Granny Square Cardigan

Projects

Well, I have come a long way with my granny squares since my post https://anotherdaywithjulie.home.blog/2022/07/03/making-granny-squares-at-my-age/ . Not only can I make a granny square, I can make at least 78 of them. I know this for a fact because that is how many granny squares it took to make my latest project, a granny square cardigan.

I chose to make the Granny Square Cardigan Crochet Pattern by Originally Lovely https://www.originallylovely.com/crochet/granny-square-cardigan-crochet-pattern/ . I substituted the yarn for an all cotton yarn because I did not want to use acrylic. This meant that I had to use a different size crochet hook to get my squares to be 4 inches. That is why it is so important to make a swatch or a square to be sure the correct size is achieved. If the size is off, the sweater will not fit. I am usually a size small in knitting patterns. Asuming this, I made up the squares for the size small. However, when piecing them together, I realized it was not going to be big enough. No worries. I just whipped-up some more squares and I was back in business. The medium was a perfect fit.

Having never made a crochet project before, I spent quite a bit of time watching youtube instructions to get me going. After making this, I do understand the terms and techniques better, and will say that the pattern is simple enough for a beginner (like me) but a little guidance from youtube is VERY helpful. The cardigan went together really fast. I was quite surprised that I was able to finish it so quickly.

Not to toot my own horn, but I was so very happy with the way the cardigan turned out. It is always nice to accomplish something that has been a goal for so long. I really never thought I would be able to make one granny square let alone a whole sweater. I even have an order from my daughter to make her a granny square sweater. A pull-over this time, with a slightly different granny square pattern. I will be visiting youtube again. Stay tuned to see how it turns out…

As always, Happy Crocheting!

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Underlining a Garment

Projects

What is underlining and why bother with it? Underlining is refered to as pieces of lining fabric that are cut to the exact dimensions of the pattern pieces and sewn together as one piece. These underlining pieces are placed on the wrong side or back of the material pieces and are stitiched in place to form one piece. The pattern is then sewed as normal and the garment is fully lined.

I disovered underlining recently when wanting to line a dress I was working on. The fabric for the dress was on the thinner side and I would either need to line the dress or wear a slip. I decided to line the dress. However, lining involves making a seperate lining of the dress pattern and attaching it to the inside of the dress. This is like making two dresses. This seemed a lot of work and frankly, a bit intimidating to tell the truth. That is when I ran across the term underlining. Easy! This was for me!

So with underlining, as I stated earlier, one cuts out the pattern in the chosen material and then cuts out the pattern in a lining fabric. The lining fabric is sewn to the wrong side of the material pieces using long running stitches just outside the seam allowance so they will not be seen when the garment is sewn together. This can be done on the machine or by hand. I read that one gets a flatter, smoother outcome doing this process by hand, as bubbles can sometimes form when feeding two fabrics into the machine at the same time. Doing this by hand, one works flat on a table. This keeps the bubbles out. I have tried this both ways. I can say that it does work better by hand. “By hand!” one might whine. “That will take forever!” Oh contrar. The hand method actually does go by quite fast and does indeed give smoother results. If the piece is a garment, I would highly recommend doing this process by hand. I made bags, and sewed the underlining by machine and they were not as flat, but for these bags it did not matter.

So, if wanting a lined, professional looking garment, without the hassle of sewing and attaching a separate lining, why not give underlining a try. As always, Happy Sewing!

My Take on Dior by Dior

Book Reviews

I have just finished reading the autobiography of Christian Dior, Dior by Dior. Of course, I love a good autobiography. These are always better than biographies for me, as I get a sense of the person as they tell their tale. Dior by Dior was quite an interesting read.

For anyone unfamiliar with Christian Dior, he was, of course, a great Couturier. He was the man behind the famous fashion house, House of Dior, in Paris. His business grew to allow houses in New York and London as well. To go to a Dior show was quite a deal. In his book, Dior takes us through his process of designing a collection and what it takes to make the sketches a reality. I was very interested in how a Couture House worked. Dior explained this quite well. He also describes what it is like to attend a show at the House of Dior.

Dior tells of his early years, the houses he lived in, and how the friendships he formed when he was a young man influenced who he would become. There are a lot of interesting details of Dior, the man, that I did not know. He seemed most humble in his success.

