November 26, 2014

Vogue 8944 - Again with the Catchy Title!

 Hey - I made a new dress!  

This is Vogue 8944 and the fabric is a great ponte that Kashi of Metro Textiles talked me into.  If you've been following this blog for long - then you know I don't wear a lot of solids.  For whatever reason - I feel big as a barn in solids.  Anyway - I was going to pass on this fabric, but Kashi and JB talked me into it.  

This dress had it's problems.  I cut it out according to my measurements. A straight size 22.  I did not trace all the pieces - what was I thinking?  I traced the skirt pieces - front and back because I was making it in a knit and didn't need a center back seam in the skirt and I did need to lengthen the skirt - I added 3" and put in a 1.5" hem.  The pattern calls for a 5/8" narrow hem, so I took a bigger hem than called for - but I think it suits this fabric.  I also made a sway back adjustment to the back bodice and made up a sleeve length (I cut at the lengthen/shorten line).  The sleeves are even - I'm not standing straight.

Anyway - I put this together with my serger and topstitched the seams per the instructions.  Got it all done and it was too big.  Enough that when I went to show JB even he noticed.  That was Sunday night - after spending my weekend sewing time going to Costco, doing laundry, starting the flannel pants factory, and working on the circle skirt project - I wanted to make something for me!  Something new, quick and easy.  This dress felt like it should fit the bill.  So - I hung it up and went to knit.  

On Monday - I decided to finish it so I could wear it to work today.  First - I took it in, 2" at the bust on both sides (yep - that's 4" smaller!) tapering to nothing at the hip and out to the bottom of the sleeve.  The fit is much, much better.  

Notes for next version:

    • Cut the shoulders at a size 14 width
    • Cut the sides at a size 18: width
    • Cut the center front bodice just slightly off the fold
    • Add just a bit more length to the skirt

And this is how I wore it to work - with a skinny taupe belt, a cardigan purchased at Target, and a pair of boots.  I also wore the locket that Beau bought me for Christmas last year - I love this locket!  I have to say - all in all - even with it's flaws - I really like this dress.  The skirt is flirty and feminine without being too full.  Even in the solid - I didn't feel huge.  There will be more dresses from this pattern.  
In fact - the next version will be color blocked with 2 solids and a print.  Oh - and with the leftovers of this fabric?  (Yes, I bought 5 yards of the fabric I wasn't sure I wanted.  I have recently figured out that I can get a dress and a magic pencil skirt for one [or both] of my girls from 4 yards.)  I bought the paprika patterns Jade Skirt - because of this post on the CSC.

I have big plans for the long weekend that's coming up - big plans I tell you!  Flannel pants, color blocked dress, pencil skirt, another Violet and another Odette (which is cut out).  I also have a Myrtle cut out - but I'm not loving the fabric, so who knows.       

And for Nessa - here's a posterior for posterity.  

November 11, 2014

The Bride's Shawl

The knitting started with a request from The Princess - she wanted a large - large round shawl.  We both trolled Ravelry trying to find a pattern and ultimately she settled on Girasole by Jared Flood.  Actually - let's back up - it all started because of that award winning shawl I knit for a bride last summer.  I honestly don't remember if The Princess was even engaged when I knit that shawl, but once engaged, once of the first things she asked for was a shawl.  Next - I reached out to my friend Gyspy Knits who is an amazing dyer, but isn't really dying yarn any longer and asked if she'd be interested in dying the yarn for the shawls.  She was and did.  We sent her a sample of the bridesmaids colors and asked for ghost colors.  GyspyKnits did an amazing job.

The Princess asked for a few things - she specified a pattern and asked that the shawl be huge.  I knit my shawl which was also round, to work out construction and bought the Elizabeth Zimmerman book to figure out Pi Shawl construction.  I also reached out to the Jared Flood team to see if there was a way to make it even bigger.  Oh and I stalked each and every girasole made on Ravelry and read the notes for everyone who made theirs bigger. 

 I knit the center exactly as written.  There really was no way to increase in the center.  I knit as many extra repeats of Chart E as I could, knit 3 repeats of Chart F, then I knit as many increases of Chart G as I could until I had to repeat again.  Then I knit 3 repeats of Chart H and honestly I was worried I was going to run out of yarn.  The Princess was home in late August and I had her choose between the edging pattern called for in the pattern, or the same edging used on all the bridesmaids' shawls.  She (of course) chose the matching edging - of course it was the more difficult and complex edging.  I think there was 1600 stitches around in the last 18 rounds.  The edging took 2 rows to bind off a single stitch.  I honestly thought I was going to the wedding nekkid because I did not start my dress until this shawl was finished!

Once the shawl was completely finished - the decision was made not to block it.  Blocking would open the lace up in the center a lot more, but as you can see when the shawl is draped over my coffee table - the sunflower in the center stands out.  The shawl is quite large without being blocked - The Princess is almost 5'11" and folded in half, the shawl stretches from finger tip to finger tip and hangs down past her knees.  What was done instead of blocking was the edging was just steamed out to open it up without really making it any bigger.  

I think The Princess liked it and it was exactly what she wanted.  I don't know how she'll use it from her on out - but I expect to someday get a photo of a baby wrapped in this shawl.

November 3, 2014

Long Time - No Post

It reaches a point when you haven't blogged in a while where you wonder - do I want to blog?  Do I start where I left off or start where I am now and just catch up or carry on?

Well - I do want to blog.  I miss being in this place.  I believe I'll just start with where I am now and maybe catch up - or maybe not.

I have been sewing - though not loads.  September and October were busy months with a visit from the kids (catch up post) and a wedding and vacation.

I made my mother of the bride dress.  I started it the first weekend in September and worked on it every moment I wasn't working the entire month.  I finished hemming it the night before we flew out.

I also knit 7 shawls - one for the bride, one for each bridesmaid and one for each of the mom's (mother of the bride, mother of the groom, and the bride's step-mom).

I did loads of things I've never done before when sewing.  I underlined the entire dress with organza, hand basting the organza to the silk dress with silk thread before cutting each piece from the silk.  I wish I had had more time, to do a test run of the techniques, because while I was comfortable in the dress, I don't think it's my best work.  And it's probably not surprising to any of you if I tell you the dress is too big for me.  I seem to consistently have issues with making a dress actually fit me.

The Musical One (Maid of Honor) with me pre-wedding
 There aren't any great photos of just me in the dress.  There are a few where you can see the dress better - but I don't like them, so you won't see them.

The dress is a Vogue Designer pattern by Kay Unger, #1392  If you click the link, you will notice my dress is different.  I fell in love with the pattern and had to make it.  I think my fabric was a bit too soft or fluid for this pattern, but I did it anyway.  The Princess (also known as the bride for this post) met up with Carolyn back in July and they went to Mood and bought silk, silk and more silk for my dress and it was mailed to me.

There are no construction photos of the dress.  I need to learn how to get them out of my phone.  Okay - I feel like this post is disjointed and bouncing all over the place - so I'll leave you with unofficial photos from the wedding.
the bride and her mom - post wedding.

JB and the Bride

my girls - The Princess and The Musical One
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