Category Archives: Twinsie patterns

Shards of Hope dress

Sometimes it seems like all the stars align and a project suddenly happens that ticks several boxes at once.

My good sewing buddy Mel and I were thinking – it’s about time we did another twinsies creation, where we both make the same pattern at the same time. Plus, it’s the second birthday for The Monthly Stitch in August, with the theme being “two is the magic number” – a perfect time for twinsies!

And then we got to thinking, how else can we incorporate that theme….?

Discussions were had around fabric, and we realised we both had fabric from the What A Gem range by Camelot in our stashes. Mel has the “gems” design, and I’ve got the “arrows” one. Two designs from the same range – seemed perfect!

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So then we just had to come up with a pattern that worked for each, and for the amounts of fabric we had….

And that’s where this pattern comes in. It’s the Hawthorn dress by Colette Patterns. It was given to me as part of the pattern swap for Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch. I was pretty darn excited to get it in the mail, as it’s a pattern I’ve been debating about buying for quite some time! (Great choice, swap partner! 🙂 There’s an Indie Pattern Month wrap-up day today over on The Monthly Stitch, and I really wanted to make up at least one of my two swap patterns in time for it! (The other one is currently on my cutting table. Soon it shall be made. Soon….!)

Colette Patterns Hawthorn dress

Plus, with the cute collar, there was the option of using two different fabrics on our dresses (again, using the “two is the magic number” theme). So yep, all boxes were ticked – twinsies in the pattern, twinsies in the fabric range, an indie pattern, and in my case also a pattern swap pattern. Win!

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One other box, too – this is also my Minerva Crafts Bloggers Network make for the month. Yippie!

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Crazily enough, despite owning a couple of Colette patterns, this is the first one I’ve ever made (excluding their two free ones, neither of which worked well for me). I approached it with some trepediation – I’ve heard quite a bit about how hard this pattern is to fit, and Colette also drafts for a C cup while I’m an AA (yes, seriously).

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

With that in mind, I took the time to do a proper small bust adjustment (SBA) on the pattern, reducing it by a total of 2″ in the bust.

The only other change I made to the pattern was on the skirt. I originally got this fabric to make a 1950’s blouse out of, so only had 2 1/4 yards – officially no where near enough to make the Hawthorn! Add in the directionality of the print, and it was a bit of a cutting challenge. To make it fit, I cut the back skirt on the fold, and folded out 13cm at the hem of both front and back skirt pieces (making for a total of 52cm removed from the hem circumference in total!). And it fit! (Just!)

I had a lot of fun playing with the print direction for this one. I started with the bodice placement, deciding that vertical arrows would work best there, especially with the waist dart.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The skirt was origianally going to be on angles, with the arrows forming v’s at each centre and side seam. But there just wasn’t enough fabric for that, so it got cut out with horizontal arrows that dipped into v’s at the side seams.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The collar was a bit more fun, with arrows going around the neckline.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the facings, so the bodice facing is scraps from my Dolly Turtles dress. (Which I forgot to get a photo of, whoops!)

Speaking of the facings, they’re finished with hug snug seam binding – I may have given into temptation and gotten some in a lovely bottle green shade. Love this stuff so much!!

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Hug snug was also used for the hem, which was then stitched up with a machine blind hem.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The armholes are finished with green bias binding.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Also, can I get a yay for these buttons? Aren’t they fabulous?!? I’m so happy to have found them on the Minerva site! They’re such a lovely shade, and match the coral coloured triangles in the fabric so nicely. Plus, the lines on half of them reflect the lines of the arrows. Yippie!

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Again though, as I originally got the supplies for this for a blouse, I didn’t have enough buttons for the whole dress. I spaced them out a bit further than the pattern called for, and used four snap fasteners for the lower section of the skirt instead. I may yet go and just stitch that part of the skirt down – depends on how well the snap fasteners hold up to a day of getting up and down from an office chair….)

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I’m actually pretty happy with the fit of this. It’s a bit looser in the bodice than I normally like, and I’m still debating a bit whether to take it in or not as it’s only fractionally too loose…. Hmmm…. (What do you think? Take it in, or leave it as it is?)

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One thing I found surprising – the front waist seam is a bit too low on me, about 1.5cm too low, even with the small bust adjustment raising it up a bit. Since I’m so tall, I’m used to waist seams being a bit too high, so this was quite a surprise! Probably something to watch out for if you make the pattern up, and an adjustment I’ll make in the future.

