Progress report, week 21

I wanted to try to post a progress report every week but wow, time sure flies! I finish a progress post and hit publish on Monday and the next thing I know, it’s Monday again! Where did the week go? I’ve been working on projects but I feel like I just posted something!

Since the last progress report, I DID alter that dress! I think I’ll do a more detailed blog post about it but it’s done!

The fabric was very slippery and there was a lining to the bodice so I had to baste the bodice pieces together to be able to work with it easily. I took in the side bodice seams slightly and raised the waistline and the hem. I even wore it out and around this past weekend and it was great! I didn’t have to worry about the hem dragging on the ground. I didn’t feel dumpy and boxy wearing this oddly shaped dress on my body.

I also whipped up a quick project with some scraps. I pulled out all of my 1.5″ blue strips out and sewed them end to end. Then I cut up some fusible fleece to 1 inch strips and centered them on my blue strips and ironed them down. And then I made a fabric basket! The base has a diameter of about 7 inches and it’s actually a pretty good size!

I’ve also been chugging along on Penrose. It’s getting big enough and I think (I hope!) that I have enough fabric to square it out. I’ve already checked with the quilt shop that I purchased the fabric from. Because they’re batiks, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Eek!

As for Grassy Creek, I completed clue 5, the 9 patches and other random bits and have continued onto clue 6 which is the string pieced greys. The string pieced grey are all string pieced and I’m working on the white/neutral corners now.

Tray with clues 3-5

And just for kicks, I jumped ahead to the seventh and last clue and put a couple of blocks together. Looking pretty good!

Assembling my pieces

It’s looking pretty good! The blocks are enough pop of color to make me happy and I hope it remains so once I mix in the greys!

That’s it for this week! In the upcoming week, I hope to keep working through and completing clue 6 and can start June assembling the top. My ultimate goal is to make a trip to the quilt shop at the end of June/early July to get border fabric for both Grassy Creek and Penrose. Grassy Creek is do-able for completion. Penrose…I’m not sure but I’ll definitely need to just put in the time.


Progress report, week 19

I keep looking at my crafty to do list and wonder how it is that it never gets any shorter! It’s definitely motivating me to keep working on things! So what did I do this week?

I finished my gloves! Gloves are always fiddly because of the start and stop of fingers and all of the ends I need to weave in but at least the fingers knit up fast. Overall, this turned out really well and I’m very excited to wear them next winter. The yarn is warm and squishy. When knitting these gloves, I erred on the side of slightly longer on the hand and fingers because that bothers me less than if the hand and fingers are too short. Project details are as follows:

  • Pattern: Managing Your Flamingo
  • Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co Capital Luxury Sport (that yummy merino/cashmere/nylon blend)
  • Needle: US2 (2.75mm)
Finished gloves!

After the gloves, I started in on the project that scared me the most – dress alteration. But I started ripping out seams and basting up pieces! As of this writing, I have the side seams taken in. The bodice and lining are basted to each other for easier handling. I had basted the bodice to the skirt to try on and have come to the conclusion that I need to a good amount of fabric to shorten the skirt to the length I want. Before ripping out any seams, the skirt dragged on the ground. The fabric is probably some sort of rayon and very drapey so it’s annoying to handle. There is a lot of pinning and then hand basting parts into place. While I would prefer to cut the fabric after I had everything sewn together, it’s too difficult to work with if I don’t cut that it has to be done.

Bodice, all pinned and hand basted

The next couple of days, I’ll be finishing up this dress and then moving onto the next item on my to do list!

April round up and May goals

My goals for April were to:

  • DONE – Use the cotton lawn I had ordered to make 2 chemises using the pattern from Wearing History
  • DONE – Make a couple of pin cushions
  • DID THIS! – continue working on Penrose

Having the list of goals and WIP projects was handy because it helped me remember all the various projects I had going and kept me focused and be able to finish things.

