Ginger Made: Sister Kniturday!

First of all, I hope that all of you guys in the eastern U.S. survived Hurricane Sandy without any damage or harm.  We’re just fine– some damage to our neighborhood, but none to our house or car, and our power (and more importantly, cable!) stayed on the whole time (just not the internet at home, so I’m a bit behind on my blogroll).  I feel so grateful and blessed, and my thoughts are with the folks who weren’t so lucky (and the millions of people who still don’t have power and probably won’t for several days).  And thank you so much to everyone who emailed to check in and make sure we were OK– that really meant the world to me.  THANK YOU!

I spent this weekend, before the hurricane struck (gosh, it feels like a month ago!), with my sister, who came up from Baltimore.  She has recently started sewing garments, in no small part due to my heavy peer pressure gentle encouragement, and has been really interested in, but afraid of, sewing with knits.  So I was pretty excited to sit down with her this weekend and have a little jersey sewing bootcamp (a Sister Kniturday, if you will)!

I thought that Cindy’s Dolman Sleeve Top pattern would be a nice pattern to start with, since you don’t need to set in any sleeves (AND IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD, PEOPLE!).  I made a version first to test the fit on my sister and give her a chance to see how it goes together before cutting into her own fabric.  I used an organic bamboo/rayon knit that I picked up at Mood about a year ago with a Renfrew top in mind, but had set aside thinking it was too slinky and stretchy.

And hey, look, it IS too slinky and stretchy!  It was OK to sew with, but it’s so very drapey that anything you’re wearing underneath the top is outlined clearly.  Hello, bra!  Definitely didn’t realize how bad it was until I looked at these photos– I should wear a tank top underneath!  But hey, stash-bustin’ feels good even if the results aren’t picture-perfect, amirite?

Damage on the block courtesy of Hurricane Sandy… (sidenote: do you like my giant phone case?  safety first!)

The shirt is really comfy and easy to wear, so that’s a plus, and the pattern is BEYOND simple to put together (AND DID I MENTION IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD?!?!  Thanks, Cindy!!!!!).  I flew through it!  I also really like the green color– it’s slightly more vibrant than a hunter green without veering into primary color territory (which is only OK if you’re dressed up like a crayon for Halloween).  [EDIT: I forgot to mention that I lengthened the sleeves by 6", so yours will be much shorter if you make it without alterations.  I also found it a bit too long, and the band a bit wider than I liked, so I just serged the waistband seam at 5/8" a second time and it was the perfect length.  My sister has a longer torso than I do, so we kept hers the original length.]

My sister made a version in a cotton jersey blend (also from Mood, picked out Saturday in what can only be described as a merciless raid on the Garment District).  Doesn’t it look cute on her?

Isn’t she cuuuuuute?

It’s kind of a perfect top for her– dressier than a tee, but still really easy to wear, perfect for her job as an elementary school teacher.  You have to be comfortable when you chase little kids around all day!

A side effect of a sister Kniturday is that now my sis reallllly wants a serger!  A second side effect is that now I wish (even more than usual!) that she lived in NYC so we could hole up like a couple of nerds and sew away every weekend!  :(  Well, Baltimore isn’t THAT far away, but we are popular, busy, lazy people who don’t get it together to see each other often enough.  But now that’s she succumbed to the siren song of my little Brother, I bet she’ll be tempted to Bolt Bus her way to NYC more often!

Side effect of dolman tees: instant mega-biceps! Raaaaawwwwwrrrr!

Meet My Little Brother!

Guys.  Wanna see some guts?

I knew you would.  You’re gross.

Look, a beautiful French seam!  See how neat and tidy?

A little tab to differentiate front from back (in a matching pink, to boot)!  But wait– what’s that goodness there?

What, this old thing?  Oh, it’s nothing… only a NEATLY OVERLOCKED CROTCH SEAM.

That’s right.  I HAVE A SERGER NOW.

OK.  Take a deep breath.  BWAAAAAHHHHHH I HAVE A SERGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you tell that I’m REALLY excited about this?

My favoritest little brother (and yes, I have two ACTUAL little brothers... sorry, guys, but you've never serged beautiful, perfect seams for me AND you forget my birthday, so...)

It’s the Brother 1034D, and it’s quite the reasonable fellow (with shockingly good reviews on Amazon!).  I’ve been eyeballing it for quite some time, and after Gail bought the same model and loved it, I decided I HAD to have it.  HAD to.  I opened up the box, got really scared by all the parts and the manual.  The DVDs provided with the machine wouldn’t really play correctly on my Mac, but I found this easy tutorial from Artist Kae on Youtube, and I was serging in about 10 minutes!  Thanks for sharing the video, gal!  I may have been jumping up and down and shouting like a lunatic after I serged the crotch seam.  It’s just so… perfect?  Clean?  Elegant?  FANCY?  I’m in love!

What are you guys up to?  Cookin’ up any big projects?  I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to see photos of Maddie’s dress!  And I’m still making my way through your PJ posts– so, so cute!  I can’t believe how fun that was!

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