I have been working diligently on my OAL projects since June 1st, and my progress so far has been mixed. The good news is that my Florrick/Audrey in Unst frankensweater is coming along very nicely. It took me a few hours to properly understand how to read the cable chart upside down, but once I figured it out, I was off to the races. And despite being distracted throughout the entire month of June by an exceptionally busy time at work and some self-imposed obligatory knitting in anticipation of a family visit (more on that another time), I’ve managed to get as far as the second sleeve of my beautiful cardigan, which is making me want to finish as quickly as possible. I am So. Excited. to show you what I’ve made, you guys!
My dress, on the other hand, is not progressing nearly as smoothly as my cardigan. Despite having made a muslin and feeling satisfied with the fit at the time, the bodice of my nearly completed Peony looks totally wonky, and now I need to figure out what to do about it. Thankfully, I had the foresight to purchase extra fabric, but if I need to correct anything beyond the bodice–and I may have to, as my serger has been kind of an asshole to me lately–I will almost certainly have to use an entirely different fabric and maybe even start the whole fitting process from scratch.
But don’t cry for me just yet! I haven’t given up on my dress, and I may also have come up with a perfect replacement for the Peony when I’m ready to give up on it. (Which I’m not. Yet.) Get ready for a picture-heavy post featuring my newest retina-searing yellow skirt, y’all!
This skirt is my first version of Tilly’s Delphine, and I can guarantee you that it won’t be the last. The Whole 30 continues to work its magic on me, so I was able to cut a size 4 (out of 8 sizes) for this pattern–my smallest size to date. Aside from adding 1/4 inch to the side seam allowances for an extra inch of room all over and doing a 1/4 inch swayback adjustment, this pattern is relatively challenge-free and easy to make. It was also a quick make; from ironing, pinning and cutting the fabric to the final product, this project took one leisurely weekend day to complete. Ever frugal, I opted to use a long-stashed mustard-y upholstery fabric purchased from Mood years ago. I have no idea of the fibre content, but I would guess that it’s some kind of poly-cotton blend, possibly mixed with something flame retardant. I originally intended to make a tote with this fabric, but a) I don’t need another tote, and b) garment sewing is so much more fun to me than sewing a square would be.
Though I was initially wary of how such an exaggerated A-line would look on my wide hips, I have no doubts now about how much I love this silhouette. The pattern calls for the use of a stiff fabric to help the dramatic A-line hold its shape, but I was concerned that my couch fabric might be just a bit too stiff for normal wear. Happily, my new skirt stood up well to a full day of wear at the office with only minimal wrinkling by the end of the day, and it was super comfortable from start to finish. This is a huge relief, because I am hopelessly in love with my new skirt and I want to wear it EVERY DAY!!!!
(But I won’t. Because people tend to notice when you’ve worn a yellow skirt too many days in a row.)
One area where the stiffness of the fabric posed a bit of a challenge was in pressing the seams. To get crisp, flat seams out of my bulky fabric, I used a makeshift clapper–in this case, a hardback version of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything–to trap the heat of the iron as I pressed. It worked! My seams are beautiful and I’ve done more than a bit of self-congratulation for my quick thinking. And, hey, look at how well I matched my side seams from the skirt and waistband!
In anticipation of the fall and tights-wearing season, I opted to line the skirt in a light, buttery coloured bemberg. I was annoyed, at first, that I couldn’t find a matching yellow for the lining, but I see now that the contrast is one of this skirt’s best and most unique qualities.
I’m very pleased with how the insides of my skirt look, mistakes and all… and I made a big one. In my haste to rip out my first bad attempt at stitching the waistline in the ditch, I made a small rip in the lining. Whoops! Despite my errors, I’ve never been prouder to post a picture of the insides of a garment that I’ve made.
Yellow skirts are somewhat uncommon here in Canada (and elsewhere, I’d imagine), and I had a brief moment of panic when I thought about how I might style it with what I already have in my wardrobe. On a whim, I threw my favorite blue shawl over my t-shirt, and this turned out to be a magical pairing with the bright yellow. This fortunate pairing also provides me with the long-overdue opportunity to show you what has lately been one of my most worn garments.
I finished my Nami Shawl, made with Tosh Merino Light in the Cobalt colourway, way back in April, or approximately eight knitted projects ago (yes, I am behind on my blogging). I’ve never thought of myself as a shawl person but the longer I make stuff, the more I see the value of pieces like this one. This shawl has become the thing I reach for most when I need just a little extra warmth or to add some elegance to whatever I’m wearing. I’ve received many unsolicited compliments from total strangers when I wear it, which only confirms for me that it’s a winner. The pattern itself was a perfect combination of mindless and engaging knitting and features a combination of stockinette, cables and lace. I certainly endorse this pattern for anyone who is looking for an interesting but not overly complicated shawl for everyday wear.
So, here’s the plan: should I fail to rectify my error-riddled Peony, I’m going to make a new Delphine to go with my cardigan. It won’t be a complete outfit since I’m definitely not yet skilled enough to be making my own t-shirts, but it’s better than not making anything to go with my new sweater. I have the fabric for the next one all ready to go, so regardless of whether or not it becomes my OAL skirt, there will be at least one more Delphine in my future.
Fellow makers: Who else among you has made the Delphine skirt? What fabric did you use, and do you love yours as much as I love mine?