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A Royal Blue Chic Top for my Mom

22 April 2013, 17:21

Remember the lavender “chic sweatshirt” I made my mom a few months ago? Well, she wears it so much that she asked if I’d make her a lighter weight version for Spring and Fall. Since I’d already done the pattern tracing and grading, I figured sewing up another would be a fairly quick job.

As you recall, the pattern is from the fabulous the September 2012 Burda magazine (or you can purchase the download pattern here) but the pattern only goes up to 44, and she decided she needed a size 46, so I had to grade it up for the lavender version. This time around I just needed to cut out the fabric and sew a few seams!

Since my mom saw a flyer that one of the fabric stores near her had pointe jerseys on sale, she opted to select this blue colourway in person, pre-wash it, and post it over to me. Then I made it a few weeks ago while I was ill (hey, it was a quick make!) and brought it along to Baltimore with me in my suitcase!

I really like this vibrant blue on her – I think the colour is a really smart choice as it’ll work equally well in Spring and Fall, too.

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My Image Spring/Summer 2013 & giveaway

22 February 2013, 16:15

It may not feel like Spring yet, but all the pattern companies and pattern magazines seem to be releasing their warmer-weather patterns right now and My Image are no different!

The big news for this issue is that MyImage have started making Plus-sized patterns! When someone on the Pattern Review board asked why there were only a few Plus patterns instead of extending ALL the patterns to the Plus-sized range, the creator of My Image gave this reply, which I thought was quite a reasonable one:

“A wider range of sizes will make the magazine a lot more expensive. Also, the pattern sheets will be less clear than they are now and therefore we need to add 1 or 2 extra sheets, what will also drive up the price. As a starting magazine, we can’t raise our prices, otherwise we loose half of our customers and we have to stop again :)

We choose to make and print every pattern in 6 different sizes. We try to choose these sizes as careful as possible. For jumpsuits we usually start with 34, because jumpsuits are mostly loved by teens (12-20yr) For more casual clothes we start with 36 or 38 and we stop at 46 or 48. From 46 to 56 we made a new size chart, especially made for plus sizes. It isn’t simply possible to upsize “regular size” patterns to 48/50+ sizes with remaining a great fit.

Also, when someone needs another size than the 6 on the sheet, they can use our custom pattern service.

Anyway, I thought that was worth repeating here as it gives some insight into the difficult decisions patternmakers go through in order to try and please as many people as possible.

But enough of that, let’s have a look at my picks from this issue!

Speaking of Plus, here’s a great knit tunic with gathered sides and a classic jeans pattern (seriously, I can’t remember Burda ever producing a Plus-sized jeans pattern!). I’m not a big fan of shorts, but I really like the gathered-neck top on the right, and I think it’d be pretty versatile for layering as well as hot days.

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A lavender chic sweatshirt for my mom

21 February 2013, 15:10

I sure hope you aren’t sick of chic sweatshirts yet, because despite showing you my wool one on Tuesday, I’ve got another for you today (which I actually made several weeks before my grey one).

When my parents were visiting in October, my mom looked through all my recent makes and decided she’d like a chic sweatshirt for her belated Christmas gift, and she picked out a lovely lavender sweatshirting for it while she was here. Remember how lovely she looked in this lavender dress I made her a few years ago?

The pattern is again from the the September 2012 Burda magazine (or you can purchase the download pattern here) but the pattern only goes up to 44, and she decided she needed a size 46, so I had to grade it up. With multi-size patterns, it’s not too difficult – just measure the space between the size lines, add that onto the largest size, and connect the lines at the corners.

Here’s a good tutorial on grading up a pattern, and thankfully, this particular one happened to be the pink shaded pattern for this issue so it was easier than usual. It probably took me about 15-20 minutes to grade up all the pieces on the pattern sheet (of which there’s only 4!), then another 10 to trace them off, so it wasn’t nearly as painful as grading up a pattern that isn’t multi-sized.


(Big thanks to my brother for taking the photos for me!)

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Silver silk jersey tunic

14 March 2011, 12:10

Cast your mind back a year ago, when I totally raved over a certain Plus-sized La Mia Boutique tunic pattern (La Mia Boutique 12-2009 #19)…

This pattern was SO in the style of my sister-in-law, Aileen, that I proposed it to her right away, and even made the muslin for her almost exactly a year ago! Thankfully I made all the changes to the pattern as soon as I got home from the fitting session, and I even bought the silver silk jersey she wanted from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road… But then I totally lost momentum and the altered pattern pieces have been hanging on my pattern rack making me feel guilty ever since!

So about 3 weeks ago, I finally sucked it up and made this for her (rather belated) birthday gift. All in all, it only took an afternoon from fabric cutting to completion – why didn’t I just do this months ago! We finally visited Aileen yesterday to give this to her, so I can now post about it. I didn’t get to see her in it since she had her hands full with her 6 year old’s birthday party, but she texted later last night to say it fits well and she loves it, so hopefully I’ll get to see it at some later family gathering!

Until then, you’ll have to make do with Susan modelling:

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Double dusty roses

11 February 2009, 23:35

I was planning on sending my mom some flowers since she’s so full of worry for me right now. I even went as far as getting the number for their local florist and looking at bouquets online, but they just seemed so impersonal… But then, when I was on Goldhawk Road, I saw this dusty rose wool sweater knit in a shop and I instantly thought of my mom. For years, whenever anyone asked what her favourite colour was, she’d always reply with “dusty rose”.

So I had a look through my pattern archives and saw this fantastic cowl neck sweater in the very first KnipMode I ever bought (actually in a supermarket in Steenwijk, on one of the trips when we were buying our boat)!

Feb 2007 KnipMode, #23:

I think I must’ve got my love of interesting necklines from my mom, so I knew this was the pattern for her! And it just so happened to be plus sized, so I could combine a few sizes easily to get a cowl-necked sweater that was perfectly her!

It was a complete surprise and my dad helped to keep it that way until it arrived, and she said it made her day. So mission accomplished. :) And here’s some more shots of it on my dressform, so you can see the neck shape and how it drapes nicely into place…

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KnipMode twist top now in Plus sizes!

15 September 2008, 11:49

Plus-sized ladies, you need to stop right now and go buy a lotto ticket, because today is your lucky day!

You may remember earlier in the summer I made a blue twist top from the April 2008 KnipMode magazine, and then my mom fell in love with mine so much I tweaked the sizing and made her one, too. This is probably my favourite pattern of the entire year – I have to restrain myself from wearing it more than once a week, and I even turned it into a dress to get more wear from the pattern.

Well, everywhere that I can see is sold out of April’s issue (it’s proved VERY popular!), so imagine my surprise when I opened up the October issue and saw that they’ve reprinted the same exact top, but in Plus size!!

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Like mother like daughter

4 July 2008, 15:52

You may remember that a few weeks ago I gave in to my mother’s pleas and made her a her-sized version of my blue KnipMode shirt, in the same fabric as mine, but with shorter sleeves for the hotter Pennsylvania weather…

Well, it arrived and she did me proud with a photoshoot!

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Been up to...

19 June 2008, 11:54

Phew! It’s been a very busy week, both in my sewing room and elsewhere on the boat. Parties, film nights, more deck grinding, music selection for a friend’s wedding, gardening, broken water pumps, gifts, muslins, and BIG shopping, but to name a few!

The deadline for the finished instructions and my bio for the “Pillowcase Challenge” book were also due this week, so I devoted a big chunk of Sunday to getting that perfect, and then the rest of the weekend was spent making a twin blue KnipMode shirt for my mom:

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