Hello!! I am so very excited because it’s DECEMBER! This is my favourite month by a long way - mainly because Christmas but also because it’s my most sociable month - I see loads of my family and catch up with old friends and that always makes me very happy. Since I started sewing I also have my most productive time in December - I make lots of presents and spend a lot of time trying to sew up a festive wardrobe, which is funny in itself as the shelf life of these clothes lasts a few weeks and then they go away again after Boxing Day till next December… and guess what - my latest Minerva Crafts project is going to do exactly that… may I present to you my Christmas Tree jumper:

When I say Christmas Tree jumper - I don’t mean it’s a got a Christmas Tree on it but that I become a Christmas Tree (how many times can I say Christmas Tree in this blog?!) It’s almost ridiculous and I know some will not like this make but I LOVE IT! It’s fun, cosy, colourful and about as festive as it gets so - what’s not to love?!

I am a lover of a fluffy jumper - I have about 10 in all different colours and I wear them all to death as they are so cosy and I can’t help but always feel like I’m back in the 90s when I wear them - especially with a mini skirt and thick tights so that brings back a whole load of lovely memories too!

The pattern is one of the sewing world’s favourites - the Linden by Grainline Patterns. I have never tried it before and wanted to see what all the fuss is about. I totally understand it’s reputation as it’s a great pattern - very quick and easy to make. Super beginner friendly and it has a nice amount of options to suit a huge range of fabrics and everyone. I couldn’t find any ‘fluffy’ versions online so I was worried that this wouldn’t suit this fabric but I ploughed on regardless!

I have been making a lot of jumpers recently and have completely fallen head over heels with the Seamwork Astoria so this pattern had a lot to live up to. I’m going to be honest, I still prefer the cropped Astoria to the Linden - it’s just more fitted and more me. So part of me wishes I used this fabric for the Astoria instead as after my first try on of the Linden it looked pretty awful on me. It was shapeless, too big and the neckline looked baggy and just wrong on me.

So I tried to make it more like an Astoria - I cropped it more, I took in the sides and sleeves and took the neckband off and had a think… how could I hack this to make it more special?! Then I thought of the new lovely pattern from Cocowawa Crafts - The Chestnut Sweater - this one has bows and is so festive already! I considered a ‘frankenpattern’ by cutting down the whole back to add bows but then I thought the fabrics wouldn’t quite work with this idea so instead I decided on a bow on the back with the neckband. I literally cut a long strip of fabric - as a thick neckband. I attached the front of it and left the back free to tie in a bow.

I have a confession - when it comes to Christmas clothes I don’t spend a long time on the details as I know they will get worn so little. So I left the rest of the necktie as is - the fabric doesn’t fray (it MALTS - more on that later but doesn’t fray) so it means I can leave the edges unhemmed. I know, I know it’s not proper or clever to leave it all so unfinished but when I’m making something for me to wear I just don’t sweat the small stuff. Also I had very little time for this make inbetween trips to France with my band!

This bow at the back really helped the sweater look nice on me, sorted the baggy neckline and added a little festive detail so I’m really happy I did it.

The Fabric - well well well - it’s a lively one! It is still all over my bedroom after many many hoovering attempts but that’s all part and parcel of using fabrics like this - if it has hair, it will malt when it’s cut and when it’s sewn BUT not when it’s worn and that’s the most important thing! There was not as much stretch as I was expecting and this did cause problems for the neckband but I didn’t want to use another contrasting fabric so I’m happy I got the result I did with it. It’s definitely more an eyelash fabric and the ‘hairs’ are lovely, light and delicate. The colour shimmers and has a sparkly effect that I love. Oh and it looks and feels like a soft, cosy Christmas Tree so that’s the main point!

I have to say I love it styled with the red Beret and pleased that it goes with my blue hair as I was worried at one point that I had made a disaster - but like an actual plant, this jumper has really grown on me and I am planning to wear it tonight to an outdoor light turning on carol evening with my red tartan trousers and that beret - I will be warm and Oh so festive!!

Thankyou Minerva for sprucing me up just in time for Christmas!

Happy holidays to you all - let it sew, let it sew, let it sew!