A couple of months ago I was getting really excited for autumn with cooler temperatures and gorgeously colored leaves. So I purchased some autumn-leaf patterned fabric and made a dress!
Making the blue dress I talked about in my last post was a fairly long process with a lot of modifications, and for this dress I decided to take the work I had done and use it to my advantage on a second project. I removed the collar and waist tabs, made the skirt fuller and slightly longer, added ties to the waist, and moved the zipper from the side to the back. Just a few tweaks made a dress that looks completely different!
I always like having a dress with pockets!
And...I don't really have anything else to say about this dress! It was a pretty quick and easy project compared to some of the other things I've been sewing, which was a nice break.
Thanks for reading! ;)
Hello! It's been ages since I posted here, hasn't it? This summer was quite a busy one for me, involving quite a bit of traveling and not as much knitting. This fall has also been busy, but I have found some time for knitting, sewing, and other creative endeavors. I have managed to finish several projects over the long blog break, which I hope to share with you soon!
To start, here is a sewing project I worked on off-and-on for several months and finished at the end of August. The fabric is a quilting cotton featuring some king of flower print, maybe thistles? I'm still not really sure...
I started with Simplicity 8294, but ended up modifying the pattern quite a bit to get to the finished dress. Besides fitting tweaks, I lengthened the skirt, raised the back neckline, narrowed the neckline, re-drafted the collar and facings to fit the new neckline shape, changed the darts on the bodice to princess seams, added a pocket, and swapped out the pattern's sleeves for the sleeves I used on the green dress I made last year.
It was a fair bit of work getting the dress to where I wanted it, but in the end I'm glad I spent the extra time making it. It isn't perfect, of course, but I am really happy with how it turned out!
The dress is a fairly basic fitted bodice with a gathered rectangle skirt, but I love how the details of the collar and waist tabs make it look a lot more interesting!
The dress fastens with a zipper down the right side, which was my first time doing invisible zipper insertion! I was a little nervous but it actually went really well and is almost invisible. I think I prefer back zippers as far as ease of wearing though; nice as the zipper on this dress looks, it's a bit tricky to get into and out of!
Thank you for reading! I hope to be back soon!
I have a fascination with historical clothing. It's really interesting to learn about what people wore in the past, from the beautiful to the bizarre. Not long after picking up sewing last year, I decided to use my skills to create historically based outfits for myself. After a few months of work, I have finally finished my first historical outfit, a Regency era ball ensemble!
The Regency era (approx. 1795-1825) seemed like the perfect time period to start my historical sewing journey, as I attend an annual ball set in that period and wanted a new dress anyway.
To start, I made the undergarments: a chemise and stays from Sense and Sensibility's Regency Underthings pattern. The stays ended up not fitting, so I made a second one loosely following this drafting tutorial. Then it was on to the dress!
For a pattern, I modified Simplicity 4055. Two years before, I had used the same pattern to make a dress, but wasn't too happy with how it turned out. Having had previous experience with the pattern, though, I was able to tweak most of the things I didn't like about that previous dress, and am so much happier with this one.
I took the inspiration for my dress from a few beautiful Regency dresses by The Tailorette, such as this one. I used a white-on-white floral embroidered cotton fabric from Joann's with a white muslin lining and contrasting dark red ribbon sash. White dresses were very popular in Regency times!
I also knitted fingerless gloves to go with the dress (by the way, these are not particularly historical). I didn't use a pattern, but just took the Cable Twist Lace stitch from The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary for the front of the gloves and stockinette stitch for the backs and played around until I got them to fit. For yarn, I chose a lace weight cotton (Yarn Rainbows Amber) as I wanted something that wouldn't make my hands hotter when dancing. While I think they look quite nice, and they were comfortable to wear, they did not want to stay up but kept slipping down my arms while I was dancing. I would want to fix that if I make mitts like these again.
I added extra width to the back of the skirt, and found this article at Historical Sewing, as well as photos of this dress by Mode de Lis helpful with the pleating.
My hairdo was inspired by this painting from 1801.
And finally, here I am with my brother all dressed up before the ball!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed my foray into the world of making historical garments.
Today I have a recent sewing project to show you. I use the term "recent" rather loosely; I think I finished this in January. However, I haven't posted about it here yet, so I'll take the opportunity to do so now!
Cloaks are not really the most practical form of outerwear, but they are rather fun and dramatic so I decided to sew one. I used Simplicity 9887 (Simplicity 1582 looks to be a reprint of this pattern) and made the short version.
For fabric I went with a medium-weight grey wool. I really like the way it looks, though it could be a bit warmer; the finished cloak isn't suited to really cold weather.
This project was fairly easy for the most part. I did have to alter the shoulders to fit me as they were much too large, and the neck facing instructions didn't make a lot of sense to me. In the end, though, it turned out pretty well!
I recently finished another addition to my wardrobe of handknit sweaters: Gwenevere!
I used this pattern by Jennifer Wood and some Berroco Vintage DK yarn I had in my stash. This is the second sweater in a row that I knit from one of Jennifer Wood's patterns. If you knit sweaters and haven't seen her work, go check it out! Her designs are gorgeous!
Coming back to the project in question, though. Gwenevere is worked from the top down, starting with leaf-patterned circular yoke and then moving on to stockinette with raglan increases. The sleeves are split off and the body is worked as one piece with waist-shaping and ending with a leaf edge. The sleeves are then worked (in the round, so no seaming!) and finished off with leaves matching the edge of the body. To finish, the button-bands are picked up and knit on either side of the front opening, and a small reverse-stockinette edge is worked around the neck.
Overall, I really love how this pattern worked up. I did make a couple modifications though; the waist shaping started too far down on me, so I shortened the body. I had a bit of trouble with the button-bands, which may have stemmed from the fact that the body was shorter than the pattern called for. I was able to fudge it a bit, and though it's not perfect it doesn't look too bad!
I also made a hat to match from the coordinating Gwenevere Hat pattern, but unfortunately it didn't work out too well. I made it longer for a slouchy version, but instead of slouching nicely, it wants to stick up it the air, which looks a bit awkward! It's currently sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to frog the top to make it shorter.
Knitscene was one of the first magazines I ever submitted a design to. That submission was rejected (and I admit, it certainly deserved to be!), but I kept submitting. My designs have improved since that first embarrassing attempt, and last year I finally had one accepted: the Solea Shawl, which was recently released in the Spring 2017 issue of Knitscene.
The Solea Shawl is part of the magazine's "Wild Desert" theme, which I think is very appropriate for the design. The stripes of lace are reminiscent of the strata layers in desert rock formations, and the earthy colors reflect the desert sand. The yarn used in the project is Quince & Co. Finch, a lovely, springy fingering weight wool. This would be a great transitional piece to wear through the last cold days of winter and first chilly days of Spring!
If you would like to make your own Solea shawl, here are the materials you will need:
Yarn Quince & Co. Finch: #142 sedum (rust; MC) and #137 apricot (orange; CC), 2 skeins each.
Needles Size 6 (4 mm): 29” or longer circular. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Tapestry needle.
Gauge 18 sts and 30 rows = 4” in Lace chart pattern.
Finished Size 73” wide and 16.25” tall.
Pattern available in Knitscene Spring 2017.
Photos in this blog post copyright Harper Point Photography / Interweave.
I'm Sarah Gomez, a 17-year-old Christian knitter, sewist, and aspiring historical costumer.
Find me on Instagram and Ravelry as aLittleBitToKnit.