Winter wedding dress

Fabric for wedding dress
Ivory wool fabric and pale green pin dot lyocel for winter wedding dress

Planning for a winter wedding, I wanted a dress I wouldn’t be cold in. I also had so many ideas I loved – From medieval and woodland fairy to a fifties style in red lace – and only one wedding!

I decided on a fabric, the most expensive I have ever bought (on a budget). I did get several samples sent so I could check the thickness and stretch, how it felt and folded.

I chose a natural white/cream coloured wool fabric and a pale green lyocel lining.

My inspiration for the dress shape was from the film Gigi, set in turn of the century Paris. I used a vintage Seventies maxi dress I have as the template for the skirt as I always get compliments and it fits so well.

Gigi Leslie Caron evening dress wedding feathers birds train wrapover edwardian parisienne

White or ivory silk or satin dress with bodice and train, decorated with black birds

The bodice needed to be planned and drawn out, so I learnt about folds and how to cut a pattern with folds on YouTube! There was lots of pinning and fitting to get the folds to sit right before using the pattern to cut the wool.

I chose to join the two halves instead of creating a corset or bodice separately. Making it into a dress meant I could have lots of buttons!

Amazingly, in my search for feathers for the shoulder decoration I chanced upon hair clips reduced in Claire’s Accessories. I dismantled the clips from the feathers so I could tack them on. I chose this method so I can easily remove and re-attach them if it needs cleaning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As the dress did not have sleeves and I didn’t want to spoil it with a cardigan or coat, I decided to make a matching jacket, using a Victorian/ steampunk pattern as a template. This idea came from a page I had kept from a Vogue magazine. I also wanted to add some wool frills.

My mum and I knitted yards of lace in Rowan Kidsilk to decorate the edge of the skirt and the front of the jacket.

I am so happy with the outcome of incorporating two of my dream outfits for my wedding dress, using styles that suited my shape.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I hope I get to wear it again for a party sometime!

For more inspiration look at my post on vintage wedding dresses.

Wedding photo credit: www.jamesmarcelle.co.uk

Advertisements

Marilyn’s chunky knit cardigan

Marilyn Monroe cardigan
Photo by George Barris

In 1962, George Barris took a series of photos of Marilyn Monroe on Santa Monica beach. So, technically, this isn’t from the silver screen. This shoot takes chunky cardigans into a wardrobe staple, if not a pin up status. This is very similar to the one in Starsky & Hutch too.

If you love barbeques on the beach, even in the summer you need something warm to wrap up in as the sun sets.

I’ve wanted to have one of these for a while, but nobody seems to knit it to look like the photo. The stitches seem more textured than plain knit, perhaps because it’s chunky. I couldn’t get the right look, so I experimented with some different stitches to find the right look.

 

 

Compared to that, drawing out the Cowichan design was easy! Figuring out the colours we fun too. It was my brother who pointed out that there is a fourth colour. Look carefully at the diamonds in some of the photos, and you can pick out a dark grey.

 

 

I used a similar cardigan pattern from the Seventies, although I think I ended up altering most of it to get the right look.

Contact me if you’re interested in commissioning one!

 

Nordic Noir

tumblr_lhe1q2otbx1qz8u2bo1_500
Sarah Lund jumper

For the dark winter months. Not vintage, I know, but I’ve included some vintage styling of the jumpers.

I couldn’t justify buying an authentic (by Gudrun & Gudrun) Sara Lund jumper (or three), so I had a Plan B. None of the imitations on offer looked like the original, but more ‘inspired by’, so they couldn’t be accused of plagiarising, which is fair enough.  If you want a job done properly…

I started with various photos and screen shots from Forbrydelsen (original Danish The Killing) and the official website selling the jumpers. Based in the Faroe islands, and knitted with natural, untreated wool from local sheep, led me to look for a similar wool that would knit up to the correct tension. My search led me to a Faroese site selling their local wool, probably from the same sheep! Others had come before me, in search of the same thing. A very useful post said the yarn weight and needle size that produced good results similar to the original. This saved lots of time knitting tension squares!

Using the photos, I laboriously counted the stitches and pattern repeats. I drew up the pattern, and bought a set of double ended needles. Although the wool looks thin compared to the chunky needles, it really worked!

I love the wool too, because it should rarely need washing, it keeps me warm like only real wool can and the jumper is like a second skin to peel on and off, so it’s now my size and shape.

It was so successful, I knitted a second one, and I think the blue one may be possible, now the colour is available.

If you’ve seen Sarah Lund’s jumper collection, which are your favourite? There’s the diamond, chevron and red jumpers too!

Here are some vintage styling ideas for lovers of Nordic Noir. And for those no nonsense days, I’ve thrown in Saga’s look from The Bridge.

 

 

Dramatic Dressing Gown

When I saw this pattern, I fell in love with its romantic, dramatic look. I’m sure characters in the Bronte’s stories would wear this.

This dressing gown was lovingly made by my Mum. It was project for the summer, to be finished ready for the winter, but it’s already finished! 

So, if I lived at Wuthering Heights, this is the dressing gown I’d wear. Well, I’ll wear the dressing gown now. I just need a draughty old castle or house on the moors.

The pattern lists Rowan Kid Classic, which knits as double knitting yarn. I used a cotton mix yarn. It gives a lovely fall and drape without feeling too heavy.

 Jennie Atkinson knitting pattern.

Where would you wear it? Or who can you imagine wearing this? Message me if you want to know more about it or make enquiries about commissioning a knit.

1930’s style Rowan knit

WIN_20151014_11_02_30_Pro (2)

This knitted top is a pattern called Charleston from Rowan magazine 39. The designer was inspired by the 1920’s and 30’s. The drape is intended to be on the front, but having looked at some 1930’s evening dresses, I put the drape at the back.

The fashion was to have the detail at the back, while often having a high neck a the front. Silks and satins are perfect for drapes and bias cut skirts. It was a challenge to knit and attach the drape to hang nicely.

The idea of attaching or incorporating jewellery into ones clothes is coming back into fashion. Check out Prada and Chanel for modern reinterpretations. I’ve started wearing my vintage brooches on my coat and jacket pockets.

This aspect of the 30’s style is reflected in the beading along the front, back and in the straps. I used clear and pearl beads (each threaded onto the wool – Rowan Kidsilk Haze) so there is just a hint of sparkle. The fine lace pattern around the waist/hips adds interest. I enjoyed knitting this and it is comfy to wear as well as pretty.

Some close-ups of the beading at the back and the lace.