Sunday, January 09, 2011

FO: Fifties Twin-Set

Don't be fooled by that confident smile - this is not my most successful project ever!

I have a lot to learn about sewing with knits, but it took this twin-set experiment to expose the extent of my ignorance.

So what have we got here?

3 metres of lambswool jersey: the kind of material you find in a ready-made M&S pullover.

The pattern (vintage, Butterick 6492) suggested that "wool jersey" was a suitable fabric, and they weren't completely wrong... it's just that the instructions were better-suited to a woven fabric, because once I got two, four, six layers of that sproingy wool all stacked on top of one another, I had some seriously bulky seams.
That's what's happening up at the neck and shoulders - bulky layering. Ugh!

The pattern suggested using bias-binding at the sleeve and bottom hems, which cut the bulk at those edges, but not where it was most needed at the neck edge of the cardigan. I didn't think to adapt it until the deed was done.
The cardigan has a real 50's silhouette: bolero-length, kimono sleeves, darts everywhere. I was afraid of making huge button holes through all those layers so those buttons are just for show. I pinned the front closed to take these pictures. I am going to add snap-fasteners.
I don't have a serger so I sewed all the seams with a slight zig-zag to allow for stretching.
It's not all doom and gloom though! See my lovely Liberty bias tape? It peeks out at the sleeve edges and is one of those hidden details I love so much!

And the cardigan buttons are an exact colour match. I found them in granny's button box.

The back of the blouse is buttoned, and I used self-covered metal blanks for that - you can see them in this "still life"!

Which brings me to the "under-sweater" blouse - yay! I love it!

It combines so many of the elements of my summer blouse collection: back-buttons, pleats at the neck, the very elegant "extended shoulder" sleeve.

The pattern describes this as a "jewelry neck", and it is ideal to show off a distinctive necklace like this piece of glass confectionary FL gave me in a Christmas cracker a couple of years ago!
And of course it is long enough to wear "out" over jeans and more modern skirts.
Butterick 6492: "Choice of blouses: cardigan or jewelry necked. They're new! They're your favorite tops. (A) Blouse in this version has a round, banded neckline with soft underlining pleats. Sleeves are cropped. (B) Cardigan overblouse is waist length, has cut-in-one below-elbow sleeves."

The pattern is a vintage size 14, 32" bust, and I didn't try to alter it in any way.

I used less than 3 metres of wool jersey from Croft Mill and 3 metres of Liberty-print bias binding from Clothkits.

6 self-covered buttons at the back of the blouse.

3 vintage buttons for decoration on the cardigan.


Not a total "wow" as a twin-set, but I clearly need to try tucking the blouse into a high-waisted wiggle skirt and sew the snap fasteners onto the cardigan before I get too grumpy with it as a double-act.

But I do love the blouse! And I now know I need to learn more about sewing with knits before I try to make another full-sized garment.


Scruffybadger said...

Me again! What a look! They are both gorgeous (yes - the blouse is extra gorgeous!) You've clearly triumphed over all of the challenges this has brought you. I love the colour, I love the style & I love that you can sneak a peak at the binding! (Aren't the self covered buttons cute too) I'm looking forward to seeing it with wiggle!

lizzi said...

It's a lovely outfit. Can I (respectfully) suggest that you don't add snap fasteners but just sew the buttons right through and pull the cardigan over your head. I appreciate why you don't want to do the buttonholes but snaps make it very bulky. Just a thought!
(tell me to mind my own beeswax!)

christinelaennec said...

Well you could have fooled me that you weren't happy with this. It looks really nice on you and like Scruffybadger I think the colour is beautiful. Also the binding and the buttons! Well done. (I wouldn't have the courage to attempt to sew with knitted jersey!)

Roobeedoo said...

Thank you Scruffy and Christine!
Lizzi - I like the idea of stitching the cardigan shut, except then I wouldn't be able to leave it open, and I do like a gentle breeze sometimes!
I think it is interesting that this post has had 41 views but only 3 comments - silence says it all! You are all too polite! ;)