Tag Archives: Twinsies

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ ) 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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚ So, yay for learning to knit! More knitting shall definitely be done in 2015. πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

(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……

Advertisements

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. πŸ˜‰

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!! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

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

Strawberry Shortcake Coppelia

Hey hey! Ready for some more Twinsies sewing?

While we were waiting on the votes for what we sew next to roll in, Mel and I caught up to get pics of our latest Twinsies creation – the Coppelia wrap cardigan from Papercut patterns!

Papercut’s Coppelia wrap cardigan

(Spoiler: this won’t be the last one of these you see on here. I may be in love with this pattern. More are planned for the fast-approaching winter, oh yes.)

Now, we always end up with rather different looking garments when we do our Twinsies creations, but I think this time is the most diverse yet! Mel lengthened her Coppelia and the waist ties. I shortened the sleeves on my one. Two very different results, no? (This is what I love the most about Twinsie sewing – we don’t talk much beforehand about what we’re doing, so it’s always a surprise to see what the other one has come up with when we meet up to do our joint photo shoots. As you can imagine, there’s lots of comparing and exclaiming going on at that point.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Despite appearances, we didn’t co-ordinate our outfits/hair. Even though my hair matches Mel’s top and the top she’s wearing under her Coppelia matches my Coppelia. Happy accidents for co-ordinated photos, let’s just go with that, ok?)

This is actually the second Coppelia I’ve made – the first was a gift for one of my sisters-in-law for Christmas, which I don’t have a photo of yet. (Mum, if you’re reading this, can you go get photos for me? Thanks! πŸ˜‰ ) I lengthened that one though, so this is the first one I’ve made at the ‘proper’ short length.

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Conveniently, I also tried on the one I made for my sister-in-law, and found I needed to go down a size from what I was expecting to cut out, as it’s a looser fitting style that I thought it would be. Bonus fitting practice while gift making = all ’round win.)

This is a crazy quick and easy pattern to put together, with nice neat edges due to all the wide hem finishes and the wrist cuffs (if, like Mel, you make it with the full sleeve-length). Very satisfying to whip up, this one was!

I made my one out of a lightweight merino wool, purchased from the Levana textile outlet a year or so ago. I found three rectangular pieces of this gorgeous wide red-and-pink stripe in the remnant bin, for the grand sum of 50c a piece (crazy cheap!!). So naturally, I snaffled them up fast and clung on to them until I figured out what to use them for. (I mean c’mon – how often do you come across pink-and-red-wide-striped merino?!? Yeah, not often. Gotta get that stuff when you can.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since I only had the three (reasonably small) remnants, cutting this one out was a bit of a challenge! (In fact, I think it took longer to cut out than it did to sew. Hmmm.) With the raglan sleeves, I wanted the stripes to meet where the sleeves joined the body, so there was a fair bit of careful pattern placement to figure out how to make that happen, while still having enough fabric for the bindings and ties. Oh yes, let me tell you now – there was not a lot of fabric left when I was done! (That’s also what dictated the sleeve length – that was all I had. Indeed.)

I’m pretty proud of how it turned out though – kinda hard to see in these photos, but those stripes, they match up well. And luckily I could get the bindings out of the red rather than the pink, because let’s face it, pale pink next to my skin just Doesn’t Suit Me. At All. (Even though occasionally I forget about that fact. Oops.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Only alteration I made was stretching the bands a bit when attaching them around the neckline, to make sure they didn’t start to sag open a bit over time. That worked out well – it’s a nice, close fit. (I think I chopped about 5cm off each end of the neck band once I’d attached it? Can’t quite recall though, may have been slightly less….)

This hits me slightly below the waist – perfect for wearing with 1950’s dresses and skirts. (I can also attest that it layers well over long-sleeved tops on colder days.)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel and I met up with the lovely Nikki for lunch to get these photos – picnicking out on the grounds of parliament, then posing with trees. Always a good thing to do on a break from work, no? πŸ˜‰

(Big thanks to Nikki for playing photographer for us!)

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And we can’t have a Papercut Twinsies photo shoot without the ‘Papercut love’ pose, now can we? This time, sitting in a tree. Just because we (sort of) could. Even though we were wearing high heels at the time and the tree was on a slope. Coz that’s the sort of thing we do for you guys.

