Monday, 30 March 2015

Cats with Mustard - Mmmm!

Today you get a 2-for-1 post! I know blog posts have been a bit slow from Needles HQ recently, but it's not for lack of any production, just life getting in the way. Anyway, today I present to you the Disdainful Cats skirt with a hand knitted 1960's tie-neck sweater:

Let's start with the skirt - it's basically the same design as the one I used for my December Minerva project, which involved taking a piece from Burda 122 and sticking it on to the back of a self drafted pencil skirt:

Apologies for creasing...

Close up of back frill
The fabric is a medium weight cotton I picked up at Fancy Silks in Birmingham while on the SewBrum meet-up. It actually came from the furnishing fabrics department - I suppose it's intended for curtains, cushion covers, etc. The cats have a bit of a snooty air about them, so I couldn't imagine having a room decked out in them. Imagine all that judgement gazing down at you. But I liked the colour and feel of the fabric enough to ignore their bullying and make this skirt.

Here's some details-

As with the previous version, I avoided side seams by overlapping the front and back pieces at the side and cutting it all as one, with just a centre back seam. As if by some miracle, the pattern matched up nearly perfectly at the back seam:

Almost perfect matching - take that cats! 

I put in a hand picked zip, and finished off the waistband with a little black button from my stash:

The skirt is fully lined, with the hem finished with bias made from the lining:

Lining where the frill meets the skirt

Detail of the hem
Mr needles was kind enough to be my photographer for the day, but as we started to take the photos an unexpected storm started to build up:

It started raining about 30 mins after this photo was taken!
But it gave me an opportunity to get some action shots of the frill:

Now the sweater-

I love knitting, but I'm less experienced with it as compared to sewing, and I'm often less than pleased with the results. So I stick to socks and scarves, and little things that don't require much fitting. 

But this pattern, from a 1960's 'Woman and Home' booklet caught my eye as something I could actually do well:

I used a 4ply wool and polyester mix by Drops, which I ordered from Loveknitting (It's only £1.50 per ball!) And even though I consider it an 'ugly' colour, I chose mustard because it seemed era-appropriate and I secretly really like it. The only drawback is that the wool is a little itchy, but after washing it seems to be softening up.

The whole jumper is knitted in plain stocking stitch, and other than shaping and a little bit of detail at the hems it was pretty boring to knit. 

Here it is:

I think it's pretty close to the original!

Some details:

Close up of hem
The hem of the body and the sleeves all have this picot stitch worked about 11 rows after casting on. After it's worked, you fold the hem under, resulting in this pretty edging.

Inside view of the hem turned up
Here's a close up of the neck tie:

It's just a long strip with pointed ends that's sewn around the neck and threaded through a little knitted loop on the left.

And that's pretty much it - see you soon!


  1. Great photos! I love your top - the colour really suits you and the tie looks great. That sounds like a clever way to sew the skirt to avoid too much pattern matching, and the frill looks great!

  2. Awesome! Amaxed at the sweater! I love knitting but I also get impatient with it for some reason. Good choice on the cat print too! I lover using fabrics that aren't typically for their original intended purpose.

  3. ☆amazed. My phone hates me lately :(

  4. That fabric is amazing! I love this entire outfit! The mustard and green combination is killing it!

  5. Perfect colour combo. I love the mustard with that dark green.

  6. That skirt is gorgeous, and the matched centre seam and lining is so neat. Rocking it with that mustard knit is a great idea; I love that neck tie detail.

  7. Wow you are incredibly talented and looking gorgeous xxx I love your colour combo-it's perfect for spring time xx have a magical easter :) x Check out my latest blog post at !! Xx followers are desperately needed xxxxx


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