Happy New Year! No sharing of resolutions or reflections here, just marching on with a new year! I think sometimes I enjoy the process of organizing my thoughts in writing more than the commitment, so this year, none of that. I have plenty of ideas of course, but I think for now I’ll just continue to let them steep in my head. So I’ll just chat about them if and when they come up, how about that? 😉
Let’s start off with the second to last dress I sewed in 2015, and the first item I finished in 2016: a rose-print Emery dress and a Vianne cardigan. Cardigan first!
This is the Vianne cardigan by Andi Satterlund (and my Ravelry project page with lots of notes). Late in the fall I started a pullover in robin’s egg blue, but it quickly developed problems and needed to be frogged twice, so I put it in time out and instead knit a robin’s egg blue cardigan. Obviously I was in a color mood! Ironically the yarn was the same colorway (aptly named Robin’s Egg) by the same dyer (Madelinetosh), but a totally different base yarn. This is tosh dk, although I had it in my stash so long it was from when it was still classified tosh worsted. Which means 5+ years it sat around waiting to be used, by my calculations. I’m not sure why as this is one of my favorite colors! I have wanted to knit with less superwash merino lately but that’s a lot of my stash, so I’m still often knitting with it.
I mainly knit Vianne as written, but I made one major design change, opting to knit the back in plain stockinette instead of the open lace work.
The lace in the design looks pretty but I knew if I ever wanted to wear this in winter when I hide layers under blouses and dresses, lace would not work with everything. To roughly account for the difference in gauge this would mean, I cast on the stitches for one size up for the back only. That all worked out just fine. Oh, I also omitted the waist shaping because I tend to wear cardigans open more than closed, and while I still go back and forth on this, I think on me they hang a little more strange when open when there’s shaping. I also made the sleeves a little longer, about 14″ total, which was just perfect.
I used vintage buttons from my stash, and they look like little starbursts. I just love them!
I’m happy with the length, which is 9″ from the bottom of the armhole to the cast off on the ribbing, but I’m a bit Goldilocks about sweater lengths, I’m afraid. This is about ideal for dresses (maybe even a smidge more), so I’d like more cardigans this length, but another 1 – 2″ is better for trousers, and I wear both. Plus, I seem to keep wanting to pull this one into position in the front, unlike another of the same length, so I don’t know. I can never seem to make my mind up about sweater length, and I actually think it’s one of the reasons I discovered at the end of last year I’d knit way, way less than I thought I did or could have. I spent far more time worrying about it!
As for the dress, this is a sleeveless Emery dress, with a full gathered skirt. The fabric is a Michael Miller print called Francie and I absolutely love it! There’s a slightly similar print called Lucy (bigger polka dots) and I’m tempted to sew a dress out of that one, I love this so much. Both also exist on a seafoam green background which I’d really like in warmer months, too!
This dress was an interesting reminder that bodies change, but so do preferences, style, and probably a whole bunch of other things that go into making a dress feel like it’s “right”. It might work one time and not quite another. I went back to the basics with this bodice, going back to set-in armholes again so that I could make a sleeveless dress, but keeping some of the modifications I’d made to the bodice over time, including lowering bust darts and lengthening the bodice. In the process, I discovered that I no longer wanted the bodice nearly as long as I’d lengthened it in the past! Body? Personal preference? Who knows, but it’s true!
And the neckline was gaping a bit front and back, I think partially exacerbated by the too-long bodice which I suspect causes everything to ride northward a bit and makes me feel like the upper half of the bodice is too baggy. I also think partially because there aren’t sleeves to shift things into place, if that makes sense. Plus it’s not a bodice that’s meant to be sleeveless, so the armholes need some work, although other than raising them, I’m not quite sure. Baby steps though, it’s a great starting point nonetheless! And it still fits way better than many RTW dresses!
I may try a narrow shoulder adjustment on this for the future, but it’s almost like I just want to move everything in towards the center a bit. In my snow globes Christmas dress I built on the same bodice, and fixed the back gaping (just taking a bigger shoulder dart) and shortened the bodice a bit, and I liked that fit better (although hard to make a strict comparison due to drastically different armholes/sleeves).
