Monday, March 2, 2015

Reversible (sort of) Ole with Hood

I used to think I didn't like to make the same thing twice. I was so wrong. I am a process person. Since I restarted sewing last year, I can't seem to make a one off of anything (some of the seconds don't reach the blog). When I finished the first Ole by Zonen 09, I didn't feel finished. Sure that single garment was stitched, labeled and in heavy rotatoion, but I wasn't finished with Ole. 

The Ole pattern has many different options for pockets and collar, and the fabric combinations are endless. This Ole has a hood, side pockets, snap front, and the lining fabric was chosen to wear the inside as the outside sometimes. After faking my way through the construction of the first one, this one is constructed 100% as specified (okay, I cut the cuff as one piece so it would look more like a classic sweatshirt hoodie), with very satisfying results. You may notice the bottom edge of the button band was a little saggy on the my first version. With the second I used Sharon's sew the corner first method, resulting in a much nicer finish. Note to self: you get good results when you read the instructions. 
PATTERN: Ole by Zonen 09. (More pattern review) My last Ole was a cardigan made with two lighter weight knits, but this design works great with sweatshirt fleece. The combination of a heavy main fabric and a jersey lining takes this from a middle layer, to a full on spring jacket. All we need now is warmer weather.

FABRIC: The lining is cotton jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. Love it, would be perfect for spring (if it ever comes) t-shirts, am annoyed I didn't buy more. The shipping is lightning fast, and the customer service is just as speedy. The sweatshirt fleece is from Girl Charlee. I still have trouble (but am getting better) at anticipating the weight of knits purchased via the interweb. Sometimes I'm disappointed when the package arrives and I realize its not right at all for the planned garment. This sweatshirt knit far exceeded my expectations. So buttery soft, it was almost a shame to line. I bought extra, there may be some Mini Hudson's in J's future.

FIT/SIZE: I sewed a 128 Standard (which is an 8, I think). The Zonen 09 cut tends toward long, lean, and modern. I sized up for longer wear, you can see he has some room to grow in the length.
This design is meant to be completely reversible, and I intended to make it that way, until I realized I could't squeeze the sleeves out of stripes. Some heather gray from my stash makes a nice substitution and isn't all bad on the outside.
Ole 1 and Ole 2 planning some sort of bed-headed conspiracy against the camera lady. 


Pattern: Ole by Zonen 09
Main Fabric: Sweatshirt Fleece from Girl Charlee
Lining Fabric: Jersey Knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Archer View B

Oh look, another chambray shirt with black pants and brown shoes. I'm gonna try very hard not to poke fun at what seems to be my uniform, because it just isn't dignified. I like it, and I will actually wear it (with one for my many earth tone sweaters no doubt).

When I bought the Archer Button Up Shirt pattern over a year ago, it seemed daunting to figure out my size AND sew a pattern with all those steps and new techniques. In the time since I've gotten a few collared, buttondown shirts under my belt (Theo 1Theo 2Alder). The perfect build up to my ultimate goal: Archer View B.
PATTERN: Archer Button Up Shirt pattern from Grainline Studio. This pattern is all over the inter web, you hardly need me to tell you what I think of it. It's a great pattern. When I'm sewing with Grainline Studio I usually use the instructions from the sewalong. Jen has a few tips and options for how to finish the collar stand and the collar points. I found them much more helpful than the bare bones pattern instructions.

FABRIC: This is the very same chambray from my last chambray shirt. I don't think I have enough fabric left to make anything else with it. At the very least my next project will be sewn with a different chambray!

ALTERATIONS: I made this shirt with an Anthro tunic in mind. To achieve a similar look I added 1"of length to the front to make sure I had adequate coverage to wear it with leggings.  I also wanted to move the line where the tail meets the back of the bodice up to my natural waist. I thought it would be a little more flattering to my shape if it didn't accentuate my bum. To do this I shortened the upper back piece by 4", then lengthened the lower back piece by 5" to accommodate the 4" I took out of the top and the 1" I added to the overall length.

SIZE/FIT: I graded between a 6 at the bust, an 8 at the waist, and a 10 at the hip. Initially it seemed a little big over all, but now that I've worn it a bit I kind of like that. I have already cut out a View A that is just a 4 bust to a 6 everything else, I hope I don't regret the smaller sizing. The sleeve is also about 1/2" too long. I normally roll sleeves so it's no big deal, but I'll fix it next time.

Now on to that Archer View A...

Linking up with Straight Grain readers today.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Secret Valentine Exchange : Gray Marled Shape Shifter Scarf

from @kristi_sweetkm on instagram

You may recall the Secret Valentine Exchange hosted by Sanae and Ute. Lovely makers the world over swap handcrafted Valentine treats with one another. This year I made a scarf, (last year I also made a scarf, apparently I am a one trick pony) inspired by a photo I took at the farm on a gray winter day, and the preferences of my recipient. 

