And now for something completely impractical…

Today’s post comes to you from Gabriel’s sick bed. Well, okay, the chair next to the “sick sofa” where he’s crashed out in front of CBeebies. It’s been an exhausting day what with him vomiting copiously last night (and today)  in what is probably a reaction to the antibiotics he’s just been put on because his hernia surgery incision became infected. Ugh. Have had a fun day speaking to doctors, driving to the out of hours NHS clinic in Shepton Mallet, and doing heaps of laundry. Seriously, the washing machine and tumble drier have been going ALL DAY LONG. This is why I like making easy to wash and care for clothes these days.

So here’s a totally impractical make to remind me of the carefree days that will hopefully come again once the kids are grown up…

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Yeah, you’d better take this top seriously, inexplicably grainy photos or not!

In a Nutshell:

A beautiful, romantic vest top by my favourite crochet designer that fits like a dream. Shame I don’t have much occasion to wear it…

You can see my Ravelry entry for this project here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Anna-Jo/crochet-vest—cecilia-chemise

Pattern:

The Cecilia Chemise by Jennifer Hansen for Stitch Diva. I’m pretty sure I worked the size S, but not 100% on this as I didn’t write it down anywhere at the time (#badblogger!). It’s my usual Stitch Diva size, though.

Yarn:

Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in teal. This is a soft, drapey 80% bamboo, 20% wool DK yarn.

New skills learnt:

Although this is classed as intermediate there was nothing new to me here, but it was a sufficiently interesting pattern to keep my attention. I particularly loved making the floral edging, which was a really easy repeat to memorise but still really satisfying to crochet.

Changes I made:

I worked an extra four rows of the body pattern to make sure it hit me at the waist. I also had to work in some decreases when working the top edging so that it fit snugly. This yarn can grow over time!

What went wrong:

Nothing. This was a pretty straightforward pattern, despite how complex it looks, and how tiny the print is on the instructions. I believe Stitch Diva have improved the pattern readability on their newer patterns, but like some of their other designs I’ve tried, this feels like it’s been squashed into too few pages for print purposes.

What went well:

Everything! This is the best fitted crochet garment I’ve ever made. I’m so glad I took my time to get the fit spot on. The instructions are really good in this respect as they tell you to stop and try it on at certain points, so you can make adjustments on the fly.

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Overall verdict:

This was a surprisingly quick project to work up, so how come it took me almost three years? Oh, okay, it’s not that I’m that slow. It’s just I fell pregnant and then there was no point carrying on as it needs to be carefully fitted at the bust. I wanted to wait until after I’d lost the baby pounds to continue!

I really love this top–especially that gorgeous square neckline–and it’s like it was made to go over my favourite cami tops from Next-the straps and neckline line up perfectly. I have a bit of a hard time figuring out what colours to team it with, though. I like it with the purple and navy ones, but there aren’t many other colours I think it goes with. Teal is surprisingly difficult to co-ordinate with…

I’ve only worn the Cecilia chemise a couple of times so far, since finishing it back in July. Once with a pencil skirt and once over jeans. I think it works best with more casual clothes or it starts to look a bit fussy for my style.

Changes for next time:

I think it’s a little unlikely I’ll make this again–it’s beautiful and fits perfectly, but it’s not the sort of thing I’ll wear often enough to justify the time. But if I ever do decide to make another, it will definitely be in a more neutral colour. Possibly a charcoal, navy or smoky purple.

Andy thinks the straps are too fussy and it would look better with something simpler and narrower, but I’m not sure as I love that floral edging. Could be worth a try, though, as it might make a garment I’d feel more comfortable with for everyday wear. Since the straps are worked separately and attached last it would be simple enough to try something out and change it for the straps in the pattern if it didn’t work.

I’d also consider working some elastic or some of those little doofers that attach to your bra into the straps to help them stay up, as they kept falling down when dancing. Admittedly, I don’t boogie on down as often as I used to, but a girl can dream, right?!

Costing:

Pattern: Part of a spiral bound pattern collection called Seamless Crochet (now unavailable, but you can buy the pattern on its own for $7). I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for it now as I’ve had it years, but it wasn’t more than £20 including postage. I’ve now worked two patterns from the book, so that’s about £10, maybe…

Yarn: Original purchase lost in the mists of time, but since I used five skeins which are currently priced at £3.95 each, I’m going for £19.75

Notions: No idea how much the buttons cost, but it wasn’t much. Say £1.00?

Total cost: £30.00 ish. Can’t be too accurate unfortunately what with the amount of time passed, but this seems a fair enough approximation. A wee bit pricey, perhaps, but I loved making it so I consider it money well spent.

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