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Me Made May - Win with SewBox!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The second official competition for Me Made May is now live over on Zoe's blog, and it's amazing! is offering entrants a £50 voucher that you can spend on anything you'd like in her shop! Zoe has already picked out a beautiful Liberty fabric that she's been eyeing up, and I'm definitely following suit...

If you'd like to enter, head on over to Zoe's blog and let us know what you would choose if you won! The competition is open world-wide and closes at midnight 28th May GMT.

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The Juniper Cardigan Sew Along - How to Make a Hip-Length Variation

Monday, May 22, 2017

Another simple adjustment to make to the Juniper Cardigan is to turn it into a hip length cardigan if that's more your style.

You'll need your long line bodice pattern pieces (we'll be adjusting the length of those for this tutorial) and it's helpful to have a long line cardigan already made up to get a better idea of where you want your final hip version to sit, but it's not necessary.

Please remember, all adjustments are made without the seam allowance!

You'll need:
  • Your Juniper Cardigan long line bodice pattern pieces (both front and back) & the hip band pattern piece
  • A ruler/tape measure/french curve
  • Pens and paper
  • Cellotape
  • Optional - an already made long line Juniper Cardigan

1. First you'll need to decide where you want your finished cardigan to sit. If you already have a long line Juniper made up, you can pop it on and play around with the length then place a pin or make a mark at the side seam when you're happy. If you don't have a cardigan to try on, you can try the pattern paper up against you or measure the side seam of another cardigan you like the length of to get an approximate finished length.

2. Once you know your finished length, transfer this mark to the side seam of your front bodice pattern piece - (1) on the diagram below.

You'll then need to account for the band that runs around the bottom of the cardigan. This band has a finished width of 5cm, so you'll need to measure up 5cm from mark (1) and place another pin there - (2) on the diagram below. This will be your cutting line.

3. Draw a line straight across and trim off the bottom. Repeat for the back bodice piece.

4. Depending on how far up you are ending your cardigan, you may need to slightly true-up the bottom of your side seam using a french curve for a smooth line (marked in red below).

5. The last thing you'll need to do is adjust the length of the bottom cardigan band.

You'll see on the band that there are notches along it, these match up to the side seams on your original cardigan. Measure the new hip seam line length for both the front and back of the cardigan, and remove the excess from each end of your Hip Band pattern piece.

6. Replace all seam allowances and you're ready to get sewing!

Note - if you want a more fitted hip (and to help prevent any drooping in this area over time) you may want to take a little extra length off the hip band. You can experiment with this, but 5mm-1cm on each side might be a good starting point. If you do this, you will need to ease your band evenly into your cardigan when attaching, but you will end up with a lovely fitted hip area.

Let me know if you have any questions about this adjustment, otherwise, see you at the end of the week when we'll finally get some sewing done!

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Me Made May Week 1 PLUS Win with Miss Maude

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Wow, week one of Me Made May is done - I've been checking out the hashtag on instagram regularly and gosh, there are some inspiring hand mades out there.

The competition is now closed. Thank you!!

Today, as a little motivation to inspire you even more throughout the month, I have the absolute honour of hosting the first Me Made May prize pack which is... I just... you guys, this prize is amazing!!

Emma at Miss Maude is sponsoring an amazing prize of two metres of fabric and one pattern of the winners choice from her store PLUS she's going to be throwing in a surprise haberdashery piece, and goodness, there are so many wonderful things you might be lucky enough to receive.

To enter, head on over to Miss Maude and let us know in the comments on this post which pattern and/or fabric you'd choose if you won! 

I've recently purchased two fabrics from Miss Maude (Sun Spots and Flamingos), and they are stunning - Emma has such an eye for curating fabrics, patterns and haberdashery. If you haven't yet looked at her wares, make sure you set aside a bit of time, you'll be there for quite a while...

The competition is open world wide and closes 8pm Sunday 14th May NZDT.

 Images above are courtesy of Miss Maude.

My recent Miss Maude order, Sun Spots & Flamingos - Laneway Dresses, here I come!

In regards to my personal challenge, as expected, I haven't quite been keeping up with the daily photos. Honestly, I think it's something that I just don't enjoy all that much any more. I love looking back at them, but taking them? Nope.

So, I'm not going to stress this part of my challenge. I still wear hand mades on a daily basis anyway, but I think I'll probably only take the odd photo when I feel like it. My knitting on the other hand, that's going great guns :)

If you'd like to see some of my me-mades, you check them out on instagram.

How have you been finding sticking to your challenge so far?

