Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

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Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.

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McCall’s 6696 Emerald Isle Shirtdress

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Hello, you hot and humid September! Making up for that fall-like July and August we had, aren’t’cha?

I’m so pleased that I got around to making yet another McCall’s 6696 shirtdress! Is this pattern popular or what? And for good reason: it’s “top drawer” with lots of variation possibilities. This is my first attempt at the pleated version. Both my sleeveless summery and cozy flannel versions featured the fitted skirt option.

I’m particularly happy with how this one turned out. This dress is very fun to wear, and the color is even more amazing in real life! A really striking emerald green. I’ve never been to Ireland (sad face), but I’m told the green color of the landscape there is stunning so I’ve dubbed this the Emerald Isle Dress.

The fabric itself was bought on this side of the Atlantic at G Street Fabrics in northern Virginia back in October 2011. Nice to stash bust! I used up all two yards of this 58″ wide rayon/linen blend to create this dress. The pattern calls for 2 3/8 yards (60″ wide) so this ended up being a tight fit, but I made it work. Phew. I originally bought it with a circle skirt in mind.

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A Coral-Charcoal Belt

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After my first cardigan came the question: what to knit next? I knew I wanted to make another cardigan, but when I saw this lace elastic belt tutorial I figured it’d be a small and quick project to break up the longer ones. Plus, I’d like to add more belts to my wardrobe even though I hardly ever think to wear them! I’m not big on accessorizing (I wear earrings and call it a day), but sometimes it’s nice to pair a belt with a dress. So here’s my attempt at doing just that.

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**Note: I found this Andi Satterlund tutorial on Tuts+, but there are errors on rounds 10 and 12. The corrections are noted on the Ravelry page so I’d recommend looking there as well.

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All Aboard the Marion KAL

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Happy late August, friends! Just wanted to pop in and say that I’ll be joining the Marion KAL (knit-along) that Andi is hosting. I was all set to start on the Miette cardigan, but – long story short – the yarn just wasn’t quite right for that particular project. As I was contemplating next steps the KAL was announced, and so I thought why the heck not? I find these to be helpful motivators as a knitting beginner.

MarionKALI’m going with the recommended yarn for Marion, which is Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks. Can’t get over how inexpensive this yarn is: six skeins cost me just $16 total! I’m on a bit of a green kick right now (as you’ll see in my next two sewing projects) so I went with the Jalapeรฑo color.

Marion seems like a nice project to practice knitting cables since they are only along the button band/neckline edge. Should be good times. I just discovered Kristin’s video tutorial, which really helps me visualize how cables are formed. Now the process/instructions make so much more sense, so thanks, Kristin! Didn’t realize you also had a knitting blog. :)

By the by, I am someone who never wants summer to end. It’s not that fall is bad (I guess), but it’s followed by the season which must not be named. I’m hoping that by sewing fun cold-weather clothes and knitting cozy cardigans, frigid days ahead will be slightly – slightly – less of a bummer.

Is anyone else knitting up Marion?! And do you love the fall or, like me, do you try to hold on to summer as long as possible?!

Easy Peasy Skirt

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This is hands down the easiest skirt I’ve ever made. It’s also without a doubt the most comfortable! Don’t you love whipping out a project in no time at all? Those are few and far between for me, but I’m thinking it would be nice to add more of them into my sewing rotation. It just feels so good to have something done and done with minimal effort (and cost!).

But before I chat about the skirt, I just wanted to add that these photos were taken next to Grand Central where I was meeting friends for drinks at the Campbell Apartment. I may have asked one of them to snap some photos while we waited for everyone else to arrive. :-D I later headed over to meet up with Lladybird Lauren (in from Nashville), Vicki of Another Sewing Scientist (in from Montreal), Juli of Sweet Little Chickadee, Fleur of Frau Fleur, and other lovely ladies! Gotta love Friday night in Manhattan chatting about irons, sewing machine repair, and Elna presses. ;)

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