Jenna cardi


I’ve been looking for a cardigan to sew rather than knit, and I was inspired by Scruffybadgertime to make the Muse Patterns Jenna Cardi.


The pattern did not disappoint. It was so easy to sew that I made it in an afternoon when I was camping recently.


This is one of the most comfortable cardigans I own. There is a cropped, waist length version, but I like the hip length for winter. I may make a cropped version for spring.


This is the perfect cardi for a sunny (but windy) winter’s day. It could be made from almost any weight of knit. I chose this fairly lightweight knit for this one and it is great for layering.


This is such a simple pattern – it comes together like a dream. I did wonder how the knit would cope with the buttonholes, but they were a breeze. The only alteration I made was to cut 6cm off the length of the sleeves. I have already cut out my next version and have a third planned.

In a nutshell: Jenna cardi by Muse Patterns made from a purple knit remnant of unknown fibre content (suspect a poly blend) bought from Knitwit. Buttons are pearl shell. Grey long sleeved t-shirt is an old one made from merino fabric, skirt is self-drafted and made from recycled denim. Necklace is hand knitted by me using the “O-ring” pattern from Dairing, Melbourne. Boots are PK from Soletta in Mt Hawthorn.

Trousers that fit – finally!


I have mentioned on several occasions that I can never get trousers to fit me, so I gave the problem to Sarah at Workspace FADS and we set about remedying the situation.

Here is a closeup of the finished product (no rude remarks about the letter A being strategically placed, it’s been mentioned, it was an accident, ok?).


To give you a comparison, here is a photo pre adjustments. There is a fair bit of excess fabric hanging around.


and an unattractive side view


Pinning out the excess fabric was an interesting activity and I could see why I’d never been able to successfully fit a pair of trousers to myself before


I am really happy with the result. Don’t judge the fabric I’ve chosen for my first pair, I used some fairly ugly stuff out of my stash, which I swore would never been seen in public, but they are so comfortable that I’ve worn them twice in public!


By sorting out the back we also fixed any front issues. I no longer have smiley wrinkles at the front of my trousers. We made a shaped waistband, but it needs a smidgen more shaping.


These are very simple, straight legged trousers. They have a side zip and a button closure. I am already planning a couple more using wool. I now have a pattern block so I am going to have another go at getting jeans to fit me properly.

In a nutshell: Self-drafted (with a lot of help from Sarah) pattern using Winifred Aldrich’s book “Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear” for the fitting instructions. Fabric is some sort of weird fibre. I thought it might be polyester but a burn test showed that it is a natural fibre but it feels quite suede like. I’m also wearing the blue Nettie bodysuit, which I wouldn’t normally wear without a covering garment, the Dr Who scarf, pattern and yarn from Dairing, Melbourne, and Django and Juliette shoes.

One Year One Outfit top


I’ve had this sweater finished for some time now but haven’t worn it before for some reason and therefore haven’t blogged it. It’s cold now, so the situation has been remedied.


I made this for the One Year One Outfit challenge set by Nicki from Thisismoonlight. It is the same pattern as this sweater, but as it is knitted top down, I cast on fewer stitches at the beginning to make the neck higher.

It is the simplest pattern, cast on and knit in the round, doing increases for the shoulders, and doing the sleeves separately (obviously). My sleeves on the previous one were a bit baggy so I did some serious stitch reduction as I knitted the sleeves, but they were still too loose round the wrists so I unpicked a bit and made them tighter. They are now pretty near to perfect.


When knitting in the round you are really creating a spiral, so when using a contrasting wool, the beginning and end of the rows are jagged. I did all the fancy knitting into the row below to hide this, but also used buttons to cover up the edges. In keeping with the One Year One Outfit theme of having only locally produced materials, I picked up some Banksia twigs and got Archie to make me buttons (blogged here), and here they are in situ. I was a bit anxious that the buttons wouldn’t blend well with the wool, but I think I got away with it! Looking at this photo I am wondering whether I need an extra one at the very top and the very bottom. Opinions?

I wore it to go camping which is why I look pretty casual. Most of this sweater was knitted in the car on various camping trips, so it seems appropriate that I actually wear it camping.

In a nutshell:

Jumper is made with a free pattern I got at the Australian Alpaca Store in The Rocks, Sydney. The wool is from Corriedale sheep in WA and hand spun. I bought it at Bilby Yarns in Willagee. The buttons are Banksia and made by my son, Archie.

Sydney jacket


One of the gaps I identified in my wardrobe during Me-Made-May’15 was handmade coats and jackets. I had one, which got a bit overused, so when I saw the Tessuti Sydney Jacket pattern, I knew that I had just the fabric in my stash to make it. I was further enabled by my fellow classmates in the pattern making class I attend at Workspace FADS – we are all terrible :)


I love the back of this jacket, although I need to press out those fold lines…

The pattern is designed for non-fraying fabric, such as felted wool or ponte. You can see from the pattern photo below that the sleeves are elbow length

sydney jacket

but I extended the sleeves.


