Category Archives: Muse patterns

Nighttime florals

Hola! Once again, long time, no blog post! (Whoops!)

Not to say that I haven’t been writing blog posts – it’s been Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch, which has been rather full-on! Heaps of fun though, and so many inspiring creations. (And I may have added a few more things to my things-I-really-want-to-sew-right-this-minute list. Yikes! Too much I want to make, never enough time… If only one could get paid to sit at home and sew pretty things for oneself… 😉

Anyways, I have been doing a bit of sewing, if not as much as usual! I’ve also been doing some knitting, since it’s winter over here and winter = knitting, yes indeed. (I even have a completed knitting project to show off – oh my! But that’ll be for another day, as this cardigan got finished first and therefore is getting posted first.)

So for today, I have for you… a cardigan! A lovely black lightweight merino knit cardigan, to be precise.

NIghttime Florals cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A while back, my friend Lou wore a gorgeous cardigan to work that I immediately coveted. It had a lovely curved front yoke panel in a sheer poly chiffon type fabric, while the rest of the cardigan was knit. Gorgeous, I tells ya! So naturally, I immediately added making one similar to my ‘things to do’ list. 😉

NIghttime Florals cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Black isn’t really my thing, but it’s also a very useful colour to have as a cardigan, as it actually goes with other things. (Unlike many of my garments, which pile together in a colourful, clashing mash-up of crazy prints.) So I pulled this lovely super-fine merino out of my stash, paired it with a black-with-green-floral print cotton I got from Fabric-a-brac a while back, and set to work.

I used the Jenna cardigan pattern as a base. Making the modification was easy – I figured out where on my chest I wanted the curve to end, and used the notch markers in the armscye to start the curve from the side. Simply cut it directly from the pattern, then added seam allowance to both yoke and remaining front bodice when cutting out the pattern. Simple! (Although I did take care that the woven fabric was mainly above my bust, for easy fitting. Not that I have much of a bust, but still…)

NIghttime Florals cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The sleeves on this are actually narrower than the original Jenna cardigan sleeves – I’ve been playing around a bit with them, and may have an update to the pattern coming out in about a month, with a narrow sleeve option as well as the original classic straight sleeve. Sssh! Secret squirrel! 😉

Photos were taken around on the Miramar Peninsula, while hanging out with the lovely Nikki and Sandra. (Thanks, ladies!) We went to see a great movie together (whose name I just completely forgot, but it was about “the worst singer in the world” and was utterly delightful), then nabbed some photos on the coast on the way back home.

Right then, back to the knitting I go! 😉

What are you making at the moment? Go on, give me some inspiration on what to start next!

 

NIghttime Florals cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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NIghttime Florals cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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And here’s why I haven’t been around much lately….

Well, actually, there are a few reasons! (Including a new job – exciting! And all the madness of getting ready for Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch.) But the main one – I’ve been hard at work on my next pattern. Eek!

One of my goals this year was to step things up a bit with Muse, and I did that with this design, by venturing out into the big world of professional photography. And it was quite an adventure! A very exciting and fun one, at that. A real photographer, with real equipment, in a real studio space. And I’ll tell you about that experience another day, as right now, I want to show off my latest pattern! 😉

Please meet…. Philippa!

Philippa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Philippa was inspired by a lovely friend of mine. A graphic and brand designer, who spent a lot of time in London, and has a penchant for wearing lots of black, short skirts, and likes late-60’s mod-inspired designs. She’s also a very practical person, so naturally this pattern has pockets. 😉

The Philippa pattern references late 60’s mod styling in it’s princess seams, slim fitted style, panels, jewel neckline, and wide, flat collar. Plus, there’s a mini length option for the skirt – after all, you can’t reference late 60’s mod style without a nod to the mini skirt!

Philippa pattern | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As with all my patterns, I added in several variations to make it versatile and easily remade several times for completely different garments. Philippa can be made as a dress, a top or a skirt. With cap sleeves, sleeveless, or slightly cut-away shoulders. With a scoop neck, jewel neck, or collar. With or without pockets. And with a knee length or mini length skirt. Lots of ways to mix-and-match!

