I’ve had a few false starts with this challenge (see here, here, here, here, and here), but now I have almost completed my final outfit. I thought I would make it the subject of a couple of posts so that I can do all this work justice.
First of all let me reacquaint you with the rules: every part of the garments produced has to be grown/produced/processed in the area in which we live. For participants living in Perth this means that we can’t use fabric, cotton thread, elastic, zips, clasps, etc. It also means that we are now confined pretty much to wool (although there is a producer of fish leather in Western Australia, but it’s expensive). We also cannot use any chemical dyes, so only plant dyes are acceptable. With all that in mind let me unveil the first part of my outfit. I have machine knitted a top and trousers.
I had a practice run at the trousers (effort journaled here) and they worked pretty well so I was prepared to risk this precious locally spun and produced wool. I machine knitted four long rectangles, soaked them in warm water for
15 90 minutes (it was supposed to be 15 minutes but I nipped in to see a friend and got held up!), dried them flat and then cut them out using the same pattern as the aforementioned practice trousers. I then sewed the seams using a small backstitch and blanket stitched the edges. As with the brown trousers, I allowed the bottom edges to roll up, but I note that the seams poke out a bit in these photos – nothing that a stitch or two won’t solve. To keep them up I ribbed a waistband and hand sewed it to the top of the trousers. It is visible through the top, but never fear, that top is a layering piece so nothing will show through it when the whole outfit is worn (including my underwear!)
Speaking of the top – this was a later addition to the outfit and was designed to provide an aspect of modesty to the outfit. I used a dropped stitch pattern – this means that I deliberately dropped every 5 stitch, getting that laddered effect, and knitted two rectangles and two oblongs. The two rectangles are simply joined at the shoulder with some top stitching and the sides sewn up, and the neckline allowed to roll.
The oblongs were turned on their side and attached to the bottom. This was really because I was afraid of a dromedary effect – if you know what I mean ;). The neckline was allowed to roll over, so no finishing required.
OK, the obligatory back view!
I haven’t finished my shoes yet, so went barefoot, which is much more seventies anyway. If you are thinking that knitted trousers are pretty naff, please keep in mind that they are for sale in Zara and Alexa Chung added them to her collection this year, although I note the massive cuffs on hers.
I do need to say that Archie gave me a bit of a hard time when I knitted the trousers but then sheepishly admitted that he really liked them – win for me! He even offered to take these photos which is why you are looking down on me in a couple of them.
As mentioned, this is the basic part of my outfit, I have two more items of clothing, plus shoes and bag to
come still make.