Strawberry Shortcake Papercut Coppelia | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Bossy, bossy, bossy boots

Hey hey! A huge thanks to all of you who voted on my Miss Bossy Patterns poll for the March Monthly Stitch challenge! It was so much fun watching the votes climb – a very tight race between two of the options, with the pink-and-yellow-plaid Simplicity inching ahead, then the floral McCalls leapfrogging over it, time and time again. For a while there, I was worried there’d be a tie and I’d have to make both! (Eek!) (Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, actually…. Hmmm….)

But in the end, there was one winner. (Just – by 2.11% of the votes!) And that winner is….

The 1940’s McCall dress in a floral print!

McCall 5676

Which I am rather excited to be sewing up. πŸ™‚ (In fact, I cut it out over the weekend. Fun fun!!)

Feels like it’s been ages since I’ve made anything vintage…. Since January, in fact. Two whole months! Almost a lifetime ago….

Now, why has it been so long? Well, the lovely Mel keeps on distracting me with pretty indie patterns. You may have noticed, we’ve been doing Twinsies patterns (and photos shoots!) for the last couple of months. Making the same pattern at the same time and seeing how we each interpret it. So much fun! (And it’s definitely been pushing me to try a few more of the indie designers, all of whom are rather fabulous, yes indeed.)

Twinsies of Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

In a rather geeky fashion, Mel and I have even put together a Google doc, listing out all the indie patterns we own and want to try (or want to buy and then try!). Turns out it’s quite a long list (especially when you add in the ‘ones-we-want-to-buy’ section. Oops.). Which means, we’re having a bit of trouble choosing what to make next.

So we decided – why not get you all to boss us around and choose what pattern we make as Twinsies next??

We’ve narrowed it down to three:

The Midsummer Nights Dream dress from Papercut

The Rooibus dress from Colette

The Cabarita top from Cake

Mel’s put together a poll on her blog – go and boss us around over here! (Please?! We really can’t decide which to make next!!

Floaty Floral Tanias

Hey, check it out! I made a skirt!

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Or did I….

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Nope, that’s right. They’re culottes!

Megan Nielsen‘s Tania Culottes to be precise.

Now, I must admit that ordinarily this pattern wouldn’t interest me. But, well, February was the Smarty Pants challenge over on The Monthly Stitch. And a couple of the girls were making the Tania’s for it. And the next thing I knew, there was a meet-up planned, with a trip to the Newtown fair, all wearing Tania culottes. What can I say? I kinda had to make a pair and join in the fun!

Five pairs of Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Yep, that’s five of us, all wearing Tanias. From left to right: Nikki, Emma, me, Mel, and Jen.

That wasn’t all of us though – we also had a remote participant – Mel’s sister Tania! (Tania doesn’t have a blog (yet!) but she makes some pretty fabulous jewellery. Both her and Mel are wearing it in these pics.)

Tania

Tania

So much fun making the same pattern and wearing it out together! And the fair was awesome – we got to eat hot dogs and roti and fudge and spend far too much money on jewellery and dance to the Batucada drum troupe.

Want to get a better look at everyone’s Tania’s? Here you go:

Jen

Jen

Mel

Mel


(Mel’s blog post about her Tanias can be found here.)

Nikki

Nikki


(Nikki’s blog post about her Tanias can be found here.)

Emma and I (plus toddlers on our backs)

Emma and I (plus toddlers on our backs)

I made my pair up in a soft cotton – white with a pink and blue floral design on it. (If it looks familiar, it’s because I also used it for this dress over here. The Tania’s took the last of it though!)

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This is such a fun, easy pattern to make up. Only four pieces, and nothing complicated at all. There’s a rather ingenious way of doing things at the centre front and back – the fabric is pleated and joined so that it looks like a box pleat, which neatly conceals the centre seams and hides that they’re culottes.

And very full culottes they are, too! There’s pretty much a circle skirt around each leg. (Admission: I may have accidently put both of my legs into the one leg hole when I first tried them on, and wondered why I couldn’t get them up. Yeah, the legs are that wide it’s rather easy to do!)

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I cut out the size M. However, this pattern is (extremely!) super short, so I used the XL hem length and then added another 13cm of length on top of that. And next time I’d probably add a couple more cm on top of that….

The other adjustment I made was to add an in-seam side pocket on the side that doesn’t have the invisible zip fastening. Coz, you know. Pockets are awesome. I put it a bit further down that usual, to make sure that when I carry (heaps of) things, it won’t spoil the line of the culottes.

