Twig and Tale Pathfinder Vest

This was one of those makes which I kinda thought might be nice to have. It wasn’t requested, but who doesn’t want a little vest? 🙂

Twig and Tale offer the Pathfinder Vest for all ages, so babies up to adults. It is fully lined and there are so many options too, particularly for the children’s versions

  • Curved Dropped back option
  • Pixie hood & Classic Round hood
  • V-neck & Round neck
  • Flutter sleeve
  • Collar
  • Yoked Pleated Back option
  • 2 Pocket styles
  • Optional overlapping button stand
  • Numerous options for closure
  • Option for a crossover front too

Twig and Tale are a NZ based company and very fond of using recycled fabrics. I would have loved to have found a vintage blanket to make this up, but couldn’t find one, so I used leftovers from stash and fabrics I’d bought specially for making clothes for small humans.

The outer fabric you might recognise as left over from my Ivy Pinafore and the lining is a double gauze from Miss Matatabi which I bought a while ago before shipping and buying from overseas became a lottery and/or game of chance. I couldn’t resist these cute penguins; and there’s still some left! 🙂

I only decided at the last minute what version I would make, so I made

  • Curved drop hem
  • Pixie hood
  • Round neck
  • Yoked pleated back
  • Lined round bottomed pocket
  • Three button fastening with fabric loops

I was really impressed with this pattern. The copyshop file is separate (for obvious reasons), but the A4 pattern is included at the very end of the instruction file. Don’t get me wrong, this is not just any old instruction file, it’s 37 pages (not including the pattern), it’s beautifully put together and wouldn’t look out of place printed on glossy paper as a booklet. There is a whole table of contents, which are linked, so it’s quick to just jump to a specific part of the details if using a laptop, etc. Each page has half a dozen quick links in the footer to the main headers, eg contents, printing, sewing instructions, size guide, etc. There are full details on upcycling inspiration, which pages need to be printed for each individual pattern piece (there are 15), a great glossary and nearer the back lots of inspiration on different versions. And we still haven’t got to the sewing instructions!

So what about the instructions, well, these start with the cutting out, there are no fabric placement diagrams, but to be honest I don’t think this is an issue. The full instructions are very detailed. When I first read them, I thought they were bitty, but there are so many different options to this pattern that they all must be catered for and basically once one section of the vest has been dealt with, it moves to another, or there is a hyperlink in the document to another section. The images are photos and are very clear and accompany the written instructions perfectly. There is also a Sewing Summary at the end which is a quick basic bulleted list.

I pretty much followed the instructions through as per the file. I did find I was looking ahead quite a bit, mainly because I wanted to know when I would be sewing specific bits. I’m inpatient! I did however, follow the pattern.

And I haven’t even mentioned the pattern! That’s in colour and layered, so you only need to print the single size. Even each pattern piece has the sizes clearly labelled. I’ve seen many patterns where there is a size key somewhere which is all you have to reference which line to cut out.

I have to say this was a joy to make and not just because it was small and it was a special gift. I honestly didn’t experience any confusion with the instructions. I would be interested to know how less experienced sewists might find them.

The rounded pockets are double layered, so I decided to use the lining fabric on the outside. The button loops are also made from the lining fabric. The buttons are some old buttons I’ve had in my stash for a long time.

So much to say, but this pattern is so good and I honestly don’t think there is anything they have forgotten. I think I’m off to buy the children’s version, since my only small gripe is that this baby version goes up to 12 months. For information, this baby version offers six different sizes starting at premmie and going up to the 12 months. Personally I think baby sizes could include up to 18 months, but I feel like I’m looking for something to complain about! Since our granddaughter was turning one, I added extra to this and sized it up to about 15-18 months, maybe less.

The details
Fabric:  Denim with cutouts from Stitchcraft in Richmond, left over from my Ivy Pinafore. Lining is a double gauze from Miss Matatabi
Notions:  Thread, and four buttons from stash (one is a spare). Finished off with a cute label!

