February sew alongs

I realised the other day that it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these posts – a quick round-up of some of my picks of the sew alongs happening for this month. (Whoops!)

As always, there’s all sorts of happenings going on in the online sewing community – sew alongs, contests, meet ups, etc. I try to keep an eye out for them all, and put ’em in a list here for anyone who is interested and wants to know what’s going on.

So, this February – there’s many fun things to take part in! Here’s my top four pick for the month….

We’ve had the Crazy Cat Lady challenge, and now it’s time for the Crazy Dog Ladies! Sew up something using dog print fabric (or for a dog) (or for a dog, in dog print fabric) by 15 March. (There may even be some prizes, oooh!)

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve got a wardrobe full of pretty prints, and no where near enough solid coloured garments to go with them. In that case, this month’s theme on The Monthly Stitch should be pretty perfect for you – sewing with solid colours (no prints allowed!). For an added bit of fun, every letter of the alphabet has a colour assigned to it – use the one for your initial/s.

Wanna take part in a challenge with a twist? Like the Linden sweatshirt pattern from Grainline? You’re in luck! The Linden Swap is happening – pair up with another sewing person, exchange measurements, and make each other a Linden!

Or if you’re more of a vintage styles lover, there’s a sew along about to kick off to make the 1930’s capelet pattern from Decades of Style. Pretty!

Plus there’s a whole bunch more, and yet more popping up every day. You can find out what’s happening here (and if you hear of any that aren’t on the list, please let me know so I can add them! Sometimes they slip through my net…)

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

Looking back, looking forwards (aka a brief review of 2014)

So, turns out it’s already late January, and this post, that I’ve been writing in my head for a good month now (and on the laptop for a few days) still hasn’t been written. Whoops! Time to rectify that. (And while it could be argued that it’s getting a bit late for a 2014 review post, since I’m writing this for my own benefit and reflection I’m gonna go ahead and do it anyway. ;-) )

First up, sewing.

The indie pattern kick I started on around the middle of 2013 continued, with the vast majority of things I made in 2014 being from indie designers. Papercut was the most commonly used – much as I don’t really want to be a “fan girl” of any label, I’ve kinda turned into a Papercut one. I love the thought that’s gone into the designs, collections, packaging, instructions, and website – it appeals to the same part of me that sent me down the career path I’m in (customer experience research, design and strategy, for those who may be curious). Plus, Papercut patterns fit me pretty well out of the envelope.

I did dabble with other indies though – some (like Named) I’ll happily use again. Others I probably won’t, for one reason or another.

Not much vintage got made during 2014, and towards the end of the year I was really missing using vintage patterns. But with the whole pregnancy thing, even though there were some vintage maternity patterns I wanted to make, I never quite got around to it due to time/energy levels, opting instead for faster makes (lots of tshirts, anyone?!?). So that was a bit sad, but it’s really spurred me on to get back to sewing up my vintage designs this year.

I’m still wanting to sew indie designs too (I really like supporting small businesses, and local ones as well when I can), but to be perfectly honest I’ve found quite a lot of the recent indie releases to be rather boring. :-( So 2015 will be a far more balanced mix of vintage and indie. And I’m really looking forward to that. :-)

My fave makes from 2014 were the following:

Cherry Ripe dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Cherry Ripe dress

Cherry Ripe dress. One of the few vintage makes for the year, and one I’m really (really!) looking forward to being able to fit into again. Love the fabric, love the style, love wearing it.

Mellow Yellow La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mellow Yellow La Sylphide

Mellow Yellow La Sylphide dress. A vintage fabric, a modern indie pattern, and buttons from holiday travels – great mix! I wore this one heaps as well (until the growing bump meant I couldn’t fit it any more). Plus, a hugely fun photo shoot with Mel when we made the same pattern together.

Simone the First dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Simone the First dress

Simone the First dress. Sure, the fit could definitely be improved, but I wasn’t really expecting to like this one all that much, as the style isn’t something I usually go for. But my gosh, this is fun to wear! It swirls and swishes out behind you as you walk, and makes you want to stride powerfully along. So, so much fun! Must make more of these….. (Yep, very much the surprise-to-me winner for the year!)

Retro Wrap skirt | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Retro Wrap skirt

Retro Wrap skirt. Another vintage pattern, and the last make of the year – to me, this skirt signified my getting back to my love of vintage sewing, and also getting back into my own style post the arrival of the littliest guy. It was such a relief to sew this – almost felt like the shackles of maternity fit were being thrown off, and I could emerge again. (Yeah, sounds crazy, but that’s how it went.) Plus, I did good and took the time to hand stitch the facing down etc, which I’m usually lazy with. So, also signifies me moving into an era of taking my time more when making things and appreciating the little details.

And the biggest losers were:

Skully Ensis tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Skully Ensis tee

Skully Ensis tee. Love the tee, love the fabric, the colours don’t love me (which admittedly I was pretty sure would be the case when I was making it up, but I really wanted to use the skulls fabric). This one got given away to a friend.

Floral Floaty Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Floral Floaty Tanias

Floaty Floral Tanias. Heck knows what’s going on with that crotch seam, but it’s miles too high. Wearing these feels like a constant wedgie. Good times. Not.

Black Cake tee | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Black Cake tee

Black Cake tee. What on earth was I thinking with this one?!?! So totally not my style! I got the pattern in the Perfect Pattern Parcel, thought I’d try it out as a maternity top. Yeah. Made myself wear it once, felt like a gigantic tent, shuddered at the thought of wearing it again, gave it away as fast as I could. Ugh. *shudder*

Reflecting on sewing itself, I’ve kinda come to the following thoughts….

