Category Archives: top

Coco is a foxy lady!

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is treating you well so far. I have a bit of a backlog of sewing projects to share with you, starting with a foxy Coco T-shirt.

FoxyCoCo2

Way back at the end of the summer, Girl Charlee contacted me to ask if I would like to try some of their jersey fabric. Having browsed their fantastic selection of jersey prints, the answer was of course yes. I chose a lovely fox print with a fun T-shirt in mind.

You may have seen that in some of my previous makes I have dabbled with jersey (most successfully with the Coco dress), but I struggle a bit with quality. I have had some bad experiences with some very cheap, but ultimately dissapointing, jersey before and therefore I was a little bit dubious about ordering jersey online without first being able to assess the quality. However, I needn’t have worried. This jersey is beautifully soft, and a dream to work with an wear.

FoxyCoco1

To show off this print, I wanted a simple T-shirt but I didn’t want to have to fiddle around with any fitting issues. So to the trusty Coco from Tilly and The Buttons I went. I have made two Coco dresses before, but this was my first time with the T-shirt.

I wanted a loose slouchy style so I cut a size up from usual and I also added two inches to the length, which is a standard adjustment for me. As usual with this pattern, construction was straightforward and this was a pretty quick make.

My only other alteration was the sleeves, instead of following the pattern, I sewed the cuffs using my favourite attachment style, originally taken from SImplicity 1652. This gives an attractive and neat finish with no visible seams inside or out, although I must confess that I forget how it is done every time and therefore it always involves a bit of head-scratching! Sorry, I realise this is not particularly helpful. If anyone is interested in a tutorial let me know – this might be beneficial to do anyway if only for me!!

FoxyCoCoSleeve

I finished this top back in September (the sun shine is a giveaway!) but the pictures have sat on my camera until now. I love this top and have worn it on regular rotation ever since – I can testify the jersey washes well!

I forsee many more Coco T-shirts in my future, this is fast becoming my go-to jersey pattern. I could do with expanding my repotoire though – what’s your favourite jersey pattern?

Kat xx

Disclaimer: Girl Charlee provided me with this fabric for free in exchange for a review, but all views are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Letitia jumper

Well hello there strangers. How time flies! I can’t believe that it has been so long since I’ve been around these parts. Life happened, as it has a tendency to, in both good ways and bad. The last few months have been hectic and full of ups as well as downs, and sewing and blogging have unfortunately taken a bit of a back seat. To be honest with you, I haven’t really felt like it. But you know what – thats ok. I never want blogging or making things to become a chore, otherwise what’s the point? I knew that eventually my mojo would return, and I think its getting there.

Today I can finally share with you a jumper that has been a long time in the making. The pattern is the Letitia Jumper designed by Sarah Hatton from Issue 42 of The Knitter. The yarn I have used here is a 100% cotton dk yarn from Patons which is actually a beautiful deep red rather than the fluorescent pink it looks like in some of the photos; you’ll have to take my word for it.

letita2

Letitia first popped up on the blog way back in July 2012 where, it must be said, she was looking in pretty reasonable shape. Despite the lace work, this is a reasonably straightforward knit, and the repeating eyelet pattern keeps you on your toes just the right amount. It’s simple enough to knit in front of your favourite TV programme, but with enough intrigue to keep things interesting. I soon finished knitting and sewed her up. I even wore her once. But – there was a problem (in all likelihood with my calculations!) and the jumper came up much too short. There are no pictures, for which I am very grateful as it was not a good look! Slightly despondent, I put this jumper to one side, where it languished for a good while.

letita1

Eventually I decided I really needed to do something, and turned to Google for help, where I discovered this excellent video which shows you a handy method to lengthen a jumper knitted from the bottom up. So off I went, extending the jumper by a good few inches. I tried it on…and still wasn’t satisfied. Fussy me! This time I felt it was too long and didn’t sit quite right. This may have been overly picky, but I knew that if I wasn’t completely happy I wouldn’t wear it, which would have been a waste. So to one side the jumper went again, until I picked it up a few weeks ago. A few evenings of knitting later, and I have a finished jumper that I am happy with and know I will wear. Here I am wearing it over a blouse with a peter-pan collar, I did this almost by accident but I really love this look!

letitia3

So this jumper really has been a lesson in perseverance, but I am glad I didn’t give up. Sadly (well, not really!) it is far to warm to wear this jumper now, but never mind.

I’m going to leave you with a picture of another long-awaited knit, my owls cardigan, which has been waiting patiently to be blocked for a good month or two now, but look! Progress….

owls1

Blog post coming soon. Yet another weather appropriate make…not!

