Black skirt

Another FO:

I made this using measurements from a skirt I love, and instructions from Sew What! Skirts (love the book, hate the exclamation mark), plus the Easy Guide to Sewing Tops and T-Shirts, Skirts and Pants. I have made a couple of skirts before, but this is the first one I’ve put a zip in by machine, and I think it went okay. I basted the zip-opening-area closed with the machine, used wash-away double sided tape to baste the zip in place, and used 1/2″ sticky tape as a guide for the stitching. The stitching was a little wonky in places, but basically fine. It was also my first go at stitching in the ditch (to attach the straight waistband). Mostly went okay, the sewing went over the waistband a couple of times, and I missed catching a bit of the other side of the waistband occasionally, so I slipstitched those bits. I put a hook and eye on the overlap of the waistband, which I think would have been easier if I’d done it before finishing the waistband? Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it!


Well, I made a real dress for The Child once, with a zip and everything, and a very basic fold-2m-fabric-in-half-and-hack-away-at-it thing for me, but this is the first dress I’ve made with actual component parts (bodice! sleeves! lining!) for me.

I started out making Vogue 8379 (extremely popular wrap dress pattern) but realised a little late (having made the bodice lining and cut the bodice and begun assembling it) that I didn’t have enough fabric for the full, wrapped over (erm, obviously…) skirt in that pattern, and I wasn’t confident enough to narrow the skirt. So, I decided to try the skirt from McCall 5974, which appears to run pretty huge, at least the skirt seems to – I went with the size 14 skirt and took out about three or four inches by the centre front (admittedly an inch or two of that would have been taken up in pleats, but the three or four inches would obviously be doubled, what with being cut on the fold etc) and it fit perfectly to the Vogue bodice. (The McCall’s dress has a one-piece back, so I just used the same piece for the back).

So, here it is:

Er, hello!

So, this is the obligatory “I have made a blog and am not sure what to do with it” post. Um. Well, my general plan is to make this blog be about my sewing/knitting/embroidery/other crafty type activities and ideas. At the moment I am mainly sewing, but I tend to have phases of the others, too. Mostly to do with cloth, either making it, shaping it or decorating it. I am really keen on mid-20th Century fashion, especially WWII and the inventive ways women made the most of their rationed cloth, knitting wool and garments. I also love the flowing, feminine looks of the 1930s, the nipped-in waists and full or slinky skirts of the 1950s and the often-eccentric and very varied 1960s, but especially the chic little shifts worn by Mod girls. So, I suppose that’s what I mean by “muddled style” – I can’t pick one ‘look’ I like, and while most of the clothes I own are individually rather nice, not all that many of them make sense with any of the other things.

I have been interested in sewing for a few years, but haven’t had the opportunity to do as much sewing as thinking about sewing/buying sewing books and fabric. I have made a couple of a-line skirts, a dressing-up costume for my daughter (dress and cloak from some horrid acetate satin stuff), a silk top (all hand sewn because I was scared to do it on the machine…) and a very basic kaftan-type dress for my summer hols one year.

At the moment, I’m working on a mock-wrap dress, and my next project will be a copy of a Primark skirt which I adore, but which I’d like in plain black rather than the cute-but-less-versatile black and white stripes the original has, so I can wear it with pretty patterned blouses and stripey tops!

Edited to add pic of dress, finished except for the hem: