Outfit Along 2015: Finished!

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I have finally finished my Vianne cardigan!!! Actually, I finished it a few days ago, just finally got around to compiling and taking photos, ;).

This was my first knitted garment beyond scarves, hats, and mittens. I guess this was kind of like a large mitten with the adding sleeves. Andi at Untangling Knots had great advice as did the online forum over at Ravelry.

Casting on took me two tries due to my counting issues…but overall very proud of my sweater, :). Once I had the upper back completed I had to learn how to pick up stitches to start the fronts…took some time but I figured it out. Yay!

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Some photos of the work in progress. Once I had all the pieces (upper back, upper front left, and upper front right) I started knitting it all as one piece. Once I sorted out the usefulness of stitch markers life got WAY easier! I would put one right before and after each 9 stitch panel section which helped a lot once I started increasing and decreasing the regular knit parts in between panels.
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Was so excited to start the sleeve caps! I’ve never done short rows before so the technique scared me but once I started it turned out to be really easy…as long as I kept count. Had to undo a few rows here and there. And yes, I am holding a ball of yarn, was still a work in progress, ;).

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I also had to redo the first shoulder cap as I had gotten a couple rows off center and knew it would bother me. It’s always sad when one needs to undo several hours of work but it was worth the effort.
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As was the need to redo my sleeve. I followed the pattern but the sleeve was too loose for my preferences so I undid it up to the sleeve cap (the short rows) and redid it much smaller, even smaller than the XS size. Wow, so much better. Something someone advised me of is the nature of silk is to lengthen…so perhaps not the best material for this particular project but it still looks and feels nice. I used Classic Elite Avenue yarn in Carnation, a merino/silk/rayon blend. As can be seen below, the sleeve in the left side of the pic was much looser than the right side.
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And voila, finished! I was so excited. For the buttons I decided to fabric cover my own using the cotton voile from the dress I made to go with this cardigan. Took a few tried but I found the right bit to use. This first photo is of the front. Love the pattern.

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And the back, which looks amazing with the dress.
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Had to get a close up of the buttons, ;).
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Which means I finally got to learn how to block a sweater. Lots of great tutorials out there. I decided to go with foam backed poster board and just use my regular sewing pins. Once measured out and pinned I put it under a fan for a few days. That was when I discovered the nature of silk versus wool. It doesn’t really shrink, it gets longer. So my waist crop top sweater is more of a regular length one now.

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But it looks great with the dress!
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See what I mean about the back?!?! Just beautiful.
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And all together on me, :). These were taken right before I went out to Nashville’s Red, White, and Zoo. Was great! Got unlimited red and white wine samples and even some food. Plus I got to see a few animals, :).
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And so versatile! Looks great with my new dress too! Which I will blog about later, ;).

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Overall I rated this pattern medium in difficulty for myself as it is my most challenging project to date but overall wasn’t too difficult. The pattern repeated a lot and I had prior experience in knitting ribbing and in doing lace work. The hard bits for me were picking up stitches and keeping track of my counting. Now I have a handy stitch/row clicker counter!

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McCall 6924 OAL2015 Dress

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This dress turned out AMAZING!!! This is McCall 6924 and my sewing project of the 2015 Outfit-A-Long. I am still working on knitting the cardigan…only 1 more sleeve!

The pattern is listed as “easy”. I’m not sure I would classify it as easy, perhaps more advanced beginner or average. There is a super cute cutout in the back with piping along the neckline and arm holes. Then in the back there is a snap closure for the upper back, hook and eye and invisible zipper. The instructions were great but I still made a few changes.

I used a cotton voile from fabric.com for the exterior fabric, crepe from Jo-Ann’s for the underlining, and a nice Bemberg lining from fabric.com.

Did my usual full bust adjustment for the upper front. I took the front piece from the waist and up and added an overall 2″. This tutorial by Colette is a great starting point. Basically to find your initial size you measure your high bust then add the inches for the cup size of the pattern. For example McCall patterns are designed for a B cup, so they add 2″ to the high bust. In this case my high bust was 35″ plus the 2″ for a B cup made me a 37″ pattern bust size. Went with my usual size 14 with McCall patterns which is for a size 36″ bust, 28″ waist, and 38″ hip. My measurements are a 39″ bust, 30″ waist, and 41″ hip. Because the dress is fitted through the bust and waist and flares out at the hips I was fine using a size 14. So back to the FBA. Because my actual bust is 39″ I had to add another 2″ to the pattern (39 -37 = 2), so 1″ to the pattern piece as it is cut on the fold. Then I just followed Colette’s tutorial as well as taking into account my bust measurements taken using the book How To Make Sewing Patterns by Donald McCunn. Such a great resource, especially for how to take your measurements. I also used Joi Mahon’s bust fitting technique as seen in the July Threads Magazine. Between all of these resources I created a great fit! Definitely required making a muslin first.

