Same procedure as every year! I participated in the Outfit Along this year, as I have done the previous three years. During the Outfit along from June til the end of July every participant creates an outfit that has to consist of at least one knitted and one sewed item. The participants can chat and show their finished items in Andi Satterlund’s Ravelry Group. If you post your finished outfit there you can win a price. As in the years before there are two official patterns. The knitted garment is the newest Andi Satterlund pattern, Anaheim, a cropped wrap cardigan with a lace pattern. The sewing pattern is the Kim Dress by ByHandLondon. Andi published tutorials on the cardigan, and Lauren of Lladybird published tutorials on the dress.
I made a dress and a cardigan this year (it is also allowed to make a pullover and a skirt or shots or whatever you like). I decided that I wanted to use material from my stash and I found that the berry colored Drops Lima yarn matched the silk fabric, that I bought in Italy last year, very well. The fabric was designed by Pierre Cardin and I really like the print. I only had about 110 cm of it. It was 140 cm wide, but it was divided into two panels, with a vertical printed border running down in the middle of the fabric.
The fabric wasn’t perfect for sewing a dress from it. Because it just was so little. But I really really wanted one and decide to give it a try. At least the Kim dress bodice doesn’t need that much fabric and consists of multiple pieces, which should make it easier. And so I printed the Kim Dress pattern that has been on my computer for quite a while now.
I cut size 4/8 because that is my BHL size. I know that you cannot trust their measurement charts. I once did and ended up with a far too big dress. I decided to go with the sweetheart neckline, lengthened the pattern pieces as usual and made a muslin.
The bodice fitted fine except for the back straps and back neckline which were both gaping. I rotated the straps towards the neck a little and that did the trick. It was kind of a square shoulder adjustment, which is quite common for me.
Afterwards I tried to fit all the pattern pieces on my fabric, which of course didn’t work out. The skirt pattern piece was way too large. So I started looking out for other dress patterns with a less flared skirt and in the end I decided to go with the Belladone Dress skirt, which almost fit on my fabric. As you can see in the photo underneath I wasn’t able to completely omit der border print in the middle of the fabric. You can see it at the bottom of the side seams.
The sewing process itself was easy. I liked the Kim dress bodice instructions and everything came together quickly. What made the sewing hard was the silk fabric. Sewing silk isn’t that nice if you ask me. It always shifts and it frays a lot and it slips. I lined the bodice with cotton lawn, but left the skirt unlined and thus finished it with french seams, which were a lot of work, because of the fabric.
I started hemming the skirt with a rolled hem by hand, but I got so mad and it looked so bad that I decided to better make a machine rolled hem with the help of Jennifer Lauren Vintage’s Tutorial.
Have I mentioned how annoyed I was by the fabric? Well, here’s another story: while Marvin was taking a picture of the back of the dress, he paused, approached me and told me that one back seam was completely dissolving. I took a closer look and all the other princess seams were starting to unravel too. So I got out of the dress as quickly as possible. I went inside first. ;) The fabric started fraying, I only finished the seams with my pinking shears and I shortened the seam allowances which was a mistake. I hope I can save this dress with a few hand stitches. I think I should have been better equipped to sew a silk dress. Special needles, special thread. And I should have finished the seams in another manner. At this point I think that maybe silk dresses aren’t for me. You cannot wash them properly (in the washing machine ;)), you always have to take care to not get them dirty or get caught somewhere. And I don’t want to be careful with wearing my dresses and I don’t want to be careful while sewing them. Could be, that this is the crankiness and disappointment speaking. But maybe, it is also a little bit true.
Well, I try to see the positive: I learned something. And I hope my bad example serves as advice to you. Finish your seams. French seams seem to work great, I didn’t have problems with the skirt’s seams.
Sewing the Belladone skirt to the bodice was a piece of cake by the way. I rearranged the pleats to match the width and the princess seams of the bodice.
The dress got a little short, I didn’t have enough fabric to make it longer. But it is supposed to be a real summer dress, so that is okay.
Moving on to the cardigan, the dress and I are not becoming friends today..
As already mentioned I used Drops Karisma yarn for it. I had it in my stash since the Drops Super Sale in May of last year. Recently after the sale I started spinning and since then I’m trying to get rid of my stash of bought yarn one at a time. Because Drops Lima has the same yarn weight as Drops Karimsa I decided to give my self-written instructions for the green mock cable Cardigan another chance. I wasn’t super happy with the green version, so I changed some things for this one. I lengthened the mock cable sections, I shortened the sleeve cap, I raised the front neckline and made shorter sleeves because I liked that better for this version.
I knitted seamlessly and top down. The cables aren’t real cables, which means that you don’t need a cable needle to make them :)
I was in the process of stabilizing the button bands when I realized that that would make them too stiff, it looked weird, so I left the button bands unfinished this time and applied some wood buttons I had in my stash.
I corrected the instructions and right now I’m trying to grade the knitting pattern to different sizes. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to get this done quickly and I guess it will take a while, but I definitely want to publish the pattern some day on this blog.
Alright, that is my outfit for the Outfit Along. I’m not completely happy with it, mostly because of the destroyed dress, but also because I don’t think the woolly warm cardigan goes well together with the silk summer dress. But that’s no problem. I have lots of other dresses it goes much better with :) And I haven’t given up hope on the dress. I hope I can repair it and we can become friends. Because, to be honest, I really like how the silk feels against my skin :) But still, silk is a bitch!
If you want go and check out all the gorgeous outfits of the OAL participants. And here you can find my cardigan on my Ravelry page :)