It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant, I felt very, very small

Deer and Doe Plantain FrontThat was Neil Armstrong observing the Earth and finding it blue.  February was #BlueFebruary around the sewcialist world where we had to sew with the colour blue.Badge  Blue is the favourite colour of all people.  This is not surprising and likely why I found it so easy to complete this challenge.  I would be stunned if any of you do not have blue in your wardrobe or fabric stash.  But, there must be at least one, so go ahead, stun me!

I sewed the free Tee pattern, Deer and Doe Plantain.  And, for the FIRST time, the knit fabric I chose, did not cause me horror, (OH, THE HORROR) and distress.  Yippee!  Gillian will be so proud, sniff.

The navy/indigo is a cotton knit, thicker than a jersey and the spotty blue fabric is a 4-way stretch cotton jersey, the same fabric I used for one of my Diane Von Furstenberg dresses.   I also added sleeve bands, the same width as the neckband and a hem band, double the width, to make it look more like a tunic.Deer and Doe Plantain Tee trio

The one issue I did have was with the neckband.  I raised the front neckline 1.5″ (4cm) before cutting and, therefore, shortened the neckband accordingly.  I also interfaced just the neckband with stretch knit interfacing to try to keep it from stretching out too much.  But, when I attached it, I’m not sure why, but the neckband was way too loose.  I had to remove it and cut out a new neckband that was about 2″ (5cm) shorter, but same thing.  So, I removed and shortened it by 4″ (10cm)!  At this length, I really had to stretch the neckband to fit the neckline, but it was the only way I could get the neckband to lie flat.  Is there a special trick to knit neckbands that I am missing?  Please do share.

Garment Inside:  overlocked seams and ribbon stay tape added to shoulder seams.

Garment Inside: overlocked seams and ribbon stay tape added to shoulder seams.

And, this is the very first garment I’ve sewn completely by overlocking/serging!  I used the overlocker to stitch all the seams together as well as to attach the neckband and sleeve and hem bands and also added ribbon staytape to the shoulder seams.  I have to say, it did make things go together very quickly!  I made the smallest size with no alterations and added as much length to the sleeves as I had fabric.

Layering Contrasting Banded Plantain Tee.  Me Likey!

Layering Contrasting Banded Plantain Tee with Blue Sweater. Me Likey!

Today’s Blogpost is brought to you by: The Colour Blue.  Blue is the coolest colour (as in temperature, not as in happening, hip or groovy) and is the colour of the sky, ocean, sleep, twilight.blue-sea-at-night-wallpaper

You might wonder why the Blue Tee stands out so dramatically against the orange wall.

Blue and Orange are Complementary Colours.

Blue and Orange are Complementary Colours.

Well, blue’s opposite or complementary colour on the colour wheel is orange, which will make the blue ‘pop’.  Blue gives a feeling of distance.  Artists use it to show perspective.  Blue is sharply refracted by the eyes.  This causes the lens to flatten and to push the blue image back.  We perceive that blue areas are receding and smaller.  It is cold, wet, and slow as compared to red’s warmth, fire, and intensity.  (To learn more about the colour red, go to this post.)

An executive for a paint company received complaints from workers in a blue office that the office was too cold. When the offices were painted a warm peach, the sweaters came off even though the temperature had not changed.” – Pantone

La Vie

La Vie

Picasso the-old-guitarist

The Old Guitarist

Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” refers to a series of paintings in which the color blue dominates and which he painted between 1901 and 1904. The Blue Period is a marvelous expression of poetic expression and personal melancholy and also contributes to the transition of Picasso’s style from classicism to abstract.

In the meaning of colors, blue relates to one-to-one communication.  Blue is conservative and predictable, a safe and non-threatening color, the most universally liked color of all and is often chosen by conservative people.  This is a color that seeks peace and tranquility above all else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation.  It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order.  It slows the metabolism and can suppress appetite.

Positive aspects: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful, calm.

Negative aspects: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, depressed and sad, too passive, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative and old-fashioned, predictable and weak, unforgiving, aloof and frigid. It can also indicate manipulation, unfaithfulness and untrustworthiness.

Swedish_flag_with_blue_sky_behind_ausschnitt Blue is the #1 favourite colour of all people.

