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Monday, 19 June 2017

Shorty short Brooklyn Coat

Let me tell you a sad sad story, that does have a happy ending. Of sorts. 

I bought THIS BEAUTIFUL fabric for the Berlin Coat (and also for the Kyoto Vest which is why it looks familiar).  I had attempted the Berlin Coat the same weekend as this but it didn't go well for me (fabric s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out terribly) so there was NO WAY I was risking this remaining 1.5m on that pattern. 



After much pattern tetris (and going down a size from the L-XL I previously made) I fit the Brooklyn Coat on to the fabric...except for I forgot you need TWO SLEEVES...so one is cut from a short scrap piece and against the grain. Thus the sleeves are quite short to ensure that the "spare" would fit on the scrap...I think designers call that "wristlet length".  But wait there's more! I didn't realise that the back pattern piece was folded up more than I intended (needed to shorten the coat to fit in my fabric) so the back was 14cm SHORTER THAN THE front which I discovered when sewing! 




So that is how I've ended up with a hip length, wristlet sleeved Brooklyn Coat!

I have to admit that it doesn't look too bad - but it's not what I set out to make (another 2" on the length would've been nice...or perhaps another 4cm) and I'm SO mad at myself as I feel like I have wasted this fabric despite all endeavors not to.


Apart form the unintentionally short coat and short sleeves, I cut the size S-M but added 1" to the fold of the back piece (so 2" in total) and thus added they same to the collar piece that joints on to the back. I felt the S-M would be too small and it would've been - the extra 2" across the back makes it wearable.

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PatternBrooklyn Coat by Tessuti
Size: S-M
Modifications:  as per the above blog post
Fabric: boiled wool from LOOM
Changes for next time: sigh...I don't even know where to start! 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Crochet scarf

After my GIANT granny square blanket (still not finished, but almost....) got too big to commute to work with me I decided I need a smaller project that could come with me on the train each day, and also with me on my trip to Vietnam. It was great to have this on the plane with me - the flight went so fast, and it also kept me occupied in my hotel room at night.

Enter my first EVER crocheted scarf! It's a bit wonky as my tension is TIGHT then LOOSE then somewhere in the middle, but when it's around my neck you cannot tell! Plus it feels so nice to wear - so nice and soft!


The wool is from the Granny Square in Newtown and is an 8ply 100% Australian Merino. This colour is called Beluga Twist and whilst I really needed a plain black scarf I got distracted by this. I used five balls for this scarf (from memory) and at $10.90/ball it's not a cheap scarf; but for the entertainment value of making it I think it's a bargain.  In hindsight though I probably needed a wool that "split" less as I was using it -- something more beginner friendly. 


The pattern came from here (it's called the Straight Up Scarf) and was a very simple beginners pattern. The whole scarf is made using a double crochet - which is "the" stitch used for making granny squares...simple!


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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kyoto Vest by Tessuti (and me!)

This is a new pattern from Tessuti - a vest that can be made out of either boiled or non-boiled wool. I saw a sample of this in their Chatswood store last year and was really excited when it was released last month. I love the simple style of it and it is something I would definitely wear.


I had initially cut out some of my very precious non-boiled wool, bought in Kyoto, for this vest. Despite TWO attempts I could NOT get the yoke and neckpiece to fit together at the corner pivot point - the pieces just do not fit for me. At first I thought it was me - and that my printing/cutting out of the A4 PDF was off. Thus I went to Officeworks, had the pattern printed in A0, cut out a new lot of fabric and tried again -- only to have the exact same problem (I was super accurate in all of my cutting just FYI). Both of those pieces of fabric are now balled up in a box -- I'm so angry that I've ruined/wasted good fabric that I can't bring myself to look at it all again.

Anyway - always a sucker for punishment I wanted to try one last time in a boiled wool as the way it is put together is different that for non-boiled wool. I did get the pieces together, but it wasn't as easy as the Sydney Jacket (where the same sort of collar/yoke/pivot point thing is happening) - but I got there in the end. My stitching was pretty wonky from torturing the fabric, and there were a few rows of it and it looked BAD. I decided to try a fancy stitch on my sewing machine to try and hide it...and below is what we have. I actually quite like it - more than the a simple straight stitch.




The pattern is just one piece, and once you've got the collar attached to the shoulders all that is left to do is add 5m of wool binding to it. You could leave the boiled wool unbound and I think, for the cost of wool binding, this is what I might do if I ever make this again (I'm tempted by the short version, to wear with dresses). The in-store samples at Tessuti show some pretty neat, close to the edge stitching of their binding. Mine isn't quite as neat or tidy, but it's doing the job and looks OK (from afar). 


I made no changes to the pattern other than make the armholes a bit bigger - I could tell from my two x bodged versions that I needed more room - so I guess something good came out of it.

Now the fabric...isn't it great. It's from LOOM in Bowral and I ordered it over the phone when I saw them post it on their Instagram account. It's quite...scratchy, but the sort of thing I can wear in cooler weather without too much bother. It's totally reversible too - and the way the jacket is constructed means you can wear it either way.


The photos of me in the vest is how I wore it to work today...it's held closed with a kilt pin to stop it flapping about.

Will I make this pattern again? Maybe. I quite fancy a shorter version and as that only takes 90cm of fabric it's not a big cost investment. Mentally though...am I up for it? 
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Pattern: Kyoto Vest by Tessuti
Size: XL, longer version
Modifications:  made the arm holes bigger
Fabric: boiled wool from LOOM
Changes for next time: none...except for the armhole modification