Friday, June 15, 2018

Craftsy Unlimited: My Recent Obsession (and Get 2 Weeks Free)

So - before you write this off as another sales pitch blog post, please know this is not one of those. If you buy anything, I do get a small percentage - but my point of this email is to talk about specific classes, not to sell you anything. Just so we're clear with all those new laws going around now, lol.

My life is a bit hectic right now - I'm in the process of selling my house, which involves lots of running around and getting things fixed and then a lot of waiting to find out if my fixes are enough to get the loan to clear. Not so much fun.  I'm in this weird limbo where we seriously hope the loan will go through, in which case I need to pack and move, yet we are still uncertain if the money will go through so I can't pack and sign a lease somewhere only to have to undo it all. The true irony of life is that in these hectic moments all I want to be doing is creating things, but I haven't been able to since there are so many other things that need to be done. Even in my spare moments, my brain kind of feels guilty about doing any crafting - like I can't do the fun until the necessary is taken care of. Anyone else get that way? So in needing some kind of stress reliever, I have turned to watching Craftsy classes :) And it has worked really well (except for the side effect of wanting to make yet more things). 
I signed into my Craftsy account and started looking through my class library to see what struck my fancy, and I opened up the Beyond Basic Broomstick Lace class. I bought this class years ago when it was brand new, and I did make a few broomstick lace scarves as gifts, but I had yet to make the big project - the Rebel Lace Cardigan (seen in the above photo).
I re-realized how much I love Jennifer Hansen's classes - this is judged by the fact that I have all 3 of them, lol. She's a fantastic instructor, and she is the owner of Stitch Diva Studios. Interestingly I just learned that she has moved from NY to Stuart, FL, so there may be an opportunity for me to meet her since she's in my state now :) Who knows? I have now rewatched the whole beginning of this class and it has majorly inspired me to start the cardigan - back when the class was new, I even got the specific yarn to make it for Christmas that year, so really I have no excuse. I mean other than the fact that I am already knitting a cardigan. But what's one more project, right? With all the crochet I've done I actually have never crocheted a garment, and after watching this class again I am totally ready to change that.

After watching as far as was feasible in the Broomstick lace class without reaching that point in making the cardigan, I still wanted to watch more classes. So I started watching the Tunisian Crochet class, also by Jennifer Hansen. This is another great class if you like crochet but maybe want to try something a little different. Tunisian crochet looks like knitting, so this can be a great cheater method for crocheters who long to knit as well as for crocheters looking to switch things up. Jennifer is a wealth of information about antique crochet techniques like this, and she puts an edgy modern spin on them. Very cool stuff. 
Watching the Tunisian class has inspired me to pull out my interchangeable crochet hooks, lol. I ordered these years ago to use with my interchangeable knitting needle set and have yet to actually use them. So sad. The first project you make is a Tunisian crochet wash cloth, which I feel is very do-able in spite of my other projects going on. So now I've watched that class as well, lol. Even more inspiration to be had there, for sure. After cycling through those first 2 classes, I started watching her 3rd class - the Classic Crochet Openwork class. I haven't gone super far in that class, but each lesson is a different antique crochet technique like hairpin lace, filet crochet, Irish crochet, and more. Super interesting. So I am now really inspired to play with these techniques as well. 
Get 2 Weeks of Craftsy Unlimited FREE 6/13 - 6/19/18 at Craftsy.com
My recent Craftsy obsession happens to coincide with a free 2 week trial of Craftsy Unlimited. They normally offer 1 week free, but if you sign up before June 19th, you can get 2 weeks free watching as many classes as you want. So if you are at all interested in these or any other classes, now is a great time to give them a watch and see if it is something you would be more interested in trying. I learned how to knit through Craftsy, so I am a die hard fan. I've definitely caught the learning bug again, and I will be swatching my Rebel Lace Cardigan and maybe making a Tunisian washcloth soon. Hopefully I have some time to do these things, but it's nice to think about anyway :) 

So if you are ready to try something new, head over here and get your 2 week trial of Craftsy Unlimited while it lasts! 

*A little disclaimer - I purchased these classes with my own money and this post is not influenced by Craftsy in any way - I just wanted to share a good deal on a great site that I love :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I Won! I Won! Thank You For Voting For My Video :)

I've had some awesome news that I waited to share here until my prize arrived :)
I won the Mochimochi Land Video Contest :) I blogged about my entry here, and thanks to everyone who voted - I won 1st place! How awesome is that? Even better than the notoriety are the prizes.
I won a $100 gift card to Knit Picks, a $50 gift card to Mochimochi Land, and Anna's 3 current Mystery Kits. These are all new, unreleased patterns (which is why I don't show what they are in the photos - don't worry I'll share them once they are made up) along with the yarn and fluffy you need to make them. How cool is that? And she even topped it off with an adorable button of a knitted sumo wrestler, lol.

