This year I’m trying to work on making  few more dressed up items, as they are missing in my wardrobe. I’m in the year of 21st birthdays, so while all events are postposed at the moment due to COVID-19, I’m sure I’ll have some uses for nice clothes after the lockdowns are over.

I initially bought this fabric from The Fabric Store for a self drafted dress I wanted to make. However I didn’t consider that that striped pattern on the skirt wouldn’t sit super nicely as a circle skirt. I had a bit of a sad sewing moment here but was very happy when this free wrap skirt pattern appeared in my instagram ads (and has continued to appear in my ads very often since!).  Made label have a currently minimal social media presence but seem to be a new sewing pattern company that have released this pattern to gain some interest. It’s a very simple and nice sew and the style works well in a more casual way, as they have styled it in animal print below, or more formal like mine.

This skirt calls for 3m of fabric, however after some inventive pattern cutting I managed to squeeze it out of 2m. I didn’t cut all the frills on the grain line, hence the pattern is going in different directions around the frill. I thought this would effect the hang of the frill a little but I didn’t have too many problems. I think the visual impact is minimal and mostly hidden in the busy print so I’m not too sad about this. I also ended up having to piece some pieces together with multiple bits of fabric so I would not recommend making this with 2m of fabric, however it’s probably possible to do with less than 3m.

I also ended up cutting the frill and waistband with a different right side than the body of the skirt. I really liked both sides of this fabric  and think the combination of the two adds some v nice visual interest to the skirt!

The instructions for this skirt are just written text no pictures. This is mostly fine for a simple skirt like this where, for someone with some experience with garment construction, the steps are fairly obvious. However, the waistband instructions perplexed me. I read and re-read but without pictures the instructions did not make any sense to me and I just chose my own method. I made a button hole on the waistband where the straps crossed for me, however I think the instructions were indicating a clearer method where instead of a button hole a seam made an opening  in the waistband. Made label indicated they were working on video content to accompany the instructions which would likely clear this up!

This pattern is a one size fits all, due to the wrap style, making it adjustable. This is a good feature as it is easy to fit however I would probably make some changes if I made it again to make it fit better for me. The side seams sit a little to the front of my body so I would like to reduce the width of the back piece so that they sit more on my sides.

I also ended up sewing the front frill into more of a swirl. This was how the fabric wanted to sit however (potentially because I didn’t cut on the grainline) wasn’t structurally strong enough and awkwardly hung forward instead. I think I may have pressed this down a little too much for photos and it has less movement than unpressed but I do this this creates a really nice effect.  As I used a heavier weight fabric than what was recommended  this reduced fabric bulk at the front of the skirt. I also decided to omit the top frill on the wrap side that was underneath. It caused wrinkling of the upper fabric where the skirt sat, and was hidden by the upper part of the wrap anyway.

Overall I am really happy with this skirt. I think this fabric may have been a little too much as a dress so I’m glad this pattern appeared in my feed just when I was ready to leave this fabric in the cupboard for another time. I wore this skirt just with a black turtleneck for our household isolation family easter lunch and very much enjoyed wearing it. It was also nice to get dressed up after staying inside for a few weeks, even if it was just to go to the living room. I’m very excited to wear this skirt outside of my home later in the year!

Fabric – The Fabric Store (I think it’s some sort of textured cotton blend/weave but unsure!)

Pattern- Frankie Wrap Skirt– Made Label

 

 

 

I’ve been meaning to make a wrap skirt for a while as they are so simple to make and easy to wear. I’m super happy with the end product of this skirt and am looking forward to wearing this all year round, either with a cami in summer  or turtleneck in winter.

I was initially inspired to make a wrap skirt after Sarah Kirsten released her ‘Walnut wrap skirt pattern’ to email subscribers. Her ‘no pattern designs’ are so clever and make for simple but satisfying sews. I was initially going to make her (also free pattern) morning glory top with this fabric but didn’t have quite enough so made the skirt instead.