Philippa pattern | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since this is a pattern for wovens (or stable knits, such as ponte), it includes both B and D cup options. (Which brings me to another thing – it has a different sizing chart to other Muse patterns. While the sizes made sense when I was only drafting for one cup size, it didn’t when a D cup was added. E.g. size 40 for a D cup would mean a full bust of 42″ and a high bust of 38″, and no 40″ measurement anywhere to be seen! So for Philippa, the sizing is based on high bust measurements, and then selecting the appropriate cup size based on full bust. E.g. if you have a high bust of 38″, and a full bust of 40″, you’d make a 38-B. And if you had a high of 38″ and a full of 42″, you’d make a 38-D. Which makes a lot of sense in my head, and hopefully will make sense to everyone else as well!)

Philippa pattern | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit that Philippa was actually released to the world a few days ago. It’s taken me this long to get time to write about it here! (I have other posts that are works in progress as well – one day soon I shall get to completing those. After all, I still have to do a show-and-tell of that 1970’s Elna Lotus machine…!)

Oh, and there’s 15% off the Philippa pattern until end of day Monday 2 May, with the code ‘HELLOPHILIPPA’. Plus, the full sale price (less bank fees) of all Philippa patterns sold between when it launched and end of day Monday 2 May will be donated to the Cancer Society, a charity chosen by the wonderful person who inspired the pattern.

Philippa pattern | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And now, it’s time I went and sewed up something for myself! I have some black and green floral cotton calling my name….. 😉

Happy birthday Muse!

It’s crazy to think, but Muse patterns was lauched a year ago. (Well, just over a year ago, so it’s a bit of a belated birthday. 😉

Its been a pretty amazing year – the highs and lows of the creative process, nervous anticipation before hitting ‘go’ on a pattern release (will anyone like it? What if there’s a huge mistake in it that I’ve somehow, despite the number of times I’ve gone over it, managed to miss??), and the amazing moments of seeing what others have made using the patterns. I’ve learnt heaps (so much tech and admin stuff to get your head around!!), had a huge amount of fun, and connected with lots of amazing people.

I wanted to do something a bit special for Muse’s first birthday. So, I made the first pattern that isn’t named after a particular Muse – Tahi! I’ve had the idea for this asymetric panelled skirt floating around in my head for a couple of years now, and it seemed the perfect time to get it out there into the world. It’s a bit 1940’s in style, or if you make it in a maxi length, it also has a definite 1970’s flavour to it and is heaps of fun for swishing around it.

But since it’s a first birthday pattern, I added a little something extra as well – a knit shrug, which comes with the Tahi skirt pattern! The shrug was interesting to draft – I spent a lot of time experimenting with the front, figuring out what curve angle and front width would work best with many different bust sizes, and would still cover strappy tops. I’m really happy with how it ended up – plus, being a shrug, it’s small enough to easily throw in your bag for an extra cover-up in case it gets cold. There’s going to be a large number of these in my wardrobe…. 😉

Why ‘Tahi’? It’s the Maori word for ‘one’ – seemed somewhat appropriate for a first birthday pattern, no? And since it’s a first birthday release, and as per usual the full sale price (less bank fees) of the first weeks sales will be donated to charity, it seemed fitting that the Tahi sales go to the Neonatal Trust – a charity that supports prem and ill babies and their families.

And heck, because you guys are all awesome, and I’ve really appreciated the support and encouragement and feedback (seriously, so many of you have made my day at various times over the past year!!), there’s 50% off the Tahi pattern until 27 October, with the code ‘HELLOTAHI’.

Thanks so much for going on this crazy journey with me! I’m super excited about what the second year of Muse will bring (and have many many ideas in my head, waiting to be turned into reality). Wheeeee!!! 🙂

(And for those who are wondering, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But I have been doing non-Muse sewing as well! I even have two completed makes all ready to show you, just as soon as I finish sorting out the photos. 😉

The Sophie cardigan pattern

So here’s what I’ve been working on lately – the newest pattern for Muse. This one’s called Sophie.

Because I love cardigans, it’s another cardigan pattern. A more casual style than the Jenna – it’s semi fitted, sitting at the high hip, and has raglan sleeves (which gives fun options for colour blocking).

