Category Archives: Things I’ve made

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

The Hummingbirds and Clover dress

Now here’s a pattern I’ve been meaning to make ever since it was released – the Clover dress by Papercut!

With its loose fit and pull-over style (you wear it cinched in with a belt) it seemed like a perfect dress to make for those months after pregnancy, while one’s body is still going back to it’s “usual” size. Plus, a centre front seam makes it ideal for wearing while nursing – simply add one invisible zip and you’re good to go!

When I joined the Minerva Crafts Bloggers Network (yay!) and got to choose my first three projects (double yay! and a super fun way to lose a few hours), it seemed like a good time to make up the Clover dress.

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I found this gorgeous feathers print rayon, and once I’d decided between the red and the pink colourways, spent some time debating what to use for the contrast v-inset on the bodice. Since the base of the feathers rayon is black, and it’s quite a busy print, I thought I’d match it with a black lace with a larger scale design. And I found this one – a crochet look rayon lace. Perfect!

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Speaking of the print of the rayon, check this out – teeny tiny Hummingbirds, hovering amoungst the feathers! So cute!! And also so hard to spot – can you see them? I didn’t spot them until a friend pointed them out, thanks Mel!)

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Crazy though it may sound, even though I’ve been sewing “properly” for over 17 years (I’m not counting those making-scrunchies-as-a-child or home-ec-classes-at-school years), I’ve never sewn with rayon. Most of my sewing is cotton or wool, or knits that ideally have a large portion of one or the other of those fibres. Time to branch out, don’t you think?!

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed working with rayon. It’s lovely and soft to handle, doesn’t shift around too much (or this one didn’t, anyway – I’ve heard some rayons do?), and presses like a dream. I’m now a rayon convert!

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Clover pattern was nice and fun to sew, and the contrast inset gives lots of opportunity for fun ways to use scraps or pretty bits of fabric. The only thing I’d watch for is what you use for the contrast inset – it sits on the upper curve of my bust, so I’m going to have to be careful about what bra I wear with it as the top half an inch or so shows through the lace.

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I did, of course, make a couple of changes to it though. (Because that’s how I roll, oh yeah.) First up, the length. I’m tall, the pattern is short. So I added 12cm to get it hitting just above my knees. Higher than my usual hem length, but I discovered that with the raglan sleeves and the higher scoop neckline it starts to look a bit frumpy when hitting below the knee (I originally added 20cm in length). So, above the knee it is for this pattern on me!

I also added pockets, because, well, pockets. They may look pretty low, but they’re the perfect height for me to still be able to get my hands into when carrying the Smallest Guy around in the front pack. For the pockets, I just drew a basic pocket shape around my hand (to make sure it was big enough!) and sewed them into the side seams. Easy!

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And that aforementioned nursing-friendly pattern hack – the addition of an invisible zip in the centre front seam at the neckline. Along with a hook and eye to close the binding above it.

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I applied some vintage iron-on hem binding to the seam first along where the zipper was going to go, to stabilise it on the drapy rayon, which worked really well.

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(After wearing this dress around all day for yum cha and gelato with some of the Wellington Sewing Blogger girls, I can attest that both pockets and zip do their jobs nicely. Also, rayon is fun to wear! It feels flippy and floaty and feminine and fun. Yeah!)

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, this actually took me blinkin’ ages to make. I decided that this would be the perfect time to try out a new-to-me technique, and also get in some hand-sewing practice. (Much as I hate hand sewing, I’m determined to get better/faster at it this year!) After reading about it on Lilacs and Lace, curiousity got the better of me and I bought some Hug Snug seam binding. And oh my gosh this stuff is awesome! I think this is the start of a long-term love affair with this seam finish. Check it out – bound seams!

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

If you haven’t used Hug Snug before, it’s great – made of rayon (I spot a theme with this garment…) it’s very lightweight so it doesn’t add bulk to your seams. It presses well, and is nice and smooth to wear. Plus, it comes in all sorts of fun colours. I may need to add some more to my collection so I can have pretty colourful insides on all my garments from now on….

The other great thing about it – it finished the edges of the lace insets really nicely. Since the lace has quite a large design, if I’d overlocked/serged it instead a lot of the thread would have had trouble catching onto anything in those gaps between the design. But the Hug Snug? A nice, neat finish.

