Thursday, June 22, 2017

Building a Suit for SDCC

It's nearly time for San Diego ComiCon, and I've been working diligently on my latest cosplay outfit for the Masquerade. Much like previous years, it's a SOOPER SEEKREET project, but I can give you details without giving away the surprise.

This costume is going to be a change for me, because unlike previous cosplay outfits, I will be able to wear this outfit on a regular basis, even for work. Additionally, I don't have to do a lot of extra custom work because I've already made parts of this outfit for other costumes, which means no unnecessary mockups and I just need to follow the pattern instructions and my own notes.

FIRST, the costume: The "costume" be a three-piece suit, which won't be quite matching in style, but I'll be using similar and matching fabric. Photos of the character seem to indicate this is the case.

SECOND, the patterns: As mentioned previously, I've already made much of this suit for other purposes, so I don't have to actually do much in terms of mockups, custom alterations, etc.  I will have to sew 1.5 items that I haven't created before, so there will be some work to do.

For the waistcoat, I've previously made the non-collared version of the pattern, but for this new one, I'll be adding the lapels. The only pattern I haven't yet made is a button-down shirt. I'm using this McCalls pattern for it.

LAST: the fabric! For this particular outfit, I'm going with a linen blend, because photos of said outfit appear to be linen. However, I chose a linen blend because I hate ironing linen --- it wrinkles if you look at it wrong.  Also, I'm choosing two different types of black linen because photos of said character show a slightly different texture/light reflection between the coat and pants.

For the jacket, I've chosen a black hopsack linen (55% linen / 45% rayon). Hopsack is a type of weave that looks like basket weave, and is not as "formal" as a plain weave. It's used for more "informal" blazers and jackets especially light summer blazers.

The next fabric is for the pants and waistcoat, which is a 53% linen / 47 % rayon, which I'll be using for the waistcoat and matching pants.

The last bit of fabric that I'm going to be using is for the shirt:

I've already washed it twice in hot water and it's turning into a very soft fabric and will make a lovely shirt.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Completed Katarina

Within the course of a week, I finished two projects! It feels so good to get things completed and to have two in one week feels doubly good.

This time around, I finished Katarina by CocoKnits out of Cascade Greenland, which is a discontinued yarn, but of which I have at least 3 sweater's worth in my Stash. I love Julie Weisenberger's aesthetic, and this sweater is no exception.

There's a seamless version of this sweater, but I chose to knit the seamed version. I don't mind seaming and I knit this in pieces as a substitute for my sock knitting at work. Because I did it piecemeal, it  meant that I could finish it a bit faster as it was always accompanying me to different places. (I also prefer having a bit more structure to my knitted garments that seaming affords).

While the body of the sweater took very little time, the garter stitch shawl collar took forever to finish and was fairly boring to knit. I also did some short-rows along the collar because I wanted the collar to have more substance and to stand a bit taller.

Consequently, I ended up working on the Viajante instead or reserved the Katarina for mindless t.v. knitting whenever we binge watched on Netflix or Hulu. However, I'm very pleased with how the collar turned out.

Here's the final sweater on me. It fits perfectly.

And the Greenland softened up considerably after washing it. I didn't quite block the sweater, but rather threw it into the dryer. It handled the dryer very well and didn't lose any of its shape.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Completed Viajante!

It's been a long time since I finished a project that wasn't sock related. I took on two big knitting projects and have been somewhat faithful to just knitting on them (except for my ever-present sock projects).

So, I'm glad to announce that I finally, finally finished the behemoth that is the Viajante that I started back in March, and I love this "shawl". Okay, let's be honest here....the Viajante really isn't a shawl but more of a fancy poncho. And I've discovered that I really like ponchos, especially in the frigid climate that is my work office.

As a recap, I used Miss Babs Katahdin, which is 1750 yards / 397 grams of wool. I used nearly all of it. I think I might have 40-50 grams left.

I also discovered that I like to add beads to things, despite it adds a multitude of time to finish a project! Because this was my first time beading a project, I didn't know what size beads to use. Consequently, I ended up using two sizes of beads: 2/0 clear-esque beads for the stockinette portion of the beading and 6/0 for the lace. For the larger 6/0 beads, I found some that perfectly matched the yarn.

The beads & lace look great, and I even bound off with beads.

Despite beading bits of this poncho, the vast majority of this project is a lot of stockinette. This poncho is huge and served as a 'blanket' while I was working on it. The neck opening is about 13" wide and the "tip" of the poncho/shawl is very long.

When worn as a poncho, it reaches down to the floor.

It can also be worn as an actual shawl when you double over the fabric, which makes it warm and toasty

I love this thing. This project definitely fell under the "project knitting" aspect versus the "process knitting". I really wanted the Viajante for use in the office, travel, and I think it's elegant enough to wear for evenings out, etc.

I'm actually contemplating on making another, but out of sport weight yarn just to cut down on the amount of time that it'll take to complete. And the next one will be out of a more solid or kettle dyed yarn.