It’s getting to be fall which is always a time where I start reassessing my wardrobe. Probably something to do with the ingrained back to school feeling, the fact that fall is my favorite season, my love for long sleeves and layering, or some combination of the those. Whatever the reason I always want to do a little refresh at this time of the year. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to make for myself this upcoming season and it’s been a bit hard for me. I’ve been away from the blog pretty consistently for about 9 months now, posting here and there when I had time or felt like I had something to say, while working to re-launch the pattern line, and I feel like I’m just finally getting back to figuring out what I’m doing here. I think the huge changes I’ve gone through personally and business wise over the past almost two years have really changed both who I am as a person and my style - probably the fact that I’m now 32 has something to do with these changes too, ha!
Last night we were trying to take count of all the clothing I’ve purchased this year (excluding socks & undergarments) and we came up with 3 tees, 2 tanks, 1 sweater, and 1 dress. I’d like to start replacing some of the tees with the jersey above on the left and perhaps make a pattern for my ideal tank. Most of the fabric on the right is earmarked for some pattern samples and variations which I’ll be stealing post shoot. I’m never going to be a person who feels like I need to make every single thing in my wardrobe so I don’t feel bad purchasing things, and now that I make most of my clothes the few things I do buy I’m able to spend a bit more on quality products I love that will last. Quality fabrics & yarns too. I’ve got other fall sewing ideas but for now I’m still finalizing them.
This post went on a bit of a ramble but I suppose that’s alright from time to time. Since we’re just mulling along here I’ve gotten a lot of questions and curiosity about whether Grainline Studio is my full time job or not. It is and has been for a while now. Thanks to all you guys for supporting this little business and helping me to make it grow!
Today I wanted to show you guys how easy it is to turn the Alder Shirtdress into an Alder Shirt! I’m showing View B here but you can do the same thing with view A for a more classic sleeveless button up.
Start by deciding how long you want the shirt to be. If you’ve made the dress already it’s really easy to just try the dress on and mark where you’d like the shirt to hit. If you haven’t I recommend measuring starting from the hollow of your throat down to where you’d like the shirt to hit since that measurement corresponds with the center front of the dress fronts.
Once you know how long you’d like the dress, mark the new hem length on the front of the dress. Measure up evenly across the bottom of all of the dress pieces to mark the new hem. Make sure you remember to leave enough for the hem.
All of the construction is the same as the original dress for this version so you can either follow the instructions in the booklet or follow along with the sew along here on the blog.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a finished project post but I’m getting back on the horse and today we have my finished Benton Sweater! I started this sweater in mid April when I needed a road trip knitting project. Stonecutter seemed a little intense for taking on the road so a quick Ravelry searching revealed this gem, designed by Julie Hoover for Brooklyn Tweed Winter ’14, which I thought would be a relatively mindless knit.
The sweater calls for Brooklyn Tweed Loft yarn but since I was on short notice and had already spent a small fortune on the Shelter for my Stonecutter I pulled some Knit Picks Stroll Tweed from my stash and went with that. The yarn is a pretty alright sub, the green had these little teal fluffs in it which I didn’t think looked that great so every time one came out of the ball I plucked it off. I am glad I used a superwash yarn though because after one complete day of owning the finished sweater I can tell it’s going to get a lot of wear.
I made the second smallest size which maybe corresponds to a small, I don’t really know, and you can see it’s a pretty roomy sweater. This photo totally cracks me up because between the shape and stripes it reminds me a little bit of a trilobite. It’s going to be great for layering though, the sleeves are slim but not too slim that you can’t put a shirt on underneath.
I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, it was the perfect mix of stockinette stitch for taking on the go combined with a lot of great techniques that I either needed to brush up on or learn. The hems are done with the tubular cast on which I hadn’t done in probably at least 3 years, besides the Stonecutter, and I really enjoyed the Brooklyn Tweed directions. At first they seemed a little confusing but reading through a few times cleared things up. The shoulders are shaped with clever short rows which are executed differently than the short rows I’ve done on socks so it was fun to learn another method on that. The one time I wanted to freak out was doing the tubular cast off, phew that took a few reads through the instructions! Once I realized it was basically just the kitchener stitch, which I had just mastered while sewing the shoulders together, I was okay though and I’m definitely glad I figured it out and didn’t cheat out with a regular cast off. It really does look super nice.
I totally love this sweater, I’m so glad I came across the Summer Sweater Knit Along hosted by Shannon. It really gave me the kick I needed to get back on the knitting bandwagon. That combined with semi-free nights combined perfectly to make this sweater happen. On to the next one!
Project Details: (view on Ravelry)
Pattern: Benton by Julie Hoover for Brooklyn Tweed
Size: 2nd smallest
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Lost Lake Heather and Down Heather
Now that I no longer work from home and now have”after work time,” I’ve been getting a lot of evening knitting done which is pretty exciting! I just finished up my Benton sweater, now it’s back onto Stonecutter. Personally I’m not letting the fact that I’ll be knitting Stonecutter till the day I die put a damper on dreaming of more handknits. Why be practical when you can imagine all the cabled handknits can be yours? With that said, here are three knits that are definitely in my Ravelry queue.
Ondawa by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed Fall ’14 I swore I wasn’t going to be swayed by the new Brooklyn Tweed release, but then this morning there it was, this little cropped and cabled sweater and really, who can say no to that.
Exeter by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed Spring Thaw I don’t know if you’ve noticed a theme yet but Michelle also designed the Stonecutter. Obviously I agree with her cable stylings and, while I am a hater of cardigans, this one is of the kind which buttoned up, looks and acts like a sweater or can be wrapped blanket style. Being practically cold blooded, I obviously need this. Also check out this gorgeous version!
The Boyfriend Hat by Purl Soho This is one I’ve been meaning to knit but it kind of got pushed aside for Stonecutter and then it was spring, so back onto the fall list it goes. I also have a request for this hat out from Jon who upon seeing the picture last winter thought I had them available for the taking in the house. Sadly it was just the project photo.
Do you have any fall knitting projects planned? What patterns are you currently loving? Also does anyone have a good sub for Brooklyn Tweed Shelter because one sweater was fine, but two more and I’ll be going broke!
Today’s Alder Shirtdress variation is an easy one, the Mandarin Collar. You don’t need any extra pattern pieces, in fact you need less. The mandarin collar is actually just the collar stand without the addition of the collar.
Start by fusing the wrong side side of one of the collar stands.
With right sides together align the interfaced and non interfaced collar stand and stitch around the upper edge.
Grade the seam allowances as shown above.
You now have a collar stand that looks like this. Follow the rest of the Alder Sew Along instructions starting here at Day 10 to complete the rest of your Alder.
Super easy! This collar looks great buttoned and unbuttoned and can be a bit more casual than the full collar.
Today’s a quick post…the hem. Before you begin, line up the front button bands of your dress to make sure they both ended up the same length and adjust accordingly. Fold the hem up 1/4″ and press.
Fold up 1/4″ again and press. Pin in place if you like.
Head over to your machine and stitch the hem down as close to the fold line as you feel comfortable. Super easy!
Today in the Alder Sew Along we’re binding armholes. To follow along click below!
Today we’ll be assembling and attaching the collar. This post is extremely photo heavy, about 32 photos, so if you’re here for the sew along, click below. If not browse on!
Today we’re going to be sewing together the side seams & skirts of both View A & View B. We’ll start with view A because that’s the easier one. Begin by placing the front and back with right sides together matching up the edges and notch of the side seam. Stitch along this seam.
From there finish your seam as desired and press towards the back of the garment. I serged mine here because it’s denim but if you’re using a lightweight fabric such as silk you could alternately French seam.
Something I like to do on my denim garments is stitch along the edge of the seam at 1/4″ catching the seam allowance underneath. This is a ready to wear faux flat felled seam technique which gives a similar look (and keeps the seam allowance in place) without all the work of a regular flat felled seam. This dress isn’t really going to get heavy duty wear so a faux flat felled seam is just fine here.
This post is super photo heavy due to the steps of attaching the View B skirt so I’m clipping the post. Click the link below to continue reading the View B instructions.