I got it done!! This was a bit of a nail biter. I finished late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. It wasn’t dry until Monday morning though. I got some pictures taken on Monday. I just want to note that I was modeling this dress in Los Angeles heat wave weather. Yuck.
Pattern: Sparkle! Dress by Shirley Paden – was a free pattern from a Vogue anniversary issue
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark in Fjord Heather and Black, about 5 and 6 balls respectively.
Start Date: July 27, 2012
Finish Date: August 12, 2012
Mods: Substantial. I made this in the round instead of flat (!?) as written in the pattern. I cast on 240 stitches for the smaller size, because I didn’t need any selvedge stitches. As I wrote about last week, this ended up being way too big. I started over, and took out an entire pattern repeat, 40 stitches. I also used smaller needles. When I got to the back slit, I made sure that it would land in between two medallions. I cast-on steek stitches for this. My row gauge was a bit off as well, so I started just going by measurements and not by the pattern directions anymore. I knew I wanted a slightly higher (less deep) slit than was in the pattern. I want to be able to wear a bra with this. My guesstimate of height turned out perfectly, because it starts right above my bra strap!
I also cast-on steek stitches for the armholes and the neck. I wanted to keep going in the round and not work back and forth. It was also a bit of a personal challenge for me. I have cut steeks before, but never really planned where to put them before. I was a little confused because the pattern calls for bind-off stitches at the armholes in kind of stairstep shaping. I wasn’t sure how to do this with a steek. In the first round of the armholes, I bound off the first set of stitches (8) and kept going in the round. On the second round, I put 3 stitches on either side of the bound off stitches on waste yarn, and cast on my 9 steek stitches. I bet this sounds convoluted. For the rest of the armhole shaping, I just decreased on either side of the steek. I kind of winged it, eyeballing it to see if it looked like the right curve to me. I used the same technique on the neckhole. I was slightly worried that the neckline would look like a straight line, then raglan lines up the shoulders, but it ended up with a nice curve. And when the steek stitches are there, it’s impossible to try on the dress to see how it it going. Here’s an in-progress shot:
And a closeup of the neckline steeks:
If I had to do it again, I would make the steek stitches closest to the body all in one color. Just so it was a little more obvious where the steek was. But it didn’t make much of a difference. On the decreases next to the steeks, I decreased toward the steek (ssk on the right side, and k2tog on the left side) on the very last stitch. As supposed to having selvedge stitches. And I would usually decrease in towards the body. But they look really clean doing it this way, on shaping next to steeks.
I reinforced my steeks by handstitching. I did backstitch with black sewing thread. I used to do a crochet steek, but I wanted to try something new, and I couldn’t find my old directions for crochet reinforcement. I also thought it might not be that important, since I had used wool. But boy, am I glad that I did. I feel like they started unraveling in towards the stitching pretty quickly. I cut the steeks and picked up stitches around the armholes, and around the neck and back slit. Here’s a bad picture of me picking up around the cut steek:
I picked up stitches, and then did an applied I-cord on all open edges. For the neck, I did a continuous I-cord from the back slit, all the way around the neck. I did a few extra rows of I-cord on the back neck to make a button loop.
You can also see how I trimmed the steek stitches and tacked them down around the edge. I found this button in my stash, so I didn’t have to go out and find one:
I had cast on provisionally to start the dress. I released all of those stitches from my crochet chain and did an I-cord bind-off over those stitches as well.
This was kind of a crap shoot how it was going to turn out, and I feel like I got lucky that it worked! I found a few small colorwork mistakes after I was done, but I did some quick duplicate stitching over the mistakes and I can barely find them now. It evened out so nice after blocking. It also loosened up a bit too. When I tried it on right after I finished it, it was pretty snug. When I was making it, people asked me if it was for me, or for a young girl. I think it turned out the perfect size. Would I love a little waist shaping? Sure. But I guess it is a shift dress.
And here she is! Phew! I am looking forward to some small projects!
(Looking in to the sun…)
Did you make it to the finish line?