Made by Me!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sew My Style - Saunio Cardigan

This is the Saunio cardigan from Named Patterns. This is my first foray into making anything from this pattern company and not that the two are connected in any way but probably my last jersey make in a while. I need some cotton or silk, basically anything woven! Its been too long!! My jersey obsession was destined to end on a high though! I love this pattern!!

I made this as the February make for the #sewmystyle challenge; a year long challenge encompassing 12 makes posted on Instagram on the last Sunday of the month. Check it out, its great to see how differently everyone has interpreted the chosen patterns. The Toaster #2 was my last make which you can see here and you can check my Instagram out on @sewing_beautifully

I probably wouldn't have picked the Saunio cardigan pattern had it not been on the list of makes, but that's why I am enjoying doing #sewmystyle; it helps to prod you out of your comfort zone and try something new. So far the patterns haven't been particularly difficult but I kind of like the fact that it has got me sewing on a more regular and productive basis. Between this and my other makes it has meant I have been pretty busy and I am loving it. Definitely got my sewing mojo on at the moment!

The Saunio is a relaxed fit, cropped length cardigan, falling just on the hip, with a drop three quarter length sleeve. It is the kind of thing that can easily be thrown over a casual top and jeans or dress in spring or summer as a lighter alternative to a jacket and I think it will be a well used item in my wardrobe this season. It is made of only 8 pieces, 5 main and 3 facing pattern pieces. I sewed this up mainly with my overlocker, though you need your sewing machine to attach the facing to the main body of the cardigan. All in all it took me about four hours to trace, make up and hand sew the hem and sleeves and it was a pleasurably easy sewing experience. Plus it was all the more satifying as I took the day off of work purely to spend time making this. A great bit of selfish sewing there I think!!

The only thing that stumped me for a little while is the hem, and this is mainly because I never read instructions properly! Whilst pinning the facing to the body of the cardigan I realised that the facings are a good few inches shorter which put me in a tailspin, thinking I had cut out the wrong size, but instead it is an ingenious way of getting a lovely hem. By sewing together the bottom of the facing to the bottom of the cardi it results in the main body piece being pulled up by about an inch inside. This forms the hem and cleanly finishes the bottom of the piece.

This brings me in a round about way to the only thing I didn't like about making this pattern up. I ordered the PDF of the Saunio cardigan and expected, as you usually would, 30 odd pages to cut and stick together, however this pattern requires you not only to stick together paper pieces (although with much less than 30 pages) but also then trace out the pattern as the pieces are layered over each other.... I have to say that was a huge bugbear and not the reason I buy pattern PDF's, plus it just eats into your precious sewing time trying to distinguish the lines you need to trace off. My eyesight not being the best! Its a little like the Burda magazine patterns but less like a jigsaw puzzle.... It kind of puts me off doing another one. I bought the Esme long line cardigan at the same time but it overlaps as well so I am putting it off until next joke. I cant face either the prospect of any more stretch fabrics or going through the process just to get the pattern cut out. But then its never been my favourite part of sewing!

The fabric is from the new collection by Stoff and Stil, a Danish company that now ships to the UK and stocks the most lovely fabric. I have bought a few things from here including a floral satin I plan to use on one of my #makenine projects. The jersey I used on the Saunio is a lovely jacquard knit in a modern arrow print which has a lovely drape but is thick and sturdy enough to keep its shape nicely for this project. I can imagine it would also work well in a ponte or pique jersey too. The arms are a little close fitting so anything which isn't stretchy would be challenging and would need a size up I think to make sure you have freedom of movement.

All in all, though not something I would have initially chosen, I am really happy I made this cardigan. I am not sure whether I will rush to make it again, instead I am going to see how well it works with everything else in my wardrobe, but I am looking forward to wearing it. I am also looking forward to seeing what everyone else makes on Instagram. Their interpretations are inspirational to help you look at a pattern in another way. I am already hearting @thesaraproject_ and her avocado boiled wool version. Boiled wool would actually be perfect for this....mmm...anyway!!

I have also just realised that up next for #sewmystyle is the Virginia leggings from Megan Neilsen... mmm so guess the jersey marathon might not end just yet...! Until next time happy sewing everyone!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sew House Seven Toaster #2 Sweater Finished!

Here is my version of the Sew House Seven Toaster #2 sweater. I made it as part of the #sewmystyle challenge on Instagram but as it wasn't finished until mid-week this week I failed to post it on time. Better late than never though! My main problem was thinking I had grey thread when actually I appeared to have imagined it. I have done the same with my current project so my Sunday sewing has been a bit of a failure all round. All the more time to browse the Internet for more fabrics I guess! I am trying to stop myself from buying more jersey... I have become quite the jersey obsessive since realising its not so difficult to sew and I really enjoying making all these basics. Its what my wardrobe has been missing.

So the Toaster has two variations, the other being a sweater with a high collar, cuffs and waistband. You can see my version here. This one has a lower neck, I think this type of collar is called a boat neck - the neck opening resembling the outline of a simple boat shape. 

I wanted to create a plain top, something basic to fit in to my everyday wardrobe. I wear jeans pretty much every day to work so I need a constant stream of smart/ casual tops to go with them. I decided in the end to use a dark grey brushed french terry fabric which I purchased from Stoff and Stil, a brilliant Danish fabric store which now has an online UK shop. Yay! Check them out they have some lovely fabrics. This fabric is lovely and cosy, with a soft brushed underside which makes it snuggly to wear and warm on colder days.

On to the pattern itself. Had it not been for the lack of sewing thread I would have completed this in a few hours. The construction is super simple. I put the sweater together mainly with my overlocker but used a twin needle on the cuffs and hemline. You have to use your normal sewing machine for the neck and actually you could use it for the whole thing making it accessible to anyone to try. Sewing the hem was the trickiest bit as you cant go around corners with a twin needle, instead you have to lift the needle out, turn the fabric and place the needle accurately back in to the fabric again before carrying on. It worked pretty well I think though I cant say its perfect. Next time will be better. Overall I am much more confident with a twin needle than I used to be. Its just a case of always remembering to lengthen the stitch a little and testing it out before committing it to the final sewing project. Then of course a swift press when done.

Like most people that have made this pattern up I loved the construction of the mitered corners, they were really easy but make the top look super profession and polished when finished. It was just a case of folding each of the corners in half right side together and when they are turned the right side out you have neat squared corners on your top ready to be hemmed down. Love it!!

If I am honest I wasn't sure whether this top would suit me. I made it as part of the #sewmystyle challenge but was sort of 50/50 on the style. It reminded me somehow of a painters smock. Now I have made it I do love it but I was actually still quite unsure until I finished it. The only alteration I made was to lengthen it by 3cms as the pictures always show this as quite a short top. I think it would be nice in the original length as well but I thought that I would get more wear out of it if it was a little longer.

Overall I love the Toaster #2 and will definitely make it up again. What do you think? Why not check out other peoples amazing versions on Instagram for more inspiration!