Tag Archive | sewing

Talking About Myself

You know, I’m starting to wonder if my trouble with blogging doesn’t come down to the simple belief that the wide world of the internet couldn’t possibly be interested in what I’m up to. That’s not all of it – partly I also have trouble taking good pictures, and I don’t like to do a post without good-quality photos to go with it. But there’s a lot of wisdom in the “learn by doing” approach, so let’s see if I can make something of that!

When last we spoke, I had shown you my completed Fly Away Home lace shawlette, and was contemplating buying a sewing machine. I had a few WIPs, but most noteworthy among them was my Vivian sweater by Ysolda Teague, from Twist Collective. I’ve hit the approximate 50% mark based on yardage called for, and at last photograph the sweater looked like this:

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Not too bad, in my opinion. It’s languished a bit in favor of a couple other things, but I’m saving the other WIPs for another post. Right now, I want to tell you about what I’ve accomplished! For one thing, I did indeed buy a sewing machine. I checked the bank account where I’ve been squirreling away sewing machine money as well as the tax refund for this year, and was able to get a lovely Pfaff machine that was a bit nicer than I expected would be in the budget. A penny saved is indeed a penny earned, and they add up! It may be a little silly, but I decided he needed a name, and have been calling him Otto. We’re just getting to know each other, but we managed to turn out a lovely little shoe bag from a fun chicken fabric I found on sale at Joann Fabrics¬†using this pattern.

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I also may have brought home a couple of yards of a nice purple linen that’s intended for a Pavlova skirt from Cake Patterns. I’m not officially entering the sewalong and I don’t intend to make the top right now, but a purple linen circle skirt with a cute and functional pocket seems just the ticket for the upcoming spring and summer, and a 30 minute a day commitment with detailed tutorials sounds just right for my skill level. Hopefully it will go well!

I also whipped up a quick hat for a fun swap I was in on Ravelry, but most of my time has gone into WIPs. On the needles now, besides the Vivian sweater, I have two different pairs of mitts, each with one mitt completed (one with simple cables for me, the other man-sized colorwork mitts for a gift), a pair of socks on which I’ve just turned the first heel, a pair of spats, and my poor neglected entrelac cowl. We’ll see if I can finish something on that list before I make it back here!

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Eboracum…Sews?

Although I’ve been knitting for nearly 5 years now, this is a fairly new knitting blog. I’m not even certain there’s anyone reading it but me, yet. To be fair, I haven’t been publicizing it much – really, at all – until I’m sure I’ll stick with it. Regardless, I promised myself that I would focus on knitting content and establish myself as a knitting blog before I started to drag my readership (if I ever have one) into my other obsessions (like raising poultry, or baking, or gardening, if I ever get good at it).

That was before I had to spend hours on the internet searching for a new purse that would meet my exacting specifications, because the straps on my old one are ready to snap. Before my crafty friends said, yet again, “Why not sew your own and get exactly what you want?” Before I spent some idle time wandering around the internet browsing sewing patterns…first for bags…then for garments…then for practical, classically fashionable garments I might actually wear…you get the idea. I was already sorely tempted.

Then I discovered something, and all bets were off. I discovered Sewing Cake. Cake is a new pattern company designing patterns that are dedicated to being truly wearable, useful items for a busy modern woman’s (and man’s!) wardrobe. They have a classic appeal that will never go out of style. They have plenty of support in the form of blog entries, tutorials, and other tips for the beginning garment-maker.¬† (Her first release, the Tiramisu dress, includes detailed advice on matching stripes!) And perhaps most importantly for me, these pieces are always, always designed to have POCKETS! You can read more about her inspiration and mission in the blog post introducing the company here. Sold and ready to buy? Check out her Etsy shop. There’s one pattern out and available currently, with another releasing this month, and more on the horizon!

This discovery is absolutely wonderful to me. I love cake. (I mean, the metaphorical cake she’s talking about. I also love real cake, but that’s another post). I learned to knit in order to make cake – warm sweaters, warm socks, warm handcoverings, you name it. I like colors and patterns that I can wear anywhere, over and over again, because they get a job done. Even my frosting – a wool/silk lace stole for fancy dress – is the cake of the frosting world: elegant silver color, simple geometric pattern. I like practical features, a good fit, and I’m forever lamenting skirts that don’t have pockets. There’s only one thing stopping me from racing off to buy the Tiramisu pattern and fabric to make it right this instant. It’s that I don’t have a sewing machine. I wanted to buy one about two years ago, but I couldn’t settle on one in my budget. The sewing enthusiasts I talked to all recommended going with a higher level brand than I (thought I) could afford. Then I decided that I wasn’t really sure I’d have time or space or budget for another hobby, and I’d better just wait.

Luckily, although she’s never met me and hasn’t the foggiest clue who I am, Steph of Cake Patterns came to my rescue again. A year ago she posted this blog about the very sewing machine I’d almost bought. I read the post, glumly thinking about how it would be ages until I could afford a thousand dollar machine, and how I’d probably never be a sewist. Until the end, where, unlike all the other “this machine is terrible” posts I’d ever read, she gave an alternative – the Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116! It’s only marginally more expensive than the monster, she says, and makes sewing a pleasant experience rather than a battle. That was all I needed to hear. As it turns out, Pfaff also has a reasonably affordable Hobby line that I also like the look of quite a bit. (There are quite a number of Janome enthusiasts out there too, but I found the excessive number of Janome models to be way more than I wanted to wade through. They also seem really cutesy, all pink flowers and Hello Kitty, which is just not my thing). Hopefully I’ll have a chance to check out both the Husqvarnas and the Pfaffs, although I think I’ll probably end up with a Husqvarna – there’s a local shop that sells them where I would get a free intro class with the purchase, but I can’t seem to find a decent nearby Pfaff shop with the same option. (Annoyingly, neither manufacturer’s “Dealer Locater” feature will work for me. I’ve tried multiple browsers and no luck. All I’ve got is Google, but that doesn’t get me information on dealers without a web presence.)

So the long and the short of this rambly post is that you may be seeing another craft rearing its head soon, and that if you, like me, have been looking for a reasonably priced sewing machine that’s not the monster, you have options!