Minerva blogging network: Leopard print Plantain

What is it about elbow patches that’s so appealing? You can’t see them when you’re wearing them. They bring up memories of geography teachers. And they’re not very useful, unless you salute people for a living, or have another job where you frequently bend your arms at a sharp angle.

But somehow they still make a garment totally irresistible. They’re the main reason I sewed up the new Deer & Doe Plantain top for my latest Minerva project.

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You can see my post on the Minerva Network here, and buy the kit for this project here.

The fabric is a really nice thick double-knit, with thin stripes on the reverse. I turned up the cuffs to show the two sides:

top cuff

Here’s the enhanced elbow patch close-up. You can see the major error I made with this top, which was to make it way too tight.

I should have sized up as this fabric isn’t very stretchy. It’s still wearable, but if I make it again with a thick knit I’ll reduce the seam allowance.

back of top

I finished the neckline with stretch lycra binding from Minerva Crafts which is my new favourite thing. This pattern has a very low neckline, it must be the French influence. I hoicked it up an inch when cutting out.

Here’s the front where you can see my standard ‘take the photo already’ face.

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And that’s everything. Apart from one last thing – I miss blogging!

I’ve been so busy in January with a new job and various other New Year type things that I haven’t had a chance to write any posts.

I have tons of sewing projects to post about and lots of half-finished screeds in my head, but no time to get them out into the world. This sucks. Hopefully I’ll be back to a regular blogging schedule soon.

p.s. did you see the Great British Sewing Bee starts again in two weeks?? I am seriously, sadly excited about this.


Leopard print lovely – Burda 9/2011

So guys, I hope we are all aware of the fact that leopard-print is the new neutral? If not, it’s time to get on board. It’s the beige of the 21st century! (yes, I am aware that beige still exists).

Bearing that in mind, I have taken the gorgeous leopard print fabric I got from lovely Claire at the Brighton swap meet-up, and made the simplest/most boring t-shirt pattern in the world, the kimono sleeve jersey top from Burda 9/2011. Previously made and blogged here.

Leopard print kimono sleeve t-shirt, Burda 09/2011

This fabric is so nice. It’s super drapey and soft, but with great recovery. I did the whole thing on my overlocker, apart from stitching down the neckline seam and hemming, both of which I sewed with the stretch stitch on my normal machine.

Nothing fancy about this, it takes about an hour to cut and sew (less if you don’t keep stopping to try it on, as I compulsively do with everything I make. I even drape fabric pieces awkwardly over myself when they’ve just been cut. I hope I’m not alone in this). The only changes I made were to shorten the sleeves and add a double sided cuff, and to reinforce the top of the shoulder seam with some stay tape.


You can see that my overlocker thread is looking a bit loopy and rubbish, but whatever, it worked. I think it’s because I’m using one different kind of thread on the left spool, having run out of white I probably need to adjust the tension or something? Any tips?

Leopard print full length kimono sleeve top

Here I am looking smug because not only did I make this awesome top, I also grew the immense tomato plant you can see to my right there. It’s a total beast, taller than me!

This top hass had a slightly sceptical reception from some people, but I love it. The print is extremely leopard-y, but if you’re going to do animal print, go big or go home, that’s what I say. I really like the other kimono sleeve top I made, but the fabric is sort of cheap and nasty whereas this stuff is bloody amazing.

No idea what gave me the hugely innovative idea to match up this fabric and pattern. I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that Zoe has a very similar top made from the exact same fabric. Or that Burda put this doppelganger example in their magazine.

Nope, don’t see the similarity. Ahem.

Here is an interesting history of leopard print which you should read! Are you a fan of animal print? Or is it all a bit too much?