Monday, May 29, 2017

cross training....

‘the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise to improve fitness or performance in one's main sport’.
I do think of machine knitting as my main sport, and I haven’t been blogging for a bit because I haven’t been knitting too much lately…that last project I had in the line-up – I did name it ‘Sydney’ – I wasn’t jumping right into it, because, you know, that ol’ ‘fear-of-running-out-of-yarn’ feeling, but I’m up for it now – my friend Jeannie, the other day, after reading my post, sent me a message saying she had 2 cones of that same yarn, the cotton crepe from Silk City - she seemed to know it was 1900 yds/lb and she gave me her dye lot – exactly the same as mine! Wow! And she offered them to me if I ran short – I will have to get going on it now!
Anyway, what I was working on is sewing a dress and I wasn’t going to bore you with the details but then I decided to tell you anyway because it is sort of tied into my machine knitting, kind of like cross-training and if you didn’t want to hear about it all you have to do is stop reading!
Way back, sewing was my main sport before I took up machine knitting but it had fallen by the wayside. I have this June wedding to go to and thought I would like to have a sewn dress to wear instead of knits because nobody there will be aware of my position in the machine knitting world and if they did, Shannon’s wedding shrug will be enough to represent if you get my drift.
My friend Cathy has an extremely impressive stash of fabrics – I’m pretty sure she will take that competition hands down - you know that one about the one who dies with the most stuff wins - and she is always telling me to check with her before purchasing any fabric or patterns. I mentioned to her that I had an idea to make a  princess-seam dress with a vintage-like print fabric with a dark background and maybe leaves or floral but nothing too wild and I could wear my black Battenburg cardi with it if the day turns cold. She brought me a bag of 4 choices, about 5 yds each and a selection of patterns!

I really liked two of her offerings and one of the patterns seemed to be just what I had in mind. It was a bias-cut slip with a floaty-looking dress of the sheer fabric over it. I made the slip using a good Bemberg lining fabric in black, no sweat and then I cut out the dress using my second choice. It was incredibly time-consuming because each piece was bias-cut singly and then needed to be flipped and cut out again, requiring you to mark the right sides of each piece and keep track of the backs and fronts and the skirt had four pieces – arrgghh – and then it all had to be basted together to check the fit before actually doing any of the final sewing and, after the basting together and trying on, I really didn’t like the way it was going so I abandoned it – OMG! A UFO for MAO! Honestly, that never happens! But I do know when to cut my losses.
I really liked the black fabric and didn’t want to screw up. I searched through my old patterns again and found this jacket pattern that I’d never used but figured I could make it work by lengthening it, adding a zipper to the back, cutting the front on the fold and raising the neckline – sounds easy if you say it fast. I didn’t want to bother with facings that would show through so I cut bias strips of the lining fabric to use to finish the neck and arm edges. Also, the real tie-in to my machine knitting was that I wanted to design my own ‘bold/cold’ shoulder sleeve for this. I took the sleeve pattern tissue, folded the top down just above the underarm notches, leaving a half-inch for finishing, and curved the bottom hemline to create a loose drape at the elbow.
I’m pretty happy with my results and knew you’d want to see and I couldn’t wait for a photographer to show up so I took this selfie in my hall mirror! Check out the vintage skirt marker – I almost forgot I had that thing!
And through this all, it just re-enforced to me anyway that machine knitting is way easier than sewing!


GF Mom said...

You did a great job with the dress. Looks like a very good fit. Now what knitting are you making to go with it?

365 Dresses said...

Love the dress! I'm very partial to floral prints on black.