Pinky Bar tee

So, I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago, but the first lot of photos turned out rubbish so I had to wait for another weekend to get some more. In the meantime, this top has been getting worn quite a bit!

Pinky Bar tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It’s the SJ Tee pattern from Papercut – described as a slouchy fit tee with raglan sleeves and a wide cuff.

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee line drawings

Papercut Patterns SJ Tee line drawings

This is the second version of the SJ Tee pattern – Katie from Papercut re-released it when she released the super-cute Tri collection, and made some changes. First up, there are more options – it can be made long or cropped, and with either long or short cuffed sleeves. And secondly, the neckline was altered to bring it in closer (the first SJ tee was designed to fall off one shoulder). I don’t have the first pattern, so can’t really compare the two, but what I do know is, I rather like the cut of this one. :-) Plus, the sleeves are wonderfully long – just the right length of me, without needing to add more, which is rather unusual and makes me happy.

Pinky Bar tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The neckline is probably a bit wider than I’d like for a tshirt still, simply because of the gaping-while-leaning-forward-to-pick-up-a-child aspect, but maybe that’ll just serve as a good reminder for me to “bend your knees, not your back”. (Yes, yes, terrible habit, I know. *sigh*) Since I made this one with the intention of wearing it over other things, that doesn’t bother me anyway, and as long as I’m not leaning forward lots, I like where it sits.

The pattern came together nice and quickly, with the aid of my trusty overlocker. (My gosh I love that thing!) I’ve been experimenting with using a twin needle instead of the coverstitch function on my overlocker recently, just to test it out, so I twin-needled up the hem, which all went fine. The rest of the edges are finished with cuffs or a neckband, which gives them all a nice, clean finish.

Pinky Bar tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My only real issue with making this one up was attaching the neck band. Now, I didn’t have any issues with the pattern itself, or the instructions. My issue is simply that I can never get neck bands done in this way to be as good as they could/should be. (But then, I am not exactly known for being a perfectionist in my sewing anyway, which would be a big contributor to this, whoops!) The band is attached like double-fold bias binding, which gives a nice, clean finish with no exposed edges on either the inside or the outside. I am just kinda useless at catching the underneath layer nicely with this sort of finish. Next time I think I’ll just use the classic fold-band-in-half, attach, top-stitch-seam-allowance-down method and save myself from a bit of self-beratement at my not-as-good-as-it-should-be finishing.

Since the SJ tee is a loose fit, it fits rather well over The Bump at the moment. Yay! (Bump is now 34 weeks. And growing, growing, growing. I may only get a couple more weeks wear out of this top before I put it aside for fear of it being horribly stretched out of shape…. Seriously, look at the size of this thing!)

Pinky Bar tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made it up in a merino/nylon blend that’s been lurking in my stash for a while. I love this colour – bright pink makes me happy! (So does chocolate. Hence this is the Pinky Bar top. Mmm….. Pinky bars…..)

(Wanna know something funny? The next project I intend to show you on here is pretty much the same colour. Oh yeah, I do love me a bit of bright pink!)

Pinky Bar tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since I had just enough fabric to make the long-sleeved version, I thought I’d give that a go, and push myself out of my normal short-sleeved comfort zone. Glad I did – this is going to be great all year ‘round, I think. Light enough to throw on over a singlet in summer when it’s heading towards evening, and warm enough to use as a layering piece in winter. Win!

Final verdict on this pattern? Yeah, I’ll be making it again. Short sleeved version next, for summer, I think.

The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour

Yikes. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but all of a sudden pretty much all the members of the WSBN (Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network) have been convinced to give ‘tours’ of our sewing rooms! Including me. *gulp*

The idea came courtesy of Gemma, who somehow managed to sell it to us all as a way to beat the ‘winter slump’. Yeah. Seemed like a good idea at the time. And then I had to take photos. Which I am horribly embarrassed to show, but in the interests of full disclosure, here we go…..