For anyone interested in fashion or how the fashion industry works, I would highly recommend Dior by Dior. As always, Happy Reading!

Pattern Review: Sewing the Easy Shift

Projects

I follow the blog Maison Bentley Style and found one of Kate’s posts to be quite useful to me as of late. Kate posted a few versions of an easy shift to sew at home. I liked the easy wear style and thought the pattern at This Little Miggy would be right up my alley. So, after a bit of time, I finally got up the nerve to cut out my material and push the pedal to the metal as they say.

The pattern was simple enough. It consisted of four rectangles that one gets by taking one’s measurements according to the directions provided. It also gave a pattern for a pocket to trace and cut out. All very straight-forward. I cut the pieces. However, I chose to make the piece for the back one piece instead of two rectangles sewn together. Why have a seam up my backside afterall?

The most challenging part for me was deciding how deep the v-neck should be. The pattern has one decide this themself. So, being conservative, I cut the v-neck. Well, it did not fit over my head. Ha! I went into my closet and got out a v-neck and used that for my pattern. (For me that was 9.5″) My shoulder seems ended up being 9″ each. The pattern had one cut a dip for the neckline in the back and turn under and sew. I chose to add a neck facing to this for a clean seam. It worked well. The sewing was simple. Basically straight lines everywhere.

Here is my finished dress made of linen.

I would recommend this pattern. Very easy to make (especially since I just gave everyone a hint on the neckline). If interested in this pattern, check it out at:

A special thanks to Kate for her wonderful posts and connecting me to the site for this pattern. Love your blog!!! Also a big thanks to This Little Miggy for sharing this wonderful pattern! It gives me courage to try and design something on my own next time. Who knew rectangles could turn into a dress!

As always, Happy Sewing!

What has Julie been up to Lately!

life

I think I have gotten carried away and neglected my posting as of late. Shame on me! So what exactly have I been so busy doing that I can not get a post out?

I decided to take up a couple of FREE (Oh you know I love that!) on-line courses. One being painting, the other fashion. Oh, and I’m loving it. The great part about FREE courses, besides the fact that they are free, is that there are no worries about grades (even though there are graded quizes) or even how well I do in the course. The courses are just for me. I am doing them for self-improvement and I am enjoying them very much.

With Covid, I think more museums and craft stores are offering free on-line opportunities to brush-up on or learn new skills. It seems a great time to learn something new and to be creative. I am enjoying learning about artists and replicating their styles. I am also loving the stories behind how some garments are created and how they have evolved over time. Fascinating! So, creating and learning is what I’ve been up to lately.

Fashion Redux 2020 at the San Diego History Center via Zoom

Travel
image: http://www.sandiegohistorycenter.org

Museums are closed now due to Covid-19, however, many museums are finding unique ways to allow the public to view their exhibits. Now might be a good time to ‘visit’ a museum anywhere in the world on-line. Some are even offering on-line classes and speaker presentations.

I signed-up to be included in a Zoom live-webinar for the San Diego History Center’s exhibit Fashion Redux 2020. While it would have been nice to see the exhibit in person, this was the next best thing. Fashion Redux 2020 is an exhibit featuring the designs of San Diego Mesa College fashion students that are based on and inspired by fashion from the collection at the San Diego History Center. The exhibit is now in it’s 9th year. This year’s era of choice was the 1970’s. The students researched the period and the clothing worn at that time and tried to make it relevant for today. The top four designs were chosen to be in the exhibit. During the live-webinar, the winning designers were asked questions about their designs and how they came to be and their design styles. Their professor from Mesa College was one of the speakers who questioned the students and gave information on their assignment.

The webinar began with a brief history of the museum and it’s collection. I found this very interesting. The fashion collection at the San Diego History Center is quite large and was donated by individuals living in San Diego. They (as most museums do) loan pieces from their collection to other museums. One such piece that has gone out for loan is the Bloomer Ensemble dating 1850. According to the museum’s archieve expert, the Bloomer Ensemble (which belonged to Anna Gunn Marston of San Diego) is the only existing piece of it’s kind. It had a very important significance to the change in women’s clothing, giving women more freedom of movement.

