Monday, May 18, 2015

Flowers to the max!

(I am really really sorry about that title. Not sorry enough to change it, but...sorry.) For once I've got a seasonally appropriate garment to share, woohoo!

Although I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with this pattern lately, my "tried and true" Simplicity 4070 bodice came through on this one! All in all, this dress only took me a couple of hours, and was the perfect palate cleanser after a recent sewing fail.

I picked up this fabric last year after I fell off the wagon with my 2014 stash bust, and before I signed up for this year's try. It's a pretty sheer cotton with swiss dots and, of course, flowers! I think it was only $1.50 a yard at the Vogue Fabrics warehouse sale (minus an extra 15% off coupon!), and I'm glad it hasn't lingered in my stash like some of the other goodies I've picked up there over the years. (The spring sale was this past weekend, and I'm immensely proud of myself that I only picked up 2 new pieces (okay, okay, aside from some Simpson's quilting cotton for my mom (FINE, it's mostly for me))). 

As usual, I had to do my cross-back straps - these things really are a lifesaver that prevent me constantly needing to pull them up. The skirt is basically a big pleated tube, but after wearing it for a day, I realized it was kind of hard to walk quickly or take long strides in it, so I added a slit (which I did completely wrong, honestly, but hey, live and learn).

The top's completely underlined in mystery white fabric from the stash, but the bottom's only underlined to the knee (which didn't show up in any of my pictures, oops). 
I love maxi dresses, I really do, but I kept catching glimpses of myself while we were out shopping and was worried I looked frumpy. I think the pictures look fine, but...I don't know. Does anyone else ever get that feeling?

(Also, though I have not managed to take a single picture of it (outside of new posts), Me-Made May is going well! I've got a couple more pieces to throw into rotation before the end of the month, but I'm confident it won't be a problem.)

Friday, May 8, 2015

I'm never very good at being seasonally appropriate

I try and I try, but when the mood strikes and I want something, I want it now. 

A little background story (haven't you come to expect and even love these?) On my last business trip, I made it a point to go to Village Wool, a cute little knitting shop with some fantastic sales. While I was there, I picked up a book containing a pattern for a Square Back Wrap, and 2 skeins of gorgeous merino/silk 50/50 blend (for 1/2 off!). and that little wrap didn't get along very well, unfortunately. I've never done any lace work, and so I took the yarn and the pattern to a monthly knitting group I recently joined. They tried valiantly to help, but most of us were out of our depth. After a few false starts, I decided to just give up on that pattern altogether. (I've been trying to find a similar wrap/shawl pattern that doesn't look frumpy, but no luck yet.)

 [Too hard!]

Needing something a bit simpler, I decided to give Andi Satterlund's free cropped sweater pattern a try. I've heard great things about her patterns, and this pattern, though free, is no exception. I love the cabling on her Chuck pattern, but I actually like the shape of the cropped sweater better.

[Sorry, it's hard to photograph black.]

However, because I like to make things difficult on myself, I decided to add some cool cabling to the front. After knitting and frogging too many rows of a different cable pattern several times, I switched to a latticed diamond cable with some cool borders on the sides. That one knit up much more easily.

All in all, this took about a month to complete, and only 2 of the 5 skeins I purchased. Just in time for 80 degree weather, of course, but at least I'll have it handy for chillier nights, and for next fall! What should I do with the rest? 

In other news, Me-Made May is going well! I haven't taken any outfit pics, but I have worn me-made every day (except the first day because I forgot it was a new month). It's also motivated me to sew sew sew. I've now finished a floral maxi dress, another floral dress, and am almost done with a stretchy floral knit skirt. (Is anyone surprised by all of the florals at this point?) Pics to come soon! How's your (me-made) May progressing?