Fairely Well Maid

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Knitting socks

Not really doing a lot of sewing right now.  I'm in Christmas present mode and while looking for a new hat brim pattern for one of my little ones, I stumbled across a pattern for knitting socks from the toe up using the Turkish or Eastern cast on method.  I was very intrigued so I decided to try.  Wow, I had to try it several times before I got it right, I'm not sure trying to learn it with super fine yarn and size 3 dpn was the smartest thing, but I finally got it.  If you are curious there is a wonderful video on YouTube that explains it better than the directions that came with the pattern.

One of the reasons knitting socks intrigues me is because I have very heavy calves and can NEVER find knee socks that fit.  So now I'm trying to make a pair that will.  I knit a gauge swatch so I know how many stitches are in an inch.  When I get to the part of the pattern where the leg is being formed I'm going to do some math to figure out how many to add.

If you are curious about how far I've gotten, here it is.  This is four inches or so into the foot.  It is a 2 x 2 rib pattern.

I'll keep you posted on how it's coming.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Well, their done.  I got inspired and over did it at the sewing machine, so now I'm in pain from my Fibromyalgia, but I finished them.

It went pretty much as planned, except for a very difficult lesson I learned in fitting pants.  I put the pockets on and sewed up the outside seams then I sewed up the inside seam.  I sewed the fake button placard.  While trying to figure out how to put the placard on, I realized that the pants were too long in the front.  That's when I had a revelation. 

I had been cutting the front and back to the same measurements, that is why they never looked quite right.  So I measured the front rise and the back rise and there is a difference of about eight inches.  Yeah, big difference.  This is when it dawns on me that to get a good fit, I need to measure the front and back different then put them together. 

OK, problem is, I've already sewn up the pants.  So, I fudge the waist band so that I have a shorter rise in the front than in the back.  It's not perfect, but it looks better than previous attempts.

Now I can put a crease in the front of the pant and sew the placard in, making sure not to sew together the waist band.  Thread the elastic cord through and hand stitch the placard over that.  A handful of buttons sewn on and hemmed to about three or four inches above the ankle.  Done.

Here is the few lessons I learned, and they are big ones:

     1.  Measure the front and back separate, using the different rises.
     2.  Work on the shaping of the pant.  Because of the size of my butt I have to have a waist that will go over it if I'm using an elastic waist.  If I'm using button or lacing I have to make sure it will go over my butt.

I'll post pics tomorrow.  We have a dress rehearsal tomorrow and I'll have someone take a picture there.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Slops - Cotton Seersucker

I found a length of thin stripped red/ivory seersucker on sale.  It was enough to make a really baggy pair of Slops for my Pirate Persona (I am a black powder re-enactor).  Here is my original plan.

As you can see, I really can't draw for anything.  I had originally planned to use four pieces (two front and two back).  However, the piece of fabric was plenty wide enough for me to use two pieces, one front and one back.  Forgive me, but I also erased the actual measurements because, well, I really don't need my hip and waist measurements out there on the web.

The plan:

     1.  Pin the pocket pieces on and stitch.
     2.  Run up the outer leg seams and sew around the pockets.
     3.  Sew up the fake button placard.
     4.  Pin a fake seam in front and sew down with the placard in place.
     5.  Sew up the inseam.
     6.  Sew the waist band and hem legs.
     7.  The detail work, sew buttons on the placard.