Skirts

Continuing the (Fun) Work Wardrobe: A Floaty Skirt

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Ha, sorry for the super serious face – I was pretty cold, taking these pics 🙂

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Todays make was so simple – but I love it!! Mostly because of the fabric – rayon (I think!) and it’s from Tessuti, but sorry folks, it’s all gone 😦 I bought the fabric with the intention of making a Belcarra blouse, but somehow it became a skirt.

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I used the free Easy Gathered Skirt pattern from Pattern Runway. There’s not too much that can go wrong with such a simple pattern. It’s super easy and well explained. I haven’t tried a Pattern Runway pattern before, but I was impressed with the layout and instructions provided with this pattern. The only changes I made to the pattern were (1) to add a lining due to the light weight of the fabric and (2) using a narrow hem, which is just a personal preference of mine.

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My shirt is RTW – to be honest, I’m not sure I’m motivated enough to sew staples like shirts. My automatic buttonhole function and I are not friends. Anyway, back to the skirt,

Fun: 5/5

Cross-Functional: Yes, I’ve worn this skirt to social sewing and out to dinner 5/5

Wearability: 4/5 (only because it’s a skirt and requires me to make my legs presentable before leaving the house)

Does It Fit In?: Yes, a very welcome addition to my work and general wardrobe 5/5

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If you are keen to make yourself a skirt but don’t want to print out a PDF, there is a tutorial over on Gertie’s blog to make a similar skirt by using your measurements. I’ve seen two cute versions recently, Jess used Gertie’s tutorial and Liz just made up her own pattern (clever lady!).

I’m soon going to have to move beyond my love of sewing prints, otherwise nothing in my wardrobe will match – but I’m not sure I’m ready yet 🙂

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Guest Post: Take One Dress

I’m joining the lovely Victoria of As It Seams over on her blog. She has a great series called ‘Take One Dress’ and today it’s my turn to make something. Come on over and have a look at what I made and at the inspiration dress I’ve found for the next participant. See you there!

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A Vintage Skirt

Doesn’t look particularly vintage does it? What am I on about???

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It’s the fabric…..it’s been sitting on a bolt since the early 1960s waiting ever so patiently to be made into something.

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See – isn’t it AMAZING!!! I found this little gem at a Trunk Show held by A Piece of Cloth. Jennifer is the owner and I declare that she may have the BEST job in the world. She travels the world sourcing antique and vintage fabrics and textiles and brings them back to Australia for all of us to discover.

From Jennifer’s website:

‘Each one of the textiles we stock is hand selected on our international buying trips based on the uniqueness and strength of the print. We specialise in pre 1960s cottons as well as silks, rayons, linens, wools and acetates. We do not stock polyester, nylon or acrylic fabrics and avoid blends. We believe in quality not quantity, and as such, many of our textiles are in very limited supply.’ 

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Do you ever find a piece of fabric you love and just stand there staring at it – waiting for the inspiration to strike…….formulating a plan. Well, that was me at the trunk show. I bought what was left on the bolt, 1.2m and after this staring into space went on for a while (luckily I had no kids there with me, staring into space is a luxury only the childless can afford), I decided that a long skirt would showcase the fabric well. The skirt is floral on the front and plain black cotton lawn (2 layers) on the back. Jennifer advised that this was an early 1960s cotton  – probably about the newest fabric she had, some were dating back to the 1890s. I was amazed to find that not one of the fabrics had a musty smell (she told me she has her secrets).

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I know that I should probably cut the skirt off shorter – but how can I…….there is no more of this fabric left anywhere, ever……. I really wanted to showcase it the best I could, without letting it wear me. Anyway, what do you think? chop it off? ***UPDATE – I did chop it off and re-loaded the photos 🙂

If you’re in Melbourne, Jennifer is having a Trunk Show on the 9 & 10th of May and I highly recommend going along for a rummage. There were no inducements for this post – I just think what she does is cool.

KCW: a 15 minute skirt and 20 minute leggings

A super simple project today to get my Kids Clothes Week underway. I have been working on a bigger project which has become a bit onerous and was sapping my will to sew. I needed something quick and fun.

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A short and simple outfit deserves a short and simple post. The skirt is self drafted (self-drafted being a much too flattering term for the simplicity of this project!). I was inspired by Kelly’s Fat Quarter skirt post here – you can find a tutorial there if you are interested. I differed from Kelly’s tutorial in that I created a casing for the elastic waist. This project is seriously simple and an easy way to add some fun colour to an outfit. The skirt is one fabric piece, sewn up the side. A casing is sewn around the top, elastic inserted and casing sewn closed. Hemmed and done. The fabric is Confetti by Prints Charming which I found at Spotlight.

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The leggings are my favourite leggings pattern, the Everyday Leggings from the ‘Growing Up Sew Liberated‘ book by Meg McElwee. The size 2 pattern fits this 2 year old perfectly. There is not much else to add except to say that once you have made a few pairs of these, you can easily get them done in 20 minutes a pair.

