crafts · knitting · Sewing

Knitting and sewing this week

I know, way to make with the creative titles, right?  It’s just been one of those weeks.  I made a quite muslin for the Sencha blouse and… too big all over, as well as possibly unflattering on me anyway.  I give you all permission to yell at me if I start talking about wanting to make something with cut-on or dolman sleeves… so unflattering to the petite.  I looked like a big ol’ blousy triangle.   So I decided to make a muslin of this dress, the Sense and Sensibility Swing dress.

I was hoping to make it from a pretty Rayon Challis (above)for spring.  The bodice muslin went better than I expected – I even understood the shoulder instructions, which called for topstitching a seam.   There are a few issues, and I need to decide whether this dress is worth the work.

My dressform, who has yet to be named, is actually a bit more buxom than I.  You cannot buy a reasonably priced dressform that goes down to a 31.5″ bust.  This one stops at a 33, but it was a gift, so what can you do?  I see a few problems here… first of all, I don’t like where the gathers fall (too close to the underarms.)  It looks weird on the dummy, and worse on me, since I am smaller.  The’s easy enough to fix.  I already shortened the bodice by almost 2 inches, as it was super long before, and this style doesn’t work without a well fitted waist and bust.  The ties are too short – again, an easy fix.  I will probably remove the back tucks – they are cute, but they just don’t work on me, as I am very narrow and straight through the back.  The sleeves seem to be strangely drafted, but I may shorten them, since I don’t love the length they are here.  There’s a short sleeved option, which might be nicer in the floral fabric anyway.  There was a whole ton of ease in the sleeve cap, leaving me uncertain as to whether the sleeve should be gathered or not.  I opted to gather, since it wasn’t going in otherwise.  It’s a little janky, but my gathering skills are a work in progress.  Maybe I’m being a perfectionist, but I never feel like they are evenly gathered!  I’m going to go back to my old method of gathering – sewing a strand of crochet thread on with a wide zigzag stitch.  It makes a much more even gather possible, and you won’t break any threads.

Finally, the dress just exactly fits me in the waist, even though I cut a good 2 sizes up in the waist and skirt.  I never knew before I started sewing that my top and bottom measurements were so different!  Explains why I can’t find dresses that work on the top and bottom. I feel like there’s too much material in the chest area, so it might need an adjustment for small bust?  Maybe I should move the crossover in a little?  It fits through the shoulders, and they are very flattering (I do have shoulder pads in on the first photo above, but not the 2nd… this style looks better with them in.)    I generally like all the gathering.  I’m just a little discouraged because it seems that everything comes out big in the chest on me.  I suppose everyone has their fitting challenge, and that must be mine.  40s dresses have always been good to me in true vintage, so I know this will work if I can get the fit right (50s? not so much… I am too skinny, but I wear them anyway!)

I’ve also been contemplating my next knitting project.  I’ve decided to go on to knit something out of one of my vintage booklets.  I looked for inspiration, and narrowed it down to these:

#1 is from the 50s, and I like the lace treatment.  #2 (on the left in the photo) assures me that it is not, in fact, a bedjacket, but a cover-up for over your evening dress.  The last 3 sweaters are all knit in light fingering, and all are from the 40s (the 1st 2 are worsted.)  I did look for some 4-ply yarn today, but I suspect I will have to look at heavy lace weights to achieve 8 st/in (With fingering I am lucky to get 7, as I am a loose knitter.)  Zephyr might work.   Any votes?  I do like them all, and I am not scared of the small weights either (hey, short sleeves!  I can do that!)

And finally, having to do with none of this, the preview for spring/summer Vogue knitting is out, and I have to say that I am very impressed!  They have a whole section of 1920s inspired knits, and they are to die for.  Look at these lovely lace capelets:

The sweaters in the section are equally lovely.

Yay, Vogue – thanks for improving after I nearly gave up on you!