53% of the flags in the world contain blue.blue-suit

Blue is the most commonly used color in corporate identity.

A dark blue suit is common professional business attire.

Blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity in heraldry.

Blue jeans are worn all over the world.blue-jeans-1-537x402

I want to die with my blue jeans on.”  Andy Warhol

Greeks believe that blue wards off the evil eye.

The color blue in many cultures is significant in religious beliefs, brings peace, or is believed to keep the bad spirits away. In Iran, blue is the color of mourning while in the West the something blue bridal tradition represents love.

Dark blue is the color of mourning in Korea.

The god Krishna has blue skin.

Blue is for a baby girl; pink for a baby boy in Belgium.

“Prince Charming” is called “The Blue Prince” in Italy and Spain.

Chakra:

chakras-blueBlue is the color associated with the Throat Chakra  also known as Visuddha. This chakra deals with communication of how we feel and what we think and rules knowledge, health and decisiveness.

In colour therapy and colour healing blue is used to aid physical ailments such as inflammation, raised blood pressure and infections. Blue is used to treat mental and emotional ailments such as aggression, anger and stress. Blue is also used for physical and mental complaints related to the throat such as speech impediments and throat infections.

Blue in Speech:

  • Out of the blue: unexpected
  • Into the blue: into the unknown; not knowing what you are walking into
  • True blue: to be loyal or faithful
  • Once in a blue moon: an event that occurs infrequently
  • Blue ribbon: first place; to describe something as being of the highest quality
  • Blue blood: an aristocrat, royal or noble in European languages
  • Blue law: laws about morality issues
  • Blue comedy: jokes about socially taboo subjects
  • Blue language refers to using profanity and blue films is used to describe pornography.
  • Blueprint: a detailed design of an object or idea
  • Blue plate special: a special priced meal at a restaurant
  • Bluestocking: a woman with strong scholarly interests
  • To blue pencil is to censor
  • Feeling blue or A Blue outlook: to feel sad or unhappy; offering little hope; dismal; bleak

The Blues (music):   The blues grew out of African spirituals and worksongs.  In the late 1800s, southern African-Americans passed the songs down orally, and they collided with American folk and country from the Appalachians. New hybrids appeared by each region, but all of the recorded blues from the early 1900s are distinguished by simple, rural acoustic guitars and pianos.  Most blues feature simple, usually three-chord, progressions and have simple structures that are open to endless improvisations, both lyrical and musical.

Blue Represents:

Communication:  Blue relates to one-to-one verbal communication and self-expression.

Peace and calm:  The color blue induces calm and peace within us, particularly the deeper shades.

Honesty:  Blue is the colour of truth.

Authority:  The darker the color blue, the more authority it has.

Religion:  Blue is the colour of devotion and religious study.

Wisdom:  Blue enhances the wisdom of the intellect.

Put some blue in your life when you want:

  • calm and relaxation to counteract chaos or agitation
  • to open the flow of communication
  • to broaden your perspective in learning new information
  • solitude and peace
The Blue Deer and Doe Plantain in Action:  With Sandra at Sew Be It Studios.

The Blue Deer and Doe Plantain in Action: With Sandra at Sew Be It Studio.

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true” – E.Y. Harburgrainbow and blue sky

PS:  Tomorrow, Saturday March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day and is also the last day to enter my Giveaway!  Go here to enter.Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundle

References:

http://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-blue/

http://www.colormatters.com/blue

http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-blue.html

http://www.allmusic.com/genre/blues-ma0000002467

Happy Chinese New Year from the Jungle!

Kitty Collar and Tie and Gunmetal Dress

Jungle January, hosted, once again, by the vivacious and print loving lady, Anne, comes to a close today, on Chinese New Year!  Gong Xi Fa Cai (pronounced King Hey Fa Choy in cantonese or Gong See Fa Tsey in Mandarin) means “happiness and prosperity”.  And, Xtnnian hao (pronounced shin-nyen ha-ow in Mandarin or sen-nih ha-ow in Cantonese) means “Have a good New Year”.

