Crafty sew and sew in Dorset

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February Sewing

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Some how i managed to make 8 items of clothing this month (the shortest in the year!) as i think having extra days off to use up my leave helped. I set a plan to make 5 items, 3 that were already cut and ready but only manged to complete two of these.

The first make was for my friend at work; New Look 6104.

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This was gifted to me with the pattern, fabric and buttons at Christmas as she had given up with sewing. It had been cut out in size 18 so i made it up in that size for her – turns out her daughter had cut it out who was bigger than her!! I am planning to take it in for her next week, luckily the bust area fits and just needs the waist tapering in.

Next was the Fairfield shirt from Thread theory – I started this back in November and finally finished it this month and he really likes it.

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Matching shirts

I bought the shirt for my son and my husband asked for one. This design is so well drafted for fit and quality of finish with flat felled seams throughout.

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Practicing his model poses

My third make was Named Kielo wrap dress. I have seen so many of these on instagram so when one was for sale in someone’s destash i jumped for it. I used cream and grey jersey from my stash bought from girl Charlee. This fabric was probably a little too thin for this dress but i just about get away with it and it will be perfect in the summer heat.

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Sorry about the footwear – not ready for sandals yet!

Fourth make are my Burnside Bibs from Sew house 7. I found these overalls in Seasalt but they were £80 and i thought “I could make those” and started to search for a similar design. It came down between these and the Roberts collection dungarees and picked the burnside bibs as they looked more flattering and fitted.

I used 2.25m of this linen type fabric from Fabricland – the pattern calls for 3m but i managed fine with what i bought.

I have plans for the view 2 version in navy viscous linen as i feel they will be looser fitted and be a great staple through the spring and summer. Check out #sewbibs over on instagram for a contest running through March.

Next is a self drafted dog coat for our saluki lurcher Ziggy – he loves the coat but is not a willing model:

I bought some polar tec fleece on E-bay and some parachute clips to hold it on around his midriff. I then trimmed the neck and edges with a gross grain ribbon – we are testing this one out for fit before I make his second one with Green fleece.

The 6th make of the month was for my daughter – her third Mini suzon blouse in this beautiful Lewis and Irene beach border fabric. I only bought a metre at the first Dorset meet up to make her a skirt and had thought she had outgrown this design but she asked for a blouse so who was i to say no! It was stretching it to cut the ruffle on the border and it’s actually 4 pieces sewn together and think i got away with it.

Next up is a TNT pattern for me, made quickly as my contribution to #sewmystyle which was t-shirts for february – the Megan Nielsen Briar tee. I made the longer version but shortened to somewhere between cropped and full length, in burn out jersey from Girl charlee.

It’s clearly a little see through so need to get a vest top to go underneath or save for beach wear in the summer. This fabric was tricky to work with as it kept getting chewed up by my sewing machine!

Finally, make number 8 is a pair of dungarees for my son. He has been asking me for some dungarees for a while but it seemed odd for a 10 year old but he has been insistent and I rarely sew for him so searched for a pattern and found I Dig Dungarees from Made By Jacks Mum.

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I had the Higgs and Higgs denim in my stash that i bought for Ash jeans but it didn’t have enough stretch. It was lovely to work with and might have to buy more for a second pair of Morgan jeans.

i added facings and pocket linings with Guardian of the Galaxy fabric from Lovely Jubbly fabric also in my stash.

Luckily these will be used for his world book day outfit next week!!

March plans

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 8

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 6

Number of New Pattern purchases: 3

Number of Stash patterns used: 5 (dog coat pattern was made up)

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January Sewing

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I have decided to try and be more dedicated to this blog as a means to track and share my making and not just use Instagram. The plan is to write one blog piece at the end of each month highlighting things I have made that month and plans for the following month.

This month I have made six items which is pretty good going as the whole family lost 10 days to the flu (one after the other like dominoes) and I managed to write and submit a 9000 word assignment to uni.

First up is my second Helen’s closet York Pinafore made in heavy cotton from Ikea – I made this version in the longer length and higher neckline so I can wear it without tights in the summer. I think i prefer the lower neckline and maybe a length somewhere between the two – I have a denim one in mind for the summer when it starts to warm up.

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Next up on my list is the Darcey Bra and Frankie pants from Evie La Luve – this was a Christmas present from my husband (sort of, i may have purchased and wrapped it for myself!!).

