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?
Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes

_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.

Conclusion:
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.

Previously Unblogged…

I’ve made a few things recently that I just haven’t really felt like modelling for blog pictures, all for different reasons, so I’ve saved them up and taken some rubbish pictures of them hanging on a wall. This exercise has led me to the conclusion that I should always make the effort to have photos taken of the clothes when I am inside them, because they look a bit sad on their own.

I haven’t blogged about this before because… I don’t think I like it

IMG_2843This is the Delphine skirt from Love at First Stitch, and I just don’t love it. It’s turned out a bit too big (I don’t know how – I made a toile), I’m a bit meh about the colour, and while I really like the exaggerated A line shape on other people, I’m not a fan of it on me.

Good things I will take from this are that I quite like the exposed zip, and the waistband will always be covered with a belt, so it won’t look quite so wrinkly. I will try and fit this into my wardrobe once the weather warms up (it rides up horrifically when I wear tights), so all is not lost.

IMG_2845Lessons learnt: I need to stop getting overexcited about finding fabric in unexpected places, and only buy the fabric if it’s a colour which I will wear.

I haven’t blogged about this before because… it’s the worlds most simple refashion

IMG_2848A few years ago I picked up a tunic in Uniqlo, but the length didn’t really do me any favours. I had a sudden spark of inspiration and shortened it to fit like a normal shirt. I considered taking it in a bit at the sides, but decided I liked it baggy. It is now the most worn thing in my wardrobe.

Lessons learnt: It’s amazing how a simple change can make such a difference with a refashion.

I haven’t blogged about this before because… makeup and pyjamas do not mix

IMG_2846I still had a fair bit of wax print fabric left after making my awesome tunic, and after much deliberation, I decided that croissantish print pyjama bottoms were the obvious and best choice. I used the pattern from Love at First Stitch, but this time I created an exposed turn-up on the hem because I was in that kind of mood. Let me tell you now – there is nothing better than coming home after a tough day at work and putting on breakfast themed loungewear.

These were made in January for my ‘make something every month’ challenge.

Lessons learnt: people who love lounging need loungewear. Lots of loungewear.

Do you blog everything you make? 

Love at First Stitch: Brigitte and Margot

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When Tilly posted pictures of all the patterns in her Love at First Stitch book, I knew I was going to have to buy it. With the possible exception of the Brigitte headscarf and the Mimi blouse, these were all styles which I could see myself wearing a lot. I was willing to give the headscarf and blouse a try, too – I hate having my hair in my face when I’m at home, and I desperately need some nice tops.

When the book arrived, it was every bit as gorgeous as I’d expected. I spent a couple of days just stroking it and cooing weirdly. It’s packed full of patterns and tips about not only sewing, but also making it a lifestyle and it’s just a lot cooler than the majority of sewing books out there.

After reading the book from cover to cover and examining each pattern carefully, I decided that the best thing to do would be just to work through the book, making everything in order. Each pattern comes with different variations to try, so they’re really versatile.

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The first pattern is the Brigitte scarf, saviour of bad hair days the sewing world over. I’m not 100% comfortable with headscarves, especially while my hair is fairly short and I can’t tie them in a knot at the nape of my neck without revealing the knot to the world and feeling like I’m in costume. However, the hair-in-face-at-home dilemma wasn’t going anywhere, so I decided I could try out a lounge wear headscarf and see how I got on with that.

I had some purple polkadot fabric left over from that mysterious trip to a fabric shop in France, when I bought three fabrics I didn’t like that much, and left my beloved skunk print on the shelf. Actually, this was the fabric which I used for my doomed second Sorbetto. After that disaster, it remained in my stash for a long time because I thought it was more lavender than it actually is, and I had fears that it might be cursed. Also, I don’t really like polkadots – don’t tell the sewing police!

Anyway, with no firm plans for the fabric, and nothing else that I didn’t want to be seen outside the house in, I decided that I would use it to make the Brigitte headscarf and the Margot pyjamas. I thought coordinating loungewear might be a nice thing.

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“Things could always be worse. At least they aren’t making ME wear the scarf…”

The instructions in the book are lovely and clear, although this didn’t stop me from misreading them and making my first attempt at a scarf much too short. Once I’d recut, everything went according to plan, and I sported my headscarf that very evening!

A few days later, I was sick, and in the midst of my delirium I decided that I’d feel a lot better if I made myself some jammies to recuperate in. On the basis that I wasn’t making a muslin and I’d never made trousers before, I decided to play it safe with my long body and go for a size over my normal waist measurement. I have a habit of making things too small,  and I didn’t want these to be too tight if they had to be done up lower than I’d intended. I think it was unnecessary, but they are lovely and roomy (Ben was confused at my decision to make clown trousers). I felt better almost immediately!

The morning after making these, I went to flop on the sofa for a good lounge, but the fabric, which is not very smooth, got a bit caught up with my dressing gown, and the crotch ripped! It is a sign of how much I already love them that they were repaired ten minutes later.

One thing I might suggest is that if your fabric is a bit rough, like mine, or you’re really lazy, like me, then an elasticated waistband might make life easier. As I’m lazy, I haven’t got round to changing mine yet, but I think I will do at some point.

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“fml”

So far, I’m really impressed with Love at First Stitch, and I’m looking forward to the next project, the Delphine skirt.

A 70s Miette

"The Penguin"

“The Penguin”

Firstly, I’d like to say that every time I try and type Miette, I write mouette. A mouette is a French seagull. Fairly appropriate, since Brighton is overrun with the bloody things – the old lady next door feeds them scraps (today, as well as breadcrumbs, they received a raw new potato and a satsuma), and I’m fairly sure someone from our building once threw a birds-eye potato waffle out the window at them – I don’t know whether it was to feed them or a form of attack. I also don’t know if the box of matches which someone has flung into the garden were also seagull related. Neighbours are the best.

"Middle distance"

“Middle distance”

Now, onto the topic of the day: I have made a new Miette. I’m much more pleased with this one – it seemed to go together a lot more smoothly. I don’t know if that was because I’d made the pattern before, or because I’ve just got better at sewing. It’s about three months since I made the last one, so a bit of both I suppose. This time I added some pockets, and I think it’s a bit shorter as well. I also went a bit mad with the boost when I was editing the pictures – just for a nice 70s feel.

"No neck" The back bit doesn't look this weird normally - I'm just standing awkwardly

“No neck” The back bit doesn’t look this weird normally – I’m just standing awkwardly

This one is made of some lovely teal wool-mix stuff which I found on the remnants table in C and H a few weeks ago. Realistically, it was probably a little thick for this pattern. It’s a bit tricky to get the waistband through the loop, although not impossible, and the seams don’t exactly lie flat, I think due to pocket bulk. If I were to make this pattern again in this fabric, I’d probably use something lighter for the pocket linings and one side of the waistband – that would be quite an interesting look, actually.

"Quizzical"

“Quizzical”

When I found the fabric, I considered making a Deer & Doe Anémone skirt or a Burdastyle Jenny (with braces). In the end, I decided on a miette because it’s a bit more casual, and the fabric could make the other two look a little bit too formal for my current wardrobe needs. If I’m being completely honest, I also briefly considered making the shorter version of the Pierre Balmain pattern which is silently mocking me at the moment. Thankfully I changed my mind, as just sewing this fabric made me feel a bit itchy so I want to keep it well away from my face and neck.

This has turned out to be a really versatile addition to my wardrobe as it seems to go with most colours and I especially like it paired with these boots. Look at me, unintentionally sewing a thoughtful wardrobe!!!

Does anything in your wardrobe go with anything else, or do you just throw things on and hope for the best? 

It’s a Wrap!

I decided to add a more casual and multi seasonal skirt to my wardrobe. Something which I felt was lacking. I chose a Miette, because I think it’s an interesting take on quite a classic design. Also, other people had them and I was jealous.
 

I really enjoyed making this, and found the pattern and instructions very clear. I made this a few months ago now, and at the time, it was really helpful to be guided through the process in so much detail. I’m probably a bit more capable now, and could whip this up with slightly more confidence!

I chose a grey linen for this skirt, mostly because I thought the grey would be easy to dress up and down. I didn’t really take into account that linen would fray and crease like crazy. Next time, I’d finish the seams differently. I’ve just had to come to terms with the fact that my lovely skirt will look really crumpled within ten minutes of putting it on. It’s not too bad as long as I don’t sit down. 

The biggest issue I’ve found with wearing this dress is that Brighton is super windy. Although the overlap at the back is very large, I still think I might end up flashing someone. These pictures were taken on a moderately breezy day, and it seems to be ok, but I don’t know what would happen in some of the more extreme weather we’ve had recently. It’s a fair-weather skirt, really. And if I flash you, then maybe you shouldn’t have been looking, peeping tom!