May 31, 2012

The “Clouds and Dreams” Cardigan


     Days like today are when I wish the internet was in Sensovision, because I wish all of you out there could feel this fabric.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It is the softest, fluffiest, nicest sweater knit basically of all time.  I got it at an estate sale where I came on the third day and there was still an entire basement full.  The woman had clearly achieved SABLE several times over, but I can’t complain, as by the third day they made everything half off just to get it out of there.  So I got two yards of this gorgeous knit for $2.   Usually when I get a really awesome piece of fabric, I hoard it and am afraid to cut into it, but this time I don’t know what came over me; I cut out McCall’s 5978 right away.  Even though it’s a very thin  knit, it wasn’t slippery to cut, and since there are only 5 pieces, it went very quickly.

           This project also allowed me to conquer my fear of buttonholes, but not in the way I originally thought.  The last time I mentioned buttonholes, I was talking about using a vintage Singer buttonholer on one of my vintage machines.   But the buttonholes on this bad boy were done on my Viking Interlude 435.  What Viking, you ask?

        I am ashamed to mention this machine, as I got it for a song at a yard sale, almost peed my pants at my good luck (the woman said she sewed one set of curtains on it and realized she “wasn’t a sewing person.” !!)  Then it sat for almost a month before I got the gumption up to tackle it.  Which is horrible, but when I only have an hour of time, I didn’t want to spend most of it learning to do a new machine when my Brother could do it just fine.  Luckily, two things forced my hand – I was sick of shuffling around a cardigan that was completely done except for buttonholes, and I needed to use the adjustable presser foot pressure on the Viking to sew a knit that was puckering horribly on the Brother.  So I used my morning hour to figure out how to work the beast, and now we are perfectly happy together.   There are still moments of “Why are you blinking that on your display?!?” but for the most part, we’re on good terms.  I’m not quite ready to abandon the Brother altogether, but the way things are going, the Viking will eventually become my main machine.  Since I’ve been banned from bringing any more sewing machines into the house, my next task is going to be to get all of my machines tuned up in turn, and find any missing pieces, etc.  Eventually I’ll have an amazing arsenal of smoothly running machines, ready for any sewing task...... What was I talking about?  Oh yes, the buttonholes.  With a minimum of fiddling, I was able to make all the buttonholes I needed for the cardigan.  Which was important because I am in LOVE with the buttons I found.
 They're half domes with an awesome luster to them; it's not quite mother of pearl, but it's in the same family.  Unfortunately, even with interfacing, the buttonholes are still pretty flimsy, so I think this will end up being a set of functional-but-not-used buttonholes.  I'll just slip it on, leaving them all buttoned all the time.  There (as always) are a few tweaks to the pattern I plan to make on my next go round, and I'd like to use a slightly sturdier sweater knit, but I am absolutely thrilled with this one as is.  It's just perfect for rainy slightly cold days like today when it's not really cold per say, but there's a little bit of chill.  I always love this style of cardigan, but am too cheap to buy it at the preppy stores where they're sold (I'm looking at you, J. Crew!)  I forsee many more of these in the future, but they can probably wait until fall. 

If I can just keep chugging along like this, I'll be pretty happy with my sewing.  It'll be a while until I'm up to the sort of wardrobe I'd like, but I'm on the right track!  Hope everyone's weather is much less dreary than it is here today!

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