I have been wanting to try underwear for a while and decided to brave it after making swimwear which is a similar process. I got a kit with all the findings and fabrics as it was this part that put me off when this was the discounted pattern for #sewmystyle2018. I am so pleased with the finished item and fit and will be making more this year.

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Number three on my list of makes is the Cable knit jumper from Lauren Aston designs down in Exeter. My Parents bought me this kit for Christmas and the wool was truly gorgeous to use – it’s merino wool in hanks you need to roll into balls. I made the small version and although it is no where as roomy as Lauren’s in the photos it is a good fit on me and really warm. I would like to make another one in medium but searching for equally beautiful wool without wanting to spend a fortune!!

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Beautiful wool

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Back

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Back of Jumper

There is a little bit of piling from wearing it but hoping this will settle down and dreading the first time it needs washing for fear of shrinking it!

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I had enough wool left over to knit a snood which is so needed in this recent freezing weather:

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My 5th make of the month was for my daughter – a friend sent me a link to the Little legs website, who sells stunning kids jersey, to highlight some llama fabric (daughter’s current obsession).

We went through my patterns, as at almost 13 she is just about fitting the smallest sizes on most patterns with a few tweaks, and agreed on the Jarrah pattern from Megan Nielsen patterns.

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I had to remove 8cm across the width of the front and back pieces – add in 4 cm to the length as she didn’t want a waistband and i would’t have managed to cut one out of the 1m of fabric i had.

i had to shorten the shoulders and narrow the arms, basing the changes on an existing sweatshirt she has. The fit came out perfect and this was such good quality fabric to work with.

I have this pattern ready for me to make one in some Guthrie and Ghani jersey i have had stashed for almost a year!

Next up are my juicy watermelon leggings!! Sew my style 2019 set a theme for January of active wear so i went to my local fabricland and invested in this great fabric to make a pair of high rise Avery leggings from Helen’s closet.

I am yet to wear them for anything but lounging around and not sure I am brave enough to wear out to a gym class but i do love them!

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I had enough fabric left over to cut out a Nautilus swimsuit from Tuesday Stitches which i was aiming to enter to the Monthly Stitch ‘seasonally inappropriate’ – i might need to enter on the 28.2.19 for the Amnesty posts.

February plans

My plans for February have already started with this New Look 6104 pattern which I am making for a friend at work’s birthday. She gifted me this pattern, fabric and notions at Christmas as she bought them a few years ago when she went to a sewing class but could not get on with it and gave up. I love the pattern but this fabric is not my taste so I thought i would complete the project for her.

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I set myself these nine patterns for the Make nine contest on Instagram; i have already made the York Pinafore and Evie La Luve set.

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I have taken to cutting out my fabric ready to sew in batches this year so I have the following items in my basket ready to sew:

Monthly stats

Number of Makes: 6

Number of New fabric purchases: 4

Number of Stash Fabric used: 2

Number of New Pattern purchases: 2

Number of Stash patterns used: 3 (4th scarf pattern was made up)

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Pattern Review: Kalle shirt from Closet Case Patterns

This is the third item in the 2018 #sewmystyle line up; the kalle shirt dress from Closet case files.

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while now so was excited to see it added to the sewing list and knowing I would get some discount on the pattern.

I made two versions of this shirt. One for me and one for my mum for Mother’s Day.

The fabric is a lovely and soft cotton lawn from fabricland- although it creases terribly after a wash and always needs a good iron.

The first version was cut in a size 14 in the popover design. The button placket was a first for me but the instructions were so clear I managed it with ease. I used some pale pink buttons also from fabricland.

I chose the band collar as I know my mum does not like fussy or low cut necklines and felt this would be comfortable with just the top button undone.

For the back I chose to do the inverted pleat and tunic length shirt.

For my version I stuck with the band collar after seeing Lauren Guthrie’s version on YouTube.

I opted for the cropped length, adding 5cm again as suggested by Lauren on her YouTube video. This is the perfect length for me and without it would definitely be too short!

The high low hem works well and I tried out the box pleat on my one, which I think I prefer.

I used the hidden button placket on my version which was another first. I got really confused with this the first time round…..

….my husband came in from walking the dogs to find me looking very annoyed at the ironing board and asked if he had done something wrong 😂 Basically I ironed the concertina folds the wrong way round so then it didn’t fold together. I ironed flat and started again and worked it out!

The pdf pattern was huge!! I laid it all out and cut and stuck a Piece at a time. I don’t generally mind that part of the process but worth bearing in mind if you are one of those who hate cutting and glueing….one for the print shop maybe!

