Finally, finally, finally, finally! The green knitted dress is done! Finito! Completed and ready to wear! And do you know what? I'm really, really happy with it. Thank goodness - imagine if, after all that effort, all those stitches, you put it on, stood in front of the mirror and thought "By gee, that looks CRAP!" I think I would hang up my needles for once and for all if that had of been the case, but thankfully it wasn't, and I shall live to knit another day.
Make no mistake about it - this dress was a lot of work. I think I used 14 balls of yarn (Filatura Di Crosa's Zara in shade 1889) all up. The knitting in itself took quite a while, but it was the finishing that was the real humdinger. It never seemed to end, but I was determined not to rush it and botch things up. I'm glad I took the time over it that I did, because it has come up beautifully.
I sewed up my side and sleeve seams using invisible vertical seaming, which is also known as mattress stitch, just to confuse things - you can learn how to do it here. They take a lot of work, but the result is absolutely worth it. Then, I had the fun task of attaching my sleeves and the sleeve tabs onto the dress. The key to making the tabs sit flat was to use a thin thread. In the past, I've simply divided a piece of yarn into its separate strands, but I didn't think the strands would be strong enough to stand the wear and tear of such a large piece of knitting, particularly the arms, which I tend to wave around a lot (anybody who knows me in real life will be nodding their head in agreement at this point!) The solution - I used embroidery thread in a matching colour, which is a trick I'd learnt years ago from SkinnyRabbit.com. This gives you a lovely flat finish, as your seaming doesn't end up bulky, and it makes your seaming stitches pretty much invisible, as they hide away nicely in between your knitted stitches.
The buttons were a bit of a challenge - I really wanted to give the dress a slight nautical look but just a slight one - I didn't want to come across all ho ho sailor, but couldn't find any suitable ones anywhere until I visited Buttonmania. They are just lovely - burnished metal, with the colour on each varying just enough to give them a vintagey, worn look. I was worried that the shanks of the buttons would mean that my buttons wouldn't sit flat, but I sewed them on tightly using the embroidery thread, nestling the shank in between knitted stitches, and they are as flat as I could have desired them.
All in all, it's a fab dress, and the knitting was, despite the amount, nice and easy. Maybe one in red for next winter?!? That Zara yarn sure is nice to work with!
Pattern: Robe No. 043-T10-273 from Phildar Creations Automne No. 043
Yarn: Zara by Filatura di Crosa, in shade 1889, purchased from Sunspun. I used 14 balls. This yarn is a superfine merino in DK weight.
Needles: 2.5mm, 3mm and 3.5mm
Notions: 12 buttons from Buttonmania, Sajou embroidery thread from L'uccello