A Pair of Blackwood Cardigans

Since I live in the UK I’m always looking for stylish ways to keep warm (though thankfully it is finally warming up after what feels like an  infinite Winter!) and so I’d had my eye on the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet for a while.  I think I might have bought it when she expanded her size range on it (and congrats to her for now having all her patterns in a more inclusive range of sizes!).

Anyway, all that is to say that towards the end of last year I made 2 Blackwood Cardigans and they have got quite a bit of wear each since they were finished.

I made both cardigans in the size small of the longer view and I didn’t make any fitting changes – it’s a relatively loose fitting pattern and doesn’t have fastenings across the front so didn’t require any fiddling around for me.

I had both of these fabrics in my stash for years so I’m glad to have finally got around to sewing them up! The burgundy fabric was from the Birmingham rag market at Sew Brum I think 2 or 3 years ago! I was thinking back then to add burgundy to my colour palette as I thought it would be a good compliment to the other colours I like – mustard yellow, navy blue, grey, black etc. Though looking at these photos and how I feel in it, I’m not sure the colour really suits me so I may not add more burgundy pieces to my wardrobe! The fabric itself was pretty cheap and it really synthetic, so it’s not the best but it was good enough for an experiment.

The mustard yellow fabric was from Tilly and the Buttons’ mini fabric shop they did a year or two ago when her previous book, Stretch, came out. She’s had another book out since, so this has definitely been patiently waiting in my stash for quite a while! This fabric is sooooo much softer then the burgundy knit, so you can feel the difference in quality. But this one has pilled quite badly already, with not a huge amount of wear as it was too cold to wear it for a couple of months. It also seems to have stretched out a bit – you can see it’s longer in the sleeves – and I think in the length – than the other one.

Even though we’re having some nice weather in the UK at the moment, since we’re not allowed outside for more than an hour, I’m still needing my cardigans and knitwear as our flat is much colder than outside, sadly.

If you’re looking for an easy project to make from some knit fabric, then this should definitely be on your list. I think it would be nice in more of a sweatshirt knit, too, actually. 

After listening to a recent episode of Love To Sew, I realised I always take my photos all standing up and there is a growing discussion that it would be helpful for wheelchair users or other people who spend a lot of time sitting, to see how garments look when we are sitting down. So from now on I will include sitting photos of all my makes. I am also listening to the discussions about taking multiple views of garments so others can see the fit across, say, the back, or from the side. I already did this quite consistently on here but I think I didn’t tend to share all the views when I share my makes on Instagram, so I’m going to try to do that more too.

Since I’ve been taking my photos myself with a remote for my phone, outtakes haven’t been as common as they once were, sadly. But please enjoy this gem. I legit look like I’m getting up to smash the camera/phone! Lol!

Are you sewing all the things or have you lost your sewjo given what’s going on in the world? I’m flitting between the 2. The first couple of weeks I sewed loads, then last week I did very little of anything productive. But this week I’m feeling enthused again!

 

 

Snuggly Grey Chestnut Sweater

After I made the mini Chestnuts for my friend’s daughter, I couldn’t wait to make my own version! And it did not disappoint!

Obviously most of the interest of this pattern is on the back – I love the little cut out of this version. I also like the version that completely undoes at the back, but I think the weather might need to be a bit warmer to wear that version!

I made the size 10, based on my measurements, and I’m pretty pleased with the fit – the arms fit particularly well. I might lengthen it a bit next time, though. Although I like the slightly cropped look – I have a long body compared to my legs so I think that’s why it looks a bit cropped on me – I think it could do with being a couple of inches longer so I don’t flash midriff/my top I’m wearing underneath! It’s too cold for baring skin at the moment.

The main fabric is some lovely thick fleece backed sweatshirting from Sew Me Sunshine. She still has some of this fabric left in stock, and it’s on sale, so I would definitely recommend snapping some up while she has it!

The bow at the back is made from a scrap of cotton I had left from lining my Freemantle coat – I couldn’t find any nice mustard yellow ribbon from my local sewing shop.