Kat xx

Decision made…

Thank you for all your comments and tweets relating to my last post on whether or not I should frog my St James jumper. Also apologies for the temporary blip in commenting – somehow I accidentally and mysteriously unchecked a box somewhere…but it’s all sorted now!

I think in my heart I knew what had to be done, and I can now report that this…

stjames

…has become this…

froggedBring on the owls!

owls

I am so excited to knit this jumper. Firstly, owls! Secondly, I have seen so many lovely versions around the blogosphere, most recently Tasia’s. Sabs and I are planning a mini knitalong for this jumper starting in March – if anyone else fancies joining us, you would be most welcome! Firstly I have to finish my Corrine cardigan though…I’m on the finish straight now and hope to be able to share it (and wear it!) soon.

What’s on your knitting needles?

Kat xx

To frog or not to frog? That is the question.

*Apologies to anyone who tried to comment on this blog post previously but were unable to, there was an issue with the comments box not showing up but everything is fixed now so you should be able to comment as normal. If not, please let me know!*

I have a dilemma and I need your help.

Some of you may remember my St James’ jumper, my biggest knitting project to date.

stjames

I was so proud of this jumper, but I do have a little confession to make. I don’t love it. Since I finished it, almost two years ago now, I have worn it a total of once. And that was just after I finished it. It has not seen the light of day since.

So the question I have for you is: do I keep this jumper in my cupboard, knowing that it is unlikely to be worn, or do I frog the whole thing and use the yarn to make a jumper I know I will love so much more? You may ask how I know I will love my next make more. Wait to you see what it is going to be…..

owls

Yep, Owls by Kate Davies. Predictable? Moi? I don’t know what you mean.

I think in my heart I know what I should do, but I am loath to pull apart a jumper I spent so many hours on. Have you ever knitted or sewn something you didn’t love? What did you do? Have you ever repurposed another knitted make? Did you ever regret it? I would welcome your advice!

Kat xx

Swinging sixties top

Back before Christmas I spotted this wonderful cotton print on CalIco Laine’s Facebook page, and immediately knew that I wanted to use this fabric for my second blogger network make. I love this fabric, the retro print has a sixties vibe and it makes me smile – just the thing to beat the winter blues. Because this is such a busy print, I wanted to pick a simple pattern which allowed the fabric to shine. I had in mind to make a top with a contrast yoke and when I remembered Amy’s lovely top made using New Look 6148, a plan was born.

There are many different pattern variations, but I decided on a simple sleeveless blouse with contrast yoke. This is a nice simple top to make with no fastenings, which is great for those who, like me, avoid zips wherever possible (I was pleased to see from Marie’s recent post that I’m not the only one!). I was a bit concerned that this might make it difficult to take on and off, as my head is rather on the large side (no tittering at the back there!), but I needn’t have worried as the neckline leaves plenty of room. There is a LOT of ease built in to this pattern so I recommend taking a good look at the finished measurements before cutting. I went by the finished bust size, leaving a few inches for maneuver, and I reckon I could have still gone with a size smaller. I graded up a few sizes at the hips which was a good call as any smaller here would have been a problem. I bought two metres of the print fabric and I probably could have got away with at least half a metre less, although I love this fabric so much that I am glad to have some left over.

For the main section of the top there are just three pattern pieces, which means that it comes together pretty quickly, even if like me you decide to French seam everything in sight. I must admit to getting a bit confused by the time I got to the neck binding, as for some reason the binding piece was not large enough to go all the way around the neckline, so at this point I stopped following the pattern and made the rest up as I went along. Thankfully this seems to have worked out! Plan B was to use bias binding from my stash to finish the neck and armholes, but the roll of black that I could have sworn I had was nowhere in sight. Instead I resigned myself to plan C: making my own. Producing handmade bias binding is an easy albeit quite boring exercise but luckily for me there was not too much required on this occasion.

This top is the perfect example of when frosting can also work as cake. It may be a fun and colourful print, but paired with a plain skirt as shown here, or a pair of trousers, this would be absolutely fine to wear to work (in my workplace at least!). Who says you can’t have cake and frosting at the same time??

Although I love this fabric, I think that if (when) I make this top again, I will use material which has more drape such as a cotton lawn, which would make it lighter and more summer appropriate. Also there is a tiny bit of pulling on the side seams around the chest which I realise means that I probably need to do an full bust adjustment. I know, I know, I keep putting it off, but I am determined to conquer the FBA and this will be the year. There we go, I’ve written it down, now i’ve committed! I would love to hear reassuring noises from those who have conquered the FBA, and if anyone has any top tips I would love to hear them. I think it’s the thought of slashing my pattern pieces that scares me the most!

Kat xx