Oh, this dress. What a mess it was to make. I like the idea of the pattern, the Olya Dress by Paper Theory. The main problem I had with the pattern was very small seam allowances for tricky parts of the garment. Had I not paired this pattern with unravel-y linen from Merchant and Mills, it may have turned out better. I still love the style lines, but this linen was a very poor choice for this pattern. The fabric began to fray after I cut it, and it affected the chest, button-band and collar seams pretty badly.
After I finished it two years, ago, it tore at the button band during its first wear. I was so disappointed that I put it away and didn’t consider looking at it for a year. This spring, I dug it out of the “to fix” pile as it had languished for long enough. I ripped apart the button band, reinforce the edging with zigzag, and re-sewed it together. It had some other problems with the collar attachment that I addressed, too.
This dress has serious “battle scars” and I am disappointed with it, but at least its out of the mending pile! I will consider giving this pattern another try with a more densely-woven fabric.
After years of watching me knit sweaters for myself, my patient husband quietly asked me to make him a sweater. He doesn’t wear sweaters very often, but it was time, and the final product is lovely.
There aren’t too many man cardigan patterns on Ravelry, but I spent hours looking, trying to find what I had in mind. I finally settled on Wardie from Ysolda. This pattern has two important attributes: its pieced so it will keep its shape and stand up to wear, and it has kangaroo pockets that echo the key style feature of Jacob’s beloved zip-up hoodies.
I’ve eyed Purl Soho’s Linen Quill for years, and this sweater was the perfect match for it. Its very soft, a Jacob requirement for this sweater. I used some stash buttons, I think they are the horn buttons from Fringe Supply Co (RIP). I love the fully fashioned shoulder decreases, and the edging for the pocket and neckband. This was not fast to knit, and it was nearly impossible to gauge the fit before knitting the sleeves, but I’m very happy with the finished product.
This is originally a womens’ pattern, so I made quite a few adjustments:
I removed the waist shaping, and added several inches to the upper back and upper fronts to accommodate Jacob’s broad shoulders.
I swapped the button placement from wearer’s left to wearer’s right
I started the v-neck decreases when I started the armhole bind off
I made a second Farrow dress. It surprised me that I chose this pattern again because I was so disappointed in my first one. For that one, I underlined the bodice and used hot pink bias tape to finish the seams, so it felt really wacky to wear even though no one else could see it. For my latest version. I used a much more subdued petal pink for the facings which makes it much more cohesive and professional-looking.
This pattern is labeled easy, but I think matching the diagonal seams on the front and back is rather challenging, ESPECIALLY if you use a plaid. This flannel is an unusual fabric match for this dress. Its a strange mix of Puritan fabric and modern style lines. BUT, its very cozy and I’ve worn it nonstop since I finished it.
The pattern specifies faced sleeve hems, which inspired me to add a facing to the dress hem. I also extended the neckline facing to the shoulders so it wouldn’t flop around (pet peeve). I spent a long time lining up the plaids on the four front and four back pieces, and it took forever. Once I got to the sleeves, I lost pattern-matching steam and didn’t do as nice of a job. I have a tiny head so I didn’t need to do the back neck slit, although, to be honest I forgot about that design element until after I sewed on the neck facing. I realized what I had done right after I topstitched, then quickly tried it on over my head to check whether I had some serious unpicking to do.
Nothing like perfectly placed pockets, I notice I am constantly resting my hands in them. The joys we find in 2020.
Here’s what I made with the Pendleton fabric I bought in Portland last year. This pricey wool was intimidating to cut into. After mulling it over for a year, I went for it with the Tessuti Tokyo Jacket. I did not have a lot of wiggle room with yardage, so I had to be picky about where I pattern-matched.
I added some length to the jacket so I could add a more generous hem (2″), and omitted the pockets. I hand-sewed the hem and the inner neckband. Because the fabric is so thick and dense, it was easy to hide the stitches on the right side–I can’t see them at all!
