Sunday, 30 November 2014

That's a wrap folks.

There's only one thing I don't like about blogging, and  that's taking the photos. The planning and sewing are the fun parts, and writing, that comes easy, but photos... Photos are hard! Messing around with tripods and  wrangling photographers (love you mama!) is hard. Making sure the closeups capture the details and that the garment is represented accurately but that I'm not smiling like a psycho and my glasses aren't falling down my face (they do it every time!) is hard. And don't even get me started on fading light at this time of year.

But I realised today that the main reason I dislike taking photos is because, for me, they represent the end of a project. Taking photos is usually the last thing I do before blogging so they mark the exact moment that a garment stops being a project and becomes just another part of my wardrobe.  Most of my clothes don't get blogged so they make the transition quietly and without note, but when I do blog a project (generally either because I love it, hate it or think it's really interesting) the pictures feel a bit like I'm trying to capture a perfect image of it, so if it dies then I have a record to remember it by. Sort of like a the final task on each garment's bucket list.

Honestly, it's an odd way to think about pictures and I think i need to snap out of it (pun intended!) and remember that each project doesn't magically lose all its meaning the moment it's finished. In fact it gains meaning, each time I wear it and make new memories in it! The photos merely capture one moment in a garments' life.

I've probably anthropomorphised this cardi enough  so lets move on to the details...

First things first, his project was 100%  inspired by all the awesome Coppélia Cardi from Papercut Patterns, but I  wanted mine to be a bit more fitted so I went the self-drafting route. I used a traced rtw tight n-neck tee for the base, then cut it off at my natural waist and free-handed the wrap. The neckline is a band, I used the sleeves from the Plantain pattern (my go to tshirt) and the ties at the bottom are roughly twice my waist so they can  wrap at the front or back.

The fabric itself needs a special mention (Who am I kidding, when do I ever not mention fabric?) It's the most perfect grey marl wool knit and by far the most expensive fabric i've ever bought. I got one meter at The Cloth House on my birthday trip to Berwick street and the only thing I regret is that I didn't buy the whole bolt! I love anything in grey marl by default but thus is seriously the softest wool ever (not itchy at all) and it sewed like a dream! The only hiccup was pre-washing. You see I put a lot of time researching the best way to pre-treat a wool knit then promptly forgot all that and threw it into the  wash with a bunch of other knits and hung it up to dry. Obviously when I returned it was a giant stretched out, misshapen mess. I almost cried. It meant cutting out was a little...interesting...but I did a Tim Gunn and made it work! Funnily enough it actually cured my crippling fabric fear (You know, when the fabric is so expensive you don't want to cut into it in case you ruin it) because I figured I couldn't do anything worse than I'd already done.

Construction wise I sewed the whole thing with a stretch stitch and finished all my seams with a medium sized zigzag. For topstitching on the band and waist ties I used a 3-step zig-zag and it's hands down the best topstitching I've done on a knit (maybe even on any project!) Seriously the stitches sunk into the fabric so nicely and every time I look down and see it I smile.

In case it didn't come across well enough in this post I am head over heels in love with this cardi!! The type of pure, true love that can only exist between girl and wool knits! In a feat of impeccable timing I finished it just as the weather started to turn so it's gotten a lot of wear. All my skirts and dress flare out at my natural waist so the length works really well, plus grey is always a great neutral. Plus every time I wear I get flash backs to ballet lessons when I was a kid and I had the same cardi but in bright bubblegum pin... Oh pirouettes and pliés...sigh... Oh, and the little bow at the back gets me every time! So sweet!

My only slight quibble is the sleeves and next time (Oh yes there's definitely  a next time!) i'll increase their width slightly. There's anything wrong with the width now, but because I used the sleeves from the Plantain pattern whenever I wear the cardi over my long-sleeved Plantains it's a bit of a struggle. Other than that this cardi is perfect and I'm also thinking I may need some wrap t-shirts and wrap dresses in my life... Oh, and I love this cardi a lot! Like A LOT, a lot... Wait did I already say that?

So to wrap it up (pun intended) here's a couple of puns that I couldn't fit in graciously decided not to use in this post:
-I hope this wasn't hard to wrap your head around!
-Putting this cardi on is a total  wrap battle!
-I'm just freestyle wrapping!

You're welcome.

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