Jaywalkin’

So, I’m not one for competitions. They tend to stress me out, and that’s the exact opposite of what I want or need in a hobby. So when I read about Tessuti Fabric’s Jaywalk competition, I thought that it was a good opportunity to get some fabric I had been eyeing off super cheap and that I wouldn’t necessarily worry about entering. I got some in both colour ways and figured I could use the light version to make up a Moneta dress, and the black looked like a perfect fabric to knock off this dress that I pinned an age ago. No stress. Just simple, wearable sewing.

Long story short: one Sunday afternoon later I had my super cute little stripey dress. Me Made May taught me that I love wearing knit dresses on the weekend and I needed some more: job done. A few days later I was telling The Mister about all the cool things that had been entered into the comp so far and how my dress was far too simple for competitions. His response: “screw it, just do it, because what’s to lose?”. At this point I may have mentioned something about my derpy photos and the internet, but sometimes my husband is more stubborn than me, and so a competition entry it is.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

So here it is. Let’s call it my hidden pocket knit dress. Can you see them?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

And there they are.

This make is a mash up between my Renfrew tee dress, with the pocket structure from Vogue 1247 (which I sure as hell am getting my money’s worth from). I spent an inordinate amount of time making sure the pockets were properly hidden in the black stripe and I’m pretty happy with the result. To stop them flipping about I lined the front with some swimsuit lining and also added in some fusible interfacing along the tops to keep them from sagging down. In wearing it so far that has worked to keep them where they are supposed to be. Once the pockets were in, the whole thing could just be sewn up like a t-shirt, and I did my normal method which is basically as per the Renfrew instructions (I think the double handling of machining than overlocking means it is all super durable and I like my clothes to last).

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

No head in this picture because apparently a recipe for looking very unhappy is to eat a giant pasta lunch and then try and suck in your food belly for photos. Eh, pasta is SO WORTH IT.

BUT I am pretty happy with my stripe matching down the sides, it took a bit of wrangling (and unpicking a lot of lightning stitch) but I got there in the end with only a few stripes out by a tiny bit. In the spirit of stress-free sewing, I’ve decided I don’t care because unless you are sitting there obsessively checking my side seams it is not noticeable, and fifty-thousand times better than what I could buy in a shop.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

The dress still felt like it needed a little something something, so I added in a fake button placket (?) on the shoulders, and I think it turned out pretty cute. Expect to see this detail on some t-shirts very soon.

Don’t think I can add much more to this: stripey dresses are pretty much always a good thing in my books. But it feels good to get something off my Pinterest to do list (only 600+ things to go!) – how many of you find Pinterest to be both a blessing and a curse?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

Outfit details:

  • Dress mash up of the Sewaholic Renfrew and Vogue 1247
  • Fabric: Jaywalk in Black/Natural from Tessuti, swimsuit lining from stash (i.e., no idea)
  • Buttons from Spotlight
  • Voodoo wool tights
  • Jane Debster boots
  • Lean courtesy of sloping driveway
Jaywalkin’

What’s that? More pencil skirts

(Oh, and if anyone is finding that images aren’t showing up on my posts could you let me know? They are only showing up for me 50% of the time at the moment for no apparent reason.)

I feel like a bit of a broken record here, but having stitches in my neck (nothing serious) mean I have been not able to do much sewing over the last week or so (recipe for insanity that – couldn’t even knit!).

Which means, unfortunately for you – more pencil skirts. So. Many. Pencil. Skirts.

Flippy Skirt - Feb 2014

Though I lie – the first, while based on my trusty Burdastyle Jenny, is in fact a super cute Mui Mui copycat based on this fantastic tutorial on Frau Fleur. If you have a pencil skirt pattern that you’ve already worked out the kinks to (or a skirt block) then this is a super easy make – especially when you have By Hand London’s handy circle skirt app to do all the maths for you.

This is made in some mysterious composition suiting that I got last year in Sydney – I feel like it must have at least some wool because I don’t usually buy poly, but who knows? It is spongey and frays like crazy, presses well, but is almost impossible to photograph. The closeup below attempts to show the colour – it is actually black and white, but is looking quite brown in the photos.

Flippy Skirt - Feb 2014

There’s not much I can actually say about this make – the hardest part is the endless hemming. I was going to do this one all fancy-like with bias binding, and had it all on and perfect before I worked out that I had sewn it on the wrong damn side. I was not going to unpick it all so off it was chopped. I actually like the length (thank goodness), though, as with any flippy skirt, the risk of wardrobe malfunction is always there. I’m planning another one of these in something more sculptural – wool perhaps.

Polka Dot Jenny Skirt

And on to pencil skirt no. 5239239545435: again, photographing weirdly brownish.

I broke my own rules with this – I rarely sew with quilting cotton for reasons covered ad nauseam all over blogdom. (This is not to say I have a blanket rule at all, but it has to be for very specific items. I could show you some terrible and never worn items that were my lessons.) This is very lovely fabric, an organic cotton by Monaluna, in an uneven spotty pattern that I fell head over heels for. Why is it so hard to find irregular spotty fabric? Why???? But, this fabric has a very tight weave. A tight weave that means, despite using the same pattern I have used 50 million times, that this skirt is too small. Barely zip up small. Can’t breathe small. ‘How much exercise can I feasibly do’ small.

Such a pity. I spent ages and ages on this to make sure everything was impeccable. Interfacing in all the right places. Handstitched inner waistband and hemline. Lined in lovely silk cotton. The best work I was capable of doing. I can’t quite cope right now with the idea of having to undo so much of it to fix it, so it sits, abandoned, in my wardrobe.

Polka Dot Jenny Skirt

Never heard a tale of more woe?

The lesson, of course, is to have less of the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude and perhaps try it on a little more carefully before you put the zip in. Oh well. One day…

Outfit details:

Flippy skirt

  • Based on Burdastyle Jenny pencil skirt, in size 36. Cut off just at the top of the leg, plus circle skirt to fit the bottom
  • Fabric: mystery suiting from The Remnant Warehouse in Sydney (I could tell a good story here about how a trip to this place meant buying an extra suitcase and $110 of luggage fees, but it still makes me weep a little)
  • Top: French Connection (is NOTHING cut on grain any more?)
  • Shoes: Seychelles from Anthropologie

Spotty skirt

  • Burdastyle Jenny pencil skirt, in size 36 (modified waistband)
  • Fabric: Organic ‘Polka Ott Black’ by Monaluna from SewFineFabric on Etsy
  • Lining: silk cotton blend (Donna Karan) from The Fabric Store
  • Shoes: Seychelles from Anthropologie
  • Fabulous Captain Wentworth (the BEST Austen hero) quote tee-shirt from Brookish on Etsy
What’s that? More pencil skirts