Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: baby sewing

Progress Pictures and an Upcoming Move!

Thanks for the sympathetic comments about my raglan. I’m actually quite content with leaving the sweater as it is. After all, I really wished I had some nice sweaters when I was pregnant but I just couldn’t justify knitting something that I would only be able to wear for a few months. I’m going to consider this a happy accident.

I do have some progress pictures for you from my Sunrise Circle Jacket. The Skye Tweed I’m using gives a row gauge of 5.5/in instead of the 7/in called for by the pattern. I was a bit concerned about this so I knit one of the sleeves/fronts first. I settled on the 33″ bust size (when I would normally have made the 35″ or 37″) and it worked out well. I may have to shorten the sleeves later but that shouldn’t be a huge deal.

I’m almost up to the raglan shaping on the second sleeve – this sweater just flies off my needles! In part, I think this is because I haven’t made anything that knits up at a gauge of 4.5 sts/in in ages. It feels like Big Wool!

I’ll leave you with a few unfinished sewing projects. The first, one that I totally ripped off of the awesome Pam of Flint Knits (please don’t hate me for copying your style, Pam!) I think I’ll trim this with some red bias tape. I’m going to make the romper but pair it with some red corduroy pants instead of a diaper cover.
Next up is a sunny little dress that Beatrix will only be able to wear for a few days if I don’t put the zipper in soon. *sigh*

Finally, I have to say that two years of battling Blogger is sending me over to WordPress. More details in my next post but the move will be accompanied by a blog contest and a free pattern (to bribe you sweeties to move your rss subscriptions!)

My First Successful Sewing Experience, Part 3 of 3

Pattern: Reversible dress and diaper cover from McCall’s M2213

What I learned from this dress is that whenever possible, make dresses reversible!! Actually, I think I came to that conclusion when I made the red dress, which calls for interfacing, after making this, which is completely reversible. Interfacing is a pain.

This is a bit too big for B so she probably won’t get much use out of it until next summer. The picture below is my favorite.

One note about yesterday’s post… I didn’t mean to be down on designer fabric or yarn. After all, don’t forget that I bought it because I liked the print! I guess I prefer the control of the finished product that knitting affords. Designer fabrics can be quickly identified but, as Stacey so aptly commented, “Grey worsted wool – well, that could be one of 100 brands!”

I still have some sewing projects going on but the knitting will return to the blog soon. In fact, I’ve been holding out on you. I’ve been working on a sweater all week! I haven’t made any sweaters in ages (and they all pre-date the blog) because I was either pregnant or nursing and I didn’t want to invest so much time in something I wouldn’t wear for very long. I think it’s time to return to some sweater knitting! More details soon!

My First Successful Sewing Experience: Part 2 of 3

Pattern: Top and pants from Butterick B5017
Modifications: I omitted the rick rack trim and used a loop of ribbon for the buttonhole instead of the loop of embroidery thread.

Of all the things I’ve been working on, I am happiest about this set. I love the two fabrics together, even if it’s a bit loud. Frankly, I secretly wish that I could get away with wearing pants like these. It’s such a shame that adult clothes aren’t nearly this cute.

It was while I was working on this outfit that I realized why knitting is so much more appealing to me than sewing. I took the garment to the fabric store several times because it appears that I am incapable of buying fabric, interfacing and notions all at once. Twice, people came up to me and asked if the top was “a Kaffe Fassett”. Now, I grant you that I used a Butterick pattern and a Kaffe Fassett print fabric for the top, but what I really wanted to say in response was, “No, it’s an Elinor Brown. I made it.” Call it beginner’s pride.

I know there are some brand whores knitters out there who only have eyes for a particular brand of yarn and could likely identify a line of that brand in a knitted garment. However, I think that knitting allows for enough creativity to break out of the commercialized, brand-conscious world we live in. I suppose one could knit a sweater using the expensive yarn and exact colorway a pattern calls for but really, who does that? You don’t – I know because I read your blogs.

With yarn, you can change the texture and density of the knitted piece. With fabric, the print remains the same no matter what you do it it. I know, I know, you can alter the shape or the drape but what’s the first thing a viewer sees? The print. So no matter what the sewer does, it’s still a Kaffe Fassett garment. This is, in my opinion, why knitting wins out over sewing in the long run. What do you think?

My First Successful Sewing Experience: Part 1 of 3

Pattern: Dress from Butterick B4712, diaper cover from McCall’s M2213
Modifications: My armhole seams were pretty ugly so I added some bias tape to clean them up a bit.

While I made some nice newborn diapers and a great (and well used) baby sling when I was pregnant, my sewing track record is pretty ugly. Let’s just say I wasted lots of time and money and leave it at that. Enter a live-in babysitter who can sew and who works at a fabric store… Emily gave me some great pointers on patterns, cutting and construction. For any other beginner sewers out there, this is what I’ve learned from the experience:

1. If you do not 1) use pins and/or 2) iron your pieces after each seam, you would be better off wadding up the cash you dropped on fabric and notions and torching it. It would be better to indulge your inner pyro than suffer the anger and frustration of a failed project. I know that sounds like a no-brainer but this was actually my greatest sewing challenge.

2. Transfer all of the markings from the pattern to the fabric. Of course you would do that. Why would you try to wing it? Trust me on this, I’ve tried and failed.

3. Follow the pattern instructions. When the pattern says to do something that you think sounds a bit too much, just do it. You will be grateful five steps later when you realize that you should have done what the pattern said to do way back at the beginning.

I like how the bias tape looks except in one spot. Do you see it here? I’m not going to rip it out and redo it but I’ll never like that corner.

Check out the zipper! Not bad for my second one, I think. It’s a little wonky at the bottom but you can’t see it unless you’re looking for it.
I’ll have two more FOs in the next few days along with some notes on why knitting is better than sewing…