Friday, October 23, 2015

The Only Thing I Wanted From Paris...

Friends, when Michelle, Liz, and I started getting into the final details for our Paris trip, I did some long hard thinking about what I wanted to bring back from the trip. Fabric, of course. Yarn would be a plus. Overall, though, I wanted a photo. I wanted a photo of the three of us sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower, knitting like it was no big deal.

I couldn't have planned it better myself.

Of course, there was so much that went into this photo! For instance, we all made the same shirt dress pattern for this special occasion: McCall's 6696. Michelle has made multiple AMAZING versions, and Liz conquered hers with the most stunning floral print,  but mine was the second version I had made, the first being a rather shoddy muslin in a poly feeling gingham:

I was disappointed by this pattern initially. The fabric choice didn't help, and having cut out the size 16 in the D cup was a disastrous choice as well. I ended up having to move the under bust darts towards the side seams 1.5" and taking out 2" from each side seam. It was crazy. Nothing lined up. The collar is completely smushed together to resemble a collar, but you can't tell unless you get up close. Putting this together upset me greatly, and I was ready to renege on the idea of all wearing the same pattern in Paris.

Two days before I was due to leave, I decided to give it another shot. I drank a pot of tea and said, "I can totally do this." I grabbed a teal linen blend from my stash and cut out the size 14 in a C cup, and the difference was noticeable. I only needed to take 1.5" out of the side seams, and move the under bust darts 1", but the collar and other pieces all retained their shapes and I wasn't redesigning them on the fly.

I also took out the back gathers - it was something I left in on the muslin, but did not like the slightly hunchback look I was getting as a result. What's great about all of us making the same pattern is sharing notes on the construction. As you can see above, not one of us kept the back gathers. Michelle eliminated hers altogether (I took her advice in eliminating mine), and Liz made hers into pleats.

With those adjustments in place, I cut this version out with fingers crossed, and I managed to finish it the day before I headed overseas. Thankfully, it worked out pretty well!

Is there a little bit of a strain across the bust? Oh yeah, totally. Should I have worn better (read:not push up) undergarments underneath? Definitely.

I paired this shirt dress with my Hetty cardigan, which is the most INCREDIBLE shade of yellow. I bought this divine Pingouin Tricotine at a yarn sale in a woman's garage. It was $1 a skein. I spent $21 dollars and got enough yarn for three sweaters, including this one. It's an aran weight cotton yarn, and it was fantastic to work with. I wished I had more to make the sleeves a bit longer, but I can definitely deal with it as is.

Back to the dress: I anticipate making more versions of this in the future, with and without sleeves, but I am definitely leaning more towards the pleated skirt than the slim skirt. I see myself in flannel versions this winter, as I'm severely lacking in a winter wardrobe after konmari-ing my closet.

(oh yeah - do you see those awesome plaid pants on Josh? I MADE THOSE. Future post coming.)

So now that we've chatted about sewing, let's talk about the trip!

For ten glorious days, I roamed the streets of Paris with the wonderful Liz and Michelle, and all of our significant others. We drank all the cider/beer/champagne/wine we could get our hands on, and almost bought out a cheese shop. Also, eclairs. Eclairs are wonderful.

We may have also picked up a Milka addiction. (I can't find it stateside.I'm in a panic.)

When we first proposed the idea of this trip with the idea of going fabric shopping in Paris, I could not have anticipated the sheer joy that I experienced with this group.

We laughed the whole time. It was amazing.

We played games in the evening after returning from our adventures around the city - mostly Spaceteam (GET THE APP, YOU GUYS) and Quiplash. We also played Exploding Kittens, but Felix and I got into a war over it, and he had to hand over copious amounts of Milka after killing me off five minutes into the game. (#notbitter)

It was a trip I will always remember, and I cannot wait to travel with this group again.

Thanks for reading, Friends, and thank you also for the kind comments you left on my previous post. I have missed all of you terribly!

Have a great weekend, all!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rouge et Roux

Friends, it's been over six months since my last post. I took a little break from blogging to address some personal things happening, but I'm over the hurdle and ready to rejoin the world. If you're still a follower of this humble little blog, thank you. You are fabulous and I adore your face.

While I was offline, I was still finding time to create. I find great comfort in working with my hands, and my knitting needles were constantly in motion. I've completed five sweaters since we've chatted last, so I'm very close to my goal of seven for the year. I haven't taken photos of most of these, but the most recent make, Rouge et Roux, worked perfectly with the Fall weather we had here this past weekend.

The name "Rouge et Roux" came from my French learning games that I drilled prior to our trip last month. "Rouge" is red, but I learned that "roux" is redhead. So this sweater is affectionately called "Red and Redhead." 

I bought this Cascade Eco Wool from my local yarn shop, Windy Knitty, before last Christmas. I really wanted a cherry red cardigan to wear for the holiday, but I ran out of time and motivation. Prior to vacation, I thought I would churn out one last project, and this sweater was it. The pattern is Shapely Boyfriend by Stefanie Japel. 

There is definitely a reason why there are 1100 versions of this sweater on Ravelry. It's super simple, easy to fit, and takes next to no time to make. I'm completely in love with it. I love how it looks with this McCall's 5929 blouse. I definitely want to pair this with more flannel blouses, as the combination is so fantastically snuggly. 

The buttons are one of my favorite parts of the sweater. Michelle and I bought an entire cache of buttons at a flea market in Paris, and there were enough on each card that we could easily split them in half. I think we each walked away with nine different kinds of buttons from our adventure that morning. I had these in mind for this sweater from the moment I saw them. 

If you're in the mood for a cozy wool sweater, I highly recommend this pattern. I'm currently contemplating if I need another one in my wardrobe prior to winter settling in.

Friends, I hope you've all been well, and I look forward to catching up with you soon!