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I did mix up the construction order a bit, sewing the skirt pieces to the bodice pieces, and the side seams got stitched up last. This is pretty standard for me – it makes it a lot easier to make adjustments with changing post-baby body shape. 🙂

If you’re curious, here it is with out a belt. (Although I’ll probably always be wearing it with a belt, just coz that’s how I roll.)

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Shards of Hope dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and why the name? Well, it’s actually named after a book I’m reading at the moment. Some of the lead characters are part of a group called the Arrows – rather appropriate when using this fabric, no? So yeah, the dress adopted the name from the book. (It’s one of those books I expect I’ll read several more times in my life, so that’s always a good thing. Maybe I should name more garments after books. I do like books. And sewing. Hmmm….)

Thanks to the lovely Nicola, who played photographer on a freezing cold winters day! We went exploring, and found a muddy stream bed with a fallen log for photos. Here’s some scenery, just for fun….

leaves

log

tree_fork

yellow_flowers

moss

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Wenona in a tree

Well hello there! Want to see a new dress?

Go on, you know you want to! (And if not, too bad. Because I have a new dress. Spoiler alert: I likes it.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This dress is a bit different. It’s part of a chain of creations, linked together through fabric and pattern, that the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) are working on. You see, Wellington is a small place. We have very limited fabric stores, postage from overseas is crazy expensive, and as such we often find we’ve both the same fabric. We also find we have a lot of the same patterns in our stashes. (Of course, part of this may just be because a few of us have kinda crazy large stashes. Oops…. Sorry not sorry.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So Leimomi came up with an idea – what if we created a chain of garments, which were linked to one another through using the same fabric or pattern? With our overlapping stashes, it should be pretty easy to do. And thus the 0 degrees sewing/blogging challenge was born!

Sure, there was a lot of logistics involved. And despite the intention to use things that were already in our stash, there may have been a few instances when certain people dashed out to acquire new things to match others. (It’s that magpie tendancy we seem to bring out in one another. Ooh! New fabric! Pretty! I must have it as well!). But in a chaotic, stop-start sort of manner, we are building up a chain.

And here is my (first!) link in it. The Named Wenona shirt dress. Made in fabric with gumnut babies all over it. (Gumnut babies!! Aaah!! Go those childhood memories….)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This is linking between Zara (who made the Grainline Alder dress in gumnut babies (gumnut babies!!)) and Sandra (who is making the Wenona in a goldfish print (goldfish!!)).

I bought the Wenona pattern when the Named Ritual collection first came out. A looser fitting button up dress, seemed rather perfect for the months after having a baby.

Wenona shirt dress by Named Clothing

Wenona shirt dress by Named Clothing

And then of course, it took me months to get around to making it. Heh. Oh well, it’s made now, and I can attest it still works well for post-baby and nursing stuff. Yeah!

Since the Wenona is a long-sleeved style, and also a “fashion” type design, I naturally had to add some length to the sleeves and hem (coz, long arms and legs). I added 4cm length to the sleeves (which turned out about right, although next time I think I’ll bump it up to 6cm), and 3″ to the skirt length. (Yes, I switch between metric and imperial. Deal with it.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The other change I made (if you can call it a change?) was the size I cut out – I cut a size smaller than the pattern told me to, as I went by the finished measurements instead. I’m super glad I did this, as the next size up would have been miles too large. And since I still have a bit of going-back-to-pre-baby-size happening, anything bigger than this would look just silly large in the future (hopefully!).

This was the first time I’ve used one of the paper patterns from Named. It comes in a nice, thick and solid feeling cardboard box, sealed at the back with a sticker, and that then unfolds to find the pattern and instruction book in the middle. Which is all rather pretty and stylish. 🙂 The paper is nice and thick, and a classic white – none of that horrid super thin tissue paper (yes, I hate that stuff! Argh!). So it all looks rather pretty on your shelf. 😉

