Outfit Along 2016: Mireille and Ginger

Despite my terrible track record for actually finishing knit- or sew-alongs, I decided to participate in this year’s Outfit Along, which is co-hosted by Andi at Untangling Knots and Lauren at Lladybird. The idea behind the Outfit Along is that you make two garments–one knit and one sewn–that can be worn together as an outfit.  It’s a fun, and kind of rare, place where the online knitting and sewing worlds come together.

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I’ve followed the OAL for the past two summers and have really enjoyed seeing the combos that people come up with, but I hadn’t ever really planned to participate myself. Like I said, I’m terrible at seeing things like this through so I’ve kind of given up on them. Also, the OALtends to lean towards a particular aesthetic that, while lovely on other people, is not really my thing.But when this year’s OAL was announced, I immediately had an idea pop into my head, and I just decided to go for it.

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My plan is knit the Mireille pullover from The Shetland Trader and sew a pair of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans. For the sweater, I’m using Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Charcoal. For the jeans, I have some black stretch denim that I think will work really nicely for a pair of skinny jeans.

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In my last blog post, I talked about how a lifelong emphasis on practicality and lack of interest in style has led to me having an aggressively boring wardrobe. As soon as I envisioned both of these patterns together, my inner censor started hounding me: It’s not seasonal. Why would I make an oversized pullover when all advice suggests I will look best in something fitted? I’ll always be too hot in an alpaca-blend pullover. I’m not competent enough to sew jeans. I’ve only owned one pair of skinny jeans before–shouldn’t I pick a “safer” style if I’m going to go to the trouble of making jeans? This is just going to be a waste of good fabric. That censor voice (which is discernibly different from the quieter moments of intuition that tell me when something in a project isn’t working out quite right) is fucked up, so I’m ignoring it and forging ahead with the original plan. Basically, I’m using the OAL as a way to push myself to pay closer attention to my impulses and my intuition, like I talked about in my previous post.

Anyway. I haven’t done anything on the jeans, beyond buying the pattern. I also bought the Sewing Your Own Jeans e-book that Closet Case Files put out–I’ve read through most of it at this point, and it seems really helpful. The OAL goes through the end of July, so I’m hoping to gather my jeans-making supplies, get the pattern assembled, and maybe get a muslin started by the end of June, which will give me plenty of time to actually finish my jeans in July.

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Mireille, on the other hand, is off to a very strong start. The OAL started on June 1st, and I cast on for my sweater at about 12:05 a.m. In about a week’s worth of knitting time, I’ve made it entirely through the yoke and am now into the body of the sweater. The construction of this sweater is interesting and entirely new to me. Mireille has a drop shoulder. But unlike the the uber-boxy drop shoulder of the 1980s, this sweater is knit from the top-down, working from the shoulder seam and using short rows to create a carefully shaped, sloped shoulder that looks more modern. It’s meant to be loose-fitting, but the body still has some shaping and the sleeves are slim fitting, so I think it’s going to look really good once it’s done.

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I’m making the 48.5″ size, which puts me right around the lower end of the recommended 5-10″ of ease. I’ve swapped out the cables written in the pattern for a more traditional rope cable and I’m altering the waist shaping a bit to give me a bit more room at the hips, but otherwise the knitting should be pretty straightforward. I’m just keeping keeping my fingers crossed that the Ultra Alpaca doesn’t grow more than expected during blocking. I’m watching my row gauge carefully, but alpaca is always a bit of a gamble. I’m going to try to finish this sweater sooner rather than later so I have time to go back and shorten the sleeves or the body if necessary before the end of July.

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6 thoughts on “Outfit Along 2016: Mireille and Ginger

  1. That is a good idea to make things together that can actually be worn together. And it combines knitting and sewing really nicely. Did you think about knitting some jeans and sewing a shirt? I kid! Or you could get into weaving and weave some pants like Bret on Flight of the Conchords. Bwah ha ha ha ha. The sweater looks amazing and I will be extremely impressed if this jeans-making thing works, which I’m sure it will!