This whole project was so fun. I still can't believe that my ridiculous video won 1st place, lol. Thank you all again so much for voting. I couldn't have won without those votes.

Now I have to start planning next year's entry!

Friday, June 8, 2018

FO: Navy Gingham Agnes

Since I will be moving very soon, I knew this Memorial Day weekend would be my last hurrah in my sewing room. I had plans, folks. I had things I wanted to make *spoiler alert - I DID make things*. During Me Made May this year, several pattern companies put their patterns on sale. I've hemmed and hawed about getting the Agnes Top by Tilly and the Buttons for literal years now. I'll have it in my cart to buy during a sale or something, and then I'll talk myself out of it because I'm really just after that sleeve pattern and I can technically draft it myself. I've been planning on doing this for years now. YEARS. But I just really wanted to make a puffy sleeved top and I knew I would not be putting in the time and the trial and error to get the right amount of oomph for quite some time, so during the sale I finally bought the pattern. I figured it was worth $10 to save myself the time and effort of figuring it out. So having this new-to-me pattern in my hands, I needed a muslin to check the fit before cutting into my amazing "real" fabric. This is that muslin.
So as I said this is the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top - an adorable and versatile basic t-shirt pattern with optional ruched sleeves and bust. I seriously bought this for the ruched version only, so that is what I made. Wanting to give this a real college try yet also not wanting my heart to be broken if my muslin didn't fit right, I pulled out this adorable looking yet terrible quality jersey. I bought this navy gingham printed light weight jersey from Walmart maybe a year ago simply because the print was adorable and it was $2 per yard. I knew it was light then, but I was blinded by the print and the price. Having made the top I know the true terrible quality here - this stuff hides absolutely nothing. I feel like a bowl full of jelly with this top on. It would look cheap on pretty much anyone, I'm convinced. So while I loved the idea, I very much doubt I will be wearing this simply because the fabric is so awful, lol.
The good news out of this shirt is that the pattern fit great. I used a size 7 at the bust and above, grading to a size 8 at the waist and hip. Also I did go into this hoping it would be wearable, so I gave pattern matching a good try. This fabric was so super stretchy that it was basically impossible to match everywhere, but I'm happy with the even-ness of the neck band and the bit of matching at the sides. One the not so good side, this stuff is so stretchy and has so little body that my puffed sleeves look sadly deflated, lol. It looks nice on a hanger, but not from the front on my body.
One way you might be able to see what I'm saying with the fabric is in this picture. Look at those sad, floppy sleeves! Also see how the area in the middle of my back is a lighter color navy? That's because the navy is just printed on a white fabric and it is stretching at my upper back. Yeah.
And this over stretched effect only gets better from the front. Every time I look at these pictures I think "objects in this top are larger than they appear" - this is not the case at all, but it certainly looks like the girls are too big for their business here. My husband called this my optical boob illusion shirt. 
I do love the ruched details and they are super easy to do - just add elastic and pull. Love it. Also check that neck band action.
So while I'm not comfortable in this, I am happy with what I learned for the fit. This project gave me the immediate go ahead to cut into my awesome fabric that came next :) So not all is lost here. Now I really want to find a better quality version of this fabric, though. It's a really cute idea. Hopefully I can make that happen one day. So on we go toward actual wearable puffed sleeves next time (check back soon).

Summary:
Fabric: 1.5 yards gingham printed poly knit - $4.28
Pattern: Agnes by Tilly and the Buttons
Notions: Knit stay tape - $0.25, 1/3" elastic - free, thread - $1.00
Time: 3 hours
Total Cost: $5.53

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fabric Destash Sale on Instagram!

You guys - I did it! I actually went through my fabric stash and I managed to pull out 3 large boxes full of fabric that I am ready to let go of :) I figured that before I send it to the thrift store, I should offer it up to other sewists who would truly appreciate it. Some of this is really neat stuff - I just have no idea what to do with it or it is not my style.
This pile of boxes is 4 feet high and they are full of fabric. Some of this is vintage, some is new and not my style anymore, and some have been inherited so I don't know where they originally came from. There will be everything from apparel fabrics to knits to home decor to quilting cotton, so really something for everyone. Cool as it all is, I cannot take it with me when I move in a few weeks.

So if you are interested in buying some of my stash (at good prices), follow @showandtellmegdestash on Instagram to see things as they are posted. I will start posting on June 7th, and they will be first come, first serve. Just comment Me! on the post if you are interested. All prices will be plus shipping, so be sure to include your paypal email address and your zip code so I can send an invoice and get a shipping price for you. Hopefully some things will go to someone who will love and appreciate it and not have it sit in their stash for years like me. Also don't worry - I still have an entire double closet full of fabric, so I won't be lacking on things to make any time soon.

So head over to @showandtellmegdestash and get ready to claim what your favs!