I've been sewing the Linda pant from StyleArc patterns. I've made 3 pairs since Christmas, and am ready to start prepping fabric on pair number 4.
I'd made this pattern a couple of times last spring in some stretch bengaline from JoAnn Fabric -- stretch bengaline is the specific fabric called for on the pattern. But, alas, the JoAnn version of that fabric ... has issues. Specifically, the black dye rubs off on anything cotton I wear (yes, even months later and after being washed so many times), plus it feels prickly against my skin (probably a reaction to the dye).
Then I'd made 3 cropped/capri versions over the summer in various lightweight stretch wovens.
On Christmas Day I started browsing my stash of bottomweights for anything appropriate for the pattern. I found some black lightweight something-or-other from somewhere-or-other, then I stopped by Hancock's a few days later and found some grey stretch poly-rayon suiting on sale for about $9 total cost (I'm pretty sure that's what's in the photo), then stopped by JoAnn to discover a heavier mauve poly-rayon twill that I could use a 50%-off coupon to purchase (about $13 total cost for fabric), and then JoAnn put ALL of the suiting on sale this week, so I bought more.
I know the StyleArc pattern is pricey -- you have to pay shipping from Australia, plus they're more expensive than the 99 cent pattern sales at the stores. But I'm able to make pants quickly for about $10-$15 per pair worth of fabric and notions. I've made 8 pairs of pants off of this pattern so far, and have plans for at least 2 more., so cost of pattern per pair is looking better and better.
Also, I began the New Year using my new camera (a Christmas present) to photograph some of the yarn stash I'd totally forgotten about owning. After I got the piles sorted, I browsed Ravelry for patterns that would match up with the piles. Then I started swatching.
That project got set aside, though, when a friend on an online forum had a crisis. Several people decided to band together to make a quilt for her. I said I'd make a square.
Unperturbed that I have no clue what I'm doing, I decided I wanted to embroider a labyrinth, since it might be meditative/interesting/fun/soothing to trace the path with a finger while wrapped in the quilt. I chose multi-color floss in the appropriate colors. I found an image of a labyrinth online, and played around with re-sizing it until it looked right for going onto a 9 inch (finished size) quilt square.
I traced the pattern onto Sulky tear-away, sewed the stabilizer to some white muslin, and started back stitching the pattern by hand.
I originally started at the outside, and then realized that it made more sense to start in the middle and work my way out. I confined all my stitching to the actual pattern lines -- that is, I didn't cross over the gaps on the backside.
Then I tore the Sulky away using tweezers to pick it all out (I think there are still shreds in this photo).
Then I picked out some fabric for a backing. I thought I might have different ideas about appropriate color and pattern after the embroidery was done.
I turned under the edges and sewed the labyrinth onto the 9.5 inch square as a applique. I also sewed some more lines of white stitching following some of the rings and cross bars -- I'm hoping these help stabilize it.
And just now I've folded it up, put it in an envelope, and am mailing it to someone who volunteered to put all of the squares together.
Things I probably could improve on: I traced the pattern in plain ol' pencil, I didn't back the embroidery with any sort of stabilizer before sewing it on to the backing cloth, I could've done something slicker for the final step of getting-rid-of-raw-edges-and-affixing-to-backing. Also, I considered putting something in the center -- a heart or a word or something -- but decided that might be twee.
In the meantime, lots of school stuff has started back up, and various other lessons and theater productions are going on. More on that later.