As soon as I was finished with this dress, in spite of the few fitting issues that are a puzzlement, I loved it, and I plan to wear the hell out of it. I’m mad for the print, and I love that it’s on a dark background (although pet hair loves that, too). It hung outside my closet for a couple weeks as I usually do with dresses I finish but haven’t blogged about yet, and half the time I went into my closet during that time, I was looking for dark background dresses, which I realized I had very little of, and the couple I did have I was sick of. So, something to work towards in the future!
By the way, lest you be fooled by these photos, it’s January and I didn’t leave the house like this! Several hours later for a dinner sushi date with Mel, I added a white turtleneck underneath (I’d normally go for a hidden layer but I was really cold), black leggings, black boots and wool socks. And bracelets omitted so I could fit gloves on.
Fantasy January versus reality January… c’est la vie!
I know I promised myself to sew warmer clothes but eh, this is apparently what I’m in the mood for right now. Hey, it works and I’m happy, so it can’t be a bad way to start off a new year! 😉
Emery dress – made by me
cardigan – made by me (Ravelry project page)
vintage confetti lucite earrings – misc.
black scalloped resin bangle – made by me
Bakelite bangles – misc.
shoes – ModCloth
boots – Miss L Fire Millicent boots
i knit Vianne in a Kal last year somewhere…mmm can’t even remember when that was..okee i did knit the lacy back, so it is a summer cardi indeed. Your tip about casting on the back 1 size larger is brilliant. I will try, Andi did also give approx. stitches to cast on when knitting a plain back. Well the dress is just lovely, love the print and i do like the turtle neck and boots too..after all it is winter..here too :-). I am now in doubt. Will i next start Vianne with plain back in Cascade 220 red or will i stick to Henriette …aarghhh…you made me confuse myself..wahahahaha
Sorry i am Dutch, i was just cutting an onion thinking : ‘you made me confuse myself’ is not actual English…is it???? mmmmm ..well you probably get my point..
I totally understood what you meant! Good luck on your decision what to knit next! 😉
your outfit looks amazing and it suits you perfect!
Lovely cardi, buttons and bangles! I have knit only one thing (an over the shoulders cowl) out of a superwash wool (also Madelinetosh) and it became enormous; that was the end of that. I am new to your blog; it’s great!
Thanks! Superwash wool in general *can* grow a lot, but doesn’t always, it’s a slippery beast sometimes. I find it grows a lot less with cables or tightly knit things, and grows a lot more with lace. But any yard does have a learning curve, lol!
Yet again you’ve made a lovely outfit! You have such a great eye for pattern and color!
Thanks Cindy, I appreciate it! I just followed my usual pattern of “this thing doesn’t match, so I’ll put on at least one other thing that matches *it* and then I’m good”. 😉
Do you do any crochet?
Hi Arlene, I do know how to crochet but do very little of it! I taught myself to crochet before I learned how to knit in fact. 🙂
Those buttons! I swoon! What a lovely outfit. I particularly like your stockinette change for the back of the cardigan–much more suitable to our Chicago weather. Your fantasy vs. reality January cracks me up, as I have been wearing dresses with long johns, the tallest of socks, and boots lately.
Thank you, Megan! Glad you can appreciate the Januaryness of my side-by-side. 😉 Boy, pretty much anything I’ve worn lately has been accompanied by a mass of hidden layers, even inside since it’s not the warmest in our house, ha ha!!
Kacy Burchfield says
Gorgeous! I love this print and the dress and cardigan are lovely on you. Fantasy January doesn’t look bad at all! Don’t sweat it!
Thank you! I don’t mind layering up, I mean after all we do get a real winter here so I always know it’s coming. We had a surprisingly mild (for us) December, so we got a little bit spoiled! 😉
Love this dress so much! It looks like a happy making outfit.
Thank you! It definitely feels like a happy making outfit. 😀
Super cute hair-do!
