Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Charity Shop Skirt

I didn't make this skirt, my sister found it in a charity shop a couple of weeks' ago, and we were beside ourselves when we saw it.

The reason for this was because we recently came across this photo of our Aunty Ethel (who was really our great aunty), she was wearing a skirt made from the same fabric and we both loved it.

We had to look hard, but it's definately not the same skirt.  Aunty E's has different pockets and, if you look closely, there are buttons down the front.

The lady in the shop said it had been in the shop for ages, and had even been in the window display for a while, but nobody wanted it.  Clearly it was just waiting for my sister to turn up, so she brought it home, and it is in very good condition given that it is probably from the late 1950s or 1960s. 

There was one little hole at the front which I darned, and you can see it below between Tokyo and San Francisco.  The tops of both pockets had holes, so I darned them too.  To do this, I put a little piece of black fabric underneath, and then a little bit of interfacing behind that.  Then I zig zag stitched on my machine over the top, and cut away the extra black fabric and interfacing from behind. 

A few bits of the hem had come down, so I hand-sewed them.  The photo below is a piece of the inside of the hem before I fixed it.  You can see that the hem has been double folded, but I love that the raw edge has been pressed under and sewn down too.

It was a bit grubby, so my sister hand washed it and rinsed and spun it in the washing machine, and it came out lovely!

The top of the skirt is gathered, and the waistband was absolutely tiny (24 inches!), so I unpicked it in order to put a new waistband on.  I was pretty fascinated with doing this and took some photos, as I thought others would be interested too.

Above is starting to unpick the waistband, and below is one of the two hanging loops (which I put back in again).

We thought it was hand made, but then I discovered the remains of this label beside the zip.

The gathers were basted before they were attached to the waistband, and I loved that, but it had to be unpicked too. 

I found three notches clipped into the top edge.  There's one at the centre front, and the other two are where the hanging loops are attached.

The waistband is one piece, folded over at the top.  I was planning on putting a black cotton waistband on, but when I unpicked it, I discovered another layer of waistband underneath!  There was no interfacing on it, so this must be how the waistband was stabilised.

Once all that was done, I gave it a good press, and used the notches to divide the skirt top edge into four equal parts in order to make the new gathers even.   The skirt is made from one piece of fabric, the only vertical seam is the centre back, so there are no side seams.
Here it is laid out on the floor before I gathered it, the fabric measures about 235cm/92" wide.

I was able to piece the two waistband pieces (joining at the centre front) to make a waistband that was long enough, and interfaced the whole thing.  Then I sewed the waistband on and a buttonhole and button.

And since I really didn't want to throw away the rest of the fabric from the waistband, I made a key fob with it using Sian from Kittenish Behaviour's great tutorial.

Here are some photos after I was finished.  I absolutely love the zip - that's a good, proper zip!  The original button was white, but I found this pink one in my Granny's button tin.

The pockets are gorgeous.  They are all cut in one piece, and some thought was clearly put in to cutting it out.

But the star of the show is the print.  Here are some details because it's brilliant, and I really should have taken these before I gathered the top!

And here it is once I was finished - all ready for my sister to wear.

Happy sewing!


Saturday, 20 June 2020

Honey Bop Cardigan

Oh my goodness, I'm so pleased with this!!

It's the Poison Grrls Honey Bop cardigan, I started knitting this last summer, and finished it a few weeks ago.  I shall explain why it took so long in a minute.

The cardigan is knit from the top down - you start with the back shoulders and work down to the under arm, then pick up the stitches for the front shoulders again working to the under arm.  It's then joined, and you work the body to the ribbing and cast off.  Next is the button bands, and then you pick up the stitches at the armholes for the sleeves and work them.

My yarn is Cascade 220 4 ply, and the colour is 8393 Navy.  I'm not the fasted knitter, and it took me a while (and a few goes at the shoulders) to do the body.  By the time I got to the knit one purl one ribbing, it was winter, and it was just impossible to see the stitches in the dark yarn, so it got set aside. 


