Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Indian Summer


Let's start off with a little confession.  I finished this sweater in summer of 2015 before my son was born.  However, I managed to take pictures and start a blog post in October of 2015.  I never finished the post, so here we are a year later and you are just now seeing this (unless of course you follow me on ravlery).

I was a bit inspired by the Masterpiece show Indian Summers when I finally had the chance to photograph this sweater, and at the time, we were having a very gorgeous Indian Summer as well.  Hence the title of this post.


Have you ever had one of those projects that almost feels like fate?  I had been holding onto this Cascade cotton for about five years; I bought it at the general store while on my honeymoon.  I wanted to make something special with it, but soon learned that cotton is not always the best choice for knitting sweaters.  Last year I shared that I had a bit of a stash problem with my yarn, which lead me to organize my stash via ravelry.  While I was on quite the knitting kick last year, I started to search out more knitting blogs to follow rather than sewing blogs.  I came across Tres Bien Ensemble and decided to add her to my ravelry friends as well.  This lead me to stalk her favorites and queue - where I came across this wrap cardigan.  As I searched through fellow raveler's finished sweaters, one caught my eye.  Krystina had made hers out of Ultra Pima Cascade yarns and had changed the lace pattern to once from Vogue's Stitchonary.  I thought this would be the perfect match for the yarn purchased on my honeymoon and I had just checked out the Vogue Stitchonary Lace volume from the library.  Really, it was fate.


I loved how fast the sweater knit up, especially the body and the sleeves.  I did adjust the pattern so that the fronts and back were knit seamlessly as one piece until the armhole divide.  Of course, I also adjusted the pattern to use one of the lace patterns in the Vogue Stitchonary Lace volume.  This was my first time doing a true lace pattern, and I found it to be easier than I thought.  It didn't take long before I had the rows memorized and was whizzing along on the lace panel.  I got so caught up in the lace pattern that I knit my panel a little too long and then it stretched even more after blocking - so I ended up with quite a bit of tail after wrapping and tying the panel.


This sweater was a great transitional piece for summer into fall for me - especially last year.  With nursing my little one, it was really nice to have an outer layer that was a wrap sweater - it was easy to remove and provided a little more coverage over my nursing tank.  I'm all about modesty, especially when nursing, so this was a great little number to add to wardrobe.

It feels weird to be posting this sweater so late, but I really don't have much of a backlog of projects from the past year.  I also just shared that it took me four months to sew a dress, so you know there won't be other new projects coming any time soon.

Annabelle

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Anticipation


Well, a big hello to anyone who is still around after my long absence from this little space.  Life with two kiddos certainly has kept me much busier than I anticipated, but I wouldn't change it for the world! So, my post title "anticipation;" hubby and I are in a difficult phase of life where everything is busy (kids, work, kids, family stuff, kids, kids).  Anyway, it is has been pretty tough to even get date night scheduled, other than a quick dinner.  So, back in early May of this year I told dear hubby that we were going to go to the fall hangar dance and I was going to make a dress.  Guys, it took me all summer to make this dress, I finished it up just a few days before the dance.  Not that this dress is difficult in any way, but I'm just really short on time lately.  But seriously, let's not dwell on what I don't have, let's celebrate because I sewed a dress in 2016!


Now for the dress.  The pattern is Butterick 6282, which is a reproduction pattern from 1941.  While the dress is totally appropriate for the event, I will admit that I don't love the pattern.  I was drawn to the simple, utilitarian style and the fact that it was button front, but very different from most shirtwaist dresses.  However, before making the pattern, I knew that I hadn't seen any versions of this dress that I liked, including the photos that Butterick used to promote the pattern.  All of the excess fabric in the bodice and the voluminous sleeves didn't quite work for me.  All that aside, I made the dress anyway because it was a pattern that I had on hand and I had a fabric that I thought was a good match to the pattern.


I used a wool and silk blend suiting fabric for this dress.  I think the fabric worked perfectly for the pattern, it makes this dress more of a fall and winter dress.  I kind of needed something like this in my wardrobe since nearly all of the dresses I have sewn are bright pink or purple florals.  The only adjustment I made was to take out the pleats in the sleeve cap.  Originally, I sewed up the dress as given, but when I put it on, the sleeves were just way too much for me.  I felt that even with shoulder pads, it just wasn't the right silhouette on me.  All I did to change the sleeve after detaching it was simply cut the top portion of the sleeve off, following a bell curve of a typical sleeve.  With this adjustment made, the sleeve still fit really well into the armhole of the dress with no additional alterations.


The dress naturally has a very "blousoned" bodice, but it is accentuated a bit on my dress by the fact that over the four months that it took me to construct the dress, I had lost some weight.  Oh well, that just means I should have a dress that will fit well when I have another baby (not in the works yet, but definitely a future possibility).  While I'm still a bit unsure of how I feel about the bodice of this dress, I will say that I love the skirt portion of this dress.  The box pleat in combination with the a-line skirt is the perfect amount of fabric for a flattering shape.  I'm thinking about making a skirt from this pattern in the future.  (You know, when I have time, haha).
My favorite photo from our highly anticipated date night!

Okay lovelies, that's all I've got to say about this dress.  I hope to get my act together and get some other posts up soon.  I have a nearly finished sweater (that I started a year ago), as well as a sweater that I finished just before my son was born last year.  

I will say, that finding time to be creative has been such a blessing.  I know that I need some creativity in my life, but I am content just to find bits and pieces of time here and there as long as it eventually results in something.  Until next time!


Annabelle