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!



  1. That trip looks amazing! I'd happily be your Milka dealer, it's very common in Belgium as well!

  2. Wish your crew keep going these lovely adventures together!

  3. Eeep! I love this! Its like Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross, and Rachel all went to Paris together! :)

  4. I think the HarvesTime on Lawrence has Milka by the register! Glad you had fun in Paris!

  5. Wow! The trip looks almost as amazing as those dresses ;P

    I am a bit obsessed with this pattern, partly because I love shirtdresses and partly I just like sewing things over and over to get the fit right. I worry that people will know I am just wearing the same dress all the time! But this proves how different the same pattern can look in different fabrics, and with small changes. You all look fantastic in yours!

  6. The picture of us knitting in front of the Eiffel Tower is one of my all time favorite pictures! Seriously, what an epic trip. It was amazing. :-D

  7. This whole post gives me so many feels! the Eiffel tower pic is EVERYTHING

  8. Looks like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing it and making me so Jealous!! :)

  9. Looks like you three had an incredible time! We have this dress in almost the same color. :) Knitting in front of the Eiffel Tower with friends sounds like heaven. I can only imagine how fun it must be to travel with sewing/knitting buddies (and significant others, of course)!

  10. I missed your posts! I'm so glad you got to finish a dress for the Eiffel Tower. I think I've seen Milka here but very rarely. If I find any I'll send it your way. We're contemplating a road trip to Utah in the summer...with a stop in Chicago along the way! So we should get on sewing one of those patterns we both have now :D

  11. I've found Milka at Walgreens before, it is heavenly! Loved all the photos and looks like it was a great trip!