(Can I pretty please add a disclaimer? My sewing corner is in worse state than usual, due to all the crazy sewing I’ve been doing getting the Jenna Cardi ready for release.) (Although to be completely honest, it’s usually pretty bad anyway. Because I’d far rather sew than tidy up. Hah! *sigh*)

Firstly, meet my sewing corner. This is a corner of my bedroom. (Yes, I do live with my partner, despite the complete lack of anything showing any signs of his existance in the bedroom. He has a man-cave upstairs, complete with multiple computers and skateboards to assist in him expresssing his inner geek.) The desk came from the op shop down the road – I dragged it home when I found it, as it’s so nice and wide, it’s good for cutting fabric on. (If it’s ever cleared off. Which is never these days, hence why I take over the dining table for fabric cutting. Or my drafting table. Hah. Yes, I sometimes am using three tables in the house at once. Greedy, me? ;-)

sewingTableDisasterZone

The desk is a bit low for me though, so my partner jacked it up a bit with some pieces of wood. On the desk lives an assortment of things – usually whatever project I’m working on, my sewing machine and overlocker, and some other assorted sewing paraphanalia such as tailors chalk and a chopstick for turning corners (I do have a point turner. It’s on that desk somewhere. I haven’t been able to find it for a couple of months now….) To borrow Joy’s description, the rest is somewhat ‘tidal’ – various paperwork that needs to be dealt with migrates it’s way here, to languish until I feel guilty enough for neglecting it that I actually do something about it. In the meantime, those piles get transferred to the bed when I want to sew, and back to the sewing table again when I want to sleep. And the other piles on there? Well, let’s just say – the Little Guy is nearly two, and very curious. Things often need to be lifted out of reach suddenly. Which is why the rubbish bin is balanced on my sewing desk, instead of on the floor where it should live.

On the desk, live my two girls – both Elna’s. I got the sewing machine for my 20th birthday (I think?) and saved up for the overlocker (it’s a four-thread, coverstitch-cabable machine – woo hoo!) in my early 20’s and went halves on it with my mother for another birthday. I love these machines – we’ve done a lot together, we have. (Shame they don’t hug back very well….)

TheElnas

Over the side you can see some of my sewing books, all lined up, with a current project-thats-on-hold sitting on top of them. Under the desk is a set of drawers containing my basic self-drafted pattern blocks, buttons, lace, and ribbon. And some boxes stacked next to those containing things like elastic and bias binding. The box on top of the drawers next to the desk holds my sewing cottons and overlocking threads (it used to be a  lot more square and with a lid, pre-Little Guy) – the cottons are grouped into plastic bags by colour, like so:

cottons

I kinda have a large stash. It’s dotted all over the house – some in the cupboard under the stairs, a whole lot in the spare bedroom upstairs (which I’m currently trying to figure out what to do with, as it’s taking up a large part of that room and we need to convert the room into a bedroom for the Little Guy pretty soon, since the Next Little One is on it’s way – eek!), and in various corners of my bedroom. I’ve got a wall of storage crates at the end of the bed, giving a nice visual separation between the ‘sewing space’ and the ‘sleeping space’ (or at least that’s what I tell myself, haha!), with fabric in all of them and a throw over the top to make them look a bit tidier. (And to accidently give me somewhere else to put random stuff that’s looking for a home. Seriously, my life is kinda like me vs. ‘stuff’. And the stuff usually wins. Argh!)

crateStack

There are vintage suitcases filled of fabric, with tags on them saying what’s inside. (I do love me some vintage suitcases.)

suitcases

One of the bedside tables is actually a 1970’s cabinet, filled with fabric and patterns.

cupboard

Each of those boxes on the top shelf is filled with patterns, stored in plastic zip-lock bags, and grouped by era – pre-New Look, New Look, late 1950’s – 1960’s. (The 1970’s patterns are in a box on top of a bookcase in the spare room. Others are stored all over the place, waiting to be categorised.)

patternBox

In the wardrobe, about 1/3 of the shelves have been taken over with sewing storage – fabric, lining and interfacing, and patterns. (Yes, I own a lot of Papercut patterns. They make me happy, as they tend to fit me really well and the amount of thought that’s gone into the overall package fills my heart with joy – I’m a sucker for well thought out experiences. It kinda goes with the territory for what I do for a job.) The pile of papers under the fabric on the bottom shelf are PDF patterns that are all printed out and in clear files.

wardrobe

Gemma, instigator of this embarrasing sewing room round-up, also challenged us to answer a few other questions in our blog posts. So, here goes….

