Sew My Style – February

I have to be completely honest and confess that I was never a huge fan of February’s Sew My Style pattern – not because I didn’t like it, but because I knew it just wouldn’t suit me.  The shape isn’t right for my body.  Luckily, I knew just the girl to make it for – my sewing buddy, Rachel 🙂  As it happens, she had already made herself a Saunio cardigan, so I knew it would suit her and that she’d like it.  A plan was hatched – Rachel would buy some fabric and I would sew it up for her, so as to keep my involvement with Sew My Style going.  A few weeks later, this had happened!

Hello, Rachel!  Looking rather marvellous in her new jacket, isn’t she?  Don’t you agree it looks much more like a jacket than a cardi in this fabric?  It goes to show how versatile patterns can be.  You can see some photos of Rachel’s other Saunio here and here on her Instagram – you’d never know they were made using the same pattern.

Rachel says…
I recently made myself a Saunio out of some slightly mad Missoni wool – it’s one of my #2017makenine projects.  So when Vicki offered to make me a second Saunio for February’s #sewmystyle, I obviously said yes!

I decided I wanted this second Saunio to be a smart one I could wear to work, so I bought some navy Italian boiled wool from Fabric Godmother and gave it to Vicki, along with my traced pattern pieces and my Saunio toile.

And I absolutely love the Saunio Vicki’s made for me!  The boiled wool makes it more structured than my Missoni Saunio and makes a real feature of the back.  Also, the wool’s texture means that I can wear the cardigan closed without needing a fastening.  And my favourite thing about it is that Vicki (knowing my love of hand-finished garments) blind-stitched all around the hems and the facing so it looks really perfect from the outside.

Thanks, Vicki!  And you know, if there are any other #sewmystyle makes that aren’t your thing, I’m open to suggestions…

I guess you could say Rachel’s pleased with her cardi then!  I’m so pleased you like it, Rachel 🙂

The pattern
The Saunio Cardigan by Named Clothing.  My goodness do I wish this pattern suited me!  I could do with some new cardies and it was sooooo fast to make!  I think the cutting and sewing (well, most of the sewing – more on that in a minute) took about two hours.  Magic!  The instructions are a breeze to follow and the construction is possibly the easiest I’ve ever come across.  Bravo, Named Clothing!  Thumbs up from me.

Modifications
As Rachel has already explained, I chose to hand-finish the hems and facings.  The nature of the fabric makes this necessary.  Machine stitching would leave an unsightly ridge all the way around the garment, so I lovingly hand-finished with a blind hem stitch because I knew that was what Rachel would have done.  This took longer than all the other sewing and cutting combined, but the finished look is well worth the effort.  I didn’t use any interfacing, as the fabric is thick and stable enough to hold its own.  I also used a straight stitch, rather than zigzagging or overlocking as the pattern suggests.  The fabric has very little stretch and the pattern is loose-fitting, so I’m hoping it’s be okay.

The fabric
A lovely boiled wool from Fabric Godmother.  I was a bit worried when I first got the fabric because it seemed so thick and I was worried about how my machine would cope.  However, it actually turned out to be lovely to work with – it is a very thick fabric, but its actually very soft and the machine had no trouble with it at all.

The cost
For me?  Not a penny 🙂  But it set Rachel back about £22.

P.S.  I was so right to make this for someone else.  I tried this on and looked like a right wally!

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Coco Dress

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Today, I’m declaring m love for Coco.  Ah, Coco.  Je t’aime ❤

Meet the new Coco — the same as the old Coco.  Almost.  But I love my first Coco so much and wear it so often that it’s now a bit bobbly and looking sorry for itself.  Why wouldn’t I make another one that is almost identical?  With one difference — those heart shaped pockets ❤

The pattern
Tilly and the Buttons’ Coco 🙂  In case you hadn’t alredy guessed.

Modifications
Why, yes — those heart shaped pockets, of course!  I used the pocket tutorial on Crafty Pinup’s blog.  Thanks for the excellent hack, Abi!  Abi has also done an amazing Cleo hack that I’m desperate to try.

The fabric
A black and white striped ponte di roma from Girl Charlee UK.  I think they’re sold out at the moment, unfortunately.  This fabric is far more suitable for Coco that the interlock I used for my first one, in my opinion.  I would recommend going for ponte if you’re on the fence.  Also, it’s easier to work with, both when cutting and sewing, and it holds its shape much better so it really shows off the exaggerated a-line skirt.  The red pocket fabric is a ponte I had left from the first time around.

The cost
The fabric cost £19.90, but I had quite a lot left.  I gave the remnants to my sister and she squeezed a short sleeved Agnes top out of it.  So we got two garments at a tenner each!  Huge thumbs up!

Cosy Stripe Blanket

I think this blanket has made a couple of cameo appearances on my blog now.  Then again, I have been working on it for years.  Literally.  Years.  I think (it was so long ago that I can’t even remember!) I bought the blanket kit in 2014 sometime, so it’s been at least two years.

It’s been a bit of a love-hate relationship.  Well, mostly hate.  I like crocheting, but not as much as I like knitting.  Mind you, I bet if I’d knitted a blanket this big I’d have been ripping my hair out just as much with that.  Let’s take a look at some photos before I tell you the whole sorry tale.

I got off to a rocky start with this one.  I crocheted about a foot before deciding my tension was off, so that got unraveled, I sorted out my tension and started again.  Then, I had a bit of an episode at the start of summer (2015, I’m guessing) when I got far too hot while I was working on it and thought I was actually going to faint (dramatic!), so it got pushed to one side until winter had come back around.  Then, after I’d picked it back up again, I did about another foot before realising that I was doing it wrong and my blanket was starting to lean to one side.  This is what happens when you put something down for too long – you forget what you’re meant to be doing.  Anyway, I figured out what I was doing wrong and decided I’d have to cope with having a slightly wonky blanket (a design feature!) rather than unravel a load of it again.  And then it sat in a corner waiting for its border for months.  Phew – it’s been quite the journey for us!  Anyway, fiiiniiished!  I finished it just in time to take it glamping 🙂  My friend and I (hi, Becky!) went to a wigwam to celebrate my 30th (yep, I’m old now) and I had to take this with me, right?  Worth all the effort, don’t you think?

The pattern
The pattern came in a series of blog posts over on Attic 24.  You can find all the posts here – scroll towards the bottom of the post for them.  You could, of course use your own colours, or use as many or as few colours as you want.  If you’re new to crochet though, I would maybe start with a cushion – this might put you off for life.

The yarn
I got all the yarn I needed in a kit from Woolaballoo.  If you live in the North East I would strongly recommend a visit – so many beautiful yarns.  They’ve since stopped doing these kits and focus solely on British yarns made from natural fibres, but you’ll find the Stylecraft Special DK almost anywhere.  And you could, of course, use a different yarn, but bear in mind you may need more or less of it (probably more).

The cost
I can’t even remember now.  I think it was about £25 for the kit.  £25 and a lot of time!

P.S.  Glamping is my new favourite thing!  It has all the best bits of camping – cooking over fire, being out in the wilderness etc. – with the added comforts that proper camping just can’t guarantee you, such as warmth and a comfortable bed.  We went to a lovely place in North Yorkshire called Humble Bee Farm.  It’s not far from Scarborough and Filey, and there were some nice walks around the camp site.  They have some animals on site as well, which is nice.  We had a great time!  Turns out we’re not too bad at the cooking over fire thing – we kept ourselves well fed for the weekend anyway.  And once the fire was going it was warm enough to sit outside, even in January.  I dare say I could quite happily live in a wigwam 🙂