A note on sewing with knit fabrics – a ballpoint needle and a stretch stitch make the world of difference if you have these available, especially for the seams that will be under the most stress. I use a double needle for hemming and I think the professional look it gives makes it worth the hassle of winding cotton onto a second bobbin.

So, how is your KCW going? There is a wealth of sewing inspiration over on the Kids Clothes Week website if you’re interested.

On another note, Nearest the pin is now on Facebook here – hope to see you there 🙂

High fives all round!

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What I may or may not be sewing this Kids Clothes Week

I constantly have a list running in my head of all the lovely things I am going to sew during Kids Clothes Week (Oct 21-27, where bloggers and sewers alike post their kids clothing sewing exploits over on the KCW site, it’s an amazing pool of inspiration and talent). Of course life does not suddenly allow me 400 hours of uninterrupted sewing time – so I barely get through a few items on my list. What the kids actually need in their wardrobes are usually staples – t-shirts, shorts and leggings in plain colours that can be mixed and matched. So, I thought it would be interesting to take the imaginary KCW sewing list out of my mind and onto the blog. I hope it will help me to narrow down the said list and maybe I can balance what I want to sew with what the kids need.

Um no, who am I kidding!

Firstly, let me introduce the little people I’m sewing for:

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This is O, he’s 5 and a half. He’s a high energy kid who fills his time racing his Hot Wheels cars, playing ninjas with his friends and playing football (the Australian kind).

Here’s what I’d love to sew for him:

1. The Charlie Tee – Zonen 09

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Photo c/o http://www.zonen09.com

From a Belgian pattern design company, this tee is a great mix of smart and comfy.

2. The Knight Hoodie from Charming Doodle

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Photo c/o www.charmingdoodle.com

It’s not a pattern unfortunately, just some lovely inspiration. Elisa has suggested that there may be a tutorial coming soon (Please, please, please!!).

3. Long Boardies Pattern by Make It Perfect

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Photo c/o www.makeitperfect.com.au

Perfect for our up-coming summer but I’ve not done any research into where to find great swimwear fabrics – any suggestions?

4. DIY Graphic Tee Tutorial by Shwin & Shwin

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Photo c/o www.shwinandshwin.blogspot.com

WHHHAATTT! I was more than a little excited to read Shauna’s post this week that you can buy Transfer Artist Paper, print an image onto it and transfer it onto a t-shirt. How awesome is this, apparently it doesn’t crack or fade too much. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Now to source this magical paper in Australia…

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This is Miss A, she’s 2. She has her dad wrapped around her finger. She loves to paint and to jump. She clearly needs some new t-shirts as the one she is wearing above is a 6-12 month size and is quite on the short side.

1. Mara Blouse Pattern by Compagnie M

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Photo c/o http://compagnie-m.blogspot.be

What a gorgeous light and summery top with a range of sleeve and length options, from another Belgian designer.

2. Haute Hippie Crop Pattern by CarliFayeCollection

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Photo c/o CarliFayeCollection

Gah, how adorable is all I can say?!? I’m not usually a fan of child dressing as adult, but I think this jacket works.

3. Ballet Sweater Pattern by Heidi and Finn

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Photo c/o Heidi & Finn

Girly but not ruffly. Warm and comfy. Hmm, I’d like one in my size too!

4. Swingset Tunic and Skirt by Oliver and S

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Image c/o http://oliverands.com

This image does not do justice to this cute little ensemble. I was inspired by Kristen’s gorgeous version of the skirt here.

There is more than enough inspiration for me here. Now to put my head down and see how far I can get…. I’d LOVE to sew it all but there are only so many sewing hours in a week 🙂

What are your plans for KCW? Any of these on your list?

Flip The Tinny Dress

One of the bloggers I love to follow is An of Straightgrain. Her style is simple but gorgeous. So, when I saw the Flip this Pattern challenge for August was An’s Tinny dress pattern, I was in! The Flip this Pattern challenge is run by FrancesSuzanne and requires sewers to ‘flip’ a pattern in a unique way.

So, here it is…my flipped Tinny top and skirt.

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The changes I made to the pattern were to (obviously!) separate the bodice and the skirt. To do this I drafted a skirt waistband and lengthened the top. As an alternative to the invisible zipper used in the pattern, I added a button placket and buttons down the back of the bodice. Finally, I used a flutter sleeve pattern from the craftiness is not optional Reversible Wrap Top pattern (I have this pattern cut out ready to sew next). I didn’t gather the sleeves so whether they are still technically flutter sleeves, I am not sure!

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I loved the asymmetrical collar so much I had to keep it.

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No its not made from a 70’s tablecloth, although you’d be excused for thinking that. The fabric is a vintage poplin reproduction from Spotlight. The light denim is from a local fabric shop.

This was such a fun project. I can’t wait to sew up the Tinny in its original form! You can see the rest of the flipped Tinny dresses here, where you can shortly vote for your favourite!

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Kudos to bloggers who can get their 2 year olds to co-operate for photos!