What I’m working on at the moment.

I could show you, but then I’d have to kill you.

Well, not really. But since my current work-in-progress happens to be my next pattern for Muse, it’s kinda secret. Sorry! Hopefully I’ll get to show it to you in about a month. ;-)

Instead, let’s move on to the next projects I have planned, once I’ve finished sewing up a bunch of samples.

Firstly, the Meissa blouse from Papercut. I started this back in June for Indie Pattern Month, and it got put on hold. I really wanna get it finished! I’m making it in a coral coloured, fine, cotton-silk blend with a subtle textured stripe going through it.

Meissa

The top from this vintage maternity pattern (thanks, Anne!) has been calling out to me to be made. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to make it up in, but this navy with white polka dots keeps coming to mind when I think about it.

vintageBlouse

And the Dakota dress from Named, for Frocktober over on The Monthly Stitch. I’m really looking forward to this one – I think with the deep vee neck and the looser fitting waist, it should be good for when the Next Little One arrives. I haven’t figured out yet what I’m going to make it in, but it’ll be some summer-suitable fabric, and I’ll cut the sleeves back and make them short instead.

(Also, this is what happens when I attempt to take photos of sewing things. Cameras are very interesting things, apparently.)

photoBomb

In theory I’m meant to show you some of my favourites from my stash, but this post is getting kinda long, so instead I’ll just show off this length of gorgeous sequin-covered silk chiffon that I bought in a Karen Walker designer fabric sale a few years back. It terrifies me, so it’s been turned into a wall hanging instead.

sequins

Want to see inside some of the sewing rooms of the other WSBN girls? So far on the tour we’ve seen the spaces of Gemma, Juliet, Nikki, Sophie-Lee, Sandra, and Laura. Between us all, we’ve pretty much got the month covered with a tour happening every day. Crazy, but true!

How about you? Are any of you brave enough to show your space in all it’s glory/chaos?

And the winner is…..

Wow, firstly, thank you all so much for all the lovely comments on my post about launching Muse Patterns! Seriously, I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the feedback and kindness – you guys all totally rock! Like, seriously. Reading your comments was like getting a whole lot of little virtual hugs. (Awww, wasn’t that all soppy-like?!? Sorry!)

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

Anyway, a bunch of you went in the draw to win a copy of my new Jenna cardi pattern, and I’ve just drawn the winners, with the help of everyone’s favourite random number generator, random.org.

(You may have noticed there was an ‘s’ on the end of one of those words up there. Yep, I decided to draw two winners, instead of one. Just because.)

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

So….. wanna know who won?

First up is….

Mons!

Who said:

mvc winner 1

And secondly is….

dangerousalice!

Who said:

mvc winner 2

Congrats, ladies! I hope you enjoy the pattern. :-)

(Mons – I can’t find any contact details for you, so can you please email me (macska at gmail dot com) so I can send you your pattern? Thanks!)

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and everyone who commented. You really made my day! :-D

Also, if you didn’t win but are still keen on getting a Jenna cardi pattern all of your own, the code ‘CUPCAKES’ will get you 20% off until Saturday 6 September. (Important note: Paypal does discount codes in a slightly odd way – you’re prompted for them after entering your payment details, whereas most other online payment systems ask for them first. Don’t worry – the option to enter the code will come up and the discount applied between now and 6 September!)

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

A little secret side project….

