Toasted chocolate and the quest for the perfect winter top

I baked choc chip cookies this weekend. And because I wandered off into the sewing nook while the last batch was in the oven, they got a bit overdone.

But that was in line with the theme  I had going on this weekend: Chocolate-charcoal.  I hated the colour of this fabric while I was working with it…it felt so “dead”…though once finished I really quite like it:


I used my Jasper-impersonator pattern as a start but to improve the armscyes, I borrowed the pattern pieces from The Daughter’s Coat (which, by the way, is completed but I must get a GOOOOOD photo opportunity to do it justice!)

The sleeves then looked better but now the front was too narrow over the chest. At this point I felt like chucking the whole thing into the bin like a tray of burnt cookies….

But instead I breathed deeply, divided the front just off-centre,  cut a long strip of the jersey knit, draped it around my neck until I thought it looked cool, and: voilá!

What shall we call this?  “The Rosebud Neckline?” “The Ocean-wave Cowl?” Organic drafting, jy verstaan mos!*


The button is just there for emphasis. I can see myself trying this again. I HOPE I will be able to duplicate it!

Speaking of my Wannabe-Jasper:  I modified that experiment a bit.  And just as with the choc chip cookies, I “toasted it” because of lack of focus.  I decided to remove the hem band and replace it with a facing, take in the side seams’ flare a bit…and promptly chopped into a front seam instead. Check out the row of buttons to make it look intentional:

Crisis Management = Design Feature! (Jy verstaan mos?)*

By now I was on the roll, and decided to get out another “chocolate” outfit that needed crisis management: I made this last winter from Butterick 5679 and it pretty much became my favourite everyday outfit until  – through characteristic lack of focus – I got some cooking stains all over it }-; (Jy verstaan mos?*)

The most disfiguring stain is now hidden behind an applique:

I must really just make more of these Butterick 5679 cowl neck tops instead of trying to copy that Jasper, ja? In the right fabric it is just the shape I like.

So before the recycling mood evaporated, I decided to fix this tunic which I also made last year from Butterick 6579.  The cowl and draped sides did not really work in this stiff fabric and felt uncomfortable.

Though I always got COMMENTS when wearing this rather unusual garment, I was never sure they were actually COMpliMENTS!

I removed the cowl, chopped off the wings and ofcourse: added some BUTTONS:


All in all, I think my toasted chocolatey weekend was not too unproductive!


Afrikaans words of the day: “Jy verstaan mos!

Pronounced: “Yay pherstarne morse!”

Translation: “You UNDERSTAND, don’t you?”

2 thoughts on “Toasted chocolate and the quest for the perfect winter top

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