The instructions were really clear throughout, especially for the burrito roll technique. I took photos to show the process in case anyway was stuck:

After sewing the two shoulder sections to the main body like a sandwich and then layout as above on a flat surface.

Roll the two body sections together towards the shoulder sections until you can see the shoulder section on the bottom.

Pin the two shoulder seams together and you’re done! I tend to add a couple of pins further down as well to ensure I don’t catch the shirt when I sew the shoulder seams.

This is my finished Kalle shirt with my newly finished Morgan jeans (blog post coming soon!)

I hope you are all enjoying seeing everyone’s versions of this shirt over on instagram- look out for me on there under the same name @craftysewandsewindorset

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Make Nine Update

I have already made a change to my make mine list one month in!! I read up on some reviews for the GBSB 3 hour slouch cardigan and they weren’t great.

I understand there are errors on the pattern and instructions which I could probably work around but I bought some beautiful cashmere wool mix at the Dorset meet up and don’t want to risk it.

Blue wool fabric at the bottom of this photo

I had a search on the foldline website and came across a free pattern from Peppermint magazine in the folds slouchy cardigan with great reviews.

This magazine has a few free patterns that look lovely especially the jumpsuit.

I have already made 3 of my nine patterns; Carolyn pyjamas, Jenna cardigan and Nettie bodysuit.

I need to blog about all of these but I’m aiming to make a second pair of pyjamas so will probably wait to see these before blogging.

I’m trying to pace my sewing this year (not very well looking back over January 🤦🏼‍♀️) so planned to make the Ogden Cami and Copen dress this month; along with a bigger project to make a Sew over it Lola coat.

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December and January Makes

I managed to squeeze in seven makes last month!!! I think I’m getting obsessed again with sewing!

In November and December I went through a bit of sewing lull and only started sewing again at the end of December to make some outfits for Christmas parties.

The dress at the top is the Sew over it 1940’s teadress made for Christmas Eve.

The sequin top is a true bias Ogden top for the works Christmas do and again on Christmas Day.

The black wrap dress (not finished fully in this photo) is from the Chinello Bally book and never got worn!! The works party moved from a hotel to a pub so this felt too OTT. I still need to hem the sleeves and I think it needs some bling on the waistband but that might happen nearer to next Christmas!!

This is my latest make, finished yesterday. It’s the Tilly and the buttons Rosa shirt made in linen type chambray.

It’s such a lovely shape and a good fit. I might size up on the busy next time as I sewed a size 3 graded to 4 on the waist and hip; the lower half is perfect but the bust is a close fit and not able to wear a loose top underneath.

This is the photo that inspired me to make a denim shirt and aiming to replicate this look at the weekend.

This is my muse pattern Jenna cardigan made in free fabric from the stash swap at the Dorset meet up the other weekend.

It’s a great fit first time; I opted for the version with yoke and 3/4 sleeves due to limited fabric and managed to squeeze it out of what I had. I’m aiming to try and make some from the left over fabric grimy heather dress.

This the Sew over it Heather dress in polyester knit jersey from fabricland. This is one of my favourite dresses at the moment, super comfortable, flattering and pockets. Sadly this fabric is not coping with wear and is getting bobbly already ☹️.

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ned up to see my style over on instagram and this is January's offering: the sunny dress from the Friday pattern company. I've already blogged about this one here.

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ally got round to sewing up the Carolyn pyjamas from closet case files. I bought this pattern in November in the Black Friday sales and have had my eye on them since last summer. These are made up from a ripped Ikea duvet and are so comfortable. I need to make the top a size smaller , I’m sure I’d read they come up small but this does swamp me. Trousers were a great fit!

<Nettie bodysuit from closet case files was on my make nine list (along with the Carolyn pyjamas and Jenna cardigan).

I ordered some floral stretch fabric from fabrics galore in the Black Friday sale and when it arrived it was more like swimsuit fabric. I made this low back scoop neck version and have enough left to make a costume in the summer.

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e are my two final makes for the last two months; a Kommatia Ferri bodysuit ( that I love 💕) and a Lindy petal skirt from itch to stitch ( free pattern!!) with left overs from the sunny dress.

That’s a lot of sewing for 8 weeks!!! What have you been sewing recently?

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Pattern review: Sunny dress by Friday pattern company

This pattern is the first in the #sewmystyle2018 line up and is such a simple but great tshirt dress.

