refashioned Hitchhiker's Jacket is finished (finally), I can get back to knitting up Christmas gifts. Considering that the mail is hideously slow, I need to get these sent out by the first week of December, and I'm so far behind, it's terrifying.
But that's okay, because I just stumbled across a cute gift idea that I think a lot of people will be getting this year: the Owly Bookmark!
original pattern, because I changed the main part of the bookmark to stockinette from...whatever the heck the designer had going on (I must've been doing something wrong because it looked like a garbly mess when I tried it). And then I changed the owl design to something shorter and stouter, making it up as I went (I've knit a lot of owly things, so I have the gist of them by now). And then I used french knots instead of eyes.
Pattern: Owly Bookmark Pattern (sort of)
Yarn: Mystery acrylic from my stash - I suspect Red Heart brand (7 g - 11.6 m)
Needles: 3.0 mm
Alterations: Changed main part of bookmark to stockinette. Reduced body length to 6 rows before cabling and reduced the head to 4 rows before cabling. Used french knots for eyes instead of buttons.
New Techniques Learned: Knit through the front and back loop.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Just a head's up, if any of you have gone and voted in the Pattern Review's Refashion Contest already, you might want to go and try again. There's was a problem in the code and some people's votes were accidentially transfered to other entries. I think this originated from a link in the discussion board, so it only affected some votes, but all votes from the last two days have been reset to keep things fair.
So please head on over to PR to vote, if you're so inclined! (Of course, you don't have to vote for me. lol)
Sunday, November 18, 2012
|Got my towel, babelfish, and cool jacket. Lunch at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe anyone?|
And then I basically put the movie on loop whenever I was sewing the jacket, and it became sort of a thing.
|Sorry about my blinding white skin (use your towel to sheild your eyes). Flash does horrible things to my complexion. Great things to falling snow though.|
This has been my mantra throughout the last days of finishing off this jacket. It was a mad race to finish this ontime for the PR Refashion Contest, and I literally had minutes to spare once I submitted! But I did it! I was so worn out after finishing it, I sort of put off writing this blog post. Sorry for the delay.
Recap of Details:
Pattern: Burda Style Magazine 09-2012 #135 Blouson Jacket (plus sized)
Size: 46 from shoulders to bust, graded to 48 below the waist
Fabric: Thrifted Nygard wool jacket (XL) and Garage Sale Danier leather jacket (L?), and a poly lining from the crappy local fabric shop.
Alterations: Grading size, changed the shoulder yokes from wool to leather
toile. Despite the size of the jacket, there just wasn't enough leather to cut out the pieces, especially once I cut the last facing the wrong way and had to seam together the last piece. I did, in the end, change the triangular shoulder yokes from wool (as the pattern suggests) to leather, mostly because I was out of wool fabric. I even had to patch together the wool waistband piece because I was down to scraps of wool. (Although looking at the pictures, I really wish I could've done the waistband in leather. Ah well, such is the way of refashioning - sometimes you have to make compromises.)
|Here's the front panel facing I had to patch together. Turned out alright!|
Actually, the instructions were entirely disappointing. I wound up mostly making it up as I went along, they were so convoluted and confusing.
|Zipper, snap at the waistband, and look! Chest welt pocket!|
|And then I embroidered a Babel fish to the collar. I'm all set for translating any aliens that comes along.|
"The Babel fish," said The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
I'm suprised at how warm this jacket is. The night I finished it, I wore it to go pick up my roommate from the airport, and despite it being -16C (3.2F) and only wearing a t-shirt underneath, I was more than warm enough. YEAH WIN!
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Thursday, November 15, 2012
|FYI, it's about 5 pm in this pic|
|Front panel of the original jacket. I cut the left front side panel to catch the welt chest pocket.|
The other piece that I was happy with the cut out was the centre back piece. When I did the toile for this jacket, I added a centre back seam in case I had to do a sway back adjustment. I didn't - this jacket actually curves along my lower back and upper bum beautifully - but I liked the additional seam. The original jacket had a centre back seam, and I just cut this piece directly on that seam, so I get the look, without having to sew that seam. Go laziness!
|Left: before topstitching; Right: after topstitching.|
I don't think I've shown you the lining yet. I wound up buying some at my local (crappy) fabric shop because the original jacket's linings were not in great condition. I have no idea what the fibre content is, because our fabric store doesn't actually indicate that on any of their fabric. It's basically a guessing game. It's wasn't that expensive though, when everything there is expensive, so I don't have high expectations. Of course, it was the only kind of lining there, and you know what they say about beggers.
