Tag Archives: Blue Ginger Doll

Finished: Blue Ginger Doll Bonnie

9 Dec

Over the last year or so, I’ve ended up buying quite a few jumpers, as it seems I had a bit of a hole in my wardrobe. While I haven’t bought many RTW clothes since I started sewing, I don’t mind these ones too much – they are all cashmere ones that I got from a couple of awesome stalls at the market in Oxford for ridiculously cheap prices – 5 cashmere jumpers for £20 anyone? They are all lovely, and so warm and cosy! But I did want to make an effort to add some jumpers to my handmade wardrobe as well. I have started knitting a jumper, but that is hardly a quick way to make additions to my wardrobe!


When I saw Marie’s version of Blue Ginger Doll’s Bonnie pattern, I knew this would fill a hole in my wardrobe. When Abby announced the sewalong, (you can see the sewalong entries and cast your vote here) that was the push I needed to actually get on and sew one up!


The fabric is a…I want to say sweater knit, but I have to say, I’m not particularly up on my knit fabric types, and often have difficulties deciding what kind of knit they actually are! Regardless of what it it, it’s a gorgeous fabric – it’s a nice weight – just thick enough for something like Bonnie, without being too bulky, and it feels quite stable. It came from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham when I was up there for the SewBrum meet up. I just checked back on my post about that meet up, and I helpfully didn’t mention how much it cost, and of course now I can’t remember! I think it was about £6/m, maybe £5. If it was any less than that, I’d have bought more than 2m, and I don’t think it was any more. It was originally destined to become a Renfrew, but when Bonnie appeared on the scene, I thought it would be perfect for that.


I went for pretty much the same options on my Bonnie as Marie’s original one that had inspired me – the cropped length with a waistband, and boat neck. I considered going for the 3/4 length sleeves to match the cropped length of the jumper, but decided in the end to go for long sleeves, as I thought I’g get more use out of it, what with it being cold and all! I’m glad I did, as I really like the way the long sleeves look with the cropped body.


My jumper is actually a bit more cropped than the original pattern – I made it up as per the pattern, but it was just a bit too long – it ended up sitting a bit below my natural waist, but wasn’t wide enough to sit comfortably over my hips, so it bunched up a bit. I shortened it just by running my overlocker around the waistline seam again…and then again. I think I took about 4cm off the seam in total, so about 8cm off the overall length, and I’m much happier with how it sits now. I could probably do with taking a smidgen more off, but I didn’t want to make the waistband too narrow by taking more off the seam.


The other change I made to the pattern was to add cuffs onto the sleeves. This was partly because I thought they would look nice and complement the waistband nicely, and partly because I managed to break the only twin needle I had when I was setting it up to do the neckline. And then managed to drop the broken piece inside my sewing machine and had to dismantle a bit (and turn upside down and shake) to get it out again! I used a zigzag stitch do to the neckline, but I didn’t really want to do that on the sleeves, so the cuffs provided a good alternative. I basically just guesstimated the size of the pattern pieces for the cuffs, and I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out – I like the look!


I love how flat the neckline is sitting – I’m always worried with knits that it might stretch out when I’m sewing it, but this one held its shape beautifully. Next time I’m going to sew a little piece of ribbon into the back neckline when I sew it though, as I can’t really tell the front from the back of this sweater when I look at it! Luckily (it turns out), when I started sewing the neckline, I inadvertently had a pin stuck under my presser foot, which stopped the fabric from going through, and so there’s a patch of very condensed zigzag stitches on the back neckline, which is the only way I can tell which side is the back!


I think what I like most about this jumper is the mix of a vintage-style pattern – the cropped length and gathered sleeve heads definitely lend a vintage feel to it – alongside the more contemporary print of the fabric. I get the cute vintage features without the risk of it being too ‘twee’. Although that’s not to say that a floral version won’t be in my future ;)


After I’d made this, I suddenly have a moment of wondering what I was going to wear it with. It will look great with dresses that have a fitted bodice and full skirt, but it turns out those are the things that I always want to sew but often get pushed down the list in favour of more practical everyday things! But now I have the excuse I need to sew more pretty dresses ;)


I thought I’d try it on with this denim pencil skirt I have, and I absolutely love this outfit! Again, I think it’s the fairly smart pencil skirt with the contrast of the slightly casual star print sweater – I just really like how they work together. I love wearing this skirt, but I don’t wear it much at the moment – I work in an office where there is no dress code, which is great if I’m feeling lazy and just want to pull on jeans and a jumper, but I actually like dressing up a bit smarter for work, and I feel a bit out of place if I’m too smart after being in jeans the day before! This sweater allows me to dress the skirt down a bit which is great. Especially as I seemingly have a continual desire to make pencil skirts, but worry how much use they’ll get.


This is actually the first Blue Ginger Doll pattern I’ve made. I bought Stella ages ago, and had an attempt at fitting it (it was just after I’d done my fitting course), but struggled a bit and it got put aside. I really need to go back to that though as I love that top. I really like this pattern, and the instructions were easy to follow – I had it all sewn up from putting pattern together to finishing the top in an afternoon, although I found the PDF a little tricky to line up in places.


