You got 'em.
We seized a few minutes - literally - of gorgeous sunny weather to snap these modeled shots of Maxine.*
Although it was frustrating to have the light fade just as we were warming to our task, I think the twilit quality of the scene created some fantastic moody shadows. We don't have the lighting equipment (or fee-money!) to shoot inside in an atmospheric speakeasy-type bar, but this kind of light is the next best thing.
For me, knitting Maxine was a joy from start to finish; I hope the test-knitters and purchasers feel the same! I held the fingering-weight yarn doubled, which gave me a DK-weight gauge. Combine that with the lack of sleeves, and it was a surprisingly quick knit. The beads and the bias-panels broke up the monotony of stockinette stitch, but the pattern is incredibly easy to intuit. No charts; no graphs! I think it's probably my most accessible sweater pattern to date. It's even sans waist shaping, which was a little nerve-wracking for me, but I love the end result. The fabric is drapey, and there are a few inches of negative ease at the bust and hips, so it still looks fitted while also being true-to-period.
The trickiest part of this design is the seaming. The sides are just long, straight seams, with no increases or decreases to be found, so you would think they wouldn't require that much attention. You would be wrong. Not that they're deadly difficult or anything, but it surprised me how easily those beaded diagonals could get off-kilter if I let my mind wander, and they really are so pleasing when they meet each other exactly at the seam. I ended up putting a pin at every point of intersection, which meant that the seaming took longer and was slightly fussier than usual, but the end result is, without doubt, the most beautiful seam I've ever executed.
The curved hems were actually a surprise, but I just love them. I love them from the front/back, and I love them from the sides; they add another layer of Deco-style, architectural sensibility to the piece as a whole.
I'm proud of Maxine because I think it's one of the best articulations of a specific period that I've designed. I feel like I'm getting better at identifying signature details of particular eras, and also at thinking about how to communicate the zeitgeist (or at least, my rosy-spectacled conception of the zeitgeist) in a piece of clothing. Maxine Elliott was a living example of the carefree/careworn, youthful spirit of the 1920's, and I think her garment lives up to her story.
*Note for those who care: that little fur piece is real, but I inherited it from David's grandmother; I wouldn't buy new fur, even if I could afford it!