Saturday, 28 March 2015

An Everyday Skirt

This is the Everyday Skirt by Liesl & Co.  I saw it featured in Sew magazine recently and thought it would be a good wardrobe basic pattern.

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

The pattern is a pdf dowload from Liesl & Co at Oliver and S. It's the first Liesl & Co pattern that I have made and I was very impressed with the simplicity of this pattern and the clear and thorough instructions.

It's a skirt suitable for beginners and it features front pockets, a gathered front, side panels and elasticated waist band at the back. The pdf pattern was easy to put together. I sized down to a small (US 4-6) as the skirt is designed to be fairly relaxed and this size fits perfectly. 

I used some material is from my stash. It's a cheap and cheerful cotton purchased from last year, but I can't tell you anything more about it.

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

The waistband is cleverly constructed and finishes the inside of the skirt off very neatly.

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

The skirt has front pockets and I really like this feature. It's my first time making pockets and I'm really pleased with how they went. 

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

The back of the waist is gathered which means that it's a relaxed  and comfortable fit. It also means that it is fairly easy to fit as you just adjust to fit your waist.  I left mine fairly loose as the pattern is designed to be worn below the natural waistline.

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

It's perhaps not the most elegant finish at the back  of the waistband. My elastic was slightly narrowed than the half inch elastic stated in the pattern as it was all I had to hand. 

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

I'm also pleased with the gathering on the front as I sometimes find it hard to get the gathering evenly spaced. I utilized my daughter's John Lewis Mini sewing machine to do the gathering as I didn't want to have to change the thread on my machine.  Surprisingly I think using this machine was what made the difference as I seemed to be able to pull up the gathers better and they didn't drop out like usual.

Everyday Skirt - Liesl & Co

Overall, I didn't make any changes to the pattern except I did not make a wide hem as this was the only bit of the instructions that I had difficulty following. The pattern allows for a 2 inch hem and gives instructions on sewing a row of gathering stitches 1/2 inch from the hem's raw edge and then pulling in the gathering stitches so that you can ease in the extra fullness in the curved sections of the hem. I had couldn't get this to work at all, so  in the end, I trimmed about half an inch from the length of the skirt and turned under a regular 2cm hem.  I double stitched this also for a decorative effect.

I really like this skirt and can see me making it again. It's a great basic pattern and would look good in a range of different fabrics and prints. And it's got pockets!

As you can also see I also now have a dressmaking dummy. It was my birthday last week, I got vouchers to buy her. Lucky me! 

Dressmaker's dummy

Have you made the Everyday Skirt or do you have a favourite  basic skirt?



Saturday, 7 March 2015

A day out....The Knitting and Stitching Show, London Olympia

I took the day off work on Thursday and went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in London. Although not such a big show as October's Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, it's still a great day out. I went with my mum, armed with refreshments and a large bag!

There were a lot of fabric retailers there, mostly selling affordable fabrics.  It's the first time I've added to my stash this year as I am trying to be good, and use up some of my existing fabric.

I bought this from Simply Fabrics who are a retailer based in Brixton.  I think this will make up a nice summer dress. They had a selection of excellent priced fabrics and I think their shop must be worth a visit if you live in South London.

These fabrics I think came from Fabrics Galore, another South London fabric retailer. I think I need to move!

I'm thinking of this as a short sleeved blouse....

...and this as a skirt or maybe dress.

My final fabric was from Fabric Time who are based in Kingston upon Thames.  I bought this adorable polka dot and rose print.

This is going to definitely become a summer dress.

One of the busiest stalls was the McCalls pattern company. All their patterns were on offer for £4.50 or £12 for three. How could I resist!

I bought this "Patterns by Gertie" pattern to make up for my daughter: Butterick B5895. I think she will look cute in this. However, I don't think its a design for anyone but the skinny!

Loose-fitting top has front extending into collar and tie ends, and narrow hem on sleeves/back hemline.

I also picked up two dress patterns... Butterick B5982....

 Dress has close-fitting, lined bodice, side front seams, pleated and gathered skirt, back zipper, and belt with bow, knot and Velcro® closing. A/B, C D cup sizes.

....and Butterick 4443.

 Dress: close-fitting bodice and slightly flared skirt has bodice variations, back zipper and is below mid-knee length. B: contrast band, tie belt and purchased flower. C: tie belt. D: purchased ribbon and bow trim. E: purchased ribbon bow

I've not sewn any Butterick patterns before so I will be interested to see how they fit. I'm also a planning on losing a few pounds that have crept over the last year or so before I start on these. I have set myself a goal of losing a stone, so I will let you know how I get on!

On the knitting front, I bought 5 balls of this lovely aran weight yarn from Neil the knit.

It's called Aztec Aran and it's made by James C Brett which is not a company I've come across before. It's 10 percent alpaca so has a nice fluffy feel to it and it knits up nicely. I am going to make the tunic version on this pattern...

...and have already started.

I also bought some of this patterned yarn from the same stall. It's a self striping yarn and I am planning on knitting a simple round neck sweater with this to show off the pattern. 

Maybe this pattern...

Plenty to be getting on with...

Catherine x