Friday, 21 August 2015

Vintage pattern pledge dress no 1

Earlier this year I signed up to A Stitching Odyssey's vintage pattern pledge and finally I've made the first dress towards it - one down, three more to go!  And I've already got one of those cut out.

I bought the fabric in Fabricland last year and this was a quick and easy make - there will be more of these in the future I expect.
Simplicity 5510 from 1964

The pattern is Simplicity 5510 from 1964 and I made a few modifications - I graded the waistline out a bit and also didn't use the skirt pieces.  There were three - one for the centre front and two back pieces  which came round past the side to about where the bodice darts were.  Since I wanted seams at the side I cut two widths of fabric - one for the front and the other folded in half and cut down the fold for the two back pieces.  I also put inseam pockets in and used an invisible zip.

The bodice neckline is faced, so there was no lining to sew in which speeded things up a bit.  I cut the skirt to the length of the pattern pieces, which is longer than my usual just-below-the-knee length preference.  I'm still getting used to this longer length, but I think it will work well with boots in the winter.

And here it is.
Simplicity 5510 Vintage Pattern Pledge dress no 1

And now I'm all caught up with blogging about this year's finished projects.  Hooray!  And since I have the day off work today, there just might be another dress to post about over the weekend...

Thursday, 20 August 2015

OAL 2015 - a complete outfit

Last year Andi Satterlund and Lauren Taylor ran an outfit-a-long in Andi's Ravelry group and I loved seeing what people made, so when they announced that they were repeating the event this year I signed up - I wrote a bit about this here.  Although there were both knitting and sewing patterns suggested, which Andi and Lauren blogged about, I decided to do my own thing and the end result was another toshsock cardigan and an Emery dress.
It took me a while to decide on the fabric and yarn combination to use, with a couple of options which I eventually ruled out, but which will no doubt get made at some point.
Option 1 - Excelana 4-ply and Dear Stella Queen Anne's Lace fabric
Option 2 - Malabrigo sock and vintage fabric from Hammersmith Vintage Fair

I finally decided on this combination - I would make the cardigan design up, and the fabric would become a Simplicity 3774 (second dress down)
Tosh sock and fabric from Barry's in Birmingham
However... once I'd knitted the cardigan I decided that it wasn't a great match for the fabric.

Cardigan knitted in Madelinetosh Sock colourway Stovepipe
The lace pattern on the front is from Erika Knight's Lace and Eyelet Stitches book and the back and sleeves are stocking stitch.  The book actually lists the pattern twice - once as a single column called King Charles Brocade, and once as a repeating pattern called Diamond Rib.  I charted the pattern and it was easy to memorise.
Close up which shows the lace pattern in a bit more detail
These little buttons came from Hammersmith Vintage Fair and I chose them because they were the only ones in my stash that I had enough of - it doesn't show in the photos, but they are mirrored.

Once I'd got the cardigan finished I needed to find an alternative fabric for the dress and after a bit of humming and haa-ing I settled on this Bird on the Vine fabric from Michael Miller which I bought in Fabric Fair in Brighton last summer.  So I now have another bird print dress in my wardrobe.  I spent a bit of time cutting it out because I wanted to pattern match on the back of the dress and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
Talking behind my back maybe?
Because this fabric has quite a large pattern repeat and I didn't have enough to cut symmetrical sleeves, it is sleeveless.  Which also saved me the hassle of setting in sleeves, possibly one of my least favourite sewing things to do.  Nothing else to say about the construction really, it's a straight size 6 and I love it!
Bluebirds on the Vine dress

And here are the two together - I'm really pleased with this outfit.

2015 Outfit-A-Long
If you'd like to see what others have made this year, the finished outfits are here - and there are some really great combinations there, more patterns / fabrics / yarn added to my mental wishlist...

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Bette cardigan

After the disappointment of this yarn not working for the Sam Stewart cardigan, I started looking for a stitch pattern that would work and while browsing my knitting books I found the Bette top in Knit Vintage by Madeline Weston and Rita Taylor.  I liked the look of the lace panel, did a swatch and was pleased with it, so charted out the pattern and started knitting.
Close up to show the lace pattern and the buttons

The shaping for the V-neck is to the sides of the pattern rather than at the neckline, and I did a moss stitch button band, which had to be a bit wider than I would normally have done to accommodate the buttons which I bought at Hammersmith Vintage Fair hoping that they would match the yarn and they do!  They are a bit larger than I'm used to using but I think they look fine.   And I've got plenty left, so if I can find some fabric in my stash that will match them I can use them for a shirtdress pattern too.