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A couple of warnings though, for those who haven’t used them before. Firstly, the pattern pieces are overlapped, so whether you’re on Team Trace or Team Cut, you’re gonna have to trace this one out. And secondly – the seam allowance isn’t included. So you have to trace your pattern, then add seam allowance. Which makes for quite a bit of upfront work, so be prepared for that.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern itself came together quite nicely. The notch markings are quite minimal, and so are the instructions (for example, they completely forget to mention that you need to sew buttons and button holes) but if you know your way around a garment, you’ll be fine.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Prerequisite sewing blogger looking-down-pigeon-toed post)

Now I must admit, I wasn’t too sure about this when I first finished it. There’s a release pleat on the back between the shoulders, and that volume doesn’t get taken in again. Plus, to be fair, long sleeved shirts (and shirt dresses) aren’t my usual style. Nor is palegreen and pastel yellow. So it was all a bit out of my “comfort zone”, really. (Although so saying, I kinda doubt most garments I make, until I’ve worn them for a day. Does anyone else do that?) But I threw a belt on and wore it to work one day. And you know what? It took most of the day to grow on me, but now I love it. 😉

(As long as I wear it with a belt, that is. Because – huge amount of volume in the back at the waist.)

Here’s what it looks like unbelted, just so you know:

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There’s some rather awesome details in this pattern. Firstly, let’s talk about those sleeves. See that contrast panel running up the centre? that goes all the way to the neckline. And yet the sleeves are set-in ones, rather than raglan. Such a neat design feature! And kinda fun/weird to sew, as you sew up the bottom seam of the sleeves and set them in before you sew up the dress’ shoulder seam.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There are cute yokes at front and back, and panels below those that end at the waist. So plenty of opportunity to play around with mixing and matching fabrics. (Speaking of which, that chocolate brown? That’s from a duvet cover. I’ve been getting good milage out of that duvet cover – I think this is the third garment that’s used it! And there’s still some left… Hmmm…)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The collar has a point at the back. It’s meant to be buttoned down at the front points and the centre back, but, well, I didn’t have small enough buttons in the same colour as my main buttons, so it’s stayed loose on my dress. Maybe next time. 😉

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The sleeves have a pretty basic vent – simply turn back and stitch down. It works well with the sleeve panel and the cuff though, I think.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and check out my button band! Not completely matched, but pretty close I thought, considering I was starting to run out of long enough fabric at that point. 😉

Since the dress has gumnut babies all over it (gumnut babies!! Yay!!!) I decided to be a gumnut for a moment. Just ‘coz.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Big thanks to Mel for the photos!

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……

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top

Oh yeah, first thing I made for myself post-Amos-arriving! The sewing drought is over!! 😀

This here’s the Sandpoint Top, which is the first pattern released by GrayDay Patterns. It’s a quick and easy pattern – a loose-fitting tee with a vee neck (or round neck, but I made the vee) at the front, a small cowl at the back, and a strap across the shoulders to keep it all sitting nicely in place. The sleeves are finished off easily and cleanly with bands, and the bottom can either be hemmed or finished with a band (I went with the plain hemmed option).

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Sandpoint Top is a PDF pattern, so instant gratification. (Plus, I found I could make this in about two hours, including cutting out fabric, so it really was a bit of an instant gratification project! Although those two hours were spread out over a couple of days because, you know, sewing when babies nap and all that.)

I made it up in a pink-and-white stripe cotton tshirting that, if I remember correctly, came from my mother’s stash (thanks mum!). In which case, it’s almost certainly from the 1980’s. (How’s that for some old stash busting? Thirty years, or thereabouts!) In hindsight, I should have used a fabric with a bit more drape than this – although it’s lightweight, the tshirting is still quite stiff, so the cowl at the back doesn’t sit quite as well as I’d like it to.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

However – check out that stripe matching on the side seams! Like a boss, yo!

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Although annoyingly the stripe was a bit off-grain, so I had to decide between stripes matching at the side seams or stripes running straight at the bottom hem. The side seam matching won out.)

I played with the stripe direction a bit on the shoulder band as well, cutting it out with the stretch going width wise, rather than length wise (which also stabilised the band even more, so it would stay firmly at the length I want it to be at).

Speaking of the shoulder band – you can sew it on either on top or below the shoulders, and in a variety of ways – I chose to sew it on on top, and with two lines of stitching, one on each long edge of the band. Nice and clean, and it lets the stripes play with each other in fun ways.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Right, pattern review time!

