The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)

My latest make, Burda Style 6847 (affiliate link) is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network. It’s a casual sweatshirt jacket, and it’s probably one of my favourite makes ever! You can find out all the details of sewing it up over on the Minerva Blog.

Burda 6847 knit jacket

I first saw this pattern on Dr T’s blog when she posted a huge list of patterns suitable for the Dramatic Classic Kibbe type. Without wanting to go into all the theory behind Kibbe and why I think I’m a Dramatic Classic (that’s for another post, at some point soon), the key things Kibbe says about jackets for this type is that they “should be crisp and tailored, with sharp shoulders and elongated line. If unconstructed, they should be very narrow and fall below the break of the hip.” Continue reading “The Hoodless Hoodie – my latest Minerva Blogger Network make (Burda Style 6847)”

The Knot Your Average Top

Okay, this is the last of my catch-up links to Minerva projects I’ve made over the last few months. Phew, now I can start writing posts about all the other things I’ve made and haven’t yet blogged!

Knot Your Average Shirt 5 out of 4 patterns

This is the Knot Your Average Shirt and Dress from 5 out of 4 Patterns and I first made it as a dress a couple of years ago as it’s one of those cunning concealed breastfeeding access patterns. You can find my full Minerva write-up of this top version here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/knot-your-average-shirt

I really love wearing this top and I think that’s down to two main reasons. Firstly, the fabric is incredibly soft and drapey, and it feels wonderful against my skin. Secondly, it’s a simple enough style in a neutral colour that goes with most of my wardrobe. The twist at the front adds just enough detail to elevate it above a simple black tee, but it’s as versatile as one.

My only regret with this one is that I didn’t go ahead and put clear elastic all along the neckline, as the viscose does grow slightly with wear. It’s not enough to cause a wardrobe malfunction, but it can show a little bit of bra at the centre front if I’m not careful. Mind you, nursing bras do come up high at the centre front, so it probably wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t still wearing these beasts.

Anyway, that’s one more wardrobe success for me, which is great. I’m definitely getting better at this “making stuff I want to wear” lark. About bloody time, really. I’ve been sewing clothes for ten years now!

Coming up on the blog next week (hopefully) — I want to catch up on some of the new year type posts I meant to do in January, but was way too busy with Daisy’s operation and its aftermath. So there will be a belated Make Nine, along with some year end round ups and a couple of challenges I’ll be attempting this year. Yay!

See you again soon

xx

The Spotty Cowl Top

Daydream Patterns Sophia nursing top

This is one of those “whoops, I thought I’d already posted this” posts! Yep, finally sharing February’s Minerva Blogger Network post over here. You can find it at: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-spotty-cowl-top

I have to admit, this is not one of my most successful makes and it’s currently in my wadder pile, hopefully to be harvested for fabric to make something more “me”. It’s not the fault of the pattern, which was really well written and fun to make. It’s not the fault of the fabric, which although a polyester (boo!) jersey is really comfortable and pleasant to wear.

It’s just… not me. I’m starting to realise this is one of the pitfalls of trying out new styles when making your own clothing. With RTW you can try it on in the shop and have a good peer at yourself in the mirror, before deciding it doesn’t suit you. With sewing you generally have to wait until you’ve basted the side seams before you realise that it makes you look like an out of style pregnant hippo. Not that this top does that. But I don’t think it’s terribly flattering on me.

In the final analysis, I think a plain fabric would have worked better, and the neckline is too high for my liking. Also, the whole top is a bit shapeless at the front. Ideal for disguising post-childbirth tummies (this has a cunning–and optional–hidden breastfeeding access design), but not so good now I’m mostly slimmed down again.

