Lauren of Lladybird fame and knitwear designer Andi from untangling knots have been hosting a knit/sew along with a difference, to make a dress and knit a cardigan thereby creating a whole outfit. I signed up straight away, having already knitted two Miettes and a Marion of Andi’s designs. I love her patterns, they have a vintage feel and seem to go with everything, they are also perfect to wear over dresses. Andi’s new pattern released for the outfit along was Myrna and the dress pattern suggested was Simplicity Project Runway 1803. You could use any patterns you wanted but I decided to give these ago as they were new to me and looked kinda cute.
Here’s the Myrna description which explains everything far better than I could!:
‘This sassy cardigan is the perfect layer to keep on hand for breezy summer nights and cold movie theaters. Its full short sleeves keep it from being too warm, and the cropped length is perfect to go with airy dresses and full skirts. Eyelets surround the edges of the cardigan, and a keyhole on the back adds a fun extra detail. The sweater is knit seamlessly from the top down. The upper back is knit first and then put on hold. Stitches are picked up and knit for the upper fronts, and the pieces of the body are joined together when the underarms are cast on. The cardigan has waist shaping to give it a fitted look, and once the body is complete, stitches for the sleeves are picked up from the armholes and shaped using short rows. The cardigan fits best with 0-3 inches of negative ease.’
I used Cascade 220 yarn in 813 Blue Velvet, a worsted weight yarn. The ball band suggested 4.5mm needles but the pattern stated 5mm so I went with the 5mm. Based on my measurements I opted to knit a large, bearing in mind the pattern has 2 inches of negative ease. I must admit that I didn’t knit a gauge swatch but just dived straight in and cast on. This is the knitting equivalent of not making a muslin and all my mother in laws fault! I used to knit a swatch to check my gauge but she never has, she just picks up her needles and starts knitting. Out of laziness and a sense of living dangerously I have since done the same! There was a mistake on the gauge stated on the pattern, it was given at 18 x 24 stitches but should have been 18 x 28. It was only when this problem was flagged up on Ravelry that I began to have a quick panic as I was well into the body by then. I tentatively reached for the ruler and began to count, the knitting fairies must have been looking on me favourably as by some fluke I was spot on the 28 stitches that the pattern had been written for!
Myrna was, in theory, a quick knit but I must admit that it took me a lot longer than it should to finish. I seem to have difficulty doing things when I have to, it kind of feels like homework! I have this problem with our bookclub and am always frantically skim reading the set book the night before the next meeting! If I had knitted a couple of hours each night I would probably have had it finished in a fortnight. As it was there were considerable periods of neglect and I only really got a spurt on as the deadline began to loom!
The dress on the other hand came together very quickly. I used 2 metres of the blue cotton with gold flowers that I had been saving since I bought it two years ago (still have two metres left!) I decided to go for bodice C with the notched neckline and the pleated cap sleeves. I cut a size 12 after Laurens warning that Simplicity add 4 inches of ease in their patterns! I also shortened the bodice by an inch which I do to everything now because I am on the short side. It was quite an easy pattern but had a large facing which spanned the whole of the shoulder and was stitched to the top of the sleeve cap. I’d used medium weight interfacing for it as I wanted to try and add a bit of structure to the notch but it flopped anyway! I’ve not made anything with a facing for a while and I’ve decided that I just don’t like them! I think if I made this dress again I would try and figure out a way to line the bodice. The only change I made was to move the inseam pockets to the side seams instead of either side of the centre front panel as the pattern called for. I put my hands in my pockets a lot and they of course naturally fall to the side, I thought it would be a bit weird having pockets up front like some kind of kangaroo pouch! I used an invisible zip which was an absolute pig to get in! I wrestled with it and ended up unpicking it three times before it finally went in at the fourth try. It’s still a bit sticky, goes up OK but doesn’t want to come down again. I was on my own when I first tried it on and couldn’t get back out, was desperately trying to contort myself around, having a claustrophobic panic attack in the process, was on the verge of taking the scissors to it when it finally succumbed. Must remember I need help to unzip in the future! I also made the tie belt as I thought it needed something around the waist (and I wanted a bow!)
I spent ages looking for buttons for Myrna, I wanted gold daisy flower ones to pick out the flowers on the dress. I tried Ebay, Etsy, online button stores as well as my local haberdashery but couldn’t find the right ones. After a few weeks I half-heartedly searched Ebay again and found the perfect ones which had just been listed! I’m not happy unless I find the right buttons and I have in the past spent more on the buttons than I did on the fabric for a dress!
some a lot of pictures:
I’m quite pleased with how the outfit has turned out and loved the concept of combining sewing and knitting. I think if I knit Myrna again I would size down, she fits perfectly over the boobs but is just a tiny bit too big under the arms and back. Maybe this is due to my lack of gauge swatch or using slightly bigger needles or maybe I just need to figure out how to do a full bust adjustment in knitting! I think she will get a lot of wear anyway!
