Monday, March 24, 2008


I finished some handmade projects last week just in time for the Easter fashion show. The first item is a dress (obviously not mine) that looks as fabulous on the inside as the outside. To me, finishing touches or details are what separate home sewn and a work of art that you happen to wear. Fabulous fabrics, perfect fitting, finished seams, flawless button holes, and quality buttons all commingle to produce something very special.

All this takes time, though. Frequently, though not this time, I underestimate the time needed to create these special garments and have to stay up all night attending to the details. This Easter I had a week to spare.

The sweater was inspired by the quilt. I wanted something so special that we would want to save it for my niece or even a grandchild (not that I want my 8 year old to start thinking about producing grandchildren). I hope I succeeded. I began knitting the sweater about a month ago, and honestly I didn't know if a month would be enough time. My knit shop, The Knit Studio, is in Jackson so anytime I changed my mind, needed yarn, or advice I had to wait until Thursday.

The first problem arose when I couldn't get gauge on my size 5 needles and I didn't have 6's. Instead of waiting, I decided to knit more stitches thereby creating a tighter weave. I liked the look, but ran out of yarn as I was two rows from the end of the last sleeve. The second problem was that when I started the duplicate stitch with only one color (the pattern suggested two, but I wanted the leaves to look more like the leaves on the dress) the leaves looked like a stain, so I had to wait to choose another color. The last problem arose when I wanted to change the direction of the crocheted, lacy trim. I didn't know how. I waited awhile, but then decided to finish the project without that design change.

I enjoy sewing for Princess because she honestly appreciates the effort and results. She gets involved in the fabric and design choices, but lets me create when I get the notion.

For those of you taking notes:

The sweater is the free pattern Elizabeth by Berroco. I used Tahki Stacy Charles' Cotton Classic in color 3715 (spring green) for the sweater, 3724 (Leaf Green) and 3532 (Pale Lemon Yellow) for the leaves, and 3443 (Cotton Candy), knitted on size 5 needles. Instead of using five or six buttons I used only three and wished I had used only two. With a full dress and a little girl who likes to button the buttons if they are there you can have too many buttons. The buttons are antique pearl with a little five petal flower design. Thanks, mom!

The dress base is New Look 6309 view D, but I doubled the size of the sash and bow. I also lengthened the dress by about 4 inches, increased the size of the hem, and I think that's it. The fabric is 100% cotton faille, so is the lining.


Becky said...

Not taking notes because I'm differently abled when it comes to the sewing arts (sob...), but full of admiration for your work, and envy for Princess that I'm no longer young enough to fit into those lovely, lovely creations.

Hope you all had a happy Easter. I'm fairly certain you and Princess did : )

Angela said...

Gorgeous! Truly! I again stand in awe of how you managed all that, while homeschooling, running the farm and your business. I bow humbly before you...

mull-berry said...

Beautiful job!

JoVE said...

Very nice. And I have had that running out 2" from the end of the 2nd sleeve experience before. Glad you got more of the same dyelot. The whole thing looks beautiful.