Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Rose jacket pattern

What a lovely name? It's my aunts name, my daughters middle name and it suits the petal back shaping of this new jacket pattern.

You may remember me getting over excited towards the end of last year about this coat. Well after I announced I was going to offer the pattern for free with little instruction I was then immediately scared!!! Over on Instagram some of my followers said they were really wanting to try it, but would feel apprehensive about such a technical coat without guidance, which put me in limbo a bit. I do want to offer things for free from time to time, as it's fun and allows me to try new things but I obviously want to limit the amount of time I spend doing it. My solution was to strip the pattern back to it's bare bones. This is what I've come up with and I hope you like it!

I ditched the standing collar and instead designed this cute and rather retro lapel. The neckline is really pretty and is a slash neck so it's straight across the back and front if you hold it closed. I might use this in a future pattern as I really like it. I have excluded front closures, so it's rather more like a kimono, but there is an overlap at the centre front should you wish to add buttons.

All construction is really simple and the sleeve hems are simply turned up and stitched, which allows you to roll them up with ease (how I like it).

So there you go! I shall run through the construction right here and now and add a link at the end to the pattern download, but I am always around if you have any questions!


I have not done a lay plan, but I managed to fit all the pattern pieces on a 2 metre piece of 140cm wide fabric that was folded in half length wise (raw edge to raw edge) instead of width wise.

It is one size only, but has plenty of ease for a variety of sizes. It is shown on the mannequin which s a UK 10 and I am between a UK 12/14. I have a 37" bust and 42" hip FYI shhh...

Fabrics - Cotton twill or denim works very well!

Onto the instructions!

When cutting your fabric mark all notches with a snip approx. 0.5cm into edge of fabric and mark all black dots (at pocket and shoulder point) with a tailors tack or water soluble pen.

All seam allowances are 1.5cm. I simply sewed the seams on the main body, overlocked the seam allowances together and topstitched down for a neat and quick finish, but if you are in the mood for something more swish then you can practice you flat felled seam skills.

All seams are topstitched down on the main coat apart from the side seams.

I have not used interfacing on the facings on this occasion as my fabric was very stable, but you may need to depending on the fabric you are working with!

Begin with the pockets.
  • Press and finish the top edge as per markings on pattern piece and topstitch down.
  • Press remaining edges in by 1.5cm, pin and sew to jacket fronts.
  • Press and finish the bottom hems (finish with either zig zag or overlocking stitch). Press in by 1.5cm and topstitch down. The reason for sewing the hems first is that they need to be done in order to complete one of the following steps (all will become clear)!
  • Sew, press, finish and topstitch the centre back seam of the back yokes right sides together. Press seam towards the left back
  •  Sew, press, finish and topstitch the jacket backs to the back yoke right sides together aligning the centre back notches to the centre back seam of the yoke. I placed the right back onto the yoke first so that it will be the top overlap from the right side followed by the left back.
  •  Sew, press, finish and topstitch the jacket fronts to the front yokes right sides together.
  • Sew, press, and finish the front and back yokes together (right sides together) at the upper arm seam. Stop the stitching at the marked 'start of shoulder seam' point and extend the snip in the seam allowance down to (but not through) the stitch line.
  • Topstitch the upper arm seam and carefully taper off the stitch line into the neckline, making sure to pull the other neckline seam allowance out of the way.
  • Sew the facings together at the shoulder seams right sides together and stopping at the 'start of shoulder seam' point. Finish the outer edges that will not be sewn to the jacket with a zig zag or over locking stitch.
  • Pin and sew the facings to the jacket right sides together. Pin the bottom hem of the facing up so it is level with the jacket hem (see pic below). 
  • Take your time around the acute angle of the shoulders. Do some forward backwards stitches on this area to re-inforce it as this has potential to be vulnerable. If you find there is some pulling when you turn through you might find snipping into the seam allowance a bit more helps! It should all sit nice and smooth.
  • Snip the corner seam allowances at the top centre front edge of the facings/main fronts and turn facings back through. Press and topstitch the bottom of the facing down along the existing stitch line on the jacket fronts.
  • To keep the facing from flapping around at the neck machine or hand tack the edge of the facing at the shoulder seam to the coat seam allowance.
  • Sew the side seams right sides together and snip into the curve of the underarm. Press and overlock or zig zag the seam allowances together spreading out the snipped area as you go.