This was a subject of some discussion in the pattern making class. Sarah, our teacher, believes that the long sleeves give the coat balance. This is too technical for me, I just wanted warm arms!

The sleeves on the coat are quite interesting. There are two pattern pieces, so I simply cut two extensions and joined them where the original sleeve ended. I could have extended the pattern pieces themselves to eliminate the join, but I used some scraps. Next time I might do this because they do look a bit bulky.


This coat could almost be reversible, except that the pockets prevent this. I love the pockets, they are just cut into the fabric with the pocket bags on the inside. Very simple because of the non-fraying fabric.

I used some felted, foiled wool in brown. My only other hand made jacket is made from the same fabric, but in charcoal. I bought both lots of fabric on sale, but see that it’s back to its original price now, so feeling smug. This fabric is amazing – I threw it in the washing machine on a wool cycle, it didn’t shrink and it dried in about 5 minutes. My sort of fabric!

I’m going to put a leather clasp on the jacket. It’s supposed to be worn open, but I like my jackets closed for some reason.


We’ve had conversations in class about the fabric used for this jacket, and I think I might do another one in a regular wool, but using internal bound seams. The seams on this jacket are lapped, which means that one edge is visible. I really like the look of this as a design feature, but hidden seams will look ok.

In a nutshell: Pattern is the Tessuti Sydney Jacket, made from felted, foiled wool from Knitwit, Nedlands. Tatty jeans are RTW but altered to fit me. I need new jeans! Jumper is hand knitted and yet to be blogged.

More adventures in felting


I have previously blogged the  that I made for Mark and alluded to the fact that I had made some for myself for the One Year One Outfit challenge.


They look rather Rastafarian with those felty fringes, but I really like them.

They are knitted, then the fringes woven in with a crochet hook. They get partially felted in the washing machine, but have to be pulled out before the fringes get too matted. The feet are then felted by hand. This took quite a long time and quite a bit of effort and then I finished up with one foot larger than the other.

I took them camping with me and applied the car polisher technique and voila! I have two boots the same size. The best thing about these boots? They were made with leftover wool from my jumper, so I feel as though they were free, which I’m sure meets one of the sustainability requirements of the challenge.


I have had to hide the boots as visitors to the house keep asking if I can make them a pair – er, not likely. However, Mark has asked for a pair, and, given that he loves his slippers so much, I have bought some wool and am currently busy knitting him a pair.

The other serendipitous event is that I found these in a charity shop

felting matfelting needles

For $1! Yes, this is a felting mat and needle, still in the original packaging. To say that I was overjoyed is an understatement – I may well have squeaked!

I immediately got out the squares made on my recent camping trip with the car polisher, and played about turning one of them into a pocket with a sculptural feel.


First I folded one of the edges, and then I tried shaping it by putting in a dart



The shape is quite interesting, and everyone who sees it is reminded of a bra cup! In fact I considered making some underwear for the One Year One Outfit challenge, but decided it was a step too far.



All that is left is to have a go at felting it on to the skirt.

In a nutshell: Felted boots are the Moonkoosa boot pattern by Tiny Owl Knits, found on Ravelry here. These are equivalent to the white ones. I note that their fringing isn’t as wild as mine!

Moonkoosa boots

The pocket was felted using the car polisher and then finished by dry felting with my new Clover kit.

Felting adventures


Having had a lesson in felting from Thelma, I offered to help Megan from meggipeg get started with her felting for the One Year One Outfit challenge. Megan had practiced felting her dog’s fur, and I had copious notes from my lesson, so it was a case of combining our mutual inexperience and having a go.

We started with Megan’s skirt and she blogged it here with detailed instructions on the process. The skirt finished up slightly small so we had another session so that she could felt a bit more and I could get started. I have been a reluctant starter in the felting stakes but I’m not sure why. Having Megan there really helped get me motivated.

We started in the garden but it was too windy and a bit showery so we had to migrate to the garage. We wrestled the table tennis up and covered it in plastic, and then got going.


I carefully measured guessed the size of my skirt, and we started laying out the wool tops. I seemed to be really slow and it was only afterwards that I remembered not to have my hands too close together as I was pulling the wool apart – duh.


We managed to finish laying out both our skirts at the same time, although Megan helped me finish mine; I’m pretending it’s because I had more to do, but really it was because I was slow.