So, going forward I’m going to do my best to avoid future wadders by sticking to patterns I know work for me (hello, Cleo dresses!), or styles that I’m pretty sure will work. It might not result in the most adventurous sewing for me, but I figure I can get my fix of adventure by sewing more for the kids. I’ll have more about my personal Ottobre Sewing Magazine kids pattern challenge soon. When I get a moment to write a blog post…

Right, this afternoon I’m going to try to finish a top (black and silver stripy fabric, but taking a bit of a risk with a boat neck), and then maybe embroider or crochet a cactus. Yes, I’ve decided to take part in #The100DayProject in an attempt to get me going on some purely fun crafts again. I’m going to stick to cacti and succulents for motifs as I love them, but will have a go at making them in various different media. I reckon I’ll dust off my crochet, feltmaking and embroidery skills, as well as having a go at machine embroidery and applique. And when I’ve had enough of the textiles I might do some watercolours and drawings. Maybe even a lino cut. Who knows?

I’m hoping that by the end of the 100 days I’ll have a collection of little decorative items and pictures for making gifts and cards. And perhaps a few things for myself too. I’ve fancied a cactus pincushion for years now! Check out my Pinterest boards if you’re interested in seeing some of the things I’ve been contemplating.

See you in a couple of days with one more catch-up post for my Minerva makes.

xx

The In the Navy Bodysuit

Just popping in to share my latest Minerva Blogger Network make, the Megan Nielsen Patterns Rowan bodysuit in a lovely navy viscose jersey. You can find all the sewing details on the Blogger Network here:

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-in-the-navy-bodysuit

Megan Nielsen Rowan bodysuit in navy viscose #1

I have to admit, I was so excited about sewing a bodysuit for the first time (I’ve been thinking about making one for a couple of years now) that it wasn’t until I was almost finished that I thought, “hang on a minute, this isn’t breastfeeding friendly!” Whoops!

Still, it’s not such a problem as Lauren only feeds a couple of times during the day now. That little girl loves her food, and would rather munch down on jacket potatoes, stew, chicken korma, and just about anything else she can get her hands on. No boring baby mush in this house!

I’m thinking I need more bodysuits in my wardrobe. I want to make more skirts/trousers with a slightly dropped waistline and I need to make sure that anything tucked in stays tucked. Generally I don’t tuck in tops and just wear them hanging over the top of the bottoms, but I’d like to try this different silhouette as I think it’s flattering. Admittedly, most of my current skirts and trousers are high waisted, but going forward I’ll be sewing some a couple of inches below my natural waist.

This Rowan top is really lightweight and probably best worn as a base layer as it shows every lump and bump. The fabric is also just transparent enough to give a hint of my bra, so I reckon I’ll be making a skin-toned bra at some point soon.

However, those slight issues aside, this Rowan bodysuit is super comfortable, I really enjoyed the challenge of making it, and I can see it making the base of lots of pattern hacks with other knit tops. Yay!

I still have a couple of recent Minerva blogs to link, so expect to see them popping up this next week. Until then, happy sewing everyone 😀

xx

The Plum Pudding Cardigan

I’m finally linking the blog I wrote for the Minerva Blogger Network back in December–oops! It’s another Jalie cardigan (I’ve made two of their Drop Pocket cardigans blogged here and here) and another real winner. I love the shape of the front at the hem and those long, statement pleats down each side. My only gripe? No pockets!

I have some serious love for this cardigan. It accompanied me to the hospital back in January when I had to pack a capsule wardrobe to last two weeks while Daisy had her surgery. I can honestly say it goes with practically everything in my wardrobe, and I always feel stylish and put together when wearing it. The fabric is warm while still being fairly lightweight, and although it is now pilling a bit, it’s nothing my lint shaver can’t handle.

You can find the full post over on the Minerva site here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-plum-pudding-cardigan

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll be back with another backlog (back-blog?) clearing post in a few days.

Adios, amigos!

The Mother and Daughter Leggings

Why hello, my dear, neglected blog! I’m sorry I’ve not been posting, but life has been somewhat crazy around these parts and finding a few peaceful minutes to sit at the computer has been as rare as getting a decent night’s sleep.

First there was the annual craziness that is Christmas, and making it special for three children. Yeah, I’m only now starting to really appreciate all the hard work my mum put in when me and my two sisters were little.