Pattern:  Twig and Tale Baby Pathfinder Vest, size 12 months, graded up to fit around 15-18 months.
Changes made:  I didn’t make any changes, none at all!
Another one/recommendations:  I definitely recommend this. I loved making this so much, not just because I had cute lining fabric and it was something for a small human. The pattern was great to sew up, the instructions, I found very clear. The amount of extra detail in the pattern was awesome. I’m definitely going to buy the children’s size. I would buy the adult version, but have already got the Trailblazer!

The fit is also spot on for both Ted (I don’t think he was impressed!) and our granddaughter who looks so cute in it!

Brindille and Twig Ringer Tee

So a very special little girl turned one last week. I can’t believe those twelve months have gone so fast! We have regular video catch-ups, but they’re in a different country and it’s not really the same. World events are definitely making it difficult for us all to see close family. 😦

So at the risk of getting gloomy, here are the goodies I made – well do you really think I’m going to let birthdays and Christmases go by without making her something?

This is actually a free pattern, which is even better. Great if you want to try out a Brindille and Twig pattern before buying one. The Tee has a basic round neck with the option of long or short sleeves. The hem and sleeve hems are finished with bands rather than a basic hem which gives for a tidy and easy finish.

The pattern is a layered PDF, and is sized from newborn right up to 6 years in ten different sizes. Such great value!

I made two up in a size 12-18 months using fabric that was leftover from previous makes or a small piece I had saved away for one thing or another!

The short sleeve version is made up in a navy (with dark green spots) cotton jersey which was left over from a T-shirt I made myself earlier in the year (not yet blogged!) The fabric came from Tessuti Fabrics in Melbourne just before Christmas.

The long sleeve is a dark dusky pink merino which has sat in my stash since forever. I think it possibly came from Fabric-a-Brac, since it was an odd shape and actually I couldn’t get anything out of it for me. I absolutely love this colour, so was gutted when I found there wasn’t enough for something for me!

I admit I did not follow the instructions, so can’t comment on them. I’ve made a few t-shirts over the years and basically used exactly the same construction as I normally do, using my overlocker for all except the top stitching

  • Shoulder seams (adding twill tape to these for stability)
  • Attach the sleeves
  • Sew the sleeve and side seams in one go
  • Stitch ends of all bands and fold in half lengthways
  • Attach bands to neck, sleeves and hem
  • Top stitch bands so they lay flat

The deets
Fabric:  Navy cotton jersey from Tessuti fabrics in Melbourne, pink merino from stash
Notions:  Thread and cotton twill tape
Pattern:  Brindille and Twig Ringer Tee, size 12-18 months
Changes made:  None
Another one/recommendations:  This is a great little pattern and great value. The proof is in the wearability, but I can’t see these will be a problem fit-wise. So quick to make up. Two T-shirts for now and I think there will be a few more to come!

And this is not all I made… More to follow in the next post 🙂

Purple velvet meridian

This is one of my #MakeNine2020. This purple stretch velvet I’ve had for some time. I don’t even remember where I got it. I think it has some lycra in it and the recovery is pretty good. I nearly got rid of this fabric. The colour is completely me, which is why I bought it in the first place, but for some reason I went off the fabric and was in the process of measuring up to sell. Fortunately I have some awesome friends who made me see the error of my ways. The fabric went back in my stash and I came up with a plan…

I made the Papercut Meridian dress for the first time around 18 months ago and it’s a great dress. I love the shape and the drafting. It’s drafted for a woven fabric, but the idea of a one made up in this velvet stuck in my head and just wasn’t going away.

The Meridian dress is described as an elegant trans-seasonal statement dress. Featuring front wrap around ties, back button and loop closure with invisible zipper, front and back neck facings, front and back pleats on skirt, Long or short sleeve, two skirt length options.

Since I was making this up in a stretch fabric, I sized down and also removed the zip from the back. I left the back button and loop, mainly for decoration rather than use. The back facing I changed slightly by shortening it and seaming it at the bottom and attaching to the back seam. I also cut off the corners at an angle so they lay flat.

I was a bit short on fabric. I had around 2.1m of 150 wide and made up a size M, which asks for 2.4m, and I used all of that fabric! I wanted to lengthen the bodice slightly since I’m longer in the waist than many patterns. Since this fabric is a bit weightier and drapier than the cotton seersucker I used last time, I just lengthened the bodice by around ½”. The skirt is around the length of the shorter version, mainly due to the lack of fabric!

