This week I returned to one of the first patterns I ever used, which is great for basic tops. It seems to be a very popular pattern for obvious reasons and there are numerous versions on the blogs. It is the Renfrew top from Sewaholic. Up to now I have made both the round and v-neck versions in all different sleeve lengths, but I decided to give the cowl neck a go this time.
I made it in a fuchsia jersey, another from Tessuti fabrics with a bit if stretch in it. At first I couldn't figure out the cowl, but after a bit of puzzling I realised that there was a little error in my pattern. On the sixth point it says to 'Sew collar pieces wrong sides together' instead of right sides, kind of obvious I suppose. Once I realised what was wrong it was, of course, very easy and I really like the cowl neck. It is not a high cowl, it comes to about normal tee shirt neckline, so today (as it is getting cold) I wore a merino tee under it.
I have some lovely merino from New Zealand Merino which I will be using to make another cowl top. It's a fuchsia and navy diamond pattern so will probably be a bit similar but hopefully warmer. I recently got my first order from the company. The one mentioned here is quite light weight, I also have a green one which is slightly heavier and they have coat weight too. I wear a lot of merino base layers for outdoor activities in the winter, so I thought I would give it a go. Whenever you order you are charged a basic postage and then you receive another email with the actual postage. (It tells you this on the website) Mine worked out to be about £14 for 6 metres fabric and my fabrics were on offer, so I thought it wasn't too bad.
Overall a great basic pattern with cosy cuffs and a cosy neckline, a good pattern for beginners starting to sew with stretch fabrics, one that I will always return too.
This week I have been continuing with my Winthrop cardigan from Kelbourne Woolens and learned a new technique, thanks to a great tutorial (more on that later). This was 'wrap and turn', very pleased that I got it sorted, so should be finished it soon.
On a completely different note, I tried an idea I saw in +Country Living magazine, using dried bunches of herbs as kindling. We had a glut of sage, thyme and a few others, so last Saturday I picked a load and tied them into kindling bunches, then hung them on the stair railings all week. They have dried out well.
Having now lit the fire and thrown a couple of bunches on, I am sorry to report that I smell nothing. Boo hoo. I presume that was the idea - however the whole house did smell herby all week so I guess we had that benefit and it did look kind of Halloweeny and autumnal. Got to try these things. I can use them in cooking anyway.
Also after much soul searching and deliberation (I right) I have succumbed to ordering the Camber set dress pattern from Merchant and Mills. Having seen lovely versions on roobeedoo's blog of both the dress and the top, I was hooked. Well I have mad 2 versions each of the Dress shirt and the Panel dress, so I think I will get my money's worth. Can't wait.