Cherry Pie Agatha Cardigan

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Okay, so I haven’t timed my posts just right. Because of that, you’ll be seeing yet another finished knitting project at some point in the next week or so! I like to space these babies out between sewing projects, but what can you do? Between travel and the holidays, I made much more progress on my knitting than my sewing. But it’s okay – I am pretty psyched to have added another warm wool cardigan to my wardrobe arsenal because, brrrr, it’s cold out there!

This is the Agatha cardigan by, you guessed it, Andi Satterlund. I have loved this design long before I actively took up knitting. So beautiful and intricate. Ravelry tells me I added it to my queue in September 2013, close to a year before I knitted my first ever cardigan. I made a few mistakes with this one, but since I’m still in “I turned that string into a thing!” mode I’m pleased with it. I started this around Thanksgiving, slowed down a bit over the holidays, and finally finished in January. Still playing catch-up with project posts, t’would seem.

I first wore this cardigan to work and then for dinner at Benihana in midtown – gotta look put together for my hibachi shrimp!

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The Red Hot “Charmbie” Dress

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Another completed project to share – victory! This one is my official contribution to the Sew Sexy Sew-Along hosted by Lisette, Wanette and Clio. Here are the details…

  • Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie (bodice) and By Hand London Charlotte (skirt)
  • Size: 4 bust transitioning to 6 waist/hip
  • Fabric:  Silk dupioni shell (Mulberry Fabrics), silk organza underlining, and China silk lining (both from B & J Fabrics)
  • Notions: 20″ zipper, stay tape at hem
  • Alterations: Cambie – shortened bodice 1/2″ and went down to a size 4 bust (I went with a size 6 last time); Charlotte – changes same as last time

I decided some time ago that I wanted to combine these two patterns so I could have myself a Charmbie dress. And I absolutely love how it turned out! I had this dress in mind before the sew-along was announced, but I’m so thrilled I joined because it gave me a deadline to finish this one. Plus, it’s been great seeing what everyone else has come up with!

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A “Charlotte” Skirt to Wash Away the Winter Blues

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Woohoo! I just managed to post this at the end of January. You didn’t think I was going to make it, did you? 😉 I also have a Wearing Yesteryear: January 2012 edition to post (I haven’t forgotten!).

Pattern: Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London
Fabric: Black and light grey herringbone wool from Mood; midnight blue Bemberg lining
Notions: 8″ invisible zipper; a snap at the waistband tab
Size: 6, but reduced the curve at the hips
Alterations: Added a vent using Sunni’s tutorials

This is my second pencil skirt using this BHL pattern, and I wish I had a zillion more! It’s a great wardrobe staple, especially made in wool for winter (I can never figure out what to wear in winter that keeps me feeling put together). I found this wool at Mood and really loved the herringbone pattern. It feels kind of festive and is great paired with lots of tops!

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I added a vent this time (rather than the slit), which took me a little longer to figure out – especially how to line – but it’s totally worth it in the end. It feels much more professional to me. These photos were taken after I got home from work, and it seems as if the vent flipped outward right before I sat down at my desk resulting in a crease. Whoops! I’ll have to fix that.

As I mentioned up above, I used Sunni’s vent tutorials on her blog, A Fashionable Stitch. These are from her pencil skirt sew-along from about three years ago now I think (wow, time flies – I remember when she was hosting that one!). She did a wonderful job sharing her tips, but I also found it helpful to go to YouTube to find videos of other tutorials. Sometimes seeing things in action just really helps me figure things out.

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I machine stitched the lining to the invisible zipper, which is the look I prefer. The hem is catch-stitched. I had the toughest time hemming the lining for some reason. That seemed to hold up the entire project! Actually, it wasn’t the actual stitching (hem is turned up twice and machine-stitched); it was trying to make everything level with the skirt hem. Not sure why I was having such issues. I blame this frigid winter. 🙂

The lining is machine-stitched to the vent. Following Sunni’s tutorial, I now have lining pieces (front; back with vent; back with inverted vent), which the original BHL pattern doesn’t come with.

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Oh, and I actually wore this outfit with two layers of sweater tights and boots, if you’re wondering! It’s FREEZING outside, but too warm in my apartment so I switched to one of my favorite pairs of heels. It’s going to be 40 degrees (~5C) this weekend. Heat wave!

I had been working on this pencil skirt on and off for the past month. Some of that was not having the time, but I was really determined to improve on my first version. Here’s to more pencil skirts in the future. 🙂

I’m looking forward to tackling a brand new project. As much as I’d love to make some more pencil skirts (and I do have the wool to make that happen), I’d like to switch gears and make a dress. Perhaps a button-down shirtdress using the buffalo check I bought from AK Fabrics during the 3rd annual MPB Day last summer!

Pumpkin Spice “Charlotte” Skirt

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First of all, oy, please excuse the quality of these photos. They were really dark when I first took them and I had to work the limited Photoshop magic I possess to get these up to snuff. This might be the way of things for the time being, so I do apologize. Alrighty, now on with the show!

Pattern and Fabric
This is the Charlotte Skirt of By Hand London fame. I’ve been wanting to add some sass to my wardrobe with a high-waisted pencil skirt and who better to turn to than those sassy London ladies? Of course I went for the plainest variation of this pattern, but oh well. I still love how it turned out (with some changes) and I can’t wait to have a bunch more in my closet!

(US readers: you can order BHL and Deer & Doe patterns through Grey’s Fabric in Boston and avoid international fees! I was really happy to discover this.)

The fabric is a pumpkin orange wool blend with brown lines that I picked up from Mood here in the city last spring (you can see the print detail better in that post). I lined the skirt with beige Bemberg, also from Mood. Rare to buy the outer fabric and lining on the same day and actually make the skirt I had intended to make!

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