Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another Way To Get Your Own McCardell

When I clicked on Couture Allure this morning, I knew my eyes did not deceive me.

Photo and garment courtesy of Couture Allure Vintage
That designer was most definitely the champion of the surplice. Do you see the elements of the sweater in this bodice? Look at the drape of the wrap and how it's carried into the fluted shape of the skirt.

It's a good thing this dress would be too small for me or I do not know how I could resist. It is a wearable piece of history.

On the topic of the sweater, Lord, this thing is apparently endless. I started to freak out about the amount of yarn I had left (despite my careful calculation, it was close to the wire people) and cut a few additional rows out of the second side. Of course, math doesn't lie. It was unnecessary and now I may have compromised the fit still further. I was trying to keep the faith, really I was, but I sucked at math in school and I must have had a flash-back or something.

After 3 hours I didn't account for (?!) the fabric is knitted and it's time to prep it, seam it, hem it and finish it. I have to speculate it's going to take me far longer than I can imagine right now. That's how it goes with this garment.

And quick update on the peplum top: I've cut out the muslin fabric (the taupe fabric here) in a straight 12 and serged everything, in the extremely weird event that the first attempt fits out of the box. (If it fits, with finished - if not pretty - edges I will be able to wear it instead of merely sacrificing it to the muslin goddess.) The fabric, while it didn't thrill me before I cut into it, has a lovely drape so it would be nice not to have to scrap it. It would also be nice to figure out a way to make this top without lining it, in case I want a fast garment that doesn't take up much fabric.

Initial impression: The instructions are weak. I'm almost inclined to just make the garment without attempting to follow them - and, people, I'm an instructions-follower! I don't go off-road unless I absolutely have to. There's no way to use them to make the muslin, particularly, because without the lining the order of operations (and the actual operations, natch) are somewhat-to-entirely different.

If the stars align, I'll make a muslin and finish a sweater today but, really, what are the odds of that. I don't know if I've gone soft after my crafting summer-hours or if I'm underestimating the volume of work ahead of me. Maybe I'm starting to understand that, what you don't finish today, you finish tomorrow. (There's always another project.)

So, today's questions: What do you think of that spectacular dress?? What do you think of the surplice neckline, in general?

And for the crafters, specifically: Have you been on slow-gear lately? Do you feel that finishing things quickly undercuts your experience or adds to it? Do you work more quickly in the winter?


  1. Ugh, yes I feel like I've been on slow gear, lol! I'm getting frustrated with myself...taking weeks and weeks to work on a simple skirt. I think it's more satisfying to finish faster than drag it out with procrastination.
    Good luck with your peplum top :)

    1. Um, you just finished a great sweater?! :-)

    2. lol! Even that got stretched out way longer than it should have been :)
      Point taken though!

  2. I'm not usually drawn to surplice necklines, but I do like the way the bodice on this dress is gathered into the armscye. Very graceful.

    Despite all the sewing bloggers out there who talk about whipping together a piece in just a few hours (NTTAWWT), I've learned that I like it better when I take at least two days to finish something. I really like having some downtime to think through any upcoming steps and troubleshoot any tricky areas. (I'm still a total beginner at sewing, which I'm sure is part of it. But I'm also just really analytical!)

    Can't wait to see your wrap blouse! I actually think about it when I open Google Reader, and hope for an update!

    1. Isn't it utterly graceful? I regret to inform you that the sizing and hang/proportions on the sweater (now complete) did not meet my expectations. The top is a failure - or at most a conditional pass, if I wear it in a way totally unintended. More coming up on this soon. I'm quite disappointed but I guess it's all about the learning.

  3. Thanks for including my McCardell dress in your post. I love her stuff and am off to peruse your adventure in knitting her sweater pattern.

  4. Thanks for finding such a great dress!