in the pattern and redraft the side seam to acccomodate it.   Certainly not hard to do.

Next up is a cardigan based on my tnt t shirt in some Missoni knit I picked up at Emmaonesock.  I am debating the length before I add the black wool binding at theneckline and hems.  I debated with myself on which way to add the stripes and finally decided make the body vertical and the sleeves run horizontally.  The sleeves are basted in and side seams are pinned. It probably took me longer to lay it out than it will to finish sewing it.
Have a great weekend.