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#cosycardichallenge – Options

IMG_0665Hi Everyone,

Well as you know I am pleased to be collaborating with the lovely Stitch Sisters Nikki and Rachel to bring a new challenge on instagram for the autumn #cosycardichallenge .

As mentioned in my previous post the challenge is that participants sew a cardigan for the autumn.  Any kind of cardigan and it also doesn’t necessarily have to be for yourself it can be for anyone. Check out my last post for our ‘terms’.

I have to admit a little of an obsession with cardigans which are a staple in my wardrobe throughout the autumn/winter but I also have to admit that I have only ever sewn one which was not really a success!!  Well that is about to change as I have my eye on a few patterns which have been kicking around for a while now.

I thought it might be helpful to give you ideas and below I have listed some of my favourites and I have quite a large selection to cover all bases!!


Lisbon Cardigan by Itch to Stitch

There is the Lisbon Cardigan from Itch to Stitch who is one of our lovely sponsors and I have seen some beautiful versions of this cardi on Instagram.  This  uses very little fabric and check out the image which includes a lace bodice with solid sleeves.  Gorgeous!B_front_1024x1024

I also love the Jenna Cardigan by Muse Patterns who is also one of our lovely sponsors and have had this pattern cut out and ready to sew since last year.  If you need any more verification that this pattern is awesome you should check out Sarah of who you can also find on her on Instagram @amilliondresses she has made a number of these cardigans and has used snaps instead of buttons for those of you who are a little unsure of sewing buttonholes in jersey this is the perfect option!!!  She also managed to get her versions out of less than a metre of fabric! Awesome!!!


There is also the Cabernet Cardigan  by Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick (SBCC) which is a great option and comes in a standard length but also a longer below hip length and also has a the option of front pockets.  I really love this one and this is also on my list.

There is also the Sophie Cardigan by Muse Patterns which comes with loads of variations.


Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet

My favourite longline cardi is of course the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet.  Helen is also one of our lovely sponsors.  The longline option finishes mid thigh but also has the option of a shorter hip grazing length.  I am definitely going to make one of these as it has been on my hit list for a while.

Another longline cardigan which is also featured in our images is the Carrie Cardigan by Delia Creates.  This is a really relaxed fit cardigan with a split front and dolman sleeves.

If you are looking for a semi-long line cardigan there are also a couple of lovely options I found the first being the Grandpa Cardigan from Patterns for Pirates which comes to just below your hips and is a great option.  Also the final image that features in our challenge graphic is V8819, however, this is unfortunately out of print but there are some other options which are similar my favourite is McCalls M6996 which although it is not the same still has some interesting style lines.


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Meridian by Imagine Gnats

If you fancy a bit more of a relaxed fit waterfall is definitely the way to go with no fastenings to worry about.  Another one of our lovely sponsors is Imagine Gnats and the lovely Meridian Cardigan is featured in our challenge image.  This is a lovely waterfall fronted cardigan with a contrast facing it is also selling at a discounted rate at the moment.

Another option is the Drape Cardigan by Burdastyle which is second image in the top row of our challenge graphic.

The Men’s Auden Cardigan by Jennifer Lauren Handmade


If you don’t want to sew for yourself there is also the option of sewing for one of the men in your life.  There are beautiful patterns for men in the form of The Men’s Auden Cardigan by Cardigan by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

There is also the Newcastle Cardigan by Thread Theory if you are looking for another option and comes as a paper pattern but also PDF and whilst they are Canadian based there patterns are available from UK stockists.

Greenpoint Cardigan by Hey June


So this is my final category and the pattern that I love the most for kids is the Greenpoint Cardigan by Hey June.  I absolutely am in love with this and the pattern runs from 12 months to 12 yrs.

Well that’s about it as I could go on forever as there are so many fabulous cardigan patterns out there.

I hope you will consider taking part in this challenge and if you want to know more about it check out my previous post which sets out the rules and don’t forget to tag us in your make photos on instagram and use the hashtag #cosycardichallenge.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!!!

Amanda xxxx

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#cosycardichallenge – The Rules

IMG_0665Hi Everyone,

Well this is such an exciting post and I am so pleased to announce that I am collaborating with fellow YouTubers and all round beauties The Stitch Sisters, Nikki and Rachel to bring a new challenge to instagram for the autumn.

