Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I started this dress waaaaay back in 2014, intending to make it for the Outfit-Along hosted by Andi Satterlund and Lauren Taylor. It was a nice idea and really fun to plan, but it was clearly not meant to be a quick project. I walked away from it a few times between each of three bodice muslins out of frustration and/or to work on more seasonally appropriate projects. I ended up finishing it in the wrong season, but I just had to wear it one time anyway.

Here are the particulars:

Pattern: V8993, length A
Size: 16
Fabric: European 100% linen, beets purple, medium weight
Lining: viscose batiste 100% rayon, salmon
Thread: Coats & Clark 9367, Mexicana, aka The Most Fun Thread Ever

  • 3/4" FBA
  • dropped waist 1"
  • made waist circumference 38"
  • deepened back neckline 1"
  • deepened front neckline 3/4" at top of v
  • deepened front neckline curve 1/2"
  • took 3/4" off top of front and back shoulders
  • raised armscye 1 1/2"
  • pinched a little here and a little there (and didn't document changes well)

Pattern Notes:

  • This is a Very Easy Vogue pattern, but I didn't have an easy time fitting it at all. I think the shape of the front neckline makes it more difficult to fit.
  • I remember having trouble with the understitching (step 10), but now that I'm looking at the directions again, I'm not sure why I had trouble.

The linen dulled my rotary cutter almost instantly. It was really impressive. It was also murder on sewing needles. I changed my needle once in the middle of the project, but the new one dulled so quickly that it didn't seem worth it to change again. Occasionally the needle (yes, even a new needle) would pull one of the cross-grain fibers creating tension in the fabric, rather than punching between the fibers. It was weird, but I was able to smooth out the spots where this happened.

This was my first non-invisible zipper. It's a bit ripply...better luck next time. It's pretty even at the waist and terribly uneven at the top. I don't know how I always manage that.

I love love love the color combination on the inside of this garment!

The hook and eye got caught on my hair the whole time I wore the dress.

I sewed the lining a little bit too close to the teeth of the zipper, and it's sometimes challenging to get the zipper up and down. I might unpick that and restitch it at some point.

I zigzagged the raw edges, but the linen is fraying quite a bit.  I probably should have bias bound the seams.

The pleats line up pretty well with the princess seams.

I love the crazy thread colors that are visible in the hem. I can't wait until I can finish the sweater that I originally planned to go with this dress!

After three muslins, I still ended up with too much wearing ease in this dress. I would like it to be a little bit more fitted in the waist, although I must admit the ease makes it extremely comfortable. There is way too much ease in the upper bust/shoulder area despite my alterations. You can really see it in the armscye. I think I'm starting to realize that this is a common fitting issue that I have, and reading about narrow shoulder adjustments might be helpful for me. I also wish I had deepened the neckline even more.

I'm really glad I got to wear this once before I put it in the closet until the next bare legs season. I wore it with a RTW cream cardigan to give a presentation for the FSU Coastal & Marine Lab's Board of Trustees meeting. I felt great in it. It was soooooooo wrinkly by the time I got home. I hope it still looked nice through the presentation, though.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Colette Seamwork Akita

I started this garment in April, the night before flying home to Pennsylvania for my SIL's bridal shower, hoping to wear to the shower. As you would expect from such a last-minute plan, I messed it up and didn't finish it for several more months.

Colette Seamwork Akita

I don't think I would have chosen to make Akita if not for my last minute, late-night attempt to wear something new to a bridal shower. I was a bit nervous about the shape on my curves. I think it works, but I did delete quite a few photos from awful angles. The pattern is just one weird long piece. That was kind of cool, but also kind of challenging to cut out on my little table.

It has taken me so long to photograph this because the super light-weight cotton voile is always, always wrinkled. I pressed it this morning intending to take some quick photos before leaving the house, but I was running late. I ended up photographing it after a day of wear. It's wrinkled, but let's be honest. That's just more true to life.

Colette Seamwork Akita
Wrinkles = real life. Talking to Lilly = real life.
I took in 1/2" at the bust and tapered down to 1" at the hips. This information is of limited use because I do not remember what size I cut, and have no record of it anywhere.

I had a really hard time applying the bias tape. I seem to have trouble catching the inside of it when I topstitch. My make-it-work solution was to add a few more parallel lines of topstitching. It helped a little bit, but I still have to press the arm and neck openings before each wear. I think the parallel topstitching adds a fun touch, though.

The fabric is Dahlia in Earth by Valori Wells. I purchased it from Hawthorne Threads, but it appears to not be available there anymore.

I've enjoyed wearing this blouse. It's so light and breezy. However, that light breeziness can cause some super unflattering tenting over the belly region. I think if I make Akita again, I will try a fabric with a heavier drape.

My First Sweater!

On Sunday, I completed my very first sweater, the Enrobed Wrap from Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter.

It took me three years on and off, so this sucker is basically an heirloom now. 

The yarn is Shepherd's Wool worsted from Stonehenge Fiber Mill in the Autumn Gold colorway. I fell in love with this yarn when I was knitting a hat for my brother. In addition to the gold, it has cream, orange and brown flecks in it. Holding it in my hands made me happy, so I bought a whole ton more of it to make a sweater for myself.

Stitching the grosgrain ribbon to the ties took two episodes of The Walking Dead, two episodes of Talking Dead, and four episodes of Parks and Recreation. I am kind of tired of handstitching for now.

I added short rows to make horizontal darts to accommodate my bust. I typed my notes into Ravelry here, but I no longer remember what they mean. Hopefully I can figure them out again next time I need to make this alteration to a sweater. Hey, I figured it out once, so I can figure it out again. Right?

If I were to make this again, which is highly unlikely as I'm pretty ready to switch to different patterns, I would drop the natural waist an inch, maybe an inch and a half. I think it would be a little more flattering to have the ties wrap around me a little lower. It looks and feels like I need to narrow the shoulders, too. The sleeve caps came out a little bit ripply. I'm hoping that will relax over time, or that I'll get better at seaming the sleeves with each sweater I knit.

All and all, I am so happy to be finally wearing this sweater and moving on with my knitting life. (Truthfully, I wore it several times before it was really finished...before the ribbons were stitched to the ties and before the ends were woven in. I couldn't wait!)