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?!!)

Here’s a new thing – maternity-trackpant-jeans!

Yep, you read that right.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’ve been in need of some new maternity trousers for a while (I have one pair. They get a lot of use. And a lot of washing, due to the Little Guy being around – he’s rather good at careful placements of messy hands on clean clothes.). Ever since I made my pair of Papercut Anima pants, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a second pair as maternity pants. Where the waistband on them sits on me seemed like the perfect location for a maternity band to start instead, and I figured it would be super easy to switch out the elastic waistband for a wide maternity band instead.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And then the Papercut Anima Pants contest came about. It was like fate was telling me to get a move on, stop thinking about it, and finally get around to making those maternity pants!

So, I did.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But since I don’t tend to wear knit fabric trousers for anything aside from exercising I decided to make ‘em up as jeans instead, using a lightweight dark blue denim I had floating around in my stash (a.k.a. ‘fabric library’).

Yep, I took a pattern that was designed for knit fabrics, and used it to make a pair of jeans.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And you know what? It was super easy! And they fit quite well, I reckon (although I also think the photos don’t do them justice, but oh well. Photos – tricky beasts they can be, no?).

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also needed to do very little to them in the way of alterations. I made up the same size as I did last time, after trying on my other pair and deciding that there was enough room in the seat and thighs to get away with being made up in a woven. Sure enough – a good fit in all those areas.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Aside from the maternity hack, the only changes I made were to the legs. My other maternity jeans are skinny leg ones, so I thought I’d go for something a bit wider with this pair. I widened the legs a bit heading towards (but not quite at) a straight leg style. I also lengthened them a bit (since I have crazy long legs and I wasn’t going to put the wide cuff on at the bottom) and drafted a narrower, straight cuff for at the bottom.

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The maternity hack was super easy. I took the waistband pattern piece and used it to cut a wide strip of knit fabric. I then wrapped that around the widest point of the baby bump, made sure it was firm (but not tight – there’s still a fair bit of growing going to happen in that space!), and trimmed it down to the right width. Then I stitched it so it was a double-thickness circle, and attached it on to the top of the pants, stretching gently to fit as I went. Easy, and comfy! (Although I am considering going back and adding some elastic to the top of it, as they do ride down when I sit down without having that little extra bit of support….)

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

All up, I’m pretty happy with these, and I think they’re gonna get a lot of wear. (The Little Guy must have liked them too, since he managed to get something on one of the front thighs just as we were about to get photos. Gah.)

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Check out the size of that bump – 27 weeks and counting! I continue to be slightly terrified by how large it’s going to get this time around….

Maternity Anima jeans | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Thoughts on me-made and happiness

Personal style is a strange thing. Constantly evolving in some way or another, being influenced by everything and everyone around us, the changing seasons, changes in our lifestyle, new jobs, where we live.

And yet, it’s such an important thing on a personal level. It’s one of the ways we project to the world “this is who I am”. It reflects what we value, what we care about, what we like (or don’t like). It’s part of our public persona – the face we show to the world, and that people use to help them decide who we are, whether we’re like them or not, whether they want to get to know us better.

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Debi dress

It gets even stranger when you start thinking about the mass-produced, disposable “fashion” that’s prevalent everywhere today. Trends, passing rapidly through urban landscapes like freight trains, nowhere one week, visible everywhere the next, and then gone again a few weeks later. And when somethings not “on trend”? Yeah, pretty much impossible to find it anywhere. Add in the media pressure to be “on trend” and wearing what’s currently “in”, and you start to wonder – why are stores, designers, media, etc all trying to convince us that being clones of one another is not only a good thing, but something to aspire to? Have the same hair (GHD’ed to straightness, with ombre dye job, maybe?). Wear the same clothes. Do your make-up in a certain way. Same, same, sameness everywhere.

This is one of the key reasons I like to sew, and why I love reading about and seeing things that people have made. It gives us back a way to celebrate our own diversity, to show part of who we are as individuals – the shapes we like, the combinations, the colours, the prints. The things that call to our emotions and our senses.

Ladybirds La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Ladybird Ballet blouse

And because we are all different, those things are going to be different for each of us. And quite frankly, I think that’s freakin’ awesome! And seeing a parade of those differences, those individual likes and preferences and emotions and values represented in choices of style and fabric, print and colour? It makes me happy. It makes my heart sing and my mind click into creative mode.

Now, why have I been thinking about this? Back in May, I had a bit of a personal style crisis, which co-incided with Me-Made-May. I was at the stage of pregnancy where most of my normal (non-preggy) wardrobe didn’t fit, but I hadn’t yet made things that did, so I was dressing most days in hand-me-down maternity clothes from lovely friends. Which is all well and good (and quite frankly, a bit of a wardrobe life-saver!) but something was fundamentally missing from each day.

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mellow Yellow dress

My sense of personal style. My ability to choose things that I wanted to wear, that spoke to me and made me happy.

Instead, I was just wearing clothes. Functional, but not inspirational.

And it impacted on my mood. On my happiness.

Once I realised that, I kicked into overdrive, and rapidly stitched up several patterns that, while they may not be my normal non-pregnancy style in some cases, are things that I want to wear, made in fabrics and colours and patterns that call to me.

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cherry Ripe dress

I still don’t have enough me-made garments for this stage in my pregnancy to be able to wear them everyday, but it’s a start.

