Monthly Archives: December 2016

Liberty Sureau

I know it is just after Christmas, and the temperature here in New Hampshire is nowhere near being able to wear this now, but I am still posting this today. Let’s say it will bring us back to the warm, yet crisp days of fall before we settle in for the dark winter. This is the Deer and Doe Sureau. It is a two piece dress with a faux placket and the options for sleeves or not. I choose not. It has been awhile since this pattern’s heyday, but I have to say, I understand why it enjoyed such popularity when it was first released. Because of the faux placket and simple construction, once I had worked out my own fitting tweaks (and jumped over the pocket hurdle), this dress was a pretty quick and satisfying make.

The skirt is gathered, which normally I am not a huge fan of, but figured I would give it a go. Looking at the photos, maybe I need to give gathered waists another chance! I am quite smitten with this dress on me. Who knew?!?!

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

As far as fitting, I did some research before embarking on this pattern. I had seen around the interwebs that people had trouble with a gaping neckline. I whipped up a quick muslin of the bodice after performing my usual sba (small bust adjustment—since D&D is drafted for a C-cup) and sway back adjustment, and tried it on. After seeing the results I took a 1/4″ wedge out of the front neckline tapering to nothing at the waist. It seemed to work well enough. I might have been able to take out more, but I didn’t want to go overboard.

The only other thing that I didn’t personally love was the neckline facing. I am usually not on Team Facing, ever. I would prefer binding or lining my garments. Since this was the first time making this I figured I would play by the rules. The facing extends around the whole neckline, which is then topstitched down. Once I attached the facing, I wanted a cleaner look so I handstitched it down. Even with the handstitching, I find that it is still a bit fussy. Apparently I will never join Team Facing. I find them fiddly and annoying. Give me bias binding any day.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

The one other thing I did was add pockets. Actually, let me rephrase that. I added “a pocket”. This dress has a side zipper. I had every intention of cutting the dress so that I could move the zipper to the back, but absolutely forgot when cutting. I figured that I could just add them into the side seam. If you have been reading this blog, or know me  at all, you know that most of my makes are right before a particular deadline. This dress was no different, trying to get it done for Maker’s Days in September. Since I was in a time crunch, I did not think through my construction of the zipper-sided pocket. Needless to say, when I sewed it up, I only had one functioning pocket. Yes. I had sewn the other one shut while attaching the invisible zipper. I decided then and there that I only needed one pocket. And that was that.

For this dress, since it was to be for a special occasion (Maker’s Days was our one year anniversary celebration!) I decided to go big for the fabric. What is the top of the line for me? Liberty of London. If you have never heard of this company, you should get to know it. It is an old-school London based store-front (it’s an actual department store) that has (and has had for over 125 years) their own line of fabric. Their style is tight florals or designs that lean on a vintage-nouveau feel. Sometimes even a Where’s Waldo look, in a really cool and pretty way. Their Tana Lawn (which is what I used here) is a beautifully soft cotton that is a dream to sew with and to wear. It is not an inexpensive fabric, but worth every penny.

Liberty Sureau by Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Should I make this again, and I really want to try the sleeved version, I have a few things that I would change. I would move the zipper to the back and add two pockets, and change the facing to bias binding or line the bodice instead. Anything to keep me away from those facings.

Deer and Doe Sureau

The pattern itself is well drafted and I do love the look of the dress. This is only the second Deer & Doe pattern that I have sewn, but I love the fit and style of my Belladone dress, so I am assuming that we are a pretty good match. I will tell you that the pattern directions are still a bit on the sparse side (similar to the Belladone), but there is enough there to get you to a new dress. I would suggested this to a beginner who has at least one other garment pattern under their belt. If you are looking to start your first dress in 2017, this would be a great pattern!

Have you sewn the Sureau? Are you on Team Facing or with me on Team Never-Facings? Do you have big sewing plans for 2017?? Come on, tell us!