My sleeves are elbow length, which I really like for winter dresses. I also really want to add pockets, because, pockets. Plus obviously I needed to be careful with the nap of the velvet fabric. I think I have one pocket where the nap is lying the wrong way, but that’s in the pocket and not visible.

I wrote quite a lot in my last post about this pattern. I love that first version, but this velvet version is like secret pyjamas. It’s so comfy and looks smart enough for an evening out and especially with this sparkly button!

The details
Fabric:  Stretch purple velvet, not sure how long I’ve had it or where it came from!
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, and a button from stash for the back of the neck.
Pattern:  Papercut Meridian dress, size M.
Changes made:  Used a stretch fabric, extended bodice by around 1/2″, changed the sleeve length, inserted side seam pockets, changed the back facing and removed the zip.
Another one/recommendations:  Looking at my last post, I can’t see that I actually recommended the pattern or said I would make another! Well, here’s another and I certainly recommend it. I don’t know how easy it would be to do an FBA. Although I have large girls, I can get away with this pattern without an FBA.

I’m definitely loving this stretch version. It is completely like wearing secret PJs. Perfect for dinners out when you might be tempted to eat a wee bit too much! I certainly would consider using a knit for this pattern again. I also think the fit of this version is a lot better than my woven version which I made as a size L (my standard Papercut size based on my measurements.)

Named Talvikki Sweater

Writing up the post about our granddaughter’s Christmas gifts made me realise I’d not blogged this sweater! I only made it last year, so it’s not ages old (unlike the skirt that’s also included in this post!).

The Named Talvikki Sweater is an oversized and cuddly sweater, with a turtleneck with darts on the neckline. It has dropped shoulders and extra long sleeves, along with deep vents at the sides, and an uneven hemline.

The pattern suggests fabric with at least 30% stretch. This fleece certainly does not have that much stretch, so it’s not as oversized as it could be. That’s fine, I’m not a big fan of way oversized.

I made a couple of changes. I changed the hem slightly and also shortened the sleeves. I like the vents, but not so deep. I also made the hem slightly less uneven by lengthening the front and shortening the back!

The neckline is a really nice feature and this was what drew me to the pattern in the first place. Both the front and back have long darts which go from the turtleneck down towards the body of the sweater. This neckline is finished with a facing. The pattern recommends to use interfacing on this. I tried to use it and couldn’t get the neck over my head! I couldn’t just peel the interfacing off this fleece, but fortunately I had enough fabric left to cut the neckline facing again and not use the interfacing.

The deets
Fabric:  Grey marl fleece with mountains printed on, possibly from the sewing shop in Oamaru
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Named Talvikki Sweater, size 44/46 based on the finished measurements
Changes made:  Removed interfacing from neck facing, lengthened the front by 4cm, shortened the back by 4cm.

Another one/recommendations:  I love this sweater, it’s so cosy and comfy. It does look a bit pajama-y, but it’s cosy and warm. I’m thinking if I have some other suitable fabric to make another one!

Sew House Seven Alberta Street Skirt
This is the fourth version of this skirt I’ve made. I first made one in denim, then made a version in a knit with a full length back zip and then another from a curtain fabric I got from Ikea. This version is made from a blue stretch cotton with an embossed pattern woven in. I think it was made about three years ago!

I took the top of the yoke in by a around 2.5cm, like with the other versions. The other change I made was to swap the pockets around, so that the higher side of the pockets is in the centre, which generally works better for sticking my hands in!

The bottom of the waistband facing I finished with hug snug and then stitched in the ditch to attach it on the outside.

To be honest there’s very little else to say about this skirt.The fact I’ve made four is quite a big indication that this pattern is a winner.

The deets
Fabric:  Blue stretch woven, I think came from The Fabric Warehouse, but I may be wrong
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and hug snug to finish the waistband
Pattern:  Sew House Seven Alberta Street skirt, size 14
Changes made:  Took in the basque by around 2.5cm as with the other versions and swapped the pockets.
Another one/recommendations:  This is my fourth version of this skirt. Might be it? Don’t know. It’s an easy skirt to make up and is a great wardrobe staple, so may be another is in the offing!