There are three neckline variations to choose from – a classic round neck, a wide flat collar, and a v neck (which was actually the key reason I made this pattern – because the muse who inspired it, the lovely Sophie-Lee, had been asking me to make a v neck cardigan pattern for a while. 😉

There are other variations to mix and match with as well. Two pocket options (classic patch pockets, or inset pockets with a curved pocked opening), and a choice of button up or zip up front.

Lots of ways to mix and match!

And like the other Muse pattern releases, the first weeks sales (less bank fees) are all getting donated to charity – this time, the St John ambulance and emergency services.

Plus you can get 15% off between now and 27 July – just use the code ‘HELLOSOPHIE’ at checkout.

gillkellyjen_two

(We got some photos of my newest knitted jumper while we were taking the photos of the Sophie pattern, so I’ll have a blog post up about that in the next few days. Spoiler alert – it’s warm and snuggly and I likes it. 😉

Introducing Badge_Sophie

Melissa in polka dot chambray

It’s a funny thing, but I always feel a little odd, posting about something I’ve made using one of my own patterns. It’s quite a New Zealand type thing, really – we’ve got this phenomenon over here called Tall Poppy Syndrome, and the flip side of it is that we all tend to be almost painfully reluctant to talk about things we’ve done that we’re proud of. Crazy but true. And you see it evidenced everywhere. People downplaying achievements, brushing off compliments, pointing out things they didn’t do so well to take the focus off things they did do well. You even see it in companies hiding awards in cupboards, embarrassed to be seen putting them out on display. We’re a shy, self-deprecating bunch over in this corner of the world.

supplies

And I’m very much from New Zealand. Which means, I’m not particularly good about talking about things that I’ve done, either. Turns out the main way it shows up here is when I make something with one of my own patterns – I feel a strong reluctance to talk about it, a fear that it would be seen as self-congratulatory, boasting, or similar. Yep, I feel kinda embarrassed to show that I like my own pattern enough to use it to make myself things. Silly, isn’t it?!?

I figured a way to try to counter that, for one post at least, is to combine a garment I want to make with a Minerva Network post. (Clearly, it’s not going so well so far, since I felt a compelling urge to put that disclaimer at the start. Hah!)

So today, here’s a new Melissa dress that I’ve made.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, ever since I made my brown linen Melissa dress, I’ve been wanting to make myself another one. I wear that one all the time (as evidenced during Me Made May, a round-up post of which I’ll get up on here sometime soon!). The idea of a polka dotted one in particular was stuck in my mind.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And then, when I was happily procrastinating by browsing the Minerva fabric selection, I came across this beauty – a polka dotted chambray! Woo hoo!! Perfect.

I had one heck of a time deciding which colour way to use though. Indigo? Sky blue? Argh! Both so pretty! In the end I went with the sky blue, even though it’s a lighter colour than what I’m usually drawn to. A key reason I chose this one was because of the fabric I wanted to use as the contrast inset at the back. You see, I’d spotted this pretty cotton crochet-look lace, and got to wondering how it would look for the contrast. A lace v inset? Hmmm…..

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, the sky blue seemed to fit with the lace better, so sky blue it was. 😉

I’m really happy with how the lace looks on the back inset – I think it adds a fun and pretty touch.

vee inset being sewn

The sleeve cuffs required a bit of thought though. The cuffs are made by making two identical bands, sewing them right sides together, then flipping them out wards. The seams are enclosed, and the cuff is then attached to the sleeve. All well and good, but doing that with lace would have meant visible seams on the inside.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

After giving it some thought, I cut the cuffs out in lace, chambray, and a lightweight fusible interfacing. I laid the lace with the wrong side of the lace against the non-fusible side of the interfacing, and treated them as one piece. Then, once the two cuff sections (one in lace and interfacing, the other in chambray) had been stitched together and turned right sides out, I fused the interfacing to the chambray, thus capturing the seam between those two layers and keeping it hidden. The interfacing also gives a solid white background for the white lace, which I think looks quite effective.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Sadly I had to give up on the idea of using the lace for the pocket edgings though – the edgings are quite narrow, and this lace is quite bulky, so that just wasn’t going to work. I did a same-fabric edging instead, and I’m really happy with how that turned out. 🙂

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The chambray was a dream to work with – wonderfully light, with a great drape and a fine weave. It presses well and hangs well, and is soft and lovely to handle. I may be in love with it. And now I want it in the indigo colourway as well, to make something else! It’s the perfect weight for dresses, I reckon.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Because I wanted the lace to be the main feature of the dress, I used smaller buttons than I usually choose for shirt dresses. I kept them white to tie in with the lace and the polka dots, and picked simple little circles with a round embossed design in the centre. (I do love me a bit of texture!)