The Sandpoint Top pattern went together really nicely – the PDF is done so you just need to print out the pages for the style you want (round neck or vee neck), and there’s even a nifty feature where you can hide the lines for the sizes that you don’t want, and just print it out directly in your size. (I must admit I didn’t try this, simply because my partner does the printing for me and I couldn’t be bothered going to the effort of explaining that to him and getting him to choose the right options – yeah, a lazy moment to avoid confusion!) The only thing I found with the PDF is that the lines at the base of the top get a bit confusing, as they’re super close to one another with the different size options and the different length options depending on whether you’re making it with a hem band or just plain. But it wasn’t a big deal at all – still very easy to work out, and if you choose to print only your size I imagine it’ll be super clear.

The instructions were nice and friendly, with a chatty tone to them. The illustrations were a bit grainy, not the best quality really (they could benefit from being at a higher resolution), but still visible enough. I liked the instructions for doing the vee neckline – it resulted in a clean finish and a good point to the vee. This was the only place I could see that may be slightly tricky for people so the clear instructions were good – all other parts of construction were super simple and fast.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I quite like the cut of the top – loose but not too loose. (However, loose enough to make it baby-feeding-friendly! Very important these days, dontcha know!)

There are a couple of things I’ll change next time though – firstly, I’ll make it longer, as it’s about 2 – 3 inches shorter than I’d like. And secondly, I’d make the cowl at the back more pronounced – I think it could benefit from having a bit more of a drape to it, so I’d do a simple slash-and-spread adjustment. Both super easy changes, and not at all deal breakers for this top.

Overall verdict? I like it! Cute, easy to make, easy to wear, and I can see this pattern being used with a slinky fabric in the future for a casual/dressy top to wear with skinny leg jeans when the occasion calls for it (and a crazy printed dress just won’t cut it).

The photos were taken at a sculpure on Karo Drive in Wellington – it’s a big, metal, 1920’s style house sculpture! (Note: all photos courtesy of Mel. Except for the ones with Mel in them, in which case, thanks to Nikki for weilding the camera!)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And also – check it out. First Twinsies make for ages! Yay! And we both ended up with pink stripy tops.

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel used a fabric with more drape than I did, and you can see how the cowl on her top sits a lot better than mine. (Learn from this people – lots of drape is your friend!)

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

With like-a-boss-stripe-matching on the side seams, even. Go us! 🙂

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cotton Candy Sandpoint Top | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Marshmallow Hetty

Ready for another bright pink garment? (Yep, I’ve moved on from the purple phase I was in a couple of months ago and headed towards PINK!)

Here we go….

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Check it out! I knitted another cardigan! Woo hoooo!

After so many years thinking I’d hate knitting and get bored with it and it would take forever and I’d never actually complete anything…. well… guess I was wrong, since this the third cardi I’ve knitted this year.

Also the third Andi Satterlund pattern. Which makes three out of three for knitted garment patterns I’ve used so far. But hey, that’s probably fair enough, since it was seeing her pretty designs (and all the gorgeous renditions of them) that got me brave enough to try this knitting-a-garment lark in the first place.

(Spoiler alert: I’m working on another of her patterns at the moment. Well, technically I’m working on two of them – one got put on hold for making the Myrna for the outfit-along challenge, and since it’s a jumper and there is no way I’ll be able to squeeze into it, I must admit to not having had a huge amount of motivation to go back and finish it. Must do all the knit-alongs instead. ALL the knit-alongs, folks!)

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anyway, this is the Hetty pattern – a cute cardi covered in a simple lacework design. Like most of Andi’s patterns, it’s knit top-down and in the round – you start off with the upper back, pick up stitches at the shoulders to do the upper front pieces, then join ‘em together under the arms and knit as one big piece all the way to the bottom. Stitches are picked up around the armholes to create the sleeves, which are then shaped using short rows. And then you pick up even more stitches for the button band and neck band.

(Guess what? I now know what that above paragraph actually means! That would have been like a total foreign language for me not that long ago. Yay for learning stuff!) (I still kinda can’t believe I know what those terms mean, though. It kinda feels like I shouldn’t know them just yet, they’re still that unfamiliar…. Weird.)

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made this up in a lovely 100% wool yarn, Naturally Loyal 10 ply, which I got on mega-sale at the Knit World online sale. Which meant, this cardigan cost me all of about $30 to make – win!