Lekala 4658

I’ve made a few things during lockdown, it’s just that I haven’t managed to get photos. My SD card in my camera needs replacing, so I’ve had to take photos with my phone!

This is Lekala 4658 which I’ve had for a while. I bought a whole collection of Lekala patterns when their made to measure patterns were on sale. This is a loose fitting blouse with a pleated neckline, a button for the back neck and three quarter sleeves.

The fabric I bought just before Christmas from Tessuti in Melbourne. I saw it and couldn’t resist it. It’s a crepe fabric with the most beautiful drape. I can’t find it on their website. Lekala patterns don’t give you fabric requirements, so it’s a bit of trial and error as to whether there’s enough fabric. I used quite a bit of my 1.5m of 150cm wide, particularly with a pleated front and those sleeves.

This was a really quick make. The only vaguely difficult bit was getting the pleats even on the neckline, but they are completely worth it. I love this feature.

The sleeves aren’t as full as a bishop sleeve, but I love this three quarter length puffed sleeve with the elastic at the cuff. The trick to elastic here is to make it so it’s not stretched to fit the arm. It’s too uncomfortable if it’s stretched. It may seem obvious, but I’ve stretched the elastic before now and it’s horrible to wear.

The neckline is basically a round neck, so needs some kind of fastening. I found this navy blue covered button in my button collection. I’m unsure what it might have come from, probably a spare from a RTW cardigan which is long gone! The binding round the vent at the back is not great. It doesn’t lay that flat, I think I’m better using facings for these rather than binding them.

The deets
Fabric:  Printed crepe from Tessuti Fabrics, Melbourne, bought last December. It did not make it to stash!
Notions:  Thread, elastic for the cuffs and a button
Pattern:  Lekala 4658, a made to measure sizing
Changes made:  None
Another one/recommendations:  A great blouse, I’m loving it. I regret the fact that I made this at the beginning of lockdown and haven’t really worn it. I’m hoping it will get a bit more wear now it’s had an outing and I love how it looks.

This is actually one of my #MakeNine2020 I’m getting through them, slowly!

Baby’s first Christmas

Yeah, I hear you, Christmas was a while back, but possibly like some of you, the impetus to blog comes and goes during these strange times.

When our granddaughter had her first Christmas last year, I had to make something! I did ask what was required and then also went a little off-piste because, hey, why can’t I as Nanna Nikki? I did also try to pick out some things which would either last or were a little bit special. There are no photos of said granddaughter below, since her parents have requested privacy, but you’ll just have to believe me when I say she is beautiful. 🙂

Sew Over It Tangerine Trousers
The list of requirements included trousers/leggings, so I made two pairs! Making clothes for small humans is great for using up little bits of fabric left in stash.

I bought the Tangerine trousers pattern when it was on sale, so I got a couple of Sew Over It patterns at the time. It’s a really simple easy pattern with just three pattern pieces, the legs and a wide waistband. There is also an option to add feet, but I decided to make these both as trousers. The pattern sizing only goes up to 24 months, but I guess it might be easy to make them bigger for older ages, plus babies can differ so much in size, just like anyone else.

I found two lots of fabric which I still had a reasonable amount of in stash. The first is this pale green ponte which I used to make this Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt and I’ve also made a jacket from it (not yet blogged). I made these pale green in a size 18 months. Since the fabric is pretty stable as knits go, I decided to size up so they would last.

The second fabric was a burgundy cotton knit with quite a bit more stretch than the green. So I decided to make these up in a 12 month size. Our granddaughter is not that tall/long, so I think these will be long for a while.

They were a very quick make, since I could make them up entirely on my overlocker. I just used my machine for the hem of the legs using a double needle. There’s no elastic in the waistband, so they are a really quick project. I have to say, I didn’t really use the instructions, so can’t really comment on those.

