Thursday, February 04, 2010

Time Machine

I make stuff. I am proud to be both a producer and a consumer. I don't just use software, I can write my own. I don't just wear clothes, I can make my own.

Exhibit A & B, the time traveling sweater and skirt combination.
I've liked this Adrienne Vittadini cabled shell since the pattern came out in Fall 2000. Have you ever seen cables in garter stitch? It looked so unusual, I knew I had to make it someday.
Theirs is made with Eva, a wool and alpaca blend.  Sleeveless and alpaca?!?  Not in my Los Angeles climate.  I used Art Fibers Liana, a pima cotton and merino wool blend.  A navy wool fine yarn is twisted around plum cotton boucle yarn.  It is soft, springy and loopy.  Sadly, it is also discontinued.
It felt like miles of garter stitch, but it was only slightly less than a kilometer of yarn (on size 1-2 needles).  Instead of the k2tog 10 times, I waited until the cable row. Then I put 10 sts on a cable needle and knitted the front and back stitches at the same time (like a 3 needle BO without the BO).  The ravelry review is here.

I found a real seersucker*  in my stash with threads that matched the two colors in the yarn almost exactly.  I had also wanted to try this1980s vintage Issey Miyake pattern, Vogue 1256.  Before I made the entire dress, I thought I would make just the skirt portion.  That was the part that I wasn't sure would be wearable in real life.
The pattern was given to me by a fellow ASG (American Sewing Guild) Boulder chapter member.  I had helped her grade another IM pattern up, and then she gave me a bunch of patterns in size 10 that she said she'd never use again.  I am a size 12-14, but IM runs large anyway.

Here's the pattern back.  It doesn't really show you how the skirt works. 
Does this picture of the skirt alone help?  Do you want me to post a hand drawing of how the skirt goes together?
In the interest of completeness, here is the AV full pattern page.
Skirt design from the 1980s, sweater design from 2000, outfit completed in 2010.  When you make stuff, you can time travel!

In other news, I am sick again.  The only question in my mind is if I have one infection or two different infections.  Immune deficiency sucks.  But at least I can time travel.

* Do not be fooled by fake seersucker sold at certain big box craft stores masquerading as fabric stores.  Those are cotton/poly blends treated with chemicals to create a bubbly texture.

Real seersucker is made on special looms that vary the tension on the warp threads.  The real stuff is 100% cotton.  In warm climates, real seersucker keeps you cool because the fabric doesn't cling to your skin.

The cotton/poly stuff feels like you are wearing a plastic shower curtain.

I bought the seersucker at SAS fabrics in Hawthorne, CA.  It's on the corner of 135th and Hawthorne Blvd (of Pulp Fiction fame).  They sell leftover ends of fabric from the fashion industry.  The one I used in this skirt looks like Indian cotton.  I have also bought Japanese seersucker there in red/white or gray/white.  It costs about $2.99 to $5.99 a pound or $1-3/yard.  I am on a fabric diet, but I got a bunch of stuff there last week that was too good to pass up.


  1. I love your sweater - and that skirt is very cool. Those IM Patterns are hard to find and very collectible. I keep my eyes peeled for them

  2. Marie-Christine01:53

    OK, I'm totally with you on real seersucker. Except it's really hard to find, unless you import it straight from Japan. So where did you get this one from??
    You're right, cables in garter is delightfully different. And yes please, a drawing of how the skirt goes together would be much appreciated. Sorry for the string of demands :-), this looks so good it's very appetizing.

  3. Love the cabled sweater. The skirt looks very interesting -- was it as wearable as you hoped?

  4. @Kristin
    I tried it on with a variety of tops last night. It is wearable. I think a soft rayon would make it more so, but this lightweight cotton is fine.

    Next, I want to make tackle the top, or perhaps make the dress.

  5. Ahh, real seersucker. How nice. The sweater is pretty too. I've thought about making it all these years.


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