And those days when I do wear at least one me-made garment? Yep, turns out I’m just a bit happier those days, a bit more confident.

Strange how all that works, isn’t it?

Something that started out as a hobby (well, in my case, it started out as the only way to ever get tops with sleeves long enough!) has become that intrinsically linked to my sense of self. I think it was always that way – personal style, sense of self, ability to represent oneself through what we clothe and adorn ourselves with. But sewing has really made me realise how important that is.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all!

(In the meantime, guess I’d better go and sew some more, haha!)

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Creepy Toys dress

Circling around and around

Check it out – I broke out of my usual colour comfort zone and….

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

made something black!!

Eep!!!

(Yes, this is rare for me. Sure, my Simone dress had a black background, but I countered it with purple, and even then it’s far more neutral than pretty much everything else I own.)

But hey, it’s mono-sewn month over at The Monthly Stitch, and the challenge is to sew in black and/or white.

And white? Yeah, it’s not my friend. Looks dreadful on me, and looks even worse after I’ve been wearing it a little while as something about wearing white makes me far more likely to spill things on myself. Or use a pen that leaks. Or get splashed by a passing car going through a muddy puddle. Like I said – white isn’t my friend, and I’m not really it’s friend, either.

So black it clearly had to be!

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I dug out this mid-heavy weight wool blend (? I think?) knit from my stash. Had no idea it was there, and I still have no idea of where it came from or how long it’s been floating around in my stash for. (Signs my stash is too large. Oops.)

And I grabbed my newest Papercut pattern – the Circle Top.

Papercut Circle Top

(Yep, another Papercut make. But hey, I did warn you all – after all, they’ve got the biggest collection of patterns that I can sew up and still wear while pregnant, so this is kinda inevitable!)

Seriously though, have you seen the Circle Top pattern? It’s just like it says on the box – a giant circle. With sleeves. Worn as a top. Crazy!

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And also surprisingly comfortable and cozy. Coz the circular nature of it means you can do things like wear it up over your head like a hood, or pull the edges up and in so it snuggles around your neck kinda like a scarf.

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Plus it’s kinda fun to wrap all around yourself when it’s cold outside.)

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit that at first, I didn’t really see myself wearing this style. But then Sandra kept putting up pics of herself in one of her two Circle Tops during Me Made May, and every single time I saw it, I wanted one. And now, I have one of my very own! Yippie!

At first, I thought this would be a super-fast make. After all, it’s just a circle, two sleeves, two sleeve cuffs, and edge binding. Simple, right? And sure enough, the sleeves and sleeve cuffs and circle all joined together crazy fast, probably in about 20 minutes.

And then I got to the binding.

Which just went on. And on. And ooooonnnn. Turns out there’s a fair distance around that there circle!

Worth it though, as the binding gives a nice clean finish (especially important with this style, since you see both sides as it hangs open) and also gives it a bit more weight for draping in the front.

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Please don’t look too closely at the binding in the above image though. Shameful though it may be to admit it, I finished this around 11pm on Friday night and we caught a plane early the next morning, so I didn’t get a chance to press the binding. It’s all pressed now though, and sitting much flatter than in that photo!)

The only issue I really had is that the sleeves are just a bit too short on me. Not surprising, since I have crazy long gorilla arms, and I didn’t lengthen the sleeves on this, so they’re made up at their ‘real’ length. Which would be a pretty good, long length on most other people. For myself, next time I’m gonna add probably 6cm to them.

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My long-suffering made-to-photograph-my-creations partner and I went down to Nelson last weekend for a long weekend. (Without the Little Guy! First time we’ve been away from him, together, for more than a couple of hours! Very strange not to have him there.) Since I seem to have a ‘thing’ about wanting to take something new with me whenever I go away somewhere (gotta get different-location-photos, after all! Hah!), I rushed to get this finished late on Friday night as we were flying down early Saturday morning. And then I proceeded to wear it for the whole three days we were away, being all happy and snuggly and cozy, yes indeed. :-)

These photos were taken walking alongside the river that runs through Nelson, and also up in the gardens around the Nelson cathedral.

(Except for this one, which was taken in the Chinese Garden section of Queens Gardens. Blossoms! In the middle of winter! Made me happy. :-) )

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and guess what else? I met Katie from Papercut when I was in Nelson! And she is super lovely and I got to visit the Papercut workroom and everything. (And my gosh, I want her workroom! So organised and filled with inspiring fabrics and things and with a super huge massive printer where she prints the patterns out directly.) I even convinced her to help me package up a few patterns so who knows? Maybe some of you will get a Papercut pattern that I helped put together in it’s box! Mwahahahaha!

So yeah, the Circle Top. I likes it! And I am thinking about making one with contrasting band, coz wouldn’t that look rather fabulous, don’t you think?

And since it’s growing and all, here’s a ‘bump’ photo. For whatever week I’m up to now. 24 weeks, maybe? (Lost track. Oops!)

Black Circle Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So tell me folks, do you have a ‘need’ to make something new when you go on holiday, or is it just me?

I may be going to Christchurch for three days for work in a couple of weeks. Hmmm.. what to make, what to make….? Papercut’s Ooh La Leggings, Victory’s Anouk dress, or a vintage 1970’s dress? Which should it be??