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Just for the fun of it, I used fushia coloured Hug Snug on all the seams. The one exception being the centre back seam, which I overlocked and pressed open, as I didn’t want the Hug Snug to be visible through the lace inset. Because there are a heck of a lot of seams, rather than pressing them open I pressed all the others to the side and bound both sides together with the Hug Snug. I love the inside – it’s so bright and cheerful!

inside_front

I also used Hug Snug on the hem, and finished it with a blind machine hem. It seems to be my hem finish of choice at the moment. *shrug*

inside_back

The photos were taken outside a sub station near where I work, by my lovely colleague Kelly. (Thanks, Kelly! You rock!!) It’s always a bit tricky getting photos this time of year – dark before work, dark when I leave work…. It was pretty windy, you may spot a bit of hair sticking straight up in one or two of the photos! I’d been wearing the dress all day at work too, so it’s got those good ol’ lived-in creases going through it. 😉 The graffiti is by a local artist – he’s quite prolific, with his work featured all over the place. Lots of happy smiley cartoon animals who are oddly dissected but seem perfectly fine about it. Strange. But also colourful, so I’m down with that.

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Also, the fabric and buttons were given to me for my monthly contribution to the Minerva Sewing Bloggers Network. You can see it all over here, along with pretty things made by other lovely sewing people. Yay! Sewing!

Polka dotted chambray Melissa dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hello Melissa!

Want to see what I’ve been working on for the past three months?

It’s this!

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

The latest Muse pattern – the Melissa dress, blouse and skirt.

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

I’m pretty excited by it, and really happy with how it’s turned out. It’s got a lot of 1940’s touches running through it, while at the same time I think it’s still quite a modern design.

The starting point for this design was a combination of two things – my current wardrobe needs (i.e. front access ha ha yeah) and the knowledge that I wanted to design a pattern inspired by my lovely friend Mel. Since when I think of Mel’s style, I think a-line dresses and skirts, collars, blouses/shirts, and skirts, it seemed pretty natural to design a shirt dress pattern with blouse and skirt variations, sleek lines, and an a-line shape.

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

The 1940’s inspiration came in through the use of the v-shaped pockets on the bodice and skirt. Pockets were often used as a design feature in 1940’s garments, and the v-shape also crept in there a lot (possibly V-for-victory?). The double princess seams originating from the shoulder are also a 1940’s design element and let those pockets be constructed in a way that allows for the v-shaped pocket edgings and nice, clean finishes.

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

I love it when garments have details on the back as well – all too often things only have the interesting design elements on the front, and are boring on the back. So I played around with some ideas, and decided to carry the v features through to the back with the inclusion of a v-shaped inset between the shoulder blades. (The v also comes in a bit with the sleeve cuffs, which rise to a subtle point.)

(Yeah, it was all about the v for this one! 😉 )

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

When I was shopping for the fabric for the samples for the website photos, I found this gorgeous chocolate brown linen. It seemed like a good idea for this one – a solid colour so the design lines could be seen, but not the notoriously-hard-to-photograph red, black or navy.

And then, despite never being a fan of linen previously (the way it wrinkles as soon as you look at it bugs me!), I kinda fell in love with the fabric. So I made the dress sample in my size, so I could keep it. 😉 (Which meant I also had to model it, but hey. That was a bit weird, I’ll admit! You probably won’t see me doing that very often…!)

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

So yeah, there’s my latest pattern! 🙂

It got released the other day, and if you’re interested, there’s 15% off until 27 March with the code ‘MELISSA’.

There’s the standard first-week-goes-to-charity thing as well, with 100% of the sale price (less those pesky bank fees) of all sales up until the end of 27 March being donated to the Life Flight air rescue and air ambulance, a charity chosen by the lovely Muse behind this pattern’s design.