Then on Christmas Eve we got a call from the Children’s Hospital saying that they’d had a cancellation, so Daisy could come in for surgery on the day after Boxing Day. As we’d had her surgery cancelled in early December (after spending two days in hospital waiting) down to a lack of ICU beds, we decided to take up the offer and just get it over with. It meant going into hospital on Boxing Day, and spending over two weeks living in a little room at the parent’s accomodation. Not the best two weeks of my life, but it’s over now and she’s fully recovered, with a brand new metal valve in her heart which should last her for the rest of her life.

Here’s a pic of Daisy recovering in hospital (with the hospital dog!) wearing the last make I blogged here:

Since then we’ve dealt with swine flu, various coughs and colds, and I’m now starting to feel like life is settling down again. Till the next bout of madness….

Anyway, I’ve been sewing a bit, and even managed a few blogs over on the Minerva site. I’ll be linking them all over the next few days and then start playing catch up with some of my unblogged makes from last year.

First up, here’s some Jalie Clara leggings I made for me and Daisy (pictured at the top of this post):

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-mother-and-daughter-leggings

I’ll admit, they haven’t had all that much wear since I made them, but that’s because I realised after a few wears that with fabric this stretchy, I probably should have made each of us the next size down. They are currently on the alterations pile, waiting for me to have the energy and inclination to deal with them. Not sure why I hate alterations so much, but I’m making more of an effort to power through them between other, longer projects.

I was going to write more but I now have a tired, crying baby on my lap so I think I’ll just have to accept that posts will be less than perfect, and press publish.

Ciao for now!

The Lionheart Nightgown (Simplicity 1504): my latest Minerva Make

Just a quick post to link to my latest make (Simplicity 1504) for the Minerva Blogger Network, and this time it’s an unselfish make for my gorgeous girl, Daisy. Who is going to be a teenager tomorrow. Eeek! I’m feeling really old now…

Lionheart nightgown Simplicity 1504

The story behind why she needs a button front nightie is up on the blog post (clue: it involves impending heart surgery) along with a fairly detailed post about the pattern. I really enjoyed making this one up, and it’s one of those patterns that fits from Gabriel’s age to adult, so I’m sure I’ll get more of these made. The pj version for Gabriel, natch. Although I’d totally make him a nightshirt if he wanted one. I’ve made them for my dad before, after all.

The fabric is definitely worth a mention as I’ve never worked with cotton broadcloth before, but it’s absolutely lovely stuff! Seriously, I want to sew with this all the time. I want shirts made out of it. And summer dresses. Maybe even a nightshirt of my own.

Right, I’m struggling to write this with a snotty baby on my lap and an equally snotty pre-schooler asking me if monkeys have red tails, so that’s it for now. I’ll be back with more finished makes soon, though. I’m building up quite the backlog!

xx

PS, there might be a style analysis post too. I’m getting seriously into reading all I can about different systems. I think it’s to make up for the fact I have little sewing time, but plenty of time sitting up in the middle of the night feeding a baby. Hooray for smartphones and 24 hour wifi!

The Not-So-Boring Black Dungaree Dress

Hello everyone!

I’m just swinging by because I realised I still haven’t linked last month’s Minerva make, and my next one will be up in the next few days! No, there really isn’t much time or headspace to sit at the computer and get on with this sort of thing these days. Children. They’re cute, but they’re smelly and steal all your time.

Anyway, last month’s make is this gorgeous (if plain) black twill Cleo dress, which I’ve been wearing loads as none of my old Cleos fit me at the moment. You can find out more details over on Minerva’s site: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-not-so-boring-black-dungaree-dress

I’ve been sewing when I get the chance (finished my first bra–so proud!) and doing plenty of wardrobe planning. I had myself the perfect little autumn/winter capsule planned using patterns from my stash and have bought most of the fabric I need. Then I discovered the Kibbe types and they made a lot of sense to me. I reckon I’m a classic face on a dramatic body, which explains why dramatic (and dramatic classic) clothes look great on me, but the necklines are sometimes too harsh. I think I can get away with classic and probably even some soft classic necklines (like sweethearts and cowl necks) so long as the rest of my outfit is pretty dramatic in style/colour. It’s got me thinking about my capsule plans anew, particularly in terms of necklines and knitwear. It’s also got me wondering if I should rejig my rockabilly librarian style board…

Hopefully I’ll find time to do a more detailed post on this soon (and blog some more of the things I’ve been sewing), but until then, anyone else gone down the Kibbe rabbit hole and come up for air?!

