Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Merino Halifane Tunic

After the success of my Lane Raglan tunic hack, I decided to tackle a project that I've had in mind for a few months. I'm not sure how I got on the mailing list for Prana, but basically I want all their clothes and to do yoga on a mountain every day. In particular, I loved this raglan dress with a funnel neck:

The style lines aren't too complicated, and I decided I would try mashing up the Lane Raglan and the funnel neck from the Halifax Hoodie, then lengthen it into a tunic. I'm calling it a Halifane because obviously it has to have a name. After asking for some feedback in the Hey June Facebook group, it was suggested to me to use my regular size Lane (small) and a size up for the Halifax funnel neck (medium). This is exactly what I did and the results were amazing!

I considered adding a drawstring, but as I've mentioned before, they don't mix well with handsy kids. Mine is also more of a tunic than a dress, like my inspiration. To add the length, I again moved my pattern piece down 4" and out an inch or two (as detailed in this post).

One other change I made to standard sewing procedure is that I sewed everything with a 3/8" seam allowance. The Lane is drafted with a 1/4" and the Halifax with a 3/8". I was sewing most of this in the evening and I basically just forgot to pay attention to what I was doing (which is why I hardly ever sew after dinner).

I swear I pressed the hem

Now about this fabric! It's a wool knit from Mood, and I purchased it FIVE years ago. For shame. It's the first cut of wool fabric I ever bought. At the time, I thought it was a bit too itchy to use against the skin, and I had plans to make a fully lined wrap dress with it. Fast forward to now, I've become way more comfortable using, wearing, and hand washing wool. I hand washed this yardage and conditioned it the same way I do my other wool garments. After conditioning (yes, just like you would condition your own hair after shampooing) the fabric became soft and not at all scratchy. It's a medium weight and soooooo snuggly with this funnel neck.

And yes, I am aware that my entire wardrobe is black and grey. I'm working on it. Forgive me? I mean, I went outside in a 22 degree wind chill just to take these photos for you.

My cold weather face

I have enough fabric left to make a tank top or maybe even a tshirt. I'm thrilled I finally used one of the oldest pieces of fabric in my stash, and that it was worth the wait!

If you're looking for a hawwwt deal in this cold weather, check out the current sale on A Sewist's Notebook! Save 20% AND get FREE shipping! Use code SHIPSAVE20 at checkout. Hurry, ends Thursday, the 25th at midnight! Read all about these great planners here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Reversible Lane Raglan Tunic

My first #2018makenine project is complete! And I'm only a few weeks into the year haha! This tunic was love immediately, then I tweaked it and it became even harder love. I've worn it about ten times already and it's only been done for a week, so...figure that one out.

There is nothing better than a warm, snuggly sweatshirt in the dead of winter, except of course a warm, snuggly ~stylish~ sweatshirt. After a friend's suggestion, I decided to try the Lane Raglan with a French terry, and hack it a bit for tunic length. I used an amazing cotton/modal "salt and pepper" French terry that I got from The Fabric Store. The modal gives it wonderful drape and softness, and the cotton keeps it warm. Seriously, RUN to their website and buy a million yards of it.

The "right" side of the fabric is a plain grey, but the "wrong" or looped side is a super cool black and white. When I started this tunic I decided to make the looped side the right side because I liked the colors better. When I finished the garment, I realized that it wasn't as warm as it could be since my loops were facing out (the loops are what trap warm air and keep it close to your skin). So, I grabbed my fancy new Brother PC-420PRW, flipped the tunic inside out, and topstitched down all my serged seams. Yes, even the length of the side seams all the way up to the sleeve cuff (not easy, but not impossible!).

Smooth side out

I used black thread in the bobbin and grey on top. The grey blended into my grey serger thread, and the black basically disappeared in the salt and pepper loops. The hem was done with black thread in my coverstitch, but I think it works fine both ways for a casual sweatshirt.

Loop side out

One accidental modification I made was to the sleeve length. The pattern includes directions for a thumbhole cuff, and in that case you need the sleeve to be extra long. I accidentally cut the extra long sleeve length and added a regular cuff. I could have gone back and fixed it, but after a day of wear I didn't mind the length.

After all the topstitching, the tunic is now reversible! On a cold day, I can wear it "loops in" and for a warmer one, "loops out". Either way, it pairs perfectly with my Sloomb wool leggings, which hardly ever leave my body.

To make the Lane Raglan pattern a tunic, I added 4" of length starting at the waist. I traced my pattern up until that point, then moved my pattern piece down 4", while also moving it OUT to grade out the side seams. In other words, it's 4" longer and also a few inches wider from the waist down. I made a size small. Generally, I stay away from raglans because I think they have to be tight-fitting to avoid silly looking fabric folds around the shoulders and bust. It's fine for a sweatshirt, but I can't see myself with a closet full of Lane Raglan t-shirts like a lot of sewists. I'll stick to my Union St. tees for that!

Despite my dislike of the way they fit, raglans are SO fast to sew, they're hard to resist. I could see more of these in my future if the right fabric comes along. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hat and Scarf Set

Happy New Year to all my readers! Are we all setting our sights on new projects for the year? I felt pretty good on New Year's Eve when I finished my latest knit item, a hat for my daughter to match a cowl I previously knit. There was something so satisfying about making that last stitch as I watched 2017 wind down.

The hat probably looks familiar, it's the Tin Can Knits Barley pattern that I showed previously, made for myself. I'm happy to report that the sizing on this one is much better. This time I used an inexpensive cotton yarn from Jo-Ann's. I wanted to try knitting with something other than wool, and I wanted navy to go with my daughter's coat (made by me and blogged here). This yarn was okay, it didn't glide as smoothly off my bamboo needles as the wools I've used before. No idea if that's a function of the yarn or its fiber content. I'm still learning!

The cowl I made a few months ago, on a road trip to North Carolina. It was a great car project because it didn't require any new skills, or double-pointed needles for decreases like with the hat. My daughter has been wearing it to school almost every day, so I'd say she likes it! The cowl pattern is also from Tin Can Knits, it's the Oats Cowl in child size.

Believe it or not, I actually made a third Barley hat, although this one is not in a matching set. This one was for my middle daughter. It's a touch too small for my liking but per usual I didn't knit a test swatch, so don't listen to me when it comes to sizing. She should be able to last the winter in it. This version was knit with a wool/acrylic blend that I bought ages ago for practicing. I didn't love how splitty it was, but I do like the color and feel. Both my daughters get so excited when I hand them things that I knit just for them, which is an awesome feeling!

That catches me up on knitting projects! Nothing is on the needles right now as I transition back to sewing for a while. I'm dying to knit a sweater but it's not in the budget at the moment. Meanwhile I have 1000 yards of fabric stashed away, waiting to be sewn, and I received not one but TWO new sewing machines for Christmas. I should have plenty to keep me busy for a while!

Newsletter sign up