I used a bit of this fabric to make my belt bag last year. While sewing it, I noticed this material is prone to unraveling. To ensure the integrity of these jacket seams, I used a combination of french seams and Hong Kong seams. When I sewed this patternin the past, it was very challenging to sew the french underarm seam’s sharp curve. Knowing this fabric is much thicker than silk, I used Hong Kong seams instead. I thought it would be a fun color pop to use the same finish on the center back seam. I went Bold with the bias tape, because 1. that’s what I had and 2. I think the unexpected pop of sea foam green brightens up the dark print.
I finished my would-be Rhinebeck sweater (super sad face that this year’s festival is cancelled, but I get it). It’s Kate Davies‘ Weel Riggit. Kate Davies released it in 2019 via her subscription club, so I had to wait a year before I could buy it. This sweater is very, very warm. It was “sorta-cool” today so I decided it would be bearable to throw it on for a few minutes for some pics.
I knew I wanted to knit this sweater with Green Mountain Spinnery yarn. I knit a hat with their yarn last year and loved it. Fast-forward to 2020 Vogue Knitting Live, and I went straight to their booth to see what would work for this sweater. I settled on Lichen, Spruce and Teal Weekend Wool for the colorwork against a backdrop of gray undyed Vermont Organic. The Weekend Wool is much softer than the Organic, so it was quite fortuitous that the pattern uses the colors at the most itch-prone spots of the sweater.
I followed Kate Davies’ pattern to the T, except for the collar bind off. I used the same crocheted bind-off technique that Emily Greene specifies for Tectonic. I love how this finish compliments the raglan CDDs.
Working with 4 colors at once was a big pain. Every few rows I had to untangle all the skeins so I didn’t drive myself nuts with the twisted yarns. I do love the look of the sweater, but WOW was it a lot of work. I understand now why most colorwork is limited to yokes.
We escaped upstate for a long weekend. And, me being me, I made sure we had a few moments to squeeze in a photoshoot of this new skirt/top combo. After quarantining in the city for 3 months, it was amazing to be somewhere else. We went on 2 fire tower hikes and spotted some small snakes (eep!). Upstate New York is glorious in June.
Anyway, here’s the story of these garments. I had some Merchant and Mills linen in my stash since last summer. I wanted to make something special with it, and earmarked it for a dress. Then, I thought of making a summery Fumeterre skirt instead. I hesitated because the thought of matching those stripes seemed overwheliming. After deliberating, I decided to give it a try. I re-created the fabric pattern in Figma, since this fabric has one-way stripes. I decided to focus on matching the angled mitres. I labeled 8 pieces of washi tape with each panel name (left front, left side front, right front, right side front, etc). I worked in groups of two so I could ensure the stripes matched at each mitre. I cut out 1 piece, then took its matching pattern piece, flipped it over, and matched the already cut stripes to it. I stuck the labels on each panel and sewed the angled seam. This labeling and batching system helped me keep everything straight.
The skirt buttons are from Haulin’ Hoof Farm Store. I bought them at Vogue Knitting Live this year (crazy to think about going to an event like that with SO MANY PEOPLE). I was dumb and skipped the interfacing for the placket, and you can tell. I added an “inside button” between the first and second buttons below the waistband to help with gaping. I shortened the skirt by several inches because the length of my first Fumeterre makes it very hard to walk. I am very fond of the midi skirt length.
For the waistband and skirt hem facing, I used some leftover Spectrum Cotton from Purl Soho. I had so little fabric that I pieced the facing, but I can’t tell. I love how the facing and the waistband lining contrast with the linen stripes. The spectrum cotton is pricey but its so nice and soft. I will definitely use it again.
I had very few scraps after cutting the skirt. But, I did have enough to eek this modified Wiksten tank out of the leftovers. I had so little left that I had to cut 2 pieces for the bodice front.
I cropped the tank by several inches and removed almost all the A-line shaping and hem curve. I also added a hand-stitched deep hem facing. There’s something about the armholes/strap drafting of this tank that I don’t love. The back gapes at the neck and the arms don’t lay nicely. The linen stripes are carrying this top, for sure. Overall, though, its a great summer top!
Confession: I totally forgot about Me Made May until May 3. Back in April it was on my mind, but it fell away. So, I recreated my outfits from May 1st and 2nd as laydowns. Because it makes more sense for the scrollback, I’m going to go in total reverse order, so May 1 will be at the end of this post, and May 7 at the top.