~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Migraines and Muslins…

I unfortunately suffer from migraine headaches and last week I had a doosey which put me out of commission for five days.  Usually it only lasts three days but I had to use two different meds which do have their side effects and take a little while to move out of your system.  This put me even further behind in my “Lady Grey Sew-Along” coat project and Through the Loops Mystery Sock KAL but by the weekend I was finally able to stand having the curtains open and working near a light source during the evening.   It was nice to remove the sunglasses that had been my friend for the previous five days.

As far as muslins go I sewed up a THIRD muslin because I wasn’t quite satisfied with my second one.  The jacket was still pulling and was a  little bit tight in spots.  I figured that with a lining/interlining it would be even tighter so I opted to sew the third muslin; in doing so I ran out of muslin so used this black cotton/poly print.  It isn’t the prettiest fabric in the world but I’m not planning on wearing it.  I made further changes to adjust the back for my scoliosis issues.  In addition to my previous adjustments  I  made a 1/4” broad back adjustment, I dropped the curve on the frontBack View of Muslin #3 princess seam by 1/2” which in turn causes you to raise the waistline up 1/2” and then raise the lower armhole 1/2” on the side front piece of the jacket grading it back in.  I adjusted my dart to compensate for these changes.  I also increased the width of my sleeve by 3/4” and adjusted the placement of my easement dots on my front and back pieces by 3/8”.  I corrected the side front/side back pieces at the side seams dropping the  armhole depth 3/4” grading it back in.

I am finally satisfied with the results.  I might do some minor tweaking on the left side back/back seam in the fashion fabric due to there being a little more material there than I want due to my back adjustments for my right side.  I might leave it alone because the weight of the wool fabric may pull it down and allow it to hang better than the cotton muslin plus I want to be able to wear winter sweaters under this coat and would like room to move easily in it.

That’s it for now…I have moved on to cutting my wool fashion fabric and basting my hair canvas onto the side front and front pieces.  Looking forward to doing some pad stitching today, will post more about that later.

Side View of Muslin #3 Happy Sewing!!

Mimi O



References used for pattern adjustments:

  1. Pattern Fitting with Confidence (Pivot & Slide Method): Nancy Zieman
  2. Fit for Real People: Palmer & Pletsch
  3. The Complete Book of Sewing: DK Publishing, pgs. 26 – 33, 94 – 105

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Muslin means Work…Ugh

I am definitely the turtle of the Lady Grey Sew-Along and have finally gotten the opportunity to cut and sew my muslin.   And then, to cut and sew it again….and then to tweak it…and then…

Need I say more…muslins are a necessary “evil” when it comes to sewing and they are work!!!  Ughhhh.

Going through the motions I have sewn two muslins and are making further adjustments prior to cutting out my “Lady Grey”, B5401, in my fashion fabric.  Based upon Nancy Zieman’s “Right Size” fitting I have cut a size 16 and have done the following adjustments:





  • FBA
  • Shortened the front/back waist length
  • Adjusted pattern to fit my waist measurement
  • Graded from waist to hip
  • Added 1/2” length so pattern hip marking would hang at my hip location
  • Relocated dart to match my bust point location
  • Forward shoulder adjustment 1/2”
  • Forward sleeve cap adjustment 1/2”
  • Lengthened sleeve 1”
  • Lowered button/buttonhole placement 3/4”;  graded up to collar
  • Lowered the pocket placement by 1 1/2”
  • Round back adjustment 1/2”

Phew….I think that is all there was.  Due to my scoliosis I have fit issues and these adjustments are part of that.  I’m also going to try putting a thicker 3/4” shoulder pad on my right side to see if this will balance out my unevenness when viewed from the back.  It could be the angle of the camera making it look worse then it is too.

Here are the pics of my muslin in various stages.


