Month: January 2019

So Over It Erin Skirt Review

So Over It Erin skirt in flowery black needlecord
Photo taken in 2018 not 2008 believe it or not! (My other half is not a photographer)

I made the Sew Over It Erin skirt from the My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook in early 2018, wore it once and then promptly forgot about it. Its not the skirt I thought it would be.

Sewing notes

The skirt is easy to sew, the only daunting part being the buttons. I made some questionable choices when I made it, which has meant its not had the wear I thought it would do.

I chose to make it out of some flowery needlecord I picked up on my first trip to the Goldhawk Road in 2015, points for me for using up my stash, but, its a horrible choice for this skirt as I didn’t line it. The fabric is too thin, and a bit like wearing flimsy cardboard. I don’t know why I didn’t line it, its a stupid thing to skip especially as I only wear skirts with tights and this grabs onto all tights like nobody’s business! Not to mention the pattern, which is hard to match clothes to.

I’m not happy with the fit on this – it fits my hips but is big on the waist which makes the waistband stick up. I can’t tuck tops into it because they also grab at the needlecord and make the skirt move up my body awkwardly.

Sew Over It Erin button up skirt with pockets
It has pockets! And an awkward waistband on me!

I might try to re-work this skirt and unpick the waistband to shorten it and maybe add a lining – at least its more likely to get some wear. I love the pockets too, but they gape (this is not just me, they do on most of the Erin skirts on Instagram & Pinterest) and I’m not keen on adding bulk to my hips.

I won’t make this skirt pattern again, but I would love to make something similar in a plain fabric.

Tilly & The Buttons Delphine Skirt Review

Tilly and The Buttons Delphine skirt worn with a black top
Delphine skirt

This is my second attempt at the Tilly and The Buttons Delphine skirt pattern, from the book ‘Love at First Stitch’. The first attempt has gone missing during a Christmas tidy-up and is a UFO!

I have been craving having a retro style tweed skirt and I was sure the Delphine could match my vision. However the reality isn’t quite what I wanted. I think that’s down to my fabric choice, and how I have lengthened the skirt which has spoilt it.

Back before Christmas 2018 I saw some green tweed fabric in Fabricland Bristol which I fell in love with, and then didn’t buy. It needled at me throughout the Christmas break that it was perfect and I must get it so I went back determined to get some for my dream skirt. Of course, it was all gone. I was then stuck and got into fabric buying trouble as I didn’t want to come away without something, which lead me to buy this very dubious polyester fabric.

Poor fabric choices

The fabric is a woven polyester that frays like a beast, and will not take well to being pressed. Its slippery and scratchy and isn’t very nice to touch! I can’t understand what possessed me to choose it.

Horse print lining fabric and heavily fraying woven polyester
Even the horses on my lining fabric look horrified by the fraying!

Anyway, I was determined to make this into a retro, sixties vibe skirt so set about cutting it out and sewing it up. It soon became clear the fabric would have to be lined, and of course I then had no lining fabric to hand. I’ve used some unusual viscose-type fabric I’ve had in my stash for ages that I bought from eBay and it didn’t match its description so it was going unused. Its got a lot of drape to it, but its very slippery. This didn’t make sewing it up any easier. Saying that, I do like the horse pattern.

Construction

I free-styled adding the skirt lining, choosing to serge together the lining and outer pieces, before sewing them together. I thought I was being clever and making it easier to fit the zip (the latter might be true) but, I think this causes the side seams of the skirt to be too heavy and pull in on themselves. Oh well, sewing is just one long set of things to learn.

Invisible zip sewn into Delphine skirt
I never manage to make invisible zips go right to the top…

The fit

The waistband of the skirt is quite deep and straight. This makes it sit on the top of my hips and stick up with a gap at the top rather than sit next to my waist. This also happened on the other un-finished Delphine, so I wonder if it is my body shape, or if its the depth of the waistband? I did shorten the waistband depth on this version to try to tackle that but it is still there.

