A totally inappropriate skirt…

I didn’t intend to make another skirt. I certainly didn’t intend to buy more fabric. But I was waiting in-line to get some fabric for a sewing class I’ve just started and something was calling…
Can you see it?There on the middle shelf. The white one… can you hear it?

I tried to ignore it. I really really did. I didn’t need another skirt (for what else could it be?) I could get it another time. “But I’m on sale” it whispered.

Nope you’re cotton voile. You’re far to thin for a skirt. “I’d just need lining…” it coerced. 

For goodness sake its WINTER! “But look how pretty I am. Just think of how I’d swish and twirl…”

Needless to say my will was too weak and said fabric came home with me! And went straight into the wash and ironed and ready for cutting that night.

I knew this had to be a swishy skirt – after all it had told me it was. I didn’t want panels as I didn’t want to break up the already busy print – and I knew there was no way I was going to pattern match this sucker.

So I headed to the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. Which informed me that the fabric was too narrow for a fill circle skirt. And a half circle skirt. And for a quarter circle skirt. Hmmm….

What followed was a long period of angst trying to work out how to get this fabric to do what I wanted it to. I cursed my waist dimensions for being too long. I cursed stupid patterns for being dumb. I cursed circles for being too round. Then I realised the cursing wouldn’t change a thing.

nothing like my finished productI searched my patterns for one that would give me the swish I wanted. In the end I saw this one in Gertie’s latest book and thought “hmmm that would probably look different in a lighter fabric”. Then I realised it was a half circle skirt. And that the dimensions matched the fabric I had… we were on like donkey kong kids!

I don’t know why this pattern fit when the other circle skirt patterns didn’t. Tbh it wasn’t quite wide enough even for this pattern. I ended up missing the very point of the circle on either side and just fudging it when I sewed it up. roll that hem...

Once I got it cut out though this baby went like a dream. Easy to sew up. Facings matched (not a fan of facings me, but thems the breaks). I left it to hang for a couple of days but there wasn’t too much drop in the hem. I even managed to do rolled hem…

So, now I have a gorgeous skirt, in a see through cotton voile. In winter. Ah well! Add a jacket and a slip and we’re in business.

We managed to get out today, on a stunning winter day and get some shots – it was sunny, windy, and chilly but after the rain and storms we’ve had the last week it was glorious!

Here she is, in all her glory

Here she is, in all her glory

See... swishy-ness

See… swishy-ness


checking out the fabric – yep its still calling…


the print in its glory!

Despite loving this fabric, and the feel, and so many things about it, when I first put it on I was underwhelmed. I’m one for a-line and closer skirts and I wasn’t sure the looser, draping worked for me – especially round the hips. However when I tried it on again after hemming I was ok with it; sometimes I think a new style sometimes needs a second consideration.

I think this one will get a bit of wear. With a jacket other than my denim one it will carry me over for work. All in all a win methinks.

IMG_5151 IMG_5137 IMG_5186


Where I try to “properly” make a skirt

I am very (very very) slowly doing a sewing course by correspondence. I signed up long ago before I realised the wealth of information that was available on this here interweb, and although I can get all the info I need from fellow bloggers, I am stubborn and want to get this course finished. One day.

As part of the course there are a number of garments to be made for assessment. And I have learned that sewing for me, myself and I is one thing but showing it to other people to get marked is quite terrifying! But I guess thats the point huh….


Love this fabric

So I was determined to make a really really really professional skirt for assessment. I wanted to do it right and have it  look perfect. I had some amazing denim I’d brought on sale on a trip to Auckland and decided to make the Grainline Moss. Its a mini skirt but can be adapted to a knee length and that sounded about right.

So I cut it out and went to sew it up. And paused. This was being marked after all!

Then I reread the course material and realised that the Grainline Moss didn’t meet the requirements for this garment  – it needed to have darts. Oops. But it meant I could make up this skirt without worrying if it was good enough – yay!

This is a pretty popular skirt and for good reason. Its a great wardrobe staple – though I can’t see myself in the mini skirt ever! The additional band at the bottom makes it much more life appropriate for me!

I finished all the seams in this skirt with Mock flat fell seams using Colette’s tutorial – they’re super easy. I was planning to do proper flat fell seams but with the smaller seam allowances I couldn’t be bothered fiddling with them to make them work! But I am really pleased at how even the Mock flat fell seams made it look better.

Check out the mock flat fell seams. can't see them? They're there, honestly!

Check out the mock flat fell seams. can’t see them? They’re there, honestly! (Ignore the puckers at the waistband though. You can’t see those either!)

There was a lot in this pattern that was new, and as a result a lot of unpicking which led to a little bit of stretch in some places. The denim has a lot of stretch in it anyway and the cotton matched the fabric so well I couldn’t see it on the dark fabric to unpick. But in the end its turned out ok.

This pattern had me use both inset pockets and a fly zip – two new techniques I can check off the list to skills to learn (the list to perfect the technique is another one that is hidden away in a dark dark drawer somewhere!).

All done!

I am proud to say that this is the most well constructed garment I’ve made. And improvement is what I am working towards. Perfection is non-existent really and I make these things cause I like them. As long as the clothes I make are wearable, I keep making them and so keep making them better. That’s the aim!

Mr T and I got these photos over the weekend when we headed up the line. We went to an outdoor sculpture park so had a great time. I love weekends!

side view


The finished product

The finished product

And some pictures from the sculpture park…

At the top left of this scuplture is a Fantail, a native bird. This one was quite interested in what Mr T and I were up to and followed us around for at least 15 minutes.

this horse is made of chicken wire...

this horse is made of chicken wire…

ok, this wasn't a sculpture but was my favourite thing!

ok, this wasn’t a sculpture but was my favourite thing!

bye for now

Wow… halfway through 2013

Hey Happy 1st July…

jeepers this year is racing past isn’t it. At the start of the year I had set myself the challenge of sewing 12 items in 2013. At the start of April when I started this blog I had made none. Oops.

BUT things have changed people, I am up to 7 items – over halfway!!

1) orange skirt

2) grey wool skirt

3) Watson jacket (finished!!!!)

4) my wearable muslin for the dress to wear to the wedding

5) the bed rest/leaner thing

6) black boat neck top (a bit boring so unblogged)

7) Forest friends quilt

AND I have just finished my By Hand London Charlotte skirt…  today so I’ve not blogged it yet. Soon dear reader soon.

So I think I’ve done pretty well so far. I’ve discovered the unbelievable support that is the world of Sewing Blogs, particularly the Wellington girls. I have almost doubled my fabric stash, AND my pattern stash. I can’t wait for the rest of the year, I have SOOO many things planned to make.

So thanks for reading  my blog all you lot. I really appreciate it! Hope you have a great creative and productive rest of 2013!

A big hug from me to youl!!!

A big hug from me to you!!!

My new wool skirt…

wow… we are on a roll. A week later and I’m up to the second garment of the year – and I have another one almost done…

Its fair to say that these two were UFO’s so they’d already been cut out – all I had to was put them together. Which for my skirt was not as pretty as I thought.

I mentioned with my orange skirt that I usually just throw something together, and the wool skirt is one of those. I brought the wool about 2 years ago after falling in love with the blue that creates the check and soon after just placed one of my work skirts on the fabric and used it as a cutting pattern.close up - isn't the blue pretty

I’d gotten very basic blue lining and did the same with that. After sewing up 2/3 of the lining pieces to the waistband I realised I’d cut one upside down… and as a result its sat in the UFO pile ever since.

But not anymore… I am on a mission so I picked it back up, sorted out what went wrong and forged ahead. It wasn’t til I was a lot further along that I realised that a) I’d sewn the front lining on the wrong way and b) while I’d been a bit embarrassed about my seriously dodgy and uneven cutting lines I hadn’t actually thought about straightening them til it was too late (for me anyway, I hate redoing things).

I also must have cut this out before I even heard about pattern matching on the seams… oops. But this is all a learning experience huh, I will get better…

Perfect matching!

despite this, check out the completely random matching on the back seam… (my finger is on the hem line – you can hardly see it huh!)

This skirt saw my second invisible zipper which is def an improvement on the one for the orange skirt.





New skirt

Side view

I am really happy with this skirt – there’s lots of messiness on the inside but I pleased how it looks on the outside. I thought when I picked the fabric up again it was a little bit nanna-ish. And yes its a a tad old fashioned. But everytime I wear the skirt it based on I got compliments and I am looking forward to wearing it this week.







Baby card

On another note, a friend of mine had a baby earlier today… look at what I put together during Project Runway!

One down…

So I have finished my first garment of the year!! 🙂

Orange skirt

Usually when I make an A-line skirt I just knock something up. However 2013 is the year I am TRYING TO SEW BETTER so I thought I’d do it properly!

I brought several sewing books at Christmas (I love books, don’y you!) and the pattern from this book came from Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes. Its a simple A-line with two front pockets.I found the book good, lots of pretty pictures and the instructions were pretty clear as well.


The fabric is a heavy cotton that I brought a couple of years ago and not done anything with yet.

I’m not 100% happy with it – the zip isn’t that tidy, but hey it was my first invisible zip so I’m pretty pleased overall. If I made it again the only thing I would change would be to make it a bit longer – its shorter than I would usually wear.

Here are some more photos….

Whole view     Side view   Front

See you soon!