Knitting in the New Year (2016)

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Season’s greetings! It may not be snowing in these parts just yet (not complaining), but it is snowing on my blog. I wish WordPress would let me keep that feature through the whole of winter. Makes things feel festive, you know?

Speaking of festive things, I’ve been thinking a lot about winter sewing and knitting. I really like the 3 Season Wardrobe Challenge (#3seasonwardrobechallenge) that Tasha of By Gum By Golly dreamt up this past fall. Her post really resonated with me, even though our winter has been pretty mild so far. Let’s see if that lasts…

In any case, I like that she didn’t set a deadline for herself; the challenge is more of a guide. That works for me. Knowing me I’ll definitely be sewing summer clothes. The humidity of a New York summer just doesn’t inspire me to sew with wool (!).

That challenge idea transitions well into the main focus of this post: knitting plans for 2016! Obviously, knitting is a much slower process than sewing, and I know I’ll never get through all of these projects in a year (or two or maybe even three). But I’m not sure what I’ll want to knit and when, so I’m highlighting some of the cold-weather patterns I’ve added to my “favorites” on Ravelry. Also, I love seeing what other bloggers find – gives me ideas!

Click on the image or the link below to go to the pattern page. All the pattern photos are from the designers and are credited.

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Neat Fashion Exhibitions in NYC

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Photos from my visit to the Charles James exhibition at the Met this summer. Click for larger view.

One of the things I love most about my city is the endless opportunity for exploration. So many things going on, so much to see, not enough time to do it all! Nevertheless, it’s still fun to pick and choose to your heart’s content. On that end, I’ve noticed there are some cool ongoing and upcoming fashion-related exhibitions on show around the Big Apple.

Sorry in advance for the lack of images in this post. I was about to include ones from each museum’s page, but then worried I’d be doing so without permission. Wouldn’t want the museum police after me!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve found (click on the exhibition name to learn more about each):

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The Day I Learned To Sew

firstprojectLook, it’s me! Exactly five years ago today I took my very first sewing lesson at Sew L.A. in – you guessed it – Los Angeles. I promptly came home and took this photo of me and my new tote bag (complete with ruler still in its packaging) to share with family back East. Yep, this is what I looked like the day I learned to sew.

Back then Sew L.A. was in a smaller shop in Silver Lake before moving into their spacious digs in Atwater Village (which I’ve yet to visit). Oh, how I thought it was the most magical place in the whole wide world! Shelves full of bolts of fabric, six tables with six sewing machines, lots of light, and lots of promise.

I honestly can’t remember what compelled me to sign up for a lesson (it was fate, I s’pose), but I do remember how popular their classes were. I had to sign up a month in advance for “Machine Intro”, the prerequisite for the other 100-level classes. Other than a handful of sewing sessions in middle school Home Ec., I didn’t have any experience (or interest in) sewing. I did get the Home Ec. award that year though, so maybe it was in the cards. Either that or my teacher was majorly impressed with my dish washing skills.

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Wearing Yesteryear: Class of March 2013

I have been sewing away this past month, but you’d never know it from looking at my blog! There is one Colette Beignet skirt in red wool gabardine in the works (very excited about this after some initial pressing issues), fixing some pillows for my sister, and another secret project that is a gift for someone. This last one is the project I’m closest to finishing, yet I won’t be able to share it until this certain someone receives it! I should be sending it out by the end of this week so hopefully there’s a blog reveal post in the works soon.

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Silk dupioni hanging from my apartment’s picture rail. That’s one way to avoid folding it up to deter the wrinklies! Three cheers for historic interiors.

Of Sew-Alongs and Sewing Meetups
Oh, and I’m also participating in the Sew Sexy Sew-Along being hosted by Clio of Clio & Phineas, Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, and Wanette of Sown Brooklyn! My sew-along track record is the pits, but what the heck – why not?! I plan to make a Sewaholic Cambie/By Hand London Charlotte mash-up using red silk dupioni (seen above), which I have already dubbed “the Charmbie”. If I pronounce it with a French accent, will it sound sexier? 😉

Also, a meet-up happened! Lladybird was in town and a whole bunch of us gathered on Saturday to shop the day away in the Garment District. I feel like I should do a post about that, but how about I just officially endorse the wrap-ups of the day written on Peter’s, Aleksandra’s, and Lisette’s blogs?!

Anyway, I figured I could share a Wearing Yesteryear post for March 2013 (no finished projects for February 2013, alas). Yay, a freebie post for me! And this is one I’m very excited to share…

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The Sabrina Coat

Blog Debut: March 25, 2013
Pattern: McCalls 5717
Worn In: Late fall, winter, early spring
Wearability Meter: Very much so!
Lessons Learned: This was fun, so make another one 🙂

Okay, so I really love this coat! The whole tailoring process was really fun and a great learning experience. I’ve found that I can wear this coat in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 50s F (~0-10 C). One of my favorite features is the length of the coat, which covers knee-length dresses and skirts. Makes for a nice clean finish I think!

Everything seems to have held up well over the past year. This winter has been COLD so I spent most of it in my goose-down coat, but I’ve definitely worn this baby enough times this season. I had used a flannel-back satin lining to give a bit more warmth to the coat. Originally I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me super hot, but now I know I could stand to add a layer of interlining if I wanted to make the coat even warmer.

I’d love to make another coat in a slightly more casual fabric. Oooo, temptation! But, for now, I have some spring projects on the mind. Are you getting ready for some spring sewing? Or autumn sewing for those down under?

(Random note: WordPress has changed the look of the smiley emoticons. The 😀 one looks kind of strange!)

Sharpen Your Shears, “The Sewing Bee” is Casting!

You might have already seen this flyer on other blogs, but here it is again for those of you who haven’t. If you love The Great British Sewing Bee on the BBC, dreamed of being a contestant, and happen to live in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) then you’re in luck! The producers of the GBSB are bringing the home sewing competition across the pond to the United States and are looking for amateur sewing enthusiasts to take part in the pilot.

They are casting over the next two weeks so if you’re interested apply as soon as you can! The show will be a little different than the GBSB in that four different contestants will be featured each week (so it’s not an elimination challenge where someone gets voted off each week). I’m hoping it will have the same drama-free vibe as the UK version. So refreshing!

Here’s the flyer I received from the production company:

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Also, I just noticed that the second season (or should I say “series”!) is now available on the BBC website, but I’m guessing it can also be found on YouTube too. That’s how I watched the first one last year. Yay for reality TV for home sewing! 😀