Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cardis and Cambies!

Friends, it was a great summer! I turned 30 (WOOO DIRTY THIRTY), got a new job at my current employer (where I'll be working from home full time), and booked an international trip for myself halfway around the globe. Kitty Grand got engaged, so I've been helping with planning, and the next few months will be busy with Maid of Honor duties. I created a beautiful blouse for my dear friend Pippi's wedding, and I'll be sure to post pictures of that masterpiece once I get all of my photos back. Also, I've had great visitors and made some amazing sandals for myself :) These past few months have flown by!

In between all of those fabulous events, I've been spending time with Michelle and Liz. Despite our crazy summer schedules, we still managed to eke out a few nights to knit together, and eventually we stumbled upon the idea of all sewing the same project to cap off the glorious season of warmth. Once they expressed interest in making Cambies (my favorite dress pattern EVER) for the "challenge", we then threw in the added spice of having a coordinating cardigan.

Well, I tossed around the idea of making a shrug for a looooong time because I thought that would be good for summer. I bought yarn for one pattern, and then changed the pattern. And then changed the yarn. And then finally tossed all of that out the window and chose a new yarn (worsted) and a cardigan pattern I've been eyeing from before I could even knit (The Burdock Cardigan from November Knits).

The reason for the final change may or may not have been the release of the Farmer's Almanac predictions for this winter (it's going to be even more awful than last year), so I was inspired to knit more wool sweaters ASAP.

After having knit the Channel Cardigan in grey, I knew I wanted a color. My original shrug was due to be the loveliest sky blue, but once I threw the shrug idea out the window, I decided to either use something from my stash or be very economical in my yarn choices. Helloooo, Wool-Ease!

I chose Paprika because 1) I love orange, 2) orange totally means autumn, and 3) it matched perfectly with this fabric I bought.

While I had bought this yarn to pair with this fabric to make this Cambie, I did not check to see if I actually HAD enough fabric to make a Cambie until the day before this photo shoot. Hahaha whoops!

Thankfully, I had just enough fabric (do not look at the waistband too closely), and every bit was used. I had bought it for $2 at a roadside antique store a year ago, and after asking Michelle and Liz about the uber slick backside, realized it was a curtain. So it slipped around quite a bit while I was sewing. And it wrinkles like a finger in the bathtub.

But I still love it.

I can still move freely in it, and with the cardigan added, it's a perfect outfit for a very classy outing.

Speaking of classy, did you know that Michelle knows all the words to Baby Got Back? It's true, and I know it because I made her sing along with me. New Yorkers, please have a sing a long while she and Liz are there this coming weekend!

Truly, I love hanging out with these ladies. Not only are they fabulous sewists and knitters, but great conversationalists (and friends), too.

Michelle's Cambie will definitely be the inspiration for my next version!

Her wool fabric and straight neckline were perfect. I adored her shoes instantly, and loved the story behind them even more :) The whole outfit is smashing, and so polished. I need a wool Cambie now, you guys, and I need it to be fabulously patterned wool. Let the search begin.

Michelle made a lovely mint cardigan to pair with her dress, and the colors together are wonderful. If you ever get the opportunity to see this color combination up close, I encourage you to do so, as the pictures just don't do it justice. SO PRETTY.

The stitch pattern on Michelle's reminded me of my own stitch pattern. Knitting is the best, isn't it? So many glorious details.

Liz's Cambie is plaid. PLAID. And a colorful plaid! How is it possible that with my extreme love of plaid, I have not yet made a colorful plaid Cambie?! This must be remedied.

Her fabric was on grain with the plaid printed on the bias, so it made for some awesome twirling effects:

Liz is magnificent in purple. The fact that she found the yarn she was looking for, in the color she wanted, was amazing, and it knit up beautifully. She even let me try it on! It was like heaven. A lavender colored heaven. I was tempted to trade my cardigan for hers, even. Maybe I can bribe her with cookies.