Doing a complete outfit has made me realise that I tend to make things without thinking of how they will combine with my wardrobe. I think in future I will try and get some kind of coherence with my makes and highlight what colours are missing. I need to get past the ‘oohh pretty colours’ thinking I am prone to when choosing yarn and fabric. At the moment I’m craving a Mustard Miette but will have to have a good look at what I have in the wardrobe to wear with it!
Do you have a plan with your makes or are you seduced like a magpie to bright and shiny things?
18 thoughts on “Outfit along Myrna Cardigan and Simplicity 1803”
After seeing your Myrna and Lauren’s yellow version I am so tempted to try my hand at knitting one. I have never knitted a sweater (and it’s been a long time since I knitted anything!) Maybe I will give it a shot!
You ought to give it a go! Both the Myrna and Miette knit up really quickly! I’m really tempted to start another Miette but I’ve got a half finished Peggy Sue to tackle first! X
Love this outfit! The buttons are perfect… well worth waiting til you found them! I am a new-ish sewer but I haven’t sewn in forever as I have a new (7-month old) baby girl. She and her 5-year old sister take all my time and attention these days. But that hasn’t stopped me from buying patterns and fabric. I do try to be aware of what colors and pieces I already have in my wardrobe, and what might be nice to add. Oh, and you had me laughing out loud as I pictured you trying to unzip alone. So glad you didn’t have to use the scissors : )
It’s so difficult trying to do anything with little ones around! I remember having one foot on my sewing machine pedal and the other one on my sons bouncy chair, I was so tired I used to get my feet mixed up, nearly catapulting him across the room when I meant to start stitching! At least you have the fabric and patterns and time to plan and dream! Hope you find some time for yourself soon! X
A gorgeous outfit and both pieces are lovely in their own right. Oh I wish I was having your success with the Miette, Mine is back to being yarn and have started again, the shaping was in the wrong place, now to work out how t move it.
Thanks Sharon! The shaping on the Myrna is at the waist side seams rather than around the boobs like the Miette. You could maybe try moving the shaping to the side seams, I know a few people have done this on Ravelry. I’m tempted to start another Miette, trying to stop myself yarn shopping as I’ve got my Peggy Sue to finish first! X
Your dress and cardgian look fabulous, Helen. Well done you! As for making things that match, I need to do that more. I do have a lot of things that go with each other but there are some days I open my (very full) wardrobe and think “I’ve nothing to wear!”. Isn’t that ridiculous? LOL
Thanks Anne! I have those days too, try on loads of different things but nothing feels ‘right’, then end up wearing the first thing I tried on and having to spend ages putting everything else back on the hangers! X
I love, love both the cardigan and the dress, the colour is fab!! I have just bought some yellow Cascade wool for my mum to knit into a Marion for me, I hope it’s as nice as your cardi!
Thanks Jenna! A yellow Marion sounds lovely! I’m tempted by either a mustard or raspberry Miette next, but I’m trying to stop myself looking at yarn until I’ve finished my half done Peggy Sue cardigan. I love Cascade, they have such fabulous colours and knit up so well! X
I *love* your outfit! The colours are perfect together. I love Andi’s cardigans. I’m just waiting for her to go back to the Miette pattern and do it in larger sizes (I can’t think how I can grade up in knitting- it’s too much like algebra!)
I have found I tend to get swayed by pretty fabric, which has led to a couple of new colours finding their way into my wardrobe, but I’m opting to see that as a Good Thing! However, I am trying to sew with an idea in mind of how things fit in with my existing wardrobe.now, so I hope not to have too many orphans.
Thanks Bea! You could always have a go at the Myrna as this comes in bigger sizes, I also found it came up quite big when it was finished but maybe that was down to my knitting!
I’ve also found my fabric choices to be on the colourful side, I made a pair of culottes last year in a jungle print which had parrots and tigers on them, there is no way I would have bought them if I’d seen them in a shop, these are definitely orphans and don’t go with anything else I have!
But the Miette is so pretty!… I was thinking that I might have to try the Myrna. Actually, I’m knitting a Hetty right now, and while it has been a bit challenging (honestly, I’d no idea I could drop that many stitches or rather, keep forgetting to take the yarn over, when the pattern repeats so often) I think I’ll be able to do a couple of repeats in different colours. And I’m such a slow knitter, that there’s no point looking ahead too far!
I’d love to knit a Hetty but would probably spend more time ripping it back than knitting, my concentration span is so bad as I always knit at night when I’m tired! Can’t wait to see yours! X
Just found your blog and really love your outfit, it looks great on you , the fabric and the colour’s fab and those buttons were well worth waiting for. Off to explore more now!
Thanks Debs! I think I have a but if a button obsession, not happy until I find the right ones! X