I'm much further along than these posts have shown. The shell is almost entirely together, minus the waistband piece, and I just have to attach the sleeves to the lining before sewing it to the jacket. Then it's just hemming the sleeves and attaching the waistband. By tomorrow night. Well, way before tomorrow night, because I have to take pictures and write a review still. Oh gosh. Was hoping to get the sleeves on the lining and sew the lining to the jacket tonight, but I think my brain hit a wall and I just couldn't do it. Hense this post!
Alright, time for bed! Happy sewing all!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I realized yesterday that I was missing the second collar piece. I'd been forced to chop the collar piece in half to begin with because the wool fabric was getting tight, and after I eeked those pieces out, I completely forgot to cut another set.
|First collar piece below, new piece above|
I managed to cut out another collar piece from two scraps. The attaching seam was deliberately offset to reduce bulk on the collar. The shape is a bit wonky, but that should be hidden in the seam allowance. WHEW!
Unfortunately, this used up one of the larger scraps of wool that I'd planned to use in the waistband. So I had to get a little creative patching it together.
|Sorry for the crummy photos. Poor lighting and charcoal grey wool are not a good mix.|
Sunday, November 11, 2012
my entry for the Refashion contest over at PR, and taking a whole whack of pictures. I'm serious, a Whole Whack of them. I'm going to share all the fun I've had with taking apart and cutting out pattern pieces from this leather coat
I noticed a lot of neat things about this jacket while taking it apart. Some are design features, other are construction methods, and I thought I'd share some of my favourites here.
corduroy jacket's welt pockets, but it's nice to see a good example of how such a little detail can make such a difference. Especially if your pocket lining material is bright.
You can also see how they topstitched the horizontal seamlines and left the vertical seams alone. This tends to emphasize the horizontal seams and lets the vertical seams disappear a bit more, which helps prevent a patch-quilt sort of look
Except there wasn't enough space to cut the facings directly from the jacket. I'd have to patch it.
|Hacked off the pocket section|
|Used binder clips to hold leather pieces together (can't pin leather or else the pin marks would be noticeable)|
|Try to line up vertical seamline|
|Stitch, then trim and glue down seam allowance|
|Topstitch on either side of seamline|
|Notice afteward that your vertical seamline weren't aligned. Give up and cut out facing piece|
Of course, then I messed up.
The biggest problem was that getting all the pieces I needed was going to be tight as it was. I actually had to walk away from this all for a couple days because of how upset I was.
This leather, btw, is beautiful to work with. I've been using size 12 sharp needles instead of leather needles, and there hasn't been any problems. Well, there was one, but I'll talk about that in a sec.
I then stitched the front panel and facing together. I don't have pics here right now, but I had two problems with this:
- The seam curves a bit inward at the top and bottom, so the whole front line of the jacket looks a bit curved. I decided that I can live with this, because unpicking leather is hard.
- I chose to topstitch along the edge of this seam, and I broke a needle half way going over the fankensteined facing seamlines. Oh well, I'll just use a stronger needle next time.
I forgot to mention, but before stitching everything together, I decided to freshen up the leather a bit. Many internet sources suggested using a mix of lemon juice and olive oil, so I did just that. The lemon juice cleaned the leather, and the oil added moisture. The test strip above was taken from directly adjacent to the piece it's laying over, and you can see the difference it made!
I'm a bit proud of how I've managed to use up all the material from these jackets! Let's hope that the final result turns out. If it doesn't though, I've learned a heck of a lot on this project. :)
If you managed to get through this extremely long post, thanks so much for your patience! I didn't realize it would be such a beast until I was half-way through it.