Muslin #1 - Too big  Muslin #1 - Side View  Muslin #1 - Back

Muslin #1 - Too Much FBA  Muslin #1 - Too Much FBA

Opps…FBA is a “little” too big


Muslin #2 - Front  Musling #2 - Side  Muslin #2 - Back

Muslin #2 - Shoulder Adjustment Needed   Muslin #2 - Collar

Myrna - Muslin Front     Myrna - Shoulder Seam Adjustment   Myrna - Muslin Back

Myrna is styling in my “Lady Grey” ;-D

~Happy Sewing~

Mimi O

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mail Call via Club BMV

This weeks Mail Call post comes to you courtesy of the Club BMV website and the Lady Grey Sew-Along taking place on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.

In participating in this sew-along it is requested you purchase the Lady Grey pattern designed by Colette Patterns.  It is quite a lovely jacket pattern but upon seeing some of the participants muslins I deducedLady Grey quickly the pattern wouldn’t work for me!  You see…I am rather tall, all legs and short-waisted; taking these body features in combination with the short styling of the jacket and sleeves, the added volume of the peplum along with the large lapels I’d end up adversely accenting areas of my body I would rather not!!

In making this deduction I gave the Big 4 pattern books a once over and came across a Butterick pattern with similar styling to the Lady Grey minus the short length and peplum volume which fits in with the longer, sleeker lines that I prefer on my own body type.  This has led me to choose B5401, View C to make my “Lady B5401 ViewC Grey” jacket out of.  The styling is similar with princess seams and the jacket length is longer with less fullness while the sleeves are full length and straight.  I believe a good, alternative match for the Lady Grey.  What do you think?

While picking this pattern out and not wanting to miss out on a good, three-day, $1.88 sale; I also purchased two other jacket patterns on BMV that will make good projects for the future.  McCall’s 5525 trench coat pattern which is currently being featured on Gorgeous Things’ Blog in a lace version and Butterick’s 5295 which will be used to replace an old L.L. Bean duster that has seen better days.

All in all a great “Mail Call” haul.

~Happy Sewing~

Mimi O

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Fun: Mystery Sock Clue #2 Completed

Clue 2 Leg on Blocker The Through the Loops 2010 Mystery Sock KAL continues; revealed this week is  Clue #2 for knitting the leg portion of the sock.  Late Thursday night I eagerly awaited the posting on TTL’s website and once up I quickly downloaded the clue and gave it the once over.  It looked interesting but with it being rather late I opted to not attempt to knit any of it until the following day.  Combining fatigue with an intricate pattern does not make for a fun time.  I usually end making huge mistakes when I am tired so the sock would have to wait a day.

Little Boxes Section I am finding this KAL to be very enjoyable because it is giving me the opportunity to knit something other than a plain, old sock with self-stripping yarn.  Also the pace is allowing me to work one section per week in the hopes of having a completed pair of socks by the end of the KAL.

Here is the latest pick of my socks.Clue 2 Leg Complete

Clue #2 on the TTL Blog

Download MysterySock10Leg.pdf (203.6K)

You can also join in the group discussions on Ravelry.

~Happy Knitting~

Mimi O

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Update #2: Olympic Reindeer Hat

Band before knitting closed. Previously I had knit the under-band and now have completed the pattern portion of the hat band.  The provisional cast-on was removed and the stitches were placed on a second set of circular knitting needles; the band was folded with wrong sides facing each other and the corresponding stitches were knit together as one.  This gives the hat a finished professional look on the inside.   A few more rounds were worked allowing for the addition of red into the pattern. Finished Band For the time being I am setting this project aside to continue work on my Mystery Socks as well as The Lady Grey Sew-Along.  Will update again in a few days.

~Happy Knitting~

Mimi O

Friday, October 8, 2010

Update #1: Olympic Reindeer Hat

Under-band of Olympic Reindeer Hat I have finished knitting clue #1 in the TTL 2010 Mystery Sock KAL and now turn my attention back to the Olympic Reindeer Hat.  Stitches were cast-on, the under-band has been knit and work now commences on the pattern portion of the hat.

Will update the status of this project sometime over the weekend.