But it turned out that lockdown and more daylight in the evening was a great motivator, and I got the ribbing and button bands done.

The sleeve heads were a bit tricky, and it took a few goes to get the first one started, but once I got it, the second one was easy.  That said, the instructions are very good, it was me that took a while to get my head around them!


I'm absolutely delighted with how it turned out, I don't have any navy buttons for it yet, but I can get them at some point.  I also have this yarn in a gold/orange shade which is 9622 Amber Glow, so I need to decide what to knit with it.


Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Deer and Doe Magnolia

This is sort of a half-and-half dress. I had fully intended to use the Deer and Doe Magnolia pattern as is, because their patterns are a good fit, but in the end I didn't.

I used the skirt for view A (but sewed up the split), and was going to use the bodice for view B but make it sleeveless.  In the end I drafted the bodice from my block, and was able to re-jig the bodice from my Frocktails dress, so it was pretty quick to do.


Me, being me, ended up making a few changes.  I put a zip in the centre back, because I find side seam zips a bit of a faff to sew.


And I also faced the inside of the waistband, and used facing instead of bias tape to face the neckline.

The fabric is some cheap and cheerful viscose from Sew N Sew in Belfast that I bought last year.  I bought either 3 or 4 metres (can't remember which), but didn't realise that it was 45 inches wide, so went back and bought another 2 metres.  I used all of the first cut, and a bit of the second, and have enought left for a top.

It was pretty shifty fabric to work with, and I really should have stablised it with spray starch.  Also, the print is a bit patchy in places, but I think the busy-ness hides it.  

I love this dress, it will be great for swishing around in the summer, and it goes well with my Yaz jacket.


Hope everybody is keeping well,


Monday, 4 May 2020

Sewaholic Gabriola Skirt

I have a skirt that's very similar to this one, it's denim and it was from Tescos, but I bought it on ebay.  I must have that skirt about 10 years, and I absolutely love it.  It gets worn every summer, and it's always missed when it's in the washing.


So you'd think I'd have made my own version a bit sooner!  But better late than never, and this one is fabulous.  It's the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt; the back of the pattern is dated 2014, and my sister bought me it not long after it was published.  

(I also made this top, which is a Charm Patterns Rita Blouse made from some Liberty Carline linen left over from this skirt, but back to the Gabriola.)

My fabric is a linen (or possibly linen mix), I recall buying it, and  that it was beautifully enabled by Rachel from Stitched Up!, I can't remember where it was from.  

The size I made was based on the finished garment measurements on the back of the pattern.  Annnnd I ended up taking it in by 8cm at the side seams, grrr...  If you too have this pattern lurking in your stash, then I would suggest measuring the waistband before tracing/cutting the rest of the pattern.  Guess which pattern piece I looked at last...

And talking of the waistband, you'll notice that I didn't use it.  It's a rectangle waistband, and I'm not a fan, so I drafted a facing instead.  To do this I pinned the top yoke to it's corresponding yoke, then traced over it and made the facing 3" deep plus seam allowance.  The photos below are of the front pieces, but it was the same process for the back.  The front facing is shorter at the centre front because I cut it on the fold, the back facing is the same length as the pattern pieces.

I also shortened the main skirt pieces by 5 1/2" along the length/shorten line.

I would recommend marking the yoke pieces as it's pretty easy to get them confused, and  I used coloured glass headed pins to colour-code each piece.

Blue for the back
Red for the front (as there's no colour that starts with an F, I use red as it's the second letter of front)
Red for the right hand side
Yellow (or lemon if you will) for the left hand side.

You sort of have to use your imagination with this, but it works for me.
Right back

Left back

Left front

Right front

The yoke pieces are cut on a horizonal grain, and I love how it gives the yoke a slightly different tone.  Also, I think all the yoke pieces are ripe for top-stitching, and I might do this when I can get some more thread. 


In conclusion, I flipping love this skirt, and now feel the need for one in red.  If anybody wants me, I shall be swishing about and pretending I'm Stevie Nicks!


Happy sewing,