Bonnies by the Bunch!

Hey there! How have you been? Getting withdrawal symptoms after the end of series 3 GBSB?! Sewing has forced it’s way up to the top of my to-do list this week –  a cheeky day off work spent on Goldhawk Road, the cutting out of my long-awaited Grainline Archer, and part 1 of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers class. Part two is next week, and i literally cannot wait to finish my lurid red floral party pants. I’ve tried on one leg so far (admittedly not the best way to gauge fit) and I think there’s more work to be done to avoid the ‘jodhpur’ look.

lace bonnieBut, for your sewing pleasure today, I bring you a pair of Bonnies! I wrote plenty here of how much I loved this pattern by Bluegingerdoll. My beloved snakeskin version has become a wardrobe staple. I bought another metre of ponte roma from eBay, ensuring that the colour would work with my white-threaded overlocker (note to self: I really need to force myself to learn to re-thread this thing!).

This time around I added 1.5″ to the bodice length to cover a little more of my modesty. It retains the cropped look, but I still have to wear a vest under it. I loved it so much that I made another lengthened one from some gorgeous striped cotton knit from The Cloth House purchased with more birthday vouchers. Gosh, I was spoiled this year! Of all the things I have made this year, I am most pleased with my Bonnies.

Bluegingerdoll BonnieI am most definitely a repeat sewist – if I like it, I make it over and over again. Along with three Bonnies I’ve made four Monetas (spots, pink, snake, black) and three Mathildes (butterflies, chambray, Liberty lawn). Are you a thrifty sewist, making the most of your favourite patterns, or are you seduced by new patterns? What are your favourite go-to patterns to revamp?

kanervaI’ll leave you with one of my one-offs: the Named Patterns Kanerva top that nearly didn’t fit! Happy weekend!

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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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