Apples and Pears

So apparently I’ve decided to break my own record for longest time between taking pictures of a garment and blogging said garment. I took these on May 26th, close to three months ago! These three months flew by between a very busy end of school year and a whole month of July in Spain. And when I remembered these pictures after coming back from my holiday, I found them so bad that I didn’t feel like publishing them. Then I realised that they were actually no worse than my usual pictures, so here we are! I even threw in a few holiday pictures at the end for good measure!

I sewed this dress last summer, right before leaving for Spain that year. The pattern is the Lucie dress from République du Chiffon. It’s a very simple pattern; I think I made it in one day, two days tops. The most time-consuming part (still not very time-consuming) was finishing the neckline and armholes with self-made bias tape, from the same fabric as the dress.

While we’re on the subject of fabric, I bought this one from Les Tissus du Chien Vert yeaaars ago. It’s a lovely apple and pear print viscose (as always, you can click the pictures to enlarge them and see the details), which at first glance looks like the same kind of fabric as this one, but is way better quality. My only quibble with it is that it is quite see-through. This, coupled to the quite low back, makes it a holiday only dress: I’d never dare to wear it at work even on the hottest of days!

I made a couple small modifications to the pattern in that I added side-seam pockets and lengthened the skirt pieces (but not the bodice pieces) by 3 cm. I then added some more skirt length by sewing a 0,5 x 1 cm hem instead of the 3 x 3 cm hem of the pattern.

This is by far one of my most comfortable summer dresses. It really feels like I’m not wearing anything (in a good way, not in a “I feel naked” way). It’s so comfortable in fact that I wore it so much in Spain last summer that I didn’t even want to take it with me this year for fear of not giving my other dresses a chance to get worn! Look, it’s the perfect dress:

to eat arroz con leche,

to eat your bodyweight in churros,

And to pretend you’re freakishly strong! I mean, what more could you ask for?

In all seriousness, though, I’m wearing this dress on half our vacation pictures from last year. So this year it stayed in Belgium, and I was very happy to find it when I returned during this August heatwave!

Advertisements

Adelfa Cardigan

Adelfa1Three knitted projects in a row, not a single sewn project in between. What can I say? Three weeks in Spain, far from my sewing machine, followed by the start of school and its unavoidable fatigue… Not the ideal conditions to get back to sewing!

Ah well, at least my beloved knitting needles can go everywhere with me and one row here, one row there, I ended up with a new cardigan!

Adelfa2Most of this cardigan was actually knit in Spain, on a stone bench next to an oleander – adelfa in Spanish. For my last two weeks there I was staying in a village where I didn’t have a lot to do but to knit or read (I’m not complaining here, this is my ideal kind of vacation!), so in those two weeks I finished the body and a sleeve and I knit more than half the second sleeve. Then I came back to Belgium (and to work), and the remaining half sleeve and neckband took me two whole new weeks to knit.

Adelfa4The (free) pattern is Que Sera by Kirsten Kapur and the yarn is Cascade 220, knit with bigger needles to get gauge. I made a few small modifications to the pattern: first, I added three buttonholes to the five of the pattern. I thought they looked a little too far apart in the pictures.

Then I lengthened the sleeves by one pattern repeat (12 rows) and I knit them in the round. I had to adapt the lace pattern a bit for it to work in the round (see my Ravelry notes), but that was really easy. Because of my knitting the sleeves in the round, I was afraid the sleeves would end up too wide for my taste (since there would be no seam allowance to take in account), so I knit them a size smaller than the body. Note that knitting the sleeves in the round also made them much more difficult to block correctly (which is why I’m particularly glad that I lengthened them a touch!). But I was very happy not to have to seam them up afterwards, so there’s that.

Adelfa3Also, when I first tried on the cardigan with the buttons closed, the button bands gaped like you wouldn’t believe. So I had to stabilise them with petersham ribbon. I used a method that is very similar to this one, except that I didn’t interface my petersham and that I took care to make all of my hand stitches virtually invisible because clearly I’m a psychopath. It took me four episodes of Murder, She Wrote (Have I ever told you about my passion for Murder, She Wrote?) to sew on the petersham but come on, look how pretty!Adelfa5So that’s it, I’m delighted with my new cardigan; I love its style and colour (closest to the detail picture of the petersham button bands, by the way) and I’m sure it will look great with a lot of my clothing pieces, existing or to come!

PS I forgot to mention this in my last two posts, but I’m on Instagram now!