Ciao for now!

xx

The Tropical Scout Tee (and a return to blogging!)

Grainline Scout tee in tropical double gauze

Hi there; long time, no blog! I’m not apologising because that’s just the way of life with a newborn. However, Lauren is now four-and-a-half months old, Gabriel is back at nursery and Daisy at school, and finally I’m starting to find a wee bit of time here and there to get back on the computer.

I actually have a fair old backlog of projects to blog, including my first button up shirt for Andy, some cute baby clothes, and a few things for me, as having a tiny baby to look after didn’t actually stop me from sewing. It slowed me right down, admittedly, but for sanity’s sake I managed to find the odd few minutes here and there to sew a seam or do a bit of pressing. I’ve also done a fair bit of knitting too. Yay!

Anyway, first up for sharing is my first Grainline Scout Tee. Yes, I know I’m late to the party with this one, but that’s just the way I roll. Totally unfashionably late! It’s my Minerva Blogger Network post for last month and actually went live on their site weeks ago, but when I went to share it here I somehow managed to break my website. Yep, every single page gave a 500 error. Wah!

After going away and crying for a bit I eventually pulled up my big girl pants and went searching for solutions. I’m not all that techy really (not sure why I didn’t stick to WordPress.com rather than this self-hosting lark, but there we go) but once I figured out what had gone wrong (a bad pinterest plugin) it was remarkably easy to fix. Go me!

So, if you want to find out more about making the Scout tee then head on over to Minerva. The tee was pretty hot off the machine when I wrote it and I’ve since had more time to see how it fits into my wardrobe. At the moment I’m unsure. I’ve worn it a fair bit and love the comfort–I definitely want to sew with double gauze again next summer–but I’m not convinced this print suits me. I’d love to try this top again in a monochrome polka dot print–perhaps in a drapier fabric too to see if the silhouette is more flattering that way.

What do you all reckon? Is this top “me”?

I’ll be back in a few days with another Minerva make. Until then, what are you working on at the moment? And have you ever sewn with double gauze?

The Eastern Jewels Heirloom Crochet Blanket… and the baby I made it for!

Eastern Jewels crochet Persian Tiles Blanket Janie Crowfoot
Welcome to the world, Little Lauren!

Yes, I finally finished two projects: making the Eastern Jewels crochet blanket and gestating my third child! Lauren was born on the 6th May and is a gorgeous, sweet-tempered and healthy baby. Not gonna lie, it was my toughest labour yet as she’d swivelled into a back-to-back position at the last minute without anyone realising, and I had to be induced with only gas and air as a painkiller. In the end the consultant had to tug her out with a ventouse cup. But look, what a cutie!

Baby Lauren

Anyway, difficult labour aside, she’s here now and that’s what’s important. And so is her blanket! You can read the details of that make over on the Minerva Blogger Network here.

Eastern Jewels crochet Persian Tiles Blanket Janie Crowfoot

I used the Stylecraft Eastern Jewels Blanket Pack (affiliate link), and I can thoroughly recommend this pattern even for relative beginners to crochet. It looks incredibly complex, but is actually based on a very small number of simple stitches so if you’ve made a granny square, you can make this! It just takes a long time, but you’ll have mad crochet skills by the time you’ve finished! Hop on over to the Minerva post for all the deets.

I’m going to be back tomorrow with my write up of the 10×10 wardrobe challenge I did back in April, and then again in a few days with my monthly update post. And probably a Me Made May post too. I have so many ideas, and so little time to bring them to fruition!

Until then, happy stitching!

Anna-Jo x

The Lesser-Spotted Dressing Gown – Vogue V8888 pattern review

Vogue V8888 Dressing gown robe spotty viscose challis

Last week I had another make up on the Minerva Blogger Network: this gorgeous polka dot dressing gown from Vogue Patterns (V8888).  You can find out more about this make over on their blog–it was a complicated sew in some ways (blame the viscose challis!), but I had a lot of fun paying attention to giving it a fine finish with lots of French seams and couture touches.

