Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fluffy Fibers: Episode 04 - Pre-Holiday Chatter

Podcasting today from the cool, quiet greenness of Northern France. :)

You can download the episode (42:45) here, or listen directly from the embedded player below (if it works on your browser).
Here is the direct feed for the podcast, and you can also find the podcast on iTunes.


Podcast Powered By Podbean

~Episode 04 Shownotes~
Intro; 1. Projects; 2. Listener's Question; 3. On my Bookshelves; 4. Something Natural, Something Seasonal

Intro:
- Fluffy Fibers group on Ravelry.
- My personal map of France :)

- Rebecca, spinning enabler :)

1.a. Sewing Projects (7:23)
- Sew Serendipity Studio Designs by Kay Whitt - The Monique Dress
- Pink Chalk Fabrics

1.b. Knitting projects (9:34)
- Finished projects: I blocked and took pictures of the Miette cardigan, the Mothed pullover, and the Damson shawlette.
- Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Abril
- Madelinetosh Tosh Light
- Current project: Leaflet, in Rowan Belle Organic, in Zinc.
11-07-08 Leaflet WIP
(Current WIP is significantly more advanced than this picture shows).
- The Cedar Leaf Shawlette I made for my older sister.
- Just cast on: Abstract Leaves Cowl, by Deb Mulder; in Lang Yarns Lyon (80% silk -20% linen)
Lang Yarns - Lyon
- Next up: Snapdragon Tam, by Ysolda Teague, and Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath.

2. Listener's Question (23:38): Imperial vs. Metric Measurements

3. On my bookshelves (29:22)
I mention Howards End, by E.M Forster, published 1910; and the adaptation by Merchant and Ivory (1992).

4. Something natural, something seasonal (37:53)
A green tip compliments of my friend Tini (her ravelry profile).

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poppy Fields: The Monique Dress

The Monique Dress - Poppy Fields
(pas d'article en français pour le moment, car le temps me manque, mais vous avez les photos et la référence du patron.)

At last, here is my take on the Monique Dress design by Sew Serendipity Studio.

Poppies are my favourite flower, so even though I don't usually aspire to copy the looks on pattern envelopes, this time I couldn't resist the gorgeous poppy fabric on one of the models.

I managed to find the fabric online - Big Poppy, a Laura Gunn design, produced by Michael Miller fabrics. There are two slightly different versions, one called Spice with the flowers being a warmer, lighter shade of red, and the other Aqua, which is the one I chose, with poppies in a deeper, cooler red, and a beautiful watercolour-like background.

I don't usually do large prints because I am so small, but for my spring-summer wardrobe this year I decided to push my limits a bit and opted for a floral theme; so everything I've been making this season is either in a floral print, or in a shade that is flower-oriented. This dress is definitely the pièce de résistance !
The Monique Dress - Poppy Fields

Copycat or not, I did make some rather substantial changes:
- lowered the bodice by 3 cm, because the waistline looks really high on the models, and Kim confirmed it.
- the waistline was still sitting too high up for my taste so I reduced the waistband’s SAs to 5 mm (which added 1 cm each to the top and to the bottom of the waistband) to get the waist cinched in more and therefore more flattering.
- shortened the hem by about 3 cm ("about", because I eyeballed it).
- deepened the waist darts by over 1 cm.
- The facings seemed dangerously narrow, so I ditched them and lined the bodice in a white cotton. The inside also looks prettier this way. This also allowed me to check the fit on the cheap lining before potentially ruining my fancy print. I love to use linings as muslins: no time  or fabric wasted on something I will never wear.
- instead of cutting strips of contrasting fabrics to frame the waistband, I cut the whole waistband into the contrasting fabric.
- I also lined the waistband (in self fabric) for more stability.
The Monique Dress - Poppy Fields

Sizes: As usual, I cut a smaller size (XS) at the back and slightly larger (S) at the front. I guess I could have cut a XS all around and do a FBA, which the deeper darts on the larger size ultimately act for.
The Monique Dress - Poppy Fields

You can hear more about this dress and this pattern in the third episode of my podcast (first 23 minutes of the podcast if you don't want to listen to the rest!). I was hoping to write a full review, but time is short, so I figured a shortened post was better than none at all!

Bottom line is, I love this dress, and look forward to sewing more of Kay Whitt's designs. :)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fluffy Fibers Podcast: Episode 03 - Sweltering Weather, Spellbinding Water

Big Poppy Fabric by Laura Gunn - Michael Miller
On this scorching day in Southern France, I talk about my new summer dress and review a Sew Serendipity sewing pattern; tell you about my first try at an Ysolda design; share my thoughts on the latest knitty.com issue; and ponder some more upon childhood reminiscences in literature.

You can download the episode (51:54) here, or listen directly from the embedded player below (if it works on your browser).
Here is the direct feed for the podcast, and you can also find the podcast on iTunes.



Podcast Powered By Podbean

~Episode 03 Shownotes~

Intro; 1. Projects; 2. Inspiration; 3. On my Bookshelves.

Intro:
- My ravelry page: KittyStitches.
- Fluffy Fibers group on Ravelry.
- The Knitmore Girls
- Annette Petavy - her podcast

1.a. Sewing Projects (3:05)
- Sew Serendipity Studio Designs by Kay Whitt - The Monique Dress
- Michael Miller Big Poppy in Aqua, designed by Laura Gunn - shown at the top of the shownotes
- PatternReview.com
- I mention the Dirndl skirt - a skirt made of two rectangles sewn together at side seams and gathered at the waist.
- Around 20:00 minutes: I goofed when talking about my alterations to the bodice: in the podcast I say my waistband was 1 cm wider (vertically speaking) after reducing the SAs to 5 mm instead of 1.5 cm, but it was in fact 2 cm wider (1 cm gained on each long side of the waistband).
- This is why we finish our seam allowances - by Trena.

1.b. Knitting projects (23:13)
- I finish-finished the Miette cardigan - and promise pictures soon
- I am almost done with Mothed
- I finished Damson and give two thumbs up both to Ysolda Teague for the design and Malabrigo for their sock yarn. Blocking shown below.
July 4, 2011 - Damson, blocking

2. Inspiration (27:38): Knitty Early Fall 2011 issue
- Creekbed scarf
- Dunes stole
- Rhodion shawl
- Kindling cardigan for girls
- Darrin cardigan
- Leaflet cardigan

- Rowan Belle Organic Aran (I chose the Zinc shade for Leaflet)

3. On my bookshelves (37:09)
- The winner for the giveaway of Pointed Roofs is Alison – ecopicot on ravelry. Congratulations :)
- This time I explain why the passage from Pilgrimage that I read in the second episode reminds me of The Mill on the Floss
Constable - Mill at Gillingham
John Constable, A Mill at Gillingham in Dorset ~ 1826

- To read directly the passage that I read last time and that I mention again here, go to this chapter of Pointed Roofs and scroll down to section 7 - what I am talking about concerns the last two thirds of this section.
- Passage read this time: second paragraph (and part of the third paragraph) of the opening page of the Mill on the Floss

4. Something natural, something seasonal
Postponed to the next episode for time reasons. I promise a good, long, eco-friendly segment next time. :)


Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.