Friday, 20 March 2015

Marilla Walker's Evan Skirt!

Marilla has released a new pattern and it's an absolute beauty!  I was lucky enough to be asked to test it, despite failing miserably to do so the last two times she asked me to test new patterns.  Thank you very much for asking again!

The pattern is for a denim style skirt that falls either just below the knee or at the ankles à la 90s.  Marilla and I are almost exactly the same age so her description really rang true with me:

"It has a retro seventies appeal with a hint of the nineties thrown in for good measure, which as a seventies baby (tail end of) and nineties teenager/young adult is not really that surprising."

I went for the shorter version but omitted the pin tucked pockets as the details would have got lost in the print.  For my next skirt I would like to make a plain denim or chambray version with all the top stitching, pin tucks and belt loops.  This would be such a good plain skirt to have in rotation to mix with all the patterned tops I have.

I made a straight size 4 and the fit is really good all over (except for being a bit snug on the waist, which I knew it would be as all my skirts are at the moment - I've got my trainers back out though so it's all in hand!!).  The length is perhaps a bit longer than I would normally go for but this is the second skirt in a row I've made this length and I like it.  

Because of all the genuine denim skirt details like the fly zip, back pockets, back yoke, belt loops (made but not attached yet) and front split this skirt took longer to make than most but I really enjoyed the experience.  I had never put a fly zip in before and although mine is in backwards (Marilla has since clarified the instructions - and I think I was tired when I read them!) I really loved learning a new technique.  

The fabric I used to make this came as a gift from Marilla back in the summer when we met up to go to the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern.  It was such a lovely surprise and I have been saving it for the right thing which hadn't materialised.  It felt like fate to pair it with this pattern, even though I had slightly more than I needed.  It's got so many colours in that I think it will be easy to find things to wear with it.  I've worn it three times this week (including with my new Bonnie, which went really well!) so has slotted in to my wardrobe really well and is filling a gap I didn't know was there!  

Marilla has also just released a free skirt pattern which she hopes to raise some money for Breast Cancer Care with.  I think this is such a generous thing of her to do.  I have downloaded my copy of the Ilsley Skirt and I have plans which include a bit of a pattern hack and some refashioning!  

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bluegingerdoll Bonnie Sweater Number 2

My first version of this top gets worn such a lot that as soon as I had finished making it I knew I had to make another!  The pattern is the Bonnie Sweater from Bluegingerdoll which is marked as a beginner pattern, and it really is a very straightforward make.  My favourite thing about this top is the fit at the neck and shoulders.  The little gathers at the top of the sleeves and gives a nice bit of shaping and feels very flattering. 

I made the same adjustments this time as last, namely lengthening the body and sewing cuffs on to the sleeves.  I had lost the traced neckband and cuff pieces so I just took some measurements and cut the fabric, it seemed quicker than tracing more bits!  This time I added some length to the waistband pieces so there is no puffiness around the bottom.  I actually quite like that on my other version and this top feels longer because it pulls down lower.  

 Both fabrics (sweatshirting and ribbing) came from KitschyCoo and as usual is absolutely fantastic.  I've got my eye on some puffin print jersey at the moment but since I'm on a fabric buying ban at the moment it will have to wait for a bit!  

When cutting out this fabric I was too busy watching the Great British Sewing Bee final and managed to cut one side too far into the selvedge, so I have some very useful sewing instructions in my armpit!  It's a novel idea but I'm not sure it will catch on!

I love the bright colours in this top, the petrol ribbing goes so perfectly with my Delphine skirt made using Amanda's lovely printed fabric.  That's two Bonnie and Delphine combos I've made now, I didn't make this top with the skirt in mind but they go so well together I don't think I'll be able to wear them apart!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge: Newlook 6030

Yay!  I have completed my second sewing pattern from the Vintage Pattern Pledge!  I am happy with the end result, despite it being a bit on the frumpy side of things (granny chic?), but it has taken a bit longer than I thought it would to get there.

A few weeks ago I started to construct my So Over It Ultimate Skirt which I bought as a kit a couple of months ago in a fit of excitement.  I actually wanted to sew my vintage pattern but I was trying to be "good" and make things in order.  As if anyone but me knows what the order is!  So, it didn't go well.  The fit is off and I am not 100% convinced that the skirt will suit me but it can be fixed.  However at the moment I am not in the right frame of mind to fix it so I have put it to one side for a while.  In the meantime I thought I would start making this skirt but it wasn't completely straight forward either!

The pattern is New Look Maudella 6030 from sometime in the 70s (there's one for sale on ebay here!).  It is a simple A line skirt with a side zip.  I went for view 2 as I like the yoke.  I cut the front and backs on the fold to avoid having to pattern match as I only had 1.5 metres of fabric and the yoke is cut on the cross grain.

The fabric is from The Village Haberdashery and is Sevenberry Corduroy in Navy Plaid, which is lovely to work with.  The Child's dungulottes are also Sevenberry Corduroy and have washed and worn well (it's only been a month, but she's 5 so they've had a few things spilt on them!!).

I cut out and started sewing the skirt on the same evening I realised the Ultimate skirt wasn't working for me.  I got quite far and felt really pleased with myself.  Until I put the zip in and it went in wrong twice!  I have never actually had a major issue with zips and was feeling quite smug so I probably needed taking down a peg or two!

Over the next few days I slowly carried on putting it together then took it with me to my daughter's ballet class to hand finish the hem.  It was then I realised, as I was showing it to a friend, that I was not happy with it.  The zip still wasn't in very well, the waistband was higher at one side than the other and because it wasn't lined it stuck to my tights really badly.  This is definitely more of a winter skirt so I WILL be wearing tights under it so it made sense to start again.

I took the waistband off and the zip out.  I made a lining using the same fabric as for my first Delphine.  I then took about 10cm of length off and used that to make a new waistband.  Instead of an invisible zip I used Scruffy Badger's excellent lapped zip tutorial to put one of those in, which went in nearly perfectly first time.  I didn't know how to attach the lining to the zip so I hand stitched that bit. I made a bit of an overlap on the waistband and added a button to close it (sorry, no picture but it's a really pretty button!).

I am so glad I went back and basically remade the skirt.  I wasn't 100% happy with it before and I didn't want to have two failures in a row.  I now love the skirt, even with it's frumpiness, and will wear it a lot.  Especially with the striped top, which I know doesn't really go but I love it!