Some sewing and knitting today for you! You may recall that earlier in the fall, we established that I really love galaxy prints. Well, now I’ve had the opportunity to sew a galaxy print dress!
This dress comes as a result of being generously offered to try out fabric by Funki Fabrics out of the UK. I almost said no—their fabric is a lycra and nylon blend, very well suited for swimwear or dancewear. And I’m not interested in either. But then I saw they had several galaxy prints, and after a couple of email exchanges, I decided I was in. The lure of the galaxy! I figured I’d work something out. I had to. Galaxies are hard to come by!
I went with the Lady Skater bodice and just a plain gathered dirndl skirt. I didn’t want to use the original skirt because I felt it was too similar to my ModCloth galaxy dress, so it needed to be a wee bit different. So I did a dirndl that hits a few inches below the knee.
I used the same short sleeves I did for my polka dot skater dress, and used sleeve and neckline bands this time like the original pattern. I raised the neckline 3/4″ at center front, and I took a wedge out of the back to fix some pooling I had in my first version (how I did it is from the sewalong). But that was it for changes.
Sewing this felt a bit kooky. Obviously being mostly lycra, the fabric was slippery as all getout (although it was surprisingly easy to cut), but I just pinned like crazy. Fortunately it showed no pinholes which was awesome. The entire time, I kept telling myself “I’m sewing a swimsuit dress. I’m sewing a swimsuit dress.” I opted not to topstitch around the bands just to keep it a bit less from looking less… swimsuitish.
In the end, it’s not really reminiscent of a swimsuit after all. The skirt has a lot of heft from the weight of the fabric, so it’s fun and swishy, too. Success! I know not everyone would actually sew a lycra dress, but if you DO (because hello, they have literally hundreds of vibrant prints, not just galaxy ones!), or you want to make a swimsuit or leggings (see Lauren’s fab yoga pants, which are also galactic!) or maybe you want really fun dancewear, then I’d highly recommend Funki Fabrics.
I admit, I did second-guess my original choice of a more blue and green galaxy print and went for this one, and perhaps I should have stuck to the first one. In person that pink is pretty much just as electric as it looks like, if not more so! I have to say that the printing on the Funki Fabrics is extraordinary, some of the best and brightest colors I’ve seen on any type of fabric. So with such a bright dress, I kept it simple with black shoes and a black cardigan. Well and a couple of matching accessories, of course.
The cardigan is actually one I finished up last month. Nearly four and a half years ago, I started knitting it and then stalled out. The project and yarn remained stuffed in a bag ever since. For some reason this fall I got a bug up my butt to pull it out and rip the project and reclaim the yarn, but I discovered it was almost complete! Like seriously, almost an entire cardigan. How did I not remember that?! I can’t remember why I fell out of love, since I was literally on the neck band (of a bottom up sweater).
But I tried it on, decided I’d actually wear it, so it was worth putting the finishing touches on. Which only required knitting the neck, button and pocket bands, and sewing down the pockets on the inside.
I popped on the only large black buttons in my vintage button stash and voila, a cardigan that almost was not!
The pattern was (mostly) Convertible Cardigan by Wenlen Chia, a designer who has a lot of chunky patterns. The gauge for this was something crazy like 3.5 spi. And yes, there are pockets! Not really sure why it needs them, since they’re kind of in an awkward place. But whatever, 4.5-year-ago-me wanted to keep them. You can see I obviously went for a plain crew neck, unlike the original pattern. I have no idea what 4.5-year-ago-me was planning to do with the neckline.
It’s knit in two strands of Madelinetosh Vintage, a worsted weight yarn, in the colorway Brothers Grimm. It’s already pilling like crazy on the underside of the sleeves (way more than my other sweaters in the same yarn base), but it’s super warm and comfy.
It’s nearly impossible to tell because hello, black cardigan, but there’s a nice thick cable running down the front of each side, with half the leg in seed stitch, which is a nice touch… when you can see it. 😉 It’s a little too far off to the sides so it kind of disappears when I wear this open, in part because it’s a round yoke. Current-me doesn’t really do round yoke cardigans for this very reason, but 4.5-year-ago-me didn’t mind.
But honestly, it felt like an almost presto instant cardigan, so current-me isn’t going to complain!
It’s the ideal cardigan to wear with my galaxy dress, because the yarn is actually a not-quite-solid black with green undertones, and the black in the dress has some greenish tones in areas, too.
I think it’s a perfect match. Now I have another warm cardigan for winter, plus a funky electric dress. I’ve actually been much more in the mood to sew separates lately (well, ‘lately’ generally being after the Christmas rush obviously, I’m doing lots of planning for things I can’t get to yet, ha ha), but I’m so glad I now have a galaxy dress made by me!
(While I received the dress fabric free from Funki Fabrics, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own as always!)