Pure laziness, I assure you, and nothing to do with the trip itself. Like Gillian (who I met - yay!!), I'm having a bit of low blogging mojo. I'm finding that I either have time, energy and motivation to make stuff, or write about making stuff - not both. So I'm choosing to make stuff!
Anyway, back to the trip - or actually just a part of it in this post.
Andrea is a fabulous hostess; not only did she make me feel right at home and like one of the family rather than a guest, she also organized several events for me with other bloggers. A good portion of our time was spent hanging out on the couch, drinking coffee (or wine, depending on the hour), talking away and knitting. Like this:
The first of the outings that Andrea organized was a visit to Kristiann of Victory Patterns. I was so excited about this - I've been a big fan of Kristiann's work from the beginning, even if my own lack of fitting knowledge has kept me from being 100% successful with the patterns. I own ALL the patterns except for the Ava dress (which I didn't buy because I already had the very similar Colette Macaron pattern); I purchased them all immediately upon release and am slowly working my way through them.
Andrea already knew Kristiann, having taken some classes from her. I got to meet Sara on my first evening in Toronto, after having corresponded with her for several months, and she joined us for the visit to the Victory Patterns studio.
I really expected nothing more than to have a quick meeting and say, "I'm a big fan!" But Kristiann was so generous with her time - I think the four of us spent a good three hours together! Kristiann is just a lovely person - so friendly and enthusiastic. She took us on a tour of the building where she has her studio; many other artists also rent space there, including some clothing designers and production seamstresses. It was so interesting to talk to her about her process in designing and releasing a pattern. I especially loved seeing the original version of the Nicola dress - the gorgeous border-print one from the pattern envelope!
I made my Nicola expressly for this meeting, and Andrea decided to whip up a Roxanne blouse to wear. Here we are, all four of us, in a cute little coffee shop in Kensington Market:
|L - R: Sara, Andrea, Kristiann & me; photo courtesy of Andrea|
Kristiann is wearing the Madeleine skirt! And Sara is wearing her gorgeous Kara cardigan.
One of the things Andrea and I tend to do when we're together is try on each other's makes. We have similar taste in patterns and we're about the same size, so it's great to be able to try on a pattern you're thinking about making! I've been wanting to make the Roxanne blouse since just about forever, and when Andrea visited me in December, I found a beautiful piece of silk on the sale rack at my local fabric shop that I knew would be just perfect. It was on my list for spring, but after trying on Andrea's beautiful blue silk Roxanne, I had to bump it up in the queue.
So last week I traced the pattern and did a tissue fitting, then got going. Because my fabric is very busy, I made the tie-neck version, but I'll definitely be making another one with that amazing folded collar.
This version is so quick to make. I realized on Friday that I didn't have any silk thread in the right color, so on Saturday morning I headed over to JoAnn's to pick some up. I didn't start sewing until after lunch, and I was done by 4:00!
My big concern with this pattern was the back and sleeve fitting. I had Andrea measure me, and my back fell into a size 12, while my bust puts me in a size 2! I settled on a size 4. When I did my tissue fitting, the back and armhole felt OK as drafted, so the only changes I made were to take a 3/8" forward shoulder adjustment and to remove 1" from the length at the lengthen/shorten line.
Once the top was finished though, I wished I'd done a broad back adjustment and scooped out the armhole a bit. It's a teeny bit tight, but not so bad that I won't wear it. For future versions, I'll make those adjustments.
Here's how it looks on, front and back:
One of the things I love about this design is how the back swishes out when you walk. It's a blouse with a train! I tried to get a pic of the swishiness in action, but wasn't too successful!
And I tried to get a good shot of the high/low hem, but once again I'm pressed for time. So this silly one will have to do!
|"Hmmm, what should I sew next?"|