The walnut pattern is not a ‘pattern’ as such but does provides building blocks to make a garment perfectly to your measurements. It was really easy to alter so that the skirt looked exactly how I wanted it. This made it such an enjoyable process to sew. I made a few changes when drawing up the pattern but otherwise followed Sarah’s construction method exactly.

Firstly, I made the overlap smaller (the final W measurement) so that the skirt was more asymmetrical. Consequently to make the overlap sit on the side the darts were slightly off centre so that it would sit where I wanted. The pattern had two darts in the back, and I then added two side seam darts as it wasn’t sitting quite right. I found that the measurements for darts used in the walnut pattern worked perfectly with my body which made things so much easier. I initially tried to measure them myself but ended up spending sooo long on the darts as I couldn’t get it right! I think I redid them 4 times trying to measure them out against my body myself with no luck. I also widened the waistband to about double the given width as my skirt sat a little higher than anticipated after the darts had been put in so I felt like a wider band would sit a tad nicer.

The fabric is an old cotton that my grandma had in her stash, the label on the selvedge reads 1990 so I’m impressed it has stayed in such good condition since then.  It’s kind of strange to think that this fabric is older than I am.

Overall I’m really happy with this design although I may do some final alterations next time I bring out all my sewing supplies. I’ll potentially put a button hole in the side so that the fabric sits flatter around the waist band. This fabric has more body than the linen used  by Sarah so it doesn’t sit as nice at the waistband overlap as the pattern photo. I also may add a stitch in the fabric just so the wrap doesn’t expose too much as I walk!

This was such a fun and easy thing to sew, I really enjoyed using the Walnut pattern and will have to get around to making the morning glory top another time.

Fabric- from my grandmother’s stash

Pattern- Sarah Kirsten Walnut Wrap Skirt

I love this new winter skirt I made.  A Delphine skirt from Tilly and the Buttons was the first garment I ever made and wore out in public. I used a floral blue cotton that my grandma’s had and wore it to be a ‘nerd’ in my school’s production of High School Musical. I made three versions of the skirt before I got it wearable as I couldn’t get the fit or invisible zip just right. A few years later making this skirt was so much easier. I really loved noticing how much my skills have improved in three years. This time around I had some problems with the zipper but it did turn out much much better and I don’t have to keep cutting off loose threads or worrying it will break every time I wear it!

Part of the reason this was better than my first one’s was due to this gorgeous fabric I used. It’s a quilted Italian jacquard that I bought it at a fabric sale from the brand ‘Life with Bird’.   They used this fabric in the amazing dress below.  It was so exciting to drive out to the sale and see a range of gorgeous fabrics that were so different to what i’d normally see at a fabric store.  This fabric is really warm and I love the texture and pattern of it. It’s also really good to hide any dodgy stitching as the dark colours combined with the texture make it almost impossible to see the black thread. This was useful to attach the waistband facing by stitching in the ditch but not useful when I had to unpick the zipper as the thread as it was difficult to see!

I made a few adjustments to the pattern.  I took out some extra fabric around the zipper to make it sit better. I think it sat funny as my measurements are in between pattern sizes and I just picked the biggest instead of grading, leaving me with a waistband far too big.  I’ve never graded between sizes before as normally I just pick the bigger size which is probably not good sewing technique. However not grading was a little frustrating as I had to take out my invisible zip which I did a really good job of and start again. My zip wasn’t quite as good the second time! Now I know this is what I should do for garments that are more fitted. I also shortened the skirt about two inches.

I really love working with any of Tilly’s patterns.  The instructions are so easy to follow as they really step you through every process. I would really recommend her book ‘Love at First Stitch‘ for any beginners as it’s so helpful for many basic skills even if you don’t make all the patterns. I’ve referred back to this book for extra help on many of my self drafted garments and other patterns when I need help with elements so well explained in this book.

Even though I’ve still got a few final alterations (@ the invisible zip 🙁 ) to do before I wear this I photographed it as I’m really excited about this skirt. It’s the first winter item I’ve made.  I’m really missing wearing all the clothes I made over summer but I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this!

Pattern – ‘Delphine’ from Tilly and the Button’s book’ Love at First Stitch’

Fabric  –   bought from a Life with Bird fabric sale