Simple Sew’s Jersey Top


This month’s challenge over at The Monthly Stitch (just about sneaked it in) is ‘sew hot right now’. Yikes, a scary challenge indeed! But actually if I can sew jumpsuits (see here, eek) then I should be able to tackle this head-on. I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of shoulders in fashion magazines of late. Now this is something even those slightly (ahem…) older can manage. But lovely though those Bardot-style off-the-shoulder tops look, they’d be totally unpractical for the North West climate of late. My husband actually got snowed on on his way to work (Bolton way) yesterday!

But idly flicking through my sewing patterns the other day I came upon this Simple Sew pattern (free some time back with Love Sewing magazine). I’d already attempted the Cross-Over Back Blouse, see here, but the Jersey Top  I’d previously looked straight past. Blouson-style anything is generally a pretty unflattering look for me, but maybe it could work for active wear? Mmm… Worth a shot!

This was a doddle to make up and took practically no time at all. I chose to omit the neck band as I wanted to retain the off-the-shoulder look. I’m so pleasantly surprised with this and it’s almost perfect for wearing to yoga. The banded waist is perfect for doing inverted positions and preventing any unwanted tummy-show! 😉 I say ‘almost’ perfect though because I’m not fully confident of braving my bum in Lycra (though some leggings are more corset-like than others), so ideally this would need to be adjusted to make the length a good four or five inches longer. I’ve also used some fabric I had in (a beautifully,  soft jersey I bought on our Yorkshire Spolette trip to FabWorks) which would be great for a slower-paced yoga class, but I think I’d need a more sweat-wicking, technical fabric for a more demanding clas. But I’m being pretty picky here I know, it’s a great, first attempt at activewear to tick of my to-sew list this year 🙂

And for your Thursday night entertainment here’s a shot of a Northener sighting a rare bit of Manchester sunshine…

So shocking it bought out the vampire in me!


Pattern: Simple Sew Jersey Top

Size: UK 10

Adjustments: omission of neck-band to retain off-the-shoulder look



Book Bears: aka Squishy Teds!


I finished my second book bear just in the for my daughter’s birthday, phew! Not sure what took me so long with the sewing up and simple embroidery, but I think it’s always a bit like this for me with knitting. I kind of work in the opposite way that I do for sewing projects. My son’s bear is on the left and my daughter’s slightly more ‘feminine’ bear is on the right (smaller and with additional eyelashes). These were really simple, satisfying makes and they’re getting lots of love already 🙂

Pattern: Knit Today Squishy Teds (issue 119)

Adjustments: smaller, second bear as first one came up too long against my cushions and additional eyelashes for the she-bear

Viewing: various, but lots of Happy Valley and The Night Manager

Shopping: too good?

There really aren’t many things in life that I’d say I’m too good at! In fact there’s probably only one: shopping! Armed with just a spare 20 minutes between appointments in our local, town centre I thought I was actually avoiding trouble by nipping into a charity shop rather than a regular shop. There’s always something interesting to look at, and the odd, second hand paperback isn’t going to break the bank. But twenty minutes and two jackets later…

In my defence one (below right) looked brand new (from Mint Velvet, and spot-on size wise) and a perfect replacement for a well-used, school one. The other one tugged at my heart strings a little (above left). It’s clearly vintage and the more I looked at it; the more it looked homemade… It has absolutely no shop or care labels and there’s just something about the fabric and that all-round, pearl trim that seemed to be telling me some lovely, lady (well they’d have to be lovely if they sewed, right?) at some point, had spent precious time making it. I tried it on, it fitted great but was possibly a little ‘boxy’ and a little too ‘classic’ on me. I put it back, but the more I thought about someone putting the effort into making it, the more I just couldn’t walk away from it, leaving it there unworn and unloved. Anyway, let’s just say I lost the emotional tug of war and it came home with me (via the dry cleaner’s).

Anyone have any idea how to tell if something’s been homemade beyond the more obvious lack of labels? Did clothes of this era often not have labels though? It really reminds me of jackets my gran used to make for herself, so I’m guessing it’s from the 60s/70s? Maybe even older?

And then just last week I read about a Uniqlo and Liberty range on a certain person’s blog… I’m holding you responsible for these purchases Thimberlina 😉 And of course I can justify these too: daughter’s birthday at weekend so t-shirts for her. And even though I have far too many dresses, a useful gilet for messing around with the kids or heading to the gym is always useful…. Honest! Right, seriously no more for some time now!

Anyone else simply too good at shopping?