I participated in the recent outfit-along hosted by Lauren and Andi Satterlund, sewing a dress and knitting a cardigan to go with it before 31 July. In fact, I finished the dress on 31 July at about 5pm – some slight stress to get it done before the month ended. I’m quite glad I participated – it got me moving to knit something a bit bigger, more complicated, and more satisfying than I have done before. The dress was already in the sewing queue, and was one of the ones where you see the fabric and KNOW what you’re going to do with it instantly, but it ended up being kinda underwhelming.
(sorry about the bad photos – it was dark by the time I finished, but I had to take them in time to post the same night).
(also can we admire the beautiful ringlet my hair is doing in this photo? It seems to be in a mood to ringlet this week, it’s done a couple of good ones)
So this cardigan is the Miette. I’ve seen it in a fair few places in the sewing blogger world, and when I found it was a free pattern (gasp!) I decided to try this out for my first ever cardigan.
(I also took some photos the day I finished the cardigan, which are better photos, and also showcase how perfectly it goes with this other dress – one my nana made years ago, and I mildly modified to make less 80s in the sleeves)
The wool I used was a lighter weight than the recommended, but through some trick of fate I got perfect gauge on the recommended needles, so hey, it worked out. I knitted the size with a 34″ finished bust (my bust is 38″, and she recommends 1-3″ negative ease, but since that wasn’t an option for me I chose to go for 4″ rather than 0). It turned out, if anything, ever so slightly too large (not enough to be a big deal. In fact, barely enough to notice at all).
(I distrust the camera.)
Aren’t the buttons adorable? I was at an op shop, debating whether to get green or brown buttons, and then I spotted these ones. And they spoke to me. I had to hunt down some not-too-egregiously-different buttons for the other six spots, and then tea-dyed them because they were white (fabric-covered) and it clashed with the cream teacup/teapot, but I’m really satisfied with the buttons.
About the dress: It’s a BurdaStyle pattern for the bodice – March 2013 – and it’s the third time I’ve done it, which makes it like, officially a TNT, yes? I think it’s the first I’d call that, for me. Though in this iteration it fit really loosely, for no apparent reason. The skirt is a circle skirt. I think I like the idea of circle skirts more than I like the reality – though there is a lot of volume there (what I really want out of a skirt) it tends to just hang down straight unless you have a petticoat. I prefer it to puff out at the waist a bit, so like gathered or pleated skirts better. That said, it’s not my biggest problem with the dress. It’s just a little underwhelming altogether – this is most probably because of the fabric, which is very definitely not my usual bold and beautiful style.
Actual problems – it has a terrible zip and hem, probably because I was sick of it by the time I got up to them and just wanted to get the dress over with (it didn’t help that I was already kinda getting sick of sewing by the time I started on it, as I’d spent every waking minute of the previous two weeks working on my ball dress). Also, the neckline tends to stick out a bit, and the lining really wants to be visible at the neck. The lining is exciting and green (I didn’t want to do boring old white lining with this white dress. Plus I had some mystery green lining fabric in my stash already, that came from my nana).
The dress is of a mystery fabric, which was a duvet cover in an op shop. I had to avoid a couple of stains while making it, but I think I managed pretty well. It’s very light, and presses actually amazingly well.
So essentially – love the cardigan, but the dress is not that great. Though I found a bright pink scarf in (yet another) op shop, and it made a big difference when I added that as a sash. With a little more colour, I feel a lot better. I also got a compliment from a random stranger on the street, which cheered me up a bit. Plus, it was a crazy warm day on Friday (when I wore them) and wearing just a dress, with no tights or merinos or even shoes (told you. Crazy warm. It’s the middle of winter! But it was 21C), is my absolute favourite outfit, so even though the dress wasn’t all that great, I was happy.
I’m a bit tired of sewing now, so I think I’ll take a couple of weeks break from my machine. I’ve had something in the sewing queue pretty constantly since mid-May, and while I now have fabric and plans for another couple, they can wait. I suspect the sewing burnout was caused by the last two projects having deadlines, but still, I’m relishing the time I have when I’m not sewing as much. I’ve been playing my harp a whole bunch, and of course getting a bit more done in study and general housekeeping stuff.
See you all!