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The Juniper Cardigan Sew Along - Reducing Bust Shaping for Smaller Busts & Button-free Variations

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

If you have a smaller bust or are wanting to make a button-free Juniper Cardigan, you might want to remove some of the bust shaping from the front of the cardigan.

This is a pretty straight forward adjustment and really, the hardest part is figuring out just how much you want to take off. But, because we're dealing with stretch fabric, this number doesn't have to be as precise as when you're adjusting the bust on a woven garment.

Please note - all adjustments should be done without the seam allowance. And although this tutorial is showing you on the cropped version, it is exactly the same for the long line version.

You'll need -

  • Your Juniper Cardigan Front bodice piece
  • A Juniper Cardigan Muslin
  • Tape measure
  • French curve (or a curved ruler)
  • Pens & paper

Steps -

1. On your Juniper Front Pattern piece, you'll notice that there are two handy little notches along the centre front, circled below. The first notch is called the First Button Notch on your pattern, and the second is called the Under Bust Notch.

2. Take the muslin of your Juniper cardigan and between the two notches circled above, pinch out the excess over your full bust, tapering to nothing at the under bust notch. Using a french curve, transfer this to your front bodice pattern piece, keeping the length of this measurement handy - you'll need it later!

3. Trim off the excess shaping.

4. Now you need to shorten your neckband piece - you will find the neckband pattern piece has corresponding First Button and Under Bust Notches (circled below, Figure A).

Measure the length between these notches, then minus the measurement you had from step two to get the difference you'll need to remove.

For example, if the current length is 10cm, and you had a measurement of 9cm, 10 - 9 = 1cm. You will be removing 1cm from the length of the neckband.

Cut a line between the notches (Figure B) and overlap the required amount then tape in place (Figure C & D).

Now you can make up your Juniper Cardigan as normal, with reduced shaping and excess fabric around the bust. Easy!

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Short & Sweet - A Me Made May Special

Sunday, April 30, 2017


All photos taken by me & posted on my Instagram.

Knitting - The Boothbay Cardigan. It's chilly here you guys!

Sewing - Juniper cardigans and Laneway Dresses.

Cooking - roast chicken and veges.

Drinking - Coffee.

Learning - About boobs, hehe. More specifically, how fascinating it is to fit different bust sizes. My next pattern has multiple bust cup sizes within it, so it really has been an interesting journey. Let's hope it doesn't all go horribly wrong...

Hoping - I don't get sick again.

Wanting - more time in the day.

Enjoying - crisp morning walks down to the trampoline.

Collecting - leaves.

Listening - to rain.

Watching - bad reality T.V and The Halcyon.

Smelling - wet autumn leaves.

Wondering - how the chickens got out. We were going to let them out of their rather large (for that matter) run for the winter, but they escaped a few weeks ago. I'm just not quite ready for the season of 'poo on the door-step' just yet. Oh well... it's just chicken poo...

Wearing - My new dress pattern, The Laneway Dress. Sign up to the newsletter to be the first to know when it's ready.

Grateful - for cosy winter fires and computer back ups. The big computer I do most of my pattern work on decided to fry it's hard drive on Friday morning. Ugh.

Loving - Mary Reynolds. I discovered her recently and am slightly obsessed. Her book is currently winging its way to me.

Buying - fabric for samples.

Baking - Savoury muffins (with a twist). Note - make sure they're actually cooked next time.

Plus, it's nearly Me Made May! Ummmmm... tomorrow.

If you're not sure what all the fuss is about, you can read Zoe's post here. If you want to get involved, we've lined up some lovely prizes for each week of May including a beautiful prize pack from Miss Maude and SewBox.

'I, Jen of Jennifer Lauren Handmade, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '17. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment each day of the month and take a photo. I also endeavour to finish one knitted garment by the end of the month'.

I know I failed fairly miserably with the whole 'taking a photo everyday' thing last year, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to give it a good go again this year. And yes, finishing a knitted garment in one month? For me? It's a big call. But hey, go big or go home, right?

Or... just stay at home and knit.

Or, you know, buy that last ball of wool you need so you can finish your OWLS jumper. That'd do it.

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The Juniper Cardigan Sew Along - Choosing the Right Size

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In today's mini-post, I'm going to be talking a little more about the sizing for the Juniper Cardigan and how to get the right size for you.

The Intended Fit:

Juniper is a cardigan, it has more wearing ease built into it than my previous knit patterns because it's designed to be worn over the top of other things. Specifically, it was designed to be able to comfortably wear one fitted long sleeve layer under it. So, a long sleeved Gable Top/Dress or a Bronte Top would fit perfectly underneath it.

