Friday, April 30, 2021

The 1970s Pattern I Had to Try

You know you have too many patterns in your possession when you can't remember where some of them came from.  I know that I did not purchase this particular pattern, so I believe it came from a local pattern swap (remember when we could actually do those?!).

I was intrigued by the shawl collar, and something about the style appealed to me (it may have had more to do with the fact that I wish I had the illustration's hair more than anything else).  

And it just so happened that this fabric had been sitting in a drawer for years.  I pulled it out on a couple of occasions thinking it would make a great blouse, but then the issue of what to pair it with would always stop me.

I had just enough to make the dress view of this pattern, which solved the what to wear on the bottom issue.

And that is the story of how this dress came about.  I actually had more interest in the blouse version, but figured a wearable muslin made of the Swiss Dot that lingered a little too long in a fabric drawer was an excellent idea.  Turns out, I do love that collar!  And having an easy to wear dress in the wardrobe during lockdown was a great idea.  Add to that the fact that this was made entirely of stashed bits and bobs, and I am rather pleased with the outcome.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Brightest of Jewel Tones

There is very little danger of blending into the background in this outfit!

I do love jewel tones, and bright pink is definitely one of my favorites.

Years ago, I was a bit dye obsessed, and these are two of the items that came of that preoccupation.

The blouse came first.  I decided that I needed a bright pink blouse in my life, and so I made one with a little help from Dharma Trading Co. fiber reactive dye and white rayon twill.  Soon after, I had the opportunity to help test The Ivy Pinafore for Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  I first made the tented silhouette version, and next, this more fitted option.  I had a graphic blue and white print on hand, and the pink blouse came to mind, so I went ahead and dyed the print as well to match, thinking that the two garments would pair nicely.

I did love the original blue and white, so when I stumbled on more of the print at JoAnns, I purchase more, and eventually made this Donna Karan design.  The design (Vogue 1220) looks amazing on everyone.  It's now out of print, but if you ever gets your hands on it, make sure to scoop it up!  

But I am glad that I decided to try a dye experiment with this print.  It may have taken me years to finally wear the outfit, but I love how obnoxious the bright colors are.

It is also one of the outfits that has reintroduced me to my tights collection.  The pink stands out in a sea of more neutral tones, so they mock me every time I open the drawer.  But finally, I have the last laugh as they are an almost perfect match to the bright pink dye.

And it feels wonderful to have finished another project that was set aside for so many years.  Which reminds me, I really need to get back to all the other half completed garments I have tucked away.

Blouse:  Made by me, McCalls 7053
Jumper:  Made by me, "Ivy Pinafore" from Jennifer Lauren Handmade

Monday, April 19, 2021

Leftover Yarn Goodness

After making this sweater, I had a little more than 5 skeins of this lovely pink yarn left.

I usually purchase an extra skein, but this amount of overage was just silly.  My gauge wasn't that far off, so I suspect the pattern is overly cautious when it comes to yardage needed.  

Unfortunately, most sweater patterns in my library require at least 1,000 yards of yarn.  So what was to become of my pretty pink yarn . . . it seemed a shame to stuff it back in a drawer. 

And then I remembered how well my first Jailbird Blouse came out.  It's short-sleeved and cropped, so there was a good chance that I might have enough yarn for the project.

And clearly, there was!  As I was knitting along, there came a point where I was convinced that I would run out of yarn, but it turns out I have a tiny little bit left over after all is done.  This time around, I win yarn chicken!

For this version, I decided to fold the neckline as well as the armhole ribbing.  I wasn't sure how the armholes would look, but I like how they turned out, and I will probably use this technique again for short sleeved sweaters.

It's always fun to pull out the double pointed needles.  Setting them up for the first couple of rows is always awkward for me, but once I get going, I rather enjoy the technique.

And somewhere around this point of the sweater construction, I had a thought.

There is already one version of this pattern in a solid color in my drawer, so what should I do to make this one a little bit different.  Well, I decided that I should add a monogram to this sweater. 

The similarity to Laverne and Shirley does not escape me (which may be one of the reasons why I avoid adding monograms to my clothing), but I went ahead with the plan because I have been on a bit of an embroidery kick as of late.

In order to get the placement right, and know where I wanted my stitches placed as I was rotating the garment, I sketched the letter on a handy piece of paper and stitched it in place with a length of contrasting yarn.  That gets torn away after the basted outline is in place.

The technique worked quite well.

This was a very quick process, and it is rather subtle since there is no color contrast, but I really like the result.

Does this mean that I will start monogramming everything in my closet?  Probably not.

But I suspect I will be embellishing more sweaters at some point.

I definitely see floral designs in my future.