So, you may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t been posting quite as much over the last couple of months. It’s not because I don’t love you, or because I haven’t been sewing up a storm. Not at all.

Instead, it’s because what I’ve been working on hasn’t been able to be shown yet.

But that’s all changing, as of right now. I am currently rather excited, and also in no small measure terrified. Eep!

Wanna know why?

Because I just launched this.

Muse Patterns

Yep, I’ve been busily beavering away for the last few months on designing and creating my first not-just-for-me pattern, and getting a brand-new pattern label all ready to go.

I’ve called it Muse Patterns. All the designs are (and will be) inspired by amazing women – both current, and historical. Women who are courageous, intelligent, and inspirational. The first few patterns are inspired by women I know (this first one is inspired by my amazing little sister, Jen), and after that, well, I’m gonna keep that a surprise for now. ;-)

And as those who’ve know me for a while know, I’m a huge fan of vintage styles, especially from the 1930’s, 1940s and 1950’s (even though I’ve been on an indie patterns kick recently!), so there’s a fair bit of historical influences that will be popping in Muse designs as well. (While at the same time keeping them fresh and modern.)

The first pattern is the Jenna cardi – it’s designed to be a wardrobe staple, and very versatile, with three different sleeve length options, two different body length options, and two shoulder options, so you can mix-and-match for 12 different combinations. There’s a bit of 1940’s going on with curved front shoulder yoke detailing, and a touch of 1940’s and 1950’s with the waist-length variation with wide hem band.

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

And I may have made, well, a heck of a lot of these over the past couple of months while creating and testing the pattern. Hah!! Long ones, short ones, different sleeve lengths, playing with colour blocking, etc, etc. Now that Muse and the Jenna cardi are ‘officially’ launched (as of when I hit ‘publish’ on this post – eek!), I’ll be able to start showing what I’ve been making. (Don’t worry though, I’m not gonna be turning this blog into a ‘Muse’ blog – it’ll stay as it always has been, and Muse will be it’s own separate identity.)

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

Anyways, I’m pretty proud of this pattern – it’s been a heck of a lot of work, I’ve learnt a huge amount from doing it (how to set up an online shop, how much Paypal irritates me with it’s help questions, how to use Illustrator, etc, etc), and even if no one else like it or buys it I now have a cardigan pattern that I love making and wearing so it’ll be getting a lot of use in my sewing room at least. ;-)

Jenna cardi | Muse Patterns

I also wanna give a huge massive shouted-out THANK YOU!!!! to all the UTTERLY AMAZING people who have helped me get this up and running. You know who you are, and you’ve all been awesome – giving feedback, giving encouragement when I wanted to throw my laptop out the window, testing the pattern, being models for me, all that stuff. Huge huge hugs to you all!! :-D

So yeah, there’s my secret project – now out in the open.

And just coz I can, here’s a discount code if any of you are interested in the pattern. Enter ‘CUPCAKES’ at check-out and you’ll get 20% off until 6 September. (Important note: Paypal does discount codes in a slightly odd way – you’re prompted for them after entering your payment details, whereas most other online payment systems ask for them first. Don’t worry – the option to enter the code will come up and the discount applied between now and 6 September!)

And also just coz I can, here’s a giveaway, too. Comment here, let me know which style you’d make first, and I’ll give a copy of the Jenna cardi pattern away to someone via random draw. If you want to go in the giveaway, comment by the end of Wednesday 3 September – I’ll draw the winner and contact them on Thursday 4th.

The giveaway is now closed – congrats to the winners! :-)

And on that note, I’m going to go and eat a heck of a lot of chocolate and cheese and try to stop myself from biting my fingernails now that I’ve let this baby of mine loose into the world. Eek!!!

About as “cake” as you can get

It’s The Monthly Stitch‘s first birthday this month. Yay! And to celebrate, the theme is all about sewing cake. (Whatever you feel like translating that as.)

My first plans involved some gorgeous lemon yellow lightweight cotton with cupcakes and slices of cake printed all over it.