The bust on Juniper has a very small amount of built-in negative bust ease (aka, it's smaller than your actual measurements). The waist on the cropped version has zero ease (it's the same size as your waist) and the long line has positive ease at both the waist and hips, while still giving you a lovely silhouette.

With this in mind, you can hopefully get a better idea of how Juniper is intended fit VS how you want it to fit.

How do You Want it to fit?

If you're wanting your Juniper to go over the top of a strappy sundress, you might want it more fitted than it is, so sizing down from your usual size could be a good starting point to get the fit you're after.

If you want to layer that baby up as much as possible, sizing up would be advisable - and don't you think having a looser boyfriend long-line style would feel rather cozy?

Extended Measurements for a custom fit:

When you download your Juniper Cardigan instructions, you'll see on page 4 that there are a whole bunch of extra Finished Garment Measurements so that you can easily grade between sizes for a custom fit.

If you have a cardigan that you love already and want to mimic the fit of it, use the Extended Finished Garment Measurements to grade the pattern to fit exactly those measurements, taking the guess work out of how your final cardigan will come together.

Let me know if you have any other questions about choosing the right size! Otherwise, next up, we'll be dealing with everyone's favourite topic, boobs.

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The Juniper Cardigan Sew Along - Choosing Notions

Friday, April 21, 2017

There are a few other things, besides fabric, that you will need to make Juniper, and I know that at least a few of you will be a little worried about trying to find fusible knit interfacing. But don't worry, read on...

Fusible Knit Interfacing

For some of you, finding fusible knit interfacing may be a challenge, I certainly thought it would be here in New Zealand. Surprisingly enough though, I did end up finding 2 different kinds in Spotlight.

The first one cost approximately 1 million dollars, came in a neat little box and had enough for a postage stamp (okay, I might be exaggerating there, but for the price, there may as well have only been a postage stamp amount in there. You don't need a lot for Juniper, but still, that price tag, yikes!). The other one, the kind I ended up buying, was living deep down in the interfacing-bin-of-doom amongst all the other interfacing. If you've ever been to the bins of doom at Spotty, you'll know what I'm talking about.

However... if you know you're not going to be able to find any, you don't technically need your interfacing to be a knit interfacing.

Yes, you read that correctly. 

Most of the neckband on Juniper is eased into the cardigan, except the button section, which is where you put the interfacing. So, you don't need any of the stretch in the knit to fit that section into your bodice. It matches exactly to that part of the cardigan, meaning you don't necessarily need the give that you get with a knit interfacing to make the cardigan fit together. You can use a lightweight woven interfacing here.

So, why did you tell us we needed knit interfacing then? Well, it's good practice to use it if you have it - knit interfacing is designed for knits after all, so if you have access to it, I would recommend using it. It does leave your knit fabric with a little more give around the button band area, helping it to lay flat and hang/sit slightly better, while giving the button section more stability. 

Want to know a secret?

Well, let's go back to that knit interfacing I did find (not the 1 million dollar one). It was thicker than I would have liked and while I used it perfectly fine on the navy/mustard version of the cardigan - the sample that used the fabric weight that I drafted the pattern in - the cropped versions? Both of those were made using heavier fabric, 250gsm, and when I trialled the knit interfacing, it was too much for the button band and it ended up making it bubble in a not-so-nice way. So I used plain, light weight woven interfacing for both of those and they turned out beautifully.

So there you have it. If you only have woven interfacing, you can use it on Juniper with lovely results. Don't stress :)

Also, it's a good reminder to test your interfacing on your fabric first.


The number of buttons on the supplies list is really only a suggestion - you can use as many or as few as you like. In fact, if you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that the blue patterned cropped version actually only has 5 buttons on it!

The buttons I used were vintage glass buttons. I took them off their card to take a pretty instagram photo (of course) and then promptly lost one. So, five buttons it was.

Some of my testers used more buttons, some less, but at the end of the day, it's completely up to you what you choose to do. The only thing I would recommend is not going above 1.5cm diameter, otherwise your buttons may look out of proportion to the button band.

Clear Elastic

To keep your shoulders where they should be over the lifetime of your cardigan, as opposed to slowly drooping out of shape, adding in some clear elastic to the shoulder line is a good idea.

You could also add twill tape or ribbon if that's what you have to hand, but be careful of the weight you choose as you could make the seams bulky, and since the shoulder area is where the detail of the pattern is, you may wish to avoid this.

You can purchase your Juniper Cardigan pattern here.

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