Today I am showing you my OAL Outfit. For those of you who do not know what the OAL was all about: It was hosted by Lladybird and Andi Satterlund and the goal was to finish a complete outfit, dress and cardigan, until end of July. The official OAL dress was McCall6887 with a sew along with LLadybird, and the cardigan Vianne with a knit along with Andi. However, you could use any pattern you liked and just submit before the deadline. Last year I was very inspired by all those beautiful outfits so that I decided to give it a try. Sewing a dress would not be too difficult, but knitting a cardigan is (still) something new to me.
The fabric is a cotton batiste, checked yellow and white. Usually, I line my summer dresses with cotton batiste, but here I tried some silk. I used “Pongé-Seide 08”. I think this is habotai, but I am not quite sure. Pongé is often used for silk painting and comes in different weights, is quite tightly woven and not too expensive. It behaved rather well while sewing and what can I say, I LOVE it as lining fabric. The feel on the skin, especially on hot days, is cool and smooth. I might change from batiste to silk for all my dresses now.
For the dress I used Vogue 8726 as a pattern. It has been in my stash for a long time already. Despite marked as “easy” the dress had a bit of a difficult time. It started all very well, though. I made a small bust alteration before making my muslin. The fit was good, with some ease. I tend to overfit my dresses, so I left it as it was. As this dress was meant to be worn on hot summer days I did not want to have it too tight. The front did look a bit boring and shapeless, so I added two small darts. Happy with the muslin I started sewing. Originally I had planned to make the version with sleeves and wear the dress on my birthday end of June. But, first, I just could not get the sleeves right, and secondly, it was way too cold on my birthday for this dress.
Unfortunately, I did not muslin the sleeves. I thought that I would not need a muslin for those short sleeves. Big mistake. I had wrinkles at the back and when I raised my arm the whole dress would raise as well. I tried a lot of alterations. I raised the bottom of the armhole as far as I could, I draped the sleeve into the armhole on my dressform, I set the sleeve in turned forward a bit, nothing worked. It was a little bit better, but as I had already cut into the seam allowances I was very limited with the alterations. Finally, during one of the hot days this summer, when I tried the dress on, I decided to make it sleeveless. I wanted to finish, and such a lightweight dress was better without sleeves anyway I told myself.
I thread basted the seamlines to the fabric. All seams are French seams and the dress is fully lined. I did not underline the outer fabric as I did not want to add weight. In order to be able to handstitch the lining to the dress, I added facing for the neckline and armholes. As I did not found a zipper in a matching color, and did not want to use an invisible one, I made a lapped zipper for the center back. Until now, I only made a lapped zipper once, in the side seam of a skirt, and I was not sure if this would work, especially at the top, but everything worked out well.
I used this tutorial from “Handmade by Carolyn” how to set a zipper in a Fench seam. It was a bit fiddly and I definitively need more practice.
I had some issues with the back straps. I do not know why, but they just did not want to lay flat. Instead, the top edge was gaping a lot. In all pattern reviews I read nobody seamed to have had this issue. After inserting and unpicking and inserting again countless times I added a small ribbon at the inner top edge. The ribbon is 1 cm shorter than the edge and sewed in by hand. The straps are now a bit ripply, but I can live with that. It is not as bad as the gaping.
The hem is just turned over twice and sewn in place.
I have worn the dress a few times and it is really comfy. I like the back view, but I am not too sure about the front view. I think, I like dresses with princess seams more.
Now for the Myrna. This was a real adventure as I had to decipher the English knitting instruction without knowing too much about knitting at all. But thanks to You Tube I learned a great deal and managed to finish this. And it actually looked like it should. Amazing.
As I wasn’t sure at all how this would turn out, I bought some wool that was on sale. It is a cotton/rayon/something blend but feels very soft. My gauge was a bit smaller than it should be, so I chose one size larger than according to my measurements. Only issue I had was with the button band. I just was not able to cast on as many stiches as the instructions told you to do. Maybe that it because I always slip the first stitch in a row instead of knitting? But I do not know. I also sewed a ribbon under to give the band some more stability. I am not too happy with the result, but that is more because I could not find any matching ribbon and the buttonholes came out quite messy.
Also, I miscalculated something and knitted one buttonhole too much. I decided to sew on the corresponding button and just leave this unbuttoned. Honestly, I do not like it buttoned very much. I would prefer a more looser fit. For the next cardigan I would also make it longer and add long sleeves. But this would have been too much to figure out for my first try. So I am just happy as is.