Monday, January 02, 2012

Purple versions of things I've made before

If you've been hanging around this blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I like to make multiple versions of the same thing. This gives me the opportunity to make tweaks, try new variations, or even get my arms around a garment or a skill and feel as though I progressed beyond "strong-arming my way through this" and towards "proficient." (Self-acknowledged bias: recovering perfectionist speaking. I'm working my way through a 12-step program.)

Sometimes I'll mix things up by making fall/spring versions of the same pattern, unselfish craft (gasp), etc. For whatever reason, the purple bug has bit me hard this season, and here I've replicated not one but two garments in the color purple.

Fiber #42 :: Iris. I'm not one of those people who has her wedding all planned or knows what she wants to name her children, but once or twice I've toyed with the idea of naming my (as of yet unborn) daughters after flowers. Jasmine and Iris. I'm pretty sure this is never going to happen (and if it did, what do you bet they are tomboys who hate their names and want nothing to do with crafting, color, or even creative pursuits?). So this is Iris in honor of that one piece of whimsical thinking, and because the color of the yarn reminds me of the flowers that pop up in spring.

This is my second take on the Featherweight cardigan in a DK weight yarn, knit up to 5 stitches/inch (instead of 6.5/inch, I think). It's Amy Butler 50/50 cotton/wool yarn. Her yarns come in absolutely beautiful colors (what else would one expect of a fabric designer with such a keen sense of color?). I've been curious to try out a cotton wool blend. We don't have much in the way of winters or summers in California, which makes pure wool sweaters a bit heavy 9 months out of the year. I know the cotton content will cause the sweater to sag a bit, but I'm hoping it will work OK with the sweater style and fit.

Lessons learned, second time around:

*This time around, I added a couple extra stitches to each front row panel of the cardigan. I like the result. Again, I used short row shaping to make the ribbing narrower around the neck than down the front. Glad I did that again.

*Last time I marveled at how lightweight and floaty the Felted Tweed felt when knit up on size 6 needles. However, the downside to that is a garment without a lot of structure and a tendency to stretch out of shape.

*This yarn is more dense (is that the word?), so the resulting garment feels more dense and structured. However, because of the cotton content, I will be curious to see the ways in which it will stretch out and sag.

*I think this type of cropped style works really well with dresses. It also does casual jeans-and-a-tee quite nicely. For skirts, I think proportions work out if layered over a blouse that has been tucked into a skirt (and possibly belted) --- which, now that I think about it, I really only have one skirt that this sweaters could do that with. Oops. However, it is a gray skirt, a neutral so that ups the mixing potential.

Next up, Skirt #29 :: Charmed.

As worn to my 10th high school reunion. As a coworker said to me, "Only you could wear mustard and lavendar and get away with it." Darlings, I'm going to have to quote Smokey the Bear on that one. "Only YOU can put together an outfit and sashay out the door with the attitude, heck yeah these go together!" (Insert: heck yeah I rock the hot pink wide-legged lovelys, I know you're just staring cuz you're jealous. Or: Yes, please do a double take at my exuberant poultry because I know you just want to get in on the action.)

OK but the skirt. I found this gorgeous pale lavendar/gray eyelet at Stonemountain & Daughters in Berkeley this summer. It's lined with a gray rayon Bemberg, which I think shows off the fabric without overstating the case, as black or white would have done (bonus: the skirt doesn't cling to tights = 4 season garment. Yes, we have warm winters.)

I used the same pattern as my "salvaged wadder skirt" with mods. That skirt is generally lovely but tends to hang in folds off the widest part of my hips, which are kind of the widest part of my body. This time around, I folded 3" out of each skirt panel and tapering to nothing at the waist, reducing the total hem by about 12" or so. I also accidentally sewed the waist 1" smaller (oops), which means that even though this skirt is the same length as the last one, the hem hits higher on my body.

And you know what? I love this skirt.

Lessons learned, second time around:

*The last time I made this, I used a very soft floppy fabric. This eyelet is rather stiff. I think I like the way the skirt hangs in the stiffer fabric with the narrower silhouette. I haven't measured it out, but I think this may be closer to a half circle skirt and that other one is a bit like a 5/8- or 3/4- circle skirt.

*Below the knee, generally more flattering than 2.5" below the knee.

*I think the skirt actually hangs better from my natural waist (this skirt) vs. an inch beow my natural waist.

*I messed up right back panel of the fashion fabric and cut it with the grain going in the wrong direction. However, I think actually like the way that makes it hang. Possible slapdash solution to a skirt with a little too much drape (the panels are cut on the bias)? I wonder if I used this pattern in another skirt with a drapey fashion fabric, if I could cut the skirt lining with the grain int he wrong direction and get a similar effect?

Hm. This purple stuff might be infectious. Look what I cast on for.

That list of things I said I'd never craft just got one line shorter.


Minnado said...

The skirt is lovely, it looks like great fabric and goes well witht he mustard cardigan. I like the Iris cardigan a lot, you probably know I have a weakness for little cardigans. And Amy Butler does yarn?? I didn't know that - wonder if they are available in the UK? Am off to google them. x

Sigrid said...

Two great pieces, and I love the way you mix those colors! I think 2012 might be the year of color instead of just general ridiculousness.

The skirt looks great on you too. I find that skirts that fit a little bit higher on the waist seem to flatter my hips a bit better too, and the shape you made really is nice. I wonder if you are on to some magical fitting discovery.

Alessa said...

Two very pretty makes! I totally enjoy circle fabric, and that eyelet skirt is really lovely. It fits you very well and makes for a great outfit with that flower cardi! I also like the purple cardi a lot. I wonder if I'll ever have the stamina to knit one for myself? ;)

Roobeedoo said...

Oowa oowa, dah dah dah! I wish you could hear me - it's a song but I cannot remember what it is :D
Lavender and mustard? Where have you been all my life! What a thrilling colour combination :D
Yeah I know... I'm the hot pink girl so I ought to take care... but really? That outfit is just the BIZZNIZZ!
I cut my mushroomz skirt partly in the wrong direction and I think it hangs better as a result - we may be onto something here!
The purple cardi will be fab with the lavender skirt too - ah purple! Swoon!
Thanks Missus - you've totally cheered me up! I am off to roll in my yarn :)

Anonymous said...

Purple! Fun. I hope you're keeping up such inspired sewing this year.

Also, there's a discussion going on in the Sew Weekly community about a possible meet up later in the month. If you're a member, check it out and add your two cents:

If you're not a member but would like to meet up with other sewers, let me know and I'll keep you filled in.

Violet said...

I always mean to re-make and tweak, but actually, I normally re-make items just because I can't get it right the first time! Life is too short to stick to just a few patterns.