Monday, 15 December 2014

Vintage style Bonnie Sweater

Sometimes a pattern comes along that just seems to click. It looks exactly as you imagined, the fit is good and it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your wardrobe. That's just happened to me with my first make of the Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater!! It's a vintage-inspired sweater for knit fabrics and comes in three variations with lots of mix and match options. 



I bought it mid-way through reading Handmade by Heather B's review as I was so impressed with how it looked on her. At that point, it was a new release and only available as a PDF, which just goes to show how keen I was to make it! (I loathe PDFs). For those of you with similar anti-PDF tendencies, you'll be pleased to hear it's now available as a paper pattern (available here in the UK). To be fair, it didn't take that long to tile it together and I only made minimal fitting changes, so I barely felt any pain.


Anyway, back to Bonnie. I made View A (the cropped version with the crew neck) with long sleeves and following Heather's example, I lowered the neckline by an inch (adding half an inch to each end of the neckband to make it fit). I also shortened the arms by an inch as I am in fact descended from a T-Rex. Based on the finished measurements, I cut a size 12 at the bust, grading to a 10 at the waist and hips and this was almost a perfect fit. The shoulders seem a tiny bit wide, so I may narrow them to a 10 on my next version, but other than that I didn't make any other fitting adjustments. The cropped bodice section did look pretty short when I was making it, especially before the waistband was added, but I'm glad I didn't make any panic stricken changes as the finished length is really flattering. The side seams narrow at exactly the right place and by some kind of sewing sorcery, make your waist appear tiny.


The design has slightly gathered sleeves which was the only thing about the pattern I was sceptical about, but now I've made it, I think they're lovely.

You can see the gathered sleeves more in this picture
They're very subtle and pretty and hardly even look gathered most of the time, just when I'm striking poses or putting my hands in my pockets.

For fabric I used a grey poly/wool jersey blend, with cream polka dots, which I picked up from Katie in a sewing swap. It only just had enough stretch to be suitable for this pattern, but I'm so pleased it worked because it's very cosy to wear. Once the pattern pieces are cut out, it doesn't take much more than an hour to put together, it's definitely a quick, easy make. I made it during a sewing afternoon with a few pals and even with constant chat and distractions I still whipped it up in no time. The overlocker was already threaded up with red thread, so I did my usual lazy party trick of just changing the left needle thread. Magic! The seams are grey, but the insides are all red and pretty!


I'm currently on the hunt for some good quality wool jerseys or sweater knits to make a few more. I'll probably try the Goldhawk Road first, but if anybody has any online recommendations, please let me know.  



There are several great knit top patterns out in the wild, but the reason I like this one is because all the details work for me and my own personal style. I love the vintage look, the neat fit and the fact that I'm now the owner of a polka dot sweater! It adds a bit of pizzazz to a pair of jeans and works perfectly with skirts and high waisted 1940's strides, I couldn't be happier! x

48 comments:

  1. Lovely Bonnie Jane! I'm so glad you love yours as much as I Do mine! I'm also on the lookout for more suitable fabric to make more, so do let me know if you find any. I find that finding decent jersey is so tricky!

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    1. Thanks! Yep, will certainly let you know if I find any good wool jersey. x

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  2. This sweater is adorable on you and so flattering! I love the polka dots too. Good luck finding more fabric!

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  3. Great sweater Jane!. I am also on the look out for good sweater knits. I make a lot of tops but at this time of year most of them are covered up with sweaters. Knitting doesn't do it for me so would love decent quality sweater knits. I went to Goldhawk Road recently and there were quite a few, but not in my colours...

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    1. I'm exactly the same Tamsin! I also made a trip to the Goldhawk Rd last week but no luck - I think cloth house do a couple but they're v pricey and the colours aren't ones I wear (black and purple I think). Still on the hunt.... x

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  4. Wow I can understand why you would love this pattern. I am going to have go the PDF route and I think it will be worth it! Your version looks great, I love polka dots!

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    1. Thanks Linda! Yes, it's very me, I've got a few more versions up my sleeve! x

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  5. It's great on you! I agree, perhaps just a smidge off the shoulder next time and it'll be perfect. Nice to see my fabric to get used for such a nice top!