I bought some textured ponte Roma from Fabrics galore in the January sales which only cost £6 for 1.5 m. This fabric is great for hiding any bumps from too many mince pies at Christmas but didn’t have a lot of stretch.

I cut out the back piece in my size according to the instructions but when I pinned it to my mannequin it only just reached the midline. I then panicked and had to adjust the front piece to ensure it would fit!

To widen the front piece I moved it in approx 1.5cm from the foldline rather than adjust the width on side seams as this pattern has quite distinct curves to get a great fit. This worked well on the fit around my body but think it had created an issue with the back neckline. It now rides up and although the pattern states you can wear this dress back to front this is definitely not the case for my one.

Talking to Lynsey at the #dorsetmeetup on Saturday it seems she had a similar problem so maybe it wasn’t my pattern adjustment!

This pattern has had some flack on social media groups for the lack of instructions and not even giving a drafted neckband; especially as this basic pattern was around £8. I was happy to pay as they do give a % of sales to charity but agree this should be great for a beginner as so simple but the lack of notches and guidance would hinder someone who is not used to sewing in jersey.

For an experienced sewer this is a super quick sew. I decided to time myself and challenge myself to complete it under 2 hours. It only took me 1 hour 40!!

I finished the hem and sleeves with my overlocker and twin needle. The neckband was attached with my overlocker and again twin needle finished to stop it turning up.

Although the pattern said it needed 1.5m of fabric I managed to make an itch to stitch Lindy petal skirt from the left overs of my fabric! Although I did have to sew two pieces together to make up one of the front sections but you can’t tell under the overlap!!

My final verdict: I’m happy with the fit of this dress apart from the back neckline. I would use this pattern as a base for a jersey maxi dress in the summer but not impressed with the pattern and instructions at the price it retails at.

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2018 Sewing plans

A year ago I set myself some sewing challenges and looking back I found them really helpful to direct my sewing plans and encourage me to try new Patterns.

I made a lot of clothes last year (32 items that I have photos of, plus a quilt, toys and dog coats!!) but I still don’t feel I have a complete wardrobe 🤦🏼‍♀️

This was my #makenine line up last year; a lovely collection of clothes but not coordinated or thought through. I failed on clothes for my husband….I now have two Patterns ready to make for him that I am confident the cut will work.

I made a swimsuit but not this one ☝️ and I didn’t make the coat or dress but lots if other dresses.

I did complete the sweatshirt as that was part of #sewmystyle of which I made most of the patterns.

I signed up to the Sew over it pdf club and bought some Patterns through that when in reality I didn’t have time to make them.

This year I have joined up to #sewmystyle and #2018rtwfast. I tried to give up shop bought clothes last year and did pretty well but failed at jeans, trousers and underwear so determined to master those this year.

My #makenine looks like this;

I just finished the Carolyn pyjamas today and the Nettie bodysuit last week so going well so far! I have a couple of these patterns already made so should be quick practical TNT makes plus a couple of new ones but crucially I own all the patterns already.

I also bought some folders to control how much I sew each month and plan out what supplies I need to get everything to coordinate and not just impulse Sew!!

I go back to university next month to start working towards my Masters so not sure how my sewing will fare against working full time, studying and family life….. then again I might need that time to keep sane!!

What are your plans for 2018?

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Happy New Year

Happy new year to all my readers sorry for the radio silence! I have really neglected my blog since I signed up to Instagram ( @craftysewandsewindorset ) as I’ve been able to share and enjoy others makes on there.

I have so many makes I have not blogged about I am not sure if I can catch up without boring you all! Therefore I have decided to write them up as pattern reviews to cover off a couple at once and hopefully be more useful to those reading.

These are just some of my sewing makes from 2017.

I’m a bit too late to the party to complete my top 5 highs, lows and reflections but I will let you know what my favourite makes were and some sewing highlights.

1. Having my colours assessed.

I arranged an evening at my church with my friends to have our colour tone assessed which was great fun. I was then offered a full consultation for arranging the evening and spent a morning with Colleen at her home. I have been assessed as a cool summer and now have a wallet of my colours…..it had transformed my wardrobe and sewing as I now match all fabric choices to my set of colours and know it will suit me and coordinate with everything else!

2. Megan Nielsen Flint trousers

These were great in the summer for work and home. Cool in hot weather and comfortable all day. I planned on making a full length pair on black crepe but now I’ve been advised to avoid Black I need to find another fabric to use 🤦🏼‍♀️.

