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A Plantain jumper in purple crushed velvet

2 Dec

Stretch velvet in a rich dark purple Mmmm! I bought this and a coral pink of the same fabric on special at Spotlight a while ago, intending to sew it into jumpers for my next trip down south. But it was so hot and staticky and icky under my hands here in Darwin that I couldn’t bear to touch it.

I carted both lengths down with me on a trip to visit a friend on the Gold Coast of Queensland. It was really cold, the middle of their winter. Suddenly I was really keen on sewing it up!

Deer and Doe Plaintain as jumper

I used the Deer and Doe free t-shirt pattern, drawn by the gently body-skimming silhouette, and a curiousity about Deer and Doe patterns, which all look rather pretty.

Plantain t-shirt

 

To adapt the pattern to an overtunic thingy, I used the guidelines my friend’s sister in law, a now-retired professional seamstress, gave me on how to create an outerwear pattern from an underlayer pattern. The suggestion on the Deer and Doe website was to sew a size bigger, but that doesn’t allow enough room to go over the top of another item of clothing. I’d end up with too-tight armscyes. Ugh. (Discovered this years ago when I was trying to survive a Canberra winter, rendering unwearable some yummy fluffy blue fabric *sad*). My solution back then was to forget sewing warmer clothes and come back home to Darwin :-P)

Here are the guidelines:

  • Add to the height of the shoulders 2cm or so.
  • Add to the width of the sides 2cm or so.
  • This extends the underarm out 2cm or so, so add to the edge of the underarm on the sleeve a corresponding amount.

It worked, and is very comfortable including under my arms. In the picture it looks like it’s not quite long enough in the armscye but I am pretty sure that pulling is a result of needing a bit of an FBA. The Deer and Doe website said the Plantain is sized for a C cup, but I might not be their version of a C cup. Meh.

Or I might need to add a bit more height to the shoulder seam, or cut away the underarm a bit, AND add in a bit of an FBA.

I redrew the neckline higher, and added a turtleneck for warmth. Looking at the pictures of the tunic I think I should have made the turtleneck a bit longer/looser, I think it’s pulling in the body of the tunic a bit much. It was guesswork, I’m not that experienced at working out how much neck binding I need to fit a knit top.

I also added to the sleeve length to make sure they fit my apparently longer than normal arms. Yay warm wrists!

To be honest I don’t really care about the little fit/construction issues, I’ll wear it so little, only when travelling, and the fabric is just so pretty and the colour so gorgeous the issues just aren’t a big deal. However I’ll probably play around a bit with the pattern a bit more when I sew up the coral one – next time I’m visiting someone with a sewing machine somewhere cold!

I had a conversation recently about how useful pattern reviews are to other people who sew, and the consensus seemed to be that they were well worth it. I’m sure many many people have already reviewed this pattern, but here are my thoughts on it:

It’s a beautifully-styled t-shirt pattern, a real staple, and if I didn’t have too many t-shirts in my wardrobe already, I’d be sewing up some of these. It’s also well-drafted, things match up as they should etc. I think the C cup is a bit on the modest side of C. I totally ignored the patches on the elbows, I can’t see the point of them, but hey, ymmv!

I can see from a google search many other people have had the same thought of this pattern – it would make a lovely dress. One day I might give that a go, in normal t-shirt fabric using the pattern’s original scoop neckline, the short sleeves, and measure myself carefully to do just the right amount of FBA, and just the right armscye height. Made thusly, it would be perfect for Darwin’s climate.

I’d definitely buy a Deer and Doe pattern based on my experience with this lovely t-shirt pattern, if $$ weren’t a factor. (Ouch!) These sweet shorts being my first choice!

Chataigne shorts

Last but not least, my friend crocheted me a gorgeous hat and scarf. The hat was a 1920’s-ish cloche, and the scarf has very cool twirly strands as a ruffle. I love it! Thanks Kathy 🙂

All pictures taken at my friend’s local surf club overlooking the beach, but with big perspex wind-breaks to shelter me from the nasty wind. Great place! Good tea. Can’t ask for much more than that right? I am still a bit bemused by the surfers rushing out into the icky-cold ocean in barely even shorty-wetsuits. Crazy! (Looks like so much fun though. Maybe I need to go to Bali or Broome to learn to surf one day. *dreams*)

And before the subject is lost forever I took this photo to show my daughter, vastly amused. In Darwin our beach warning signs are all about box jellyfish and crocodiles. Nothing so fancy as that shown below!

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Cardigan shoulders

28 Jun

Ok, so it looks a bit wonky, but that is just how it was sitting. Honest! But no, it really doesn’t quite meet at the front. Oops…

But if you look at the back, you discover it is sitting very nicely.

I started out doing the medium size, then discovered the back was swimming on me, so I undid the previous few rows of increase and basically went down 2 sizes at the back, while keeping the increasing at the front. Hate to think how small the front would be if I hadn’t kept the increasing there!

The front still has a bit of an edging to be added after everything else is finished. I’m not sure if allowing for that is why the cardigan isn’t meeting in the front, or if it is just a tad small there after all my fiddling. I figure if need be I can make that front edging a bit wider. I am planning to continue the edging around the neckline too, as I would like it a closer in around my neck.

I love love love the colour! And the yarn is so soft and slithery to crochet. It is also not hot to handle (which is good as the humidity went right up for a few days there) but obviously is still going to be suitably warmish when finished.

I have one row of dc, then I am onto the mussel pattern. Wow!

And for the record I have no idea why one piccie is huge and the other is small … ?

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