And this dress has the other best thing. Pockets!!! This pattern calls to use pocket facings on one side so you can’t see the lining when you stick your hand in the pocket.

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Another great feature is: no interfacing. Not a single piece anywhere. The dress used an underlining to create structure for the dress and is then lined. The pattern calls for using 2″ wide horsehair braid but as I couldn’t find any local and didn’t want to wait for an order I decided to skip this step and simply use the same narrow hem for the lining as I used for the exterior fabric. I may re-do the hem on the underlined fabric though as the voile and crepe didn’t match up so well, should have used fabric spray to stick the layers together better.

Adding the piping was pretty easy using a zipper foot. And isn’t that cut out so cute?!?!?

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I spent so much time on the interior lining i had to show it off. That Bemberg feels so nice. Definitely adds an air of higher quality to the equally amazing feeling cotton voile, :). Overall the instructions were really well written and easy to follow.

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And of course plenty of photos with the dress on. I want to wear this every day now, haha. It’s so comfortable, the fit is perfect, and it has pockets. The other small change I made was to do french seams on the pockets to hopefully prevent them from tearing and used my overcasting stitch feature on all the inner seams.

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And always take a moment to stop and smell the flowers, :).

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Be sure to follow the outfit along hosted by Lladybird and Untangling Knots!
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OAL2015 Progress

So I have decided to participate in the Outfit-A-Long 2015 presented by Lladybird and Untangling Knots. First step was selecting my pattern and yarn. I decided on McCall 6924 and Andi Satterlund’s Vianne. Below is an up close look of the yarn I selected, a gorgeous silk/merino/rayon blend purchased through Craftsy.com. It is Classic Elite yarns Avenue in carnation.

I decided to start on the cardigan first as it is easier to cart my knitting around than my sewing and figured it will take me some time as I am a slow and fairly new knitter. I took the advice and knitted a swatch. First one was a bit tight, second was too loose, so then knitting more like I usually do I ended up with a swatch just right. Like the Three Bears, ;). I washed it, let it dry, and “man-handled” it before I measured the gauge. Andi has some advice on her blog here on how to knit a gauge for a loose gauge project such as this one.

As you can see I started it! Here is a pic of the cardigan and the dress I plan to make along with the gorgeous cotton voile I purchased through Fabric.com.

And the upper back! I had to cast on a few times to get the pattern going correctly and even then I had to undo a few rows here and there but I ended up with what looks like the correct pattern and the right number of stitches for the medium size I chose, ;). Andi suggested using a cable cast on or long tail here, I chose the long tail method.

The tricky part was figuring out how to cast on the upper right front to the back piece…after a few tries I figured it out. I read Andi advice on picking up stitches after the fact.

And finished the upper right front! I’m almost finished with the left upper front as well. In my newness I used the only make one stitch I’ve learned and after knitting the entire upper right front I realized it was the wrong one for this pattern, oops! Andi states to use a M1 method and I used a KFB method, knit front back. It just creates a slight extra bump in the fabric but still looks good, just making sure I use the same one throughout the pattern for consistency.

And voila, my current attempt to try on what I have. I think it is going to turn out so pretty!


 

Outfit Along!

So Lladybird and Untangling Knots are hosting an outfit-a-long and I’ve decided to join in. Never thought to sew and knit an outfit, :). I’ve decided to work on a different dress but do the suggested cardigan.

This is a super cute pattern! Love the back cut out up top, the fit, and it has POCKETS!!! The pattern can be purchased as a paper patter or PDF, I have become obsessed with PDF’s. I love the option to trace my size so if it changes I can trace another. The patter is McCall’s 6924. Who is having a sale right now, even better!

So then I had to hunt for both fabric and yarn, :).

Isn’t this floral rayon voile gorgeous? Got it from fabric.com and it’s sold out now. Going to underline it with white crepe and  line the inside with white Bemberg, which was also purchased from fabric.com.

Then craftsy.com is having a Memorial Day sale!

Found this beautiful merino/silk/viscose yarn. It’s about half the weight that Untangled Knots used but it will make a nice light weight cardigan for the office and anywhere else blasting A/C, ;). The pattern is Vianne and can be purchased for 20% off through ravelry.com until the OAL starts June 1st. Pattern can be purchased here using code OAL2015 at checkout. Love it, just hope I can manage it. Will be my first cardigan.
Come join the fun!