Jenna and Jade

These photos were taken back in May, when it was very sunny, but chilly before our winter got really wet!

It was not long before that I made these two items and they’ve been staples in my wardrobe since. I love them!

Jenna Cardi

This is the fourth time I’ve made up this pattern. My first cardi has stretched beyond help and I think I really just need to get rid of it (perhaps after I’ve rescued the buttons!) I’ve used the pattern since to make two tops, so when I got this merino, it called out to me.

The fabric is from Clementime: Oamaru Silk Centre in Oamaru on South Island when I went down for work some time ago. It is merino wool and was great to work with. It sewed up a treat. The buttons were from stash and I honestly don’t remember where I got them from!

I made the same changes I’ve make to my other Jenna’s, I straightened out the side seams by taking it in at the hips and then also took in the sleeves from the elbow down, adding a new cuff.

The details
Fabric:  Black merino from Clementine, Oamaru.
Notions:  Thread, tape for the shoulders and buttons
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Jenna cardi, size 40
Changes made:  Took in the sleeves from the elbow down and also straightened the sides
Another one/Recommendations:  This is number four, need I say more? This is a great pattern and so quick to make up. No doubt there’ll be more before I’m done!


Paprika Patterns Jade skirt

Number three of these has already been blogged. This is number two which I made up at the beginning of winter. I love my navy version, so another was on the books.

This dark red ponte came from The Fabric Warehouse here in Wellington. I went in to buy it specifically to make up this skirt last April time. It’s very rare fabric is bought and cut out, but this was.

I made the longer version and changed the waistband as with my same version, so straightened it and made it up double the width of my elastic. It works so much better than the seam at the top of the waistband. I find I get a much cleaner finish. I also took in the waistband.

The details
Fabric:  Dark red ponte from The Fabric Warehouse
Notions:  Thread and elastic
Pattern: Paprika Patterns Jade skirt, size 7, made to fit my hips
Changes made:  Took in the side seams at the waist, I didn’t line the back and also changed the waistband to be a single piece of fabric folded over.
Another one/Recommendations:  This was number two, but have since made another. This version has had so much wear this last winter. I find the ponte quite warm in the summer, but it certainly works hard in the winter!

Pointelle Jenna

This is one of my first makes for 2016 and will be a great addition to my wardrobe.

IMG_9123Recognise the pattern? No it’s not a Renfrew. 🙂 This is actually Muse Patterns Jenna cardigan. I’ve hacked it to make a jumper and what a great hack it is. OK, it wasn’t exactly difficult to do, but hey, it works well, don’t you think?

IMG_9117I bought this fabric last year when I was visiting a customer in Oamaru, South Island. It was a remnant, about 90cm of 140 wide. Not masses. Let’s face it it was never going to make anything much. It was either this or another Tahi shrug. I had thoughts about the new collar expansion pack, but there just wasn’t enough. I even had to make the neck binding from two pieces.IMG_9138So, it wasn’t difficult. I placed the centre front edge on the fold. I also used the gathered short sleeves from the first expansion pack. Somehow one sleeve looks more gathered than the other, I’m not sure why. The sleeve hems are finished with a double needle.

IMG_9134My overlocker did not like more than two layers of this fabric. It chewed it up and the first time I attached the bottom band, it stretched the fabric all over the place. I had to just cut it off and start again, using the walking foot on my machine. It’s meant the top is perhaps a bit shorter than I’d prefer, but it still works. I then stitched the inside edge down so it looks like I used a double needle.

hemThe deets
Fabric:  A blue pointelle knit from the Oamaru Silk Centre, August 2015.
Notions:  Thread and some tape to stabilise the shoulders
Pattern:  Muse Jenna cardigan, size 40 with the sleeve expansion pack
Changes made:  Cut the front on the fold to create a jumper.
Another one/recommendations:  This pattern works so well as a jumper. It’s so quick and easy to put together. Kat’s instructions are clear and easy to follow. I would definitely recommend this pattern as a jumper. To be honest I recommend the pattern full stop!

