Saturday, September 17, 2016

Teal Stripes in Wool (Dress) and Other Stuff

Teal Stripe Dress

I purchased this teal and black stripe fabric from Sewing Workshop last January or February. (I see it's still on their site!) It's a wool and acrylic blend and pebbled on one side. I'd been trying to decide how to use it when I realized that it would be perfect for one of my sheath tunic dresses.

I used the Style Arc Adele pattern to make myself a black wool doubleknit tunic dress a couple years ago. I wear that dress so much that it's pilling. I should really make another.

In fact, ironic aside: I recently learned that there's another sewist in my neighborhood—just a couple blocks from my house. I met up with Carrie for coffee and we realized that we were both wearing the Style Arc Adele! Hers really looked like an Adele (and very pretty) while my black tunic version only retains the neckline and armhole, but it was still funny! I wish I'd gotten a picture, but next time!

I dug out my pattern and, chop chop, had a dress in an evening. This is a great basic for me and I can layer many things on top.

A couple things to note.

Matching stripes:
The FBA I added to this pattern means that the stripes won't match up perfectly at the side seam. I handle that by matching the stripes at the hemline and as far up as possible. They won't match at bust level, but that's pretty much right under my arm. Why are you staring at my armpits? I would wonder. That's kinda weird.
Neckline finish:
I often finish my knits with a visible binding but, on these tunic dresses which are made with beefy knits, I like a cleaner look. The Adele neckline has a nice shape and uses narrow facings. Because I use a substantial knit, I whip stitch the facing to the body. The stitches are hidden in the knit, and the facing never flops around. You could also topstitch by machine.
I used a ponte for the facing, which is fused with interfacing, serged, and stitched down by hand. You can see the pebbled texture of the fabric on one side and the smooth texture on the other. I noticed that the smooth side snags fairly easily, so I'm glad I featured the pebbled side.

Koos Scarf

I had a half a yard of the teal and black stripe left over, so I decided to make a Koos infinity scarf! I've made several of these scarves and I love wearing them. The advantage of using the same fabric is that, when worn together, it looks like a cowl neckline. But sometimes you don't want a cowl, so I can have it both ways!

I had thrown this fabric into the washer before I remembered that it contained wool though, to be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. I love throwing wool into the wash. Before washing it was 52" wide, at least according to the Sewing Workshop website. After washing it was 45"—perfect for a Koos scarf!

A Koos scarf, so named because the technique was commonly used by Koos van den Akker, uses a half-yard rectangle of fabric. Koos' rectangles were collaged and embellished with bias strips. The rectangle is sewn on the bias. Kinda sorta. It's hard to describe and requires a leap of faith to sew. You can introduce one or more twists into the infinity scarf. I always use a full twist (or two half twists). This results in a scarf that lays very nicely on the body. The last time I made a Koos scarf, I blogged about it and linked to Linda Teufel's directions. Linda wrote a book about Koos, and she published an article in Threads Magazine about this scarf technique. See my post for more info.

Duster, Second Try

You might remember my heathered blue duster. I wore it on 4 different days since making it and I decided that it really was too long. One evening last week, I chopped it off. I removed 9".

I then realized that I should have more carefully checked the length.

It's now too short!

Oh well, I'll still wear it—I love how snuggly soft the fabric is—but I do wish I'd left it a couple inches longer!

And, yeah, I went to the bank and the grocery store dressed just like this! Hats rock. :D

Flaxseed Therapy Pillow

I'm sure you've heard of rice bags, yes? You heat them in a microwave and apply them to where it hurts. They are therapeutic except, over time, the rice dries out and the bag no longer holds heat as effectively.

My daughter, who is at university in Canada, accidentally left her heating bag behind, so I did some research. I learned about the superior effect of flax seed in re-heatable pillows. Flax seeds contain oil, so you can heat, and reheat, them endlessly. The oil does not evaporate and they continue to hold heat (or cold, for that matter).

I found this tutorial and here, where she talks about why flax seed is better. I whipped up a flax seed bag using some very soft denim, 2 pounds (more or less) of flax seed, and 1/2 cup of dried lavender.

Wow, it smells fabulous!

The flax seed pillow is part of my first care package to Canada. These items, along with two bars of fancy chocolate, cost $44 to ship. Ouch.

Artistry in Fashion 2016

So, local sewing friends, will I see you next weekend?

Next Saturday is Artistry in Fashion, one of my favorite days of the year! The featured guest is Sharman Spector, owner of Britex Fabrics. The Designer Showcase, a fashion show styled using clothing and jewelry from the vendors, is at 11am. I hope to see you there!

And, speaking of Britex Fabrics, did you see that they launched a new website this week? They are also hosting an event on Friday evening, PROJKT Maiden Lane. I'm not sure if tickets are still available, but I'll be there, too!

I have a boatload of sewing to do this weekend. I hope you have a great one!

And please join me on Patti's Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack!