Completed: The Brasilia Dress

Some time ago, when Rachel of HouseOfPinheiro requested some testers for her new pattern I joined in without thinking about all the projects I had in mind and the little time I normally have. Because this dress is beautiful. With elegant lines that hug the body one can’t help but feel classy in it. When I was trying it last week to ask for Koen’s opinion, he said that it would be good for a Sci-Fi convention. I guess that those diagonal lines plus the grey color give it a bit of a Sci-Fi flavor. That and the light reflecting on my tummy. The days are getting short and taking pictures with natural light is becoming more and more difficult, and when we get it, it could be sometimes too much, like in this case. I apologize, we had a very sunny day (Madrid Winters are sunny and beautiful, but also very cold).

I had to adapt the pattern to my measurements, quite different from Rachel’s (bust: 88 cm; waist: 67 cm; hip: 98 cm), do an FBA (for a B cup) and a slopping shoulders alteration. For the resizing I used the slice and tuck (or spread) method described in zillions of places, but I checked the Colette sewing book just in case. The FBA of this pattern is a bit special due to the bodice structure and the placement of the darts, but even though it didn’t pose any problems. I used my personal pattern blocks to compare dimensions during the process and I have to say that it sped things quite a bit. I had to shorten the bodice by 3 cm (Rachel is sooo tall) but I left the original hem length (I don’t look good in mini-skirts).

What I’m not very happy about is the fabric I used. The weight and elasticity are fine. For this project I would recommend a fabric with a little bit of elasticity so that it hugs the body, but I guess a regular cotton should work also fine. I wouldn’t recommend a knit fabric, since some structure is needed. When I complain about my fabric I don’t mean that it behaves wrongly. It doesn’t if you don’t disturb it. But I have to say that after prewashing it I notice some shrinkage when pressing it. It’s a polycotton with more poly than cotton I’m afraid, that I had leftover from Koen’s cosplay pants. It doesn’t press well, and if you insist it starts shrinking irregularly (even without steam). Therefore you can see some wrinkles especially on the front where I wanted to “tame” my seams. The skirt would need a good press but I was afraid of what could happen. I think I’m going to wash this again and see how it comes out.

I finished the neckline and armholes with bias tape but you could also apply facings. I was just a bit lazy and short of time, and anyway it looks fine like this.

I have to say that before making it I liked this dress, but now that I’ve made it I absolutely love it. You had to see my face the first time I tried on my muslin. I was amazed. The bodice lines are so flattering, and the side pieces create the illusion of having a wasp waist. Congrats, Rachel, and thanks a lot for allowing me to test this. I love this design and I’ll make it again with some better fabric.

Andi’s pattern ‘From A to Z’ is finally released!

As I’ve previously mentioned, testing for Andi from Untangling Knots was a real pleasure. The moment I’ve laid eyes on this cardigan I fell completely in love with it. With that retro look and imagining how good it could go with my dresses there was nothing else that I needed. I was hooked and I needed to make it. Period.

I found the pattern very well written and the construction immensely clever. As I’ve said before, this is a nice project to try intarsia, since it’s used for the pocket bands. Ideal for a first try but not overwhelming. I would definitely say that if you want to try to see how intarsia feels, you should try this pattern.

The pocket construction is different from the one I did on Émilien, but it’s also very well designed and it was one of the things that made me fall in love with this cardigan. And there’s no sewing involved! No mattress stitch, no blanket stitch, no stitch at all!

And you can stuff your hands in them, or your keys, or some coins. They are ideal and usable pockets.

I love seamless sweaters. I have to say that I don’t really enjoy sewing by hand, and joining sleeves and other parts to my knitting projects is not really my cup of tea; but sometimes it’s nice to escape from the typical raglan construction. And this is a construction that will surprise and please you. Again, it’s so clever! The final project looks like a traditional cardigan with joined sleeves, but it uses a seamless construction. I really want more of it.

As you can see, the cardigan is fitted, enhancing the female figure. The sleeves were also a nice surprise, since most of the time I need to modify them and make them narrower than what the pattern says, but this was not the case. The sleeves were just right for my arms.

It looks nice buttoned and unbuttoned, and it feels so cozy that I want to wear it all the time (that is, if the temperature is not 40 ºC).

The pattern includes charts to double stitch each letter in the alphabet. A nice and unique touch to make your cardigan really custom made.

When making the arm bands I thought about using jogless stripes, but those only really work if they are wide, since at the joint the stripe is one row thinner and it would look too evident in this case. I thought about using travelling jogless stripes, but that meant my rows travelling 4 stitches and I was not convinced. I tried them anyway and decided it was not worth the hassle. Again, Andi was right.

This is by far my favorite cardigan until now. Bravo for Andi and her really clever construction.

If you want to make this beautiful cardigan you can get the pattern on Ravelry.

Here my project page in case you want to take a look.

Fails

Murphy’s law says that if there’s anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And it definitely did this time. We were supposed to take a flight to Vigo yesterday at 5 pm, but after taking zillions of planes in our life, we miscalculated and missed our plane. We could change our tickets to some hours later and to another airport in the same region, so all was not lost.

We were going to come next week, not this one, when my sister was also on vacation. Koen’s plans were bringing his racing bike and cycling around while I spent some quality time with my family. But a month ago, Koen’s parents sent us an email to let us know that they were coming to Vigo this week for the first time in their lives, and to meet my parents, also a first. We had to change our vacation days at work, Koen couldn’t bring his bike and we missed our plane. What else could go differently than planned? Don’t take me wrong; it’s going to be a pleasure to see them, but things are just not coming out the way it was planned.

You see this photo?

Two days ago I cut some fabric for a Lonsdale dress. It requires a lot of fabric, so I decided to cut it in advance and like that having less to transport. My plan was sewing the dress between yesterday evening and today and then wear it tomorrow evening for date with our parents. But dear friends, let me tell you something to avoid the same that happened to me. Today, when I was finally working on it, I discovered that two of the pieces were missing. I don’t know if I either forgot to cut them or they just stayed home with the rest of the fabric. So, dear friends, if you happen to plan the same in the future, please do two things:

  1. Make sure that you have all the necessary pieces to finish your garment. Check it twice.
  2. Take with you some extra fabric just in case. Things happen.

Anyway, the weather here is not as hot as in Madrid, and it’s clearly much more humid; so all the skirts and dresses I brought will probably stay in the suitcase, and if I happen to wear some of them, it will be just for the hottest hours of the day. Today I was wearing my first A-line skirt and sandals, and I’m wearing now my Thurlows and my Freija. So, even if could have finished the dress, I don’t think I would have been able to wear it tomorrow for dinner.

These are some bracelets I made for the family, one of the things that worked so far. I haven’t given them to them yet, so you know, they will probably break when they try to wear them.

At least I have my knitting. I’m still working on Andi’s test. I’m over 50%, so I’m afraid this project will not last for the complete vacation and all the things happening will drive me crazy. I think I’ll need to pay a visit to a famous store here that sells fabric by the kilo. After all this fails it will be so comforting…

Testing for Andi

Just when I was about to start Miette by Andi Satterlund, she sends a request for test knitters. I know I’m busy with too many projects right now, but I desperately need to knit. Sewing is fun and it’s amazing how nice things can be made in no time, but I haven’t knitted regularly in the last couple of months and my body and mind are asking for it. Knitting is relaxing, it takes time, it helps your mind wander and forget the hurry, the problems, it slows you down. And as I need to slow down, I decide to partake in a test knit. It sounds like a paradox, but it will be the right way to kick my ass and finally cast on. The wool for this project will arrive next week, just in time for our weekend trip to Valencia. Some quality knitting time in the train sounds like a treat.

I can’t say a lot about this project, just that it’s a beautiful retro cardigan like the ones Andi designs. After it I still want to knit Miette. I feel the need of knitting feminine cardigans to go with my dresses and skirts. Summer starts today, and summer knitting starts now! And to celebrate it, Andi is offering today her patterns with a 50% discount.