It is auspicious on the New Year to wear red, hang red lanterns, give monetary gifts in red envelopes or write in red ink.  Red is representative of fire and is believed to symbolize luck and ward off evil.  Also, this is the time to set aside grudges against enemies and call off unpaid debt. Let bygones be bygones – if personal differences or financial obligations cannot be settled before the Chinese New Year, they shall be forgotten.

Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Knit Dress With Added CuffsI sewed Lolita Patterns Gunmetal dress in an abstract art leopard print for Jungle January.  I was lucky enough to win this pattern over on Melanie’s Blog when she was a tester for the Gunmetal dress.  The pattern is for knits and is a lined princess seamed dress with option to add a sheer overlay.  There were many pattern pieces and lettered notches, so when cutting the pieces, I used small stickers to label the various notches.

Labelling Pattern PiecesThe pattern uses a tiny cap sleeve with the option of adding an elastic hem.  I wanted long sleeves, so extended the sleeve to the desired length, using the same angle as the sleeve pattern piece.  Lengthening Gunmental Dress Sleeves

Originally, I wanted to add cuffs and a hem band in a beautiful teal fabric.  This fabric is a sueded microfibre knit and is also the devil.  Do NOT look directly at it!!!!

Teal Sueded Knit Microfibre

Uh oh…MY RETINAS!  THEY BURN!!  I tried everything with this fabric, using a large sized microtex needle, using tissue paper strips, using various stitch types (lightening bolt, triple stretch, zig-zag) and a walking foot but nothing worked.  It ultimately ended up damaging my new sewing machine.  Ya.  Luckily, I was able to take the case off the machine and pick out bits of thread and fabric and fixed it.

And, I could not use my overlocker to sew it as it was already damaged by the tissue knit fabric that I used for the lining.  The overlocker pulled it into the feed dogs and seems to have misaligned everything.  I don’t know how people sew with tissue thin knits, either on an overlocker or sewing machine, they seem very temperamental to me.  And, is tissue-knit just another word for ‘only lasts through one wash?’  The fabric feels lovely but stretches out of shape almost immediately, especially the 4-way stretch knit,  and just cannot withstand any kind of stitch ripping whatsoever and often gets pulled into the feed dogs.  I would only use it again for a very simple, non-fitted pattern.

Anyhoo, despite this, I did add cuffs to the sleeves using a zebra print stretch knit that’s been in my stash for a while that I obtained from a sewing meet-up.

Creating a Sleeve Cuff

How to Sew a Sleeve Cuff: 1. Measure how long you want the cuff and double this. Next measure the desired width and cut out the rectangle. Sew the rectangle together along the length. 2. Fold the rectangle in half, right side out. Line up the cuff seam with the sleeve seam. 3. Match raw edges of cuff and sleeve and sew with right sides together. I opted to make the cuff tighter than the sleeve, so first gathered in the sleeve to fit the cuff. 4. Pull out cuff from sleeve and press.

Gunmetal Dress InsideI lined the dress in a 4-way stretch tissue knit, added black lace seam binding to the hem and sewed the seams with a lightening bolt stitch.

Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Knit DressFor the bodice, I did not make ruffles, but rather used 3 strips of black sheer organza ruffled ribbon for the middle and then added 2 rows of a teal lace to either side.  Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Knit Dress and Ruffled Bodice

I found the neckline very low on this dress, too low for my comfort level to wear.  I’m not sure if the 4-way stretch leopard print and grey lining fabric stretched during sewing or if it is because I am short-waisted.  So, I added black fold-over elastic binding around the neckline and stretched it while sewing.  This helped to tighten up and lift the neckline somewhat.  I love the ruched side panels on the bodice!

And, Kitty, for his part in Jungle January, opted to sew himself a zebra print collar and tie.  This project, along with the dress cuffs are my contributions to Stashbusting 2014, January’s Challenge, where we had to use stash fabric that was less than a yard in size.  January Stashbusting Challenge

stashbusting 2014

Kitty Prepping Collar and Tie

Kitty Prepping His Collar and Tie Pattern

Colourful button added to the back of the collar.

Kitty Sends Up the Cat Signal

Kitty Sends Up the Cat Signal

Do you want to sew a collar and tie for your cat?  Ya, you do!!  Here is the link for the free pattern and instructions.  Make sure you measure your cat’s neck before you cut the pattern as you may have to add length.