Bloomer Ensemble
Silk taffeta and glazed cotton, c. 1850
Very rare example, descended through the Anna Gunn Marston family of San Diego.
Gift of Elizabeth Bacon, 87.64.1 (photo and description from: http://www.sandiegohistorycenter.org)

So, while one may not be able to visit a museum in person at the moment, this is a great chance to enjoy an on-line experience. I am glad my daughter and I attended the on-line webinar. This year’s student designers were incredible and I learned a little fashion history as well. The webinar is eventually to be posted on the museum’s wesite and youtube as well. Be sure to check out the museum’s website for more information on the current exhibit at: http://www.sandiegohistorycenter.org).

The 2020 Pantone Color is…

Style and Beauty

Classic Blue is the official Pantone color for 2020. Go Blue!

Classic Blue

The Spring/Summer color palette to pair with the color of the year is…

Flame Scarlet / Saffron / Biscay Green / Chive / Faded Denim / Orange Peel / Mosaic Blue / Sunlight / Coral Pink / Cinnamon Stick / Grape Compote


The Classic Spring/Summer 2020 colors are…

Lark / Navy Blazer / Brilliant White / Ash

Swatches of these Pantone colors can be viewed and purchased at http://www.pantone.com .

Keep in mind the Pantone Color Palettes when shopping for pieces to add to a current wardrobe. Many of these colors may already be in the closet. Remember, adding a small piece or accessory in the color palette is a great way to inexpensively update a wardrobe. Purchasing a new scarf, a pair of earrings, a handbag, a pair of shoes, a tie, a pocket square, or a hat in a new shade to add to an existing outfit is a great way to keep up-to-date without breaking the bank.

Getting married this year? Bridesmaid dresses in Classic Blue with flowers in the orange and yellow family would be quite stunning and in trend as well. It would be easy to coordinate an occassion such as this with a matching color palette.

Have fun with this year’s color palette. Remember, don’t forget to accessorize. It’s all in the details. Happy shopping!

Oh Christmas Tree!

life

‘Tis the Season for holiday decorating . I found some unusual and awesome tree decorating ideas…

https://www.hikendip.com/best-christmas-tree-decor-ideas-inspirations-for-2019/
https://www.hikendip.com/best-christmas-tree-decor-ideas-inspirations-for-2019/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://princesspinkygirl.com/christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://www.simplemost.com/christmas-tree-decoration-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
http://bargainbabe.com/10-unusual-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas/
https://pattiewack.blogspot.com/2007/12/glass-bottle-christmas-tree.html

(Featured image: An upside-down Christmas tree is suspended from the ceiling at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel in Richmond, B.C. ( Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press ))

Happy Holidays!

Wearing Scarves for Fashion

Style and Beauty
Fancy Braided Scarf (www.scarves.net)

I love the idea of wearing scarves for fashion. However, I do not always feel chick when I put one on myself. One cannot just tie on a scarf and expect it to work out. Well not on me anyway. There appears to be a bit of skill involved.

I found the above technique on https://www.scarves.net/blogs/scarves/how-to-tie-a-fancy-braid and thought I would give it a try. There is even a how to video! Let’s see if I can get it to work…

Basically the tutorial tells me to place the scarf around my neck and tie a loop then with the end go over with one of the ends and then back up through the loop and keep repeating over and under through the loop and so on and tie a knot at the end to finish. Well here it goes…

my version
my version – no visible tie

Not bad for my first attempt. What do you think?

Hair Styles and Accessories – Fall 2019

Style and Beauty

This fall the trending hair accessories are tortoise shell, pearls, headbands, and scarves. Do not think hair accessories are just for the young, they can also be for the young at heart. It is all about how it is styled and of course attitude. Bobs will again be in style, however, longer lengths. Also, Boho long hair with carefree waves will be rocking this fall. Layers, deep side parts, and fringe bangs are also on trend. Braids will be a great way to style hair as well.

A few of my fav on trend hair accessories for this fall…

anthropologie.com
anthropologie.com
madewell.com
madewell.com
baublebar.com

A few hair styles I am loving this fall….

therighthairstyles.com
jtouchofstyle.com

The women in the above picture have what I was talking about…style and attitude. They are rocking those headbands. I particularly love the style of the woman on the right. Her choice of slim headband is a perfect accessory for her outfit and is just the right touch. Love it!

There are so many options for hair this fall. Remember, hair does not have to be styled the same every day, change it up depending on the chosen wardrobe. Experiment and have some fun with the latest trends.