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There’s one other adjustment I’d make next time – I found the crotch on these to be a bit higher than I was expecting (and, truth be told, a bit higher than is fully comfortable when sitting down!) and had to lower it. Next time, I’ll take it down a couple of centimetres, since they’re culottes I don’t think it needs to be that close to the body. (Definitely something to watch out for if you’re lining them, as it’ll be even higher on lining pieces!)

But yes, overall this pattern was a win! Fast, easy and fun to make, and fun to wear as well. πŸ™‚

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Since it proved rather difficult to get decent photos in the crowd at the fair, Jen and I took the Little Guy to one of our local playgrounds to get some other shots. Where he proceeded to demonstrate new-and-improved climbing skills and lack of fear by going as high as he could, running across the swing bridge, and hurtling down slides. Eek!!!

And photo-bombing at every opportunity….

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Floaty Floral Tanias | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mellow Yellow La Sylphide

This one’s been hanging around a while, waiting to be posted. I was actually about to post it when my laptop died (argh!!!!). And now, finally, here it is – my half of the twinsies La Sylphide dress photo shoot that Mel and I did together. πŸ™‚

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

We had so much fun taking photos together of our Ensis tees last year, that we’ve decided to make it a regular thing – pick a pattern, sew it up at the same time, then get photos of it together. (And can I just say, taking photos with another sewing blogger is So Much Fun!!!!)

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

We’d both made up Papercut’s La Sylphide pattern once before, and loved the result, so decided we’d make another one, kinda to sew along with the sewalong that Lauren ran over on the Papercut blog. (Not that either of us are particularly good at going at the same speed as sewalongs. Oops!)

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

If you’re unfamiliar with the La Sylphide, it a cute little button-up dress, with a full skirt, sleeves, and a necktie. Surprisingly fun to make, with details such as using interfacing to create tidy hems on the sleeves, and attaching the sleeves in the flat (brilliant!).

Papercut La Sylphide dress

Since I’d made it before, I decided to make a couple of adjustments this time around to change the pattern up slightly and not have two identical-but-in-different-fabrics dresses hanging in my wardrobe.

This time around, I did the following:

  • Lengthened the neck ties by 12cm at either end (I found them just a bit too short last time)
  • Lengthened the skirt by 15cm (be warned if you make this – the default length is very short!!)
  • Took a lot of the fullness out of the skirt (for two reasons – I live in a very windy place, and I was using a vintage fabric of a narrow width and there was no way I was gonna get the full skirt out of it)
  • Shortened the sleeves by 15.5cm
  • Cut the back skirt on the fold, rather than with a centre-back seam. (I did this last time as well.)
Folding out volume in the skirt

Folding out volume in the skirt

My verdict on the changes? All a success! Only thing I’d do differently with them next time is how I cut the sleeves and make sure I mirror-image the slope of the last inch of them so the hem is the same width as the sleeves when folded under. I had a heck of a time easing in the hem since it was shorter than the point of the sleeve I was easing it into! Oops – didn’t think that one through when shortening them!

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Next time I make this there are two other changes I’d make. One is a change I planned to make this time – widen the shoulders by 1cm, as I have quite broad shoulders and the seams sit a bit too far in on me (as they do with pretty much everything). I remembered to widen while cutting out the back bodice, and completely forgot the front bodice adjustment. Duh. Next time, yeah? Other change I’d make is lowering the bust dart points by about an inch, which I’ve discovered is something I pretty much need to do by default for every pattern I make. (Heck knows why?) Oh, and I’ll add in-seam side pockets to the skirt. Because, you know, dresses with pockets are rather fantastic.

Just like last time, I cut a size S, grading out to a size M at the waist. Only it turns out that I’ve lost a bit of weight since then (baby fat vanishing – woo hoo!) and I had to take it in, so next time I’ll cut out a size XS bust, grading out to a size S at the waist.

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For the photos, we went exploring and headed up to the top of Miramar Peninsula, to a water tower I’d spotted while flying into Wellington a couple of weeks beforehand. (Good way to find photo locations, no?) I’d never been there before – great views all over the city, and the contrast of a water tower with lots of graffiti – which I’m always a bit fond of for backgrounds to photos. πŸ˜‰

Twinsies of Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Twinsies of Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Twinsies of Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Twinsies of Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So much fun doing twinsie makes/photos again! And this time my sister Jen joined us, with a skirt she’d made from a self-drafted pattern. (With teapots!!)

So much fun in fact, we’ve got another twinsie creation planned very soon….

Mellow Yellow Papercut La Sylphide | Modern Vintage Cupcakes