Hey folks, I hope that you’ve all been having a great week! I’ve been busy trying to meet a few work-related deadlines and participating in the Outfit-Along that’s been co-hosted by Lauren of Lladybird and Andi of Untangling Knots. It’s been a blast participating and checking out everyone’s fancy new makes! I finished up my dress and cardigan this past week… and boy, just in the nick of time! Here are the finished pieces:
I went with the “official” chosen cardigan (Andi Satterlund’s new Myrna pattern), but went a bit rogue on the dress. I liked the chosen pattern, but after those knit cardigan sleeves took me AAAAAAGES to get through (I think I frogged them five or six times before I got the hang of that whole “wrap & turn” thing), I opted for something a bit simpler: The Staple Dress pattern by April Rhodes.
This pattern has been in my sewing queue for awhile now, but I’ve put off sewing it since it’s not my typical style. I generally opt for fuller skirts and the (very occasional) super fitted variety, not the looser, flowy in-between style. But… this has been the year of trying out new styles and after loving my Vera Aveline dress (another looser style) and getting tons of wear out of my linen Eucalypt dress (a similar style to this one) during the early summer’s crazy humidity, I decided to give this one a shot.
The pineapple print fabric is from Girl Charlee, purchased right before signing up for Sally’s Summer Stashbust. It looks like they don’t currently have anymore of the woven pineapple print fabric in stock, but they do still have some pineapple print jersey knit if you’re still craving a tropical print!
I chose the high-low hem version and graded from a small in the shoulders/bust/waist to a medium at the hips. For reference, my bust measurement fell right in between the small/medium body measurements listed (small is 35″ and medium is 37″), but since the dress has a lot of ease built into the measurements, sizing down worked out just fine. I don’t always like doing belts over elasticized waists, so I opted not to do the elasticized waist version this time and am just belting it instead.
The pattern is simple, straight-forward and well-written (with lots of photos and descriptions if you’re a sewing newbie). Definitely recommended!
Now on to the cardigan!
The yarn that I used for my Myrna was Miss Babs “Yowza” (light worsted). This particular yarn was promised as being a one skein type deal for the first few sizes in the pattern. Not having to tie in a bajillion ends at the end of the project sounded really appealing, so I ordered a skein of Yowza in the Squash Blossom colorway. It’s a nice, bright yellow-orange color with some subtle variation. I swatched up a small amount of yardage and used size US 8/ 5mm knitting needles to get the proper gauge.
Once I finished the sweater body, my Yowza yarn cake was getting really tiny and I started to panic that I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish the sleeves… so I ordered another skein. It ended up being unnecessary though. I knitted up a size small and still had a teeny bit of yarn leftover at the end.
This is definitely the biggest knitting project that I have ever tackled. I’ve sewn heaps of scarves, oodles of armwarmers, a large stuffed hedgehog, a mermaid, a squid (yep, apparently I tend to knit lots of odd freeform things…), and dozens of other small miscellaneous knitted and crocheted items, but never anything quite this large-scale and complicated.
Sometimes this project was frustrating (especially when I had to keep ripping out the sleeves). Sometimes it made me grumpy (all that 1×1 ribbing! Eeeesh! Such a pain in the butt to do… looks so pretty though!). I’m not used to following a pattern when it comes to knitting, but this one was well-written so I stuck with it, learned a lot of cool knitting techniques in the process, and actually ended up having a lot of fun. Once I finished up the bodice portion of this sweater, I actually got started right away on a second one!
One of the coolest new techniques that I learned was how to make a stabilized, hand-sewn, button band like you see in the above photo. It uses Petersham ribbon as a stabilizing base. Lauren has an awesome tutorial for how to do this over on her blog.
Don’t be put off by all of the hand-stitching. It’s actually kind of relaxing and having a super duper reinforced button band is totally worth it. It’s so much sturdier and just makes the sweater feel so fancy!
Here’s another photo (above) for reference so you can see the side portion of the sweater and the shaping/decreases running from underneath the armpit to the ribbing at the waist.
The photo below shows the little modification that I made to my sweater back.
I just added a simple little bow that I knit up in the same yarn, blocked it out, and crocheted the edges onto the back of the sweater to attach it.
It makes the sweater feel a little more “me” – I love adding fun little details to projects.
Plus, bows are always kind of fun, right?
Thanks so much for stopping by and hanging in there during this photo heavy post!
Overall, I had a blast participating and am hoping that this becomes a yearly thing! Thanks Lauren and Andi for making this possible!
Did you participate in the Outfit-Along this summer? What have you always been intimidated by (sewing/knitting/craft-wise) and what do you really want to tackle next?