Summer is a fickle love in Wellington

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Last year we moved from living on the flat by the beach to the top of a hill. We live on Whataitai,  the taniwha that was left behind when Wellington harbour was formed. It’s one of my favourite Maori legends and something I think about a lot at the moment after our recent spate of earthquakes and people trying to make sense of the world around them. It’s been interesting living up here, the roads are narrow and twisty and steep but bus loads of tourists persist in venturing up the hill to go to the Mt Victoria lookout and then on to film locations for the Lord of the Rings movies. We have the luxury of a large car pad outside our house and we often get people parking there thinking it’s the car park for the lookout.

Each morning I walk down the hill to work and watch the cruise ships come in. If it’s sunny the streets will be full of happy tourists remarking how lovely Wellington is. If it’s grey and cloudy  the streets will be full of puzzled tourists trying to figure out why people live in Wellington. If it’s raining I’m normally on my scooter heading down the hill as fast as I can, knowing the streets will be full of disgruntled and grumpy tourists wondering if they can get their money back on this Wellington stop.

Which is why even though it’s summer one of my latest makes is another Jenna cardigan. I cut it out at the beginning of February when we had a big southerly blow through and it got cold. Made it up over that weekend when it was rainy. Just in time for the sun to decide to come out and we had a forecast of 5 sunny days in a row and temperatures in the mid 20s. Summer is a fickle love in Wellington.

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This is my  seventh version of the Jenna pattern. Every single one has been different and I’ve loved and worn them all to death. Kat made up a pretty floral yoked version and I was smitten and wanted it for myself but we are vastly different body shapes so I couldn’t just steal it out of her wardrobe which was my original thought when I saw it. Anyone else ever feel really lazy about sewing and just think of going into another sewer’s house and nicking their version? Just me then? I’ll never be invited round again now that cat’s out if the bag.

The front panels are a soft and drapey synthetic knit printed with a floral photograph which I picked up from a designer pop up shop when they were selling off previous seasons fabrics. I paired it with a super light black merino I had in the stash and voila! A gorgeous beautiful new cardigan it’s too bloody hot to wear.

But it’s Wellington in Summer, so I’ll probably have worn it seventeen times next week.

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Production line sewing

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Last winter I was stomping around my wardrobe muttering about fancy frocks and freezing weather and decided I need some cardigans, something fancy, something comfy and something in-between. I figured if they were all black and I sewed them together I could make a production line and get through them quickly and have useful things in my wardrobe which would allow me to wear my pretty clothes but still be warm.

It also had the lucky benefit of there being nothing suitable in my stash as I don’t have a lot of black and there’s very little knit in there either.  Sooo – shopping trip! I zipped out to The Fabric Warehouse on the scooter and found these.

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Ok I know the floral is beige but it’s on a black background so could still use black thread.

I decided to use the Jenna Cardigan for these two as I had been really pleased with my first version (not blogged). I love that Kat tries to make her Muse patterns as versatile as possible so that you can use them again and again but still have a different finished product. The beige floral is waist length with short sleeves but using the sleeve band to make it puff a little.

The stripe I decided to see how the long sleeve hip length version would look. The only alteration I made on both was to trim about 7mm from the shoulder seam as I found the shoulders on my first, even on my wide shoulders, was a little too big. For the stripe that was fine but the beige floral doesn’t have as much stretch and probably could have been left as per my original.

The third version would be was the already cut out black Nina cardigan which had been still in the queue since last year. I had six metres of this stuff originally and it has been really convenient to have in the stash for all sorts of things and is nearly all used up. I think I have just enough to make a top (maybe two) and then it will be gone :-(.

Normally I pin sew, pin sew and it can be very slow but this way I make fewer mistakes. However as I had made both these styles before I knew what I could pin together en masse so that I could just sit at the machine and sew seam after seam.  Zoom zoom zoom it was so satisfying. Doing a production line meant that I completed all three in one weekend which is unheard of for me – such Speedy Gonzales sewing I love it!