With the days getting shorter, darker and colder, it's only natural to want to make clothes which are nice and warm and cozy.
And last week, I did just that. Unfortunately, the days are now short and dark enough to really restrict picture-taking-time to the weekends (if I want E to help me, that is), so it took me until yesterday afternoon to get photographic evidence.
As much as I love a tailored look, there's just nothing more comfortable than a dress in a knitted material. So, when I recently found this fairly thick ribbed knit at the market (on sale for 1 euro a meter), I thought it would be perfect for a dress for those dark autumn and winter evenings. It's a mystery fibre but it neither has the static cling nor the sweatiness of polyester, so that's fine. The colour is a rather dull one between pale grey and beige (is this the colour they call 'greige'?). At first, I thought that might work well. I've had much luck with gray/olive tones in the past. They might look boring on their own but do wonders for complexion. This one was too pale for that though.
So, I had to do something about that.
On the left is my original idea, on the right what it evolved into. The dress with the short bodice is, in shape, inspired by the fashionable silhouette of about 1960, longer bodices with gathered skirts had quite a following around 1954 (although I've never seen an example in a knit, so that's not very relevant for this design). The yoke-in-rings takes its inspiration from the Nordic sweaters which are suddenly everywhere on the highstreet (which is kind of funny because I made one last year on the knitting machine). I originally thought I would would make it look even more like that by embroidering over the yoke in knitting yarn but, as usual, I decided against extra embellishment in the end.
The dark rings are made from charcoal grey pointe knit from my stash.
The construction of the yoke was a bit of an experiment: I knew I was using stretchy materials. I also knew the rib knit made my main fabric clearly directional. And it doesn't stretch vertically.
So, considering all that, I decided to cut the rings for the yoke as strait bands of fabric, like you would for a T-shirt's neck band (but in single layers, except the high neck piece).
Each band was cut at the length it would need to be at its top edge and the bottom edge was stretched to fit the piece below it when it was sewn.
And it worked.
The skirt has a bit of a construction-story as well: To gather it, I basted through the rib so I could pull it in, essentially using the fabric's own gathering.
To make the dress look like the drawing, I need a belt and a petticoat. It's a fun look but I think I will nearly always wear it without.
P.S. My apologies for the overly present tea cup in the pictures.