Friday, June 19, 2020

plaid flannel cheyenne tunic

Well, my nursery is finished but my "nesting" instinct hasn't evaporated yet. I'm channeling my creative energy into some last-minute home projects (just bought a new rug for the living room), but I've mostly been sewing in my free time. Since my summer will probably be spent in stretchy shorts and loose t-shirts, I've made a couple items for fall. I hope I'm up to the challenge of wearing real clothes by then.

First up is this Cheyenne Tunic in plaid flannel. A couple years ago, I made a chambray version of view B, a popover style with 3/4 sleeves, but I decided to try out the button-down (button-up?) view A this time. I was a bit intimidated by the idea of sewing a collar and collar stand, but it came together pretty easily.

I love the suggestion to cut the button plackets, pockets, and outer yoke on the bias. It adds a fun detail to have the plaid on the diagonal and gives an added bonus of not having to perfectly match plaids on all the seams. I also cut the collar stand facing on the bias for a little fun detail inside the shirt.

The fabric is a green plaid flannel from I don't think it's possible for a yarn-dyed fabric to be "off grain," but this was certainly a bit distorted, probably from when I washed it. I kept having to adjust the fabric while cutting so that the pattern pieces would line up square to the plaid. Even though my cut pieces looked a little distorted, it was easy to keep everything lined up while sewing using the plaid as my guide. I'm glad I took my time when cutting. (Also, I did not realize how perfectly I pattern-matched one of the sleeve plackets until I was looking at these photos. I assure you that was entirely unintentional.)

After sewing the French seams on the sides, I was worried that the shirt might be a bit too snug across the bust. It was measuring smaller than the finished garment size on the pattern, so I was probably a little too generous on my side seam allowances. I took out the side seams and sewed/serged them instead, which added a little extra room. It at least fits my dress form nicely now! (Not sure why I'm particularly concerned about being able to button this shirt, since I often wear flannel shirts unbuttoned over a t-shirt anyways.)

The buttons are standard black shirt buttons from JoAnn. My only trips from the house the last couple weeks have been to the doctor's office for check-ups and to JoAnn for buttons and thread. Dan said he's seen less and less people wearing masks at the grocery store, but JoAnn customers still seems pretty dedicated to mask-wearing. I bet they're all secretly thinking, "I spent HOURS sewing these darn things and by gosh I'm going to WEAR THEM." I'm hoping to get as much wear out of this shirt in the fall as I am currently getting out of the mask Mom made me!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

bump update

Just a quick post to share a photo of my giant belly. This picture was actually taken about a week and a half ago (37 weeks), so you'll just have to picture my belly slightly bigger (and a bit lower) than in this photo.

I'm also modeling a recent sewing project, a Julia cardigan in black Kaufman laguna jersey. It's one thing I've made that I can actually try on! I sized up to a medium this time (my last version was a size small). I might need to shorten the sleeves, though they will provide good hand-coverage for chilly days.

I mostly took this photo to put in the baby book I'm working on. I realized we had no recent photos of Dan either, so I made him take one in our backyard. He recently replaced all the rotted wood in this bench with new cedar slats, so we are each showing off our recent projects here!!

Friday, June 12, 2020

a weasley sweater for me

Why do I always finish knitting sweaters as soon as it starts to get hot?? Plus, I can't even fit in this one right now! I am greatly looking forward to wearing it in the fall. (Hopefully I will fit in it by then.)

I have wanted one of these Harry Potter-inspired "Weasley Sweaters" as soon as I saw the first movie. I was even jealous of the baby version I made for Oliver. I found a free pattern on Ravelry and adapted it to work for my worsted weight Universal Yarns Deluxe Tweed. I used the colorways Navy (gifted from Dan for Christmas this year) and Smoke (leftover from the Kobuk hat I made last year). These are similar to the colors of Harry's sweater, while Ron's is the classic Gryffindor maroon & gold.

The "C" is knit in intarsia. I think duplicate stitch is easier, but I didn't want the extra bulk of doubling up the stitches. I made my own chart in excel by tracing a "C" in a font I liked (Bell) and sizing it to 32 stitches by 49 rows.

I really like the roomy style of this pattern and the drop shoulders, which match the sweaters from the movie well. However, I knit the hem and collar as 2x2 ribbing instead of rolled. While a rolled collar would be more authentic, I was worried that it wouldn't hold its shape well, and I knew that a rolled hem would be constantly rolling up and driving me crazy. So excited to wear this cozy sweater when it gets cold (and I get less huge) again!

More details about sizing and modifications on my Ravelry page.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

may showers bring june babies

Okay, it's been over 3 weeks since Mae's birthday party so I feel comfortable saying that no one contracted coronavirus as a result of our gathering. The risks were low considering we'd all been pretty well socially distanced, but I've breathed a little easier each day that passed since then. (Figuratively. In reality, breathing gets a little more difficult every day from lugging around this pregnant body.)

As I mentioned in Mae's birthday post, we also used our brief family gathering time to have a little baby "sprinkle." Mom and Kelsey prepared a bunch of delicious appetizers, along with adorable baby-themed cookies and chocolate covered pretzels! I forgot to take a photo, but everything looked so cute spread out on the dining table! We had originally planned to have a larger shower with everyone from both families over Dan's birthday weekend, but cancelled it because of coronavirus. I was just so grateful that we were still able to have a little gathering to celebrate this baby. (Plus, we are well-stocked on cute and cozy baby outfits now!)

We played a few shower games. I particularly liked the "Must Match Mae" game where we all tried to guess how Mae would answer questions about the baby. For your information, baby will have blue eyes (statistically unlikely but that didn't stop Mae from having blue eyes) and gray hair (takes after his parents.) His favorite color will be pink and he will look like "a person." He will wait to walk until he's 2 and be born on a Friday! She's got it all planned out!

Between Mae's birthday lunch and the baby sprinkle, we hung out in the backyard, enjoying the sunny weather as we relaxed around the pool.

No, not a real pool... the $10 plastic kind from the hardware store. Mae and Kelsey "painted" each others fingers and toes with water...

... and had an epic bubble gun battle.

It was just so nice to visit with family. I think our little social butterfly really appreciated being able to chat and play with people besides us! We were all pretty exhausted after the weekend. That was more socializing than we've done in MONTHS!

I should also mention, the family guesses in the "baby pool" are in... with due date guesses ranging from 6/23-6/30 and birth weight guesses ranging from 7 lb 3 oz to 8 lb. (I'm a little worried that the 8 lb guess is going to be closest!) Just 2.5 weeks to go now!