I was assigned to make something for Monika of Schneider Meistern. Monika is a German pattern maker with an urban sensibility. Most of her website, and all of her patterns are in German, but definitely worth a visit, pictures being worth a thousand words and all. I was super excited about this assignment because she is so cool. I was super nervous about this assignment because she is so cool. I was totally relieved that she lives in a place with winter justifying my propensity to knit. And knit I did. 
PATTERN: This is a slight variation on my own Shape Shifter Scarf Pattern (available here). I made it a bit bigger over all, and I made the garter section a few rows longer than the rest of the scarf, casting off the side panels, then coming back and knitting about an inch more in the middle. One more shifting shape.

YARN: This is Palette Yarn by Knit Picks. I tried hard to stick to the use-what-you-have rule for this project, and I always have a good selection of this yarn on hand because it's inexpensive and comes in a ton of colors. To get the marled look I knit with two strands held together. The side panels are Cream and Finnley Heather, the middle panel is Cream and Asphalt Heather, the bottom middle panel is two strands on Asphalt Heather. 
This little assemblage of Shape Shifter Scarf, chambray bento bag (using this illustration), and some SweetKM Valentines, is now thousands of miles away hopefully being put to good use. Once again thank you to Ute and Sanae for taking on the organizational challenge of this little exchange. It was a ton of fun. You can see what others are giving and receiving with the hashtag #2015sve on instagram, or in the Flickr pool. 
Now for the gift I received.
Angela of Sew Snippet made me some lovely felted bowls, and matchbook notebooks. I love both. L and I have been debating what to store in our new bowls. The DPNs were my suggestion, the peg dolls were of course hers. Thank you Angela! I love international mail, especially when its a beautiful handmade present for me.

Because you may want to dig a little deeper into the online presence of the makers mentioned in this post (trust me you could spend a whole day on any of their sites drinking in the creativity) here is a recap:
instagram *  blog  * shop

blog * flickr


 instagram  *  blog

Thursday, February 5, 2015

KCW : Zonen 09 Ole

Kid's Clothes Week Day 4. Day 4!? Where has the week gone? My first (and only) submissions this season are this lovely Ole Cardigan, and Field Trip Raglan. Please accept these submissions and my apologies for over scheduling myself with the winter sessions of every extra curricular activity available in my fair city, greatly diminishing my free time to sew.

Everyone knows I have a bit of a crush on Zonen 09, so I was thrilled to be asked to make an Ole in celebration of the English release of the pattern. I have a bit of experience with Zonen 09 after sewing a couple of Theo button downs in the past. The Ole (like the Theo) is a fairly sophisticated make, it is nicely detailed, infinitely adaptable, and a VERY satisfying sew. Zonen 09 is known for crisp urban boy's wear, but Mina Dotter made her girl version look so appealing, L got first dibs on Ole.
PATTERN: Ole jacket from Zonen 09.  I totally under estimated this pattern when I was fabric shopping (and when I was sewing, more on that later). In my mind it was a cardigan because I planned to make the simplest shawl collar version, but it is so much more. Depending on the weight of the fabric you choose it could be a full on spring jacket, with on seam pockets on the outside and two options for interior pockets. It is fully lined, and can be completely reversible. It can be fastened with buttons or snaps. The Ole is in English, but maintains a few characteristic of it European decent. Seam allowances are not included on the pattern pieces, so I added 1/2" to each piece when I traced them. I know many people add the seam allowances on the fabric, but because I'm not used to doing it that way, I would rather screw up on paper, then forget and screw up my fabric. It is also formatted for A4 printing, making it a skosh too large for American letter size copy paper. I use legal size paper as a substitute for A4.

FABRIC: The exterior is a vintage polyester knit from Crafter Glow. It is medium weight and doesn't have much stretch. The interior is light weight cotton jersey from Girl Charlee. The buttons are vintage from my stash. 

SIZE/FIT: Like the Theo, the Ole comes with two fit options, standard and slim. L measured a 5, but I made the size 6 standard because I wanted it to be roomy enough for more than one layer underneath.  Even the standard fit has a nice long and lean look about it. 

I'm not gonna lie, this pattern kicked my butt. The whole thing seems silly now, but that's the way it is when you're learning new techniques. I read the instructions for attaching the cuff to the lining and the exterior at the same time 1 million times. ONE MILLION!!!! But I just didn't get it. I figured that it was the bagged lining method that I tried with the Salme Cropped Blazer, so I went back to the Grainline tutorial I've used in the past. It worked like a charm, though because I followed the Grainline instructions as exactly as I could, my assembly isn't quite what is specified by Zonen 09, and I had to do a little fudging of the finishing with some top stitching at the end.