The deets
Fabric:  Pale green ponte and dark red jersey knit both from stash
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Sew Over It Tangerine Trousers, size 12 mths and 18 mths
Changes made:  None

Ikatee Vega Jacket
A little girl needs a cute jacket and I think the image on the website for this is definitely cute. This Vega jacket is described as a straight cut hip length cardigan with a buttoned front and bias binding around the neck. It also has optional pockets. Sizing for this ranges from 1 month right up to 4 years (excellent that will last a bit longer!) There is also an optional add-on for neck facings and different lengths.

I used this fleece backed fabric which I think I bought from the sewing shop in Oamaru. It’s a grey marl and covered in mountains. It’s left over from a sweater I made, but haven’t yet blogged! It doesn’t have that much stretch, so I decided to size up and make this to fit 18 months.

This went together really well. I only briefly followed the instructions. It’s not a difficult make. Sew the shoulder seams, attach the sleeves, sew up the seams, fold back the fronts to make the placket, attach the band at the bottom and attach the bias binding around the neck. I chose to apply the pockets. The pattern recommends creating a card template to ensure you get the right shape for these. Which actually works really well.

I used just a plain black bias binding for the neck. This came from stash. I love the way the sleeve cuffs are finished. I just overlocked the edge and then turn them back. No bands or anything to add. They are so quick and easy.

The buttons, well these were a must have. My stepdaughter loves penguins and pandas, so I had to choose one or the other! These cute penguin buttons came from Pete’s Emporium. Just about THE best place to buy buttons! Rather than make enormous buttonholes for the placket, I used snap fasteners at the same position as the buttons.

The deets
Fabric:  Grey marl fleece with mountains printed on, possibly from the sewing shop in Oamaru
Notions:  Thread, bias binding, buttons, snap fasteners
Pattern:  Ikatee Vega Jacket, size 18 mths
Changes made:  None

Blank Slate Patterns Raleigh dress
The next thing I made was a little dress. I doubt my granddaughter will be brought up as a girly girl, but a little dress is still a necessity (in my book!) I found this Blank Slate/Melly Sews baby dress pattern online. It’s basically a bodice with a gathered skirt. The shoulder straps are fastened with buttons.

The pattern is free for newsletter subscribers to fit a new-born. The full Raleigh Romper and Dress pattern to fit up to 3 years is available to purchase. With a bit of reviewing other patterns, I managed to grade this up to fit 9-12 months.

The fabric, covered in lots of New Zealand birds,   is something I’ve had in my stash for sometime. I think it may have come from Spotlight, but not sure when or where! The bodice of this dress is also fully lined with a white cotton voile also from stash.

This was another really quick make, I think I cut this and made it up in an afternoon! I love making baby clothes – so quick to make! 🙂 The buttons, well if these are where I think they’re from, then actually they were on a coat which was mine when I was about 4 or 5! They look distinctly like the buttons from that coat!

The deets
Fabric:  Grey and white quilting cotton from Spotlight, white voile for lining
Notions:  Thread, buttons
Pattern:  Melly Sews/Blank Slate baby dress, graded to a 12 mth size
Changes made:  None

Christmas Stocking
We’d heard that Florence wasn’t going to get a stocking, but a baby needs a Christmas Stocking and so I decided I could make a personalised stocking which would last.

The pattern I downloaded free from the Interwebs. There are any number of free stocking templates available, it’s just up to you the size and also the shape you might want. They all differ slightly and then give you the option to personalise as you like.

Fabric-wise, I couldn’t find any red fluffy fabric, so I decided to make one from quilting cotton with a Christmas theme. To remove the option of catching things on raw seams inside the stocking, I decided it needed lining. So I used a plain red fabric from stash to line the stocking.

I also thought it might look nice if I turned over the top to show a red top of the stocking and then added a ribbon (which says “holidays”) in the back of the top to ensure the stocking could be hung up. Well otherwise how is Father Christmas going to find it if it’s not hung up?

Finally, it needed personalising. I’m not very good at embroidery, and I decided to cross stitch her name using a sparkly red embroidery floss. I bought an Aida band fabric from The Sewing Depot in Petone. This is aida fabric with a scalloped edge and can be used for bookmarks and edgings like this. And so Florence has her own personalised stocking.