You can find Nikki @sodburysewing and Rachel @shesewsvintage who together form the Stitch Sisters YouTube channel but also run Sodbury Sewing School.

As, no doubt you are aware, the three of us live in the UK and since the summer here has been a bit of a damp squib (to say the least) our minds have automatically turned to autumn and the gaps in our wardrobes which needed filling before summer is well and truly over.  We all love an insta challenge and loved the idea of collaborating on something super fun so we present to you the #cosycardichallenge.

As the name suggests the idea of the challenge is that participants sew a cardigan for the autumn.  Any kind of cardigan be it cropped, standard length or longline it doesn’t matter.  It also doesn’t necessarily have to be for yourself it can be for a loved one or close friend anyone you like (or don’t for that matter!!) its entirely up to you.  You can use any pattern vintage, modern, indie or mainstream the choice is yours.

The only requirement is that your garment is open fronted for the entire length of the garment to ensure that it qualifies as a cardigan.  Fastenings are also optional in case you fancy a waterfall style.

It has been extremely important to us that the challenge is open to everyone of all abilities and sewing levels and therefore we have decided to pick the winners at random rather than selecting our favourite garments.  I am sure that all the entries will be fabulous but just because you are a novice or you slightly messed up one of your buttonholes should not mean that your entry is any less valid than one sewn by an advanced sewer, with perfect buttonholes.  As home sewers we all fully appreciate the effort involved in producing any garment and of course can empathise with the fact that sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan!!!

So in order to participate in the challenge you will need to do the following:

1: Sew a Cardigan by 31st October 2017

FullSizeRender (25)You will need to sew a cardigan by 31st October 2017 and post a clear picture of your garment on instagram using the hashtag #cosycardichallenge.  In order for us to see your entry you must ensure that your profile is not set to private otherwise we will not be able to view your image.  It would also help if you tagged one or all of us in your post to make certain we see it but we will of course have the hashtag to rely on.

Already sewn a cardigan and would love to enter it? That’s no big deal just make sure you use the hashtag and it will count as a valid entry.

Live outside the UK?  That’s no bother either the challenge is open to everyone no matter where you live.

2: Follow us on Instagram

So as to ensure you receive updates with regard to sponsors and prizes and any useful tips the three of us may share during the challenge please make sure you follow us on instagram.  You can of course find me @amanda_isewalot, Nikki @sodburysewing and Rachel @shesewsvintage.  Although this is of course not a requiremeant.

Well that is it, easy as pie!!!!  You can of course enter as many items as you wish but in order to give everyone a fair chance, as some people are less time restricted than others, your name will only be entered once into the hat when we select the prizes.

We will update you along the way with regard to our fabulous sponsors and the amazing prizes we have managed to secure and big thanks go out to every one of them.

We would love for you to take part and look forward to seeing all your amazing makes so don’t forget to use the hashtag #cosycardichallenge

Happy sewing!!!

Amanda xxxx


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All the Astorias!!!!

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Hi Everyone,

Well if you follow me on instagram or have watched my YouTube channel you will no doubt be aware of my latest obsession which strangely, although not sadly, is not a Sew Over It pattern but the Seamwork Mag Astoria Sweater.

I subscribe to the Seamwork Magazine but way before I subscribed I had been eying this pattern.  I was a little concerned about the length and had seen a number of versions where people had lengthened the sweater and whilst I could totally appreciate why they had lengthened it I did not like the effect it gave.  By lengthening the pattern you automatically made it hit at your hips which, I believe, from a visual point of view tended to cut you off at your widest part and make your hips look larger.  Whereas, if you kept the sweater cropped as intended it stopped at your narrowest part.

After I finished my McCalls 7547 dungarees I decided I needed something to go underneath which did not add bulk around the bottom area.  The denim I used was quite lightweight and any bunching or extra fabric would be seen through the denim.  Enter the Astoria!!!!  Mustard

My first version was this 70s vibe mustard Ponte Roma which, I have to admit, I fell in love with as soon as I finished it and it went straight on and out in the wild.