  • Finish the sleeve hem edge (zig zag or overlock) and turn up by 1.5cm. Topstich down and you're finished!
So there you have it! The bare bones of this coat is right here and can be given a higher end finish and fancy pockets or hardware if you wish or just left as it is.

Anyway have fun and let me know if you make it as I always love to see what people do with my patterns #rosejacketpattern


Sunday, 24 January 2016

new hat and mittens set

Still knit, knit, knitting!!!

This time I have knitted a complete knitted hat and mittens set, which have been mainly improvised. I say mainly because the amount of stitches I cast on for the hat was taken from The craft sessions, very timely, recent publication of some pattern notes for a simple hat. After the ribbing however I went completely awol and made it up as I went along. I'll publish my pattern notes on Ravelry at some point!

Obviously I have recently finished a hat and some mittens, but I have since gifted them to a better home. I love knitting colourwork and I really enjoyed the mix of yarns in the mittens, but they are not really me. What I want to wear and what I like to knit are two different things sometimes and after some deep analysis I realised all I really wanted was a plain set in my favourite colour. As far as the style of hat is concerned the epistrophied is just too long in the body. I can't figure out slouchy hats and feel I have to poke and tweak my hair to make it look and feel ok. I don't like hats that require this amount of effort and my thick hair does require some kind of prodding to feel comfy in a hat. This one I have just finished is short in the body and close fitting to my head and just kind of plonks on and looks ok with no tweaks!

Plus it looks better with glasses which is something else I seem to struggle with.

I don't think I'll be needing to knit accessories again for a while, but I shall detail everything I need to know for next time on ravelry as it would be good to just have a go to basic pattern for aran weight yarn (which is what I've used). The mittens are actually not any different really than my recent bobble mitts other than the amount of stitches and rows is a lot less due to the bulkier weight.

Anyway, I hope you like my new wooly things and it's been a great excuse to take some better pics of my sew over it vintage shirt dress as the ones I published at Christmas were pretty lame. Love this dress!

I shall leave you with this shot of the back of my head to show the nice decreases and hope you are all staying warm! Happy Sunday! xxx

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Winter sewing - new Freemantle coat and Roberts things

I have had the urge to sew a coat for a few months now. I have been searching and searching for a pattern and ideas and have even bought a couple of patterns (Named Isla and Harriet), but nothing was quite hitting the mark. I cut and started sewing a Harriet lumber jacket after I purchased the pattern in the Christmas advent sale, but was just not feeling it somehow. I love the style and the details, but I took a break from it and didn't feel like going back. I think it was the fabric that I had gone off rather than the pattern. I was also planning on making a corduroy Isla Trench after I found this bargain jumbo cord from My fabrics, but then wondered if the silhouette is a bit too long and narrow for me. Finally my lovely internet sewing friend Karin made a second version of my Freemantle sewing pattern in a sweater knit and I almost slapped myself. I NEEDED another Freemantle!!!

I have made this pattern up so many times now in sweater knits, cotton twill, wool and I still really love sewing those weird underarm gussets!

This version is made up as view A with no mods to the style other than to grade from size 4 at the underarm to 6 at the hem to accurately reflect my bust and hip measurements. My pattern samples are a straight size 4 and a bit smaller than I'd like on the bottom half.

 It's been great to get back up close and personal with this pattern, as it's helped me to reconnect with it. It's hard sometimes to not feel an emotional connection with my work. What can I say, I'm only human after all! :-P

The cord has worked so well in this instance and it's got a real traditional feel with the plaid lining and leather buttons, but a modern silhouette. It's adequately reflecting my mood and style influences right now.

Some close up detail of buttons and perfectly aligned welts and things...

I had sort of forgotten about this pattern after I announced I was discontinuing it from sale last year. I took it off sale and then was surprised to be getting requests for it to come back! I honestly didn't know anyone had even noticed it as it's never sold that well and doesn't have a big internet presence in terms of finished makes, so I relisted it for the people that were requesting to buy it. I know you shouldn't back track, but I'm really pleased I did and making it up again has been an absolute joy! I did not underline it as instructed, but instead chose to do a lining effect using this method which encloses all the seam allowances. Now go and visit my pin board and ask me why I wouldn't have thought to make a Freemantle coat? ;-)

Apart from that, some other weather appropriate clothes I've been sewing for myself are from my Roberts collection.

