Violet and Bonnie do Snakeskin Together

Crumbs! I’m in a deadly stranglehold grip of python print! I really can’t get enough of this fabric. As I mentioned before, it’s an eBay steal at £3.49 per metre for your finest synthetic ponte knit. It seems to be out of stock now, but there’s a gorgeous charcoal version here. I learned a valuable lesson with this stuff. I usually buy my fabrics by feel of hand, and rarely buy anything synthetic. This means that I tend to discount fabrics even if I really like the print. Of late, I have been increasingly envious of certain bloggers’ fabulous knit prints, and wondered why I have found it so hard to come up with something equally fabulous. So I decided to experiment by buying online so the catchy/scratchy hand-feel doesn’t put me off. Result!

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie & VioletAs you may recall, I had fallen hard and fast for my python print Bonnie. So much so that I rushed headlong into a Bluegingerdoll Violet dress version, making a beeline for the pencil skirt. So far, so good. Only thing was, I didn’t really like the bodice. Worn with the pencil skirt pinned in place, I didn’t find the fit very flattering.  Had I opted for the flared skirt I’m sure it would have been a different story.

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie & VioletSo enamoured of my Bonnie was I, that I fancied a mate for her. I was equally smitten with my new python pencil skirt, sans Violet bodice! I tried the pair on together and fell in love with this double act.  The looser fit of the Bonnie top with it’s gathered sleeveheads, plus the wide waistband was more flattering to my curves. I’m not the only one to have mixed and matched Bluegingerdoll patterns. Here’s a gorgeous version of a ‘FrankenBonnie’ by Idle Fancy. There’s something very liberating about taking the best parts of favourite patterns and remodelling them. This is a first for me. My growing sense of confidence with the overlocker is starting to pay off.

I had decided not to add a waistband to my new skirt, but added stretchy clear plastic tape to stabilise it while I made my mind up. I wore the skirt with a plain black jumper and loved it! How was I to get the best of both worlds for my snakeskin separates? I just couldn’t bear to attach them both permanently. So, the version you can see has the Violet skirt safety pinned to the underside of the Bonnie waistband. I can still detach the pair when double python just seems too much. But for now, they’re inseparable!

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Named Clothing Kanerva in Liberty Elizabeth

My new Kanerva blouse by fab Finnish company, Named Clothing, has seen some serious action already. It’s been so busy socialising that it’s taken me two weeks to arrange to get it photographed, and that’s without me in it! Two very special friends have celebrated milestone birthdays in the past fortnight. I knew I wanted to wear something new and handmade, but with limited time on my hands I decided to take a day off work and have some uninterrupted sewing time to myself. I had seen a breathtaking version of the Kanerva blouse on the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog, and I was also very fortunate to receive some Liberty gift coins for my birthday. Aren’t they gorgeous? In fact I almost thought they were too lovely to spend. But spend them I did, on the most beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn in Elizabeth D.

Liberty Gift Coins

I wasn’t much of a fan of PDF patterns, but of late I’ve been seduced by the speed with which I can get cracking on a new garment. My two pre-schoolers are now experts with a glue-stick and sellotape! I was particularly pleased that the Kanerva PDF prints on 12 sheets, and you only have to print off the size that you require. The downside is that you then have to trace off the pattern pieces as they are overlapped on the PDF sheet.

Named Kanerva

Despite pledging to slow my hobby down to a more enjoyable pace, I wanted this top so badly that I decided not to make a toile. Home alone, Radio 4 in the background, I was well and truly in ‘The Zone’. The garment was coming together so beautifully, mainly because, as fabrics go, Tana Lawn is incredibly well-behaved. Once I’d completed the button bands I thought I’d slip it on, sans buttons, to have my first peek. I was shocked to find that it was incredibly snug. How on earth could I have potentially wasted the gorgeous fabric in my haste?! I went back to the instructions several times just to check I hadn’t made a mistake on the seam allowances. I had a vague recollection of the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog mentioning that seams allowances were not included. But that turned out to be a red herring, as the seam allowances are included in the PDF pattern, but not in the printed version.

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To cut a long story short, it does fit! It’s snug, but looks sleek and fitted around the waist, and the peplum gently flares to hip height. It’s a very flattering design. I particularly love the neat pleat around the waist, above the peplum, and the buttons down the back. There’s definitely room in my wardobe for a couple of Kanervas.

This blouse is already a firm favourite and will always carry very happy memories: the first birthday party was for my lifelong best friend, Debbie, and involved catching up with school friends and after a long night of celebrating ended up in a fab living room disco; the second was a weekend in Lisbon to surprise a very special friend Sarah who had no idea we would be gate-crashing her birthday. Happy birthday, lovely ladies. I’ll be back in front of the fireplace next post once the signs of over-indulgence and sleep deprivation have faded! x

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