After I finished those, I pulled out Grassy Creek because I couldn’t remember where I left off on that one. I had started it even though I knew I was moving and ended up packing it away while the clues were still coming out. I did aim to start at the first clue and aim to work through the clues in order so I knew that at least clues 1 and 2 were done and I was somewhere in the middle of clues 3 and 4. Another reason I decided to pull this out was because I was aiming to use scraps out of my fabrics so I had scraps of fabric sitting around that I wanted to put away. So clue 3 and 4 are now done!

My stack of clue 3/4 units for Grassy Creek

And then I started in on clue 5. There are three parts to this clue. First there were the scrappy 9 patches and I digged deep into my scraps. In trying to keep them as scrappy as possible, I had strips of fabric in piles all over the place and I couldn’t wait to get the piles sewn up and put away! Then there were the flying geese. I finished the flying geese units last night but they still need to be trimmed.

Grassy creek flying geese

As for May, I decided to go with three main goals, an ongoing project, and a reach goal based on how April’s goal setting went.

In April, I had started knitting a sock as a project I could take in the car that wasn’t too fiddly and I didn’t have to pay too much attention so I have a basic 2×2 rib sock. I just turned the heel on the first sock. At my normal knitting speed, if that’s the main project I work on, I can start and finish a pair of socks in about two weeks. Since this is in between projects, it’s a reach goal.

For my main goals, the first is to alter a dress for Me Made May. I had bought this maxi dress from Modcloth because I really loved the look of it. This was a couple of years ago, and I was 30 pounds heavier and even then, I knew that it was a little bit too big. The waist was fine since it’s a loose dress but for the bust, there’s no way to wear a bra and my chest was NOT big enough to fill it out. With how strappy it is, I would have to wear it either without a bra, or have my bra show.

Since the idea behind Me Made May is to challenge yourself with a sewing project to improve your relationship with your sewing, I thought this was a good project. So far, the only clothing alteration I’ve done to any article of clothing was to shorten pants which is pretty simple. This is definitely a more challenging project and I’m a little nervous. I have to pretty much deconstruct an article of clothing, make it fit me, and then put it back together again.

Dress before alteration

So here we are, the dress in its before state. Since I bought it, I’ve lost 30 pounds and my chest has shrunk another inch. What I want to do with this dress is:

  • Take in the bust so it actually fits me and add bra cups so I can go bra-less in the dress. I think I’m going to have to rip this out from the elastic waist up and take in both on the side seams and on the existing bust darts.
  • Shorten the straps? I’m not sure if I’ll need to do this if I’ve taken in the bust.
  • Re-attach the waist elastic so it fits
  • Figure out if I can shorten the dress without destroying that bottom hem pattern which is also pretty awesome. Maybe I shorten it at the waistline when I’m re-attaching? I love the look of a maxi dress but I hate having a hem that drags on the ground. Aside from stepping on it, it would ruin that hem so much faster

My next goal is to finish knitting my gloves. One is completely done and the ends are woven in. The second glove is about half done. I can definitely finish this if I give it some attention this month and it will be ready for winter!

Grassy Creek – just keep chugging. Clue 5 deals with some scraps and to finish this up, I need to trim down my flying geese and then I need to cut a bunch of red pieces. The one thing that will prevent me from finishing this clue would be if I run out of red scraps. Clue 6 is….string piecing greys. I may also run out of grey fabric since I already had to buy a fat quarter bundle to do clue 4 and these flying geese.

As before, Penrose is my ongoing and I’m debating having a “hexie day” where my main project is to turn some scrap fabric into basted hexies.

Hmm, one thing I forgot to add to my list of WIPs is an experimental Cathedral Windows pattern piece that will turn into a pillow cover. That will chug through a lot of neutral fabric (I buy Kauffman’s Kona Cotton in Snow by the bolt) and would make for a nice travel/car sewing project.

So that’s it for now! I’ll try to post progress reports every week and see how it goes!