It was another good learning experience to knit, too. While I’ve dabbled a bit with lace now (the border on the Miette and the Myrna both involve a little bit of what I guess is lace work), knitting it over an entire garment was a whole new experience. Keeping track of where you’re up to (especially on the sleeves – eek!), and, in particular, learning how to go back and fix mistakes (eek, several times over!). And yeah, there was a bit of going-back-to-fix-mistakes in this one. There’s still a couple of mistakes there, but I figure they’re pretty hard to spot and I can’t even remember where they are, so I’m not going to point ‘em out to you. So, you know, just pretend this is perfect, right? 😉

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

After reading the blog post that Lladybird did on her Hetty, I used her suggestion of using stitch markers to indicate where to start the lace repeats on the body, since the pattern switches to stockinette for the areas under the arms to make it a lot easier to do the shaping. So, so glad I read about that trick beforehand! It made it a heck of a lot easier to figure out where to start the pattern.

So much easier, in fact, that I did the same for the sleeves for marking where the lace repeat should start. Again, super glad I did that, as that would have been confusing as heck to keep track of otherwise. (As it was, I had a moment where I miscalculated and the pattern is off by about one stitch. But too bad. Like I said, hard to notice, so it’s staying that way and I’m chalking it up to ‘learning’.)

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My lil’ sis’ made the same pattern at the same time – we’ve become knitting-pattern-buddies, after making up the Myrna at the same time for the Outfit-Along! It’s nice, knitting along with her – we can encourage each other (read: race to be further ahead in the pattern than the other person, because everything is a contest, right?!?), check in with each other on how to do things, and plan our next projects together. Isn’t her one cute? Such a gorgeous varigated brown yarn. It’ll be up on her blog soon for you to check out in more detail.

(And in the case of our Hetty’s, spend three days on the couch together with our knitting, lots of hot lemon honey drinks, and DVDs, because we both got sick at the same time. Which is how we got these done so quickly – maybe two months of knitting, I think it was?)

We took these photos out at Petone on the waterfront, near the Petone Settlers Museum. Yep, right next to the road, coz we’re classy like that.

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It was super windy, as Wellington tends to be, so that provided lots of entertainment. (Especially when Mel was getting her photos, since she was wearing a dress with quite a full skirt. There were a few Marilyn-Munroe-on-the-airvent moments, hah!) Hair got somewhat uncontrollable at times….

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And then we retreated around the to the front of the Settlers Museum where it was a little bit more sheltered from the wind.

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

One of the great things about taking photos of completed garments with other sewing bloggers – they’re on the lookout for outfit adjustments that need to be made. Thanks, Jen!

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh yeah, and here’s the reason why you’re not seeing this cardi done up fully – one 34 week baby bump. Getting big, yo!

Marshmallow Hetty | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Freaky-as animals, all camouflaged even

Have you heard about Indie Pattern Month? Mel and I co-hosted it last year, and so much fun doing so. And it’s happening right now, for the second year in a row! Yay! This year, to keep everything in one place and make it super easy for everyone to follow along and take part, we’re hosting it over on The Monthly Stitch. It’s also bigger and better than last year, oh yes it is!

One of the changes we made this year is the addition of sewing contests. Four contests, one per week during June, with prizes from amazing sponsors. Each contest has a theme. You can read all about them (and the sponsors and the prizes) over here.

Now, since I’m one of the judges for the sewing contests, I can’t enter them. *sob!* But hey, nothing stopping me from sewing along with them, right? And we all know I love sewing challenges, especially ones with tight deadlines. Something about that kinda kick-starts my sew-jo. 😉

The first of the themes was ‘Dresses‘ – nice and easy, just make a dress from an indie pattern.

It was pretty easy to decide which dress to make, too. A couple of months back, Mel and I asked people to vote on which indie pattern we should make for our next ‘twinsies’ sewing mission. The Colette Rooibos won, but before we could start on it, I found out I was pregnant (yay!), which meant I wouldn’t be able to fit the Rooibos for long, if at all, due to it’s fitted waist.

Luckily, the pattern that came in a close second in the voting is a lot more pregnancy friendly – the Midsummer Nights Dream wrap dress from Papercut.

