Well, the end of the Olympics came and went and I didn’t have my dress done. The Ravellenic Games generously gives you until the end of the night on the last day of the Olympics, but at 1am the next morning I was still working. I got real close. I still had 12 buttons to sew on, and all my ends to weave in. But it’s as close as I could hope for, without actually crossing the finish line. I could have worked on it more over the weekend, but I decided to be social instead. But.. it’s done now!
My Rav page here.
Pattern: #21 Lace Dress by Shirley Paden from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008
Yarn: Rowan Milk Cotton DK in Barley Sugar, about 9.5 skeins.
Needles:a zillion different ones, US 4 through US 8
Start Date: February 7, 2014
Finish Date: February 24, 2014
Goodness, a lot of notes. I thought I got gauge, but while I was knitting it the skirt seemed huge. The skirt is worked over a constant number of stitches, but you switch needle sizes to bring it in as you get closer to the waist. I switched needles a little bit early to bring it in faster, and then I left off the last repeat. I didn’t want my skirt to be four or so inches longer than it is. (Don’t tell, but I didn’t block out the skirt! The weight of it was kind of enough. And I didn’t want to wait for it to dry.)
The bodice was a little more tricky. I didn’t want the ease that was in the pattern, so I went for a smaller size in the top. I am something like a 38″ bust, so not a size S by any means, but I did it anyway. My row gauge in the shetland bead pattern was off apparently, so I had to do much fewer rows than in the pattern. I just kind of measured every so often, and made sure that it would hit the measurements when stretched out horizontally and vertically. Decreasing and increasing in pattern was a little tough, but it was close enough. I think I did one fewer set of increases because the top was already feeling a little long. When I tried just the bodice on, it seemed a little too snug. Like the lace was really stretched out over my bust. But it blocked to the measurements in the pattern, and wanted to stretch out even more than that!
For the belt/sash, I just worked until the ends touched around my waist, and not to length. I sewed the belt onto the skirt, easing in the extra fabric. The pattern calls for basting waste yarn through the top of the skirt and scrunching the skirt until it was the same size as the belt, then sewing them together. I tried to do this, but had trouble evenly scrunching the skirt stitches. Instead I just divided the skirt into about 16 even sections and then did the same with the belt. Then just lined up the markers and eased in each section. It just worked out that I was basically able to sew one skirt stitch to one purl ridge of the belt (it’s in seed stitch, so every two rows). I tried on the skirt at that point, and it was huge! A little worrisome.
But the worrying was for nothing, because when I sewed on the bodice, it all came together. The bodice was no longer too small, and the skirt was no longer too big. Crazy how that happens. I used the same method as above for sewing the bodice onto the belt. The only thing left was the crochet edgings. I had a couple headaches here, and I was in a race against time! The pattern somewhat vaguely says to slip stitch in each stitch of the armhole. But you know, it’s an armhole, so it’s mostly rows and not stitches. I just did one in every row. But then the next round of crochet is doing a scallop (shell?) stitch, and with my slip stitch every row, my scallops were really close together. I had to rip out and find the right ratio. I ended up skipping two stitches in between shells and single crochets instead of the one in the pattern. As it is my shells are a little close together, but I am living with it! And maybe there is an extra shell in one armhole. (Shh!) Plus, this yarn is super splitty. It is made up of like a billion plied strands and snags really easily. I had to stop carrying the project in a zippered bag because the zipper teeth would snag it. And no, I wasn’t accidentally zipping my project. This made the double crochets difficult. Maybe especially since I’m not an advanced crocheter. I don’t know if there are any tricks to avoid that.
Relatively the crochet edging for the button placket was super simple. It bothers me a little that in these pictures the buttons at the waistband are a little wonky. Or maybe the belt doesn’t line up perfectly in the middle. Oh well.
I guess that’s all she wrote. If I wear this for a formal event, I will get a better dress or slip to wear under it. For these pictures I just wore a beige-ish sundress that I had at home. It works surprisingly well, but there are some buttons and elastic shirring in the back that bulges a bit through my lace dress.
Yay! Completed! Did you guys cross the finish line?