Category Archives: Blouses & Tops

Mint Green Jenna Cropped Cardigan

I was so pleased with my Old Gold Ponte Roma version of View A with long sleeves that I made another!

Textured Ponte Roma from Minerva

I bought a pretty textured Ponte Roma from Minerva.com at the bargain price of £2.99/metre. Prior to attending the Dorset Meet Up Sewing Day at Franklins in Salisbury I prepared two projects. One of them was a Jenna cardigan in the textured Ponte Roma.

The preparation took the form of cutting out all the pieces of fabric, marking notches and applying fusible interfacing. On the day, I managed to complete only the Lemony Libby Blouse and so the Jenna cardigan project was set aside ready for the Sewcial Retreat held at the VOCO Oxford Thames hotel.

As I had stitched the Jenna previously I was confident enough to get straight on with stitching this version. The fabric was more lightweight than I had anticipated but it worked well with this pattern. Construction was straightforward using my sewing machine and within an hour I had completed the cardigan with the exception of the front fastenings which I would apply when I got home.

Once I had returned home I gave the cardigan a good steam press and applied six pairs of KAM snaps.

Jenna #2 in lightweight Ponte Roma

Isn’t it just the way though? I had deliberately ordered this particular colour of Ponte Roma but now I can’t think why or what I had planned for the fabric. Even after I finished this project I have sufficient fabric left for another project. The cardigan does not ‘go’ with any of my current cotton print Spring/Summer dresses! Oh well, I will have to shop my stash and make a new dress……watch this space.

completed Monday 16th March 2020.

Lemony Libby Shirt

Libby by Sew Over It

I recently attended a ‘Sewing day’ at Franklins’, Salisbury that had been organised by #Dorset Meet Up’ on instagram. In anticipation of a whole day’s sewing – well at least 5 hours (!) I prepared two dressmaking projects. The first was a Libby shirt by Sew Over It and the second was a Jenna cardigan from Muse patterns.

Preparation took the form of cutting out, interfacing where required and winding bobbins so that once I settled down at a Juki sewing machine I could power ahead and get stitching.

I have made the Libby blouse twice before and on both occasions experienced some problems with the construction of the collar. I really need to review the instructions on the Sew Over It website to ensure that I follow the directions exactly. The only changes to the pattern which were cut as a size 20 were to extend the length by 3 inches. I think that next time I will extend by 4 inches as it is still a little shorter than I like.

I used French seams for the yoke and then set about making the collar. Yet again it took some finagling but I eventually achieved a good result. I think that another time I will have to change the collar or at least write my own instructions to include in the pattern envelope. Once the collar and stand has been constructed I have to admit it sits very nicely and is comfortable to wear.

I stitched French seams for the side seams which turned out to be a mistake as I should have attached the sleeve cuff as a loop. By following the instructions, I have seam allowance on the OUTside of the cuff. A good press and with the seam allowance under the armpit it is OK but I will have to remember for next time.

Libby shirt in Lemon print cotton

I am particularly pleased with how fresh this print looks and know that I have sufficient fabric to make a coordinating skirt so that when worn together it gives the illusion of a dress.

Libby shirt back view

I have had to interrupt my usual dressmaking plans to prepare for a talk and demonstration that I am giving to a local patchwork and quilting group but then I will be back to stitching in preparation for my holiday. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Coronavirus does not interfere with my travel plans!

completed 1st March 2020

Two Paola Tops

In the past I have made many, many Paola Turtle Neck tops. Just lately however, not so many. However, today I busted my stash and made two Paola tops from a 2 metre length of fine viscose jersey that I purchased at least twelve months ago from Girl Charlee.

Paola Top by Named Patterns

I had in my pattern stash a copy of the Paola cut to my size and also another copy cut to my sister’s size. I cut both tops from the length of fabric and still have a fair sized remnant that can be used for neck bindings and cuffs. The alterations to my version were to reduce the sleeve length and also the height of the turtle neck. For Catherine’s version I had to lengthen the body by 3 inches as she is much taller than me!

Catherine and Me Paola Tops

For an hour in the morning and a couple in the afternoon I batch sewed the two tops. I added narrow double cuffs to the sleeves and twin needle stitched the hems on the bodies. A good press and Catherine’s version is now ready to pack and post along with a hand-knitted scarf in complimentary colours. I am wearing my top with a beautiful Amber bead necklace.

