Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet

I finally sewed a cardigan for myself! I get into such hangups about finding the perfect fabric to match a pattern that I tend to just put aside patterns or put aside fabric when I haven’t found its right match. I’m trying to get over that so I can just start sewing garments, and really, that’s part of the experimentation process too of seeing which types of fabric work with which styles of garments.

The pattern I chose for this beautiful dark turquoise French terry is the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet.


I have a variety of photos to show it off today – the one above with my hand on my hip, and the one below with both arms down, HA.

Clearly I need to work on pose variety. Will write that one down in my Passion Planner.

So you might notice one change I made for the pockets – I ended up cutting out pieces that I just laid on top of the front panels and the sides and bottom were sewn with the seams (after hemming the pocket top, of course). I tried just laying the original pocket piece on top but it was SO wobbly. I tried the tissue paper trick as listed in the pattern but it didn’t work for me. I did use a zig zag stitch and I also didn’t use a ballpoint needle (oops, I forgot) so I wonder if it was for those reasons. Maybe I’ll have to try it again one day and use a straight stitch with a ballpoint. After all, it’s not like those pockets need to be stretched to fit over arms or head or anything, so the stretchiness of the zig zag stitch isn’t really that necessary.

I do love this cardigan and I’ve been wearing it often!

Second Linden by Grainline Studio

Hey! I made a second Linden sweatshirt! It’s made out of a purple French terry and it’s SO comfortable. I’d wear it daily if I could but sadly I’ve been told that’s not hygienic.

I’ve also found my perfect sizing for the Linden. I made the sleeves and top half of the pattern in a size four, and then graded the sides down to a size 6 for the hem. I’ve kept the sleeves at their drafted length because I like rolling them down over my hands and feeling snuggly.

Now that I’ve made two Lindens, I’m curious about other sweatshirt patterns out there. Last night at Fabrications, I saw a Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven in person and it looked fantastic. I feel like the world of stylish casual wear is just opening up for me!

A “Blutterfly” Butterfly Cardigan

In addition to making my own clothes this year, I’d love to make more clothes for my daughter too! She is 3 years old, small, and adorable. Although I have made clothing for my daughter in the past, I’ve been hesitant to spend a lot of time making her everyday clothes because kids grow out of them so quickly and it just seemed like a waste of effort and material. Now I feel a bit differently: I am more inclined to make casual daily clothes because honestly, I’d rather spend time making clothes I’d love to wear everyday. I also tend to buy more material than I need for my own garments, which means I usually have some excess of knits lying around.

I used butterfly fabric by Lizzy House and this pattern is the aptly named Butterfly Cardigan by Patterns for Pirates. There is an adult version called the Cocoon Cardigan which I have already printed, taped, and cut out for myself.

Even though she is a small 3-year-old, I decided to make the size 4 in a tunic length with the long cuffs. I figured the long snug cuffs would help keep the sleeves from falling over her hands even if they are too long, and we can fold the cuffs back easily too. Then she can wear it for longer as she grows into it.

She loves it and I have to call it her “blutterfly” cardigan because that is how she pronounces “butterfly.” And I should note that the only way I could get her to cheerfully pose for these photos is if I let her hold some of her rock collection as well…

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio

Despite posting about my #2018makenine goals a few days ago, I actually went ahead and made something off the list: the Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio that everyone’s in love with… and for good reason! It’s so comfortable and it’s a forgiving knit too, if you’re a beginner who’s interested in sewing a top. I used a French terry that I purchased from Prairie Love Knits but it’s no longer available.

I made a size 6 without any alterations. I think for my next one, I’ll grade the sleeves and the neck down to a size 4. The size 6 is a very relaxed fit for me, but I want to see if grading the top half down to a 4 will still be as comfortable while being slightly more fitted.

I thought about retaking the photo from the back so that the sweatshirt doesn’t ride up on one side, but hey, that’s what happens when you wear clothes.

This fabric is not my usual style but that’s why I like it so much. It’s nice to make things that are a bit outside of your box!

A thing I need to work on: getting my DSLR on my tripod to take a photo of me in focus! I set it on timer but then it focuses on whatever is in the background, so when I step in front of the camera I go a bit blurry. Insert thinking emoji.

Overall, I’m sad it took me this long to try the pattern, and I’m also sad that I don’t have other sweatshirt fabric ready to go at home! I’ve been living in this since I made it.

Happy 2018 and my 2018makenine

Happy 2018! I had a pretty great 2017 and I’m feeling invigorated to sew, knit, grow my business, eat well, get fit, and blog in the new year. I’ve made some very specific goals for myself on paper, but I will share with you one big sewing-related goal. I plan to make my own clothes this year and not buy anything from the store. The exception will be extreme winter gear since I do, after all, live in Ottawa.

This year, I will also commit to the #2018makenine trend. Here’s my list!

  1. Robe Réglisse by Deer and Doe
    A cute, simple, basic dress.
  2. Robe Centaurée by Deer and Doe
    I just love this style. I can’t wait to try it.
  3. Robe Givre by Deer and Doe
    I’d like to try both the sleeveless dress and tank variations.
  4. Bruyère Shirt by Deer and Doe
    I’m a bit intimated by this one as I’ve never made a button-up shirt before! Ideally I’d love to try both a sleeveless and sleeved version.
  5. Euler Bralette by Sophie Hines
    Another one that intimidates me! This will be my first time making lingerie but I know there are so many resources online so I’m really looking forward to learning.
  6. Robson Coat by Sewaholic
    I’ve sewn two coats and I wear neither of them, primarily because I didn’t choose the right fabrics. I hope to make a really GREAT coat this year.
  7. Zinnia Skirt by Colette Patterns
    I’ve had my eye on this for so long and I think I will use a very special fabric for it.
  8. Chardon Skirt by Deer and Doe
    I saw a friend at the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild wear this, and it looked so great on her that I ordered the pattern right away.
  9. Fifi Pyjamas by Tilly and the Buttons
    My husband bought me this amazing Hello Kitty bow fabric in satin. I think it would be too costume-like in a dress but perfect for these cute pyjamas!

And the best part? I already own all of these patterns in paper!

So follow along with me this year, and I promise to post regularly on my progress along with a myriad of other projects. Despite the #2018makenine, I actually plan to make the Linden sweatshirt from Grainline Studio ASAP!

Cardamome by Deer and Doe

Last month after I left my job, I decided to have a full week of selfish sewing. One of the things that came out of that week of selfish sewing was this Cardamome dress!

I’ve the Cardamome dress pattern since it was released by Deer & Doe, but as with most beautiful patterns that I have, I was too afraid to make it in case I messed it up. I had also never done any shirring before.

I’m so happy I decided to tackle it during that week. This is beautiful navy cotton lawn from Cotton & Steel’s Rifle Paper Co. fabric from the Wonderland collection. The card suits are in metallic gold. The only modification I made was to slope the shoulders an extra 1/2″ but otherwise, it fit me very well. I did the shirring twice. The first time, I used a method I found online, which was to wind the elastic thread onto a bobbin and use it as my bottom thread, but that really didn’t work as well as it should have. I took it all out and redid it the way the pattern suggested: use a zig zag stitch to secure the shirring on the wrong side of the fabric while holding the elastic thread taut. I’ll be using that method from now!

Sadly, I still don’t know how to pronounce “shirring.”