To ensure success with the neckband I measured it before I put it in and used a 70% measurement although it was a little tight and difficult to get in and caused me to review the formula I was adopting and whether it was relevant to all types of jersey?!?

So after my success with this version, and due to the fact that it only used about 3/4qrs of a metre of fabric, I got to thinking about other scraps of Ponte Roma that I had in my stash.

At this point I did toy with the idea of lengthening the pattern and actually added an inch when I made my navy version.  However,  I have to admit the fabric is not very nice and must have a high polyester content as it does not feel soft at all and whilst it is fine under my dungarees I don’t really like it with my jeans so decided in my future versions to keep the pattern as intended.  I think I was right to go with my instincts as the longer version sat in completely the wrong place.

As this was an incredibly quick make I decided it was likely to fall into the “1 hour Challenge” category for my YouTube channel and I had been asked on quite a few occasions to do a tutorial on jersey neckbands.  So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone!!

I had just ordered some gorgeous rose Ponte Roma from Sewisfaction which can be found here with the intention of making a Sew Over It Molly Dress but I had 2 metres so, EEEK, I had enough for both (fist pump moment!!!).


This fabric was soooooo gorgeous and as I’ve said on my instagram and also in the video it is probably the nicest Ponte Roma I have ever used.  It is a little expensive but given you would only need a metre is £12.50 for a sweater excessive?!?  In my opinion the answer is no and I am so pleased with the result.  This sweater not only goes perfectly under my M7547 dungarees but is also just what I needed to go with my new M7547 flares as is pictured here on the left and at the end of my video.

Fuelled by my latest successes I continued with my Astoria obsession and raided my stash for any other Ponte which I could use.  I had some lovely mint floral left over from a previous Molly Dress which was to be my next victim.  As I had previously made a dress from this fabric I new it went perfectly with black and therefore would be awesome with my black Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt and also my Simple Sew Shannon Trousers.  YAY!!!  The next Astoria was born (another fist pump moment).  floral

As hoped it did go perfectly with my Ultimate Pencil Skirt but I have yet to try it with my Shannon Trousers which also need fixing as I experienced another rubbish zipper incident!!!

Still cruising on my Astoria gig I had seen a version by Rae Hoekstra of Made By Rae some time ago using her Art Class Sidewalk for Cloud 9 jersey which I had fallen in love with.  As if I needed tempting anymore to purchase fabric, Mauds Fabric Finds had moved this particular fabric to their Sale section on the website.  Off I trotted to their site and accidently managed to order the Art Class and Fancy Steps for Astorias and some other prints for T-shirts for my twin boys (screaming bank balance moment!!).

Well the Art Class Astroria turned out just as planned and I absolutely love it but the Fancy Steps gave me a bit of a headache as far as pattern matching is concerned which is totally not my forte as I have mentioned before.  But rather than unpick my overlocking and re-cut the bottom band I decided to leave it and just resign myself to the fact that you win some you lose some.

My intention was to wear it under my dungarees so no-one will notice but to be honest it doesn’t really bother me that much anyway.  But we shall see how long I can put up with it before I have to redo it!!!!

So I think my Astoria journey has come to an end for the time being but I will definitely bear it in mind when I have leftover jersey.  This pattern ticks all the boxes versatile, quick and uses a minimal amount of fabric what more could you ask for?

If you fancy checking out my 1 hour challenge on YouTube I have put the link above which also gives a little information about how I tackle jersey neckbands.  This method seems to work for me and is a rough formula for calculating you neckband to optimise your success rate rather than having to put it in and take it out at least four times which, I am sorry to say, was me prior to establishing any particular mathematics to my approach.

Anyway until next time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Amanda xx

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Me Made May 2017


me made may

‘I, Amanda of @amanda_isewalot and I Sew A Lot, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’17. I endeavour to wear me made each day for the duration of May 2017 with the exception of shoes and underwear but will seek to add to my me made wardrobe by making one additional item per week to include, hopefully, some underwear’

Love this challenge Zoe can’t believe its going to be May so soon and looking forward to everybody’s intaspam :)’


Well it’s that time of year again and Me Made May is upon us.  I am taking part in this challenge created by Zoe of  ‘So, Zoe…What do you know?’  blog and above is my pledge.