I have plenty of clothes. No really, I do. Sure, I love making more, love the pretties, and it’s fun to make and wear things, but there’s nothing I need. Not really. It’s not going to stop me making more things for myself (so much pretty fabric! So many pretty patterns! So much stash to work through (eek)!!), but I may start pushing myself to make the occasional thing for other people as well (Gasp! Selfless sewing?!? Idealism, but will it become reality..??)

The things I’ve made where I’ve taken the time to add the nice details (hand stitched invisible hems, nicely hand stitched facings, tape on the inside of hems, etc) make me really happy to wear. So it’s time I slowed down, and focussed more on including more of those little touches that make me proud and happy to wear what I’ve made. (Yes, I feel proud and happy to wear my creations anyway, but those take them up to the next level. True dat.)

I hate using thin pattern tissue. Like, really. And this is a key reason why I don’t sew with modern Big 4 patterns. I hate cutting it, I hate tracing it, and I sure as heck hate refolding it and trying to cram it back into pattern envelopes. There’s just nothing good in it. Nothing at all. So I actively avoid it. (And sadly this also means I’m actively avoiding using some of the lovely indie patterns I bought, as they use the same tissue. Sewaholic and Grainline, I’m looking at you guys in particular. I has the patterns, sitting there and waiting to be made, but I shudder every time I think about dealing with the pattern tissue. :-( Vintage patterns? If they’re already cut, they’re all good. (Otherwise, I don’t use ’em.) Other indies, where they use thicker paper? (E.g. Named, Papercut, Deer & Doe) Yep, bring it on. (Interestingly, it turns out I hate working with thin pattern tissue far more than I dislike cutting and sticking together PDF patterns. Chances are there’ll be a bunch more PDF ones in my future. In fact, it’s almost kinda relaxing, assembling PDF patterns….)

Right, now let’s talk about knitting!

This was a new thing for me in 2014. I made my first cardigan! And then a second, and a third, and even a fourth. Woo hoo! I admit it – I avoided knitting for ages, thinking it’d be super boring and that I’d tire of things well before finishing them. I’m pleased to say I’ve proven myself wrong. I am a knitting convert, and now valiently trying to resist building a yarn stash to rival my fabric stash.

My first cardigan was the Autumn Playground Miette – I’m super proud of this because, hey, first cardgain! Woot!

Autumn Playground Miette | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Autumn Playground Miette

But it doesn’t fit (rookie mistakes, lol) and I’m actually going to rip it apart and use the wool for something else.

But still – first cardigan! Yay! :-)

I’m trying to learn something new with every knitting pattern I make, and so far that’s going well – lace work, picking up stitches to knit, cables, and working with different colours. So far I’ve only made patterns by Andi Satterlund, which is quite a cliched place to start, but I like her style and they’re working well for me. I’ll be branching out soon though – there’s a bunch of others in my Ravelry queue/favourites, and I’m also going to challenge myself to make a vintage 1940’s pattern this year as well. (Although I’m somewhat terrified at how long that will take, working with 4ply instead of 10ply!)

And what about other things?

I’m still co-hosting The Monthly Stitch, and enjoying it a lot, although I do feel a bit bad that I haven’t been as active in the challenges as I’d like. (Again, pregnancy, so lack of energy.) I’m hoping to get more going in The Monthly Stitch this year – we has plans, yes we do!

Changed jobs earlier in the year (in fact, I started my new job the week after I found out I was pregnant. Whoops! Not the best timing in the world!). I’m now working in the electricity sector, after having worked in finance for over 7 years. It’s kinda nice to be thinking about different things, and I’m working for a small start-up-like company, which is fun and frustrating at the same time, and surrounded by rather awesome people.

Started up Muse Patterns, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now. In fact, I had planned to start it while on maternity leave with our first child, but then the reality of having a child sunk in and all hopes of doing anything else vanished. So this time, I made sure I launched before going on maternity leave, so the impetus was already there! I’m really happy with how Muse is going so far – I’ve always loved creating patterns, the technical aspect combined with the creative makes me happy, and it kinda ties together what I do for a living with my main hobby, as I get to think about and create experiences through developing instructions, etc. It’s been a while since I’ve done much with pattern making (since I discovered the joys of sewing with vintage patterns, in fact!) so it’s great to get back into that as well. Three patterns out so far, a fourth in the works, and four (nearly five!) more designed and waiting to be created. I’m hoping to be able to launch paper patterns this year, too, so we’ll see how it goes. One thing I’ve really enjoyed with Muse is being able to use it as a platform to give a little back, and that’s something that will continue.

And the biggest thing during 2014 (of course) – this little guy!


He’s awesome. Such a happy, chilled out little fellow. Good for lots of cuddles, lots of smiles, and loves watching his big brother whenever he can. The two boys have such completely different personalities – it’s going to be a lot of fun watching them grow and develop and seeing how they interact, how they do things differently, and who they turn out to be!

(Speaking of those personalities, sadly it turned out that the name we chose for our little guy didn’t suit who he is. So he’s had a name change – meet Fox! :-) (Cue X-Files and “What does the fox say” jokes.) His new name suits him a heck of a lot more, and also ties in with the inadvertant theme of animal names that we seem to have going on….

So yeah, there we have it. A quick (yet still ramblingly long!) look back at 2014, and a few comments on 2015. No real goals or the like, more general ideas of things I’d like to do. Sew more vintage; develop more patterns; create physical pattern experiences (i.e. paper patterns and the designing of an experience that goes with those, which is something that excites me a lot); start to knit vintage; and slow down the creating in order to focus on the details. I’m rather looking forward to it all. :-)

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.


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?!?


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 :-(


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. :-)


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! ;-) )