Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Felted argyle hoodie

I have been saving the green argyle sweater for just the right project. It was just a little felted when I bought it at the thrift store, a little too small for me to wear as it was but just right for a sweater-collage. I think it's been sitting on my shelf for about a month, waiting for the right supporting sweaters to come along and inspire me. Yesterday, finally, I had the time, the inclination, and just the right materials to forge onward.

It's made entirely of felted lambswool sweaters (except the hood, which is cashmere), hand sewn with Persian wool yarn. The body of the sweater took me one day to complete; the hood took me another half-day. In all, I used four sweaters and have a fair number of scraps to be used, probably, in a wool blanket.

The hood was the hardest part to do because I had to draft a pattern, and my initial pattern was entirely too large; I had to un-sew my first hood, cut it down and re-sew it to fit my head. Then sewing it into the V-necked sweater was challenging, and when the hood is up it doesn't look particularly graceful. It doesn't look bad, but it could look better. It is unbelievably cozy and soft, though, so I'm leaving it in place and I will definitely use it.

I love this project because it is such an easy way to obtain a sweater that is just the right size and shape for my body, in a color and pattern that I love. I will be interested to see what other people's reactions are when I wear the sweater in public -- will they like it, or think it's curious, or shake their heads and smile at crafty Jennifer? I'll wear it anyway, because I like it, but we shall see.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flower power

So I needed some new pajama pants. I liked the ones I had made but it was hard to keep them ironed for everyday wear, and then they didn't fit quite the way I wanted them to. Their official name is "Pajamas for Everyone" in Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing, but they really don't seem to be for people with hips or much of a waist, so I decided to try out a simple alteration.

All I did was extend the waist length by a couple of inches and adjust the legs accordingly, but it did the trick. I now have two very loud pairs of Pajamas for Me, and I expect to make many more as the days get cooler and I start pulling out the pretty flannels I have stashed away in the closet. Hooray for successful experiments!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blast from the past

Last Saturday we were thrifting at the Re-Uzit Shop in New Holland, PA and I happened upon a wonderful basic sewing tome from the late sixties:

It was in perfect condition; I got it for $2, which I consider a steal when you note the original $7.95 price tag on the jacket. Love the back cover!

The thing looked strangely familiar to me, and I wasn't sure why till I got it to the car and had a chance to browse a bit. I realized when I saw the page below -- my favorite as a child -- that it is the exact same sewing book my mother kept next to her machine all the years I was growing up!

So -- a little bit of alchemy going on in the hills of Pennsylvania. Not bad.