We had a very brief excursion to Venice during our trip. It was too brief, actually. Still, Mike and I made our way around as large a portion of the city as we could. With all its canals, winding streets, and beautiful architecture, Venice is remarkable. However, it also felt like a giant tourist trap. Once you get off the ferry, you're captive. It's impossible to walk ten feet without encountering a Murano glass gift shop and/or a gondolier.
We tried our best to propel ourselves around the city in search of gelato and coffee. We like to do this sort of thing when we travel. We pick a food and/or a drink that the place is known to do well and experience as much variety of that thing as we're able. In Brussels, it was chocolate and frites. Paris, macarons. Ireland, cider... you get the gist. It helps give us some direction with our wandering. Unfortunately, a lot of the top rated gelatarias were closed for winter holiday. Fortunately, we still found a few. We had a particularly amazing scoop of chocolate pistachio at SUSO. The pistachio was a little bit salty and the consistency of a nut butter. It was perfect mixed into the chocolate and possibly my favorite flavor I tried the entire trip.
In between brain freezes and coffee breaks we bounced between landmarks on our way to... FABRIC (of course). As a side note, if you're like us and prefer to explore new places on foot, National Geographic is an excellent resource for pre-fab walking tours. For Venice there were several options to choose from, but we mainly stuck with the Rialto area in order to maximize the time we had available.
It was crisp and cool while we walked around, but I stayed comfortable in another garment sewn from a wool sweater knit. This fabric is bulky and squishy. When I bought it, I imagined it would be perfect as a cozy sweater dress. That was my plan, actually. And, using vintage Vogue 8129, I sewed myself the ugliest, most shapeless dress imaginable. It was a disaster. The only redeemable feature was the collar. The collar on this pattern is magnificent and huge. I have a giant dome (trust me on this), and it looks small in comparison to the size of this cowl.
Also, I really love this fabric, and I didn't want to feel like I'd wasted it. Rescue operations immediately commenced. I cut twelve inches from the length of the dress. I narrowed the side seams by inches. Then, I used the length I'd removed, folded it in half and turned it into a bottom band. In the end, this is not the most flattering garment I've ever sewn, but It's still pretty great and very wearable. Also, it's delightfully warm and cozy. My biggest complaint with this, as it stands, is that the seams are bulkier than I'd prefer. I do wonder if some sort of top-stiching finish like THIS might help them to behave better. Working with new types of fabrics always involves a new set of obstacles and a learning curve for me. If you have any tips on sewing with bulky knits, I'm very grateful to hear them!
Before I sign off, CHEERS to a new year of #vintagepledge! Are you signed up to participate? I have some very loose goals for 2016, but vintage is always on my list of things to do!