I haven’t actually had any opportunity for wearing this just yet as the weather took an unwelcome turn for the cold again, but I’m sure it’s going to come in useful over the summer. Assuming we actually get a summer in England this year…

I’ll be posting again this week, I hope, with my final maternity make I keep promising: an Agnes top in a gorgeous dark floral jersey from Girl Charlee UK. Better get it done quick before I have this baby!

Ciao for now, peeps!

The Kinder Cardigan goes DISCO!

Kinder Sequinned Cardigan Wendy Ward Sewing with Knitted Fabrics

This week I’m finally able to share a make from January with you–the popular Kinder Cardigan–as my post for the new Wendy Ward book (A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics – affiliate link) has gone live over on the Minerva site. Go and check it out if you want to find out more about both the cardie and the book as a whole 🙂

https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/product-reviews/the-kinder-sequinned-cardigan

I did try to wear my cardie today but the weather got too hot, too quickly. We seem to have gone straight from winter to summer–just last week everyone was wearing coats and scarves and today it was all shorts and flip flops! I’m sure the cardie will get some wear over the spring and summer, though, even if only in the evenings.

I’ll be blogging another Minerva make next week–a gorgeous summer dressing gown (Vogue V888) in polka dot viscose challis. Just got to finish off making it and work out how to insert inseam pockets in a French seam!

Here’s a sneak peek of it on my cutting table:

Adios, amigos x

The Snakeskin Amber Dress

Amber maternity nursing dress Megan Nielsen

Hey everyone! I’ve got another Minerva make to share today, and it’s another maternity dress. Not the Agnes this time, but the old Simplicity version of the Megan Nielsen Amber Dress. I’ve actually made it twice before (here and here) so this is truly a TNT pattern for me.

I do still have a couple of maternity makes to blog, and I’ve got pics taken so hopefully they’ll go up in the next couple of weeks. After that… I’m going to have to think hard about what will be worth making. Fitting a rapidly changing body is a challenge!

The full write up of making this dress is on the Minerva site, but something I forgot to add to the post was the time taken to sew, which was 2 hours. That’s not bad considering there were 13 pattern pieces to deal with, and the fabric was challenging at times (although seriously gorgeous to wear!)

Right, that’s it for now. I’ve been dealing with an ill toddler the last couple of days (conjunctivitis) so I’m tired and haven’t got much done. At least I’m making some headway on the crochet blanket, though 🙂

Back soon with  another Megan Nielsen pattern: the Erin skirt! Sneak peek:

Erin Maternity Skirt in stripes - Megan Nielsen Patterns

 

 

 

The Baggy Bump Maternity Trousers – live on the Minerva Blogger Network

Burda 7239 maternity trousers 9

Hey everyone–I know it’s been quiet on the blog here lately, but I’ve been suffering from anaemia so didn’t have much energy to post or sew. However, my latest maternity sewing project is now up on the Minerva Blogger Network here: https://www.minervacrafts.com/blogger-network/post/the-baggy-bump-trousers

I’ve got to say a big thank you to my daughter, Daisy, for taking the pictures! Finding the opportunity to get enough light to photograph a project properly at this time of year is tricky, to say the least, and these might not be up to my usual picture standard, but hey, at least they got taken 🙂

I have a few projects nearly finished and another couple of project posts that just need writing, so I hope to be back to a regular weekly post in March. I’m not going to do any more maternity sewing after the next couple of weeks, though, as unless it’s something that would work for breastfeeding and that awkward period before my midsection gets back to its pre-pregnancy state (it will happen–I’ve managed it twice before!), it really won’t be worth the effort for just two month’s of wear.

Anyway, these trousers are so useful right now with this freezing cold weather. My legs are actually warm enough today, wearing these with boots and leggings underneath! The fabric is perfect for bottomweight sewing, and would also be great for a jacket. It’s a clearance one, though, so you if want some for yourself don’t wait!