I do not like wearing very short skirts, so I lengthened the skirt by an inch or so. I think its too long on me now though. I am tempted to cut that inch off now because the length makes me look quite short, and the stitching along the hem is so visible.

Tilly and The Buttons Delphine skirt made from brown polyester woven fabric
The hem looks such a mess!

I have pressed and pressed the hem, but it will not sit nicely. I might try to do a blind hem if I take it up.

Inserting the zipper was a pain on this because the fabric kept shifting and gave me some nasty puckers. It has sort of pressed itself into place, but the top of the zipper along the waistband is not perfect at all.

Too long and too puckered!

Pattern matching was attempted but not successful! At least I remembered to sew on the belt loops before putting the waistband on (which is my standard mistake I’ve made with all other skirts!).

I might make the Delphine again, however I think I am going to continue my quest to make the perfect retro A-Line skirt with the New Look 6843 because it has a smaller waistband and darts for better shaping.

Tilly & The Buttons Bibi Skirt Review

Black Tilly and The Buttons Bibi skirt worn with a Levi's jacket
Tilly and The Buttons Bibi skirt

This is the super-simple skirt pattern that is in the Tilly and The Buttons Stretch! book. I made this last year, pretty much as soon as the book came out.

It is a really quick and simple pattern to sew: it only has two pattern pieces! The skirt piece is cut out four times to make the front, back and sides of the skirt, and the waistband is cut out four times – two for the outer waistband one two for the inner one.

I have also made this skirt as the the pinafore option from stretch velvet (!), but not yet photographed it.

The fabric I used for this particular version is some sort of textured stretch crepe that I picked up from Fabricland in Bristol. I chose it because it had shimmery gold in it, however that nearly all washed off when I did my pre wash! There is still a little left, if you look really closely, but with each wash more is lost. That was pretty disappointing.

The skirt is very comfortable to wear and I didn’t make any changes to the fit. The only tweak I did make was to twin needle stitch along the seams of the skirt to make them stronger and look more finished.

Black Bibi skirt worn in the park
Bibi is simple and comfy to wear!

I will definitely make more Bibi skirts as its such an easy and satisfying pattern to make.

Photos taken on a very grey day in January in St George Park, Bristol.

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt Review

Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt in red marl
My new cosy Linden sweatshirt

This is the first item I’ve completed from my 2019 Make Nine! I made this after my first week back at work in January – so I’ve made a good start! I’ve wanted to make a Linden for absolutely months, and I’ve had this red marl sweatshirt fabric waiting for me to put it to use since the heatwave last year (it was a complete bargain from the Nylon Shop in Bristol – ¬£4 per meter! I wish I’d bought more!).

Red Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt
What a huge neck…

The pattern is great, really clear and quick to sew up on a serger. The instructions are clear and not fussy. However, the neck is awful! I don’t understand how its been designed to be so damned huge!

What’s with that neck?!

First off, the neckband was too small for the sweatshirt fabric to stretch to fit the huge neck hole so I had to re-cut it to make it bigger. The sweatshirt jersey doesn’t have much stretch, and I might have cut the neck band replacement a wee bit too big so the huge neck will be partially due to me. Googling ‘Linden neck problem’ tells me I am by far not the only person that has got an issue here.

I’ve seen its possible to re-draw the neckline to make it a more standard size and shape which is well worth a go. I have some Stoff & Stil sweatshirt jersey I could try this with if I am brave enough.

Linden sweatshirt neck band bunching up
The neck is so huge it gets squadged by coats

Learnings

I sewed everything except for the neck top stitching on my Janome serger, which went like a dream up until I got distracted for a second, and did this to one of the underarms:

This is what happens when you loose control of a serger…

I’ve stitched up the hole by hand – its very well hidden where it is so it could have been a lot worse.

Biggest learning? Google [Pattern Name] + Problems before doing any other new pattern!

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