Outfit along Myrna Cardigan and Simplicity 1803

outfit along

Lauren of Lladybird fame and knitwear designer Andi from untangling knots have been hosting a knit/sew along with a difference, to make a dress and knit a cardigan thereby creating a whole outfit. I signed up straight away, having already knitted two Miettes and a Marion of Andi’s designs. I love her patterns, they have a vintage feel and seem to go with everything, they are also perfect to wear over dresses.  Andi’s new pattern released for the outfit along was Myrna and the dress pattern suggested was Simplicity Project Runway 1803. You could use any patterns you wanted but I decided to give these ago as they were new to me and looked kinda cute.

Here’s the Myrna description which explains everything far better than I could!:

‘This sassy cardigan is the perfect layer to keep on hand for breezy summer nights and cold movie theaters. Its full short sleeves keep it from being too warm, and the cropped length is perfect to go with airy dresses and full skirts. Eyelets surround the edges of the cardigan, and a keyhole on the back adds a fun extra detail. The sweater is knit seamlessly from the top down. The upper back is knit first and then put on hold. Stitches are picked up and knit for the upper fronts, and the pieces of the body are joined together when the underarms are cast on. The cardigan has waist shaping to give it a fitted look, and once the body is complete, stitches for the sleeves are picked up from the armholes and shaped using short rows. The cardigan fits best with 0-3 inches of negative ease.’


I used Cascade 220 yarn in 813 Blue Velvet, a worsted weight yarn. The ball band suggested 4.5mm needles but the pattern stated 5mm so I went with the 5mm.  Based on my measurements I opted to knit a large, bearing in mind the pattern has 2 inches of negative ease. I must admit that I didn’t knit a gauge swatch but just dived straight in and cast on. This is the knitting equivalent of not making a muslin and all my mother in laws fault!  I used to knit a swatch to check my gauge but she never has, she just picks up her needles and starts knitting. Out of laziness and a sense of living dangerously I have since done the same! There was a mistake on the gauge stated on the pattern, it was given at 18 x 24 stitches but should have been 18 x 28. It was only when this problem was flagged up on Ravelry that I began to have a quick panic as I was well into the body by then. I tentatively reached for the ruler and began to count, the knitting fairies must have been looking on me favourably as by some fluke I was spot on the 28 stitches that the pattern had been written for!

Myrna was, in theory, a quick knit but I must admit that it took me a lot longer than it should to finish. I seem to have difficulty doing things when I have to, it kind of feels like homework! I have this problem with our bookclub and am always frantically skim reading the set book the night before the next meeting! If I had knitted a couple of hours each night I would probably have had it finished in a fortnight. As it was there were considerable periods of neglect and I only really got a spurt on as the deadline began to loom!

The dress on the other hand came together very quickly. I used 2 metres of the blue cotton with gold flowers that I had been saving since I bought it two years ago (still have two metres left!) I decided to go for bodice C with the notched neckline and the pleated cap sleeves. I cut a size 12 after Laurens warning that Simplicity add 4 inches of ease in their patterns! I also shortened the bodice by an inch which I do to everything now because I am on the short side. It was quite an easy pattern but had a large facing which spanned the whole of the shoulder and was stitched to the top of the sleeve cap. I’d used medium weight interfacing for it as I wanted to try and add a bit of structure to the notch but it flopped anyway! I’ve not made anything with a facing for a while and I’ve decided that I just don’t like them! I think if I made this dress again I would try and figure out a way to line the bodice. The only change I made was to move the inseam pockets to the side seams instead of either side of the centre front panel as the pattern called for. I put my hands in my pockets a lot and they of course naturally fall to the side, I thought it would be a bit weird having pockets up front like some kind of kangaroo pouch! I used an invisible zip which was an absolute pig to get in! I wrestled with it and ended up unpicking it three times before it finally went in at the fourth try. It’s still a bit sticky, goes up OK but doesn’t want to come down again. I was on my own when I first tried it on and couldn’t get back out, was desperately trying to contort myself around, having a claustrophobic panic attack in the process, was on the verge of taking the scissors to it when it finally succumbed. Must remember I need help to unzip in the future! I also made the tie belt as I thought it needed something around the waist (and I wanted a bow!)

I spent ages looking for buttons for Myrna, I wanted gold daisy flower ones to pick out the flowers on the dress. I tried Ebay, Etsy, online button stores as well as my local haberdashery but couldn’t find the right ones. After a few weeks I half-heartedly searched Ebay again and found the perfect ones which had just been listed! I’m not happy unless I find the right buttons and I have in the past spent more on the buttons than I did on the fabric for a dress!

Anyway, here’s some a lot of pictures:













I’m quite pleased with how the outfit has turned out and loved the concept of combining sewing and knitting. I think if I knit Myrna again I would size down, she fits perfectly over the boobs but is just a tiny bit too big under the arms and back. Maybe this is due to my lack of gauge swatch or using slightly bigger needles or maybe I just need to figure out how to do a full bust adjustment in knitting!  I think she will get a lot of wear anyway!

Doing a complete outfit has made me realise that I tend to make things without thinking of how they will combine with my wardrobe. I think in future I will try and get some kind of coherence with my makes and highlight what colours are missing. I need to get past the ‘oohh pretty colours’ thinking I am prone to when choosing yarn and fabric. At the moment I’m craving a Mustard Miette but will have to have a good look at what I have in the wardrobe to wear with it!

Do you have a plan with your makes or are you seduced like a magpie to bright and shiny things?

Vintage Maria Drape Skirt

I had a rummage through my stash looking for long lost projects to make as part of my stashbust. I came upon this piece of vintage curtain fabric, bought from the local flea market last year, I think it cost £8. It is getting so difficult to find vintage fabric nowadays so I snapped it up with a view to making a rather lovely vintage skirt. That was as far as it got before languishing at the bottom off my stash chest, until now! It is quite a heavy fabric so did take up a fair bit of space in the pile so I thought I’d create a bit more room by finally putting it to use.


The problem with this fabric was that although it was two and a half metres long it was only 57cm wide. I knew I wanted a skirt with a bit of body and flare but it was too thick to make a gathered skirt. I raided my skirt patterns but couldn’t find any which could be cut with my limited fabric and so I decided to have a go at drafting my own. I knew I wanted it fitted over my tum and hips and so I thought I’d go with stitched down pleats or tucks.

I cut two pieces for the waistband along the crossgrain as I couldn’t spare anything off the length. I planned to stitch the waistbands together at the sideseam, fold it double and attach a side zipper which would go all the way to the top of the waistband.


After cutting the waistband I cut the remaining fabric into two equal pieces. I tapered the sides a bit to add some shape and reduce the bulk around the top of the skirt.


Then it came to figuring out where to place the pleats. Half the waistband measured 16 inches. I roughly calculated that I could fit six pleats in total at a depth of one inch each. I decided to put three pleats either side and so spent quite a while measuring, fiddling, pinning, unpinning and fiddling a bit more until the pleats were more or less even and the waistline was matching the waistband at 16 inches. I did exactly the same for the back piece and then stitched the pleats in place on the inside. They are actually more like tucks as I stitched them as you would do a tuck. I did two rows of stitching and backstitched a few times at the bottom as I didn’t want them to come undone, this has unfortunately happened with the stitching on the pleats of my Colette Zinnia, I guess they just couldn’t take the strain!


It was easy to put together after that, I sewed the side seams (no pockets because I didn’t have enough fabric and thought they might gape a bit with the fitted top of the skirt) and then attached the waistband, interfacing both sides. I put a standard zipper in the side seam and took it to the top of the waistband so not need for a button. I turned the hem up using the selvage and was finished!

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I’m quite pleased with the result, although when I asked my other half what he thought his reply was that it looked like an old curtain! I countered this by informing him that it was vintage and if Julie Andrews could do it in the sound of music then so could I! (Hence the Maria Drape Skirt!


It is quite a heavy skirt so I think it will probably work better in the winter with thick black tights and a sweater. It was only after taking these photos that I realised that the skirt is quite well camouflaged with the flowers and greenery in the background!




I think this skirt was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, taking me back to my teenage years when I wore nothing but ‘vintage’ which was then called second hand. In abundance, dirt cheap and therefore affordable to a fifteen year old indie chick! We had a wonderful shop called Jins which was full of clothes from the twenties onwards. I was quite lucky being short and a bit curvy as clothes from the fifties fitted me perfectly. Most of these clothes have got lost along the way but I still have a couple of dresses and a beautiful New Look style shawl collared coat which I will probably never be able to fit in again but can’t bear to get rid of. I just like getting them out and admiring them every now and a again. A bit like all the shoes I have which I can’t walk in but occasionally put on to do the ironing in! I guess I am a bit sentimental about clothes, I’ve still got the top I was wearing the night I got together with my other half! I just think clothes hold memories, sometimes more tangibly than photographs.

Do you have any sentimentality when it comes to clothes? Have you any treasured outfits which hold memories for you?

Navy Peekaboo eyelet Laurel

After the Chambray I bought for my planned Colette Laurel turned out to have a fault (and subsequently turned into a Hollyburn Skirt) I had to come up with a plan B. I had three metres of this Navy Cotton Eyelet in my stash (I also bought some Teal and Purple at the same time, couldn’t decide which I liked best so had to get them all!) It’s not embroidered like normal Eyelet but seems to have been laser cut with flowers printed around the cutouts.


I’ve had a cotton Laurel on my list for a while now but it kept getting bumped down. The Summer Stashbust is really making me look at what I’ve got and finally getting around to putting past plans into action. I’ve made two Laurels previously, the first was a Royal Blue and Black Polka dot knit version which has become a ‘pottering around the house dress’. The second was in some Green Polyester which felt horrible but I really loved the colour! Both of these didn’t do the pattern the justice it deserved, it really needed to be Cotton.

I cut a size 12 and managed to get out of putting a zip in by cutting the back piece on the fold, I had done this with my previous ones and it worked well. The first step was to put on the patch pockets, I’ve got a cardboard template I use which is about 1cm smaller than the pocket, I just fold the fabric over the template and iron it into shape. I shortened the sleeves by around 4 inches and squared off the last 2 inches so I could hem them rather than using bias tape. Once I had sewn the side seam I tried it on to check how much I could realistically take off and still be able to get the dress over my head, I repeated this, stitching a centimetre further in each time, until I got to the point where I could comfortably wriggle into it! It was only then that I finished the seams with my overlocker, I have been so careful not to get carried away with it after my last brush with danger!

I finished the neckline with readymade bias tape which I had in my stash, I was trying to conserve fabric and managed to squeeze it out of a metre and a half, so I still have a metre and a half left for something else! I gave it a two inch hem to take my short stature into account and it falls just above my knees. It does however ride up a bit when I am sitting down and bending over is a complete no go! I wore a Navy slip underneath to preserve my modesty as I didn’t want any peekaboo moments through the eyelets. It is however a perfect summer dress as it has built in ventilation and the breeze just flows through those cutouts!










Overall I’m really pleased with how this turned out and I know it will get a lot of wear, it’ll be perfect on a breezy day, especially as there won’t be any chance of my skirt blowing up (this just happened with my Cambie, must remember: windy days not good for flarey skirts!) The pattern is the perfect shift dress and very quick and easy to make, only taking about 3 hours. I know there will be more on the way (possibly in Teal or Purple Eyelet?!)

And so that’s another metre and a half out of my stash, which makes my Summer Stashbust tally at 7 metres so far! (I keep dreaming about how much fabric I’ll be able to replace it with when it ends in September!)