I used my regular sewing machine to stitch this up because my overlocker did not like sewing through fabric this thick! Luckily this fabric doesn’t fray, but it means it doesn’t look quite as nice on the inside as most of my makes since I started using my overlocker. I also used my twin needle to topstitch the neckline, cuffs and hem band. It really does sew up quite quickly – the most time consuming part is the facing and attaching the ribbon on the back.

I basically wore this as soon as it was finished, and I’ve worn it a few times since! We have dress down Friday every week at work and I’m trying not to wear it every time as people might start to judge me!

 

Today’s outtake is particularly excellent I think!

I was taking these photos myself with the timer on my camera so I was having to walk back and forth between the camera and my spot (I definitely should have bought a camera with the facility for a remote!) and I walked backwards a little hard and slammed into the bookcase, making it wobble alarmingly. I thought the piles of stuff on the top were going to fall on me and the guitars stacked next to the shelf, but luckily they didn’t. But this is my face as I tried to catch the bookcase and make sure it didn’t fall over! Lol!

In other news, I was going to go outside and take them but it pissed down with rain the whole weekend I had earmarked for taking photos. Boo.

All I want to sew at the moment is snuggly warm clothes. I’m definitely ready for Spring! How about you?

 

 

Possibly my #MonetaParty Dress

This was going to definitely be my #monetaparty dress but I’m currently half way through another one which I like more, so that one may end up being my official entry for the competition/party. This one was probably more of a wearable toile!

But it does have pockets! This is my face when I have a dress with pockets!

moneta-party-dress-1

After asking on instagram, the consensus was to use this fabric which is navy with white flecks, instead of some teal stuff I also had in my stash – which I’m glad about now, because I think that will make a better Christine Haynes Marianne dress.

moneta-party-dress-2

I made the size xs and did have to take it in a little under the arms. I think because it’s quite a thin, drapey knit, it looked a bit saggy!

moneta-party-dress-3

I also sewed the waist seam with a 2cm seam allowance and not the 3/8″ that pattern says, because I felt it just sat slightly too low to be flattering. I have an H&M rtw dress that is a similar style to the Moneta, but without pockets and with a v-neck, and the waist seam is really quite high, so I was aiming for that, though it still isn’t quite the same.

moneta-party-dress-4

I do like the fabric, but when it’s stretched it goes white, the colour it is in the wrong side. The bodice therefore looks like it’s stretched too much, because the tiniest bit of stretch makes it look too stretched, because of the white showing through. I am wearing it with a navy vest underneath, which you can’t see, because it’s not really see-through, it just looks like it is, if that makes sense?

moneta-party-dress-5

Luckily without changing anything except the underarm seam, the xs size fits me snuggly across the back, which is the place I usually have issues with fit.

moneta-party-dress-6

The main issue with this dress, and what makes it a wearable toile, is that I messed up the neckline. I sewed it with a twin needle, but it didn’t quite catch the whole hem so I thought I could sew it again, overlapping one row of stitching so I ended up with 3, but that didn’t quite work. So I unpicked all the rows, and sewed it again. But by then the neck was stretched out and doesn’t look great. I wonder if I could rescue it a little with a neckband, but I’m not sure I like the dress enough to go to the extra effort.

moneta-party-dress-7

I decided to try full outfits that I’ll wear when wearing this dress, and I think it looks good with mustard yellow, with a cardigan done up (to hide the terrible neckline!).

moneta-party-dress-8

Even with the cardigan undone, it distracts from how wide the neck sits on my shoulders. And I’m sure people wouldn’t notice the neckline too badly if I don’t point it out!

moneta-party-dress-9

I also really like it with my Colette Astoria – it sits just at the right place to hit the waist seam. It looks like it could be a top and skirt. This is how I wore it to hang out with Sarah from Like Sew Amazing today to have a irl #monetaparty, where I sewed most of my second Moneta, which is looking more promising, as long as I don’t mess up the neckline again!

moneta-party-dress-10

I couldn’t resist showing you this outtake from my photoshoot, where The Boyfriend came out of the room which is behind the doors I use as my backdrop! You can’t see him, but I like the photo my camera, which was on a timer, took of me!

moneta-party-dress-12

Save

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

#SewDots Dress

In my October plans post I mentioned I was going to try to join in with Rosie Martin’s #SewDots movement for the RNIB. She raised £791.29 so far (with a target of £500 being smashed) and you can still donate to the JustGiving page if you’d like. I finished my dress in the nick of time – literally! I posted it on Instagram at about 5pm on the last day.

sew-dots-dress-2This is the Drapey Knit dress from the 3rd Great British Sewing Bee book.