(Yeah, I know. I’m making yet another Papercut pattern. But hey, it’s Indie Pattern Month, and quite frankly there aren’t that many indie designs out there that I can wear while pregnant! So you’re likely to see a couple more Papercut makes before June is over, mixed up with some Victory as well, or that’s the plan anyway.)

Mel and I decided we’d both make up the Midsummer Nights Dream dress for the ‘dresses’ week theme. We mentioned our plan to our fellow Monthly Stitch editor, Juliet, and she was keen to get in on the action as well. Yay! Triplet dress making!! 😀

Unfortunately, all our plans to meet up for a joint photo shoot fell apart, so we each got our own photos on the same day. Check out our three dresses:

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel made her one out of a gorgeous pink-and-black patterned viscose crepe that she bought ‘specially for it.

Juliet made her’s out of a pretty blue silk, soft and floaty and sheer, which she underlined in blue.

And I broke all the fabric-suggestion rules and made mine out of a loose weave cotton.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made some other changes to my version of the dress as well. I lengthened the waist ties coz a) I like long waist ties, and b) I wanted to make absolutely sure that they wouldn’t be too short to go around ‘the bump’.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As with all Papercut dresses I make, I lengthened the skirt by 16cm.

Rather than using bias binding on the neck and armhole edges, I added an extra 1cm seam on all the edges that were meant to be bound, attached cotton tape to them, and folded them under. Which would have worked a lot better if the fabric I was using didn’t have such a large amount of stretch across the bias. (Whoops.) But it didn’t work too badly, I don’t think…..?

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Details of the gathers where the bodice meets the waist ties

The other change I made was to the straps. The pattern calls for them to be made by extending the bias binding from the neckline up into shoulder ties, which is very cute (and which I did on my first Midsummer Nights Dream – yes, this is the second time I’ve made up this pattern). However, since we’re at the start of winter here, I wanted to have straps that sit smoothly against the shoulder so I can layer this dress with long-sleeved tops and cardigans. So instead, I made some wide straps and just stitched ’em on at the back.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

At the front, I thought ahead a few months and attached them with snap fasteners. (After all, I’m gonna need easy-access to certain parts of my anatomy and snap fasteners are a bit easier to operate with one hand than ties are.)

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Easy access!

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Overall, I think these changes worked pretty well – I’ve already worn this dress a couple of times and it layers nicely over and under things. (In fact, I’ve had to restrain myself from wearing it several days in a row, as I may like it a lot!)

The fabric I used is an odd, loosely-woven cotton that has two layers – the top layer in green and with the print, and an underlayer in the same weave in white. I had no idea there were two layers until I started cutting – it came as a bit of a surprise, but didn’t cause any issues thankfully as they stayed together really well.

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The loose weave did, however, mean there was quite a lot of give along the bias. I let the dress hang for a couple of days before hemming it, and my gosh there was a lot to take off in some places to get that hem even! It went from taking nothing off in some parts to taking about 15-20 cm off in other areas. Yikes!!! (Big thanks to my little sis for patiently helping me level the hem on this one. And for being my photographer. Thanks, sis!)

I got this fabric from the Trelise Cooper fabric store up in Auckland a few years ago, when my lovely partner and I went on a weekend trip there and I somehow managed to convince him to let me go in and have a look when we randomly stumbled upon it. For those who aren’t from around here, Trelise Cooper is a New Zealand fashion designer who uses the most gorgeous fabric in her creations – lots of bright, colourful, floral, quirky, luxurious things. Mmm….. And her fabric store was full of them, too! I couldn’t justify the prices on most of them, but this was only $10 a meter and the creepiness of the animals appealed to me far too much to leave it there. So, home it came. 😉

And seriously, isn’t this print disturbing? Kids toys – should be cute, kinda is, but is kinda scary, too. They’re the sort of toys you could imagine coming to life and creeping around with evil thoughts at night, just like in those really bad ‘horror’ stories everyone used to tell at sleepovers when we were all about 12. *shudder*

Yeah, I love this print. 😀

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I think that’s one of the reasons I love this dress so much – since I can’t fit most of my wardrobe at the moment, I’ve been feeling a bit less like ‘me’ as I haven’t been able to wear things that are my style most days. This dress? I love it – the design, the print, the colour. I feel like ‘me’ in it. And I can wear it for the next couple of months! Total win.

