Month: December 2014

Papercut Saiph Tunic

Hi y’all, I’m back again with another make I sewed up to wear on holiday.

Papercut Saiph

It’s a Papercut Saiph Tunic, heavily inspired by Sallie’s gorgeous versions of this pattern (here and here). I used a ponte-like merino blend (I think it’s merino and nylon) that I found in the remnant bin at The Fabric Store. Score! It’s a very stable knit, quite thick, and with a textured wrong side. It is fantastic to sew and to wear.

Papercut Saiph, Bellbird

I made a toile to begin with as I’ve been feeling very rule-abide-y lately. I think I started with an XS but the shoulders were a little wide and the back neck gaped a bit, so I squared off the shoulder seams and cut more of an XS/XXS hybrid. I’m glad I did since the knit has a bit of give anyway. I pretty much sewed it up as written, but I did add a couple of inches to the hem, and I interfaced the pocket pieces so that they wouldn’t gape. I sewed the neckline facing down with my machine which is something I’ve been doing on a lot of garments lately. I like the way it looks, and it fixes the facing flappage that can be so annoying! Also, I cut the facing out of a scrap of Liberty lawn, and interfaced it as usual. I’ve found that a woven facing works just fine with a knit as long as the knit is a stable one. Using a woven instead of the thick knit helped to cut down on bulk. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of the insides so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Papercut Saiph Bellbird

I’ve been wearing this a lot over wool tights and a thermal top. It’s roomy enough that you can layer up underneath, which I like. It’s extremely cozy and comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. Must make more of these.

The hat that I’m wearing is the Snoflinga hat pattern by Wiksten, made up in wool leftover from my Lila pullover. This too has been getting lots of wear, I’m liking that Zealana yarn more and more.

I hope that everyone is enjoying a well deserved break, either on the beach or in the cold. I for one am staying cozy!

Knitted things

I’m on a cold weather holiday at the moment, so to prepare for it I made myself some cozy new clothes. Most were sewn, but some were knitted. Over the next few weeks I’m planning to share what I made as I wear it, but for now I’ll start with some woollies!


I knitted this cowl from a lovely Rowan wool, Cocoon, an early Christmas present from my Mum. It’s such a gorgeously soft wool, being 80% wool and 20% mohair. It sheds a lot so I end up looking extra hairy, but I’ll accept that in exchange for a warm neck!


The pattern I used is Elsa by Carrie Bostick Hoge. It features a beautiful herringbone pattern, and knit up so quickly in the bulky cocoon. Although the final product looks complicated, it was really simple to knit and very easy to memorise.


The jersey I’m wearing is the Lila pattern, also by Carrie Bostick Hoge. What a talented lady! I absolutely love this pattern and would knit it again in a heartbeat. I really like the interest added by the garter edging and curved hem, but the simplicity of the shape makes it easy to wear with just about anything.


For this, I used a merino/possum blend called Zealana Heron from Holland Road Yarn in Wellington. I had never used this yarn before, but I’m really pleased with the way it knitted up. It’s very soft and a bit fuzzy due to the possum, but somehow feels quite hardy at the same time. I would definitely knit with it again, especially since possums are a huge pest at home in NZ. Let’s just say I’m doing my bit for the environment by buying this stuff!


All in all I’m pleased with this knit, although next time I will make the underarms a bit deeper as I hate things to be snug there. Also I will do a stretchier bind off on the neck. Maybe it’s not too late to fix this one but it will have to wait until I get home.

Hope you enjoyed this little knit-erlude! I’ll be back soon with more travel makes!

Bubble coat conquered

I’m finally getting around to sharing photos of the coat that I completed recently! I’ve been sewing like mad, preparing for an upcoming trip. I’ll keep this post short as my work is not yet done! (I.e. Packing!)

I made this coat using a Burda pattern, bubble coat with front ruffles. I skipped the ruffles though! I’m just not a ruffly kind of girl.

Bellbird burda bubble coat

It’s definitely a bubble shape, no doubt about it. A certain someone suggested that it could be rather hip accentuating, but I’ve really been into the whole oversized look lately so I say ‘bring it’.

Definitely some pressing required here!

Definitely some pressing required here!

The style lines of this pattern are what really drew me to it. I love the way that the yoke and the sleeves are one piece, and I really like the front inset too. It’s such an architectural look I think. And so cozy with the rounded seam lines that come in a bit at the bottom hem.

Bellbird Burda bubble coat

The fabric for this came from my stash, but before that I found it on sale a couple of years ago at a little shop near here. It’s a wool/cashmere coating with a slightly furry nap, which meant that I had to be really careful about cutting everything in the same direction. For the lining I used a silk twill in a matching deep red. I’ve worked with silk twill before and it has to be about the trickiest fabric for me. It’s just so slippery! The cutting out took the longest, I’d say. After that it wasn’t too bad, especially when I tamed the fraying seam allowances with my mighty overlocker.

Bellbird Bubble coat

This was my first ever coat project, so I took some time to read up on tailoring techniques. The design of this coat meant that I couldn’t take the traditional route involving hair canvas and roll lines, so I sort of made my own way. I ended up block fusing ALL of my outer fabric, for a few reasons. The main reason was that the wool itself is quite soft and not very thick, and I really wanted the shape of this coat to be quite exaggerated. I knew that the yoke and the front would most certainly need to be fused, and because of the yoke-becomes-sleeve thing I concluded that I may as well fuse it all! I enlisted the help of the professionals at Hawes and Freer, ¬†who fused the whole lot for me in their industrial fusing machine. I should probably dedicate an entire post to it at some point as I think it’s an interesting process. Here is one photo of my fabric coming out after the pre-shrinking step:


Overall I’m pretty happy with my new coat! It’s cozy and interesting, and I learned so much along the way. All of those inset corners were a first for me, as well as bagging the lining, which was quite fun. The one thing I’m not quite sure about is the front, in terms of closures. I’m predicting that I’ll wear this open more often than closed, but I wonder if the front of the coat could use some embellishment in the form of one or two big buttons? The pattern recommends large snaps but I think they could look a bit unsightly if I were to wear the coat open. Thoughts welcome! Also, I catch-stitched my seam allowances down invisibly, or so I thought. Anyone know why they are showing through? Will a good final press with some steam take care of it?

Bellbird Burda bubble coat

I must say a huge thank you to Lindsay, my coat-along partner in crime. I’m not sure that I would have completed this if it hadn’t been for the deadline we imposed! Check out her gorgeous coat if you haven’t already. And three cheers for the others who joined us in our mission!