Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Brennan Cardigan and Vintage Skirt

This post is a two-for-one deal!
I made the skirt AND the cardigan.

The cardigan is the Brennan cardigan by Julia Trice and the skirt is a vintage skirt I've made before. I made it when I was just starting out sewing!

The skirt was a project that seemed simple and turned out to be... not.
I opted not to line it but I probably should have.  It needs a slip to stop it riding up. Also, I should have graded it up a size or two so it skims instead of clings!

After I made it up I realised it was quite clingy, so I let all the seams out a bit, which was a total pain!

I also made the mistake of getting my (ever-reluctant) husband to help level them hem WITHOUT wearing a slip. 
Which meant it rode up on my butt, which meant the level wasn't level at all.
So then I had to re-level it! This time wearing the slip.
I drafted a hem facing this time (I wanted to preserve as much length as possible, having chopped off too much initially!). Hem facings are a bit more effort, but it also means no pesky easing-in of hem excess. Yay!

Hand-picked zip strains open a bit, I think the skirt still wants more circumference.

It's funny that my previous version sits so much better.  I think that is due to the lining but also due to the navy crepe having more natural give to it. This wool also has a more grabby texture.
This skirt isn't my favourite but well, at least I finished the dang thing.
Bonus though, I can be part of A Stitching Odyssey's vintage pattern pledge!

Onto the cardigan:

I love the bobbles :)
I felt like this project would never end! After already knitting most of it once (out of a different yarn) and frogging it, it's no wonder. But I was okay with how long it took, I don't knit to speed through projects, I just enjoy it.
I'm not sure I'm convinced on the button band method, but I really wanted to try it as it was different to the usual method of picking up and knitting ribbing.
The button band is constructed as you knit the body, and is formed by a slipped stitch selvage which adds sturdiness and prevents curling.
One drawback of this method is that you have to knit the buttonholes as you go- yup, you better stay on top of counting your rows, eep!
It did kind of make it a pain to knit.

I think I like it best worn open.

Knitting the button band like that also means you can't just adjust the length on the fly like I like to do.  I adjusted the length to my preferences but it wasn't really worth the hassle- working out all the rows in the pattern was a pain.  Oops, I'm great at complicating matters...

Speaking of complicating matters, I decided to try out short-row bust darts. I know what you're thinking..."But your boobs aren't big enough to need bust darts in your knits!"
Well even though I don't have a large bust, I always find that my muslins for sewn garments tilt muuuuch lower in the back.  This is from my sway back I believe. I've also been told I have a tilted waist, though perhaps this the same thing as a sway back? 
Anyway, the point is, I need more length in the front than the back, regardless of the fact that I have a small bust. 
So I added short rows.
Also, I added a few extra decreases at the back, on the way from the hem to the waist, to account for the greater slope there.
And I'm really pleased with the results!

On previous knits, I always had a case of "back pooching". Or in the case of waist-length knits, it being longer in the back. 
Agatha: longer in the back
Peabody: pooching
Not today friends, not today.

Yeah, I'm sure it'll bunch up when I do things like move, but it's quite satisfying anyway.

More fiddly details: I hand-stitched ribbon on both fronts.
Sorry for the lack of guts photos in this post, I forgot to take 'em and I'm too tired to do it and add them in. Use your imagination? lol.

I've been trying to figure out my ideal length for a cardigan and I'm finding this slightly long, so I'll probably go 1.5" shorter for my next one.

The yarn I used is a superfine merino and that makes it very soft. I'm wondering if it's too soft! It feels lovely to wear but I'll be interested to see if it bags out over time.  If it tries anything funny, I'll think I'll stabilise it with crochet across the shoulders and down the side seams, as shown in this link. The fabric is actually slightly sheer so you can see dark colours underneath it. 
I just wore an old pink knit singlet (or "tank top"? to Americans), that I clearly need to replace with something much better. Like delicious silk. One day...

I like the idea of making this cardigan again. The bobbles are just so sweet.

Bonus pic: This is what I look like when my husband starts quoting Rick and Morty at me and making me laugh.

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