The label, well these are some awesome labels from labels by Kylie and the Machine. I couldn’t resist! 🙂

The deets
Fabric:  Christmas quilting cotton from Lincraft, red cotton from stash
Notions:  Thread, ribbon, Aida band, embroidery thread
Details:  Basically something I designed myself to give our granddaughter something to keep for the future. The stocking template came from the Interwebs, the font for the name came from one of my many cross-stitch books.

Jennifer Lauren Handmade Ivy Pinafore

I received this pattern from Jen when it was out for testing. It came out with the Gable top, of which I made two of at the time. These are still in constant wear and I love them. At the time the pinafore only came in a flared version which wasn’t for me. When the patterns were released Jen generously forwarded a copy of both the Gable top and the Ivy pinafore, which then came as a more fitted version. Forward a few years to lockdown here in NZ, and my mind has been constantly thinking of what can I make now, what do I need, what fabric is in my stash. Having seen a few pinafores on social media I suddenly decided I needed one in my life! I’ve not worn a pinafore for around 40 years, why would I wear one now? You may well ask, well I actually really like this version!

The Ivy pinafore is made from woven fabrics and comes in two silhouettes, a A-line flared version and a slim-line version. It has a yoke with button down straps which can be functional or just for show. It also has pockets and these are awesome pockets of a great size with room for all sorts of rubbish! It is also lined, but it’s possible to make it unlined. I made the slim-line version (view 2), lined with non-functional straps.

My fabric, I think, came from Stitchcraft in Richmond when I was over there for a work trip. It’s a tie dyed denim with cut-outs showing in red. The underside of the fabric is purple, a mix of the red and blue. I originally bought it intending to make a jacket, then lockdown made me think more laterally. The pattern suggests light-weight woven fabrics to line or anti-static linings, I ended up using a cotton voile which is a shot-purple colour leftover from another project. It matched the underside of the main fabric. I like the cotton since it breathes better, but a lining fabric would have been better since it currently clings to tights and I need to wear a half slip! Oh well, I’m definitely warm with all those layers!

The fit is really good. A lot of the time I need to lower bust darts, but these were in the perfect position. I wasn’t sure how the fit would be since this is one of the few JLH patterns without bust sizing. This is a size 18 based on my full bust measurement and it may be a wee bit big from these photos, but it doesn’t feel big and it’s great to wear. Initially I added 4” to the length, I ended up removing 3 of those when I eventually hemmed it!

Instructions as always from Jen are really clear and easy to follow. I may have shifted things round slightly to save changing threads so much in my machine, but otherwise, I actually used them! I didn’t experience any issues. Attaching the yoke is a bit fiddly and then top stitching around this, but it gives a really nice finish.

I decided once I’d sewn it that I didn’t need to make the buttons functional, so I just stitched the buttons through both layers. Looking at them now, I’ve stitched them the wrong way around with the front sitting on top of the back straps. Oh well!

The front centre seam is stitched with a flat felled seam, all other seams I finished using my overlocker. I decided the denim might be too thick folded multiple times for the hem, so I decided to use hug snug to finish the hem.

The deets
Fabric:  Denim with cutouts from Stitchcraft in Richmond. Purple cotton voile for lining from stash
Notions:  Interfacing for the yoke, two large buttons from stash.
Pattern:  Jennifer Lauren Handmade Ivy Pinafore, view 2, size 18
Changes made:  Lengthened by 1″.

Another one/recommendations:  If you want a pinafore which is easy to make this is great. I didn’t want a bib type pinafore, so this is perfect for me. No zip or other closures either.

Papercut Fjord Cardi

Lockdown has changed my clothing needs slightly and my Make Nine plans have kinda gone a bit off piste, but looking at what’s left, I reckon they will be made. I work from home around 50% of the time, so it’s not been so much of a baptism of fire for me as for others.

I had this sudden need for another cardi, preferably with pockets. So rather than make something I’ve made before I thought I’d try something else I had in my pattern collection. Enter the Papercut Fjord Cardi. Yes, another Papercut pattern, which knowing my love for them, probably isn’t a surprise!