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The only seam I didn’t bind was the centre front seam. Since part of it goes over the front lace inset, I didn’t want the yellow of the Hug Snug showing through to the front, so I just did a basic overlocked/serged finish on that seam in black to make it less conspicuous.

I finished the hem of both sleeves and the skirt with the Hug Snug, then hand stitched them up. Luckily, it was Great British Sewing Bee day, so that kept me entertained for about half the length of the skirt. ;-) I’m glad I took the time to do the hand sewing though, as it’s more-or-less invisible from the front and it makes me happy to look at it. :-)

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And of course, the finishing touch:

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Overall? Pattern – win. Using rayon for the first time – win. Pattern hacks – win. And bound seams – win. Yep, I think this one is gonna be getting a lot of wear!

Hummingbirds and Clover dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A Rigel with snails (and a hidden rrrowwrr!)

Here’s a pattern I’ve been meaning to make since I first saw it – the Rigel bomber jacket from Papercut.

Of course, it’s not really jacket weather here at the moment, since we’re at the height of summer. But hey, the last project-for-myself that I shared with you here was a long-sleeved heavy wool cardigan, so I guess a bomber jacket is a step closer to more seasonally appropriate? (And hey, I made a swim suit in winter, so summer sewing does happen. Just not necessarily in summer. Hmmm.)

Anyways, back in November last year, there was a bit of a conversation happening on Instagram with Ginger around how a bunch of us have the Rigel pattern, really want to make it, and haven’t gotten around to it yet. Clearly, we needed a bit of encouragement. And so, Rigel Bomber Jacket January was born! A time to pull out those Rigel patterns that have been languishing in our stashes, and actually use them.

I’m pretty happy that this happened – because hey, now I have a bomber jacket with snails on it! Oh yeah!!

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The fabric came from Tomato in the Tokyo fabric district – part of my fabric haul when we were there just over a year ago. It’s a cotton/linen blend lightweight canvas, similar to Echino canvas but with a slightly looser weave. Nice to work with – it holds pressing well, loves being sewn, and doesn’t fray too badly either. And, you know – snails! :-D

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since I plan on wearing this a lot during spring and autumn (I currently have another bomber jacket I wear during those months – when you need an extra layer, but a full winter coat is a bit too much, but the zip on one pocket is broken, and things fall out as a result, which annoys me lots so I’ve been wanting to replace it. Plus, being RTW, the sleeves are too short on me) I wanted this one to be a bit warmer than just one layer of lightweight canvas. So, I added a lining. And I underlined it with flanelette. And just for fun (inspired by Ginger’s post with her quilted lining) I quilted the lining and underlining together.

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It took for-evah! And used one heck of a lot of thread. But I’m so glad I did this – it gives a nice texture inside, and adds a touch of luxury to the jacket. Plus it makes me smile when I look at it, which means the hours spent doing the quilting were well worth it. (Disclaimer: I actually have no idea how long it took to do the quilting. Like the jacket itself, all sewing was done in short bursts with a baby who usually only cat-naps during the day. One line of stitching here, another one two hours later, that kind of thing.)

Wanna see the flannelette I used as underlining? ‘Course you do! Check it out – happy pea-pods!

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Yep, I have a jacket covered in snails, with hidden secret under-the-lining happy pea pods. Some days, it makes me crazy happy that I can sew my own clothes – where else would I find combinations like this?!?

Anyways. I originally wanted to find a chocolate brown ribbing, but couldn’t track any down anywhere – this teal blue was the best I could find. A happy accident, since I really like how it looks with the blue shells of the snails. The zip is a not-very-exciting-but-perfectly-functional chocolate brown zip. (Both ribbing and zip are from Spotlight. That place we all love to hate around these parts, but often also the only place to get some things. *sigh*)

I partially chose the fabric for this because it’s currently Jungle January. Woo hoo! I do love Jungle January – that crafty leopard of a host is hilarious and it’s so much fun to read the posts. :-) I figure that any self-respecting jungle has at least one species of snail in it, so snails are my ode to the jungle this January. (Hence why I’m standing around in random foliage – gotta blend in with the snails territory, after all.)

Snails are also clearly masters of disguise, as they do remarkably well as urban camoflage….

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Speaking of Jungle January, there is a hidden rrrooawrrr! in this bomber, too. Check it out – secret stealth leopard print pocket linings! Woah yeah!!

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Rawrrrr!!! I am a leopard in disguise, oh yes I am.

