Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Blue Dress

We are back in California. I have been working in the Sublime vest but decided to work on another project I started last December. My favorite hide-away in California is my fiber arts shed. Actually, it is one of those trailers that you see at construction sites. Five years ago, I drove by an auction and saw the trailer had been marked as an auction item. I bid $2500 on it and was surprised when I was the high bidder. The former owner agreed to deliver it to my property. Once it arrived, I moved all of my fiber arts and crafts into it (much to the delight of my husband and boys -- suddenly we had closet space and a kitchen table again!)
The trailer is 700 square feet divided into three rooms, all paneled and carpeted. It has both heat and air conditioning. I have outfitted it with my sewing machines, knitting machines, steam iron and ironing board, looms, blocking boards, craft books, entertainment center, and even an easy chair.
The trailer allows me a place to work undisturbed and not worry about putting the project away so my family can use the kitchen table for such mundane pursuits as eating. It allows me a place where I can work on a variety of projects and not feel rushed.
Such was the case now. In December, I had knitted fabric for a dress pattern that I particularly like and have previously made before. The dress, once it is made up, looks good in court and can be worn with a variety of the blazers I own. The dress pattern is an adaptation of a dress designed by Manon Salois. I have modified the pattern by adding a gathered waist and longer sleeves. I have also modified the hem to allow a slit up the back. I knitted the material on a knitting machine from a Superwash Merino Wool from Silk City.
The pattern for the knit is a stockinette stitch but is knitted alternating the stitches between two cones of yarn --- knit one stitch from one cone, then next from the next cone, then another stitch from the original cone, and so on. This gives the end product a little more weight without sacrificing drape or the look of the finished product.
I backed the fabric with an iron on interfacing then pinned on the pattern. I marked the pattern by basting the pattern outline with contrasting yarn. Once completed, I cut out the outline of the pattern and serged the edges. I did the same for the other pieces of the pattern, including the sleeves, the back and the other front.

The pattern calls for a zipper front and suede panels. I have found a near perfect match in suede. If all goes well, I will start to assemble the dress this weekend.


Asa said...

Wow, that trailer, it's heaven. I have to stop drooling.

jussi said...

the trailer is amazing!

can't wait to see the finished dress, I have Manon's finishing book, and find it indespensible.