Though she had some issues knitting it up, the cardigan came out beautifully. Fingers crossed that the nice weather holds out so she can wear it before winter arrives!

Both Liz and Michelle lined their skirts and took pictures of it, but as you can see here, Liz went the extra mile and threw in some horsehair braid for good measure. It works perfectly with the full skirt!

For my lining, I ended up using a table skirt from an old tablecloth. My Mom had given it to me at some point, so I cut off the circular tabletop portion, took out the single side seam, undid the gathers, and had about nine yards of 30 inch fabric to work with. Perfect.

Michelle and I both went the A-line skirt route. I like both skirt versions, but the A-line definitely worked with the amount of fabric I had.

As you can see from the photos above and below, we went down to the wire on this challenge. Michelle was sewing on buttons before brunch, Liz was finishing a bit on her sweater, and I was knitting/seaming until 2:30am, and then had to get up early and fix my Cambie zipper and hem. The slippery fabric was not going to get the best of me! (The only reason there are no photos of me working into the wee hours is that Josh was already sleeping. Lucky him!)

Once we finished our cardigans, we did brunch. We had coffee and laughs, and embarked on shooting some epic photos...because that's what we do best.

What I love most about our "challenges" is that we may make the same thing, but our end results are always so fabulously different. We are different sizes/heights/measurements, and the same dress pattern came out great on all of us. I honestly love all of our versions, and would definitely be open to doing another summer dress challenge in 2015. (Yes, facing the winter of doom and gloom has caused my brain to skip ahead an entire year. This is normal, right?)

We figured out that we covered three of the four seasons with our creations here. 

We also figured out that we still love doing the roller coaster pose.

These ladies are the best, and knitting with them is the highlight of my week :)

Friends, I hope you all had great summers, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon!



  1. Sounds like you've had the best summer! The photos are great, you all look fab :)

  2. All of your dresses, and cardis look great! I have Cambie, but haven't sewn it up yet - you guys have inspired me to get on that!

  3. I say this all the time but sewing (and knitting friends) are So. Much. Fun.
    Great dresses and great cardigans, ladies!

  4. everything looks great - and even more - looks like a blast. terribly jealous of having sewing/knitting friends in your area.

  5. Can I have your sweater now??? You'll be in Korea anyways... lol

    Finishing day is always so much fun with you gals. :)

  6. Three lovely ladies in their cambies and cardies!!

  7. Sweater. Envy. :-D I love the way each one of us has a completely unique point of view with the project. The two of you inspire me! I always find myself in awe at the end of these endeavors.

  8. "wrinkles like a finger in a bathtub" snerk. I am so gonna use that expression now.
    cambies and cardies are all lovely. I love the idea of this challenge. now, if only I had friends that sewed...

  9. Love the color of your cardigan and how well it pairs with your Cambie! It's great to see how varied the pattern can be all in one post. And, as always, love the group shots! Sounds like you had a great summer. :)

  10. OMG, you guys! After a really crappy week, THIS is exactly what I needed to see! Is that popcorn stitch on your cardigan, Meg?! So awesomesauce!

    Congratulations on your new job and upcoming worldwide adventure! You, my dear, are a complete star!

  11. you ladies look great! i can feel the warmth and the fun coming through my computer screen :-)

  12. This is so great! Your cardigan looks so cuddly, and that color is PERFECT for fall!!! :) Love these posts of the three of you in your totally different, but the same garments ;)

  13. Hah, this is fabulous! Gorgeous dresses on all three of you, and those cardigans - love!

    Also - 'wrinkles like a finger in the bathtub' - think this is the best line I've read all week. ;-)

    Congrats on the new job!

  14. Beautiful creations! I agree, it's awesome to see all the different results with one pattern. Love that you combine knitting with sewing too :)

  15. I am blown away by your cleverness in being first class in sewing and knitting.. those patterns you knitted were hard to do I am sure, but the result were stunning... so I shall be back to be inspired by more posts I am sure.. best wishes from the UK