Optical Delusions 3 Piece Set
No stripes were harmed in the making of this set, but if you are prone to seizures, you may want to avert your eyes before it is too late.
I had bought this fabric with the intention of making it into a set with at least 3 pieces. My original plan was dress, skirt, jacket of a rather business-like nature and that I could mix and match with other black and/or ivory basics. I liked that the striped print ran vertically with the grain, rather than horizontally; it seemed unusual. Unfortunately for my initial plans, when I received this mail-ordered fabric, which had been labeled “ponte” in the description, it turned out to be much more like an ITY knit than a ponte. I still liked it, but my original plans had to be adjusted and adapted to suit a very different type of fabric.
I still ended up making a 3 piece set, but went for a more casual feel compared to my original plan. First up, we have the dress, a Cake Patterns Red Velvet with the skirt lengthened out to maxi length. I had played with stripes with this pattern once before and still love wearing that dress, so I thought it would be fun to do one that was as exactly opposite as i could make it. The 4-way stretch of the ITY meant I could cut the waistband on the cross-grain (something I wouldn’t attempt with a standard jersey). I gave this one just a little bit more length on the bust compared to the last one I made and I think I’ve finally got this pattern where I want it for bust depth.
Keep in mind that ITY fabric has a lot of drape along with a lot of stretch, so, yes, the silhouette of this dress is a little lumpy. It’s not the dress, that’s just how I’m shaped.
I love the little pocket in the Red Velvet Dress pattern. It won’t fit a phone, but debit card, license, and lipstick fit very nicely and the zipper keeps things secure. As a bonus, this is a nice, clear picture of what the fabric actually looks like, which should give you some idea of why it looks so blurry in the pictures. It kind of makes me feel like I’m wearing a chapter of some Martin Gardner book.
Next up, since it is going on winter and I was thinking long-sleeves would be a good idea, I made a Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigan. I’d never made this pattern before, but I will definitely be making it again. You know how sometimes we will talk about a pattern being “well drafted” then refer to “all the notches lining up” like that’s all there is that makes a pattern well-designed? The Coppelia is well-drafted in a way that goes way beyond just walking the seams. The band that goes around the neckline has some subtle shaping to keep it pulled up against the back of the neck, and when I realized that, I knew the Papercut peeps knew what they were doing. For something that looks so deceptively simple, Papercut really did a great job in making up this pattern. On my end, since my fabric had that 4-way stretch that meant pieces could be cut on grain or across if I really wanted to, it was fun to try to think about how the stripes would look when made up. I ended up trying to keep the cuffs and bottom band from breaking up the style lines too much.
I knew as I was sewing this up that I was making something “matchy-matchy”, and thought I was just making stuff that happened to be in the same fabric, but that would be worn separately with other things. I didn’t realize until I put them on together for pictures how much I really like the look of these pieces together. It may be a bit over-the-top, but the black and ivory combo is classic, so I think it works.
My third piece might be the most fun of all. I made another pair of Cake Patterns Espresso leggings. Why have I never made ITY leggings before? I can’t think of a good reason. If I wear them with boots this winter, no one will know that my “tights” don’t have feet. I’m pondering possibilities for shorter dresses I can wear with them too.
You might notice from these pictures that there doesn’t seem to be a hem on my leggings or my dress. You’d be right. After valiant efforts to hem previous ITY projects, I’ve given up. I’ve decided that it just looks nicer when I don’t hem them. I’ve never had one ravel on me. The leggings do seem to want to roll a little, but overall, I’m much happier without an ITY hem.
While I’m mentioning my previous wrestling attempts with ITY, I might as well also bring up that the Coppelia cardigan is most definitely a difficult project to create in ITY. The way the bottom band and ties are attached gives a lovely result, but would have been much easier to execute could I have ironed a fold into my fabric. ITY doesn’t hold a press, so there was a lot of pinning, a lot of slow stitching, and a lot of manipulating the fabric as I went. That said, since most of the cardigan edges are finished with binding or cuffs, the finished product is quite lovely made up in ITY (no unhemmed edges), even if it won’t be all that warm in winter.
Did this really come out of my stash? I think it did. Wow! I sat around way too long waiting to make these items up.
Stash-busting stats: 44/50 projects. 95 yards.