Paola top and Amber necklace

I have now completed 13 projects which means that I can allow myself to buy some new fabric. I have ordered some Blush Pink Ponte Roma from Stitchy Bee to make another cropped cardigan and meantime have already cut out my next project which is a cotton print dress. This will be my version of the Penny Dress by Sew Over It, which I shall call ‘Polly’.

Completed 18th February 2020.

Old Gold Ponte Roma ‘Jenna’ Cardigan

I have had the pdf pattern for the Jenna cardigan by Muse patterns on my computer for a long time. Finally, I have printed it off so that I can make a cropped cardigan to go with my full-skirted dresses.

Jenna View A with long sleeves
Jenna line drawings

I copy from the website the description of this versatile pattern:-

Jenna is a fitted, round neck, button-up cardigan with two length options (hip or waist length), three sleeve options (long, 3/4, or short), and optional shoulder yoke detailing.

The waist-length version is designed to go well over skirts and dresses, coming down over waistbands and then letting skirts flare out unimpeded.  A wide hem band harks back to cardigan and jumper styles of the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The hip-length version is great over shift dresses and trousers, and includes a hem band to help it hang well whether worn open or closed.

Variation A has plain shoulders for a classic cardigan style. Variation B gathers gently into curved front shoulder yokes for a subtle 1940’s touch.

Full length and 3/4 length sleeves are finished with cuffs, while short sleeves are finished with a simple hem. Full length straight sleeves come down past the wrist and are designed to be wide enough to sit comfortably over the lower part of your hand.

Mix-and-match length, sleeve, and shoulder options to create up to 12 different styles.

I chose to make View A with long sleeves using just 1.20 metres of 150cms wide Old Gold-coloured Ponte Roma purchased from Girl Charlee Fabrics’ sale a couple of years ago.

I made the size 48 as that seemed to correspond exactly to my measurements. I made the entire cardigan on my sewing machine as the overlocker is still threaded with Black in anticipation of the next dress to be made! Nevertheless the cardigan came together very quickly.

During the construction I made a couple of alterations and have noted some changes for the next iteration. I found the shoulders very wide and have trimmed a good ½ inch from the width and reduced the sleeve cap to correspond. The sleeves were shortened and next time I will slim them down at the wrist and/or make the sleeve cuff narrower so that they fit closer to my wrists.

Like many of the photographs on Pinterest, I have added KAM snaps as fastenings although I very rarely button up my cardigans, the snaps do finish off the button bands nicely.

Jenna cardigan in Old Gold Ponte Roma

The colour of this Ponte Roma coordinates really well with several of my dresses. Now that I know what to expect from this pattern I will order some more fabric in other colours to make cardigans to go with dresses in my wardrobe.

Completed 17th February 2020.

Burda 6911 v2 – Spotty

I previously made this top back in the Autumn, using a very lightweight jersey. This time, I used the fabulous quality spotty cotton/spandex jersey from New Threads Quilt Shop. I purchased 1½ metres and have some fair sized remnants left over. This fabric has great stretch and recovery, stitches and presses like a dream.

I made view B of the pattern in the largest size (20) plus some adjustments for my rubenesque figure! The sleeves were shortened to bracelet length and I chopped 3 inches from the length.

Due to the thickness of the jersey I was a little unsure about how the twist would work – but I need not have worried, it came out just fine.

Burda 6911 in Spotty Cotton/Spandex Jersey

This top is great to wear with jeans and skirts. I am sure to get a lot of use over the coming weeks of what remains of Winter and into Spring.

completed 15th February 2020.

‘Mona’ #2 Spotty tee shirt

Mona #2 Spotty Short Sleeved Tee

There is not a lot to say about this particular make. I used my hack of the Moneta dress to make another short sleeved tee shirt. The fabric is a beautiful quality jersey from New Threads Quilt Shop. I bought the very last of the bolt so there was less than 1 metre of fabric. Cutting out and construction took just one hour. The sleeves have a narrow cuff and the hem is stitched with twin needles.

Conclusion: A great tee but next time I will lower the front neck a little more.

Completed 14th February 2020

‘Mona’ tee shirt

My sister gifted me several lengths of fabric when I visited her back in August last year. One of the lengths was this pretty jersey of unknown origin and construction. Unfortunately there were myriad tiny pin holes all over the fabric so I knew that whatever I made would have to be a ‘wearable muslin’.

I have made the Moneta dress by Colette patterns a couple of times before and since then the pattern has been loitering at the bottom of the box of pdf patterns.

As the bodice is more fitted than the usual boxy tees I decided to give it a whirl and hack into a tee shirt that I have called ‘MONA’.