The seam lines on this cardigan are really interesting. The angled pockets are on a completely separate side panel which forms the lower part of the armscye. It has raglan sleeves  and is topped off by a wide neckband. There are also two length options, a cropped version and a longer hip length.

I have the print version of this pattern which was good, there’s a fair few pattern pieces, for information the PDF version has 31 pages of A4 size. I also found it difficult to find the right fabric. It suggests 2.3m of 114cm wide and even though they often over estimate, so many of my knit fabrics I wanted to use I could not get to work, even with lots of pattern tetris! I ended up using this dark teal and black stripe, which I think came from Fabric-a-Brac some time ago. I cut a size L, based on the finished measurements, not my own measurements. Since this is a loosely woven knit I knew there would be more ease than the pattern states. I managed to squeeze this out of 1.5m of 150cm wide, the pattern suggests 1.8m. It took a wee bit of tetris, and there is absolutely none left! Those sleeves are big!

Unfortunately it’s actually a little lightweight and unstructured for this pattern. The pattern recommends medium weight knits. I think I would also recommend something which isn’t loosely woven, particularly if you’re looking for the same look and fit as the sample photos. Anyway, I went ahead with it – why not? 🙂

I didn’t have any issues making this up. I did follow the instructions to get the construction correct, mainly due to the different seam lines and the pockets, plus that wide neckband is doubled over. Most of the construction was on my overlocker, so was a pretty quick make.

The only change I made was to take in the sleeves and shorten them, which also meant making the cuffs smaller. This is standard practice with a lot of long sleeved patterns. I have short arms and with knitwear I like my cuffs relatively fitted.

The pocket top edge is just finished and folded over, it’s not stitched down. With my lightweight fabric I’ve found the pockets don’t sit so well and certainly I won’t be putting much more than a tissue in them. They’re actually not as large as I expected either. I definitely wouldn’t recommend sticking a phone in them.

I think the other problem I have due to my fabric choice is that it doesn’t sit that well on my shoulders and I often find it sits back away from my neck dragging down the back. Saying that, since I made this a couple of weeks ago, I have worn this a lot and it’s been a welcome addition.

The deets
Fabric:  An unknown loose woven knit, I think from Fabric-a-Brac. It’s been in my stash some time.
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Papercut Fjord Cardi, size L
Changes made:  Shortened the sleeves by around 4-5 cm and also took them in by around 4cm at the cuff.
Another one/recommendations:  I like this cardigan, but if you’re making this, I would definitely recommend fabric with less drape and more stability than the fabric I used. Mine works and I wear it, but it definitely does not look like the samples on the website. I’m tempted to try making another in a more stable knit, but that’s not going to happen just yet until I can get to pet and feel fabrics in shops, samples often aren’t big enough.

It’s a great pattern with some interesting seaming, so it won’t look like other cardigans. The instructions are easy to follow. There was nothing that I looked at and needed to read a number of times for it to make sense.

Papercut Axis Dress

For those regular readers of these ramblings, it’s no secret, I love Papercut Patterns. I bought this as soon as it was released, but I needed that “perfect” fabric! Cue this most beautiful linen viscose from Fabric Drop (an NZ online fabric store) before they shut down at the end of last year. I love linen anyway, but the viscose just makes the linen drape in the most lushous way. So with an NZ designed pattern and fabric from an NZ shop, I’m very happy I’ve kept this fully local.

The Axis dress is described as an ode to Audrey Hepburn with a straight neckline and ties which can be tied at the back or brought round to the front and tied there. There is also the option of a pencil skirt with front split or an A-line skirt.

It took me a while to get this pattern started. I thought I would need to make some changes, an FBA, possibly widening the front straps, lowering the front neckline, possibly lengthening the bodice. All the things you’ll have seen me mention on here before. I tend to muslin all Papercut patterns. I’m a very different shape from the Papercut slim B-cupped model. My first muslin was a size 6 and gaped badly around the armholes. I know this means to do an FBA, which I was expecting anyway. I ended up doing a 2.5cm FBA and actually cutting a size 5 grading out to a 6 at the waist. Since I made such a large FBA, I also created bust darts, the large waist darts don’t look good.

