Good day friends! This post is brought to you by: the weather in NZ. It’s been a cold, dark time recently, with plenty of wind, and this here dress is the exact-and-perfect thing I’ve been wanting to wear. Every day, if possible.
I spend a lot of time hacking patterns. Most of the time, my thought process is that it’s easier to hack an existing pattern than to get a new one and have to deal with printing a pdf or tracing a paper pattern (I trace all physical patterns – I’m far to likely to want to share them or sew for someone else to cut. Plus, I don’t really trust stated garment sizes), and then fitting, and learning how a new pattern works. The Plantain tee is one of my favourite knit patterns. It’s become a dress, two cardigans (my absolute favourite cardigan, in fact, as well as the one shown in these photos), drafted cap sleeves, a different dress with yoke gathers, and (of course) a normal tee. This is only the latest incarnation in a long series (I do enjoy days when I realise I’m wearing three different variations of it – an undergarment, a dress and a cardigan).
For this version, I used the neck/shoulders of the Plantain, and had to adjust the waistline and make up everything below that. Since the original is a swing shape, I folded down the pattern to give a waistline that’s exactly at my waist measurements – I wanted this to be snug, but not tight – and cut a same-size double layer rectangle for the waist band. Some time ago I got sick of drafting new half-circle skirts every time I sew one – which is often – so I made a template out of an old sheet; to adjust it for a knit, I slightly decreased the waistline to remove the ease, and also narrowed the skirt slightly for the sake of fitting on my fabric without needing to go cross-grain or to seam it (neither of which are big deals in wovens – but I didn’t want to manage that in a knit fabric).
The fabric for this one is a merino knit from The Fabric Store. (I own Many Things in merino knits from The Fabric Store. It is possibly the best thing about that shop.) It’s perhaps a little thinner and more clingy than my ideal, but is also actually fantastic and snuggly. I have now three garments made in this particular weight of merino, and I find myself strategising to work out how many outfits I can wear in a week using at least one of them – I’d wear this dress every day if I could get away with it.
I think I may have sufficiently described how much I love this dress. 10/10 would make another in a different colour. My only reservation is that it has something of a risk of looking pregnant – which is a relatively common occurrence for me (honestly. I am sick of people asking when I’m due) – but it is lovely enough that I don’t care.
Oh, and it has one small exciting detail! I managed to slice the fabric at the back neckline while trimming the seam allowance, and decided to try embroidering the small patch in place to cover it – I love the concept of visible mending, and allowing mends to make garments more beautiful, so I decided to give it a shot. It’s my first inexpert attempt, but it’s a start. (One of my challenges is to make visible mends that are beautiful enough for wearing to work – but that’s another story.)
The photos are taken on the South Coast of Wellington – arguably the windiest part of reputedly the windiest city in the world. In a southerly. I love the wind personally – the point I took these on is called Te Raekaihau, meaning “the headland that eats the wind”, and I love the name because it seems to encapsulate the strength I derive from the wind.