Then sanity reared it’s ugly head and I realised just how utterly ridiculous a yellow cupcake-covered dress would look on me when I’m seven months pregnant. Yeah, nah.

Back to the drawing board.

My next idea was the Pavlova wrap top from Cake. I even went so far as to get the pattern and have it sitting on my sewing desk/disaster area for a couple of weeks. But I just couldn’t bring myself to progress further with it. It finally dawned on me that that’s because I have no need whatsoever for another wrap top in my wardrobe, and if I did, I’d go with my T&T Papercut Coppelia pattern. (Which doesn’t really fit the ‘cake’ theme at all.)

Thinking, thinking, and then it hit me – one thing I’m finding quite frustrating in my bump-friendly wardrobe right now is tops to wear with maternity jeans. I have some that people have passed on to me, but the majority just aren’t my style. Simple tshirts – that’s pretty definite ‘cake’ territory if you’re going with the ‘sewing frosting vs. sewing cake’ metaphor. Perfect!

Seemed like a good time to dig out the Dixie DIY Summer Concert tee that I got when I purchased the first Pattern Parcel. Loose and drapey, there’s plenty of room there for bump-accommodation.

And hey, since I was sewing ‘cake‘ I figured, may as well go for ‘ultimate cake’ and make a plain black tee, right?!

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It was my first time using this pattern, but after having seen made-up ones on some other blogs, I knew it goes pretty high in the front (like, belly-button-baring high!). Which would be too high for my style anyway, but over a bump as well that just wasn’t going to work. So I lengthened it by 11cm in the centre front, 1cm in the centre back, and changed the curve of the edge to go with those adjustments.

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern went together nice and smoothly, for the main part. I like how the sleeves are done, with the drop shoulder and then a simple band added. (Although it could have used a notch or similar to make it clearer which side gets attached to the body.) Once I had it all cut out, this top only took me an hour to make – win!

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

However, it had the potential to only take 40 minutes.

What added 20 minutes to my time? Well, the usual technical stuff, such as one of the spools of overlocker/serger thread running out (for a looper, naturally, when meant a complete re-threading of both loopers), and my double needle not co-operating at all (probably due to having two types of black thread, one slightly thicker than the other. Lesson learnt. Also, I need to buy more black thread.)

But the other thing? That neck binding. It uses the common technique of sewing up the short edges, folding in half, then attaching to the neckline before top stitching down. Easy enough to do. Unless the neck binding is super short compared to the neckline, in which case there’s a heck of a lot of stretching it as much as you can and using heaps and heaps!) of pins, while hoping it doesn’t bunch too much while being stitched up.

pinningNeckling

I got curious after making this up, and measured the neck binding pattern piece and the neckline to see how much difference there actually is between them. After removing seam allowances from the equation, the neck binding piece measures 43cm long. The neckline – 58cm long. Yep, that neck binding had to stretch by 15cm to fit around the neckline. Which is just over 1/3 again of it’s original length. Unless you’re using a super-stretchy fabric, that’s gonna be a bit of a battle, and I was just using a simple cotton knit tshirting.

After a heck of a lot of pulling and tugging and pinning, I finally got the dratted thing attached. (Although I wish I’d just given in and gone and recut it to be longer – it would have had a cleaner finish that way, too.)

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So there we have it – the Summer Concert tee, in black. Yep, it fits well over the bump, and should do so for the next couple of months as it continues to grow (and grow. And groooowwwwww…. Eek!). It’s kinda funny, because most maternity things these days are super tight, and this in contrast is pretty loose (hence super comfy over the bump – yay!), but I think it kinda works (hopefully??) over skinny-leg maternity jeans (does it??).

(Plus this is the bump-size at 31 weeks. 9 weeks of growing left to do. Yeah, space is required in preggy tops right now, eek!)

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cake maternity sewing, at it’s finest?