This didn't take long to knit at all - I'd already done the ribbing when it was going to be the Sam Stewart cardigan and the back and sleeves are stocking stitch.  I'm very pleased with how it's turned out.
Here with my pink Ditto birds dress, which has the occasional yellow bird on it

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sam Stewart cardigan

Rather blurry screenshot from Foyle's War
gI'd been wanting to knit a version of this cardigan for ages and finally got my act together in March.

 There was a false start with a yellow version, but I didn't like how the yarn was knitting up with this particular stitch pattern, so I hunted through my stash and started again with some green wool which I knew would work - Drops Baby Merino - and would actually end up looking a bit more like the cardigan above.  I used the Bunches of Cherries stitch pattern from The Knitter's Stitch collection book, but modified it slightly to make the bobbles slightly smaller, and therefore quicker to knit.  This was quite a quick and easy knit once I got going with it, with just the bobble row being a bit time consuming.

I did plain sleeves because (1) I wasn't sure whether I'd have enough wool to knit them in pattern, (2) I wanted to knit them top down and frankly couldn't be arsed to work out how and (3) after the false start yellow version by the time I'd finished the body I. just. wanted. to. get. the. thing. finished.

Back view which also seems to showcase my dressform's backside
I'm very pleased with how this has turned out; I did a moss stitch button band because I'm not going to spend my time knitting a long thin strip of ribbing and sew it on - life's too short.  Buttons are from Textile Garden - this is a (lovely) rabbit hole of a website, although whenever I've bought buttons from them it has been at shows rather than online (and I do have quite a few of their buttons now, they have such a good selection). They're not vintage, but they are a perfect colour match and I'm really not precious about everything having to be as close to era as possible.
Front view
I should really try to get some modelled shots, either that or add some padding to Myrtle, because she definitely looks skinnier than me...

I love this cardigan, it goes with quite a few of my me-made dresses, and some of the RTW ones as well, so was definitely worth persevering with.  I might have to go and watch some Foyle's War now.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Primroses for Spring cardigan

Cardigan number two for this year, which I started in January and finished back in March.  I wanted something a bit more blouse-y  and less fitted than previous cardigans have been.  No particular reason, I just fancied a change and this was the end result.
Even though the lace pattern is called Daisy Lace, the colour of the wool is much more Primrose than Daisy

The stitch pattern is called Daisy Lace from the Knitter's Stitch collection book by Lesley Stanfield and Melody Griffiths and I decided to do the pattern across the back as well as on the front.  I don't usually block fitted knitwear other than by wearing it, but this one I did press on the wrong side with a hot iron and wet tea towel, to open up the lace and save it from looking like a bowl of spaghetti.  It's also slightly longer than I usually knit, simply because I had enough wool.

The wool I used was Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply, which was very nice to knit with.  Body is in one piece up to the armholes, sleeves are top down, button band is knitted on and the neckline is an i-cord cast off.  Buttons from Hammersmith Vintage Fair.  There were enough on the card for another cardigan, which is good.

I think this looks a bit like Maria Olson's Miss Lemon pattern, although the lace pattern is different, it's shorter, not fitted and there's no waist shaping, so maybe it's just the colour!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Purple hearts cardigan

And another long blogging gap - life has been busy this year!

This was my first finish of this year (back in January) and I've already written a bit about it here so I won't repeat myself.  I'm pleased with how it's turned out and I managed to power through the sleeves pretty quickly - well for me anyway - with the added impetus provided by the #sundaysweaterkal on instagram and Foyle's War being back on TV on Sunday evenings - sadly finished forever now - a great series which I will miss.
Purple hearts cardigan in Madelinetosh Sock colourway Thicket

Because I used 4-ply wool rather than the aran/worsted weight the pattern was designed for I was able to add more pattern to the front, and I also put lace panels on the back - it was an easy pattern to knit and I'm quite tempted to use it again. 
Back view which shows up the stitch pattern a bit more clearly
I've knitted four more cardigans so far this year - I rather hibernated during the winter evenings with TV box sets of series set in the 30s, 40s and 50s and now have a long wishlist of jumpers and cardigans I want to knit based on those I've seen on TV!  I've also got two jumpers on the go at the moment as well.  All this knitting has meant that I've only just recently started sewing again - I'd already knitted more yardage by the middle of May this year than I did in the whole of last year and there are only so many hours in the day, well evenings and weekends, so the sewing was rather abandoned.  However... my machine is now back in action and I've made two dresses and have another which should be finished soon.  I actually cut it out on the August bank holiday weekend last year and would really like to wear it before this summer disappears!