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A gifted black draped cardigan

Last week I told you about the Lightspeed Leggings I made for our men at Christmas, but we also had a female friend celebrating Christmas Day with us, too, and I couldn’t leave her empty handed! Darci is a very stylish and practical lady, and her own wardrobe consists mainly of black dresses. Apparently it started because she could never find trousers that fit her in shops, so rather than stress about the problem, she just decided to wear dresses instead. And black because it simplifies getting dressed in the mornings!

In case you thought maybe she has some sort of life of leisure of something – Darci cycles everywhere in London. In her dresses! So of course we had the “omg don’t they blow up over your face while you ride??” conversation, to which she firmly recommended a little elastic garter with a clip that goes on the hem of your skirt (or a tutorial for making your own here). She says you only need it on one leg, and it stops all the blowback without any risk of exposure! (And here I thought that booty-length Duathlon Shorts were the skirt-loving cycle commuter’s best friend!!)

In any case, on to her present – what can you sew a lady who pretty much only wears black dresses, when you don’t have her exact measurements? That rules out anything fitted, and at first I thought I’d make her a hat and gloves, but then I had the realisation that pretty much everyone needs layers, and the Elita Designer Top cardigan from StyleArc would be just her style! So a quick trip round Minerva’s website turned up this black sweater knit and I was ready to sew!

Yellow merino turtleneck sweater with thumb cuffs

After my success with the test version of that Burda turtleneck (polo neck) pattern in the black and white scribble fabric, I figured I’d just use the same pattern for some of my precious merino jersey. Because seriously, what’s better that a super warm, snugly turtleneck in a cheery colour when it’s cold and dark outside, eh?

I bought a bunch of merino jersey from The Fabric Store last year, because, frankly, no one has a better choice of colours, and finding a source more local than New Zealand was next to impossible (unless you want beige or black). The bright and cheery “Citrus” colourway spoke to me first, and I love it!

A lavender & “shatta” print Knot-Maste Yoga Set

One of the outfits I brought along to Alvanon’s fit studio last week was a new-to-you Knot-Maste Yoga Set!

The top was one I’d made in the latter stages of pattern development out of some cheap viscose cotton lycra in Lilac from Tia Knight (so obviously not for exercise with a fibre content like that!), and the bottoms were a casual pair I’d made myself from some “shatta” print viscose jersey from my stash (originally from Fabric Godmother but long sold out). I really wanted a pair of casual bottoms for lounging around the boast in over the holidays, and since all my previous samples were in solid colours, it was a nice opportunity to show you want they look like in a print, too.

A super quick sparkly cowl top

Happy new year everyone, and a big welcome to everyone who’s visiting for the first time after reading my “Personal Best” article in this month’s SewNow magazine (issue 3)! I realised when I was putting together my end of year roundup that I had a fairly ridiculous amount of unblogged projects from the final few weeks of the year, so I’ll be sharing these with you throughout January.

The Knot-Maste Yoga Set – hem band view

Last week you got to meet our latest athlete model and Knot-Maste Yoga Set covergirl, Kate, and hear all about how practising yoga after being diagnosed with a chronic illness absolutely transformed her life (if you missed it, go back and read it now, seriously…).

The samples Kate wore for her photoshoot show only half the options available in this extremely versatile sewing pattern, though, so today I’m going to share with you the other options, modelled by yours truly.

Kate’s Turquoise & Grey Knot-Maste Yoga Set

Thank you all so, so much for the warm welcome you’ve given our latest sewing pattern, the Knot-Maste Yoga Set! All the compliments, Likes, shares, and (yes!) orders, really mean a lot to me. I take a huge amount of care in designing, developing, and creating all of the FehrTrade Patterns and I really do listen to feedback, honest! (Just ask my testers!)

This set is the first pattern specifically designed for yoga, and as such, I thought it fitting to have a total bad-ass yoga athlete model to show it off, too! Please say hello to Kate Oates, our newest athlete model and Knot-Maste Yoga Set cover girl!

The Knot-Maste Yoga Set – out now!

Please welcome our latest sewing pattern and our first designed specifically for yoga and pilates – the Knot-Maste Yoga Set!

Make your own perfect yoga wardrobe with our Knot-Maste Yoga Set sewing pattern. Start with a loose fitting teeshirt with knot-detail sleeves, upper back yoke, and semi- open back, worn knotted in the back for a tighter fit during exercise or left loose for cooling down. Alternatively, a shorter option features a hem band with knotted side detail. Pair it with comfy bottoms featuring slouchy pockets, crotch gusset, waistband with hidden elastic and optional tie, and a banded or tied hem in capri or full length and you’re ready to hit the mats in style!

A monochrome turtleneck

I’ve been absolutely swamped with work recently (and when you’re self-employed this is no bad thing!) but I still managed to squeeze in a little Me Sewing on the side. I’m a big believer in sewing up a “quick knit top” when you need a mojo boost, and this top probably took an hour in total, from tracing to cutting to sewing to wearing, split into several ten minute segments snatched here and there – the busy woman’s way to getting stuff sewn!

The #sewdots Falda jacket

Rosie (of DIY Couture fame) created the “Sew Dots, Raise Lots” campaign for the month of October to raise money for the RNIB (Royal National Institute Of Blind People). The premise was simple – sew something with polka dots (because it looks like Braille!), donate to the RNIB, and share on social media with the #sewdots hashtag to be in the running for a huge prize mountain.

I’m not able to participate in every sewing initiative that comes along, but I knew I wanted to be a part of this one, because sight loss is something that’s affected people I love. For pretty much my entire childhood, my grandmother was legally blind from cataracts and glaucoma and I saw how her lack of eyesight isolated her from everything she used to love (like knitting and her independence). More recently, my Dad has suffered from Macular Degeneration, enduring years of regular injections directly into his eyeballs (!!) in order to try and slow the progression of the disease and retain his ability to still at least have some peripheral vision. I’ve also worked closely with the Blind Abilities community in my previous spoken word audio career, and tried to make our service and apps welcoming for the visually impaired. If you’ve got an Apple device, go ahead and turn on VoiceOver for a few minutes and try to navigate through your favourite apps as a visually impaired user would (but they do it way, way faster!)

A yellow Drape Drape dress

From the first time I flipped through the first Drape Drape book, this dress really grabbed my attention and I knew that I’d eventually make it. Like most of the patterns in the Drape Drape books, this one has both unusual, 3D seaming and lots of gathers (or tucks). This is the third pattern I’ve made in the series, after the asymmetric teeshirt (twice!), and the gathered tunic dress.

Unlike the Pattern Magic books, in the Drape Drape books the patterns are included in several sheets at the back which you trace off, a’la Burda magazine. But though the lines aren’t packed as densely as in Burda’s, the lines aren’t coloured nor do they have different dashes or dots, so it’s not as easy to trace in my opinion! Because the shapes are often wraparound, the pieces can be quite big, and you have to trace them in a few different parts.