Rainy day//Sunny sews

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I've spent a lot of time inside anticipating Spring/Summer lately... so here are a couple of sunnier sews to try and lift the clouds.

I sorted my fabric stash and unearthed this lovely floral from my haul at last October's Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market, perfect for making a long, drapey, skirt.

I used the skirt pattern pieces from the Emery dress (by Christine Haynes) as a starting point, and then sort of made it up as I went along. I mixed the Emery skirt with a self drafted bodice a while back, and it worked a treat, so I thought it would look fab as a simple gathered skirt with a waistband that sits on the smallest part of the waist. As I was going for simplicity and speed, I omitted the pockets and just added a fair bit of length to the pattern pieces (I like my skirts prudishly long).

I did three rows of machine basting to get the gathers nice and even and then pinned and stitched the whole thing to an interfaced waistband. Luckily the fabric is light weight so the gathers didn't create too much bulk.

An invisible zip fastening at the centre back and it was ready to wear. The whole thing took me an afternoon to put together. I think it has a bit of a granny-dressed-in-a-duvet-cover look, but I think that's a look I can go with. I'm going to Barcelona on my hols in (*me-made*) May so I should probably throw together a few more! I might have to make a couple of plain blouses too to off-set all the pattern - probably some sheer, sleeveless Lotties.

In other exciting sewing news, I'm branching out into the world of sewing smalls. with thanks to The Secrets of Sewing Lingerie by Katherine Sheers and Laura Stanford. I'd never really considered sewing underwear before, but there seems to be quite a buzz around it - particularly bra making - in the blog world. I'm steering clear of the bras for now as I wear a silly size (small back band, large cup) but I'm all for the knicker making!

The authors have experience of designing for both M&S and Agent Provocateur, so the patterns are varied and really quite exciting - definitely the sort of things I'd want to buy if I saw them displayed in a shop! I made a pair of the Cotton Minis - the starter project in the book - to get into the swing of things, using fabric from this vintage, cotton, shirt-dress that was ready for throwing out...

...and I think it's a pretty good transformation! They've had the wear-test and they were really comfortable, and I'm glad to say they survived the wash too! I think with a bit more practice, I'll get neater at sewing some of the tiny seams, and getting the elastic just right.

The Cotton Mini pattern is available for free in the latest Love Sewing Magazine for anyone who would like to try it out, but I would really recommend buying the book. It offers great advice on sewing with lingerie-appropriate fabrics, places to buy some of the unusual fastenings and trimmings, and instructions that are easy to follow. I'm particularly looking forward to making the Head over Heels waisted brief.

If I can't afford the luxury of Agent Provocateur underwear, then what better way than to make my own using patterns designed by the designers!

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  1. That skirt is gorgeous! I always see others in long skirt and want to wear them but I don't have a long mirror at home so I always get nervous and end up chopping the skirts to just above the knee. Maybe one day I'll make a long one like yours!
    As for bra and undie making, I want to get into it (and need to...my bras are in rough shape), but I want to sew through a significant portion of my stash first since a lot of my clothes also have holes in them and need to be replaced. And I'm not really a fast sewer, so then there's that. But I like the idea of refashioning stuff to make cute undies! That's pretty great!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Carlee! I'd definitely say go for it with the long skirts, especially if you've got a stash to work through - you get used to the change in length.

      I've also got a stash to work through, so I'm compromising by trying out underwear making using old dresses/blouses at the minute. Good luck with with updating your wardrobe :) x


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