(Side note: I’ll probably put the shaping of the high-low hem back into this a bit (although not to the same extent as the original pattern) once I don’t need it for maternity wear.)

Oh yeah, and part-way through the photos, I realised that the merino top I was wearing underneath (coz hey, still pretty darn cold down in these parts) matched my hair colour. See?

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

May not be the sort of matchy-matchy that our grandmothers did so well, but I kinda match some things, sometimes! ;-)

What’s on this August?

Hey hey!

Been a while since I’ve done a post about what’s happening in the sewing blog-o-spere. Feels like it’s time to (especially since I don’t have any completed garments to show you just yet – sorry ’bout that, I’m working on it, I promise!). I’ve just been cheating on my sewing-things-for-me with other stuff lately. Like knitting. And something else that I can’t tell you about just yet, but maybe in another three weeks. Maybe….

Anyway, wanna know what’s happening in August? Quite a bit, as always! Here are a few of the sew-alongs and sewing challenges that caught my eye for this month.

By now, you’ve probably all seen the new Alder shirtdress pattern from Grainline Studio. Well, if you’re wanting to try it out, there’s an Alder Sewalong happening! Jen will be covering everything for both variations of the dress, plus some fitting tips, and as an added bonus, will also be showing how to make an Archer/Alder hybrid (perfect for cooler weather).

We’ve had the Dolly Clackett sew-along, and Oonapalooza. Now, it’s time to open up the tributes to everyone! The Sewcialists are running Tribute month this August – make something up inspired by one of your sewing heroes. (Oh, I have so many to choose from!!)

Would you believe it, The Monthly Stitch is celebrating it’s first birthday?!! What better excuse to sew up cake related things?! Whether it’s garments named after cake, inspired by cake, in cake fabric, or falling into either the ‘frosting’ or the ‘cake’ category. And as an added bonus, a bunch of the posts appearing during Cake month will have the contributors favourite cake recipes in them, too! (First one out – this post includes both a cute dress and a recipe for vegan lemon mango cupcakes with ‘cream cheese’ frosting. Yum!)

Feel like getting all matchy-matchy? Ada Spragg is running the Two Piece Set-Acular! And my, she’s been whipping up a storm of gorgeous two-piece combinations! (I’m not usually a fan of two-piece sets, but she is rapidly changing my mind, haha!)

And if you feel like getting your environmentally-friendly crafting hat on, why not join in Repurpose Reuse Refashion? You’ve got three options here – either remake a garment from a charity shop, remake something from your (or a friends) wardrobe that’s otherwise destined for a charity shop, or actually DO SOMETHING with some of those UFOs/wadders/fails that (let’s face it) tend to linger in hidden corners and make us feel guilty whenever we spot them (or is that just me?!? *hangs head in shame*).

Of course, there’s a bunch of other things going on around the place as well (coz we’re a busy little group like that, aren’t we?!). There’s a list over here of upcoming sew-alongs, sewing contests, meet ups, etc that I keep up to date with everything I come across if you’re curious to see more. (And if you find out anything that’s not on the list, please let me know so I can add it! :-)

So – are you planning on joining in any of the myraid of sew alongs or challenges that are happening this month? (I’ve got my Cake garment all planned, and am eyeing up the ‘Repurpose’ challenge… now to find some sewing time!)

Myrna? And a wrap!

Guess what, guess what? I’ve knitted (knit?) myself a second garment! Eeeee! (That was a quiet squeal of excitement, by the way.)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Turns out this knitting lark is kinda addictive. Just like sewing. Clearly, I need to diversify my stash to include both wool and fabric now (as well as patterns, trims, sewing machines….. Hmmm…. Maybe I just need a bigger house…. Oops!)

Anyway, I made this one (and the dress that I’m wearing with it) for the Outfit Along 2014, hosted by Lauren from Lladybird and Andi from Untangling Knots.

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Such a great idea – sewing up a dress and knitting a cardigan to go with it. How could I not join in?