And now, I’m gonna go sew something for myself….!

Melissa pattern by Muse Patterns

Introducing the Gillian wrap dress pattern!

Hi all!

Sooooo, exciting news (well, exciting for me, anyway) – I’ve just launched my second pattern! Woo hoo! (And also – eek!)

Now, I know I said this blog wasn’t going to become all about Muse Patterns, and it’s not going to, I promise. But I am gonna be posting on here when I release new patterns because, well, they’re pretty massive projects and I’m pretty proud of them. I also know there hasn’t been a heck of a lot of content on here lately – that’s a bit of a symptom of my stage of pregnancy. Too far along to want to bother making more things that I can only wear for maybe a couple of weeks. I just haven’t quite gotten my head into the ‘making stuff for after the baby arrives’ mindset just yet, either. It’ll happen soon, and then I’ll be back to sewing things. 🙂

But anyway.

Check it out – my second pattern release! Wheeee!!!!

Gillian wrap dress from Muse Patterns

This one is for a knit wrap-around dress (or top, or skirt). Named after my lovely friend Gillian, who is a huge fan of wrap dresses and tops, and wears them extremely well. (That’s her in the pink dress – isn’t she gorgeous?!?) Gill’s lovely – she’s got a sly (and rather naughty!) sense of humour, a fabulous Scottish accent, awesome style, and she’s one of the most kind, caring and generous people I know. So when I was thinking up ideas for my second pattern, it seemed only right to design one with her as the ‘muse’.

Gillian wrap dress from Muse Patterns

And since Gill is such a super generous person, it also seems like a good time to kick off something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – namely, a bit of a charity project.

Gill is a big support of the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, and with good reason – it’s a pretty awesome charity, doing lots of amazing work. So for the first week the Gillian pattern is up for sale, 100% of the sale price (less transaction fees) will be donated to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. Yep, that’s right – all patterns sold between now and midnight (NZ time) on 19 October will be raising money for this great charity.

Gillian wrap top from Muse Patterns

Now, on to the pattern!

I’ve been working on this one for, oh, several months now. (In fact, one of the first samples appeared on my blog back in July, when I realised too late I’d forgotten to make a dress in time for photos for the Outfit Along challenge. (Whoops!) It got put on hold a while to get the Jenna cardi pattern out the door, but now it’s time has come to see the light of day.

Gillian wrap top from Muse Patterns

The Gillian wrap dress has shoulder yoke and gather details on both front and back shoulders, for both a bit of a 1940’s look and 1970’s look at the same time. (I find it interesting when style trends pop up in other decades, don’t you?) At first glance, the front shoulder yoke details look the same as on the Jenna cardi, but the amount of gathering that goes into them is actually different, since the Gillian is designed to be worn as a top or dress, while the Jenna is designed to be a layer piece (and likely made in thicker fabric, hence it needs more gathering to get the detail showing up).

There’s a midriff band and waist ties, to add a bit of structure and definition around the waist area. A v-neckline has a band which is top stitched down and eased onto the neckline to help prevent the dreaded gape-while-leaning-forward. And the bottom front has rounded corners, just because I felt like doing it that way. 😉

Gillian wrap dress from Muse Patterns

As with the Jenna, there are a few mix-and-match variations you can choose from. You can make it as a dress, a top, or a skirt. You can have short, 3/4 or long sleeves. The skirt can sit at knee length or above the knee. Made up in a quirky printed knit, it can be a casual weekend piece. Or in a more sophisticated fabric, a staple for the office.

Gillian wrap dress from Muse Patterns

And just because I can, I’m going to hold a giveaway for a copy of the pattern. Want to be in to win? Just comment below and let me know – which variation would you make first? I’ll close off the giveaway on 17 October and announce the winner on 18 October.

And also, just because I can, here’s a discount code if you want to use it – get 15% off the pattern between now and the end of day (NZ time) 19 October with the code CUPCAKESFORGILL. (When you’re going through the checkout process, the space to enter the code comes after the Paypal screen, and the discount gets applied then as well.)

Gillian wrap dress, skirt variation, from Muse Patterns

So yeah, pattern number two! Now to wait and see what the online sewing world thinks of it…. (eek!)