Spring Top Sewalong – Part 2

For my second project as part of the Spring Top Sewalong over at Made by Rae, I finally made a top that’s been on my mind for some time. Last Summer I fell in love with this Liberty print blouse from Sessùn (no longer available). A ‘smidge’ outside my budget, I set off on a hunt for a similar pattern so that I could make my own. There are a few lovely Peter Pan collared patterns available from independent designers (Violet by Colette, Banksia by Megan Nielsan), but none had quite the fit I wanted or specifically, the scoop neck.

Sessun / Liberty

In the end, I went for a pattern from New Look (6104) and decided to have a go at drafting the collar myself. I chose the body from view A and sleeves from D.

New Look 6104Using the directions from Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich, drafting a collar was surprisingly simple!Collar drafting by knitahedron

Collar drafting by knitahedron

I then used the neckline binding from the pattern to bind the inside of the collar / body seam (just visible in the photo below).

Peter Pan blouse by knitahedron

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the result, although I think it could be a teeny bit larger on the bust. The fit it pretty good though and I’ll definately use the pattern again, but I may do a muslin of the next size up first. 🙂

Peter Pan blouse by knitahedron

The fabric is Echino Chelsea by Etsuko Furuya in Deer Forest Purple which I’ve had for maybe 3 years now, waiting for the ‘perfect’ project. Once I get the sizing right, I may treat myself to some Liberty fabric, to more closely recreate the original inspiration top!

Peter Pan blouse by knitahedron

Peter Pan Blouse by knitahedron

Spring Top Sewalong

Art by Catherine Ryan

It’s my mum’s (Catherine Ryan) birthday this month, so I thought I’d share some of her work with you. She’s an artist, and currently specialises in printing. You can see more of her work on her website and purchase some original prints in her Etsy shop.

'Mohawk Bird', linoprint © Catherine Ryan
‘Mohawk Bird’, linoprint © Catherine Ryan
'Stone' woodcut on Indian paper © Catherine Ryan
‘Stone’ woodcut on Indian paper © Catherine Ryan
'Gold and Turquoise Landscape,'oil on canvas © Catherine Ryan
‘Gold and Turquoise Landscape,’
oil on canvas © Catherine Ryan
'Tweetie Birds', Linoprint © Catherine Ryan
‘Tweetie Birds’, Linoprint © Catherine Ryan

(Pssst… My dad, Hugh Ryan, is a garden and landscape designer. You can also check out his website and the design competition, Slant that he runs.)

Spring Top Sewalong – Part 1

I was working on a knitting design earlier in the month and it was just going nowhere. Repeated swatching, trialling, ripping, re-doing and I kept going backwards instead of forwards. All this frustration left me a bit out of love with knitting and in need of a break. Time to crack out the sewing machine!

I bought a bunch of pretty fabric last Summer with plans of greatness, but knitting took over. This year though I’m determined to sneak in some sewing! I knew Rae’s (Made by RaeSpring Top Sewalong would be coming up soon and since I’ve never had a chance to participate before, I had it in mind as a motivation to get started soon.

Rae announced this year’s Sewalong yesterday on her blog and a quick check of the rules revealed that anything completed after March 1st is eligible. Phew! This means the shirt I finished last week is eligible!

The fabric is a pretty, sheer, cotton voile that I bought in my local Karstadt (department store). No idea of the manufacturer.

The pattern is Burda 7136, a fairly classic fitted shirt. I used view ‘A’ but omitted the sleeves.


It’s still blimmin freezing here, so I haven’t been able to wear it yet, so here are some indoor pics for the moment.

This is the first garment that I’ve sewn for myself that I am truly happy with! It fits pretty much perfectly.

Floral Blouse by knitahedron.com

After a spate of recent disasters in the sewing department, I was strict and made a practice muslin before cutting into my pretty fabric. I also ignored the sizing / measurements on the pattern instructions and just measured the actual pattern pieces themselves. I’m a size 36.5″ (93 cm) bust, but based on actual pattern piece measurements, I made up size Eur 38 which Burda says is for 34.5″ (88 cm) bust. You can see from the pics, that while the shirt is fitted, it’s by no means tight.

I’ve one more project planned for the Spring Top Sewalong, and for it, I’m drafting a collar  (first time – wheee!) to modify an existing pattern. Stay tuned!

Luggala Design Process

(c) Jane Heller / Twist Collective
(c) Jane Heller / Twist Collective

Way back in November 2012, I was privileged to be included in the Twist Collective Winter 2012 issue. My design was ‘Luggala’, a long-line jumper / sweater / pullover with a lacy cowl neck and kangaroo pocket.

A few years ago when I was keen to start knitting again, but tired of unflattering, outdated patterns, I did an internet search for things like ‘modern knitting patterns’ or ‘trendy knitting patterns’ or something similarly cheesy. This was when I came across Twist and specifically, their Fall 2009 issue. And I fell in love. The ‘Bus Stop‘ story completely won my heart and it wasn’t long before Ysolda’s Vine Yoke Cardigan was on my needles. I had found an up-to-date, fashionable, beautiful source of knitting patterns! Yay!

So when I decided to give designing a go, I knew exactly where I wanted to start – Twist! Aim high, I thought! When I submitted my design proposal back in April 2012, I had never designed anything before, let alone prepare a submission. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out it had been accepted and then to finally see it in print last November.

(c) Jane Heller / Twist Collective
(c) Jane Heller / Twist Collective

I wanted to create a cosy Winter garment that would keep the wearer warm without being to bulky or heavy. So I designed a fitted, slightly long length jumper. Raglan sleeves, because they’re may favourite and always flattering. To keep it warm and cosy, I added a cowl neck, but in lace, to keep it light and feminine.

Luggala sketch by Áine Ryan, knitahedron.com

The final touch, to make it a little bit different and fun, was the kangaroo or hoodie style pocket. I added this to have a high of casual, comfy styling, but again it’s knit in lace to keep things light and feminine.

Luggala sketch by Áine Ryan, knitahedron.comIn the submission sketch, I just drew it simply with skinny jeans / leggings, which is how Twist styled it too in the end! I’m no fashion artist and I’ll let you in on my secret tool – Fashionary templates.

I hope you like Luggala which can be bought directly from Twist Collective.

Finally, a note on the name. ‘Luggala’ is a place in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, where I spent many Summers as a child. Enjoy a few pics. Lots more on Flickr.




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