Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lulamae to Anahera

Some time ago I got it in my head to design a top for my big girl based on the idea of a 1930s girls tunic.  She likes to wear leggings, but often pairs them with just a t shirt, which to my eye just isn't "decent"!  So I wanted something long enough to look like she wasn't half dressed, but short enough for play, with pockets for treasures (and everything is better with pockets in my opinion), cap sleeves for sun protection, and for no reason other than I wanted to - pleats! 

I wanted to call her Lulamae (Holly Golightly's real name) as a reference to my dustbowl inspiration, but Miss Z chose the name Anahera, which is actually perfect.  This is my Ravelry blurb:

Anahera is a long top or short dress depending on your whim - short enough for cartwheels and tree climbing, but long enough to wear modestly over tights or leggings. Slightly puffed sleeves provide a girly touch and sun protection, and the neat little pockets are perfect for Thing Seekers to store their treasures.

A little bit dustbowl chic, a little bit Belles of St Trinians, Anahera was inspired by a 1930s pattern book and the tunics/gymslips school girls used to wear.

Knit in the round from the bottom up, concealed pockets have little pleat details, which are echoed in the slightly puffed sleeves.

I wanted this to fit an 8-10 year old, and it's just a tad big on my petite girl so I'm pretty happy with the sizing.  A lot of calculations went into this!  And a lot of figuring out how to do stuff - pleats, hidden pockets....  Not entirely happy with my increase pleats (kf&b&f&b x 2), so please tell me if you know a cleverer way to do it.  I found the pocket plan in my old Stitchcraft magazines, and the pleat method using a cable needle from Sweaterbabe's Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan.  Then I found Pleat by the fabulous Norah Gaughan and remembered it's impossible to be orginal ;-)

I'm hoping to get the pattern written up for sharing soon (all things take time!), and to get the calculator out for smaller sizes - 4 and 6 year olds need frocks too!  Oh, and the camera out for a proper modelled session.