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Disclaimer: not really. Although I always thought being a black panther would be pretty awesome, they’re so pretty.)

Anyways, onto the pattern.

It’s a nice and easy pattern to make up – good instructions, raglan sleeves so no pesky setting in sleeves business, and crazy-easy welt pockets. Gotta love that!

Aside from drafting a lining (you can read how I did that over here), the only other change I made was to the sleeves. I’m tall, with crazy-long-gorilla-arms, so I added three inches to the sleeve length. (I kinda mis-measured to begin with and only added one inch, so I’m very glad I stitched up the lining first and tried it on to discover that mistake! Hence why there’s a band of snails around the wrists of the lining of the jacket – it’s a patch-up job, disguised as a “design feature”.) Even with that extra three inches, I feel these sleeves are only just long enough – next time, I’ll add four inches instead.

One change I will make next time – I’m not really happy with how the ribbing is sitting at the neckline. It’s a bit too loose and sticks out from my neck a bit. I tried folding it over on itself, which kinda looks a bit better at the front, but kinda doesn’t at the back….

Worn as normal:
Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Folded down:
Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, it may well be because the ribbing I used wasn’t the best (see previous comment about Spotlight – the place we love to hate) and potentially too lightweight for this, but either way I think that next time I make the Rigel I’ll make the neck ribbing a bit narrower so it doesn’t sit up as high.

I’m also going to widen the shoulders a bit, since I have broad shoulders. But that’s not an uncommon adjustment for me to have to make, either. Coz, you know – tall and stuff.

Aside from that, I’m totally loving my new jacket! Quilting the lining really did make me happy, and it’s encouraging me to take more time to add those sorts of little details to my creations this year to make them extra special (even if no one else sees the bits that make them special – it’s all about adding things that make me smile, after all!).

Just ‘coz I’m so happy with this, I finally got around to making up some labels as well, and stitched one in. (Thanks to The Curious Kiwi for the inspiration of sewing a label onto a scrap of fabric first – I love the way that looks and plan to copy her idea for all future sewing-in-of-labels.)

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Have you made up a Rigel bomber jacket this January? Why not add it to the Flickr pool? Ginger, Mel and I will be picking three people from there to each win a Papercut pattern of their choice at the start of February.)

Snails Rigel bomber jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Congratulations Vicki Kate!

Oh yeah, virtual online baby shower time! :-)

The amazing Vicki Kate is having a baby soon! So a few of us banded together (led by Annabelle, the instigator of this great idea) to throw her a virtual surprise baby shower. And here we go!

I made her a couple of pairs of baby trousers for her soon-to-be arrival. 6-12 month sizes for both.

One pair in a grey and black thick and soft houndstooth tshirting, with denim on the butt (which will be hemmed before they’re sent – running to the wire due to a non sleeping baby, whoops!)

Baby Trousers | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Baby Trousers | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Another pair in a linen cotton blend (snails! Yeah! Seems to be my theme for January, haha!) with a soft navy tshirting on the butt.

Baby Trousers | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Baby Trousers | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Coz baby butts with baby nappies on are kinda big, and it’s funny to put different fabrics on them. ;-)

Check out the other awesome ladies and see what they’ve made for the baby shower:

Congrats Vicki Kate! :-D

Tutorial: how to line the Papercut Rigel bomber jacket

My current project (well, my just-completed-but-no-photos-yet project, really) is the Rigel bomber jacket by Papercut Patterns. I made one key change to the pattern while sewing it up – I added a lining. Which, from looking around the blog-o-sphere, is something that quite a few people have done, or want to do. So, in case it’s useful for anyone else, here’s how I lined my Rigel bomber jacket….

Rigel bomber from Papercut Patterns

Now, usually linings in jackets have more ease than the jacket itself – if you look at any tailored, lined RTW jacket you’ll usually see it has a small pleat at the centre back just below the neckline facing, and the lining is also longer at the hem and sleeve cuffs and bags out slightly. Since the Rigel bomber is a loose-fitting style (and since I wanted to do a quilted lining for my jacket) I haven’t added any of that extra ease – instead, the lining pieces I made were directly from the main jacket pieces. (It’s pretty easy to add the extra ease if you want it though – simply make your lining pieces longer, and add a small extension at the top of the centre back seam of the lining.) So with that in mind, let’s get started!

