Tag Archives: skirts

MMM17 Week 2

14 May

It’s been another lovely week – a few new makes and a few old favorites. I’m still loving the challenge!


Day 8: Happily pulled on some cozy tights to wear with my jean skirt (moss skirt pattern from grainline studios.

Day 9: I wore my new bonnie top from Blue Ginger Doll. I love this fabric from Dragonfly Fabrics.

Day 10: Woop woop there was sunshine! Spent the day in the garden in my clover trousers (which I later made them into shorts) from Colette Patterns and another kimono tee from  Maria Denmark Sewing. On Wednesday the garden won over sewing.

Day 10 BONUS: In addition to my me made outfit i wore all day, I’m  went out that evening in me made too! My newest bonnie top – this is my favorite neckline!

Day 11: I’ve made quite few of butterick B5354 but this one’s my favorite!

Day 12: Got caught in some serious downpours this afternoon. Up side however was that i took shelter in a grove of trees that matched my linden sweater perfectly!

Day 13: Went out last night for belated celebrations for my new job wearing my new ‘good’ dress: Laurel from Colette. Love any reason to get dressed up!

Day 14:  At Columbia road flower market in my ginger jeans and linden sweater (again) – went a little crazy.



5 May

This month I am participating in a little sewing competition hosted by Tools by Hollie. Essentially the competition is to sew an outfit to go with a set of accessories. You get to choose either ‘Bright’ or ‘Black and White’. While normally you’d never catch me dead in the ‘Bright’ accessories, I immediately knew what outfit I wanted to make to go with them. Plus there are some AMAZING prizes to be won.


Last summer I picked up some beautiful yellow Harris Tweed with the intention to make myself a skirt.  Well, this  competition has finally provided the impetus to make it up using Grainline’s Moss skirt pattern. I figure the yellow contrasts nicely with all the pink in the accessories.  For the top, I wanted something bright but abstract and was so happy to find this cotton lawn ‘Artisan Splash’ by Lady McElroy. With such a vibrant print I wanted to use a simple design to show it off and the Biscayne blouse seemed to be the obvious choice.

I made the blouse first. Having used this pattern several times already I was pretty confident with the fit  (I make size small grading out to medium at the hips) and directions (which are supper easy by the way).  Because I didn’t want the print showing through, I decided to skip the breast pocket.. I really took my time ensuring the finishing was just perfect and am so pleased with the final result.

I’ve  used the moss skirt  pattern once before – making a jean skirt in size 6.  For this version however I didn’t want it quite as fitted so I made size 8 and lengthened it about an inch. I spent a long time preparing the tweed – laying it out on the floor and steaming it with my iron.  This is incredibly time consuming as the fabric can stretch when damp so I would steam a section then wait for it to dry before moving it to get to the next section (and then repeating on the other side of the fabric).

The benefit of making the top first was I had plenty of scraps left over to use for the skirt’s pockets, waistband facing and to make bias bind for Hong Kong seams!  It was actually the first time I have ever used Hong Kong seams and I found this Colette tutorial really helpful. So the inside of my skirt is just beautiful!

Because of the weight of the fabric I used the lining for the fly facing and fly shied and on the hem zig-zagged the edge before turning it up just once. I am so pleased with the final look of the outfit!


A new skirt for all my tights

16 Mar

I really love tights. Particularly hose. screen-printed tights. I’ve got about 6 pairs. But very few things to wear with them. The other day I realised what I really needed was a nice little jean skirt. The moss skirt from Grainline Studios seemed like the perfect pattern.

While I was trying to make room in my fabric stash for the fabric I purchased at the Knitting and Stitching show the other week, I found a denim I had bought several years ago and deemed that it is the exact perfect color for the skirt I had in mind. The pattern itself was really lovely and the instructions super easy to follow. I made a size 6 which seemed to match my body measurements. I however made some aesthetic changes and a few additions to make it more like a jean skirt:

  • Flat fell seams and dark blue top stitching thread
  • Rear pockets and belt loops (borrowed from the Ginger jeans pattern)
  • Top stitching around the waist band and slightly on the back of the skirt along the side seams to just below the pockets – secured with a bar tack
  •  Jeans button and rivets

All in all I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I struggled a little with the button hole because of the thickness. In the end (after unpicking the failed button hole three times!) I had to abandon the idea of a  vertical button hole in favor of a horizontal one. It is also a wee bit snug across my belly but not uncomfortably so.

Best of all it looks great with all my favorite tights. And seeing as the weather doesn’t seem to know whether it is coming or going, I suspect they’ll be in use for a few more months anyway!

A new pencil skirt

17 Jan

Butterick B5466As I wanted a little more practice with my machine on an easy pattern before delving into some of my daunting New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to return to anther old favorite: Butterick B5466.

I’ve made a few variations of it now, including a great denim version of D which I wore just the other day (hence the inspiration). IMG_3086Plus I happened to have a lovely dark green fabric in my stash. The fabric is a medium weight cotton (drill?) which I picked up in Japan last year. I’m trying to get better at identifying my fabric – what would you say this is? I decided to stick with version D as I love princess seams.