The colors of the sweater, shoes, dress are great combined!
Thank you! Some of my favorite colors!
Absolutely gorgeous outfit Tasha, I love everything about it but especially the colour combinations. Fab! xx
Thanks, Jane! I can definitely see you in that robin’s egg blue in particular! 😉
I love it! Just about the only good thing about Florida winter is I could wear the fantasy right now. However, that also means no cute layers, sweaters, or scarves either!
Thanks! All a matter of perspective, isn’t it? I can’t wait until I don’t have to layer! lol
Tasha!! This entire outfit is glorious!! The cardigan! It matches your shoes!! And that dress?! I die.
I just ordered enough of that fabric for a blouse. So pretty.
Thanks, Sarah! Can’t wait to see what blouse you make! I’m tempted to pull the trigger on the Lucy print I mentioned and knit a red cardigan to wear with that one. Can’t stop!!
Raesha de Ruiter Zylker says
You literally are SO DARLING! I love this outfit so much. One of my goals for this year is to get back to sewing clothing for myself and you are giving me so much inspiration!!!
Oh you’re so sweet, thank you!! Happy to help inspire you, it’s so much fun and you get so much pleasure out of sewing clothing for yourself! Have fun!
Oh my! The cardigan and dress are fabulous, but with the bakelite collection and the aqua heels? Swoon!
Thank you! I’m so happy to have the cardigan finished because oddly, robin’s egg blue is one of my favorite colors and I have about 3 pair of shoes in it, but it’s not in my wardrobe much. So I can pull out these heels more! 😀
Beautiful color!!! I can see why you love it!
Thanks, Sonja!! I forgot to mention but I even have a shawlette my mom knit me awhile back in the very same yarn so if I get REALLY cold I can wrap myself up in it, too! lol
Love the outfit. The dress by itself is a knockout!
That dress turned out beautifully!!
allie J. says
Those buttons are SO perfect. AHmazing.
I am also having a heck of a time with the neckline on the Emery dress. Thankfully the wonderful Christine has been graciously emailing with me to figure out the issue, but it is oh so frustrating to have so much gaping in the back.
Jessica Cangiano says
That fabric that you used on the dress is a thing of complete and utter beauty!
Joyful New Year’s wishes to you both!!!
With el niño doing his thing you only need to worry about a lake effect winter this year. So go ahead and live your winter fantasy for once!
Seems like El Niño battled The Polar Vortex and won this round. I feel like I’m living some awful WWE weather wresting championship!
Excellent idea to knit in plain the back of Vianne!!. I like Vianne too and not knitted because the open lace work at the back is really big, I love the cardigans but it’s impossible to wear them on summer in Madrid…
JoAnn Hyde says
Great job on the sweater and dress. They go well together.
I, for one, agree with your view on this New year thing.. just head out and get the things going! 🙂
Or, so to say: let’s roll-up our sleeves and start working.
You look lovely.
I know you’ve promised to sew warmer clothes.. but whatever makes you happy.. and, as a matter of fact, I prefer sleeveless. One: you can wear something over it. Two: you can wear something under it.
Three: if you’re really cold: you can BOTH wear something under and over.. 🙂
Another gorgeous outfit. Love that blue and ah!, those buttons.
You do such beautiful work! And your color sense is brilliant. I would never have guessed that aqua color would go so well with that dress – never! Yet it’s perfect! And the shoes are adorable. Another home run! Congrats!
Rochelle New says
I saw this fabric recently and immediately thought of you!! I’m so happy to see you’ve made something with it 🙂 Also, I just love how beautiful your hair looks paired with robin’s egg blue! (insert all the heart-eye emojis!)
Adore this aqua, rose and black combo ~ it’s a brilliant look! And I also really like the “reality” snap; I thought it was cute way to show “behind” the scenes of the vision as it were!! 😀 ❤
bonita of Lavender & Twill
Mary Beth says
I LOVE this dress and cardigan, especially the detail in the cardigan. And where do you find your fantastic matching shoes?