Cutting the lining

Three new pattern pieces need to be made for the lining – front, back and sleeves. Start by tracing the original front, back, and sleeve pieces. (Note: use variation 1 sleeve as a base for the lining, no matter which variation you’re making.) Remember to mark on all three pieces that they’re for the lining!

Trace the front, back and sleeve pattern piecees

Trace the front, back and sleeve pattern pieces

Front lining

Trace the facing pattern piece onto your front lining piece, lining up the edg of the facing with the edg of th front lining, and making sure . (It’ll be the same width as the front extension.)

Place facing on front lining pattern piece

Place facing on front lining pattern piece

Facing traced onto lining pattern piece

Facing traced onto lining pattern piece

Add 2cm seam allowance from the line you just traced, towards the centre front seam. (Why 2cm? Because the original facing piece doesn’t have seam allowance on the open edge. Since we’re now going to be attaching another piece to it, we need to allow for seam allowance for both sides of that new seam. It’s easier to add it to the new lining piece rather than mucking around with two pattern pieces.)

Draw a line 2cm towards centre front seam

Draw a line 2cm towards centre front seam

Cut along your new line – the larger piece is now your front lining. Yay! (You won’t need any lining on the front extension of the jacket as the facing will take care of that part, so just cut straight across from the bottom of the lining piece to the new line you made.)

Cut along line

Cut along line

Back lining

Trace the facing pattern piece onto your back lining, with the neck edges aligned. The curved end of the facing is the one that lines up along the back, as this will follow the curve of your neck. The facing has a centre back seam and the back lining won’t, so we’ll need to adjust for this – simply let the facing piece overhang at the centre back by 1cm.

(Note: if you’re wanting to incorporate an ease pleat in your lining (that little pleat you see in the lining of most fitting jackets near the back neckline) this is when to do it. Once you’ve got your back lining traced out, simply extend the back neckline of the lining by 1cm at the centre back and connect the new point to the bottom of the centre back with a straight line. Remember to mark where the ease is, so when you sew it up you can create a small pleat there.)

Place facing on back lining pattern piece, overhanging by 1cm at centre back

Place facing on back lining pattern piece, overhanging by 1cm at centre back

Facing traced onto lining pattern piece

Facing traced onto lining pattern piece

Add 2cm seam allowance towards the outside edge.

Draw a line 2cm towards neck edge

Draw a line 2cm towards neck edge

Cut along your new line.

Cut along line

Cut along line

Sleeve lining

Rather than messing around with figuring out which part of the facing to trace onto the sleeve, we’re simply going to measure it. The facing is 8.5cm wide. So, to allow for the 2cm seam allowance that needs to be added, measure down 6.5cm from the upper edge of the sleeve, and draw a line that follows the curve of the sleeve.

Draw line 6.5cm below edge

Draw line 6.5cm below edge

Cut along your new line.

Cut along line

Cut along line

Sewing the lining

Cut out and stitch the lining pieces together the same as you would for the jacket shell – attach the sleeves to the front lining pieces, and also to the back lining piece.

Attaching the facing to the lining

Pin the centre back seam of the facing to the centre back of the back lining, right sides together. The facing will be curving downwards.

Pin facing to lining, aligning facing centre back seam with centre back neckline

Pin facing to lining, aligning facing centre back seam with centre back neckline

Pin the rest of the facing to the lining. Make sure the distance from the end of the lining to the end of the facing is the same as the front extension, i.e. 7cm. You’ll need to ease the facing onto the lining, due to the difference in curvature at the edges.

Facing extends by 6cm at the bottom

Facing extends by 7cm at the bottom

Press the seam towards the facing.

Your lining is now finished, and ready to be sewn into your jacket shell.

(Note: the fabric at the end of the sleeves of my lining is the same as my facing, because of a late pattern adjustment to lengthen the sleeves. Just in case you’re wondering why the lining fabric doesn’t extend right to the end of the sleeves in these and the following photos. I has long gorilla arms. :-p )

Lining with facing attached

Lining with facing attached

Lining with facing attached

Lining with facing attached

Sewing the jacket shell

Stitch up the jacket shell as per the instructions, with the following changes:

  • when attaching the bottom ribbing, stitch the short end onto the front extension with a 1cm seam allowance, rather than folding the front extension under and topstitching to attach the ribbing
  • don’t topstitch around the bottom ribbing (or you’ll have trouble attaching the lining!). Instead, press the seams of the ribbing towards the jacket body
  • when you get to the instructions for attaching the facing, skip over these and go and attach the sleeve cuffs instead

Sewing in the lining

Attaching the lining to the jacket body

Pin the lining onto he jacket as per the instructions for attaching the facing, and continue pinning all the way along the bottom of the jacket as well. Make sure the bottom ribbing is folded inside, just like the neck ribbing is, so it doesn’t get caught in the stitching).