To start with I jumped straight in at the deep end: trying my new #35 invisible zipper presser foot. In the past I always put invisible zippers in with my normal zipper foot, which probably accounts for why they were never entirely invisible. I decided I’d better do my research first and found this tutorial absolutely brilliant. Invisible zipper foots, I quickly discovered, are AMAZING. I’ve never had such an invisible zipper and there’s only a hint of a bump at the bottom. HURRAH.

The last time I made this skirt I used a fabric with about 5% stretch and had down-sized to make a 10 or 12 (I cant remember!). But according to the measurements I’m a 14.  So I’m going with that this time as there is a bit of give along the bias but that wont help me much. To be extra cautious I decided to baste all my seams first to reduce potential unpicking! A handy trick I’ve started using is to baste in a contrasting color which makes it much easier to see and later remove!

The fit was pretty good though a touch big on the hips. But I figured that as I was going to use the overlock stitch which takes in an extra 1/4″ to the seams, I’d be ok. This made it fit perfectly. I went back and trimmed the excess fabric with my pinking shears. Having finished the seams so nicely, I decided a little extra touch on the facing would be nice. So I encased the bottom raw edge with bias binding I made from some scrap William Morris print. My ‘insides’ are looking pretty spiffy now!


The final touch was the hem. And once again I turned to my little stash of new gadgets for the #5 invisible stitch presser foot. I’ve done invisible hems before but never had the speacial food, so like my zips, its always been a bit hit and miss.  I find this tutorial quite a good reminder. This time though it came out brilliant! Can you see any stitches?



The Maxi Skirt – a sob story

19 Aug

So I’ve been thinking about making a maxi skirt for a while now but faced a few dilemmas. To start with, for a relatively simple skirt I can’t quite bear to spend money on a pattern and there are lots of free tutorials out there. But  I’ve felt, how shall I say, ill at ease with just charging ahead as most of these tutorials seem to do. So I’ve been reading blogs, watching you tube videos, humming and hawing, and esentially NOT SEWING MY OWN DAMN SKIRT.

Well all that changed today. I’ve read enough and seen enough pictures to know what I like and don’t like – I like A line, but nothing that suctions onto the bum and thighs, I like a bit of flair but am not wanting too much. Something that fit somewhere in between a bin bag and a condom would be perfect – see I’m not fussy.

One of the most straightforward tutorials that also produced something near what I am after was on Mad Mim’s blog. Although without such a high waist, and while using the A-line approach I’m going to add a touch of gathering to ensure no suction cupping.

Fabric is prewashed and laid out. It’s a gorgeous bamboo stretch knit (93% bamboo, 7% viscose) in a kinda slate blue (my attempts to photograph the fabric just didn’t do it justice so you’ll have to just imagine from the photos below of the final thing!)  I got this a few weeks back when in London and I had the opportunity to use my birthday gift certificate to Ray-Stitch. I bought a meter.

Anyway it’s all laid out and I fumbling around with my measurements etc and looking at my laid out fabric thinking it looks short… So I measure it… 33”… hmm… How many inches in a meter I ask Google? 39”. I measure all my other prewashed jerseys. They all measure 39” or close enough. So note to self – bamboo knit, shrinks. A LOT.

So I spend a ridiculous amount of time debating whether to have shorter skirt or waist band made from different fabric. Problem is all my other jerseys are patterned and then they might clash with my shirts and then the world might end. SIGH. I decide to go for a compromise, narrow (hight wise) waistband, shorter skirt.

So in the end my plan looked like this:

19-08-13 (2)

Essentially I decided to slightly gather the skirt to match the waist band – thereby avoiding suction bum effect. This is easier said than done. While I’ve made quite a few knit tops, I don’t recall ever making anything that required gathering knit, and then sewing one gather edge and one non gathered edge, while trying to stretch the fabric (so as not to later break my seam) proved tricky to say the least. In fact it led to a far amount of cursing. And to be honest I am not happy with the final result but unpicking knit it horrific and I generally find it is more detrimental than beneficial so opted to keep it as it is. Although you can see from the pictures below there wont be any close ups of this one cause I’m too ashamed of it!

Things I’d do differently next time:

  • I’d make the final waistband  at least 5” from top to bottom.
  • I’d make the waistband smaller – although I took in the sides quite a bit, the bamboo fabric is heavier than cotton and seems to really pull the waistband down.
  • I’d be very very careful when making my gathers on the skirt bottom.
  • When attaching the skirt bottom to waistband, I’d sew so the gathers where on top – allowing me to correct any deviations as I sewed (versus the mess I ended up in).
  • Buy more fabric! As the bamboo fabric shrank so much, it really  required my to make some sacrifices right at the beginning with the size and shape I wanted.

Oh well I guess as I’ll be wearing long shirts over it and no one will be looking that closely at my waistband I should hope. But still it’s really upsetting when you know that it’s not the best you could have done. It somehow feels sacriligious to have dont a poor job on such wonderful fabric.


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