I have been feeling under the weather for the past few days here which has been slowing down my sewing, but has provided me with opportunities to catch up on blogging! I don’t need to say that this post is overdue. It has been overdue for what feels like months! The testing for this pattern was completed sometime in the beginning of February, and here we are at the beginning of April… Well, better late than never!!
I was over the moon when Helen asked me if I wanted to test Blackwood cardigan pattern. It is Helen’s second pattern. I really appreciate that her patterns are very beginner friendly and have thorough instructions. Yet the garments look anything but simple and both patterns are great wardrobe builders. I am very curious to see where she takes her patterns in the future!
I signed up to test the longer version, view A, but I knew that I would be making both versions and something in the middle in the future. My first Blackwood cardigan I sewed up exactly as per instructions. I chose the size based on my measurements. It is interesting to see that the final garment measurements do not provide the bust circumference. That is simply because the cardigan is not meant to close. It is a layering piece and is meant to be worn open.
For my first try I chose a very inexpensive mustard knit I had in my stash. It is some kind of polyester blend that I scored on sale at FabricLand a few years ago. I loved the color, but I wasn’t a fan of the feel of the fabric on my skin. Making a cardigan out of it seemed to be a perfect way to use this fabric up.
For my second and third versions of the cardigan I chose to shorten both the length of the body by about 5”, and the sleeve by about 1”. This resulted in a cardigan length being somewhere right in between view A and B. I wanted a cardigan to hit my low hip since I noticed that this is my favourite length of a cardigan.
This time around I skipped the pockets since I wanted to make the cardigans really fast. Seriously, when you skip the pockets on the cardigan the whole thing can come together in an hour and a half! It’s that fast.
In hindsight, I wish I left the arm length alone. I love the longer feel of the sleeve and the way it bunches on my wrist, but it is not a deal breaker at all.
When I first made all three cardigans I thought I would be wearing my teal and gray ones more often, but I can not believe how often I have been reaching for the long mustard one! I have been practically living in it on weekends. It is so comfy.
If you are worried to sew with knits, don’t fear! You do not need a serger to make this cardigan. You can make the whole thing on your sewing machine. Helen shows you how to. And if you are still scared, remember, you can skip those pockets to make the whole thing as easy as possible.
I am very impressed with this pattern and overall it is one of y favourite go-to patterns. I am planning to make two more of these for spring and summer season. I am still unsure of the length of each, but I know that I will make at least one view A. Nonetheless, both views are great layering pieces and the greedy side of me really wants one in every colour!
I have been pretty quiet on the blog in the last few months. I have so many ideas of what I want to write about and so many makes to share with you, especially after my productive stay-cation, or should I say sew-cation, I took in February. However, life has really been getting in a way lately. Part of me thinks that no one would even really notice, yet I think that update for my readers is in order. So prepare yourself for a long blog post. I’ll throw a few random photos and a couple photos of fabric in to make it more fun and break the text. Deal?
One of the biggest changes that happened over here is that Shaun and I have drastically moved the timeline of our wedding. We got engaged in December 2016 and we took the first few months to enjoy the holidays and the high that comes with being newly engaged. Originally we planned to have a destination wedding in November 2018, maaaay be February 2018 if we jumped on it right away. We have been to quite a few Mexico destination weddings and we loved every single one of them. Besides I hear that they are easier to plan! So we were sold on the idea. Unfortunately, we have recently realized it was not going to workout as a few of very key people would not be able to make it. So it was decided that the wedding will be in Calgary!
I am not even bothered by this change, the most important thing to me is that I marry Shaun, and it doesn’t matter where it happens. Even if we do it in our backyard! I also want a pretty dress, but the groom is kind of on top of my list.
Once we figured out the location of the wedding, it hit us (ahem, me) that this thing is not going to plan itself. As well as, we really didn’t want to live through planning it for another year. At that point we (ahem, me again) hit the ground running….
I didn’t know even where to start! But somehow 3 weeks, 1 amazing spread sheet (are you even surprised?), a lot of appointments and phone calls later, we have most of this wedding organized! We managed to secure the location we love, a caterer, a great photographer, a very nice commissioner, order the invitation and get the whole thing pretty much planned out. There is still a lot of work, but at least I don’t feel like every free minute of my life is taken by the stress of either planning or not knowing what happens next.
Oh, and special thank you and shout out to Heather for mentioning Lougheed House when we went for a coffee a few months ago. That’s where we will get married in September 2017! It is a historic building and a museum here in Calgary, and it is simply a gorgeous location. I can not wait to get married there!
Now all of this brings me to the question of the dress. As someone who sews I get asked all the time whether I will be making my dress. I toyed around with idea of making my dress for a while, but I didn’t even know what style I wanted. I decided to go dress shopping early, just to narrow down the final style. I envisioned something light and airy, nothing too puffy since it was supposed to be a beach wedding.
