Friday, February 20, 2015

Derek Lam inspired denim dress

I'm sure you've been waiting with great excitement for the grand reveal of my Derek Lam-inspired dress (since I teased about it here).  Sorry about that.  Without more delay, here it is.  

The big thing I wanted to recreate was the cool pockets.  Very unique in style and I figured out how the make them usable.  The pocket bags inside just go to hand-depth, so you don't lose stuff way down at the bottom of the top-stitching.
I cobbled together three patterns to make this.  Considering I didn't make a muslin (of COURSE I didn't), I'm very pleased with the fit.  The major change I made is to go with short sleeves for extended wear-ability here in Florida.  I can always wear long sleeves under or over it, but once it hits 75 degrees (about 9 months out of the year here), I'm not going to wear a long-sleeved denim dress.
Ok, so now I have some annoyed faces inspired by the model on the Saks 5th Avenue site.  I planned to make some dramatic side-by-side composites, but wouldn't you know they made it hard for me to swipe their pics.  Enter Pinterest as an intermediary.  The pics I could get weren't the clearest, though.  Sorry, Derek Lam.  I would totally buy your original dress if I had $1,190 laying around.                                                 

 Are my legs supposed to be a foot longer?  And my waist 6 inches narrower.  Oh well.

Today, I am wearing this dress.  Of course, I mommy-ed it up with a long sleeved shirt underneath, tights and a cardigan on top.  I could definitely make a top like this, though, which Saks pairs wtih the dress.  I have some ribbed black jersey in my stash.  For my photos, I wore a black short-sleeved sweater with a similar high neck, but I prefer the look of the close-fitting turtleneck.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Leafy Cowl

More knitting!  I know.  I've been on a roll.
 The yarn is hand-dyed from Voolenvine (same as this).  The green color is "one of a kind".  I don't think Kristin is planning to recreate it, so I'm glad I snagged some.  It's just bright enough without venturing into lime-y territory.  It's a perfect spring leaf green.  This is a DK weight, and I used size 5 needles for the whole thing.
 The lovely color made me think of leaves, so I dreamed up this viney, leafy pattern idea that was better in my head than knit up.  I know if I used a reverse stockinette stitch background that it would pop more, but I wanted textured knit on knit.  Again, it isn't quite as great finished as it was in my head, but I'm still very happy with it and have NO plan to start it over.  :-)
 I also determined the length carefully to be wrapped twice.  After all the fiddling I need to do to get this one pinned and laying nicely, this one is satisfying to just pop on and go.
Ok.  I really do have some sewing to show you as soon as I write up a post.  A denim dress heavily inspired by (um, copied from) this Derek Lam.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gnarled Oak by Alana Dakos

This is the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos.  The pattern is in the Coastal Knits book.  The yarn is Elfin Tweed by Knit One Crochet Two.

I wasn't in love with the loose fit of the design, but I did love the yoke, so the first thing I did was make a gauge swatch and plan for a more fitted sweater.

Ummmm that didn't work out.  The finished sweater is a bit shorter and wider than I wanted, but I'm ok with it.  I think my gauge swatch was too small to be totally accurate, so that accounts for the larger body.  The length I have no excuse for... I guess I just got lazy and didn't think I really needed that extra inch.

I looked in a few stores for a long sleeved tee to wear underneath.  I couldn't find anything in a good color, and then I rediscovered this in my closet.  Perfect!  Also, either the tee has stretched a bit in the wash or I've slimmed down a tad because it no longer feels tight.

As always, I LOVE that the sleeves of my hand-knits are long enough for my chimp arms.

 Blech, bad photos.  :-(  I thought it was a good day since it was overcast, but my son was kind of standing in the doorway, and I guess the brightness of the sky silhouetted me.  I still have much to learn about photography and lighting.

 And one more closeup to show the gorgeous oak leaf texture of the yoke.  The other photos capture the true color of the yarn better, though.

As a little side note: I chose this yarn because I used Knit One Crochet Too's Kettle Tweed for a gift for my mom recently, and I really enjoyed working with it.  This yarn has all the same fiber content but was slightly less silky in my hands.  It was still perfectly enjoyable - just not quite at the zen level of the Kettle Tweed.  I am curious why.  Perhaps something with the kettle dye process of the former.