    I finished the yoke and sleeves on Clem’s “wee envelope.” I tried it on her this morning and it fits perfectly so it will surely be too small by the time it’s seasonally appropriate. Maybe it will grow in blocking. She did cry the entire time she was wearing it so, there’s that.

    I look forward to seeing this outfit once it’s complete.

    • This makes me think of that Knitty pattern from several years ago for knitted baby jeans. Have you seen that pattern? I could just make myself an adult-sized pair. The ultimate jeggings!

      I think I remember you saying you were using Silky Wool for Clem’s sweater? I bet it will probably grow when you block it and give you some extra length.

  2. I considered doing the OAL this year. I never have because I don’t knit (like, I don’t even know how), but I actually like the combo they picked. The skirt is totally my style (though very simple & I would maybe just hack a knock-off instead of splashing out for that premium indie pattern pricing) & I like the idea of basically knitting a tee. I’ve been vaguely thinking about learning how to knit for years, literally more than a decade, & my partner knows how & could probably get me started, & if I liked it, I could take lessons at the local yarn shop. But I don’t really need another expensive, time-consuming hobby when I am already drowning in sewing projects, right?

    Speaking of drowning in sewing projects: I am far from a jeans-sewing expert, but I have made the Gingers & actually just cut out another pair tonight, so holler if you have questions. From the start, I knew I didn’t actually want skinny jeans, & I didn’t want the low-rise or the high-waisted style. (So why did I buy the pattern? I think I got hypnotized by all the Gingers in the sewing blogosphere. It’s a pretty solid pattern though.) So I cut the version with the stovepipe legs for a straight fit, & then I added some height to the low-rise to make them more of a mid-rise. I’m pretty short-waisted, so the finished product comes up to belly button level, which is exactly what I wanted. I found that the larger sizes run big. I cut a size 18 based on my measurements, but wound up trimming the seams down to about a size 14, which is a perfect fit right out of the wash, but my denim bags out pretty quickly & the jeans start sagging. The pair I cut out tonight is a straight size 14, with the straight leg & slightly higher rise. I’m hoping to do a baste-fit in the next few days & see how that pans out.

    • I don’t wear skirts, but I really like the official tee pattern for the Outfit Along too and definitely plan to make it either later this summer or next spring/summer. Even though I like it, I didn’t seriously consider making the tee for the OAL because I don’t have any suitable yarn on hand and the yarn I’d like to use would be a bit spendy–not super expensive but a bigger chunk of my craft budget than I want to spend right now when I have other things to work on. The amount of my brainpower that is dedicated to maintaining my knitting and sewing habits without bankrupting myself is ridiculous (and involves multiple spreadsheets). I love knitting and sewing and like that I can do both of them, but it is kind of crazy to have two time- and materials-intensive hobbies.

      I’ve spent a lot of time hemming and hawing over whether it was reasonable to buy the Ginger pattern, but the reviews I’ve seen make me feel like it’s a pretty solid pattern. I also considered the Jalie jeans pattern that also seems pretty popular, but after staring at lots of pictures of internet strangers’ butts, I decided I like the general fit of the Ginger Jeans better. Hopefully it works out. I was already thinking that I might need to size down based on the reviews I’ve read, so your comments make me feel more confident that sizing down is a wise choice. I’m also looking for a mid-rise, but I’m long-waisted so I was thinking about starting with the high-waisted view and taking out some of the length (probably using it as an opportunity to shorten the yoke since the yoke on that view seems too deep to me). I’m also hoping that black fabric will work to hide some of the inevitable flaws and clumsiness of a first pair of jeans! I will definitely let you know if I have any questions about the Ginger Jeans–thanks for the offer of assistance!

      • I did a baste-up of my jeans yesterday & they are a perfect fit, which blows my mind, since the size 14 is definitely smaller than my measurements. They’re actually still an 18 at the inseams, maybe that’s why?

        I did black with black topstitching for my first pair too, which was smart because my topstitching is definitely not perfect, but no one can really see it, so who cares? I’m going to have to be a lot more precise with my next pair.

  3. Pingback: Black Ginger Jeans | Sweet Alchemy

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