~Happy Knitting~


             Mimi O

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Waiting in the Wings…Lady Grey Sew-Along

As if the knitting projects I have going on at present weren’t enough I’ve added sewing The Lady Grey project to my “Mama-Do List” as well.  In comparison to the other participants in this SAL I am literally the turtle of the group!!!  You want to talk about being at the back of the pack…I haven’t even gotten off the starting line!!

My main goal for this project???

In order to participate I could only use what is in my fabric stash…NO PURCHASING OF MATERIAL!!!  Boy that is hard to do once you get to perusing the online fabric stores and all the wonderful fabrics they have to offer the sewist.  Ok, I can do that…as a matter of fact I have 3 1/4 yards of a 62” 100%Lady Grey Fabrics camel hair, black heather fabric.  I also spent several hours going through some fabric bins downstairs and came across 5 yards of a hunter green moirĂ© fabric that would work out nicely for the lining as well as a cute flannel that I plan to underline with.  Even though you won’t see the ring pattern on the underlining I like the idea of having something funky on the inside of the jacket!

Up next:  Pattern Acquisition…

Gertie’s SAL is using the Lady Grey by Colette Patterns.  It is a very sweet jacket pattern but I’m not a fan of it for myself and feel it just won’t work on my body type.  My original thoughts were to keep inline with using only what was available to me via my stash but upon seeing the Sewing Princess Seams post on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing I’ve changed my mind from using McCall’s 5767 to finding a coat pattern that incorporates princess seams with a lapel design similar to the Lady Grey so that I can practice the techniques that will be used in the SAL.

Butterick 5401, View C What I came across was B5401 in the Butterick pattern book but unfortunately for me I missed the previous sale at Joann’s and I absolutely will not pay retail for a pattern or even 40% off when I know the store offers the very same pattern for $ 0.99 during the sale.   In my e-mail last week was a notification from Butterick Online in regards to a three-day sale they were having on their patterns…$ 1.88 is a good thing!!  Still more expensive then the Joann’s sale but taking into account time spent going to and from the store plus your gas it pretty much is a wash so…click…into the shopping cart it went and to my door it came today.

Wooo Hooo…I can finally join in the fun!!

Up first….UGH…tracing and adjusting the pattern then stitching up a muslin.  I will be playing catch up all weekend; nice to finally be with the group.

~Happy Sewing~

Mimi O

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October Fun: Mystery Sock Clue #1 Completed

After finally picking out my yarn and digging through my supplies to find the needed dpn’s I commenced to taking on the task of knitting in the Through the Loops 2010 Mystery Sock KAL. I would love to say I breezed through this first clue with flying colors but sadly that is not the case.  First I had my issues with casting on (which is never a problem), then I fumbled through using five needles and finally gave up on that and switched back to four putting 24 stitches on each needle for the large size sock.  This worked out considerably better for me being as the pattern repeat is every eight stitches thus allowing you three pattern repeats per needle.  In addition to the previous issues the designer had incorporated a cable pattern…it has been a while since I’ve knit cables and boy did it show!  Took me a while to get the right twist and left twist correct within the pattern but after that everything went smooth…

Well at least I thought it was going well; I finished the first cuff and moved on to number two and when I had that completed I noticed one was larger than the other…mmm…what had caused that?  #!$%? The culprit…I thought I had matching sets of dpn’s but upon closer inspection one set was slightly larger than the other…consequently…Ripppppppppppp out went the first cuff and the process of starting from scratch commenced again.  UGH!!!!

To make a long story short I have finally completed that second cuff.  The yarn I chose, Jojoland’s Melody in color #MS26 is a beautiful, variegated 100% wool in hues of pink, mauve, lavender and gold.  As you can see each sock will be unique in coloring.  I usually try to match up the yarn coloring so that both socks are started with the same hue but in order to do that I would have had to pull off half a ball of yarn to color match.  I just did not feel like doing that and went with the flow!  Unique is a good thing ;-) Right?

Up next: Clue #2 coming on Friday, October 8th at Through the Loops.  Travel on over there and join the fun!!!!

