Sunday, July 27, 2014

Richard Nixon? I can't believe I'm dead. There was so still so much left on my bucket list. So many different kinds of buckets I wanted to own. Buckets.

Heeeeeeey! Hi everyone, happy Sunday! It's been a lovely sunny weekend here at Casa Clackett - I went to Stratford yesterday with Sarah and Char and bought some amazing Liberty fabric and some cheese (the cheese was for Nic) and I've been teaching today. We have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge and basically things are pretty sweet. Everything is lining up for old Dolly Clackett.

So, I'm still plugging away here trying to catch up with unblogged stuff I've made. This time you're getting two for the price of one, because I decided to take part in the Outfit-Along hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund. I'm still not a stellar knitter but, having finished three Miette cardigans since December, I quite fancied the challenge and downloaded Andi's new Myrna pattern. I was able to knit it fairly quickly - I think in total it took me about two weeks - and I really enjoyed knitting it. It's not perfect - it's really far from perfect - but as it's only the fourth cardigan I've ever knitted, I can't be too upset about that!

Myrna cardigan by Andi Satterlund and Bedelia dress - Vogue V8998 in African wax cotton, worn with Maguba Rio clogs

Okay. Let's get my criticisms out of the way first. I should have made the cardigan a little bit longer - maybe about an inch - so that it hits my natural waist. As it stands it's a little bit too short. Also, I fluffed it a bit around the waist. I got right down to the ribbing, and then I had to frog the whole thing up to the armholes because I had got something twisted around (I don't know if there is a technical term for that. So Sorry, So Not A Real Knitter) and then when I was knitting the neckband, I think I might have missed some stitches or something, because it is tighter on one side than on the other. Sigh. You can see in the photo above there that it's coming up a bit higher on one side. That's exacerbated by me standing with one shoulder way up higher than the other, but it's there when I stand straight as well.

There's that dopey back again. Check out my keyhole, though.

So, being totally real, I might not wear this cardigan a lot. If at all. BUT I really enjoyed knitting it. It's a really good project for someone like me - it's quick because it's knitted mainly in stockinette, but there's enough shaping and lace work for it to not be really boring. I also learned new stuff - knitting and finishing the keyhole wasn't hard but it was an interesting challenge, and I LOVED knitting the sleeves - which are knitted and shaped using short rows. Myrna is a gorgeous pattern - a bit quicker than the Miette and maybe even a bit easier (you know, it would be if I hadn't made some silly mistakes) and I think probably easy enough to customise when I make it again. I'm thinking of knitting this again in a bright blue - similar to the blue of my dress - I just need to find the yarn. I used Rico cotton yarn for this cardigan and I have to admit, I kind of hated it. I'm not sure about the colour, and it's so fluffy! Pink cottony fluff everwhere, including in the back of my throat while knitting. Yuck. So, while this particular Myrna isn't a solid winner, the pattern itself totally is. Also: MYRNA. Myrna Loy is one of my favourite actors.  This is my desktop wallpaper, and it has been since 2007:

I want to be Myrna Loy when I grow up

It's hard not to get frustrated with the fact that I'm not that good at knitting, yet. I'm pretty good at sewing, and I can make the dresses I make fit me (mostly) and look pretty cute (mostly) and I usually know what I'm doing. This is not at all the case with knitting and I have to keep reminding myself that I've not been doing it for very long. Anyway - I just have to keep going and will try to stretch myself with each project. I certainly enjoy the process, even if the effort/benefit ratio isn't on my side yet.

"Should I put this picture of my not-very-good cardigan on the internet? Yeah, fuck it, probably."

The dress, now. The dress. The fabric might be familiar, and that's because it's the exact same as the fabric I used for the Ankara dress, which I posted about last week. I bought the navy/orange colourway of this fabric on Goldhawk Road and the shop had this blue/pink colourway, and a red/yellow one too. Anyway, I bought the blue in the shop but then when I got home regretted not also buying this one. So at, like, one in the morning, I went online and bought this fabric on ebay and some Swedish hasbeens from Asos. And then I went to sleep, feeling happy to have spent too much money on frivolous things.

I'd be standing up straight if I wasn't too busy trying to get knocked down. Maybe.

It's another Vogue V8998, this time with the 8-gored circle skirt that the lady in the neon yellow neoprene dress on the pattern envelope is wearing. Only, without the horsehair braid in the hem. The fit on this dress is still not perfect - I'm kind of stuggling to get that inset waistband not to wrinkle, but again this is sort of exacerbated by my total inability to stand up straight. In honesty, though, this is the kind of thing I am pointing out because I think that I should. It's not because it bothers me at all when I'm wearing the dress. It doesn't.

You can't see the wrinkle in this photo but WTF is going on with my crazyface?

I enjoyed sewing this version of V8998 much more than the partially gathered skirt version I made at the John Lewis Sewing Bee. It's more time-consuming because of all the panels, but I have to say that I cannot fault Vogue's drafting. This skirt fitted together really beautifully and with no bother - all the notches in the correct place and all of that jazz. As with the Anna dress I posed about the other day, I worked as methodically as I could with the skirt pieces, starting from the centre front and working outwards. It's even more important here, I think, because these pieces really DO look all the same! The pattern calls for a full lining but, do you know what? On an 8-gored circle skirt?

I lined the bodice and called it a day. And I guess I caught up with memes from two years ago because I'm so cool.

As with the Ankara dress, I did consider using piping to pick up either the hot pink or the navy of the stars. But, it seemed like print was busy enough as it was, so I left it. I used a hot pink zip, but I'm not going to show you because I already have one dipshit photo of my back in this post and I think that's quite enough. I will show you my shoes, though, because holy shit I love them:

Maguba 'Rio' clogs in rose pink from Lotta From Stockholm - these are currently on sale! (and those aren't affiliate links, by the way, so click away)

I've been wearing clogs pretty much constantly this summer, having bought some Betty clogs from Lotta in May, a couple of pairs of Swedish hasbeens since (and have another pair on the way, welp!) and some beautiful gold clogs from Atelier Scandinave when Nic and I were in Paris. It's been so hot that the idea of wearing any closed-toe shoes just does not appeal, and I find the wooden sole to be very kind to my feet on hot days. I've had a few people ask about breaking clogs in - and I will say that the only ones I have had to break in have been the Swedish hasbeens, which seem to have very stiff leather. I put these Maguba clogs on and they were immediately comfortable, and I have been wearing them loads since. I love this shade of pink, too, and I think they look really cute with my dress - so obviously I thought them totally necessary to complete my outfit for the Outfit Along. Logic.

In terms of a complete outfit, though, my entry to the Outfit Along definitely isn't totally successful. However, I have also knitted a hot pink Miette cardigan which will look perfect - but I can't really count it for this challenge as I started it months ago. I will blog that soon, but I did want to show you my Myrna, even if it does fall a bit short. It's all part of the process. My next one will be better!

I'll leave you with the name inspiration for the dress. Nic and I binge-watched S2 of Hannibal and, if you've been a reader for any length of time, you'll know how much I love Scully. Bedelia du Maurier isn't quite Scully-level awesome yet but I feel the character is getting there. Also: THAT HAIR.

"My tasting notebook? Oh, do fuck off."