Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Mom, Can't You Just Make Something Normal?"

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 10

One of my ADORABLE children pointed out that "Not everyone wants to dress like a character from a Fairy Tale."

Another one said that just trying on one sleeve of a wool coat "made her sweat."

Another one said that his girlfriend "probably would wear the coat around the house...."

So, reality set in.

1. This is Arizona, It's hot. No one wears wool.

2. Not everyone wants to look like she is on her way to the Renaissance Festival.

So, this is my first effort to create something more mainstream.

It is all cashmere. No hood. No sleeves. Super-soft, comfy, and "normal..."

What do you think?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Epic Fail!

Always searching for purple sweaters, I reasoned, why not try dying some white sweaters?

I happened to have dozens of packages of unsweetened Kool-Aid confiscated from Matt and his friends when they were in high school and intending to dye their hair...

Now, I am not an idiot and have dyed plenty of textiles in my life, and of course I know that natural fibers accept dye better than synthetic, but this was an "experiment." I deliberately chose a variety of fibers and fiber blends.

I used FIVE packages of grape Kool-Aid.

The acrylic sweaters did not accept the dye at all. The blends turned light pink and the 100% wool turned a pretty lavender/pink color. BUT the hot water and the agitation and rinsing required for the dying process resulted in a very thick felted sweater. Also, there must have been some mystery stains in the fabric because there are a couple of darker spots.

Afterward I did go in with Rit dye and colored the three most suitable sweaters, but still the results were not good at all. Too much felting, splotches and uneven color. Also, too much work and expense. I would rather look harder and purchase the purple sweaters at the Thrift Store.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For Julia

I wanted to make something super-sweet for my precious neighbor (and model) Julia.

I'm pretty sure this is my favorite coat so far!

Want to sew along with me? Check out the Katwise tutorial on etsy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Don't Forget the Green!

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 8

I pulled out the green sweaters and made the first coat (on Kaitlin, right) and then realized that I had enough to make a second!

I mean, what else would a girl wear on St. Patrick's Day?

After the photos were taken, I added a zipper to the pixie coat. So cute!

Thank you Kaitlin and Amy for modeling.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Working in a Print

Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 7

So far I have used mostly solid-colored sweaters and a few stripes.

However, I've picked up a few "print" sweaters along the way and I am determined to use them.

It doesn't seem right to have all solid skirt panels and then one random print....

So I added the flower print wool only to the sleeves and hood.

Also, because Kat recommends that the fabric that frames the face should have a "little form to it," and perhaps a "fuzzy fabric, folded over" to provide shape, I went with a thick fuzzy sweater to frame the face. It was really hard serging through those thick, folded layers. There are some sloppy stitches. But overall, I think it turned out great.

The coat is for a lovely law student who lives in San Francisco. I hope she likes it!

Monday, March 05, 2012

My First "Elf Coat!"

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 7

I have been anxious to try the scalloped hem feature on a sweatercoat, and here is my first try!

It was easy and went much faster than the standard coat.

It's also lighter in weight of course.

I designed it for a very special green-eyed girl who is 12 years old and little smaller than my lovely model, Julia.

Of course I have something very special in mind for Julia too... Hers is next.

Sew along with me! Purchase the Katwise tutorial here.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 6 - Aqua

I was thinking of a certain precious green-eyed girl when I made this.

I love the colors!

But afterward I thought she might like the scalloped hem (the elf coat style) even more.

So you know what that means...

Time for more shopping!

Sew along with me - purchase the tutorial here.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 5, Aiming for Subtlety

In a dedicated effort to create a coat in a larger size that a "normal" person might wear, I started with all black...

But then of course I had to use orchid thread to set off the lovely seams....

And then some black and gray striped sweaters just to add interest....

Then as I was working on the sleeves and hood I realized that I was kind of bored. So I added the purple...

And completely lost any chance at subtlety.

Lesson learned: Recycled Sweater Coats are for the BOLD.

Still want to try: pockets, scalloped hem, adding trims...

Sew along with me. Purchase the tutorial here.