Lauren and Andi had chosen a dress and cardigan pattern to run a sew-along and knit-along with, or you could choose your own. I decided to make up the knitting pattern they’d picked – the brand new Myrna cardigan pattern from Andi Satterlund. Such a cute pattern – it’s got short sleeves, a v neck, eyelet details around the edges, and a keyhole detail at the back neckline. Plus, it’s mostly knit in stockinette (?), which means not too complicated for me as my second full project!

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For the dress though, there was no way I was gonna be able to squeeze ‘the bump’ into the fitted-waist Simplicity summer dress that had been chosen. So I made a knit wrap dress instead. Which I can’t tell you much about, since it’s a bit of Secret Sewing (yay!), but there are a couple of pics of it towards the end of the post as a sneak preview. ;-)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My little sis took part in the Outfit Along as well – we bought our yarn together (a gorgeous wool and alpaca blend from Skeinz, an online yarn store in New Zealand – I got the Lava colourway and Jen got the Forest one). The Myrna was Jen’s first knitted garment, and my second, so we muddled along together, jumping onto YouTube or Skyping our mother (who is a fantastic knitter!) when we got stuck. It was really nice having someone making the same project at the same time – towards the end we organised a couple of DVD-and-knitting nights to make sure we had some dedicated knitting time and got it all done in time! (So much fun in fact we may have cast on our second sister-knit-together project as soon as we finished our Myrna cardigans….)

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got to learn a lot while making up Myrna. How to do eyelets, and the keyhole at the back. And the big one – how to do short rows! The sleeves are shaped with short rows. Which aren’t actually all that hard, although it took me a while to be able to figure out where to start and stop each one without having to obsessively count every stitch. But, you know – progress! I also got a lot better at sewing in the ends, although I suspect I’m doing it wrong, so will need to figure that out at some point….

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also figured, what the heck, and kinda may have sorta modified the pattern a bit as I went along. Coz you know, it’s my second project, so I must know what I’m doing, right? (Yeah. Right.) Since I’m a size different up top from my waist/hip, I knitted up the Myrna in a size Small, and graded it out to a size Medium at the waist. And you know what? My maths calculations actually worked! (Or at least I think they did. It looks pretty good when it’s off. I have no idea if it’s actually the right size around the waist, since I can’t exactly do it up at the moment! So that moment of truth will have to wait a few more months.)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The buttons are some pretty ones I found at Made Marion (because despite the rather large collection of buttons I have, it turned out I had none that would go with this cardigan. Clearly, I need to stash more of them so I have ones for every occasion.) The dark ring is actually translucent, which is pretty cool, although that detail gets a bit lost when they’re attached to a garment sadly.

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, I must admit this cardi is looking a little bit tight in a couple of areas. But that’s coz my ribs have done that expanding-a-full-size thing due to pregnancy (seriously, they do that, bodies are strange things), plus my bust has also grown. (Too much information? Ah well.) So it’s technically a size too small at the moment, plus the bump means it’s not exactly sitting at the right spot in the front. But hey, it’s the right size for when I’m not preggers, and I’m not pregnant a lot more than I am pregnant, so therefore it’s the right size for a knitted-by-me cardigan. ;-)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So, the dress.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about it yet (secret sewing and all that). So I’m just gonna let the pics give you a sneak peek instead. ;-)

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(I wasn’t even planning on doing that, but I stoopidly got all excited about making up the pattern and made it to match the cardigan for the Outfit Along, and then thought “oops! Should have made a pattern I’m allowed to talk about!” but it was too late. So hey, a sneak peek you all get instead!)

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Of course, it would fit a lot better without a baby bump in the way, but whatevs.)

And there we have it – an outfit of a dress and cardigan! Yay!

Right, what to make next…. I do like me these challenges. I think next on my sewing agenda will be something for the birthday month challenge over on The Monthly Stitch…… (Do you know of any other sewing challenges coming up? The list for August is looking rather empty at the moment, so I suspect I’ve missed seeing a few announcements?!!)