Measure Kitty Neck Adjust Pattern

Measure Kitty’s neck and adjust pattern, if necessary.

Kitty Cat Zebra Print Collar and Tie

SO Handsome!!

Look At Mah Collah and Tie!

Look At Mah Collah and TieLOOK AT IT!!!

LOOK AT IT

Zebras are ungulate mammals that are members of the horse family, Equidae, and are closely related to the domestic horse.

Zebras Horses

And, being the ever relevant cat that he is, Kitty opted to fashion his collar and tie out of zebra print since 2014 is Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac.

Were you born in the years: 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942 or 1930?  Then, you, my good friend are a Horse in the Chinese zodiac.  Those born in horse years are merry, skillful with money, witty, talented and good with their hands. Rembrandt, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Chopin, Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Jerry Seinfeld were born in the year of the horse.

Happy-Chinese-New-Year-of-the-Horse-2014

Strengths:  Cheerful and perceptive.  Very social, with high energy.

Weaknesses:  Can be impatient and quick-tempered and independent to the point of excluding others.

Zodiac sign compatibility—Best matches: tiger, sheep, dog; Avoid: rat, ox, rabbit

According to Paul Ng, an astrologist and feng shui expert, horse people are entering a year of conflict in 2014.  They are to pay extra attention to their health this year.  Do not make any rash decision when it comes to personal finance and avoid gambling.  Spend modestly and increase savings.

What animal are you?chinese zodiacKitty is the sign of the Dog.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?    Jungle January? ROAWWRR!!

Jungle January? ROAWWRR!!

Eat My Cake and Sew it Too

The lovely and beautiful Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network have officially declared today, July 28, 2013, Let Us Sew Cake Day.  This group is a wonderful and talented bunch of sewists that I have met through the blogosphere and they constantly have such great sewalongs, ideas and meet-ups.Let Us Sew CakeSo, in honour of this prestigious day, I have sewn Cake Patterns Cabarita Knit Top as well as eaten the better part of an entire sugar flower covered cake!  Wisely, I coordinated my cake with my Cabarita Top, because to not have done so, would have been rather gauche.  Cabarita Top Front and BackI love the collar piece as well as the v-neck back of this knit top.  It really elevates a T-shirt into dressed up wear, so simply and easily.  The back is also drafted to be cut on the bias and Steph recommends to keep it that way so that it hugs the curves of your back.  My fabric was on the thicker side and quite crisp, so I did not interface the cabarita front collar piece, but would have if I had used a softer and flowy fabric.

Prepping to Cut CakeThe only alteration I made was to narrow both the front and back sleeve by removing 5/8″ (1.5cm) from the bottom of each sleeve.  I had to then shorten the sleeve binding accordingly.  This way, the sleeve hugged my arm perfectly.  It’s easy to figure out a custom measurement for you, simply by measuring your bicep, around where the sleeve ends.

My Cabarita Knit TopThe only thing I would do differently next time, is to attach the sleeve binding after I had sewn the side seams.  The patterns calls for you to attach it first, but I find it more difficult to line up the cuff at the seams that way and also, any seam finishing you do, may be more visible since it extends down to the bottom of your cuff.

Floral Cabarita TopI like how the front rolled collar and V-neck back really bring the emphasis up to your face and upper half. If you used contrasting sleeve and neck bindings and collar piece or reversed the stripes in a striped fabric, this would play it up even more. The next one I make, I’d like to try contrasting pieces.
Cabarita BackThe V-neck back is very streamlining and I really enjoy the surprise of it and the symmetry it provides my back.Can't Wait to Eat That Cake

One of the unique aspects of this pattern is that you ‘draft’ your own size based on your bust, waist and hip measurement.  I chose to make mine with zero ease and using my exact measurements, but you can also choose to give it more ease by selecting a larger measurement for each area.Tea With Cake

And, you’ve seen him lurking around in the background of the above pics, but it’s likely no surprise that Kitty also enjoys Cake.Kitty Enjoying CakeI highly recommend to eat your cake and sew it too!!

I was also recently interviewed by Mel at A Curious Kiwi for Indie Pattern Month.  Check out her post, here.  Thanks Mel!