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    1. Thanks again for the lovely fabric! Yes, the shoulders definitely need to be narrowed next time, but apart from that I love the fit, hoorah! x

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  6. I had forgotten about that pattern! Having seen it again though I think it's very pretty and practical.

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  7. That's really lovely (and i particularly like the red overlocking). After seeing yours and Kelly's of Make Do Sew I think I am going to give this a shot. I'm on the look-out for patterns to use with my new overlocker and this looks like a Christmas cracker. x

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    1. Ooooh a new overlocker?!!! This is a very easy pattern, perfect for trying out on your new toy! x

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  8. Loving it!! Looks adorable and especially with the grey. Who'd have thought 'double grey' could look so lively- life after school uniform. X

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    1. Ah, you see I'm a big fan of double grey! It's an acquired taste but I don't care! xx

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  9. AGH! You look super cute and I love the polka dot sweater! So pretty!

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  10. That looks terrific, Jane! I loathe pdfs, too, so it's heartening to hear that this one is not too painful!

    Your yellow tights and shoes are fabulous!

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    1. Yes, this one really isn't too bad! And thank you! x

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  11. I felt the same way about this pattern! It fit so well into my wardrobe I need to make a few more! Yours is very cute

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    1. Ah I remember seeing your GORGEOUS version when I was researching the pattern. I'm so envious of that wonderful striped fabric too, I've been looking for some like that for years! x

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  12. But, Jane, you're ... you're ... you're wearing yellow! Great tip on overlocker thread; I did not know that. Also would love links to decent knits.

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    1. Just the tiniest accent of yellow....I was feeling brave! x

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  13. Hi Jane. There's a shop on ebay that sells proper sweater knits (that look they've been hand knitted, but haven't!). Haven't bought anything from them yet but they seem to have a good choice http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261251228846?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&var=560214220711&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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    1. PS. Forgot to say... your sweater looks lovely! :-)

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    2. Thank you! That shop looks promising, I'm now going to lose an hour or two trawling through it! x

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  14. I'm always a bit scared of Jersey but this looks so professional; you've inspired me, thanks.

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  15. I am going to make one, have some suitable red fabric that will use once I have the pattern.
    Love your posts Jane and your beautiful makes., such a talented lady. Merry Christmas. xx

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    1. Thank you so much, and merry Christmas to you too! x

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  16. Love it. I still have to sew with knit. . . :)

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    1. Give it a go, it's not that difficult! x

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  17. Your polka dot version is lovely Jane. It suits you perfectly. :)

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    1. Thanks Heather and thanks for the original inspiration - I've never bought a pattern so fast in my life! x

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  18. Looks fab! I have been on the hunt gor some wool knit fabric for ages and eventually found some donna karen wool knit fabric at plush addict - and its now on sale!!

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    1. Do you mean the Karen Millen fabric? Lovely, but sadly not my colour! x

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  19. Thank you so much for blogging this. I saw this pattern a while ago but didn't make a note of it and could not find it anywhere. I love your version. And will be ordering the pattern for my first make of 2015 - maybe! Are you on twitter?

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    1. Ah brilliant, I love it when that happens! Yes, I'm on Twitter - @janehandmade. X

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  20. Love it! It suits you perfectly! I think you have just inspired my next make - I was a bit stuck so thank you! And TIGHTS!!!! Love them!

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    1. Ooh yes, you should make one! Haha, the tights are my sorry attempt to try and wear yellow - I always feel like Malvolio in them! x

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    2. Ha ha!! I have bought some stripy jersey and the pattern and am packing it to take to my parents over Christmas. I should have a new jumper by the New Year!

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  21. The red overlocking makes the inside look lovely!
    I love this top on you and I bet it matches a ton of things in your wardrobe.

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    1. Thank you and you're right, it does! x

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  22. Fab top and I kinda like the orange legs too! Jo x

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    1. Haha! The orange legs are definitely an acquired taste! x

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  23. What a fab pattern! I love your cropped version, not sure how I missed this earlier in the week, but glad I got here eventually. Goes brilliantly with your grey skirt too.

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  24. Jane! This looks so cute. I like the whole look and the grey colors. But mostly I love your tights in combination with your shoes. Lovely!!

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