Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vintage - Castleberry knits

Another thrift store find, I don't know why I had to have this except that I immediately envisioned white linen palazzo pants, a thin lizard belt, gold bangles and big black sunglasses.  There's more, there was a cocktail in one hand, chaise lounge, a pool in the background and a cabana boy somewhere in there.


My mother was very talented, and one of her talents was knitting these classic dresses for herself and clients.
She had a Pfaff double bed knitting machine which produced rib knits and intricate textured patterns, later she would buy a Brother single bed knitting machine to make intarsia and lace knits.  I still have this knitting machine and a few cones of yarn, so the purchase was more of a study of the cuffs and joining knit to woven.

The top itself has potential, it is 100% polyester, and while I normally stay away from polys this is a high end polyester, it is silky and very lightweight.  In addition to the knit hem and cuffs, there is a strip of knit trim around the collar and yoke (front and back).  I imagine this would be an easy travel item, wrinkle resistant and easy to wash and hang to air dry.  It can be worn as a jacket, with a cami underneath as the front opens all the way to the waist. A departure from what many travel pieces look like (we don't always want to wear tank tops and tank dresses).  An interesting style with some interesting design details.


Hidden button placket

Shoulder pads - inside out view

Rib knit joined to woven fabric - just a note, this knit has tremendous recovery, from a flat 30" it stretches to 42" without distorting, so finding the right knit is key for this project.

Bottom Hem
Stretched out



Knit trim collar edge

Isn't it nice to know that even manufacturers have problems finding matching sets of buttons?

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