Market Bag

I loved reading Barbara Pym’s “Excellent Women”.  When I seen this market bag. I thought immediately of Mildred and her string bag.

I followed the tutorial on By Hand London’s website.  It doesn’t give an overall size or a gauge so this probably isn’t very beginner friendly.  I used a size H hook (5mm).  In hindsight, I probably should have sized down to the G hook (4mm).

The tutorial uses up-cycled denim yarn.  I used Lion Brand Re-Up cotton which will probably have more stretch than the tutorial’s denim.

I didn’t like how you did the handles.  If I make it again, I may make them separately then crochet them on to the bag.  I used 5 rows on the handles to have something a bit more substantial.

3 books inside the bag

The double crochet row up at the top seemed too thin.

The pattern yields a large string bag with decent size interior.  But in the end, I just don’t love this bag and will probably take it apart to use the yarn for something else.  This is definitely more for an experienced crocheter who is able to adapt patterns to their needs.

 

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McCall’s 6963

This McCall’s pattern has become a fast favorite.  As of right now, I have a dress, 5 sleeveless tops, and one long sleeve top from it.  I definitely have improved on the back neck finishing since I started using this pattern in October 2018.

Here is what I had originally written in October 2018:

I traced out a straight size 16 but I blended the view A cowl with view C cowl.  I was trying to raise the cowl from being too low.  I didn’t really succeed.  The cowl is still low but blending the 2 cowls together I think gave me a fuller cowl.  The fuller cowl does cover the top more but it is still a low cowl but wearable for me.

The size 16 was fairly close to the size I needed for my waist.  I ended up using quarter inch seam allowance for the side seams just so it wasn’t super skin tight.

I used some of the magenta ITY I had in my stash.  It does drape well for this top.  I used an overlock stitch from my sewing machine just to finish off the cowl edge.

Really the only trouble I had in making my version was the back of neck facing.  There are ripples in along the seam line.  I used clear elastic to stabilize the section instead of twill tape so that maybe the reason.  But otherwise, the top was easy to put together.

I took about 2 inches off the bottom and took about an inch and half hem.

The pink long sleeve top was probably made in March and was a straight trial of view D.  I remember I had to shorten the sleeves.  I may go back and slim the sleeve down some too so it is more wearable.

I completed the dress in June 2019.  It is view C in size 16.  I lengthened the top by 9 inches.  I had to shorten the sleeves by 2 inches and take a 2 inch hem on them.  Plus on the sleeves, I had to taper in the sleeve from the bottom to about the elbow so that the sleeves were slim.

The main goal was to get a sleeveless cowl neck top that I like.  So I traced out view C/D (the higher cowl neck) and did the adjustments to the arm scythe.  I raised it a quarter inch in the bottom and moved the shoulder in a quarter inch.  I did end up removing the quarter inch I raised the under arm area.

 

 

 

Rahel’s maxi skirt

Doll clothes are so much faster to get on the blog.  I do have a couple of items for myself but still need to get some more pictures done.  I really wanted to use the stripe t-shirt to make a maxi skirt for my Hearts for Hearts dolls.  As for patterns, my first thought was Liberty Jane’s mitered maxi but it didn’t come in the 14 inch size.  I did have the mitered maxi in the 18 inch doll size, so I turned to what I learned at Wren Feathers to size the pattern down for my Hearts for Hearts dolls.  I printed the pattern at 77% and checked to see if there was enough width in the waist to fit my doll and seam allowances.

I measured a total length of 9 inches for the waist, so there was enough for my doll and seam allowances.  I used a calculator to figure my waistband measurements.  Then I held the pattern piece up to my doll to make sure the pattern was long enough.  After all the preliminary checks were completed, then I cut out the skirt.

I made the entire skirt on my sewing machine.  I finished the inside seams with a zig-zag stitch.  The hem was basted then turned up and zig zag stitched down.

I used a piece of half inch elastic in the waistband.  It was 7 inches long.

Dell’s Cardigan- My AG Doll Creations “Karina’s Cozy Sweater”

Christmas I received a book on knitting stuffed animals but the biggest problem is that I couldn’t knit.  After a couple of Bluprint classes and a knitting session at sewing group lunch, I have actually been able to make a few items.  The first was a couple of doll scarves.  Then there was a hat for my dad so I could practice decreases.  Next was to learn increases.  I wanted a simple doll shawl but couldn’t find a pattern.  So in the end I decided on My AG Doll Creations’ “Karina’s Cozy Sweater” as it was described for confident beginner to intermediate.  It seemed like I could possibly make it.