Some corduroy dungarees which are the warmest, most comfy thing ever! The cord has stretch in it, so these are super duper comfy, but have the added thing of coming out slightly larger than I wanted. oh well!!!

This next jumpsuit is made out of a bleached denim and it's great for now, but will also be pretty handy come spring when I never know what to wear between it getting warmer, but not that warm!

Not much to say on the Roberts bits other than I wear all of it all the time. TRUTH!

I hope you're all having a good weekend and I wonder if I will ever make a coat again that is not khaki... xxx

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bobble mittens

They are the same size despite the wonky picture...

I knitted some nice warm mittens. If you follow me on Instagram then you have probably already seen these, but I thought I would have a stab at sharing my pattern or at least an explanation of how I made them. I really like knitting mittens from scratch and if you are going to attempt writing your own knitting pattern for anything then these are a great place to start in my opinion. If you look at a basic mitten (like I have knitted) then it is essentially a tube with a closed end and a thumb. Open out that tube and it's a rectangle and what's more simple than working out a rectangle???

I have in the past been drawn to knitting colour work mittens, so this is my first single colour pair believe it or not and they were a real pleasure to knit!

I thought I would share my pattern notes on the construction of these in an informal way as I have no experience at writing knitting patterns and nor do I assume that I construct my  knitting in the most logical manner, so here goes!


These were knit in the round and I used a DK yarn and 3.25mm dpns for a dense warm fabric. I knitted on 4 needles, but you may prefer to use 5.

Stitch count is 12 stitches and 17 rows to a 5cm square.

How to make the bobbles (charted as black squares) - knit 1, purl 1, knit 1 into a single stitch. Purl across these 3 stitches. Knit these 3 stitches together.

Cast on 44 stitches and distribute evenly across the dpns. Insert a stitch marker at the beginning of the first round and knit 2 x 2 rib for 12 rounds.

Main hand is to be knit referring to the below instructions as well as the chart.
  • Rounds 1-5 - knit plain stockinette
  • Round 6 - plain stockinette with bobbles (black squares)
  • Rounds 7-11 - knit plain stockinette
  • Round 12 - plain stockinette with bobbles (black squares)
continue following the chart as above until round 30.
  • Round 30 - plain stockinette with bobbles for first 22 stitches and place next 8 stitches onto a holding needle (safety pin), cast on 8 stitches and knit remaining 14 stitches to end of round. *For left hand knit first 22 stitches as stated above, knit 14 stitches and then hold the remaining 8 stitches for thumb and cast on 8 stitches.
An alternative thumb placement method I came across is the after thought thumb. I haven't tried it, but it looks really good and means you don't need to hold or cast on stitches for the thumb opening. Check out this tutorial and if you want to give it a go. 

Continue following chart until round 60.
  • Round 60 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 16, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 16, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 61 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 14, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 14, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 62 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 12, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 12, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 63 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 10, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 10, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 64 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 8, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 8, knit 2 together, knit 1.
  • Round 65 - knit 1 slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 6, knit 2 together, knit 2, slip next stitch onto right hand needle, knit 1 and pass slipped stich over. Knit 6, knit 2 together, knit 1.
cast off remaining 20 stitches, turn inside out and stitch bottom edge closed.

Knit the thumb

Place the 8 stitches from the holding needle (safety pin) onto a dpn and pick up the 8 cast on stitches as well as 2 stitches either side of the thumb opening. You should have 20 stitches in total. Distribute stitches evenly across your dpns.

Rounds 1-22 - knit plain stockinette stitch
Round 23 - (knit 2 together, knit 3) repeat to end
Round 24 - (knit 2 together, knit 2) repeat to end
Round 25 - (knit 2 together, knit 1) repeat to end
Round 26 - (knit 2 together) repeat to end

Break off yarn and thread through remaining 4 stitches to cast off. Pull thread tight and pull through to inside the thumb with a crochet hook or needle and tie off.

Weave in any ends and block if desired!

 Ok, so a major caveat is that this pattern is my own personal pattern and completely untested!!! KNIT AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!! I did not knit from this as I was just making it up as I went along and then copied the first to knit the second (no notes). I hope that this all makes sense and if nothing else the charts are pretty useful!

The ribbing does not go down to the natural wrist joint, but if you would like the ribbing to extend down further then substitute some of the main hand for ribbed rows.

Anyway, I hope you like them and if you do give them a go then give me a shout! If you don't want bobbles then this formula would also work with just plain stockinette or some fancy colour work...