I really like Megan’s ombre skirt and wish that I’d thought of doing this. I had to be content with a boring old mixture of colours, but Thelma had suggested a dark border round the skirt, so I did this and I think it gives the fabric a real lift – thanks Thel!


I managed to overdo the water on my skirt – truly, we were awash! Look at my hand go – it looks impressive, but my elbow grease is somewhat lacking because of an accident with my right arm, so it’s not terribly effective.


Never mind, our skirts started coming together and we enlisted Archie’s help with the photographs.


We were still a bit bemused with the microwaving and throwing of the felted pieces, and it was only afterwards that I discovered that this step is called “fulling”, which is fairly self-explanatory.

All that swirling and rolling makes you realize how good it is to felt with a friend. It really does speed up the process, but then I was at my patternmaking class and Sarah told me that electric car polishers make the job really easy. Whaaat? Why didn’t I know this? Would I electrocute myself, given my propensity for flinging buckets of water at my felt?

I began to plot how I could justify buying a car polisher, and casually mentioned it to Mark, who told me that we had one! Yes! We got it off a shelf and blew the dust off the box and I packed it and all my felting accoutrements into the car for a camping trip. I deemed this to be the perfect activity for camping, and so it was :).

I did do some internet research and it seems that using electrical appliances for felting is not an unusual thing to do. There are YouTube videos of people busily felting with electric sanders and car polishers, so I felt moderately confident.

I wanted to make a pocket for my skirt, so thought this to be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I did a little time-lapse video, so you can see how easy this is. I was very careful with the water and used tiny amounts, dried my hands excessively and was generally paranoid. The video isn’t very good because I didn’t have a tripod and the camera was too low, but you get the idea, although be warned – it’s very quick.

I finished up making two pockets, as I wasn’t sure about the first one. Now I’m not sure about the second one either, but one of them will do. I am going to now do a bit of dry felting with them (in a vain attempt to be “arty”) and choose the one to go on my skirt.

Next step in the felting journey is to reduce the top of my skirt so that it fits a bit more snugly round my waist. I will do this by felting it a bit more, gradually tapering off the felting when I get to roughly my hip level. I shall then felt the pocket to the skirt, make and sew on a couple of large buttons and then I’m done with the whole One Year One Outfit challenge. Stay tuned…

Whilst camping, our little friend Jarrah the kangaroo came visiting. First he warmed himself in front of the fire


and then explored our camping area. I think his ears give him a quizzical look.


I also spent some time stalking a New Holland Honeyeater and finally caught him drinking nectar from a gorgeous pink bottlebrush.


Makes for Mark


When we were camping recently I thought I would make Mark a couple of things. First up was another long sleeve t-shirt using the Men’s Metro T-Shirt. I have several other men’s t-shirt patterns, but I quite like this one.


I didn’t take a photo of Mark with the t-shirt in action because he hasn’t worn it yet.

The other thing I made him whilst away was a pair of slippers. I’ve made myself a pair (yet to be blogged) and he asked for some. Gasp, he never needs to ask twice! I used the Moonkoosa boot pattern by Tiny Owl Knits, found on Ravelry here

Moonkoosa boots

He got the grey ones without the fringing. These boots are simple to knit and then felt. I used some handspun yarn from Bilby Yarns, and knitted them in the car. The foot part gets knitted, then sewn together, and then a few rows are knitted around the top. Then they look like this!


I put them through two cycles in the washing machine and they turned into this


So much better. Then he asked about wearing them in the garden, so I found a couple of scraps of leather from some that my friend Thelma donated, and blanket stitched them on, and now they look like this

DSC04096 and they work perfectly!

For some time I’ve also been promising to make Mark a white business shirt, and this is possibly the last business shirt I will ever make for him – funny feeling here. Anyway, I used some lovely homespun cotton, which feels and looks like linen (and creases like linen!) and away I went. I have now officially given up on using fusible interfacing in shirts, so used a stiff woven interfacing, and it was wonderful.


(and yes, he needs a shave!!)

The mandatory back view, taken on the run…


It’s a shame that you can’t see the buttons on this shirt. I bought them in Singapore and they are white with black numbers on them, which I thought were cute at the time, but when I got them home I wondered what had possessed me. I used them on this shirt, but turned them so that the back faces the front and all that is visible is a white button with a black line round it. Perfect!


In a nutshell: Mark’s t-shirt is the Men’s Metro t-shirt by Liesl & Co, made from a 100% fleecy cotton bought online from somewhere in the US. Slippers are Tiny Owl Knits Moonkoosa boots handknitted with wool from Bilby Yarns and felted in the washing machine. Shirt is KwikSew 3422 made from homespun cotton bought when I went on an excursion with Sarah from Workspace FADS. Buttons were bought in Singapore when I went shopping with Belinda from my Stashbusting Sewalong group.

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