Fashion-With-Fabric-15

This is the fabric, which I’ve had in my stash for ages. You may recognise it from my running armband tutorial.

sew-dots-dress-1

I did make a couple of changes to the pattern. The main one was when I traced the pattern, I widened the hem line as I didn’t like the 80s style narrowing. I think I could maybe have widened it a bit more, but I think it looks quite balanced.

sew-dots-dress-5I reduced the sleeve seam allowance to 0.5cm instead of 1.5cm because the fabric isn’t probably as stretchy as it should be for this pattern. Also I think I cut them in the wrong direction – the fabric has more stretch one way than the other and I think this stretchy direction runs up and down the sleeve instead of around! It’s not normally my style, but I like the batwing-style of the upper sleeves.

sew-dots-dress-6The other change I made was to the neckline. The head hole was so small I couldn’t get it over my head (same non-stretch issue I think!) so I sewed it with a 3cm seam allowance instead of the 1.5cm allowance suggested. This did unfortunately mean I slightly messed with the crossover pleat-y-thing at the neckline. I think other people have mentioned this doesn’t sit perfectly and mine definitely doesn’t when I resewed the neckline.

sew-dots-dress-8I can sort of fudge it a little if I arrange it and stand still! Eagle-eyed viewers may spot that my pleat-y-thing is the opposite way around than it should be. For some reason – and without noticing at all – I had the fabric with the wrong side up when I cut out all the pieces for the front (they’re cut in a single layer because it’s obviously not symmetrical) so they ended up a mirror image. Luckily I cut all the pieces wrong so it was sort of fine in the end.

I do like the pockets and the way the pleats flow straight into them. 🙂

sew-dots-dress-3For once I like the fit on the back of this dress! It’s meant to look a bit wider at the top, so it doesn’t look too big I don’t think. I also like how in this photo it looks like I have a real shelf of an arse!

sew-dots-dress-7

I’m sure I say this every time, but I really think I’ll make this pattern again. I’ve worn it quite a few times already, with a top underneath for warmth. When the weather gets a  bit warmer I think it will still be a comfy dress to wear – but it’s smart enough for work. And I got quite a few compliments on it, which is always pleasing 🙂

Save
You-may-also-like-coral

Save

Aztec Print Mabel Skirt

On the same day I made my Linden sweatshirt, I made a Colette Mabel skirt from the same fabric. OMG, this was so quick to make! It took, like, 90 minutes – and that was because I made a rookie error and sewed 2 pieces wrong sides together!

 

Aztec-Mabel-12

I made the size xs and the only change I made was to add 2″ to the length – I held up the pattern pieces and it seemed like it would be waaaay too short!

Aztec-Mabel-7

I think when I cut the skirt out, I didn’t quite get it perfectly straight with the pattern – which I didn’t notice until I saw these pictures! You can see on the hem, below, that the line isn’t quite perpendicular. Boo!

Aztec-Mabel-9

The waistband is also really on the wonk! But with a top covering it, you can’t really see.

Aztec-Mabel-3

But I did triumph on the pattern-matching front on the back seam! Behold!

Aztec-Mabel-8

I used my beloved twin needle for the hem – I’m really starting to get the hang of sewing with knits now I think!

Aztec-Mabel-4

The only problem with this skirt, though, is that I’m not sure if it suits me or is really my style. I might give it a go in the longer length and see if that’s any better. Or maybe make a size bigger. Or slightly change the shape so it doesn’t go in so much at the bottom. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times on here, I like to wear looser fitting tops but this skirt looks really weird with a non-tight top as it makes me look top-heavy.

Aztec-Mabel-10

Any ideas how I can make this more ‘me’?