Sew the lining to the jacket, leaving a 10cm gap for turning the jacket back around the right way (I left my turning gap at the bottom of the jacket). Tip: When stitching, have the shell fabric on the top, so that you can follow the stitching lines for the zip and ribbing to get the lining perfectly aligned on the inside with no stitching showing.

The tricky bit will be the corners of the ribbing along the bottom of the jacket – follow the line of stitching that you made when attaching the ribbing to the jacket shell, and pivot at the corners. Clip the lining to the stitching at the corner (just as you did with the jacket shell at the same point) so it sits flat.

Turn your jacket the right way around, through the gap you left when attaching the lining. Poke out the corners at the bottom of the front extension so they’re nice and sharp, and give them a good press.

Attaching the lining to the sleeves

First, try your jacket on to make sure your lining isn’t twisted inside the sleeves. The lining should be sitting nicely inside the sleeves, with the seams of both lining and shell aligned.

Fold a small section of the seam allowance of the lining under and pin it to the shell, mimicing how it will look when it’s sewn. (Note: this pin is to make sure the lining and the shell don’t get twisted while we’re stitching the sleeve lining on, so you only need to pin a small section. One pin will be enough.) It’s a good idea to pin at or next to the seams, to make sure the lining doesn’t get twisted in the next steps. They

Pin lining to sleeve at seam

Pin lining to sleeve at seam

Reach inside the jacket through the gap you left when attaching the lining to the shell, and pull the sleeve out through the gap. The sleeve and the sleeve lining will now be next to each other, attached by the small section you just pinned.

Sleeve and lining next to each other, attached by small pinned section

Sleeve and lining next to each other, attached by small pinned section

Pinch the pinned section together so it doesn’t move, take out the pin, and repin it with right sides together and raw edges aligned so you can stitch them together.

Tuck the cuff down inside the seam so it doesn’t get caught in the stitching, and pin the sleeve and the sleeve lining together all the way around with the raw edges aligned and right sides together.

Pin lining to sleeve, with the cuff tucked inside

Pin lining to sleeve, with the cuff tucked inside

Stitch together. (Tip: stitch with the shell on top, so you can follow the line of stitching you made when you attached the cuff.)

Sew lining to sleeve, following the stitching line

Sew lining to sleeve, following the stitching line

Pull the sleeve back through to the right side of the jacket – it’ll now be all nicely lined! :-)

Repeat the process with the second sleeve.

Finishing

Slipstitch the gap in the lining closed, give it all a good press, and you’re done! Yay! :-)

Twilight Marion (in the daylight)

Hey guess what? I knitted another something! Woo hoo!

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Hmmm, fourth knitting project. Does that officially make me a knitter?!?)

Another Andi Satterlund pattern – the Marion cardigan. (And yes, I will knit a non-Andi Satterlund pattern sometime soon, I promise. I have a bunch of others in my Ravelry queue, and may even have yarn for one of them…. Mmm… yarn stash… Yeah, guess I’m a knitter now as well. Oops. More things to stash.)

My lil’ sis’ and I started knitting the Marion pattern as part of the Marion Knit Along over on Ravelry. That was due to finish at the end of October. Oh well, it only took us a couple of months longer than that, and better late than never, etc, etc.

(Plus, you know, it’s summer here. A thick woollen jersey isn’t really gonna get a lot of wear for the next couple of months so there wasn’t exactly a rush to get them finished.)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Marion cardigan is a close-fitting, cropped (waist length) cardi with a deep vee neck and front buttons. There is a twisted cable design running down the edge of the neckline and button bands, and also alternating with plain bands in the rib of the sleeve cuffs. It’s knit in the round from the top down, and the sleeves are picked up from the armholes and shaped with short rows. The button/neck band is also picked up and knit on. (All phrases that made no sense to me at all a year ago, so apologies for those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. Key thing that it boils down to – some knitting you knit each piece together then sew them together at the end. Others, you join them up as you knit them. This pattern is one of those join-as-you-go ones.)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This was my first time doing cables. They’ve always kinda terrified me, as they look so complicated. But you know what? They were actually really easy! Plus fun to knit, seeing them take shape in all their twisty prettiness under the needles. So that was a rather plesant surprise.

