costuming · Hers · Sewing · Work Basket

Work Basket Wednesday – trying to tie up loose ends and Beach PJ’s

OK, so. Last week, I neglected to mention the progress that I have been making on the baby blankets that I have been working on. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I figure that as long as I keep making SOME progress, it still qualifies as progress.

The pastel multi-colored blanket has the main body of the blanket finished. Because it is plain garter stitch with a one stitch increase per row until it is one stitch decrease per row, it isn’t exciting to do. I like seeing the progress, but it is a little tedious. The exciting part it the border. In the past, I have woven ribbon through the little holes along the edge and that was that. For this blanket, I am using a shawl edging from A facsimile edition of Weldon’s Practical Needlework Vol. 1, page 11, border pattern from “knitted shawl” pattern. I copied the pattern out, long hand, in modern knitting terms. It looked pretty straight forward without any errors in the pattern. The only thing was that it was a pretty deep border. Usually this is a desirable thing. For this blanket, I had made it rather large for a baby blanket already. I wanted something decorative without adding too terribly much to the size. The border is a light pink to coordinate with the multi-colored yarn of the main body. I had already checked with the grandma-to-be, and pink was an “OK” color. (some people have a violent aversion to the color pink) The border was to be knitted all along the edge of the blanket. I used the same circular knitting needles that I had used to knit the main body of the blanket so the border would be the same gauge as the blanket. It was kind of fun to knit the border! The first step was to pick up and knit each stitch all around the edge, adding additional stitches at the corners to allow for fullness. As I was knitting the border, it drew the blanket up into a pouch. It looked like a huge drawstring bag. It was funny…

to me.

I got to the final row and started to cast off on the edge.  That was when I realized that I hadn’t given myself extra stitches on the corners to account for the fullness.  dang.  I did a stretchy cast off to see if that would make it all work like it should.  nope.  So, the people that know how I work know what happened next…

Yep.  I took off the border to start over.  This time I will pick up and knit extra stitches on the corners.  I was really hoping to be able to have at least this done this week.

The blue/green/white blanket is also close to completion. I am also to the border stage of this process. This border is different from the previous one because it is knit widthwise instead of lengthwise. It is also a pattern from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Vol.1, pg.7 “Lurline Edging”. It was supposed to be knit to completion and then attached to the main piece of knitting. I wanted to make sure that it fit the blanket as I imagined that it would, so I knit it, attaching it as I worked my way around the blanket. That way, I could make the corner increases as needed as I worked my way around the corner. 😀 I asked friend Gaby what color she’d like to border her baby’s blanket and she chose blue. So, blue it is. I am thinking that I will also weave some ribbons through the edge holes too, I just haven’t fully decided yet. I usually work on this blanket in the evenings when I am enjoying my deep couch sitting time (as long as Pixie allows me to use my ‘dog petters’ for knitting).

The lavender and white baby blanket is still at work, under my desk. I work on it when I have a break here-and-there. I am making progress still, but there isn’t the stress of having to hurry and get it done. The arrival of the little one isn’t scheduled for right away and I still don’t know the gender. I don’t know if I have mention this before, but if it is a boy then the border will be deep purple and if a girl then the border will be white. But, of course, I will check with the momma before I go ahead with either.

When I am not knitting, I have been working on  the beach PJ’s.  I have to admit, that I was freaking out a little bit about cutting and sewing on the silk.  The silk is super slickery and I carefully pinned the pattern to the fabric before cutting.  I used my sharp little ‘satin’ pins so as not to damage the fabric.

silk fabric cut and ready to sew

As I have mentioned before, I was planning on constructing this garment with French seams so that there would be no exposed raw edges.

seam with raw edges exposed
French seam with raw edges enclosed

As with the fitting muslin, I finished the pants part of the garment first.  There isn’t really a good way to describe how they feel.  The way the fabric floats and drapes, how it moves… yummy and lovely.  I pinned them to the mannequin, but they aren’t hemmed yet.  From the fitting, I added the 2 inches that Lori asked for and an additional 1/2 inch for the hem.

silk beach PJ pants

Due to the sheerness of the silk fabric, I had to line the front-top to help maintain some decency when being worn.  I didn’t want to use the patterned silk, because the pattern would show through.  This means a road trip was in order.  Up to Fabric Depot I went.  While I was there, I also picked up the silk thread that I needed and some ball point needles.  Oh, OK… I got a few other things too.  But, we are not going to talk about them right now.

I cut out a piece from the lining silk and pinned them wrong sides together.  I carefully pinned and sewing around the outside.  I worked my way around, each straight area was a seam and then I stopped and pinned again before sewing.  Even with the two layers, it was still pretty sheer.  I think it will be ok though.

front top with lining attached

With the fiddliest bit of the top done, it was time to attach the front to the back.  Then attach the top to the bottom.  While trying to pin the top to the bottom, I was having easing issues.  I then put the top on the mannequin…  that is when I noticed this:


What the heck is going on here?!

What the heck!  What did I do?  After looking at it this way and that way, I figured it out.  I had sewn the front shoulder to the back neck edge instead of the shoulder.  duh.  Pick-pick-pick out the French seam, iron the seams flat, and re-sew the seam correctly.  Rookie mistake, sheesh.