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Oh Nora!

There is nothing better than that cosy feeling. I’m one of those people that’s cold pretty much all of the time. Hold my hand anytime in the year and you’d think I’d just come back from the Arctic! Cold hands, warm heart, right?

The fabric: Lady McElroy Brushed Aztec Jersey Fabric

I chose this beautiful fabric knowing it was sure to keep me snuggly warm. A heavy wool/polyester/mohair mix, I figured it’d be perfect.

On arrival, the colour of the fabric is more muted than that on the website photo. However, bring it into the light and the colour becomes more vibrant. 

I pre-washed the fabric and laid it out flat to dry which didn’t take long at all. The right side of the fabric has a lovely texture to it where as the wrong side is slightly smoother.

The pattern: 

Tilly and the Buttons: Nora ‘hack’ 

I had 2 metres of the jersey to work with and with the composition I felt it really had to be an outerwear garment. Lucky for me, I spotted Tilly’s (Tilly and the Buttons)Nora hack. Having sewn Nora before, I knew I loved the boxy, oversized style. Nora, as a cardigan in wool could only end well. So I set about redrawing the pattern slightly as shown by Tilly on her blog. This was a simple enough process and didn’t take long at all. I felt rather clever actually, pulling it off! 

Cutting out the pieces

The fabric cut well and didn’t shift at all. I managed to place my pieces strategically to get the best of the Aztec pattern. As the wool is heavy I didn’t interface any of the lining pieces. 


I set up my machine with a jersey needle and went with a contrasting navy cotton. As the fabric was a stretch jersey and didn’t need to be pulled over the body, I used a regular straight stitch. Following Tilly’s hack instructions with the original instruction at hand, stitching was straightforward. I overlocked my seam allowances and popped in a little tag which just so happened to coordinate perfectly with the fabric. 

I top stitched the lining around the front opening and the hem with a 3.5mm stitch length going slowly around the bulk shoulder seam and the corners.

The only addition to the hack I made was to stitch in the ditch at the shoulder. To help keep the facing in place.

When I sewed my Nora top I took a lot of length off of the sleeves as it was simply too long for me and I knew that if I left it like so, I’d probably never wear it. With the hack, I simply pressed the sleeve up 7cm and tucked it back into itself, creating a 3.5 cm hem. Using the blind hem method, I hand stitched them in place.


I love how it turned out and toasty warm it is too. Being able to sew a new pattern that I didn’t need to spend money on was great. Hacks are the way forward and a real confidence booster.

If I made another, now that I have the confidence to go it alone I’d probably add a button panel to the front. Perhaps a collar? As the pattern is so giving you could probably get away with sewing it up with a woven. Now there’s a challenge.


This would look amazing over a little black dress and boots or simply jean shorts and a top. I went with jeans and boots (so very me) and man it feels good. 

Thanks for reading,

Katie @katie_berberich

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