I confess, knitting and sewing time has been scarce for the past six weeks or so. I’m just really over-scheduled right now. It’s temporary, thank goodness, and I can already see the end of this cycle starting to manifest. I like being busy and arrange my life to keep it that way, but sometimes I overdo it just a wee bit.
So this has slowed down the knitting and sewing progress, but it hasn’t stopped it altogether. Today, I finished this mesh tunic.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. This is Butterick 5954, a highly rated pattern that made the “Best of 2014” list at Sewing Pattern Review. I can see why. The cut is perfect. It’s loose and fluid without being baggy, and that’s a tough line to toe. I did add a FBA to the pattern front, but other than that, it was the only pattern adjustment. I didn’t even narrow the shoulders, though I would likely do it if I sewed this pattern again. (I will sew this pattern again. Without question.)
This is view B of the pattern, a fairly plain tunic shape with a lot of flare at the hem. There’s another view with overlapped fronts and a cowl neck that many, many sewists have made.
It’s pretty, and I like it quite a lot. I keep wanting to make it, but I’m hesitant because I think all that fabric would overwhelm me. I’m pretty self-conscious right now about the weight I gained last fall during my illness, and I think adding a lot of fabric onto my too-heavy (for now) figure would practically guarantee that I never wear the top. But I’ve got the all-clear from my doctor to shed that weight — a work in progress right now, and the hours in the gym every day are definitely contributing to my over-scheduling issue these days. But if it means I can get back into my regular size and make this top, maybe in a floaty, sheer chiffon, then it will be worth it. I keep seeing it in a citrus-y bright color, sheer and light, and very summery. It doesn’t look very summery in that tweedy knit pictured, but that’s how I want to do it.
Speaking of sheer fabrics, this whole project came about because I scanned the “new arrivals” page at Mood Fabrics and spotted this knitted mesh.
That’s a bonded mesh knit, two layers of knitted fabric that are joined with a double-knitting technique in various places across the knitting rows. It’s very, very soft, like the softest t-shirt jersey. I snapped this photo of a scrap left after cutting, but you can get a closer look at it on Mood’s product page (link). This fabric comes in a lot of colors, and I debated far too long between the spearmint, white, and black before going with black. It’s sort of my default color.
I’ve worked with other bonded/layered knits before, but this one was comparatively easy to handle. It was stable enough to stay where you put it and grip the straight pins, but soft enough to roll easily at the hems. I debated doing a hand-rolled hem on this, in fact, because a hand-rolled hem will always be softer than a machine-rolled hem. But then I thought that bit of hardness from the machine-rolled hem might help support the flare down at the hem, and it seems to be working as expected. I’m glad I opted for the machine-rolled hem, but when I make it again (maybe in this bright blue crinkle chiffon? hmm…) I would definitely consider a hand-rolled hem to keep the chiffon floaty.
In any case, I can already tell I’ll wear this a lot. It’s the perfect thing to throw on over a tank/tee and leggings/jeans on a summer day when the air conditioner is going to be blasting wherever I go. And in the transitional season we’re in now, when it could be 70F or it could be 50F — roll the dice! — this mesh is just the right weight to stay comfortable. As an added bonus, the texture of the mesh looks great with these Steve Madden booties I bought a few months back. See the quilting detail on the leather?
The shape of that quilting mimics the mesh pretty closely, which is just one of those little details that makes me feel like I might be doing something right. Also, you can’t go wrong with black heeled boots or booties, right? It doesn’t seem to matter how many pairs I already own — when I see a perfect pair like these, I have to snap them up. I especially love the inside of these boots.
It just has the vaguest whiff of Alexander McQueen’s Highland Rape collection. Remember that one? Genius. These boots are, of course, not as splendid or shocking as that collection was, but the secret glimpse of plaid inside the rather tough, edgy boots always makes me remember the mood and tone of that collection. I really do love these boots. ::happy sigh::
Have you made any new pieces for the transitional weather?