The front neckline was too high for me, my head sits forward and I needed to lower it, so I lowered it by 1.5cm and added the extra to the straps. (I think this may have changed again when I made the final dress a I kept trying it on the whole time and left attaching these until the last possible minute!)

The skirt… As much as I love a front split on a skirt, I have a skirt with one already and I have to be very careful now and again. So, I cut the front skirt on the fold and added a back slit instead and made up a facing to give it more strength. It’s not perfect from the inside, but from the outside, it works perfectly! I also decided to hem the skirt by hand, I didn’t want to spoil the hem by machine sewing it.

The skirt is fastened with an invisible zip in the centre back and as an option in the pattern you can just make the skirt up.

What a lot of changes – yes, maybe, but they’re standard for me for Papercut Patterns and if I end up with a dress like this…

There is a gap left in the side seam so that when crossing the ties over the back, they sit flat and then tie at the front. I think this is my favourite way of fastening the dress at the moment.

The other option is to tie them at the back, give a deep back and a beautiful tie hanging down. I love this option, but prefer the ties at the front.

The deets
Fabric:  Linen viscose “Flavio” from Fabric Drop, November 2019.
Notions:  Interfacing, zip and thread
Pattern:  Papercut Patterns Axis dress, size 5
Changes made:  A 2.5cm FBA. Lowered the front neckline by 1.5cm, possibly lengthened the straps. Cut the front skirt on the fold. Added a back split with a facing to strengthen it.

Another one/recommendations:  I love this dress. I finished it just before we went into lockdown here in NZ and so it’s not had an outing at all, except to my garden! So I decided it would be perfect for #virtualfrocktails (an international instagram frocktails party). It’s now also getting to autumn here in NZ, so a sleeveless dress with a plunging back is not the warmest, but my black shrug works wonders and I think this dress will see me through the year. I can’t wait to wear it again. I love it! Don’t know if I’ll make another – it deserves the perfect fabric. 🙂


And because I love this dress so much, here’s another photo! So worth the changes and getting that bodice to fit.

Lekala 4664

I’ve a few Lekala patterns in my collection now. I only really discovered them about two years ago. I like their designs and the patterns are inexpensive. I think this is my third make and there are a couple more not yet blogged.

  There are a number of different options when buying their patterns. Their PDF patterns can be delivered in one of eight standard sizes or you can add your own measurements and get a pattern drafted to fit you. An additional option is to have seam allowances added. I always get the patterns using my measurements and with the seam allowances (I’m useless at adding seam allowances.) This is blouse pattern number 4664. It has pleats at the neckline, a pleated front and short sleeves.

The fabric is an Atelier Brunette cotton gauze “Terrazo Night” which I bought from Miss Maude at Fabric-a-Brac in Carterton a couple of years ago. It was a remnant, but it’s such a beautiful fabric and I couldn’t resist it.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if there would be enough to make this top. Lekala patterns have no fabric requirements, so you basically have to play around with the fabric of choice to see if it fits.

The line drawing for this pattern has a centre tuck, very similar to the Colette Sorbetto, but strangely, it doesn’t match up like a tuck and I could not work out how to stitch that front tuck without the stitches showing on the front, so in the end I just set it like a pleat and then added the other pleats at the side. This is why the front looks different to the line drawing.

Apart from the issue with the front tuck, I didn’t make any changes. The instructions for Lekala patterns are very basic, so I just took a quick glance through the half page of instructions and left it at that!

The deets
Fabric:  Atelier Brunette cotton gauze “Terrazo Night” from Miss Maude at Fabric-a-Brac Carterton, Wairarapa July 2018
Notions:  Interfacing for the neck facing and thread
Pattern:  Lekala blouse 4664, sized to fit me
Changes made:  I removed the front tuck because I couldn’t work out how the tuck would stay in the fabric without being stitched. Apart from that, no changes were made.
Another one/recommendations:  I have worn this blouse so much. The fit isn’t great over the top of the arms and if that front tuck was there it would fit a whole lot better in the front, but it doesn’t mean I wear it any less.

Whether I make another one, I’m not sure yet. If I could suss out that front tuck, then maybe I’d give it another go. But hey, I have a blouse in my wardrobe which I love to wear.