Category Archives: Handmade Wardrobe

Cream Knitted Cardigan

I knitted a thing!

When I started knitting cardigans for 2 of my friends who had babies last year, it re-kick-started my interest in knitting. I, of course, got all enthusiastic about it and wanted to buy loads of new yarn for exciting new projects, but given my history with knitting, where I do it for a few months, then stop for several years, I decided I had to use up my existing stash before I was ‘allowed’ to buy new yarn. This is a project using up some of that stash yarn.

I have to confess, I have not yet blocked this cardigan (and it was finished a good few months ago) and I think it will be really improved when I get around to it!

The yarn is some quite soft stuff I bought from the knitting and stitching show years ago – unfortunately I threw away all the labels so I can’t tell you exactly the brand or colour.

The pattern I used was the free Enchant cardigan from Rowan. I made the smallest size, which is to fit chest 32-34″. The largest size is to fit chest 48-50″. I did a few changes because the decreases on the sleeves seemed to be going too slowly so I decreased more often, on alternate rows instead of every 4 rows.

I’m definitely not the best knitter – which is totally understandable because I don’t do it that much and have gone years without practising – I’ve for sure sewn way more than I have knitted! I also am kind of lazy when it comes to knitting and I don’t love having to count rows, let alone counting stitches so I don’t think there’ll be any cables or lace patterns in my future! I like stocking stitch and a pattern that basically says ‘knit until it’s xcm long’.

I’m part of the way through another jumper, for myself this time but since going back to full time work, my knitting output has way slowed down, as I could have predicted. So I am glad that I didn’t buy loads and loads of yarn 8 months ago, especially since I moved house twice in that time! But once I’ve finished the jumper I’m working on, then I’ll treat myself to a new project. And Oxford just got a new wool shop, which is very exciting! How much of one’s income is it acceptable to spend on yarn (and fabric)…?

Refashioned Shirt (again!)

Ages ago (in 2016!) I refashioned this dress:

into this tunic-y top:
(wow, that is a dead-eyed smile, huh!?)

I still really really love the fabric but the style of the tunic meant I wasn’t wearing it at all. I’m actually often pretty ruthless with my wardrobe, even stuff I’ve made/remade, and have regular clear-outs but this one kept surviving the cull because of the fabric. So over the Summer when I wasn’t working, I figured it was a perfect time to refashion it again into something I will actually wear – and I already wore it 3 times before it got a bit too chilly for short sleeves.

(I should have waited for nice weather and taken these photos outside, sorry!)

The third iteration of this garment is still maybe a little long, but the shape is the more boxy silhouette that I find I’m more drawn to these days. The original refashion was kind of based on the Deer and Doe Bruyere (who remembers when that pattern was new?!), with a nipped in waist, a waistband and pleats above and below the waistband.

This time around I removed the waistband, unpicking the button bands on both sides as far up as I needed to – in neither of these refashions have I had to sew new buttonholes, winning! I removed the pleats and sewed the top to the bottom, without the waistband this time. I did have to trim the bottom half to get it to fit the top half as I think there were deeper pleats on the bottom the first time (which makes sense, to go over my bum and hips).

I then sewed the button bands back down and sewed the buttons back on – easy! It took way longer to unpick the previous alteration than to sew the new version.

As with the Summer dress I shared last week, I’m now waiting for it to be warm enough to wear this. I think it’ll get lots of wear in Spring and Summer as it has all my favourite colours in and will go with lots of things in my wardrobe!

Have you ever refashioned a refashion? I wonder if I’ll do this one again – full on refashion-ception!

Yet More Ardens!

If you’ve seen my previous pair of linen colour-blocked Arden Pants, it will come as no surprise that I am here sharing another pair! My sister seems to like blue as much as I do, as there were three different shades of blue (the third one is in the next, and final pair I’ll share). I decided to pair this denim-blue with navy as I figured they would be easy-ish to match tops to.

Unlike the cream and pink pair, I split this pair front and back. This involved some pattern tetris to get all the pieces to fit as the pieces of fabric were kind of a weird shape. I ended up cutting the leg pieces out one at a time to make sure it all fitted. There was no weirdness needed with adding seam allowance to the waistband like with the last pair.

