Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homework Dress

Here's my latest finished sewing project, Butterick's See n' Sew B5235.  This one's called "homework dress" because I was sewing along with a high school student who is using the dress pattern as a base for a project of her own.  I wanted to see what possible problems she would encounter, and so we had a 2 person Sew-Along.  I always learn when I make something, and during this project, I learned a lot.  There's a lot of homework left to do on it!!

Things I learned whilst making this dress: stay-stiching, new lining technique, chain stitch to hold lining together, bias tape method from Coletterie.  And lastly, but not least, 100% cotton dresses wrinkle... a lot.

stay stitching on neckline
homemade bias-tape on bottom edge

Things to improve on pattern: waistline, (A) armholes, (B) neckline.  I failed to see the armhole and neckline problems because I was so focused on the waistline issues.  ((Ah, poodle-snaps)).  Forest for the trees I guess.  At least the waist looks good, right?  Maybe?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Illustrations! Twist Collective Winter 2011

When the editor at Twist Collective approached me to do an illustration, my heart skipped!  Lately, I've been focusing a lot of my time on knitwear design and graphic design, but hadn't had much opportunity to illustrate for someone else.  So, needless to say, I graciously agreed!  Here and here are the illustrations is within the Winter 2011 issue.

The goal for the project was to illustrate an Incan folktale about how alpacas came to be beasts of burden for the Inca people.  Stylistically, I took inspiration from a 16th century chronicle by Guaman Poma (aka Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, aka Huam├ín Poma).  He was a Peruvian nobleman who, in detailed illustrations and notes, wrote about the Incan chiefs, people, etc.

You can see the chronicles via the Danish Library System here.

"weaver of 33 years" by Guaman Poma

With such beautiful detail and lovely aging to the page, I sought to imitate some of the drawing conventions he used such as the imaginative perspective.  So, keeping that in mind, I used pen & ink on film to try and capture the line quality and perspective while still telling the story (as retold by Daryl Brower).

my interpretation of the story as inspired by Goaman Poma, Winter 2011

I hope you enjoy the story and illustrations!  Check out the whole story here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Knitwear Designs!

This month I had two designs published with Tangled Online Magazine. Tangled is a "bicraftual" team that runs a shop and online magazine from Bozeman, Montana. ((Bicraftual = crochet, knit, sewing, etc...))

The first design was a direct response to their call for patterns inspired by celebs and film. I was inspired by Kate Middleton's wedding shrug, and came up with "Cambridge Shrug" in response.

Kate Middleton + Shrug in white angora

Me + li'l red dress + Cambridge Shrug in Brushed Suri

The pattern is available via Tangled Online here.  And, it's available on Ravelry and Craftsy, too!

Carats Vest, the second design in the November 2011 Issue of Tangled, is a design that's been incubating in my design library for a while.  I sketched the premise of this design last year, but didn't get a chance to develop it until Team Tangled gave me the green light.

Me + Jeans, white shirt + Carats Vest

Carats Vest is available via Tangled Online here.  It's also available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Patternfish, and Knit Picks IDP.

I used KnitPicks Gloss DK, and I have to say it was a really great yarn to work with.  It's very squishy, strong but snuggly, and easy to knit.  I wish it was easier to find here in Europe.  I bought mine from a yarn company in the UK (Great British Yarns).  They were really nice and shipped quickly.

I'm really proud of how Carats Vest came out.  I tested all sizes and am happy to report that all my testers (from petite to plump) found the fit to be flattering. Yay!

Update on Carats Vest: Make sure you have the most updated version of the Carats Vest - Gauge should be listed as:  22 sts and 32 rows = 4” in Stockinette on US size 4 (3.5mm) needles after blocking.  24 sts and 32 rows = 4” in Twisted Stitch Diamond pattern on US size 4 (3.5mm) needles after blocking.