3. Sew over it Florence dress from Love Sewing magazine.

This dress not only looks great and was another staple in my wardrobe over the summer; it also won me two prizes via Instagram!

I won the Love Sewing magazine competition and was given £50 to spend in Sew over it. I bought a few metres of orangey boucle wool to make a Lola coat. I’m planning on making this in February instead of the Rumana coat in the #sewmystyle line up.

My second prize was from the Instagram competition to Sew a shirt dress in the summer. I won a Sew Hayley Jane box of goodies and aiming to make a dress with the fabric when the sun resurfaces!

4. My kids sewing

My daughter has always shown an interest in sewing but this year she has been far more independent with her hobby and is showing real talent. She made this doll for her friend with minimal help from me, all I did was sew the body together on the fiddly hands. My daughter did all the designing, cutting out and hand sewing.

They two sided cloud toy is my son’s work of art. He has been learning sewing at school and wanted to make a bonus item to show his teacher. He designed the toy and helped to sew it together on my machine. It has been lovely to share my hobby with them both as they are getting older.

5. Meeting instagram Sewing friends in real life.

This year I created the hashtag #dorsetmeetup and with the help of local sewing shop Hanson’s in Sturminster Newton we now have a logo.

5 of us met up to go fabric shopping and then talking about our sewing journey over lunch. It was such good fun and amazing how 5 strangers can get on so well based on a shared interest.

We have our second meet up next Saturday 20th January during Hanson’s sale with breakfast first at Sweet pea cafe in town to swap fabric and patterns. I am hoping there will be 12 of us there this time!

6. Going to the Sewing Bee Live

This day was amazing!! I went with a friend after winning free tickets from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics in Ferndown.

There were so many beautiful fabric stalls and shows going on plus it was great to meet lots of online sewing community in real life. I really want to go again in June at the second show.

7. Making Cleo

I finally submitted and made myself a Tilly and the buttons Cleo dungaree dress in pale blue cord purchased during the Dorset meet up in the summer.

I altered the pattern slightly to make it more fitted on the waist and I really love it. I wore this to the sewing bee live (with 100 other people!!) and was really comfortable all day.

8. I made swimwear

I actually made two swimming costumes last year and realised how easy it is.

This was one of the things I never thought I could do and now feel more confident to tackle underwear and jeans in 2018.

I have a few plans for 2018 but will write another post for those!!

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Sailor ahoy!!

Over on the monthly stitch it's indie pattern month, sharing lots of different designs away from the big four. Each week in July there has been a contest and this week it has been indie royalty…..sew a whole outfit from independent pattern designers.
As part of this I decided to make a pair of shorts from simple sew to match my nautical theme Bowline sweater.


I used a blue linen fabric from fabricland which was lovely to work with but added some issues with differentiating right side from wrong side! I actually sewed the shorts back and front sides back to front and had to unpick!

The pattern has lovely deep pockets on the front and features buttons along the pockets. I decided to try self covered buttons, which turned out to be much easier than I imagined.

I'm really pleased with the finished shorts and will definitely make another pair.

The blouse is the Cali Faye collection valley blouse made as part of sewmystyle. Follow me on instagram @craftysewandsewindorset for more photos of my makes 😊

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Sew my Style Saunio

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The Saunio cardigan is the second offering in the sew my style capsule wardrobe challenge.
I bought some fabric for this design back in January but didn’t get round to looking at this pattern until this week. I actually bought some scuba with peach lace overlay to make this cardigan but then looked at my original fabric and decided to try it with that first.

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I am so pleased with this design and the fabric is super soft to the touch and much nicer than I remember.
The sewing was completed in about 1 1/2 hours, the paper pattern on the other hand took me a head scratching 1 1/2 hours on its own!!!

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This was a pdf pattern which meant that it did have the seam allowance included (1cm instead of 1.5cm) but to save paper on the printer they overlap all the pieces. Once you stick it together you then still have to trace each piece and cut out again!! Grrrr! And some of the overlaps made it a challenge for my head to trace after a long day at work and trying to get kids into bed!!

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Any who, once I got going this was a dream to sew up. Just look at that pattern matching on the side and arm (if you can even spot them!)

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I interfaced the facing and stitched it from the outside on the furthest edge to stop it flapping open and looks really tidy from the outside.
I will definitely make another one of these but not sure my scuba will work so need to think of another pattern to use that on.
I made this in size small which is great for this light knit fabric but would go up a size in anything thicker. This is meant to be oversized and it’s not on this version but I am happy with that as looks smarter for work.

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