Trying Out a New Color and Experimenting with Grain

If you have read any number of posts on my blog, you may have picked up on the fact that I strongly prefer the “cool” colors (purple, blue, and green).  I actually find it very hard to buy fabric that is not predominantly those colors, unless it is a neutral like white or black.  But recently I have made 2 brown items.

The first is a super simple sweater dress.  This is yet another piece that I inherited from my grandmother’s stash via my mom.  It is a wool sweater knit (100% wool according to the burn test).  I have found that it is actually really difficult to find wool sweater knits (plus they are expensive!), so I was happy to be given this piece of fabric.  Because it had been in storage for awhile, it did have a few moth holes, which I repaired.  One thing that I sorely lack is warm winter dresses, so I knew that’s what it needed to be.

My TNT pattern for knit dresses with sleeves is a mashup of my TNT t-shirt pattern and Simplicity 2580 (I have made 4! different version of the original dress pattern).  For this dress, I wanted the skirt to be shorter and a bit less full.  (This also allowed me to squeeze the dress out of my limited yardage.)  I basically just made it up as I went along.  After my initial draft, I tissue fit it on Annie and then adjusted from there.  I also changed the neckline from a crewneck to a “v”.  To account for the thickness of the sweater knit, I sewed the seams at 3/8″ rather than 5/8″.  I thought that a band of the sweater knit around the neckline would not look good, so instead I made a facing out of powermesh.  The facing is catchstitched down to hold it in place.  Since the sweater knit is not completely opaque, but rather than line it, I decided to wear a slip.

This is Mia’s favorite position to be held in.
Which brings me to my next piece: another Ruby slip.  This one is made with fabric that was originally the lining of a kimono.  The lining fabric was really stained, which is why I decided to dye it brown with black walnut.  As mentioned in my previous post, kimono fabric is very narrow, only 13-15 inches wide.  Unfortunately, this did not allow me to cut the slip on the bias.  I also had to cut the front and back skirt as two pieces.  The slip still works on the straight grain, but you can definitely see the difference that the bias cut makes.  I thought it might be interesting to show a comparison of this slip with my previous one (which is cut on the bias).

Please excuse my undies!
You can see how much less fitted this slip appears, even though the pattern was unchanged.

I still really like this slip, though.  The lining fabric is thin and light, but not as flimsy or shifty as some lighter silks can be (china silk, I’m looking at you).  Since I was using a fabric that was special to me because I dyed it, I used French seams to make it nice on the inside.  I still have more of this fabric, which would work great as an actual lining, but I have another idea that I may go for instead.  We’ll see how that works out.

“Put me down already, Mom!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *