Wax On, Wax Off. Or, Just Wax On.

_DSF8518I bought this wax print in Goldhawk Road last year, and I struggled to know what to do with it for a while. Ben deciding that the print looked a bit phallic didn’t help (I like to think of them as anchors or some other nautical thing). I have a habit of buying lovely fabric and then worrying about what to do with it until I get fed up of looking at it and buy something new. At the end of the day, there was six yards of this, so an exploratory skirt wasn’t going to hurt if I hated it.

simplicity-sewing-pattern-1365-1970s-vintage-halter-neck-tops-p6787-14682_zoomOnce I decided on the skirt, I also considered making a halter neck top to go with it (or apart from it). This dream has yet to be realised, but I still like the idea. I just need to make a muslin of Simplicity 1365 and see if there is any way that is going to work for me without a bra. Anyway, I couldn’t wait to show you the skirt, so you will just need to contain your excitement for a while longer (estimate: a year at current sewing speed).

Anyway, that’s enough about me and my ability to procrastinate. I’ve borrowed some questions from Pattern Review to tell you all about it.

_DSF8513Pattern Description: 
Dirndl skirt from Love at First Stitch

Pattern Sizing:
Self drafted (ish)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?

_DSF8519What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The instructions were clear, and drafting a skirt based on my own waist measurement was a revelation – it fits!

Fabric Used:
Wax print cotton // £18 for six yards // Somewhere on Goldhawk Road (A-Z Fabrics?)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
– Normal zip instead of the invisible one recommended. This was purely based on what I had in the stash.
– Belt loops added because my waist measurement fluctuates wildly on a day to day basis, so I can wear it on both fat and skinny days (these photos were taken on a skinny day and I think it still looks fine when cinched in by the belt).

_DSF8521Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes. I would probably make the waist band slightly narrower if I made it again, and I might try moving the zip to the side so I could cut the back piece on the fold. I might also experiment with a maxi length one.

Very happy with this. It’s always nice to have a cheerful summer skirt in the wardrobe. I’m also quite pleased with my pattern matching on the side and back seams.

Gold Lady Skater

IMG_3145Blog photo opportunities are hard to come by these days – I made this Lady Skater in March to fit in with the Stashbusting Sewalong theme of sewing with patterns we already have. I mean, I bought the fabric especially, because I only have one piece of jersey in my stash and it wasn’t big enough. Also, it was very hard to leave gold jersey in the shop. Stashbusting be damned!

I didn’t have anything to make a toile from (I could have toiled the bodice, but I am quite attached to that other bit of jersey and want to make a t-shirt from it), so I went for it and hoped for the best. The only modification I made was to lengthen the bodice by about 1-2″ – I just did this by continuing the size four side lines down to the end of the largest size. As I have a super long body, I thought this would be a prudent measure, but looking at the photos of the back in particular, I think I’ve gone overboard. I don’t think the back looks this bad in real life, because I normally slouch, and having seen this picture, I still love this dress.

IMG_3162Aside from that, I think the fit has turned out well. I have wrinkles above my boobs from the armpits, which I should probably investigate a bit more, but I’m sure I have them on all t-shirts, so I’m not that worried.

This is the comfiest thing I have ever worn, and I am really pleased that I got around to making this pattern up. I’ve found this is the perfect dress for most occasions – I can wear it at work, as a day dress or out in the evening. I don’t think this will be the last time I make it. It goes really well with my new rtw blazer, too.


Me Made May 2015 – Week 2

Week two, and I’m on a me made roll! It’s taken me a week to get the pictures from my phone to the computer, because apparently Apple aren’t into that happening automatically nowadays (this is what happens when you stop naming your OS after cats).

MAY-5Wearing: Pink t-shirt refashion, Jewel Thief necklace, Levis jeans, M&S vest, Nike trainers

Doing: working from home

The Good: This is the second time I’ve worn this t-shirt so far this month, so it’s obviously doing something right. I got to recycle the previous photo, so no selfies today!

The bad: This is literally the only really casual thing in my wardrobe which isn’t pyjamas (me made jammies are being worn all month by the way).

MAY-7Wearing: Gold Ladyskater Dress (currently unblogged), Uniqlo cardie

Doing: working, voting, showering Alfie with affection

The Good: Nobody realises that this dress is handmade, which is cool. It is also like wearing a nightie – so comfy!

The bad: The fabric is pilling a little already, but I will wear this till it falls apart

MAY-7Wearing: Refashioned Shirt, Uniqlo jeans, ancient Topshop vest

Doing: working from home

The Good: Transforming this from a tunic into a shirt was the best thing I’ve ever done. I wear this all the time. ALLTHETIME!!!

The bad: I’m a bit sad that I’m not wearing this as much as usual in order to give my other outfits a fighting chance

MAY-8Wearing: Simplicity 2215 skirt, H&M(?) denim shirt, Gap denim biker jacket, Clarks boots

Doing: pootling around town

The Good: I hadn’t tried this outfit before, but I was really pleased with it.

The bad: The skirt rides up a bit with tights, which is annoying, but I know I will wear it all the time in the summer

MAY-9Wearing: Refashioned Shirt, Uniqlo jeans, ancient Topshop vest

Doing: having a chilled out Sunday

The Good: See – ALLTHETIME!!!

The bad: I’m not very good at coming up with exciting outfit combos when I could just be wearing a shirt and jeans

This skirt really strikes a cord with me…

Simplicity 1321 FrontI love red and I love corduroy, so it was no surprise that this bright red needlecord, 10 euros for three metres from Les Coupons de Saint Pierre in Paris, came home with me. I knew that I needed more separates in my wardrobe, so this was always destined to become a skirt of some kind.

These pictures do not do this skirt justice – it was difficult to get the colour to come through nicely in the photos, and the ones where you can see the detail also show up all the wrinkles. The seams are also a lot less bubbly in real life. This is what happens when you decide iPhone pictures will do because you can’t be bothered to find your camera.

I came home and browsed the pattern stash before finding Simplicity 1321, purchased in a sale about a year ago. I really liked the look of view A as it looked like a slightly more professional version of a short tweed kilt with combat pockets that I used to own. I obviously didn’t go down the originally planned route with my bright red skirt, but it’s important to know that there is always some sort of warped logic behind the sewing patterns I buy.

Simplicity 1321 BackAs I had three metres of the fabric, I decided to just try and pin fit it as I went, but after the initial pinning, it seemed to fit almost perfectly, so I didn’t bother making any adjustments. I was actually surprised that it fit so nicely without modifications as you use the same pieces for the front and back. I think I could stand to take about 1cm out of the seams across the back above my bum, but I think this is the level of detail that only I could care about or notice.

I’d imagined that it would sit a bit higher on my waist, and find myself tugging it up quite a bit, but I don’t think mine actually sits any lower than the models (I have an incredibly long body), and the shaping around the hips is nice as it sits now, so I just need to get used to it. Maybe I would take future versions in a bit.

Simplicity 1321 PatternYou may have noticed that view A of the pattern has some interesting tabs on each side. I made these, and then realised that I’d sewn them both for one side. I wasn’t really feeling the unpicking, or the thought of cutting another one out, so I’ve left them off this version. If I make the pattern again, I would include them, as they are utilitarian looking enough for me to not hate them, as I hate almost every decorative feature known to (hu)man.

Talking of making it again, I don’t think I would ever make any of the other variations of this pattern, because they are just far to fussy for my tastes (decorative features – *shudder*). However, I think this version is versatile enough that it could be made again with a few variations each time.

Me Made May 2015 – Week 1

Woohoooooo!! It’s Me Made May!!

Last year, I didn’t have that many pieces of hand made clothing, so I used the month to work out where I was with my wardrobe, and what was missing. It was useful, and I think I’ve been a little bit more mindful about what I make since then. This is the month of truth and this time around I am going to be aiming to wear something me-made for four days a week.

I’ll do a roundup post of what I wore at the end of each week, starting with this short week of three days, which featured handmade items every day because I’m an over achiever.

MAY-2 Wearing: Paisley A-line dress, Uniqlo cardie and belt, thrifted necklace, Clarks brogues (not pictured, but they go perfectly with the belt)

Doing: Working in London, spending a lot of time on freezing train platforms (someone got assaulted on the worlds most middle class train, so they had to cancel it while we all stood around feeling confused)

The good: I can wear whatever I like to work, but some days its nice to make the effort and put a dress on (it’s a shame I didn’t get as far as wearing make-up because I look tired as hell – this was at the end of the day). I felt very put together and professional in this outfit, and received a compliment from a colleague who was unaware of my sewing hobby

The bad: something about the friction caused by my unlined mac on the outer layer of this dress causes the lining to ride up to somewhere around waist height. I spent a lot of time trying to pull it down without flashing on the aforementioned train platforms)

MAY-3 Wearing: Pink t-shirt refashion, Jewel Thief necklace, Levis jeans, M&S vest, Nike trainers

Doing: Shopping, sewing (two new skirts completed – w00t!), thinking important thoughts about life

The good: This was the first stretchy item I ever made, and I’m still pleased with it. I haven’t worn it for ages, but I do get a lot of use from it in the summer

The bad: The lack of stretch in the material leads to drag lines and it’s a bit short. However, I don’t care much about the first point, and I’ve negated the second through my clever use of a vest. I almost always wear this with jeans, so I am looking forward to finding a more interesting combination, since it’s the only proper weekend item (except pyjamas) that I’ve made to date

Me Made May 15 Day 3Wearing: Red needlecord skirt (Simplicity 1321 – currently unblogged), GAP T-shirt, Clarks boots

Doing: Chores, sewing, chilling with my parents

The good: I made this yesterday, felt a little uncertain about it, and therefore decided to get it into circulation as quickly as possible so I could see its good points, which include pockets, and the fact that it doesn’t ride up too much when worn with tights

The bad: It sits slightly lower on my waist than I find ideal, but I think wearing it with something a bit thicker tucked in will help. At the moment, I’m constantly pulling it up a bit. Looking at the pattern, I think it sits where it should, so it’s just me being weird