(I’m trying to choose projects that get me to learn new things each time. Because, yay for learning stuff!)

Want a closer look at those cables? Here you go.

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And here’s an even closer one. (Yeah, I may be rather proud of them. First cables, yo!)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I was a good little girl and did a swatch first to check the gauge. Lucky I did, as it ended up coming out quite small, so I did the maths (if only they’d told me back in high school that maths is actually useful for fun stuff, rather than just mathematical-type-stuff, oh well) and went up a size when making this up (I did a size M, grading out to a L at the waist, wheras with other Andi Satterlund patterns I’ve done the S, grading out to an M at the waist). I’m pleased to say that my calculations worked out well, and this fits rather nicely. :-) And should continue to fit nicely after the post-baby-weight has gone away again.

Grading out to an L at the waist was easy – I looked at how many stitches it was meant to end with at the ribbing for the L vs the M, figured out the difference, and then used that to determine how many less decreases I needed to do in the decrease rows between the bust and the waist. (Hopefully that sentence makes some sort of sense?!?)

The Marion pattern has slightly cropped sleeves. Since, you know, woollen cardigans in winter and all, I don’t want to get cold wrists, so I extended the sleeves to make them full length, by adding another 30 rows to each one. I didn’t want them any narrower at the wrist though (plus it would have totally thrown off the calculations for the ribbing on the sleeve cuffs), so I didn’t do any decrease rows on those extra 30 rows.

Interestingly, the amount of stitches around at that point made the varigated yarn go into a nice, swirly pattern, can you see it on the last section of the sleeves there?

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Sadly, even though I tried the sleeves on multiple times as I was going, to figure out how many extra rows to add, they still ended up too short. Oops. (My excuse is that I was finishing and lengthening the first one while sitting in hospital when the littliest guy was sick and a few days old, so I was somewhat tired and distracted at the time. On the plus side, knitting is nice and calming at times like that. Also, he’s perfectly fine now, so all is good. :-) ) I have no idea how to undo the binding off, so I’m waiting until my mother comes to visit next week so she can show me (hi, mum!). Then I’ll add another 20 rows – 10 of plain, and 10 of the ribbing as the ribbing looks too short with full length sleeves. (Yes, I have long gorilla arms. Here’s how much I’ve added to the length already – if I’d stuck with the original length on the pattern, they would have been far shorter on me than the pattern design.)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Speaking of random times to be knitting, I should have called this the baby cardi, or something like that. I was knitting one of the sleeves while I was in labour, pretending that I wasn’t in labour as I didn’t want to be sent to hospital too early since hanging out at home is far better than hanging out in the hospital as far as I’m concerned. Yep. Again, a good, calming distraction.)

Anyway, the pattern. As with the other Andi Satterlund patterns I’ve used, it’s a nice one to follow. I like the way it all gets knit onto itself, so no seaming at the end – when you’re done, you’re done! Plus, you can try it on as you go, which is a good thing.

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I did have one area where I got confused – when knitting the ribbing for the size L around the base, the instructions just didn’t seem to add up. I posed a question about it to the Ravelry group, and one of the other girls replied saying she’d had the exact same problem and how she’d dealt with it, so I took that to mean that I wasn’t going nuts and reading it wrong. ;-) So for anyone else who may be making this in the size L at the waist and who encounters the same issue, here’s the problem I found:

Following the insructions to (p2 k2) doesn’t give you the right number of stitches to finish with the p2 that the instructions say you should finish with – instead, you finish with a k2, which means the right and left sides of the bottom ribbing won’t be symmetrical. So to get it to even out, you either need to decrease by two more stitches, or by two less stitches when you’re doing the last decrease row of the waist shaping.

Also, at the same point in the pattern, finishing 15 stitches before the end and doing a (p2, stitch pattern B, k1) adds up to 16 stitches instead of 15, so you actually need to finish 16 stitches before the end instead of 15.