I have taken part in this challenge in previous years and I have to admit that I wear me made pretty much every day but I love to take part and to take the whole me made clothing issue to a higher level.

It is a brilliant challenge to get us me makers to wear our garments with pride and give them the love they deserve.  Whilst not compulsory, the sewing community on instagram provide evidence daily of their outings with me made clothing.

The challenge is aimed at all makers and the pledge is set by you so whether you just have a handful of me made items and can therefore only manage to wear one a week or if you have a whole wardrobe full you can take part.

I have chosen this year to add to my wardrobe by making one garment a week and to include in my me made items some underwear as I have yet to venture down this route with my sewing.  The main reason for adding this to my pledge is in an attempt to somehow reduce my scraps stash which is increasing with every garment I make.  Unfortunately, I am terrible at getting rid of any kind of fabric and always think I will somehow get round to using it but never quite manage it!!

So there you go that’s my pledge and I am currently enjoying everyone’s instagram posts of their me made items and am looking forward, whole heartedly, to continuing to participate and also ogle others’ me mades.

Follow my Me Made May 2017 progress over on instagram and search for #mmmay17 to see all the wonderful posts by our fellow me makers.

Amanda xx

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Am I Insulting?!?


Hi everyone,

Well this post is kind of sewing related but also a little bit off topic so I apologise in advance!!!

Through vlogging I receive an enormous amount of comments in relation to my figure and my body size which are, in the majority, extremely complimentary.  However, I have recently received a few comments which have indicated that the way in which I talk about my body may be insulting or offensive to others who are larger than myself.

I know you have to take the rough with the smooth and the positive comments outweigh the negative ones, tenfold!!! But I couldn’t help feeling a little concerned that I may be unconsciously affecting my viewers and how they feel about their body image.  To that end I felt that maybe the comments made could have some substance.


I have made no secret of the fact that I suffer from an autoimmune disease but what my viewers may not be aware of is that this disease caused my weight to plummet suddenly and I lost in the region of 2 stone within an extremely short space of time.

Following a number of tests it was confirmed I was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis which, as the name suggests, is a condition that causes ulcers in your colon as a result of your body attacking itself.  Fortunately my Colitis was diagnosed in the relatively early stages and even more fortunately it was Colitis rather than Crohns which is of course substantially more debilitating and inherently difficult to treat.

Initially I felt aggrieved that someone had the audacity to suggest that I was unable to comment about my own body in any way which I saw fit.  However, given time to mull over the wider implications of the way in which both I and my viewers perceived my body caused me concern.

I have always struggled with my body image and I don’t think anyone can really see themselves as others do.  This is of course coupled with the fact that, as women, we are compelled to put ourselves down constantly and always focus on our faults and flaws rather than the things which we have going for us and, of course, compare ourselves to others.  Given my own body image issues I became concerned that I was in some way impacting upon this impediment in others.

I have therefore committed to be more mindful of how my comments about my body may impact upon others in future vlogs.  Whilst I cannot change the way I look, and the fact that I am drawn to a fitted silhouette rather than a relaxed one, I can change the way people perceive me.  I want my viewers to be fully aware that I have no judgement in respect of anyone else’s body shape or size as we are all different and whether you are overweight, underweight or just right that is a matter for you and only you as it could be down to a number of reasons unbeknown to anyone else.  I have no place to comment in this regard and certainly would not intend to and any comments I make in respect of my own body are no reflection on anyone else’s but purely observations in relation to me and me alone.

Whilst off topic, I have felt compelled to write this post as it is easy for people to comment on my figure and believe that I am somehow lucky to look the way I do but what they don’t see is that I too struggle with body image and do not see my body as others do.  They are also unable to see that this body is a result of being afflicted with an illness which has caused me pain and discomfort for a number of years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

So once again I apologise if this post is too deep but it has been on my mind for some time and I needed an avenue to vent my feelings about it.  It is also not an attempt to gain numerous comments which are sympathetic to my condition it is just a post about what is on my mind right now with no strings attached.

Thanks for stopping by and check out my YouTube channel and instagram account for more sewing lovliness and conversation with a much lighter subject matter!!!

Amanda xx

If you are interested in finding out more about Ulcerative Colitis you can check it out here: