Hello friends! I'm just back from a holiday which was very special for me as I've been to visit my brother and his family. I've been too ill to make the trip for four years. I'm so happy I made it again at at last! While I was away, I didn't use the internet. I like the change on holiday, especially if I'm visiting. A side benefit is that I really look forward to having a week's worth of blog reading to catch up on when I get home - what a treat! Time for me to get blogging again, too :)
Today I'm keeping to my previous theme of 'how I'm getting on with my needs list'. These are some of the basics I've made - I can sling them on with virtually anything and walk out of the house looking vaguely respectable. Sorry, but
it is unlikely I will ever I will never be a fashionista!
I mentioned in a post somewhere I wanted try longer skirts (something I've rarely worn since a teenager), and thought one would be good for those days I didn't want to 'get my legs out'. My idea was to make the simplest possible then if I don't like and wear it, I haven't wasted hours of sewing time and fabric. In theory.
Here's what I made. It's Skirt 6a from 'Simple Modern Sewing' book.
It would have been more logical to extend my (already excellently fitting) vintage A-line skirt pattern, but I wanted to pretend I was this cool Japanese girl.
I also wanted to try using this book which I have had for a while, rather than just looking at it.
This is like a beginner's book for starting with Japanese sewing books. All the styles are fairly simple and there are instructions as well as the diagrams that come with the more advanced ones. (Personally I like diagrams, so I think I will enjoy graduating.)
Anyway the patterns are in an envelope in the back of the book and you trace them off like Ottobre (although there are less patterns per sheet, in this case anyway). You then add whatever seam allowance is specified, but I added 5/8ths inch as I would forget If I added a smaller allowance (1/2 inch suggested). I also added 2.5" length as I wanted a really long skirt and the pattern piece looked shorter than I was expecting. Bear in mind I am only 5'3", so if you are any taller you would need to add to/extend the pattern piece by even more.
|Umbrella - check, huge scarf - check, showing decorative|
waistband - nope. Career in modelling even less likely.
The fabric is corduroy from someone's stash they were selling off on eBay. I guess it's been folded a long time as there was a permanent dirty looking crease down the centre (not mentioned in the description, just saying), but fortunately I was able to cut around it easily, so I didn't complain. It was also a much wider piece of fabric than I had expected which had certain major advantages (see later). I've never sewn with corduroy before and really enjoyed it - it pressed so nicely, I will definitely sew with it again.
The bias waistband is finished with a scrap of cotton from the charity shop which was too small to make into a garment but I really love and was saving for the right project. I didn't have any Liberty print like in the book, but this is a fine substitute I think. One day I would like to treat myself to some Liberty cotton as I hear it's really great quality.
I finished the waistband with one of my daughter's old hair bobbles and a button - I got this tip from here but I am really sorry I couldn't find the link. Update: here is the link: http://spottydogsocialclub.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/24-hours-earlier.html You can probably figure it out! The advantages are it gives a perfect professional loop with a bit of added flexibility! The book said use a hook and eye, but as it would bridge a little gap and be near my skin I didn't dare. I am so very extremely allergic to nickel. Does anyone know if hooks and eyes and press studs contain nickel? I know vintage zips do!
That's the long bit.
Now for the short bit.
I cut the wrong size. I don't know why but I went by my hip rather than my waist measurement and as soon as I had cut out the pieces (not when I was tracing them) I could see that they would never, ever do up at the waist. (The hips fit fine.)
Please don't tell me that's what a tape measure is for (measuring pattern pieces).
So I retraced and recut the larger size and completed it as you have already seen, feeling grateful it was a fairly quick and simple make.
The too small pieces are the kind of thing that can languish for a long time (we're talking years) in my refashion/stash pile reminding me of my stupidity, so I polished up my halo and got on with making a short skirt from the fail. It was difficult to select a style as I hadn't desired or planned a shorter corduroy skirt.
In the end I made this:
Guess which pattern I used ;) Of course the fit of this one is just perfect!
The length was dictated by my pieces as was the repositioning of the zip to the side, two piece waistband and faux pocket thingies. (Try as I might I could not find enough fabric off cuts to make any kind of real pocket.) Fortunately I keep two little wallets full of ideas and scraps from other garments (like interesting collars and pockets) and I found a sample of these I'd made before. I don't know where I first saw them, but they are very easy to do.
The large metal object I'm leaning against is a very old cannon.
This is the tin I keep my metal buttons in, where I found the ones for the top of the pockets:
It was my grandma's, and one of the many treasures I inherited with her sewing box. It depicts a scene of the Thames bygone times. The writing inside the lid says it is a toffee tin. I think of my grandma whenever I use it.
Anyway, I sulked my way through the making of this skirt. I kept thinking of all the other stuff I could/should have been sewing, and I still doubt I really need two blue corduroy skirts. Maybe I should have made a bag, or dyed it purple (would that have even worked?). Still, now it's complete I quite like it and have worn it twice, so that's something.
Any sewing saves round your way recently?
Happy sewing 'til next time,