Carole is a knitting and sewing project. It’s made of a top, knitted in red and ecru lace weight 100% gassed mercerized cotton, and a pair of trousers, in ecru tropical weight wool fabric.

The project is named after the screwball comedies’ diva Carole Lombard, an actress who well embodies my source of inspiration: the 1930’s modern woman (at least as it was shown in Hollywood’s publicity shots that much influenced women those  times), sporty and fashionable, at ease in formal occasions as much as on a tennis court.

The top is a sort of my Bette sweater’s (HERE) variation, showing a loose-fitting bodice and a tight-fitting waistline emphasized with a belt. This time the neckline is V-shaped and finished with ribbed band edges I knitted separately (using a double strand of yarn) and then joined to the bodice with a backstitch seam. Dropped shoulders, also finished with ribbed band edges knitted separately and then sewn, give the impression of short sleeves. The top is knitted playing with two different yarn’s colours: red round the waistline and ecru for the rest of the bodice. An easy colorwork motif joins the two colours.

I used a little trick assembling the top. Though the 1k/1p ribbed stitch makes the edges quite elastic (despite the cotton yarn), I’ve sewn top-down on the side seam an invisible zipper to make easier to wear it. This way the top’s waistline won’t lose its shape.

The trousers are high-waisted, with side pockets and no pleats. I drafted the pattern and made a test garment before cutting the ecru tropical weight wool. I reinforced outside leg and crotch seams with double top stitches (that makes clothes live longer).

A red plastic buckle (who lived for a long time in my home haberdashery) provided inspiration for a double belt. The first, made using the ecru tropical weight wool reinforced with light iron-on interfacing, has being conceived to complete the Carole top. The second one, made in red grosgrain ribbon, has been made to be used with the trousers. They are interchangeable thanks to studs.

Both top and trousers have been made using patterns I drafted using my body’s measurements, not standard sizes. Nonetheless, reference sizes could be size XS for the top and size S for trousers.

Here is the list of materials and stitches I used. :

Carole top:

  • 50 gr of red lace weight 100% gassed mercerized cotton;
  • 67 gr of ecru lace weight 100% gassed mercerized cotton;
  • Straight needles 2 mm;
  • 1 red invisible zipper;
  • Yarn needle.

Carole trousers:

  • Tissue paper, ruler and set square (to draft the pattern);
  • Tape measure, tailor’s shears, pins, needles, 100% cotton 50wt sewing thread (ecru) and a sewing machine(!);
  • 1,20 m ecru tropical weight wool cloth;
  • 1 button;
  • 20 cm ecru zipper.

The belts:

  • Ecru tropical weight wool;
  • Light weight iron-on interfacing;
  • Red grosgrain ribbon;
  • Studs;
  • Plastic red buckle.

Stitches (Carole top):

  • Playing with colour (watch chart) – single strand;
  • Stockinette stitch – single strand;
  • 1k/1p ribs (edges) – double strand;
  • Tubular cast-on and bind-off.

More photos soon…

Related articles from the blog: Change of season; Playing with colours: a summer preview; Carole: playing with colour; Carole: the stitch’s chart; Carole: knitting and sewing vintage style; Carole: just a little trick; Carole: multiplying belts.


8 responses »

  1. crochetingdoc says:

    I am really, sincerely impressed about what you can do with a pair of knitting needles and a sewing machine! You make the rest of us look like amateurs (most of us probably are…I know I am)!!! I wish I could also make professional looking garments like you!
    Many many congratulations!

    • Ella V says:

      Thank you Liz. You know, I’m not a professional too. My goal is to wear what I knit and sew (tailored clothing is addicting, especially for someone pretty small like me) so I always try to do my best. Long time ago I studied fashion and had the opportunity to learn pattern making and sewing from someone who, even today, would question my ability, on the other hand when I started knitting my clothes I only knew how to cast-on and knit and purl and in fact my technique is still not at all impeccable. Believe me: if I can do this everyone can do it! Thank you again.

  2. Very impressive and love the look! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. nandiaf says:

    Congratulations! I really don’t say this often, but the clothes you make are gorgeous, the drawings are beautiful and the whole appearance of the blog very appealing. Glad to have found you! (plus, Carole Lombard is my favorite actress! followed by Jean Arthur, who also embodies that ideal of the modern, smart, capable woman).

  4. benben73 says:

    Beh, Ella, tu sei davvero brava ed hai del talento. Saper creare dal niente ciò che vedi o ti piace non è da tutti. Magari potessi anch’io saper lavorare a maglia come te. E’ già tanto se riesco a fare una sciarpa (dritto o rovescio o punto riso: la mia conoscenza dei ferri si ferma qui…). Però, mi dico che prima o poi imparerò.. Baci

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