Friday, January 27, 2012

Flattering, Forgiving Sweater Dresses

Hello, everyone! I apologize for the lack of outfit posts recently; the truth is that I gained eight pounds over the holidays (I told you they hit me hard)! That may not sound like much, but when you're five feet tall, it's enough to render all of your clothes too small. Especially when it all goes to your hips (Thanks, Mom)! Growing out of your clothes is always very unpleasant, but I think that when you sew your own clothes, when you invest your time and love into each garment, it is especially hard.

Perhaps it was the fact that I was in charge of Christmas dinner this year; of course, I had to test (eat) all of the recipes before I served them! Or it could have been the dozens of cookies that my mother-in-law baked and then left at my house; I mean, I couldn't let them go to waste...Anyway, since I will be working hard to shed those extra pounds, I haven't been too keen on sewing anything that might not fit in a month or two. My solution: knits! If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that altering knits is already one of my favorite things to do. They're stretchy, so they will still fit me after I (hopefully) lose a few inches, and it's the perfect time of year for them. Since I currently have almost nothing to wear, and since my husband gave me a serger for Christmas this year (so exciting!), I've been furiously working on some '30s-style knits. Here are some pictures that have been inspiring me. All of these photos come from reproduction knitting books available at Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions. I could look at the pictures on her site for hours; so much inspiration!

A knitted pantsuit! I don't think that I could pull this off.

If you want to see that amazing dress on the lower right in person, check out this post from A Cat Among the Pigeons. Beautiful!

Knickers! I think that, traditionally, Henry is really too young to be in knickers. It seems that in most of the old pictures I've seen, boys his age are in shorts year-round, and the boys wearing knickers are older. I just can't put him in shorts in the middle of winter! And the knickers are so cute. If only I could find those socks!

Speaking of knickers and Henry, at least I can share an outfit post of him:

These are the same shoes and knickers that he was wearing in the last post. The shoe paint has held up pretty well; however, there was an incident when he tried to jump into a swimming pool (indoor!) fully clothed. The paint sort of sloughed right off. I'm not sure if it was the water, the chlorine, or something else, but just keep that in mind if you plan to try this technique. The hat is vintage; I found it in a flea market last summer, and he has been wearing it nonstop ever since. I made the shirt a while ago, and the vest is from Carter's. He is obsessed with pockets right now, so I have just finished another pair of knickers for him, with pockets this time. Looking at these pictures, I decided that he needs some little ties!

I finished my evening dress, and it was a hit at the wedding, as was Henry's outfit. We just got a new camera, so as soon as we figure out how to use it, I will share pictures!


  1. aww, he is too cute for words!! I gained a few extra pounds over Christmas too. I recently packed up all of my too-small things and will only bring them out once the new weight is gone again. I've been having green smoothies for breakfast every morning, which seems to help but so far, no new clothes!!

  2. I adore those pattern images, too. Your little chap is adorable!

  3. I was wondering, looking at the beautiful sweater dresses, how many women actually knit the whole dress? Then you link to a modern woman who did! Amazing.

    Your little boy is adorable! I believe the knickers/shorts were to avoid wear to the knees, plus to show your son attended a posh prep school.

    1. These are definitely among my favourite patterns! Always having a soft spot for stripes, I gravitate towards those details, and am lusting over the chevron jumpers. And guess what? lately the tomboy in me has returned, so I fancy the more mannish looks displayed by the pant suit wearers. That includes your delightful little boy!

      And thank you for the mention and the link to my blog.

  4. Your little boy is so cute!!!!
    I don't wear a lot of knitt suits or dresses because I think it's not really flatering with large hips like mine... moreover they were not so much popular in my favorite era the 50's. But I have just bought on etsy a fabulous 50's suit and what a color!!!!
    Please visit my blog if you have some time, just a french girl in love with the 40's-50's:

  5. I have been toying with the idea of a knitted skirt from my Handbook for Modern Knitwear, but on a bit of a handsewing kick lateley so it might take me all summer to knit one!!! Some fabulous inspiration in these photos though. Henry looks a proper little chap here!!!

  6. I could spend hours looking at the patterns on Iva Rose. Definitely dangerous!

    Henry's the cutest! Love his outfit.

  7. Sweater dresses are awesome! I have two and I'm practically living in them at the moment. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of your altered knits - they're always super inspiring.

    Also, Henry is totally adorable.

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

  8. I agree those Iva Rose catalogues are amazing its soo easy to loose a few hours there! How flipping cute is Henry, love his little outfit its just adorable! x

  9. I like your post. Sweater Dress is very comfortable to wear, I love it.

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