Friday, 27 June 2014

Chevron baby blanket for baby Gray

This is my version of the chevron baby blanket from espace tricot. It is a great free pattern, which explains why it is so popular on Ravelry.

The pattern called for Blue Sky Alpacas worsted cotton. I couldn't find any in my local shops and didn't want to purchase it online without knowing what it was like, so I substituted Debbie bliss Rialto aran. I was really pleased with this choice as it is  very soft and washable.  I had quite a bit left over from 10 50g balls.

The pattern knitted up quickly, after I had to restart about 15 times, as I was automatically doing a knit stitch after every yarn over and getting very confused. Once finished it required a good press with a bit of steam which was essential to make the most if the pointy ends as they tend to curl. 

I can imagine this pattern for cushion covers or a large throw. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Red linen dress

Where can you wear a bright red off the shoulder dress? Not too many places, but a wedding on Italy's Amalfi coast must be one of them. Just look at that scenery!

Outer fabric; preshrunk linen from fabrics galore in battersea (£8 /meter)
Lining: cupro bremsilk from Macculloch and wallis in soho (£10/meter)
Skirt underlining: silk organza from silk society in soho (£14/m)
Bodice underling : tie canvas from my stash, originally from macculloch  and wallis 
Hat: custom made by MMHats ( find on Etsy)

Pattern: self dafted

I saw some red linen online at Ditto fabrics a while ago and have been waiting for the right project to come along. Unfortunately it was sold out, but I found a good replacement at Fabrics Galore in battersea. Linen wasn't my first choice for a wedding outfit but having decided on the 'off-the-shoulder' style, I wanted a fabric with some structure but no shine and linen seemed to fit the bill. 

The bodice of the dress is underlined with tie canvas simply as I had it lying around, but it did the job. The bodice is boned with satin covered regiliene boning attached to the tie canvas. I did want to use a layer of flannel between the boned layer and the outer fabric, but my local fabric shop was out of red dye and the white flannel would have shown through the weave in the linen, so I left it out and used some of the red organza I bought to underline the skirt instead. The resulting bodice was very supported  without being restrictive. 

The closure is a lapped zipper topped with a hook and eye. I recently learnt that invisible zippers are not good for crossing seams and are more prone to breaking, so I think I will stick with lapped seams for fitted garment like this is future. 
I intended to cover the waist seam with a fabric belt made with the same fabric as my dress, but could not find anywhere to buy one. I think Maxant is the brand to go for, but if anyone knows a UK stockist- pleas let me know. I considered a bow instead,  but felt that would be too twee, so I ended up belt-less. I may still try and find one as I would prefer to cover the waist seam. 

The bodice is lined with the linen as I did not have time to fuss about with making a facing and my fashion fabric was cheaper than the bremsilk I used for the skirt lining. 

The skirt did wrinkle a little bit, but I didn't notice after a few glasses of wine and the swing band started up.