Even though I loved those simple airy dresses, but they didn’t feel like me. I was gravitating to something a tad more dramatic and fun. After trying on a lot of dresses in early January and looking at them inside out in the fitting room, I decided against it. They were so intricately made! It is actually quite interesting to see a wedding dress from inside. The amount of work that went into it was clearly immense. I think I could have definitely done it if I really wanted it, but I decided not to.
Back to my wedding dress.
I want only positive feeling associated with my dress. And I know a project this big will most certainly have its share of frustrations and mistakes. I also know myself and making my own very involved dress would stress me out. Planning a wedding is enough and I really don’t want to add more to it. I want to enjoy this year of being engaged! I want to continue making things I want to make on a whim. I also want to keep working on decorating our partially renovated house. Adding a wedding dress project would most definitely take away from all of it.
Besides, I actually found a dress I want on that very trip in January! It was everything I was looking for without even realizing it. As soon as I put it on I knew it was either the one, or very close to it. After sleeping on it (I really wish I could say “in it”), and taking my mom to see it, it was clearly apparent that it was the dress for me. We bought it the same day. I remember thinking that my wedding would not be happening for another year and a half, why would I rush and buy the dress now? I can always come back for it… Yet, I had a feeling that I needed to buy the dress. Boy, was I ever conflicted and I was second guessing my feelings trying to make sure I am not having a bridezilla moment and throwing a tantrum! In hindsight, it probably was my version of bridezilla moment as I was asking everyone if they thought “I should wait, ” or “it was okay to buy dress this early” or if “I am pushing this dress thing too much”, and “are you sure?…”. Eventually my mom lovingly but sternly, and in a slightly annoyed way, told me that “It’s fine, just buy the damn dress!!!”
I am SO glad I went with my gut feeling of buying the dress back then! The dress will just be ready in time for September wedding and its one less headache for me.
Even though I am not making my own dress, I will be making dresses for my bridesmaids. I really want all three of my ladies to have well made dresses that fit them. It is also very important to me that they are able to wear the dresses again after the wedding. I am thinking of using Marbella Dress by Itch to Stitch as my pattern for bridesmaids dresses, and going with the half sirkle skirt variation. It is such a beautiful simple A-line dress and it has pockets! The pattern also comes in 4 different cup sizes, which will make things a lot easier for me.
If you are following me on instagram, you would also know that I’ve done quite a bit of pattern testing in the last couple months. In between that, wedding planning and life, I really have dropped off the face of the earth. I am hoping that I will be able to get back into the swing of things soon here. I have so many finished projects to share! As well as many ideas, one of which is I simply can’t decide which shirt dress to make for the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge. Thankfully, the contest is not closing till June so I still have time to get my stuff together here.
Thank you so much for reading till the end! On that note, I am going to wrap this up and go work on my brother’s winter coat for a bit. He has been getting really upset that it is the end of March and he doesn’t have it yet. He can be so impatient…
This vest was not a planned make. I have admired long flow-y vests and dusters on others, but I have turned down an idea of having one for myself outright when they first started appearing on my instagram and pinterest feed. Then one day, it hit me. I must have one. There was no “may be I should consider it”, it was simply “I must have one” and now. I tried to talk myself out of it by telling myself that it may be a fad garment and I probably won’t have a use for it. I am really trying to make things that I will wear over and over again, so I thought this vest idea wouldn’t meet the requirements. Still I couldn’t change my own mind. It became even harder when I realized I had the perfect fabric in my stash that I have been saving for some sort of sweater. At that point it was a done deal… there was no turning back. The vest was to become a reality.
Early this Fall, while I was pondering the ideas for my upcoming Fall / Winter wardrobe, I got hooked on a notion of layering knit tops with sleeveless dresses. I remember doing that growing up in early 90s and at first I wasn’t so keen on this look, but slowly my mind was changed. I simply needed a light turtleneck and a sleeveless dress in my life.
Have you heard of Designer Stitch Patterns? Ann approached me a few months ago with an offer to try some of her patterns and I happily agreed. I have to admit that I have been absolutely awful with reviewing them and my blog posts are very, very overdue. This has nothing to do with the quality of the patterns at all, quite the opposite, I am very impressed with it! It has everything to do with me dropping off the blogosphere for a bit and just generally being an unreliable blogger.
I am back with another catch up post. I think this may be the last one or the second last one in my queue… And then I will have to start catching up on the new photos I’ve been taking. Let’s prolong the hair confusion! I went from this color, which is just one set of highlights, to a very light blond now, with 3 sets of highlights…My poor hair, I don’t think it can handle anymore!
My obsession with Laurel dress is very well documented here. I have made so many Laurels that I have lost count already. I have also made so many modifications to my original pattern that I don’t even know what it is anymore. Laurel dress has been the perfect shift dress for me. It didn’t come easily though, I went through a lot of alterations to get the pattern to fit right but in the end it was worth it.