How are you doing with your Summer Sewing? Have you had any me made wardrobe malfunctions?













Chambray Hollyburn Skirt and Spotty Scout Tee

Do you have a favourite item of clothing that you pull out year after year? Every summer I reached for my Top Shop Chambray Skirt, it was older than my Son (he’s going on eleven) and had been worn to death. It went with everything and had just the right amount of flare, the perfect summer staple. This year I realised it was not only starting to look a little past it but was also getting too small for me (or rather I was getting too big for it!)

The great thing about sewing your own clothes is that you can wish something into being, and so I set out on a quest to replace my treasured skirt.

The fabric wasn’t a problem as I had two metres of Chambray that had originally been destined to be a Colette Laurel. However, when I looked closely there was a fault running through it, so although I wouldn’t get a dress out of it, with a bit of creative cutting it would be perfect for my skirt.


Next I needed to find the perfect pattern, it needed front pockets, fitted around the waist, flaring out over the hips and ending around the knees. The Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern ticked all the boxes. Here’s the description:

‘Especially for beginners, this is the perfect flared skirt! A wardrobe essential, the Hollyburn Skirt has just the right amount of flare. It sits right at the waist for maximum figure flattery, and features super practical pockets!

Based on the popular Lonsdale Dress pattern, this skirt pattern includes three different lengths with three different amounts of flare. The shorter the skirt, the more flared the silhouette! Additional details add emphasis to the waistline, with optional button tabs to feature pretty buttons, or belt loops to show off your favourite belts.’

I made view B, which on someone of average height would fall just below the knee, I cut a size 14 but shortened the length to a size 0. I didn’t bother with the belt loops or tabs as I knew I wouldn’t be wearing anything tucked in.  It was really easy to put together, but I hit a stumbling block when I came to attaching the waistband. My skirt pieces were a good couple of inches bigger than the waistband. Now normally I would just chop the extra off the side seams and go from there but this time I actually looked at the instructions. Tasia suggests easing the extra fabric in, something I never would have thought of myself but thinking about it makes perfect sense! I basted the skirt to the waistband, easing in as I went, after a while unpicking a few tucks I finally got it to fit and stitched it down proper. The whole make was really straightforward, only taking about three hours (including half an hour easing in the skirt) and I had an almost perfect replica of my old faithful skirt!

Hollyburn skirt

I can’t believe it took me so long to try the Hollyburn, it could be made up in a load of different fabrics, the drape or body of which would achieve very different looks.   I’ve already got a few versions of the skirt in my sewing queue.

I decided to have a root around and see if I could rustle up a top to go with my new skirt. I found this length of cream and black polka dots in my stash. I turned to the tried and true Grainline Scout woven tee, of which I have four. I don’t know what size I cut but each time I have ended up taking them in quite a bit at the side seams (I should really recut the pattern). I did get a little carried away with my overlocker though and came perilously close to disaster. When I tried it on it was a little too snug around the hips! I managed to salvage it by shortening it by a couple of inches and I actually prefer it at this length. (I have learned my lesson and since stitched side seams on my regular machine and actually tried things on before loping off the excess with the overlocker!)

Anyway, so pictures,  excuse the crumples, I had been wearing it all day!:

Chambray Hollyburn skirt and spotty scout tee   Chambray Hollyburn skirt and spotty scout tee

Chambray Hollyburn skirt and spotty scout tee.    Chambray Hollyburn skirt and spotty scout tee


 I now not only have a replacement for my well-loved skirt but a fab spotty top to go with it! I Have also managed to sew another three and a half metres from my stash making my summer stashbust tally at five and a half metres!

This has started me thinking about other much loved clothes from the past that I can recreate, top of the list is a pale blue gingham shirt that I lived in while at University, but that would mean buying more fabric so I guess that will have to wait until the end of the stashbust!

Have you got any loved clothes from your past that you’d like to recreate?