~Happy Knitting~

Mimi O

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October Fun Begins with the TTL KAL

Kristen Kapur over at Through the Loops has posted the first clue to this years 2010 Mystery Sock KAL.  I am very excited to have the opportunity to participate in this KAL and as I mentioned in a previous post I did have yarn in my stash but wanted something different to knit this pair of socks with than a self-stripping yarn.  Enter DH who had a conference in Lake Placid this past weekend and a chance to visit a favorite yarn store in town.

The trip up the Northway was wonderful with the weather being sunny and cloud free.  The leaf peeping was amazing once you got above Lake George and heading towards the High Peak Region of the Adirondack State Park.  The drive along Route 73 was beautiful but as is the case sometimes when you enter the region and move towards Keene the weather changed to cloudy with some breaks of sun and mildly cool at 43 degrees.

Adirondack Yarns, Lake Placid, NY Arriving in Lake Placid I dropped DH off at the High Peaks Resort and headed up Rte. 86 to my destination, Adirondack Yarns.  The store is not large but offers a nice variety of specialty yarns, patterns and needles along with those handcrafted buttons I love so much!   I zeroed in on the area where the owner has the fingering weight yarn and made my selection.  I have chosen Melody by Jojoland in color Melody Superwash 100% Wool MS26 which is a nice combination of pinks, mauves, lavender and gold.  Along with the yarn I purchased a set of dp needles and a set of cable needles, in bamboo of course!

Having to keep myself busy until the conference was over I moved onto another store that is one of my favorites in the area….Nori’s Village Market in Saranac Lake.Nori's, Saranac Lake, NY   I love the selection of herbals teas that are available along with the organic produce and grocery items the store has to offer.  A must have…the Vanilla Granola…yum.  One can not get out of the store without diving into the bag and munching away! 

After completing my shopping I made a quick trip out to Lake Colby and snapped this photo.  There is nothing like experiencing the Adirondacks on a crisp, Fall day!

Lake Colby, Adirondack State Park, NY 

~Happy Knitting~

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mail Call via Ketchikan Alaska

With autumn in the air here in the Northeast my creative pursuits have turned towards those things that keep us warm.  In keeping with the knitting theme of my recent posts I wanted to share a “Mail Call” item that came to me via a lengthy road trip to Ketchikan, Alaska this past July.

While wandering the shops of downtown I came across a store (Mission Street Arts & Fibers) that offered an eclectic mix of items for sale along with a selection of yarns and crafts books.  In amongst the various knitting books was one based upon the Andean culture of South America.  What caught my eye was the cover which had an unusual looking purse featured on it.  This drew me in and as I started to turn the pages my interest was peaked even more.  I was engrossed by Andean Folk Knits by Marcia Lewandowski and knew I just had to have it!

The book is loaded with information about the cultures of Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia and as you progress from front to back the author has broken it down into the various regions accompanied by projects and tidbit boxes of  interesting local information.  Projects include folk bags/purses, a chulo (hat) & headband, mittens & gloves, a set of leg warmers & socks along with a muffler.  One of my favorites is a bolsa (purse) knit up in the shape of a Llama.  I’ve always had an affinity for llamas and this book feeds that need to know more with pertinent information on the animal and its’ importance to the communities that utilize its’ fibers to clothe themselves in warmth.

Andean Knit Collage

Recommended reading for the knitter in all of us and even those of us who don’t knit!!

My plan is to knit several of the projects myself; the Llama Bolsa will be first on my list!!!

~Happy Knitting~

Friday, October 1, 2010

Olympic Reindeer Hat

During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics my daughter zeroed in on what the athletes were wearing during opening ceremonies.  They were sporting a Polo Ralph Lauren knit hat which she just fell in love with and has requested be made so I will be adding this project to my “Mama-Do” List.

Current Status of the Olympic Reindeer HatPolo Ralph Lauren Olympic Hat
The only thing that is left now is to get those needles moving!!!
~Happy Knitting~

Mimi O 
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