Materials used:

Burda 7239 – Maternity Tops, Bolero and Pants  (affiliate link)

Textured Stretch Jersey Knit Dress Fabric (affiliate link)

Gutermann Sew All thread (affiliate link)

I’ll be back in a few days with my maternity sewing plans for March, and a bumper round-up of January and February’s sewing. What little there was of it, at any rate 🙂

Anna x

 

 

The Cowl Necked Maternity Dress live on the Minerva Blogger Network

Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes hacked with Seamwork Neenah Cowl neck

Hi peeps! I’m back after a nasty virus, sharing my latest make over on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. It’s a mash up of the Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes (which I last made here in leopard print) with Seamwork’s Neenah cowl neckline variation (which I made here).

You can find out more over on Minerva’s site, but I’ll give you a spoiler: I love it! Just what my wardrobe needed right now, as I didn’t have much in the way of winter-appropriate maternity gear. What with Gabriel being born in December, winter hadn’t had much of a chance to get going then and as I don’t generally go for oversized things, I’m rapidly running out of wearable clothing. I’ll be making a few more maternity items over the next month or so, keeping in mind to make things that will hopefully either be able to be worn while I’m losing the baby weight, or that can be remade to suit my body once it’s got back to its normal size and shape.

Right, here’s the materials used, should you be interested in nabbing some of this for yourself. The fabric is a real winner for winter wear, with excellent stretch, drape, warmth and recovery. Just check the blog post for how I dealt with sewing it as it didn’t behave exactly how I expected:

Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Agnes Pattern

Seamwork’s Neenah Pattern (cowl neck add-on available free to Seamwork subscribers)

Stripey Textured Stretch Jersey (affiliate link) – 2m used

Gutermann Sew All thread (affiliate link)

Disclaimer: fabric and thread kindly provided by Minerva in return for an honest review. I bought the patterns myself.

My first Minerva Craft Blogger post!

Cosy Cabled Knitted Cowl for Minerva Blogger Network

Blog posts–they’re like buses, aren’t they? I make you wait ages and then you get two blog posts in two days–and probably one a day for the next few days too 🙂

Anyway, today is my debut as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. I’ve done a few projects for the regular Minerva blog over the summer, but I was thrilled to be asked to join the blogger network proper. That means that every month I’m given a budget to shop with on the Minerva site, and I’ll share my makes there on the 28th.

My first make is a knitted cowl, bizarrely enough. I don’t do much knitting, but I do enjoy it and I want to get better, so I figure the only way to do so is to stretch myself and try new things. This was my first go at cables, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out 😀

Check out the full post over on the blog, and here are links to the products I used, should you be interested in grabbing them yourself:

Erika Knight Maxi Wool in Geranium (2 hanks for £7.59 each)

Knit Pro Basix Birch Circular Needle (£5.99)

Clover Cable Needles (£3.19)

Stylecraft Ladies Scarves and Cowls pattern (£2.99)

(all affiliate links)

Now, I know some people are suspicious when bloggers use affiliate links and review products they got for free, and I used to be one of them. However, since Minerva are a company I was buying from before I ever got any freebies, I’m very happy to have this arrangement with them, and it allows me to make things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to make. I will always give my honest opinion in reviews and point out the pros and cons, should there be any. I find other bloggers reviews helpful, so I’m happy to be able to spread the word about books, patterns, fabrics and the like.

Affiliate links are something I’ve started doing this last year and so far I haven’t made much from them. Basically, if you click through on an affiliate link and make a purchase I will make a very small referral bonus, at no charge to you. I started putting affiliate links up because I was spending lots of time writing blog posts, but had hardly any money to buy fabric and patterns. I figured that if the blogging could in any way help support my sewing hobby then that would be great. Perhaps at some point in the future my affiliate links will start bringing in a bit of money, and as they’re quick to set up I’ll keep going with them for the time being. If you don’t like them, you can always find the products I’ve linked with a quick Google search. I’ll happily provide a non-affiliate link for you in the comments if you’re having trouble finding anything. Just let me know 🙂

Right, that’s all for now. If you have any thoughts on bloggers using affiliate links and reviewing freebies, then please do share. I’m always really interested to discuss this sort of thing.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the first of my #SewingTop5 posts. Until then, happy sewing!