I could also follow the instructions as written this time, as I didn’t need to change threads more often to do both front pockets, then both back pockets. I did, however, have to change threads half way around the waistband (as I had to on all 3 pairs, just in different places), and half way around each leg hem. That was a little fiddly, but I’m glad I made the effort as I think it would have looked odd to have had one colour running all the way around – it would have stood out whichever colour I chose!

As ever, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, aside from a deeper hem of 6cm.

I have to say, I love the side view of this pair! If you just saw me from either the front or the back you wouldn’t think anything odd, but then bam!

Wow, I took a lot of photos and don’t really have anything much to say about my millionth pair of Ardens!

Do you have a real go to pattern that you’ve made loads? I think I’ve got other patterns I’ve made quite a few times, like the Kalle or Archer shirts, but I don’t think I’ve ever made so many of a pattern in such a short space of time! I made 4 pairs in total this Summer, to add to the 4 I made last year!

I didn’t think I’d get much wear out of my Summer Ardens as the weather was kind of crap in August when I was sewing them, but then I forgot September is always lovely and warm!

More Ardens!

When I wrote about my black Arden pants, I think I mentioned that I had some other pairs planned/made (I can’t remember where I was with them), so hopefully it’s not too much of a surprise that I’m writing about another pair now! And they look like 2 different pairs, depending on which way around I stand! I love them!

My sister made a load of linen dresses last Summer and had some fairly large pieces leftover, which she very kindly gifted to me. Though there wasn’t enough of any of the colours to make a whole pair of Ardens so I went with colour-blocking several pairs, trying to pair the colours together in the best way across the 6 colours.

To cut the pieces out, I laid one colour on top of the other and cut out as I would have if the fabric had been one length, folded in half. The only change at the cutting out stage I made was to add seam allowance to the ‘cut on the fold’ edges of both waistband pieces, as they had to have half in each colour sewn together.

As with all my other pairs, I made the size 6 with no fitting changes, except a larger hem of 6cm.

I also deviated slightly from the order of the instructions, so I didn’t have to change thread colours more than was necessary (my sister had some matching thread of each colour left, too, bonus!). I did the front and back pockets of one colour, then repeated both on the other colour – the instructions obviously have you do both front pockets, then the back ones

I made sure where there was top stitching, to match the colours – so this meant changing half way around the waistband and when top-stitching the inner leg seam. Thankfully the hems were fine – one of each colour!

I really do love the Arden pattern – and I’ve made it so many times now, I don’t even really need the instructions! As I mentioned I’ve got 2 more pairs to share coming up, and some other makes I managed to squeeze in before I moved house last week.

Anyone based in Oxford fancy a sewing meet up?

Black Ardens for Summer

If you don’t want to see multiple versions of the same pattern, you’ve come to the wrong blog! This is the first of 4 pairs of Arden pants I’ve made this Summer and this black pair is my fifth pair I’ve made up to this point! I made 2 pairs from double gauze and 2 pairs of sweatpants, using Helen’s Closet’s hack tutorial.

After wearing the navy and mustard double gauze versions loads during the lovely hot weather we were having in the UK and realised I could do with a black pair to go with more things in my wardrobe – I know it’s boring, but most of my clothes go with black if not navy!

The fabric is a linen and cotton blend – I was going to get just linen, but I thought with some cotton mixed in they might crease a bit less when worn, not that I have a particular problem with creasing. It was also a little cheaper than the 100% linen. It was from the local sewing shop near where my sister lives, which is surprisingly great for such a tiny town in south Lincolnshire! It has lots of great garment fabrics (as well as some quilting cottons) and a good range of indie patterns.

As with my other pairs, I made the size 6 with no adjustments. I really do like how quickly this pattern comes together – I like a more involved project sometimes, but not having to do a fly is also bliss!

I did a 6cm hem in total – I did a 7cm hem in my previous pairs – and I’m not really sure why I did it differently!

I finished these trousers last month and they’ve already got quite a lot of wear – I definitely crave looser clothes in hot weather, it’s way too constricting to be wearing jeans!

Do you make multiple versions of patterns when you find one you like? I definitely do – often I’ve made patterns in pairs in the past, but I also have some patterns I go back to more often than others, like shirt patterns and the dawn jeans!