Foxfield Hat in Cumbria Worsted

Foxfield Hat in Cumbria Yarn by Pintuck and Purl

Winter is here! We are gearing up for a storm in the Northeast tomorrow, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share a quick, easy pattern from The Fibre Company. This is their Foxfield Hat knitted with their Cumbria Worsted yarn in the Castlerigg colorway, which is a beautiful grayish purple. This yarn is 60% Merino, 30% Masham wool,  and 10% Mohair in a generous 238 yard skein. The yarn was “inspired by England’s stunning northwest region with its deep blue lakes and sheep-grazed fells and valleys” and the color range speaks perfectly to that interpretation. The colors are subtle and muted, but in a very earthy and slightly rustic way.

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

The yarn is a pleasure to knit with. I currently have two projects on my needles, one with Cumbria (a Christmas present that I am frantically trying to finish) and a Lopi (the rough Icelandic wool) sweater. Whenever I go back to the Cumbria, it is like wrapping up in a warm and soothing blanket. Blocking this yarn makes the fabric even softer than what you would imagine from the yarn’s fiber recipe and rustic look.

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

The pattern comes with two different stitch options for two different hats. We chose the smaller stitch pattern, for a softer (and quicker) finished project. I am dying to make the bobble version (now that I have conquered the bobble in one of my current projects–I will share after the gift-giving takes place). I think this hat would also be great with a pom pom added to the top. There was plenty of leftover yarn to be able to do that, but instead we decided to knit up a matching pair of mitts (to be blogged about soon!). So cozy!!

Foxfield Hat by Pintuck and Purl

I think this is my new favorite winter yarn. After I am finished with my current WIP, I am hoping to put a sweater in Cumbria in my queue. If you are searching for a rustic looking, yet softer feeling worsted weight yarn, you should give this a try. Make a hat (or two!) to try it out and then I am sure that you will fall in love as well!

Cumbia Worsted by The Fibre Co. Castlerigg

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography


Sydänmaa Mittens in Swans Island All American

Pintuck & Purl's Sydanmaa Mittens In Swans Island Yarn

Time to break out the mittens! I’m not sure if your outside temperature numbers are dropping, but here in New Hampshire, it is C.O.L.D. What is the only silver lining that I find this time of year, since I don’t ski, snowboard, snowshoe or any other snow-or-winter-related activity? Knit and wear mittens! Actually, I didn’t knit these; the fabulous Jenny, from our staff, knitted up these lovelies. I am wearing and will continue to wear them. Obviously when they are not on the shelf as a sample in the shop. Mostly.

Swans Island All American Wool Sydanmaa Mittens

These are the Sydänmaa Mittens by Hanna Leväniemi, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. Yes, you read that right. FREE pattern on Ravelry. If you have been searching for an interesting, not-too-crazy cabled mitten with fun construction, then these mittens are for you.

Swans Island All American Wool Sydanmaa Mittens

If you are looking for yarn for said mittens, then you need to take a look at Swans Island All American Collection Worsted. The yarn is a combination of 75% Rambouillet and 25% Alpaca. Both of these are sourced right here in the good ol’ USA. Yep, this yarn is 100% American Made. It is spun in a New England mill and then brought to the Swans Island Company dye house in Maine and lovingly infused with color. The colorway we chose here is called Atlantic, and it is perfect. There are just enough green tones to conjure up images of my beloved local beaches.

This rustic, yet still sophisticated yarn often gets overlooked in the shop as it doesn’t have bright colors or crazy packaging. It is one of those unassuming yarns that once you start to work with it, you wonder why you have’t knit with it before. And then you want to knit all things in it. The stitch definition is amazing and it is surprisingly light for all its rustic beauty. It is perfect for a pattern like this, really showing off those cable stitches.

Sydanmaa Mittens in Swans Island All American Wool

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography 

Now, the scratch factor. I think this may be a personal decision, but once this yarn was blocked I thought it softened up beautifully. I don’t find  the yarn scratchy and would wear it happily next to my skin. I know there are others that would disagree, so I think mittens are the perfect starter project for this yarn. If you can wear the mittens, then you are ready for a full sweater’s worth of this yarn. And trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

You can find a nice selection of the Swans Island Company’s trademark  subtle colors of the All American Worsted in the shop here (and soon online!) and then make your own pair. The mittens as shown were knitted up with one skein, with some left over. So, come on, what are you waiting for?!?!?!

Swans Island All American Yarn