Simple Sew Miranda cardigan hack

Hi there! I’m back again with my latest Simple Sew make – the Miranda t-shirt/cardigan hack.

The Miranda t-shirt pattern is available on the Simple Sew website here. For this make I was very kindly given some fabric by Doughty’s, specifically to make this project. It’s a lovely poly/viscose jersey (you can get it here) and its perfect for this make! Its slubby appearance is very forgiving on wonky stitching! Doughty’s also have this fabric in four other colour ways and I’m seriously tempted to buy some more!

I’ve made the Miranda t-shirt before (here). In fact, I’ve made it three times. I thought it was time to see just how versatile this pattern was, and also to test my pattern hacking skills.

I don’t hack patterns that often. I like to follow instructions and come out with the garment that was intended by the designer. However, I have been flexing my hacking skills recently with a number of other patterns and found out that I quite enjoyed the process, particularly if it turned out how I visualised it!

I have a huge cardigan gap in my wardrobe, and despite sewing now for six years, I have made a grand total of one cardigan and it gets very little wear. I thought I’d give making a cardigan out of the Miranda pattern a bash.

The process was much easier than I thought it would be. I knew that the cardigan I wanted was going to be fitted so I kept the same size pattern pieces that I had already cut out to make previous Mirandas. If you don’t want a fitted cardigan you would need to size up, particularly in the sleeves.

I cut the back piece and the sleeves exactly as is. For the fronts, I cut out the pieces separately, rather than on the fold. I added a 1cm seam allowance to the fronts too. This was because I attached a band.

I cut a strip of fabric out that was twice the width I wanted the band to be plus 1cm seam allowance on either side. I cut it the length of the centre front plus a bit extra for luck (this was trimmed to size later). Because I wanted the option of adding buttons or snaps to my cardi, I interfaced the band with fusible knit interfacing. You wouldn’t have to do this if you didn’t want buttons though.

After interfacing the bands, I folded them in half length-ways right sides together and stitched across the short edge that would be on the bottom of the cardigan. After trimming the seam allowance I turned the band so that it was folded in half wrong sides together. The raw edge was then sewn on and then over locked to centre front of the front piece.

I turned the hem up so it lay flush with the bottom band and stitched all the way down the band, including the hem. The centre front bands looked really good at this point but I wasn’t sure how to deal with the neck line.

I dithered for a little bit and decided to attach a neck band a little bit like a piece of bias binding. I cut a strip the same width as the neckband pattern piece provided in the pattern. The length of the band was about 80% of the total measured neckline. I folded the neckline in half length ways first, right sides together, and stitched both short edges closed, trimmed the seam allowances and turned back. I then stitched one long side side to the neckline, all the way round. It was my original intention to slip stitch the band in place on the wrong side by hand but it just didn’t look right. I ended up using a million pins and wonder clips to get the wrong side securely in place and top stitched it with my sewing machine. This looked much better!

Apart from the centre fronts and necklines, the rest of the cardigan was constructed in exactly the same way as the pattern instructions suggest. It actually came together fairly quickly.

I dithered a bit more for a week or so wondering if i should put buttons on it or not. It looked quite good without them.

In the end I went for black plastic snaps as closures. This was the first time I’d used them, and it was so much easier than sewing buttons and button holes! I’ll definitely be using them again!

So there you have it! I made no changes to any pattern pieces so my original Miranda t-shirt pattern is still intact, and I’m so happy with the result! Do you ever hack your patterns?


2018 in review

Happy New Year! Hello, I’m back! I thought I’d better tend to my poor neglected blog so I can start the new year afresh!

I like to start these posts with an infographic – it helps me to work out what I’m going to talk about. 2018 was a pretty good year sewing wise, although I did tail off towards the end of it.

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October #sewmystyle2018 Klum House Workshop Portsmith Tote bag

Hi everyone! This is another winning make for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month! This make was for week 2 ‘anything but clothes‘ and I love it when sewing challenges collide as this is also my entry for October Sew My Style 2018. This is the Portsmith Tote bag from Klum House Workshop. The pattern is super simple (just two rectangles!) and they recommend you buy the kit or at the very least the strapping. I think that’s almost cheating, (plus I live in the UK and would have no time to wait for stuff to be shipped over) so I thought I’d cobble it together with things I already had. My favourite kind of sewing! Continue reading

Pippi Pinafore for IPM dresses week

Hello again! It’s Indie Pattern Month (IPM) again over on the Monthly Stitch which always gets me in the mood for some fast sewing.  The first week was ‘dresses’ week.  For this I wanted to use a fabric that a colleague of mine very kindly gifted to me as it was taking up too much space in his house and wasn’t being used. He gave me 7 bags, each containing 3+ metres of quality suiting fabric, one of which was this 100% black wool made locally in Huddersfield.

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Simple Sew Slouchy Gilet

Hello again! This month’s pattern is a bit of a blast from the past. With Autumn just around the corner I’ve chosen the Slouchy Gilet to whip up.

Gilet 1

This pattern came free with an old issue of Love Sewing magazine. Perhaps you have it in your pattern stash? Well, I’ve been wanting to make this for ages. When I dug it out I remembered why I had procrastinated over it for so long – I really couldn’t get my head around the instructions.

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A shirt for (me and) my husband

I started June with such high hopes (I realise we’re in August now but bear with me). Because Me Made May taught me that I have too many clothes, I decided to make June a ‘no clothes for me’ month. It started well. I turned one cushion into two by dismantling one that I made a couple of years ago for Burniston Show (here) and adding a beautiful teal velvet back. I’m pleased with these!


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