IMG_9146First worn:  For high tea in town a couple of weeks ago with the girls with a RTW skirt. Photos here by the Braille statue in town (hence the blobs!)


The Jenna Cardi

This is the new pattern from one of my lovely WSBN friends here in Welly. The amazing Kat launched Muse last week with this first pattern, the Jenna cardi, named after her equally lovely sister.

I was lucky enough to be one of the testers. It’s actually the first time I’ve tested a pattern and I was so flattered when asked, my mind went into overdrive! Crazy English lady that I am!

Straight away I printed it out and stuck it all together, I just couldn’t wait to get going! The pattern pieces lined up perfectly. Some patterns I’ve printed are just slightly out, but this one was perfect (yes I was using a printer I’d used before.) Next was to find something from stash I could use to make it up. The fabric was a wool viscose and very loosely woven, plus it slipped and slid everywhere. Note to self, don’t sew with wool viscose unless completely necessary!

I cut out a size 40, simply because I’m halfway between sizes. My fabric choice was poor and in hindsight, the 38 would have been plenty big enough!  Anyway, this pattern has lots of options with sleeve lengths and the optional yoke detail. It’s also sized from a 32 to 48, which should cater for a lot of sizes.

I decided the longer hip length cardi with long sleeves would get the most wear, but since I didn’t really have the amount of fabric recommended I had to ignore the cutting layout (not ideal, but sometimes needs must.) I also realised there wasn’t enough for the sleeves! Help! Then I checked them out, they were too long for me, so I happily cut them a couple of inches shorter.

Please note: I wasn’t the only one with short arms and the long sleeve pattern pieces have now been altered in the published pattern, so you should all be AOK.

I did cut the side seams curved as in the pattern, but with my loosely knitted fabric, this didn’t work and I actually stitched the side seams straight down from the waist. This works brilliantly with my fabric giving me a loose fit cardi which goes with so many things in my wardrobe…

Gabrianna, Mortmain, Cami, unblogged pencil skirt, Tania culottes and Kay Unger dress to mention but a few 😉

I think Kat has actually altered this hip length curve slightly since testing to make this fit better.

I think that’s enough on the fit, what about the construction? Well if you want an easy cardi pattern, this is the one for you. It goes together so quickly, I’d cut it out and made it up in about four/five hours total. All my seams are finished with a wide zig-zag stitch and so it would be even quicker if you use an overlocker (which I don’t have).

The instructions are really well written with clear pictures. I’m a great one for looking at the pictures and ignoring the instructions and Kat’s images didn’t disappoint. What I really like is that the sleeves are attached before sewing the whole side seam from cuff to waist. I love this type of construction which gives a really clean finish and is so much easier to insert sleeves this way. The cuffs for the sleeve and waist give a really nice finish to this pattern, giving it a great fit.

The button band is interfaced with non-stretch interfacing ensuring the button band keeps it’s shape and is really structured. I spent ages cogitating and ruminating over the buttons, in the end I went with these silver pink flowery buttons I got from Fabric-a-Brac.

The details
Fabric:  A ribbed pink wool viscose from Fabric-a-Brac, October 2013
Notions:   Non-sretch interfacing, thread and buttons from Fabric-a-Brac, February 2014.
Pattern:  Jenna cardi – the first pattern from Muse Patterns
First worn:  As soon as I’d finished it, about a week ago!
Worn here with:  A RTW skirt from Zara (old from the UK), purple tights and black boots from Overland. Oh and a hat I’ve knitted (not blogged about).
Changes made:  Since I was testing, I made as the pattern said. The only change I made was to stitch straight down the side seam.
Another one?  I think I might just have to. This pattern is fabulous. I’d love to find a much more structured knit to create the version with the yoke.

No outtakes this time, but a sad end to the tale 😦 I wore this lots, then washed it in exactly the same way as before I cut it. I dried it flat too and the cardi has stretched widthways (the stretch way) and shurnk in the length 😥 I’m currently at a loss with what to do, I might try washing it again and being even more careful how I lay it flat.