We went off to the zoo to take photos. In theory there are spider monkeys somewhere in the enclosure behind me. We did spot them a bit later though, including one who was wandering along with a banana clutched in his tail – pretty awesome! Never seen that before.

However, I failed to notice that of course busy green background + green printed dress = camouflage styles. Whoops!

Are you taking part in Indie Pattern Month? Are you entering any of the contests?

Creepy Toys dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A pairing of Mind and Soul

Oh yeah, it’s an exciting week for a Papercut fangirl like myself – new patterns!!!!!

Katie from Papercut released her new collection on Friday. Called ‘Tri‘, it’s a three-piece collection of active/lounge wear – trousers, tank top/crop top, and a swimsuit. Anima, Pneuma, and Soma – ‘mind’, ‘soul’ and ‘body’. (There’s also updated versions of four of her older patterns, now all with active/lounge wear variations.)

And Mel and I were privileged enough to be asked to test the patterns before they launched – yay!

(I love pattern testing. I totally appeals to the geek in me, checking over instructions, making sure notches are matching up, all that sort of stuff. Plus, you know, the added bonus of seeing things before other people, haha!)

And now, since the patterns have officially launched, we can show what we made!

To start with – the Anima/Pneuma (‘mind’ and ‘soul’) combination.

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I made up the Anima pants in a black something-or-other. (I admit it – I have no idea what this fabric is, or even where it came from. It just appeared in my stash, somehow. It’s a synthetic, thick with a bit of stretch. Yeah, coz you know, that helps identify it. Not. Whatever.) Since it’s the start of winter over here, I chose to make up the full-length version with cuffs at the ankle.

Anima pants line drawings

This pattern? It’s a dream to make up. I think it took me only about 1.5 hours from when I finished cutting it out to when I was pulling on my new, finished Anima pants. Win!

(Admittedly, I did have an encounter with a broken needle in that 1.5 hours. Totally my fault – I accidentally let go of one end of the waistband elastic when I was pulling it tight while topstitching. Oops. I’m calling it a casualty of creativity. It was probably due to be changed for another needle anyway.)

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This pattern has a false fly front, front pockets, and a wide elastic waistband. The pattern calls for a decorative drawstring to be put in the waistband, but since drawstrings annoy me and I always take them out of any ready-to-wear track pants I buy, I didn’t bother putting it in.

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The fit is good – enough ease around the seat and thighs to allow easy movement while exercising, and nice and tight around the ankle so when you’re doing things like pilates you don’t have to worry about your trousers slipping up around your knees and flapping around when you’re doing all those graceful (*cough cough*) legs-in-the-air moves. I know this works, coz I wore them to do pilates the other day, and they were a total win. 🙂

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Also, I am extremely out of practice at doing cartwheels. Gah.)

There are options for below-the-knee length (which Mel made – I am totally inspired to copy her coz her pair looks fantastic!) and shorts length as well. I suspect I’ll never be buying RTW exercise trousers ever again….

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The Pneuma tank is a really interesting design. A crop top, with supportive elastic underneath and a tight fit, with an (optional) overtop attached at points at the front and back. The overtop is looser and designed to drape down at the back and underarms, giving coverage if you don’t feel like showing off your stomach while exercising, while at the same time nice and lightweight and floaty so plenty of air flow when you’re working out. (Again, this works well – I also wore the top to pilates the other day, and it kept me nice and cool while the crop top gave me good support. I did have to tuck it into the trousers though, as the looser nature of the overtank means it tends to ride up when you do upside-down type movements.)

Pneuma tank line drawings

My favourite detail on the top is the cross-over straps. Made of bra strapping, they’re nice and firm, while also being comfortable to wear. Plus, they cross over at the back! Love it – the top feels super secure to wear, while also leaving arms free to move. Seriously folks – I’m looking forward to being able to go running again, as something like this (support, freedom of movement for arms, and plenty of air flow) is exactly what I want!

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel and I caught up with Nikki yesterday and ran around the grounds of the War Memorial to get some photos. Such a gorgeous day it was, too! Beautiful bright blue skies and sunshine, an absolutely stunner. Gotta love it when you get weather like that in winter. 🙂

And, you know, coz it was a twinsies photo shoot, we may have gotten lots of photos. Sorry not sorry. What can I say? We had a lot of fun! 😀

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Anima and Pneuma | Modern Vintage Cupcakes