new pattern POCKET TOP

The sweet and girly POCKET TOP.

The pattern for the POCKET TOP is now available from my Etsy shop and can be made with or without shoulder straps, buttons or pockets. The shape is loose and relaxed, perfect for a long hot summer. 

The POCKET TOP is shown above with a pair of FLAPPER SHORTS and below with the MINNIE MINI and an ICHIGO BAG.  The fabric for the top and shorts came from Tessuti, the vintage bobble buttons were found at L'uccello and the fabric for the MINNIE MINI is by Umbrella Prints  Details for the ICHIGO BAG can be found right here.


new pattern THE LONG SKINNY

 An amalgamation of two of my favourite t-shirts, THE LONG SKINNY combines all the things I loved most into the perfect stretchy knit top...extra long length, curvy side seams that sit close to the body, long skinny sleeves with subtle flared cuffs, a comfortable armhole depth, and a flattering and practical round neck, not too high, not too low.

The pattern for THE LONG SKINNY is available from my Etsy shop in Australian sizes 8-14.  It's super quick to make and comes in two variations; a raw edged version with rolled neck binding or for a more polished finish, with twin needled hems and a classic bound neckline as shown here.  Check out the HOW TO section for more detailed instructions.

Perfect for layering it's shown below with the JUMP PANT and a Rowan sweater designed by Kim Hargraves called JACK (Rowan magazine #30) which I knitted in Kidsilk Haze (the left overs were used for THE SNARF)


A Snood wearing dude

Today I pose a question...should dudes wear snoods?

On observing my knitting a discussion with my friend Tom about the benefits of snood wearing ensued.  In the play The Bacchae, the character Penthius unsuccessfully disguises himself as woman by putting on a snood and pulling it up over his head.  

  Driven by his desire to witness the Bacchic rites, orgies of sex and violence that only women were allowed to attend, he is duped by their cheeky God Bacchus into thinking that dressed in woman's clothes he could slip in unnoticed.  Of course Bacchus knows the outcome of this useless charade, the women in their Bacchic frenzy tore him apart limb from limb.  Perhaps the moral of this story suggests the answer is a firm no however I'm not so sure. 

My version of a snood, equally good on girls and guys, is actually a snood scarf combo and the instructions are given below... 

The Snarf

You will need... 
40 grams Kidsilk Haze (Rowan) approx. 1 1/2 balls
I set 3 3/4mm (60cm length) circular needles

Cast on 154 stitches
Row 1: (RS) K2,*P3,K4* rep from *to* to last 2 sts K2
This row forms rib, continue knitting in the round until work measures 22.5cm ending the last round with K2

Form Split as follows...
Turn and work in the opposite direction
Row 1: (WS) P2,*K3,P4* rep from *to* to last 2 sts P2, turn
Row 2: (RS) K2,*P3,K4* rep from *to* to last 2 sts K2
Continue as set above until split measures 8.5cm ending with a WS row.

With right side facing and keeping rib pattern correct con't as follows
Row 1: rib 30, K94, rib to end.
Repeat the above row once more.
Row 3: With RS facing rib 30, P94, rib to end (30sts).
Row 4: Rib 30, K94, rib to end.
Rib 30, cast off 94 sts purlwise, rib to end.
This forms the top edge and establishes the start and position of the two scarf sections.

Turn and keeping rib correct work until the first scarf measures 51cm ending with a wrong side row.
Knit 2 rows.
Next row purl to end
Next row knit to end
Cast off 30sts purlwise.

Rejoin yarn to the other side and work to match so you have two identical scarf sections as shown above right

A special thank you to Tom who bravely agreed to demonstrate three ways with Snarf.  This is my first attempt at writing down one of my knitting patterns for others to use.  Any questions or feedback please feel free to email me.

sts - stitches
K - knit
P - purl
RS - right side
WS - wrong side
rep - repeat


...that other thing I do

Wondering what I've been up to?  

Head across to Collezione Alessandro or check out the Spring Summer 2014 accessory look book.  

New patterns and my first solo attempt at movie making coming soon.


HOW TO hem jersey using a twin needle

When sewing jersey tops my personal preference is to leave the hems raw and let them roll however for a more polished look you can also use a twin needle.  It's actually really easy, here's how you do it...

1. First buy yourself a twin needle, I'm using a Schmetz with the needles set 4mm apart.  If you're sewing jersey make sure the pack says stretch.

2. Twin needle attachments can be expensive so threading the machine correctly is really important.  Thread your bobbin as normal.  For the top however you need two spools of thread.  Place the left spool so the thread comes off in an anti-clockwise direction and the right spool so it comes off in a clockwise direction.

3. Thread the left spool first keeping the thread to the left where you have the option and finally threading it through the left needle.  Thread the right spool keeping the thread to the right where you have the option and finally threading it through the right needle.

Notice below that the right thread is not caught through the thread guard directly above the needles.  Of course every machine will look slightly different but leave the right thread free at this point only.

With caution test the threading by turning the machine by hand and then slowly through some fabric.  Consult your manual for any additional instructions.

4. Turn up your hem, in my case it's 2.5cm and press.

5. It's a good idea to test your stitch on some scrap fabric first.  For example, I find with my machine (my loyal 25 year old clunker) that I need to relax the foot pressure so as to not stretch the fabric as I stitch.  Once you're happy, with the right side up, stitch evenly around your hem.

Give it a press and you're all done.