Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keeping it Simple....

Our monthly knitting group meeting was this past weekend and I'm always searching for a small project that I can take with me and isn't tremendously taxing while you're sitting there and talking. This month I chose the Knotted Cables Washcloth pattern from Knitpicks.  Here's what there version looks like:

Of course, it is highly likely that this has been blocked and made to look very pretty.  Here's my version:

This has not been blocked. My gauge is off  and I can see one minor mistake.  My measurements are 1" wider and 1/4" taller than the pattern measurements.  I also don't have as many pattern repeats are the picture.  I went back and double-checked the instructions and I did miss a repeat.  I actually like this pattern and I may do it again.  I think next time I will drop a needle size and see if I can end up closer to the measurement given in the pattern.

Details:  Pattern is written for Dishy and a size 7 needle.  I used Sugar n' Cream with size 7 needles.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fitting Dresses.....What is a Good Fit? Part 1

A friend gave me a little booklet that her mother had. The title is Fitting Dresses.  It is a publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a revision date of May 1946.  Here's a picture of this little publication:

I thought it would be fun to walk through the book.  Granted that this book is really geared toward working with wovens as I don't think that knit yardage was available during this time period.  Anyone know for sure?

I loved the very first sentence in the introduction!  It simply states:

      "For most women who make dresses, the biggest problems arise with fitting."

Isn't that a very true statement with most clothing that we make?  It sure is for me.

This bulletin specifically states that it deals with the fitting of a dress that has already been cut out and basted or after the ready-made dress has been purchased.  It doesn't deal with the special problems of altering a pattern.  So, let's get started.

The first section deals with "How to Know a Good Fit".    A good fit brings out the good points and skillfully hides the poor ones.  You will know a good fit by:

1.  Direction of grain of goods - Crosswise yarns are parallel to the floor at center front, back bust line, and hip line,  unless the dress has unusual style details. Lengthwise yarns on the sleeve cap lie in the direction of the arm when it hangs straight at the side.  This varies slightly on different figures but in general the crosswise yarns are also parallel with the floor.  (Fig 1)

2.  Direction of the seam lines - Seam lines that lie and hang straight keep the dress in proper line on the figure.  The set becomingly and smoothly on the shoulders.  Armhole seams make a good curve underneath the arm and over the top of the shoulder.  They are straight front and back of the arm except when special style features such as extended shoulders require otherwise.  The waistline appears straight around the figure - it dips slightly in the front, following the natural waist curve.  Underarm waist seams and skirt seams hang straight down -- no swinging to the front or back.
 (Fig 2)

3.  Smooth lines - You can expect some folds to form in the dress when the wearer moves but when she sits or stands still, there should be no unbecoming  folds.

4.  Wearing comfort - The properly fitted dress is comfortable when the wearer stands, sits, or moves around.  It is snug where fashion demands, but never feels tight or strained.

There are likely to be fitting difficulties and the dress may never fit if:
  1. The style is not suited to the wearer's figure.  Simply styles are always in good taste and can be fitted more easily than elaborate ones.
  2. The pattern is not the right size or not altered to fit.  Get a pattern with measurements corresponding as nearly as possible to your body measurements.  Do not select a pattern by the size of ready-mades you wear.  Ready-mades are not always mad like nor sized the same as patterns.
  3. The dress is carelessly cut and made.  Carelessness in laying the pattern on the goods or in pinning, basting or stitching often results in a dress that fits poorly and cannot be made to fit well.
I don't really see anything in this information that is different from what we do today.  Normally when I order a pattern, I just pick a size range and go on.  Today, I decided to look and see which size was being recommended.  Thankfully, I do usually pick out the correct size but I can also say that I need to have many sizes in one envelope.

Next time....helps toward a good fit and darts...

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tweed Jacket Love....

I have found a gorgeous jacket over at the Loft website.  It is a cotton tweed. Check out how they have used the selvage:

I am so tempted by this jacket.  I really want it.  However I do know that this would be very easy to recreate.  Casual Elegance Fabrics has a similar tweed but what pattern to use?  Suggestions?

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Blouse Love....

Neiman Marcus really has my attention this week.  I have found another blouse that I would like to reproduce.  Here it is:

This top fits the model horribly, doesn't it?  It is really just a classic button-front blouse with a little bit of extra styling in the back.  That is really what caught my attention.  I'll have to look for just the right shirting for this but I do want to reproduce this look.  I would think that any shirt/blouse pattern with a yoke would work as long as it has already been fitted.  Since I'm getting ready to start working on the fitting the Archer pattern, I may use it as the starting point.

I seem to be moving toward a looser fit this season.  I have added two tops so far to my list of items that I would like to make and both are using the same pattern.  That is a win-win if I can get the pattern fitted correctly.  My first glance at the pattern indicated that there aren't any length markings so this is going to be fun.

Hope you're enjoying my looking and planning process.

Oh, if you're interested in looking at this blouse a little closer, go to the Neiman Marcus website and search for "Lafayette 148 New York Dannell Button-Front Stretch-Cotton Blouse".

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cold Shoulder Anyone?...

I am not a huge fan of the "cold shoulder" look but this sweater really caught my attention:

Isn't this a cute look?  It would be sooo easy to re-create.  Grab your favorite t-shirt pattern, find matching sweater knit and stretch lace, and have some fun.  It looks like the spot to cut the sleeve is around the notches to insert the lace.   Cute look!  You can make several for the price of this one.

You can find this sweater on the Neiman Marcus website.  Search for "Elie Tahari Alice Lace Cold-Shoulder Sweater, gray".  

Happy Stitching!