When I finished I went back and read the instructions again, and they made perfect sense. If you have bagged more than one jacket lining over a year ago, you'll have no trouble at all. If you have never done it, baste everything as a test run. I ripped those g.d. cuffs off (after serging too!) so many times I very nearly gave up. The point is it's tricky, but not rocket science. The perfect fit and thoughtful details of this jacket are well worth stretching your skills. Next time I'll be bagging linings and attaching collars like a pro. 
Because you can't wear just a cardigan (and it wouldn't be KCW if I didn't sew at least one t-shirt), I whipped up a new Field Trip Raglan to go with it. I've made this pattern many times (here, here, here) before, which makes it easy to alter with a dependable outcome. The sleeves are vintage knit from my stash, and shorted to three quarter length. I added an inch of length to the body, and made the neckline 1/2" bigger for a girlier look. The graphic is from my Conversation Heart Valentine Pins, blown up to t-shirt size and applied with a freezer paper stencil. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine T-Shirt Wrap Bracelet Tutorial

While in search of something simple and fun for the kids to give as Valentine treats I decided to give the t-shirt wrap bracelet tutorial a Valentine makeover. The old ones are still in popular rotation, and I thought they would be a great fast project for Valentine giving and wearing.

I'm demonstrating with hearts, but you can bedazzle these with any shape (like the triangles we used last time), or letters to spell out a Valentine message or the name of a special someone.  These can easily be made with scraps you have on hand and are a great stash busting project.
You will need:
- 1 Strip of jersey (or other knit that rolls at the edges) fabric 1"x18", an old t-shirt will work great
- 4 (or more) 1" shapes cut from wool felt, vinyl, leather or other material that won't fray
- Sewing machine or needle
- Coordinating thread
Assemble all materials. Cut hearts out of the wool felt.
Pin the strip of knit together at the short ends, wrong sides together (so the seam allowance will be hidden when the fabric curls. Stitch about 1/8" from the edge.
Cut 4 hearts out of the felt that are 1" or less in their largest dimension. Pin the hearts at intervals around the loop of knit. Make a short line of stitching at the center of the heart. The stitching should run perpendicular to the way the knit stretches so that is does not hinder the stretch.
That's it!  Wrap them around the arm, wear them as a necklace, tuck them in a card for your sweetheart.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In the Shop - Conversation Heart Valentines

Oh, it's that time of year again. Valentine season. One of my very favorite holidays, for its tiny gifts full of sentiment. Again this year we've got sweet little Valentine pins perfect for all your friends. I've even toned down the sentiment this year, after all the agonizing my first grader did last year over who should receive the "xoxo". All of our messages can be given to anyone as a token of sweet, simple friendship. They come in sets of 5 pins attached to a simple card that reads "Happy Valentine's Day" on the front and "to" and "from" on the back. The card/pin colors are mixed to make each card as much fun (and as gender neutral) as possible. Our set of conversation hearts is perfect for flexible classroom giving, party favors, or place cards at a special dinner. 

Get your own in the SweetKM Etsy Shop.
 We'll be wearing all 5!

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 More : Sewn Details for Boys

The Hansel & Gretel Vest has got me thinking about boy friendly sewn details. Details in the structural sense, not in the logos, words, or pictures sense. Like many a sewist in blogland, we aren't much for brand logos or team affiliations. So, when you take graphics out of the equation, what are we left with? Little girls have ruffles and lace, ruching of all kinds, what are some playful flourishes for boys clothes that even the most minimalist dresser can endure. Quilting is one of my favorites, here are 5 more:
1. Piping
How I love piping. It is a reasonably dignified way to add a little interest to almost everything, with the added bonus of making any seam where it's used look especially crisp. The Cisse Pants by Zonen 09 use piping to its best advantage, but you can add it at the seam of almost anything.
1. Paspel Poezen 2. Lily en Woody 3. Ann Cloots via Flickr 4. Pieke Wieke
2. Cut Corner
This detail comes from the the Theo Button Up Shirt by Zonen 09, but is easily replicated elsewhere. I don't like a lot of matchy, matchy quilting cotton on anything. The corner cut (like piping) allows me to add a personalized pop of color to an otherwise simple garment.
3. Epaulettes or shoulder patches
I don't know if Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama invented this, but she certainly has made them famous. A contrasting fabric at the shoulder is a really sleek way to add some subtle detail to t-shirts. The Rowan Tee by Titchy Threads comes with the shoulder stripes built in.
4. Topstitching.
I am partial to quilting as a way to add structural interest to just about anything. I like that it adds warmth, durability, and visual interest. Topstitching is the warm weather cousin of quilting, and a great way to highlight a specific piece of the garment, particularly bottoms. The Small Fry Skinny Jeans and Kudzu Cargos are two patterns that really lend themselves to topstitched embellishment.
5 Triangle Color Blocked Ankles
Color blocking might be the simplest way to change up a wide expanse of boring.  I recently came across the Aviator Pants by Winter Wear. This pattern uses diagonal color blocking at the ankle. It's simple, unique, and most importantly versatile. I could see doing the same thing at the wrist for any knit top. You might be seeing more of this from me in future.

All of these examples and more are on the Sewing for Boys board on Pinterest. Do you sew for a boy? What tricks do you use to liven up his handmade wardrobe? It was TOUGH to narrow this list down to 5. What do you think I should have included?


What's up with 5 More? 
I suspect that if I'm up into the wee hours of the night searching for a certain style of sewing pattern, others are probably shopping for it, too. With the 5 More series I try to sift through the mountains of patterns, and possibilities in search of 5 safe bets, for good results.