(Of course, I’m still very much a newbie at all this knitting stuff, so I may have just mucked it all up somewhere, but since someone else had the same issue as me, maybe it is a mistake. Or maybe not. *shrug*)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, I know this cardigan isn’t perfect – one side of my button band is pulling up at the base, and the sleeves are still too short. But you know what? It’s my fourth knitting project, and I’m pretty darn happy with it. :-) So, yay for learning to knit! More knitting shall definitely be done in 2015. ;-)

Also, remember how I mentioned at the start of this (rather long!) post that my sister was making the Marion as well? Well, we actually made it up in the same yarn, coz we both really wanted it in this colour way. So, twinsies in pattern and yarn! Woot! :-)

(Plus a 10-week-old little person, in a cardi knitted by his Nana.)

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Twilight Marion cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

If you’re curious, the yarn we used is Crucci Landscapes in the Twilight colourway, from the Skeinz online store. Love that place – pretty yarns, good quality, and the shipping is fast (and free if you spend enough, which is crazy easy to do with all the pretties to choose from – oops!). It’s a really nice yarn to work with, all soft and squishy and cuddly with 75% wool and 25% alpaca. I used the Lava colourway for my Myrna cardigan, and it’s super tempting to get even more colourways (but really, how many varigated cardigans do I need?!?). Must. Resist……

Whovian baby?

Ages ago (like, a good year ago now I think) the WSBN (Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network) discovered there was an exhibition of Dr Who things on. Naturally, the decision was made to make Dr Who inspired things, get together, and go check it out.

Of course, I signed up for it. (Always up for a sewing challenge, yes indeed!)

Lots of browsing of Spoonflower resulted, and this 11th Doctor baby onesie jumped out at me. Seriously, how cute is this?!?

onesieFront

One of my good friends was pregnant, and a huge Dr Who fan, so I bought it, intending to make it for her baby.

Then, since I had “plenty of time” before said baby arrived, it slipped down from the top of my things-to-sew pile. And was eventually forgotten about. Oops! (Sorry, Nat!) *hangs head in shame*

And then our littlest guy was due to arrive, and I remembered I had this onesie all tucked away and ready to sew up, so I stitched it up. (Coz, you know – it’s super cute!)

There’s an URL printed on the fabric for finding the instructions. Sadly, this URL doesn’t work at all. Luckily, I didn’t need it, so that was ok.

The onesie itself was pretty easy to stitch up. I used a combination of overlocker and sewing maching – stitched the cuffs up using a zig zag stitch (as I was pretty sure my coverstitch and my twin needle wouldn’t like doing such small areas, based on past experiences), put the neck bindings and bindings around the bottom on with a straight stitch (since they don’t need to stretch at all, and in fact the bottom binding is cut so it doesn’t stretch at all), and stitched the pieces together with my overlocker. I went for hand-sewn on snap fasteners on the crotch (such an odd word to write, haha!) instead of hammer-on ones, as I wasn’t sure how stable the hammer-on ones would be through so many layers of fabric.

I did come across a couple of slightly annoying things while sewing this up – namely, that things didn’t align properly. Which was rather surprising, since it’s not that detailed a design and it shouldn’t have been hard to get that right! The blue bit down the bottom is longer on one piece than the other, so it doesn’t match at the side seams. And the pink bit of the neckband is wider than that on the top, so it doesn’t line up either. *mutter mutter*

Non-matching side seams :-(

Non-matching side seams :-(

neckBinding

Other bit that annoyed me was the binding for the bottom – there’s two strips of it to cut and sew, and neither are the same length as either the front nor the back curve that needs bound. (Seriously, this should not have been a hard thing for them to achieve!) So there’s two seams in that bottom binding, and one of them doesn’t line up with a side seam. *sigh*

Still, it’s pretty darn cute as far as designs go. :-)

onesieBack

Unfortunately though, it doesn’t fit! There was no way that garment was getting on our little guy. (To be fair, I had it in my mind that it was a 0-3 months size, and it turns out it’s newborn sized. And our guy was right at the edge of fitting newborn sizes the moment he arrived, so it didn’t have much of a shot of fitting him. Oops.

One thing to keep in mind with this though – it’s printed on Spoonflowers organic cotton jersey. Which feels lovely – soft and thick. :-) But, it doesn’t have much stretch. Which means, that onesie isn’t going to have much stretch. And yeah, close fitting baby clothes without much stretch…. Gah.

All up – very cute design, easy to make (as long as you don’t need instructions! Although it shouldn’t be hard to find other onesie instructions on the ‘net), but unless your baby is on the smaller side, they won’t be fitting into this for long.

(On the plus side – I now have part of a gift organised for a friend who is currently pregnant. Win! ;-) )