Monday, 28 October 2013

Trying out some free pdf jersey patterns.

I have been sewing up some comfy makes last week with the onset of cooler, wilder weather.  The first one was the Mandy boat tee from Tessuti.  I have been wanting to do this one for a while as I really liked the Fave Top that I had made back in the summer.  It is a simple design of front, back and sleeves, the upper part of the sleeve being part of the body and a slash neckline.  I used this bright blue jersey which is really beautiful with 8% elastane so lovely and stretchy. Any of the fabrics I have purchased from Tessuti have been really lovely quality and wash well and keep a good shape.

It's a lovely pattern and I particularly like the slash neckline which is finished with a nice stitch detail at either side of the neck.

A bit of a batwing effect going on there.

The other pattern I tried was the Hemlock tee by Jen at Grainline which is actually very similar, just a couple of differences. The neckline is a bound crew neck and the sleeve joins further up the arm to the front and back pieces.

I was inspired by this lovely version by Miss P which was featured on the Grainline website and decided to do the dress version. (Miss P used the back pieces for both the back and front and achieved more of a slash neckline)

This lovely jersey is from +Minerva crafts and was in their clearance at £5.99 per metre and as it took less than 2 metres to make, I would call that a bargain.  It is also a good weight, very soft and looks more expensive than it cost. (I think) I added 10 inches on to the front and back pieces to make the dress. I used an enclosed binding on the neckline and just hemmed the cuffs and hem using a twin needle.  I took the sides in about 1 cm each side. Overall it was a very quick make taking a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon. I wore it yesterday and it was very comfy and cosy.  I will definitely be making a couple more of these.

Jen's versions were made with beautiful tissue weight jerseys but I am pleased to say that this thicker type jersey worked fine too.

So overall I am very pleased with these two free patterns and will definitely be using both again.  With so many different types of jersey and knit fabrics out there it would be easy to get quite different looks from them. They are both pretty casual, but I think they can be dressed up a bit too.

I see Tessuti has just released a new pattern the Lola Tee. (not a freebie) Will have to remember that one for next summer.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Just to continue on my autumn of berry shades, I have now finished my little waistcoat.

This was the project I had bought in July as a possible 'en vacance' project.  Thankfully the weather was way too hot to even think about knitting, so it only got started in September.  As it was meant for a 'knit on holiday' it was a very simple knit.  There was no shaping, no cables or other fancy stitches, all knit in stocking stitch.  I chose to knit the cropped version and it is quite a good length for cropped. (I have a long back).  The thing I like most is, of course, the pockets .... highly useful.

Overall I am pretty pleased and I think it will get some wear on those 'at home' kind of days, very cosy and will go with quite a few of my tops.

Pattern : Sirdar cropped cardigan 9662
Yarn : Sirdar Folksong Chunky shade 384 Paisley.

Now I can concentrate on finishing the Winthrop cardigan from Kelbourne Woolens that I started probably about March time and abandoned:
1.  Because spring came (it's a heavy yarn) and
2.  I had got to the 'yoke shaping' bit and as this was my first entire circular knit garment, I thought I would dwell on it a while.  Oops.
It is nearly finished so I should really just focus on it.

In the garden, still on the purplish theme, we now have these

I think most of what I grew this year was purple, so not only do they look pretty good, I think, but they have more nutrients. (All purple veg have anthocyanins and carotenoids to protect your cells and heal the body, sorry but I am a nutrional advisor)

These are 'Rubine' brussels sprouts, seed purchased from +Sarah Raven.

We are nearly at the end of autumn, so maybe a subtle change of colour scheme is in the offing.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Avocado Hoodie, boys have to get new stuff too!

So, having made the navy fleece for the husband and previously knit a hoodie for my youngest son, son number one was feeling rather deprived.  So, I thought I would make him a cosy hoodie for the winter months. This came in the form of the Avocado Hoodie from Disparate Disciplines..  This is a pdf pattern and although I have used quite a few of these now, I found the pages on this one a bit tricky to match up exactly... maybe it was the way it printed out on my printer, but I had to do a bit of freehand drawing to get the outlines to patch.  Not sure why this happened, but I got it sorted eventually.

The fabric I used was one from As described it has a soft brushed back with a knitted front, quite substantial in weight and very cosy. Mine was the grey marl, but they also do a darker grey and a couple of natural colours.  It was a really lovely fabric to work with.

I chose to make the size 40 for him, with the crossover neckline, front pockets and the thumbholes in the cuffs.

Again on making this hoodie, it was very straightforward, with great instructions, the only thing was that some of the notches did not seem to be in quite the right place.  Not sure why, maybe my printer, just had to rely on some common sense.

The overall result is great and this a really good basic to have, especially if you have teenage offspring who seem to like this standard 'uniform'.  There is also a female version, which no doubt, I will be trying sometime.

My son hasn't really taken it off very much since I finished it last Friday, so it must be ok.

Now, I had better go and make a plan for my christmas knits, the rest of my own winter sewing (haven't really even got started properly yet) and those socks!  Maybe slightly optimistic.  Oh well.

These also arrived, Crazy Zauberball, beautifully soft.  One is planned for funky-grandpa cardigan as the contrast yarn, haven't decided on the main colours or yarns.  Think I might go down the pink colour scheme as probably by the time I get it knit it will be spring!  The other is for my first attempt at 'proper' socks.

I also see that Liesl Gibson has released four new patterns under Liesl & Co patterns seen here.. Her Lisette patterns were some of the first items I made and they were great patterns, namely the Portfolio and the Market dress, so I have great hopes for these new patterns too. Definitely, got to make that plan!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

An Airelle blouse and other works in progress.

This week has been a week of dipping in and out of a few different projects.  I completed a DeerandDoe Airelle blouse.  The pattern was purchased ages ago, with a view to making it for the summer, but I am only getting round to it now.

I purchased the fabric at a local fabric shop, Craftswoman, and it is a cotton poplin.  It is lovely and crisp and sewed up easily.  The fabric I used for the collar and cuff is a cotton chambray, which in retrospect probably wasn't the best choice, as it is very soft and almost seemed to stretch slightly. Either that or my interfacing wasn't quite right, as there is a bit of bubbling.

I also had a bit of trouble with the neck facing, it just seemed too bulky and just wound not sit right, so I ended up taking it off and finishing it with bias binding which worked fine.  I also stitched the side seams as french seams, as I don't have a serger I thought it would give it a bit more longevity.

Overall I like it, I don't tend to wear a lot of blouses, but I think this one is good as it can be made in a more dressy fabric and also can look quite casual with jeans.  I would definitely make it again and add a little more length next time.

Fabric:  Check Cotton poplin and cotton chambray.

Other works in progress this week have been the which I am making for my eldest son.  It is basically a hoodie but has the option of back pockets for his and hers enveloped hand warming..... how cute.  However, as he is only 15 and not wanting to encourage such shenanigans, I am omitting this bit.  Haha.

My other project this week is a sleeveless cardigan for myself, namely usually bring a nice easy knitting project with me on holidays and this was it this year.  The weather where we were in France and travelling back through England was, of course, brilliant this year and way too hot for knitting, so it only got started in September.

My Addi circular needles just arrived today, so all I have to do is pick up the stitches around the sides and neckline and knit the border.... nearly there.

I have also received my first sock knitting book from englishyarns, and have a couple of skeins of sock yarns on order too, so I don't think I will be bored.

Anyone know how to turn a heel, don't you love a learning experience!