Tuesday, October 7, 2014


So I was pretty productive on the weekend - despite the fact that things didn't go as planned. I finished the Indicum pullover. Here it is (still blocking):

I don't know why I'm so ambivalent about it. It's nicely made. It fits well - on the edge of tight but not so that it pulls. I embellished it with that cuff of pink above the corrugated rib on the sleeves. Perhaps this is one of those items I'm going to have to wear in order to appreciate. One thing's for sure, if it doesn't get worn, then off to a new home it will go.

As you know, I also completed a pair of Hudsons in black sweatshirting (with rib cuffs and waistband). I've worn them constantly (at home) since the minute I serged the final seam. Can I just say - and I know this is shocking - cuffed, fleece-lined sweatpants are INSANELY warm. I had no idea that yoga pants are so ineffectual in this respect.

I also used some of my new Fabrications order (have I said I love those people - and now they're having a 25% sale!) to construct a kimono sleeve top that looks like nothing on a dress form or the floor:

FWIW, I took a bunch of photos of myself wearing it and not one was usable. The lighting here is miserable right now...

The top is based on Simplicity 3302 (the vintage kimono/Dolman sleeved top that I snatched from the edge of disaster, first time I made it, by attaching a self-drafted skirt to the bottom - and shaving off lots of volume). Turns out that it works well in its own right when you shave off even more volume through the waist and arms - like tons - and add a 3 inch double fold cuff that acts as a waistband. There's not much of the original sizing or styling in this vintage pattern given my extensive alterations. The only original elements are the basic shell of the pattern (the starting off point) and the shoulder proportions (which were very good from the get go). They do say that shoulder sizing is the only thing that matters...

I used a grey ponte with a very soft hand (and almost fleecy interior) and, while I like it a lot, it's a bit heavy (feels more like a chic yoga topper than kimono top for work-rotation). Mind you, in the right light-weight, drapey fabric I suspect that this pattern may become a new everyday TNT*. I'm very glad I sorted out the proportions of this vintage style. It was originally devised for a woven fabric, which is no doubt the primary reason that I've had to cut so much width from the original. I'm really grateful that I have the technical skill (not that this was complicated), the design-sensibility and fit awareness to create a modern version of a vintage top that's perfect for my shape. That's an extremely satisfying outcome. I love that I didn't need to look at directions as I made this. I fitted as I went.

Additional mods determined by this wearable muslin:
  • I will make the waistband (cuff) @6 inches in length next time - I'll offset this (and improve a delicate proportion) by removing 1/2 inch of length from the blousey bodice.
  • I will remove a small amount of additional underarm width from the back piece.
  • I'll remove a bit more width from the bodice (respecting that it is a blousey cut).
  • I'll open the neckline up slightly - but not much. I love a high crewneck. So old school!
  • I'll raise the bust dart by 1/4" (how often does that happen?!)
Once I implement these final alterations, and adjust the fabric, I sense that this will be a truly chic, modern take on a vintage standard.

So, whatcha think? Do you like the Indicum pullover? Can you see potential in the kimono top? I want to know!

*Happily, I purchased another 6.5 yards on sale from Fabrications (which also gives me a 15 dollar coupon to use against a future purchase in November, should I, ahem, choose to buy again next month). So... I've got lots of fabric coming that should fit the bill.


  1. I do like the Indicum, but I can't wait 'til you're once again feeling up to modelling for us -- hard to evaluate it while blocking!

    1. I know that it's not at its best advantage. But if I waited, either this post wasn't going to happen, or photos wouldn't have. You know the conundrum...

  2. I like both! The little grey top is lovely and I agree you can make a dressier version that will have a quite different overall effect. I think both will be great wardrobe additions.

    Re: your ambivalence on the sweater: one think I find helpful to do with items like this is take the time, however much is required, to put together one GREAT outfit with the item. Pull all the elements for it, including shoes, jewelry, coat. Then wear it that way for the first time, rather than just throwing it on with jeans (my default). This can really help adjust my attitude toward the garment and see it in a different way down the road. If I start out wearing it in a way that exacerbates the "meh" feeling I may never soften toward it, whereas spending the time to build an outfit I love around it can permanently improve my view of it.

    1. That is SO smart! Really, you're totally right and I've never thought of it this way before. I'm going to do exactly as you suggest. Thanks!