Monday 19 June 2023

And for me: Butterick Lisette B6626

After wrecking my ankle in late April, I figured I could try sewing with my left foot.... The sudden impulse to sew something just for fun had me rifling through my pattern and fabric stash. I wanted a new winter dress for myself. Something quick and easy to make that I could wear, with my moon boot, out for my own birthday dinner.

Enter Lisette / Butterick B6626 and some long stashed ponte knit from Rathdowne Fabrics.

It took me a little while to get around to some pictures, hence the moon boot is off. I can stand in these boots but not yet up to walking in heels or jumping in sneakers. Sigh.

It's hard to see the design lines of the dress in this print. It's a bodice with princess seams and an invisible side zip, with a half circle style skirt.

I measured almost exactly at the size 16, but on a hunch that Big4 patterns almost always have too much ease, I went with a straight size 14. I sewed the bodice tracing pieces together to check the bust position and fit and it looked fine. Straight in with no adjustments and the whole dress came together very quickly.

The neck is finished with a really nice neckband and facing and then a little bow at the back. I used a plastic snap under the bow instead of a hook and bar closure

I bought the fabric at Rathdowne Fabrics after I picked up the ponte for the Hairy Green Clam dress. After wearing that dress I decided the thick, spongy ponte was such lovely quality I wanted more. This was the only other print I'd liked and I'd long kept it wondering quite what pattern it would suit. This one it turns out!

Pattern: Lisette / Butterick B6626
Size: 14
Modifications: none
Fabric: Ponte knit from Rathdowne Fabrics

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Belated bigger birthday dress

The blog now segues from a knitted one year old birthday dress to a sewn 12 year old birthday dress, but the order is all out of kilter. Actually it was as I was sewing some 15 year old birthday pyjamas today I reminded myself I'd never posted about the summer birthday dress....

I'd been about to let the tradition of a birthday dress go, but she asked (nicely) for a light blue dress with thin straps to wear over a white T-shirt as a roller skating dress for her party.

We went through the pattern stash together and eventually settled on the Liesl + Co Tribeca knit cami lengthened into a dress (Size S from memory).

Of course light blue knit fabric was about the only thing missing from my stash, but Fabric Deluxe had just what we needed with this lovely rib knit.

A nice simple make that worked perfectly for roller skating

Or just hanging out at the rink with friends, scrolling on phones...

While I don't mind being told what to make, I do also like to create a surprise when it comes to birthday dress sewing. So I added a second dress

This one is a Liesl + Co Metro Tee (Size M) lengthened and with A-line flare added to make a T-shirt dress. 

The fabric is some leftover silver spotted T-shirt knit that I know will wear fairly quickly but seemed fun to use. Previously turned into a Frocktails knit dress for me and a knit Building Block dress for her

And, of course, a little Silhouette Cameo rolling skate themed iron on. Birthday sorted.

Thursday 1 June 2023

A little challenging: vanilla dress

I do love a challenge and if it's small and the price of failure is low, even better.

When my Frocktails co-organiser Lisa's little baby was about to turn one, it seemed the perfect opportunity to try knitting a cute little dress. That it would only take two 50g balls of yarn made it too tempting.

With some Knitting For Olive merino/cotton (colour: dusty artichoke) from The Yarn Bowl and the Vanilla Dress pattern from Knitting for Olive, I was off.

Right from the start there were some new tricks to learn. The neckline is started on a crochet chain and then an I cord bind off is done to create the neck edge. Neat and easy to follow.

I was going great guns until I got to the main lace pattern and then I couldn't figure out how the stitch count worked. It was Easter and I was out in  the country at my folks place. A quick help-needed post to Ravelry and I had a reply in a time that would put emergency services to shame. They explained how to read the chart without necessarily starting at the farthest right and ending at the farthest left - the only way I'd read a chart up until this point.

I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

Then I went and rolled my ankle at a mountain bike race - I got off to walk a tricky downhill section and failed at walking! Loud crack, monstrous swelling and pain and I had to hop out of the bush with the St John's guys and Marshals half carrying me. More time to knit, I guess...

The next challenge that was new to me was to knit the little sleeves in the round on double pointed needles.

I have a gorgeous set of KnitPro Ginger interchangeable circular needles, and a matching set of KnitPro Ginger single pointed needles. Obviously I needed to complete my needle stash with the Ginger double pointed needles.

Knitting with double pointed needles was a bit like wrestling a spider with tetanus to begin with. Eventually I worked out how to hold the needles so it was less like Pick-Up-Sticks and more of a continuous, smooth action.

And then it was finished. Nothing beats a baby sized garment for a somewhat immediate result!

It was blocked on the day of the first birthday party which I couldn't make it to as my ankle was nowhere near good enough for driving.

But just last weekend I caught up with Lisa and baby Cleo and gifted it. I hope it fits!

Having finally got my head around the pattern and all I learned from it, I'd jump at the chance to knit it again in a bigger size for next year. What a great experience.