I’m loving the quick wins in my sewing lately – I got one top sewn up on Saturday afternoon and this one on Sunday, and it makes for a very satisfying weekend! Given that I had a nasty cold all weekend, I’m pleased I had some simple sewing that I could manage! I can definitely see more Bonnies in my future, I want to try out some of the other variations!


I’ve actually been really productive with my sewing recently, and have a whole host of makes to show you. The thing that’s holding them up is being able to get photos when it’s dark so much of the time! I took these before work this morning and man was it cold out there! 0°C according to our sensor – chilly! The things I put myself through for my blog ;)

If you’re interested in making your own Bonnie, Abby currently has 30% off all her patterns (until 19th December!).





A round up of Black Friday sewing pattern sales…and some overseas ordering annoyances

28 Nov

Popping up in my blog reader and twitter feeds over the last couple of days have been lots of independent pattern companies with sales on their entire pattern range for Thanksgiving/Black Friday. Brilliant I thought! I mean, who doesn’t love a sale!

Below is a little round up of the sales I’ve come across:

Victory Patterns have a generous 30% off all their patterns to celebrate their anniversary and Black Friday

I may have ordered Lola…

Victory Patterns Lola

And maybe Ava as well…

Victory Patterns Ava

Most of Victory’s patterns are 20CAD for the printed pattern, 12CAD for the PDF (with 30% off on top of that). With the discount, the PDFs work out at about £5, so I bought those both as PDF. I’m not a *huge* fan of PDF patterns, I’d much rather have the printed version – I think they’re usually nicer, but they also save me the time of all that cutting and sticking and inevitable frustration when the lines don’t match up. But I’m also great at saving money, and if the difference is enough to justify the extra work, I’ll go for the PDF!

Papercut Patterns have 15% off all of their patterns

I’m seriously tempted by the Bellatrix Blazer (about £12 instead of £15), will have to ponder that one a bit more…

Papercut Patterns Bellatrix Blazer

The bonus of Papercut Patterns is that they do free worldwide shipping, so no extra costs to worry about there.

Grainline Studio have 20% off their patterns, so now would be a good time to try the Archer shirt if you’ve been contemplating it!

Grainline Studio Archer shirt

Colette Patterns have 20% off all of their patterns tomorrow, which got me very excited, as I’ve been lusting after the Hawthorn for quite a while. Unfortunately the shipping charges from the US put a stop to my plans on buying the paper copy. With the 20% off, the paper copy will be $14.40. Unfortunately the shipping to UK is $15. So while just under £9 is a great price for the pattern, the extra £9 shipping means that it’s cheaper to buy it full price from a UK stockist (about £13.50 plus a couple of quid shipping). Colette do the Hawthorn as a PDF as well, which, with the discount, works out as just over $11, so I’ll probably go for that, but it makes me a little sad that I can’t benefit from the sale if I want the beautiful paper copy.

Colette patterns Hawthorn

That’s the only thing I find a bit frustrating about these sale – they’re a great decision maker when it comes to things you’ve been thinking about buying – if you can get it cheaper for a limited time, then you’ve got to make a decision! That is the main reason I own an iPad – a couple of years ago a colleague was going to the States on a business trip. Knowing how much cheaper iPads are to buy over there, if I was going to get one, that was the time, and so I made a snap decision, rather than umming and ahhing for months like I would have otherwise.

But when the sale doesn’t save me anything over buying it from a UK stockist at full price, whereas I would have gone ahead and bought it in the sale, there’s no imminent rush. Which means that half the time I will probably end up not buying the pattern in the end. That might be good for my wallet, but it isn’t so great for the pattern company, and I miss out on making a beautiful pattern!

I had a similar issue with Blue Ginger Doll‘s new pattern the Stella blouse.

Blue Ginger Doll Stella blouse

When Abby launched the pattern, she offered 10% off the pattern until the end of November. I haven’t made any Blue ginger Doll patterns yet, but I REALLY like look of Stella. Also, the possibility of a Stella dress, yes yes?  I went to buy it, but at £5 shipping, I’m actually better off waiting for it to become available with a UK stockist. Which is a shame, as, when I can, I’d much rather buy the patterns direct from the designers themselves, but not when I end up paying so much more in shipping to do so. Abby has now released Stella as a PDF, so that is at least a possibility if I don’t want to wait until I can get the pattern in the UK!

Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the pattern companies offering these sales, and this is by no way a problem that is exclusive to sewing patterns. It’s just a shame that, in a world where most websites are global, companies still miss out on sales, and customers miss out on offers, because the high shipping charges make things unviable.

But, I’m going to end up with a few nice new patterns, and maybe I have brought a sale to your attention that you hadn’t been aware of before (enabler, me?)! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US, happy Thursday to everyone else! In honour of Thanksgiving, Marcus and I have gone for a roast dinner tonight (any excuse!), the chicken is in the oven and smelling good! Enjoy!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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