I’m blue

… do ba dee, do ba doo (I can’t be the only child of the late nineties who has that annoying song lingering in the memory)…

You know when you’ve got the lighting just so, done your makeup properly for once, even blow dried your hair… and then your camera battery is dead? Yeah, that. So apologies for the epic blurghface of these photos because I was pretty damn grumpy. But enough of that: what have we here? Apart from excessive amounts of blue? 

Blue Ikat Jenny Skirt and Vogue 1389

So. Much. Blue. I made this skirt late last year after falling in love with the fabric (a linen blend by Dear Stella). Being such a large print, it really needed something simple or it was going to be a disaster, so I went with an old favourite: the Burdastyle Jenny pencil skirt. This is a great pattern, especially for the price: comes together really quickly and is nice and easy. The waistband as drafted is pretty huge, so I usually make it half the height so it doesn’t end up somewhere around my chin 🙂 (I kid, mostly).

Blue Ikat Jenny Skirt

The only problem with this skirt really is the sticky question of pattern placement. Katy of Katy and Laney has covered this issue (hilariously) in her post here. Get it wrong, and you can have some rather unfortunate results: once seen, these things cannot be unseen.

However, there is only so much you can do with this fabric. Inevitably there is going to be something pointing or spotlighting exactly where you don’t want it to. I’m okay with the front (though again, refer to Katy’s post for what I can no longer unsee), but in my careful attempt to avoid a (how to put this delicately?) a circle in the wrong place on the behind I’ve managed to give myself butt-nostrils instead. Thank goodness I mostly wear shirts untucked!

Actually, the more I look at this fabric, the more I see creepy faces with snakey eyes and sharp teeth. Eeek!

Vogue 1389

(Yes, I am one of those people who can’t be bothered matching their overlocking thread.)

The blue top is one of the newer Vogue patterns – 1389, that I haven’t seen anywhere on the interwebs yet. It’s a Donna Karan design so none of the seams go quite where you expect, which is a nice touch (damn hard to photograph though). I would normally go with a size 8 in Vogue for anything stretch, but I was using a double-knit and I wasn’t sure how it would go so I used a 10 instead, and it works fine. The pattern comes together really easily – it took me no more than 2 hours to cut and sew, even though I top-stitched all the seams to highlight them more. The only problem with it that I see, and I’m kicking myself about it now, is that I didn’t trust my instincts and shorten the neckband piece. In a neckband this wide, unless you stretch it significantly, you will get wobbliness because the ‘inner circle’ needs to be so much shorter than the outside. I steam-shrank as much of it out as I could but it is still annoying. Hopefully it will shrink out in the wash (without me minaturising the rest of it). Time will tell…

I apologise in advance for the excess of pencil skirt posts you are going to get over the next little while – I made a whole bunch for work and just photographed them all.I promise I’ll make something different next.

Outfit details:

  • Top: Vogue 1389 in size 10, no alterations
  • Fabric: A cobalt merino double knit from A Fashionable Stitch (she doesn’t seem to have it anymore, sorry)
  • Skirt: Burdastyle Jenny in size 36, waistband shortened
  • Fabric: Linen blend ikat by Dear Stella, from Hawthorne Threads (again, sold out I think, though I’ve seen it on Etsy)
  • Shoes by Siren
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I’m blue

Time machine: my first Belladone

If all was going to plan, I’d be posting about a bunch of pencil skirts right now. But life likes to throw you some curve balls sometimes, and I’ve had only 10 minutes of actual sewing time in the last few weeks (the horror!), let alone any photoshoot time. So in the meantime let’s hop in the way back machine and have a look at my first Belladone.

Ikat Belladone

I feel like I raved enough about how much I like this pattern last time, so let’s take a small moment to rave about this fabric instead: ‘mmmmmmm, Japanese cotton ikat’. I paid a stupid amount of shipping to get this fabric (and one other piece) from B&J Fabrics in New York because: overtired fabric addict with ipad at midnight, but it is (almost) worth it. A beautifully soft and texture-y cotton that apparently the camera has trouble focussing on.

Ikat Belladone

Of course, in a fit of idiocy, I decided that it was entirely possible to line the whole thing, bodice included. This went about as well as could be expected, by which I mean I unpicked various parts over and over again and made some weird fabric origami. Don’t ask me how I got it to work in the end because I couldn’t actually tell you – the only thing I remember about that dark, dark time is that to make it work I ended up hand sewing the unattached shoulder sections of the bottom back into the rest of the shoulder under the lining. It’s not pretty, but it worked. Maybe at some point I will fiddle around with some cheap fabric and see if it is actually possible to line it all, but not for a looooong, looooooong time (because of course my brain still tells me there must be a way).

Dodgy nighttime photos of dodgy lining
Dodgy nighttime photos of dodgy lining

I had to make another very dodgy adjustment as well – given I have terrible posture I had to take a dart out of the back bodice to stop it gaping – thankfully I could hide it under the top back pieces and just hand sew it down. Perhaps the third time I make it will be the time I get it right first go!

There will be a next time for sure – I think this pattern is really cute and it could be really nice in wool for winter. Or, perhaps I’ll embrace my nerdy self and make a Tardis dress (I have the fabric and everything). The world needs more nerdy dresses.

Ikat Belladone

Outfit details:

Time machine: my first Belladone

What? More hot pink?

Hot Pink Chardon – Jan 2014

Told you I was addicted!

I’m going to blame Pinterest for this (I blame Pinterest for everything really) – I had visions of this wintery all-black except for a hot pink skirt outfit and of course it had to happen NOW. Never mind that it wouldn’t be winter for months and months and months. I had spotted the perfect hot pink fabric a few days earlier and let it go (such a doofus)… well lets just say another trip out to The Fabric Store was in order (sorry not sorry husband).

The skirt is a Deer and Doe Chardon, size 38 (honestly, I really should be doing a size 40 but I am in denial) in a hot pink linen that looks like a hot pink crumpled mess if you just look at it sideways. Put it this way, I won’t be sewing with linen for a long, long time this drove me so nuts. As I intended it to be a winter skirt, I decided to line it and instead of being sensible and just making a simple A line lining I just did a mirror of the skirt pattern, treating them as one at the waistband and around the zip. It turned out pretty ugly indeed (hence, no pics) because this linen likes to grow while the lining liked to shrink, but it will do the job. Who looks at the insides anyway?

Hot Pink Chardon – Jan 2014

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I love anything done by Deer and Doe patterns and this skirt is no exception. This is the fourth one I’ve made and it comes together beautifully (when you don’t try and muck about with stupid linen) and is flattering and cute. Also: pockets. I love pocketses (just imagine I am saying this like Gollum, because I totally am).

So: bring on winter!

Outfit details:

And, as this is my blog and I’ll post pics of my dogs if I want to…

Hot Pink Chardon – Jan 2014

At least it isn’t dog butt. I’ve just deleted 500 photos with intruding dog butt.

What? More hot pink?