There was not a great deal of yardage (approximately 1 metre) and combined with the pin holes meant that a deal of pattern tetris had to be undertaken. I managed to cut the front bodice with no holes, but there are quite a few in the back. But who looks at the back when wearing a garment? The sleeves had to be cut very short but this was resolved by addind a folded hem band. I repeated the technique for the bodice to provide an additional couple of inches of length there.

The neckband stitched on like a dream and the resultant tee shirt fulfils the requirement of a wearable muslin. In fact, despite the cold and wintry weather outside, our house is cosy and warm so I am wearing the tee today!

completed 17th January 2020

Pussy Bow Blouse

When I visited my sister in August last year, she very kindly gave me several lengths of fabric. I fell in love with this very bold printed polyester crepe de chine and knew that it would make a lovely pussy bow blouse.

Bold print Polyester Crepe de Chine

I drafted a pattern so that the bow would come at the point where a rever would normally turn back, a shaped hemline to the bodice and long sleeves into a button cuff.

When I laid out the fabric I found that I had insufficient for the long sleeves so cut at elbow length and planned to have a narrow elasticated channel at the hem.

The fabric was extremely slippery and I used french seams throughout for the construction. I cut two pieces of fabric 5 inches wide x the width of the fabric (42 inches) for the bow tie. This fitted perfectly into the neckline. I could have made the tie slightly wider – say 6 inches and slightly shorter and have therefore made a note for the next iteration.

I completed the entire construction of the bodice using some pretty buttons from my stash then turned my attention to the sleeves. I pin basted in one sleeve before turning to Instagram® for comments on whether or not to continue with the sleeves or to make the blouse sleeveless.

General consensus was to make sleeveless. I used one of the sleeves to make a long length of bias binding 1¾ inches wide which was pressed in half. After attaching the the wrong side of the armholes, the seam was trimmed and the binding top stitched to the right side of the bodice.

Sleeveless Pussy Bow Blouse

The blouse fits well and the tie is great. I can wear the blouse on its own or under a cardigan or sweater. I count this as a success and now plan to make another with long sleeves to wear under pinafore dresses.

15th January 2020

Sora Sweater Mk II

Whilst looking for something different to sew that could also be stitched using the current thread colour on the overlocker, I rediscovered the Sora Sweater pattern by Blank Slate Patterns and some colourful jacquard Ponte Roma in my stash.

According to the website the Sora Sweater will take you from winter snuggles to summer evenings! This versatile pattern offers a variety of stylish layers for your wardrobe. Choose either cardigan or pullover with short or long sleeves, with all views featuring a beautiful shawl collar. Sora is perfect for sweater knit, jersey, french terry, and more.

Sora Sweater by Blank Slate Patterns

I made my first version in February 2019 using a low stretch Chocolate embossed ponte roma from The Textile Centre but unfortunately it finished up too small and had to be donated. Some time has passed since then but I omitted making any notes on the pattern so once again this version is not a perfect fit. However, I love the collar and in this fabric it has proved to be a slightly better fit. Again, there is minimal stretch in the fabric and I could do with a little more room over the tummy and hips, plus the sleeves are also a very slim fit. This time I will make notes and adjust the pattern so that next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I can expect a perfect fit.

Ponte RomaSora Sweater

As I intend to ‘finesse’ the pattern it may be that I hack the collar onto one of my TNT knit bodice blocks. Whilst I quite like the godets in the Sora I am not addicted to them, they may well not make it to the hacked version. If I use my TNT bodice block I will also be able to redraw the armscye and sleeves to my preferred shoulder height and sleeve width.

15th December 2019

Purple Dartmouth & Infinity Scarf

In the midst of gift-making I came across some 100% cotton jersey in a pretty purple shade. I don’t know where the fabric came from or when it was bought but it was a lucky find at just the right time for me to run up a new top.

I used my TNT Dartmouth Wrap Top by Cashmerette pattern. This time, instead of having ¾ length sleeves I added deep double cuffs to make long sleeves. I had added to the length of the bodice pieces but found they were too long. I turned up a deep hem and twin-needle stitched in place. The construction took just over an hour and I am delighted with the finished result.

Dartmouth Wrap Top by Cashmerette
Purple Cotton Jersey Dartmouth Top

Just by chance I also found a fine jersey fabric that I had been using to make infinity scarves as gifts, coordinated perfectly with my new top. I made a third scarf just for me!

Infinity Scarf

completed 5th December 2019