The sweater is knitted from the top down.  Then the sleeves are finished.  After the sleeves, the body of the cardigan is joined so that you don’t have to sew the side seams.

I used Rooster Almerino DK in damson with number 6 Clover bamboo needles.  I think the yarn sort of hides the lace pattern you make.  The cardigan included knitting in front and back loop increases, yarn over increases, slip knit decreases and knit two together decrease.  The project was challenging as it was the 4th project completed.  

I didn’t include the buttons as I didn’t have anything that would work at home.

Ottilie Fascinator

I chose the Ottilie fascinator for my derby day hat.  This one was a bit more involved to make as I made the sinamay base from scratch also.  But it still wasn’t too hard to make.

Creating the base was the most involved part.  Most of the base was made during my breaks at work over 4 or so days.  Taping the wire ends was tricky.  So if I make bases again, I will probably get someone to help out with holding the wire.  I used masking tape and it worked but was a bit chunky.  Floral tape will be better choice.  I went with Mod Podge fabric stiffener.  My base took 4 coats.  I did this over 3 days on a Styrofoam head.

I had to create my own bias for the base and to make the bow.  First thing I did was pulled out a calculator and see how long the circumference of the 5.5 inch base was.  The 5.5 inch base needed less bias than I needed for the bow.  To determine how much sinamay I needed, I used a 45 degree right triangle to figure the side length needed.  In the end, I needed a 28 inch long piece of sinamay to make enough bias for the bow.

The instructions in the book for the birdcage veil were very well done.  I understood what it wanted me to do but I was slow and it took me 15 minutes to completely gather the netting.  The bow was easy to construct and I had it together in 30 minutes.

I have fine thin hair so that was not going to support the weight of a fascinator.  I decided to go with a head band wrapped in embroidery floss to match my hair color.  As it was the first head band I wrapped, the hot glue on the ends isn’t as neat as it could be.

 

Fascinator 1- Mariella

Last year I picked up a couple of fascinator/ millinery books to look through.  For the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I decided to make my mom and I a fascinator using Hannah Scheidig’s book “Fascinators: 25 Stylish Accessories to Top Off Your Look”.

The first fascinator was for my mom.  As her derby dress is purple, I knew that the color would be hard to match so I decided on a black and white theme instead for it.  I used the first pattern in the book, Mariella for her hat.  Since it was to be my first hat, I decided to go easy and I bought the sinamay bias from an Etsy store.

The pictures in the instruction are well done.  I used two colors so my Mariella fascinator came out similar but not exactly the same.  I found that it was easier for me to make a complete loop then twist the loop into the figure eight and sew.  After I had the larger white loop and the black interior one, I sewed them stacked together.  The smallest white loop is the last piece put on.  I overlapped the white bias and sew the overlap together.

The book suggest that this pattern is easy and will take about an hour to complete.  The easy skill level is very accurate.  However, the hour to complete may be very optimistic.  I think I probably have been closer to 3 hours.  Some of that is trying to determine if the loops look similar to the pattern and changing it from 1 color to 2 colors.  Another part of it is deciding the best way to put it on one’s head.  In the end, between the hair stylist, my mom and me, we decided her short curly hair could use a clip or bobby pins.  In the end, I hand sewed a small piece of sinamay to the back to slide either a clip or bobby pins in.

Another sewing related item I did last year was to invest in nice hand sewing needles.  I used a number 8 millinery needle from Tulip and that needle never bent at all.

Replacement dress

 

After a lot of consideration, I went with the circle skirt dress with contrast collar from Joan Hinds’ “Heritage Doll Clothes”.  I knew that I had used the book several times already and always had a decent outfit afterwards.  Pictures are behind just because it is harder to get great ones in winter; it was dark when I got home from work.

This is using the same fabric as used for the K&R Vintage dress that didn’t come out well.  The lining is some white quilting cotton.  And I bought some navy ribbon to make the bow belt.  After getting the ribbon, I realized the tiny dots are actually black and not navy like I thought.


The only major change I made was to not use the bias tape for the finishing of the collar and sleeve cuffs.  Instead I double cut the collar and the sleeve cuffs so I would have facings for them.

The ribbon belt length was decided after the dress was completed and then I trimmed it after I got a bow that I liked.