Well, hello there friends!
It’s great to be back in this space after a wee bit of a break. It seems that there is always a blogging lull for me this time of year. I don’t know if it’s the holidays or the weather or perhaps it’s just January? I’ve been battling a cold just like everyone else. We also lost two dear folks — my husbands’ grandpa and a good family friend. I can’t exactly say that 2015 is starting out on a positive note. Pair those things with the fact that there has been little rain this year to bless our drought ridden California soils…. yeah…. it’s a bit gloomy around these parts. However, I am a positive person by nature and I try to keep my spirits up regardless of any negativity that may surround me. I prefer to celebrate life and the good things that are in abundance. 🙂
Well…. as this is a sewing blog, perhaps you want to know where the sewing is. I have been sewing, but in small amounts. I also just spent a fair amount of time working on a silk dress that required a lot of hand sewing. I really can’t wait to share that project with you. First though, I’m happy to share these next two dresses with you. These were my last two projects of 2014, but I’ll count them for this year.
This dress is another version of my TNT pattern Butterick 5982.Yeah, I know. Seasonally inappropriate and all. But with a cardi and our mild temps here as of late, I don’t feel chilly when I’m wearing it. I originally made View C, but I wasn’t too happy with my altered version of the sleeves and ended up ripping those out last week. I also had to redo the neckline as for some reason I made a mistake with my bias tape and it unraveled and pretty much looked like crap after I washed it. So I ended up ripping all of that out and using rayon seam binding to finish it. After those alterations I was happy with this dress and instead of it lingering in my UFO/mending bin, it now hangs in my closet.
As I mentioned previously, I finished the neckline and armscyes with rayon seam binding and the seams with my serger. I prefer lining my dresses, but I felt this fabric is opaque and heavy enough that I didn’t need to. The v-neck gapes a little bit and isn’t quite so much of a “V” after my reconstruction. The bateau neck version of this pattern is still my favorite. The only other adjustments I made to this dress other than grading up to about a size 26 and a lower back adjustment on the bodice.
The fabric I used for my dress is a purple geometric print stretch cotton poplin from Mood. This fabric also comes in black and red colorways. As soon as I saw this fabric I had to have it. I had been searching for a harlequin or diamond print fabric for a while and this one certainly fit the bill. Unfortunately, this fabric leaves a bit to be desired. The fabric itself is nice, but the design is printed on the fabric and not only did it fade a little following a pre-wash, but the print also leaves needle marks. I’ve had this experience with the “faille” fabric from Spoonflower, and it’s definitely not my favorite….
My dress topper is the Muse Jenna Cardi. I have loved this cardi since it’s release and have been looking forward to sewing one for myself. I made one in an angora blend as a Christmas present, so I was already familiar with this pattern. It’s quick and easy to make and is most definitely going on my list of TNT patterns.The fabric for my cardigan is a lilac cotton sweater knit from Fabric Mart in a crocheted design. I’ve never had a “see through” cardi, but I quite like the look. I don’t know about keeping me warm though…. I guess that’s what layers are for!
I graded this cardi up to a size 50 as my sweater knit doesn’t have a whole lot of stretch and I was afraid of this cardi not fitting. I think the 48 may fit a little bit better as I usually like my cardigans a bit closer fitting. I am exceedingly happy with this sweater though and how it turned out, especially since I was a bit trepidatious going into at I was thinking that I shouldn’t have used this pattern version for this material, but it did work out in the end. 🙂
I’ve never sewn with a sweater knit like this and if you were to for the first time, I think I’d recommend cutting the smaller, narrower pieces larger than the pattern piece itself or perhaps serging the piece to keep it together. I had a problem with fraying and unraveling on the neckband and button band, so both are a little smaller than they’re meant to be.
I used abalone shell buttons on my cardi. My button band looks a little stiff as I went overboard on the fray check…. I was used to using a bottle of fray check that was about 5 years old (yeah… I apparently do not use fray check that much…) and was used to a bottle that slowly leaked out liquid, whereas my new bottle was quite the opposite. I’m just hoping that when I wash this sweater that it may soften up a little.
The seams of my cardi (and that of my dress as well) are all finished on my serger. The sweater knit of my cardi really needed such a finish with all of the fraying going on inside.
I love the pairing of this sweater with my dress. I made a list of color combos that I wanted to add to my wardrobe and this purple and green mix is one. These are some of my favorite colors paired together, and even with the fabrics faults, I do still love my dress and especially my new cardi!
FYI: I always have an entourage whilst taking photos outside…. There’s usually at least two dogs and a cat following me around and trying to photobomb me.
- Dress: Butterick 5982 in amaranth purple geometric stretch cotton poplin, made by me
- Cardigan: Muse Jenna Cardi in lilac cotton sweater knit, made by me
- Earrings: Bauble Bar
- Sunglasses: Tory Burch
- Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens Peep Toe Super High