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The Stella Hoodie from Tilly and the Buttons.

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O.K, Summer might be over now,  but here’s a way to eek out those tropical vibes for the cooler months courtesy of the Tilly and the Buttons Stella Hoodie and this super cosy Jungle Flowers sweatshirt fabric which was very kindly sent to me to review from the online knit fabrics boutique Pin and Sew.

This is the third project that I have made from Tilly’s book Stretch! and after seeing so many other fantastic versions online, the Stella was always going to be high up on my list of sewing projects when the weather got cooler. It’s an easy-fitting sweatshirt with a 3 piece lined hood with drawstring.

To add a pop of colour to the sweatshirt, I decided to use this pretty pink viscose jersey which picks up some of the pink colours in the tropical flowers perfectly. I also continued that theme with the drawstring cord too.

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The hoodie is really easy to sew, and I made it up in a day. As always with Tilly and the Button patterns, clear written instructions and helpful tips are accompanied by great step by step photographs. You really can’t go wrong.

Instead of using buttonholes for the drawstring cord, I decided to pop in some eyelets from my stash. They are quick and easy to apply and I love how they look. I positioned them right in the centre of the buttonhole marking (shown below), and I hope you can also see the soft fleece on the reverse side of the fabric too.

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I swapped between pink and black thread throughout this make, and when I was stitching the hood lining to the hood to create the channel for the drawstring to run through, I used pink thread in my top spool, and black in the bobbin so that the stitching on both sides would match.

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Another addition that I made was to use some toggles from my stash to finish the ends of my drawstring tape. I ordered this tape online, and whilst the colour is a perfect match for the pink hood lining, the weight of the tape was much lighter than I was expecting. These cord ends therefore, give the tape some weight and they look pretty great too!

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The only alteration that I would make another time would be to shorten the sleeve length. I can’t believe that I just went right ahead and kept these the same as the pattern, as sleeves are always too long for me. Not to worry, I plan to wear this as a layering piece so I might be glad of the extra length after all …

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Finally I added a kangaroo pocket. Because this is an addition to the pattern, it is discussed in a separate section of the book, and I forgot to add it at the correct stage of construction – which is before the side seams have been sewn. Adding it at the end like I did is a little awkward, but not impossible, and next time I make a Stella I will definitely make life easier for myself and sew it in at the correct time!

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Thank you again to Aga for this great sweatshirting fabric. I am sure to be nice and cosy this Autumn/Winter with this in my wardrobe. Have you made a Stella yet? I plan to make the Stella joggers soon too for head-to-toe Tilly comfort!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Another Cocowawa Chestnut Sweater, with added bows!

 

IMG_4308It’s no secret that I absolutely love this sewing pattern. Almost as soon as Cocowawa Crafts released this pattern last Autumn I had snapped it up,  downloaded the PDF and whipped up a couple of versions which you can take a look at here. 

During the #sewbrum sewing meet up last October, I decided that along with some fabric purchases from the rag market,  I wanted to save some of my precious fabric spending money on a special purchase of some fabric from Guthrie and Ghani, as this was where we would be ending up the day. My special purchase was this Rose Pink Marl Fleeceback Jersey. It’s just beautiful. Immediately I knew it would end up as another Chestnut Sweater.

I love bows and ribbons, and decided that with this version I would add bows at each cuff. Why not? I already had some grey ribbon in my stash which would be perfect for the bow at the back of the neck and just needed to purchase some narrower ribbon for the cuff bows. Oh by the way, I have chosen to make view A again, which has the ribbon at the centre back neck.

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So my plan was to insert the cuff ribbons through two openings in the cuff piece. The cuff piece is basically a rectangle of fabric which is folded in half lengthwise and attached to the sleeve. Before I attached it to the sleeve I  needed to work out where I wanted the openings (as I wanted them to only be on the outer layer of the cuff). I folded the cuff, pinned it to the sleeve and carefully tried it on to work out where I wanted the centre of the bow to sit. I marked this point on each sleeve.

After unpinning the cuff pieces again, I measured each one to make sure the point where I wanted the centre of the ribbon to sit was evenly matched on each cuff and adjusted them very slightly so that they matched perfectly. I then worked out how far apart I wanted the openings to be – in my case 4.5cm, and also marked these positions on each cuff.

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So there are a couple of different ways that you can make the openings for the ribbon. I chose to use eyelets. These come as a kit with the tool itself included. You can select different metal colours and I chose a gold finish. There are also different sizes and I used the 5.5mm size.

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The instructions on the back of the packet are a little vague, so I resorted to good old YouTube for some visual help with how they work, and found a good video which helped me work out how to fix them. You’ll need a hammer, and my advice would be to hit it REALLY hard, this way you get a good strong finish and it won’t come apart at a later date. This is something that really needs at least a couple of practice attempts on a scrap of fabric. It’s good fun though!

If you don’t have eyelets,  you could always sew little button holes to make the openings. Or perhaps take the ribbons, tie them in a bow and knot them tightly and just sew the knotted bow on the cuff where you want it.

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I was able to then attach the cuffs to the sleeves, and thread the ribbons through after they were attached using a large blunt darning needle.  They are super cute and I am really pleased with how they have turned out.

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I warn you now, this is not the last Chestnut Sweater. You will be seeing more – I just love them!

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x